Monday, February 27, 2012

HEALTH & FITNESS - THE BENEFITS OF INFRARED SAUNAS & Detoxification

THE JOYS OF SWEATING!


One of the great things about working in the fashion and skin care  industry is the great people I meet along the way. A couple of months ago I met with a good friend of mine, Teresa Ducoffee, the owner of Atlanta Colonic & Massage in Alpharetta, GA
Teresa is very passionate about what she does (which I now understand why after trying one of these things). I knew the great benefits of having regular colonics.....(which are amazing at pulling down toxic levels in the body).....But when she first told me she worked with saunas my first impressions were still “yeah whatever”, because I could vaguely remember sitting in a steam sauna with my girlfriends over ten years ago now and not liking it at all because it felt way too humid to be comfortable.
But then Teresa told me that the saunas she works with are far-infrared (FIR), there’s no steam involved AND they’re amazingly good at detoxifying the skin and the whole body FAST!!!!. So now I was interested. And of course even more interested when Teresa invited me around for a session to try it out for myself.
My far-infrared sauna experience
My sauna experienceI was a little wary before my first FIR sauna experience because of my previous steam sessions that I didn’t particularly like. I’m a summer boy so I love the heat but steam saunas can get uncomfortably hot and very humid which is not that fun. So on the way to my FIR session I was a little more apprehensive than excited because I assumed this sauna experience would be the same as the others.
Wow was I wrong. I was lucky enough to enjoy a cabin FIR sauna for a whole 45 minutes. Sure the last ten minutes were feeling a little too hot and uncomfortable and I should’ve either opened the door or finished earlier, but the first 35 minutes were absolute bliss. Sitting in the cabin felt so beautiful, cosy and warm. Teresa gave me a few CDs to play in there (yes some cabins have CD and DVD players) and I took in a book to read figuring I’d get bored sitting in there for 45 minutes. But it was so cosy and so warm that all I wanted to do was close my eyes, relax and do nothing.
Infrared saunas are different to traditional steam saunas in a lot of ways. But most noticeably by the lack of steam. In fact the heat feels like a dry heat (I can tell because my hair didn’t go frizzy at all) even though you sweat A LOT. And wow did I sweat. For the first 20 minutes or so I had a nice little sexy glisten of sweat. By the end of the 45 minutes my body was literally dripping with sweat, which …was no longer sexy at all! Was it uncomfortable? No, because I was in there to sweat out some toxins so was happy that it was actually working.
But the best part was how amazingly good I felt after the session. You know that feeling after you’ve had a long hot bubble bath or a good massage? It was exactly the same feeling as that. I felt happy and relaxed, and to be honest I think it calmed my mind down a little so it must be good at reducing the vata too.
The night after my sauna session I went out with a friend of mine. One of the first things she said to me was “wow, you’re glowing” which of course everyone wants to be told, but it’s especially desirable in the industry I work in.....THE FASHION INDUSTRY....LOL. I’m not entirely sure why I was glowing that night but I can’t help thinking the sauna session had something to do with it. And my skin did feel clearer and healthier for a few days afterwords.
Cabin vs capsule
I also got to borrow a smaller “capsule” sauna from another friend for the weekend (by the way, did I tell you how much I love my job?) which was great because I got to have a few more sessions to really test it out and I got to compare the different sizes. It’s actually called a “solo system” but I prefer capsule because that’s just what it looks like. Don’t you think?
capsule FIR sauna
solo system
cabin FIR sauna
cabin sauna
I have to say that even though I enjoyed the capsule and it did give me a good detox, I liked the cabins a lot better at the Atlanta Colonic & Massage center. In the capsules your head sticks out the top which frustrated me a little because I felt like it wasn’t detoxing the skin on my face enough which is the area I’m most concerned with.
For this reason, if I was to purchase a FIR sauna I’d definitely invest in a cabin or just purchase a package of sessions with Teresa. (see below for details)
How it works
To be honest I was initially surprised when Teresa told me how great they are for the skin and how acne sufferers have seen improvements from regular sessions. But really it makes sense. We all know that acne is caused by toxins and dead skin cells that have built up under the skin, so of course you’re going to see improvements if you sweat these toxins out before they turn into a spot.
If you want a detailed scientific description on how and why far-infrared saunas work at detoxing the body and the skin then you’ve come to the wrong blog. I’m just not that scientifically minded (hey, I read the material so I tried!). 
There’s also a passage here from The Science of Far Infrared Therapies by Dr. Toshiko Yamazaki, MD which explains it all better than I could -
When a 10 micron FIR wave is applied to thee large water molecules containing toxins, the water becomes active. It begins to vibrate. This vibration reduces the ion bonds of the atoms which are holding together the molecules of water. As the breakdown of the water molecules occurs, encapsulated gases and other toxic materials are released.
Whatever that means, but it sounds impressive.
Apparently FIR saunas help with blood circulation and deep cleansing of impurities. Research has also shown improvements in acne (which is what we wanted to know about right?), rashes, burns and skin lesions.
 If you want to try a far-infrared sauna too, then check out your local spas or if you live in Atlanta or in one of it's luxurious suburbs check out Atlanta Colonic & Massage.....because they 2 amazing saunas cabins to use, also you can get a massage and colonic while you're at it. (Thats what I do for "A DAY at the SPA")
Here is the place that I go almost every week

Atlanta Colonic & Massage
6710 Jamestown Dr.
Alpharetta, GA 30005
CALL THEM TODAY - 770 558- 6900
visit their website http://atlantacoloniccenter.com

Sunday, February 12, 2012

ICONIC TRIBUTE: Whitney Houston Passes away at age 48


REMEMBERING THE LIFE OF AN ICON
Ms. Houston Bowing out for the final time.
"It is with a broken heart that I pay homage to a woman who forever touched the lives of so many people including myself with her music and presence. He passing will bring about a major void in the music industry and in the hearts of her followers. As a child of the 80s i grew up listening the sounds of her amazing voice with decades of chart topping hits. Then of course came the roles in box office hit movies such as The Bodyguard (Ive seen 1000 times) Waiting to Exhale, The Preachers Wife and many more. 
I  will never forget this Iconic Woman. " - Richard Tomas









Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American recording artist, actress, and former fashion model. A relative to several prominent soul singers, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick, and godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing at her New Jersey church as a member of a junior gospel choir at age eleven. After she began performing alongside her mother at night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis.







Houston released her debut album Whitney Houston in 1985, which became the best-selling debut album by a female artist.



Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV enabled several African-American women to follow in her success.




Following her marriage to fellow singer Bobby Brown, Houston appeared in her first starring role in the feature film The Bodyguard in 1992. The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and became the world's best-selling soundtrack.





 Its lead single, "I Will Always Love You", became one of the best-selling singles in music history. Houston continued to star in feature films and contributed to soundtracks including 
Waiting to Exhale (1995) 


and The Preacher's Wife (1996). 


After the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love (1998), she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records in 2001 for a historic $100 million dollars. 


She subsequently released her fifth studio album,Just Whitney the following year with One Wish: The Holiday Album being released in 2003. Amidst widespread media coverage of personal and professional turmoil, Houston's marriage to Brown ended in 2006.






Houston is one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 140 million albums and 50 million singles, worldwide. She is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 54 million certified albums. Known as "The Voice" for her "powerful, penetrating pop-gospel" vocals, she has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Her Final Album ironically titled "I look to You" her anthem of loosing everything and looking back to God. 


A collection of memorable photos - 

The EARLY YEARS

A young Whitney Houston pictured in 1973

Young Whitney Houston is seen pictured with mother Cissy Houston


Whitney Houston belts out a song during her segment of a benefit concert at Boston Garden


Whitney Houston at Nelson Mandela Concert


The Bodyguard


On the set of The Bodygaurd











I HAVE NOTHING




I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU





WAITING TO EXHALE










THE PREACHERS WIFE
What an amazing movie....the soundtrack alone will send the listener into total rapture......
Whitney Singing with the Georgia Mass Choir on the set of the Preachers Wife

Shopping with her personal angel Denzel Washington





I BELIEVE IN YOU AND ME





MORE MEMORABLE PHOTOS


Ms. Houston Belts the National Anthem





Whitney on the shoulder of Nelson Mandela




Whitney rocking out I will always love You in honor of her mentor Clive Davis




With her daughter Bobbi Christi




Some of her most memorable performances.
The ed sullivan show "Home"


"One Moment in Time" at the Grammy's


"I am changing" RARE VIDEO


Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey "When you Believe"






 HERE IS A GREAT COMPILATION REMIX VIDEO OF WHITNEY!  ENJOY


Whitney You have blessed the world with the very gift God gave you. You will be forever missed in this Life.
My prayers are with your remaining family and friends.
Be at Peace with God
You were LOVED

WHITNEY HOUSTON
1963 - 2012



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Style Inspiration: Madonna at the SuperBowl in Givenchy Couture


Madonna ROCKS out in GIVENCHY!

Madonna is SHE-RA, PRINCESS OF POWER!.....LOL



And we kind of love her for it – although I have always had her pegged as more of a “Jem and the Holograms” sort of gal.


What a spectacular set of stagewear this was. We always whine about her not really moving forward, but this is the kind of stuff we want to see. It feels totally Madonna, but not in a way that makes us cringe or say “Really, Madge? At your age? Isn’t it time to move on?”  This felt like her moving on. Not necessarily a bold new step or anything, just not a look that refers to underwear, crucifixes, matador’s girlfriends, or old Italian widows. She looked dramatic and unusual and still quite beautiful. If that’s not the essence of Madonna, we don’t know what is.
Besides: Givenchy Couture and vogueing AT THE FREAKING SUPERBOWL. WE LOVE YOU AGAIN, MADGE.

Check out the PERFORMANCE!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Delectables - Brunch Tabbouleh Recipe


MAKE TODAY COUNT!!

It’s Sunday.
Usually a time when we start to dread going back to work.  Realizing nothing was crossed off your to do list.  Feeling stressed just at the thought tomorrow is Monday.
Forget all that.
You’ve probably heard me say this on or Facebook, but it’s Sunday, it’s still the weekend so make it count. My dad started this a few years back when we got consumed with a little something called life and stopped appreciating the little things.  That quickly changed. We started gathering for family dinner table again for delicious southern cooking and great conversation. I can almost hear him saying " come on its the Lord's day we should make today count"
Other little things we started to do were morning walks coupled with morning prayer....(a good time for reflection), brunch on the back patio.......starbucks coffee breaks in the sitting room....lol,....fresh flowers from the market, etc.
So, whatever you decide to do, whether it’s new or part of your Sunday routine,make it count.

On sunday of course i do not like to eat a heavy meal for lunch since dinner seems to be quite large....I found this recipe a few years ago and have loved introducing to my friends and family during "sunday brunch".....I know you will enjoy it!!


Red & White Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


I’m sorry.
I meant to share this recipe with you WAY back in September. and now it’s February....
I know it’s not summer anymore, but this can be enjoyed any time of the year. It’s light, refreshing and absolutely delicious!
The traditional Tabbouleh is made with couscous, which contains gluten. Thank goodness for alternatives, like quinoa, we’ve got options!
It’s also a great option for entertaining. Serve in endive boats or in mini glasses with a mini wooden fork. OR serve as a salad or side for buffet or sit down dinner.
However you decide to serve this, ENJOY because it’s delish!

Red and White Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
[adapted from New York Times]
PRINT Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup white (original) quinoa
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 6-8 scallions, white part and light green sections, finely chopped
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Directions
Optional – not necessary for all. . .before cooking, rinse the quinoa (white & red) thoroughly.
In a medium saucepan, add quinoa, water and 1-teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. If there’s excess water, drain through a strainer and then spoon the quinoa back into the saucepan. Let sit uncovered or with a paper towel covering for 20 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa.
To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon (or lime) juice, olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and cumin.
Transfer quinoa to a large bowl, drizzle dressing over and toss until well combined. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
Enjoy
*Gluten-free *Dairy-free
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