Cell Phone Use Tips

While there is no conclusive scientific evidence that establishes a causal relationship between cell phone use and cancer, cell phones do emit electromagnetic radiation and such exposure is never a good thing.

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans as evidenced by studies that link wireless phone usage to an increased risk for brain cancer. The World Health Organization lists on their website the health effects of radiation emitted from mobile devices as well as exposure limit guidelines.

With something as precious as our health, it is better to be safe than sorry.  As Daniel Oberhausen, a French Professor and leader in cell phone safety advises, "the absence of definitive human evidence at this point in time should not be misconstrued as proof of cell phone safety." Similarly, Dr. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the UPMC Cancer Center, cautions users to try to limit cell phone use. Here are some tips from the Environmental Health Trust that you can apply to your daily routine to mitigate exposure to potentially deleterious electromagnetic radiation:

1. No phone in bed

-Best to charge overnight on a bed stand at least 5 feet away from body.

-If you have to sleep with it under your pillow, put it on "airplane" or "offline" mode to temporarily abate radiation emission. When you need to check messages, you can switch back to normal mode.

2.  Texting is a good thing

-Better to communicate via text or email because you avoid greater radiation exposure associated with making calls.

3. Use speakerphone or earphones

-Best to keep phone at a maximal distance from your body and in particular, away from your head. Protect that brain!

-keep conversations short.

4. Don't let children make calls 

-A child's skull is thinner and more penetrable to the emissions which can damage the organ which is still developing.

5. Weak signal means don't use

-In attempt to reestablish connection, the phone works at maximal power and electromagnetic radiation is at peak.

5. Keypad on body

-When you do keep your phone in your pocket, place the keypad facing you so that electromagnetic waves are directed away from your body.

6. Switch sides

-If you must hold the device to your head, alternate sides to avoid concentrating emission of waves to a localized part of your brain.

Antoniette Costa

First published on January 2012, Updated in 2019


Mind Over Body: The Cortisol Effect

"THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS" 

If your mental well-being is not incentive enough to practice this motto, some science may convince you that it's at least worth an attempt for your physical appearance.  How you think may affect how you look. A positive outlook can help your body evade over-secreting stress hormones like cortisol which can take a toll on your figure.

POWER OF MIND OVER BODY?

When you stress, your mind alerts your body to react as if it is being threatened. Starting at the site of the hypothalamus in your brain, a cascade of metabolic events is triggered.  The anterior pituitary gland releases ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) which causes the adrenal cortex to produce higher than normal quantities of the "stress" hormone cortisol.

Chemical Structure of Cortisol

WHY IS CORTISOL REFERRED TO AS A "STRESS" HORMONE? 

During physical or psychological stress, your muscles thirst energy and cortisol helps to deliver it in the form of glucose to the overtaxed tissues. Cortisol mobilizes non-carbohydrate reserves of protein and fat by increasing the rate of gluconeogenesis which converts amino acids and triglycerides (building blocks of protein and fat) into usable energy.

WHY IS TOO MUCH CORTISOL BAD ?

Chronic high levels of cortisol can lead to:

1. Weight Gain

When the adrenal glands chronically secrete more of the hormone than needed, adipocyte growth is over-stimulated, leading to enlarged fat cells.

2. Belly Fat

Body fat is categorized as visceral or subcutaneous. Subcutaneous describes fat beneath the skin surface and visceral refers to deep abdominal adipose tissue. Since there are more visceral cortisol receptors, when cortisol mobilizes triyglyerdes from fat reserves it deposits it more readily in the belly. Thus, added stress is often correlated to added pounds in tummy.

3. Acne

Although cortisol has anti-inflammatory properties, when secreted in high levels over an extended period, it can have the adverse effect. The immune system becomes suppressed and inflammation exacerbates. Oil glands are over-stimulated which can result in clogged pores and breakouts.

TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE STRESS & MAINTAIN LOW CORTISOL LEVELS:

1. Retrain your brain

Practice positive thinking. When you catch yourself fixating on situations that you can't control or negative thoughts- actively steer your mind in a constructive direction.

2. Take a break

If you reach a plateau in work productivity and can't concentrate anymore, instead of getting all frustrated-simply take a break. Go for a walk or switch tasks and return to it later. This is a healthy practice for your mind and will increase your efficiency.

3. Live in the present moment

Don't dwell on the past or think too far into the future. This can flip your mind into a state of panic. Enjoy the present moment and don't try to solve all your problems in one day.

4. Exercise & Switch it up

Working out is a great stress reliever and should be fun. Try to workout on a regular basis and switch up your routine so that it is something you look forward to and not a laborious task. Maybe try alternating between gym, outdoors and group classes to maintain variety. Incorporate mind & body approaches to fitness like yoga or pilates.

5. Healthy diet

6. Minimize caffeine intake

7. Get sleep

8. Not all on you

If you are overwhelmed- don't bottle it up. It is cathartic to have a support system. Whether you seek solace in talking to a friend, family member, in religious faith or seeking professional help- do whatever best suits you.

 


Antoniette Costa Music Showcase with DJ Questlove & Tara Kamangar

[youtube id="ebqjHni0lPo" mode="normal" align="center"]

Organice Your Life® contributor singer-songwriter Antoniette Costa's music showcase in NYC with DJ Questlove and classical pianist Tara Kamangar. Watch behind-the-scenes footage of party and live performance of Antoniette's original songs "Void of a Legend" and "Step on Me."


Interview with Wendy Parr on Vocal Health and Wellness

As a singer-songwriter, I’m always looking for tips from people in the industry about vocal health and wellness.  I have learned a lot from my close friend, singer-songwriter Nikki Jean. After collaborating with Lupe Fiasco on his single  "Hip Hop Saved My Life," Nikki joined Kanye West's  Glow in the Dark Tour and had to perform consecutive nights in front of large audiences. One of the best tips from her and other singers in the spotlight, is the importance of vocalizing and diet. Nikki recently performed on the David Letterman Show and invited me backstage to watch vocal coach Wendy Parr warm her up before taking the stage. Wendy has trained an impressive list of talented recording artists across genres from Regina Spektor to Kelis. What struck me most about watching Wendy work was how much of Wendy’s instruction went beyond scales and incorporated a mind, body and spirit approach to mastering the human instrument. I interviewed her and wanted to share the advice:

Do you believe that diet affects the voice? And if so, what should singers strive to incorporate into daily eating or avoid?

Absolutely, diet impacts the overall wellness and function of the whole body so it's best to create a way of eating that supports your individual wellness, providing nourishment and vitality. Some things that adversely affect the voice: drugs, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, dairy and sugar. That being said, enjoy your life! Sometimes it's about choices and timing. Alcohol for example swells the vocal cords, this doesn't mean don't ever have a glass of wine, but it's best not to drink 48 hours before a gig or recording. It can damage, injure and just plain make it much harder to sing. Smoking and caffeine are dehydrating, dairy can cause mucus and phlegm.

Have you noticed a correlation between exercise, such as Pilates or Yoga, and breath control? Would you encourage your students take up either practice?

Both pilates and yoga are great for singers for so many reasons. I'm a big fan and long time practitioner of yoga. Overall wellness, suppleness, flow of oxygen to all the muscles, mental stillness, overcoming challenges, present moment awareness... I could go on and on…we actually calibrate the breathing by correcting the function of the cords and larynx. We are born with the body doing its job without our "help". A lot of learning is unlearning habits that get in the way and allowing the body to do it's job again…making music a part of your life improves the quality of life.

 

Wendy Parr, Vocal Coach

Should a singer vocalize every day? In your opinion, how much singing is too much in a 24-hour period?

Yes, working out daily keeps the singer in shape. Duration depends on the singer's skills and current health and habits. For new students who are learning from me, changing old habits and learning new healthier ones, I recommend 15 minutes of vocalizing a day and another 15 minutes of working on songs. Repetitive, attentive and effective workouts far outweigh long ones that reinforce bad habits. A little bit of quality practice daily can create major improvements.

Practice and growth are much more than just doing scales. Singing is about sharing yourself through song so many skills are valuable to develop - being inspired, listening to music, learning rhythm, how to allow your emotions to come through a melody, improvisation... creating a full and enriching life.

Is complete vocal rest before a performance a good idea? If so, for how long and to what extent?

This really varies on the singer. Rest is always important. Silence the day of a show, conserving your energy is wise (whispering is worse than talking), then warming up for about 20-30 min about an hour before the show, waking up the voice and getting physically and mentally focused.

Wendy is also a songwriter. Her song "Dreams on Fire," co-written by AR Rahman, is featured on the Grammy and Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. To read more about Wendy and her vocal technique please visit: www.wendyparr.com

This interview took place on September 21, 2011


Bisphenol A: Shopping a Health Hazard?

Bisphenol A Structure

Shopping a health hazard??

It's hard to believe that something as seemingly harmless as handling cash register receipts can have health ramifications. But that's the case when 2,2-Bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane is involved. Better known by its common name bisphenol A (BPA), the compound is used as an ink adherent in some thermal receipts. This is a disconcerting fact considering trace amounts of BPA can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream by mere touch.

How does this affect us?

The danger lies in BPA's ability to mimic the chemical behavior of estrogen.  Particularly, Bisphenol A targets the endocrine system which plays an integral role in regulating your body's cell-to-cell communication.  Endocrine glands secrete chemical signals directly into extracellular fluid which successively enter the blood.  So if you introduce a foreign substance like BPA into your bloodstream, even in low-dose form, it can interfere with your body's ability to carry out its normal cellular functions.

Products that can contain Bisphenol A:

- Dental materials such as composites or sealants

- Polycarbonate plastics

- Thermal cash register receipts

- Epoxy resin linings of metal food canned containers

- Drinking water

 

What is being done to limit exposure?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued BPA action plans and are encouraging safer alternatives to thermal paper and other products that contain bisphenol A. But even in light of educational efforts and BPA bans particular to twelve different states, the chemical is still ubiquitous. For instance, even with current legislation prohibiting major retailers from using thermal receipts, these receipts are still being used to make recycled paper products such as tissue and toilet paper which re-introduces the problem.

Some of the Possible Health Effects:

Reproduction Disease

Exposure can adversely affect reproduction. For men, it has the potential to damage the blood-testis barrier. This barrier is formed by tight junctions between Sertoli cells and serves to nurture developing sperm cells. Disturbing these cell junctions can decrease fertility by interrupting the normal biosynthetic pathway. Research conducted by the Department of Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Nice also links fetal and perinatal exposure to adult reproductive diseases.

Cancer 

Mammary tissue can be harmed. Low dose perinatal BPA exposure can increase chances to develop breast cancer later in life by stimulating breast cancer tissue growth.  Pregnant woman, the developing fetus and children are particularly susceptible to risk.

Obesity

Bisphenol A is an obesogen which is a foreign substance that promotes obesity. Particularly, BPA  interferes with hormones that influence adipose (fat) tissues and appetite control.

Cardiovascular Disease

A recently published UK EPIC-Norfolk cohort study links higher urinary concentrations of BPA metabolites with an increased risk of developing heart disease. Furthermore, a Harvard study found that experiment participants who ate 12 oz of canned soup daily increased the amount of BPA in urine by 1000%.

Tips on how to minimize BPA exposure:

-Filter drinking water

-Store drinks-on-the-go in stainless steel bottles

- Use BPA-free plastic products

- Avoid heating food or beverages in plastic containers. Opt for glass or ceramic.

- Avoid eating canned food products particularly canned soup which retains the highest concentration of BPA from leaching of the lining. Instead purchase products in glass containers or tetra packs.

- Don't buy plastic bottles with the "PC" label #7 because there is a higher chance that these contain BPA

-  Opt for powdered formula or glass/BPA-free bottles for feeding infants

 


Glycemic Index 101

Chemical Structure of Glucose

Don't let the science jargon intimidate you- the concept is easy to understand for the purposes of choosing the right foods to eat.

What is it?

Glycemic Index is a carbohydrate ranking system based on a scale of 0-100.  Foods are assigned GI numbers that quantify the degree to which these carbs influence the body's blood glucose levels.  When the GI number is large it means that your body metabolizes the sugar rapidly and as a result, the glucose content in the bloodstream jumps.  A GI score of 100 equates pure glucose.

High Glycemic-Index Foods (> 70)

Habitual consumption of high glycemic-index foods such as white flour based and highly processed products, is more stressful on the pancreas because it over-stimulates insulin secretion.  Increased production can lead to precipitous drops in blood glucose levels within a few hours after metabolizing. You want to avoid this because of the associated deleterious health effects. A high glycemic-index diet has been linked weight gain and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In colloquial terms, sugar highs and lows are stressful to your body physically and emotionally.  A recent research study conducted by Loyola University correlated glycemic variability with anxiety, negative mood and a "lower quality of life."

Low Glycemic-Index Foods (<55)

Lower glycemic-index foods are metabolized more gradually. A low GI diet makes for more sustained blood glucose levels and lessens insulin demands on the pancreas. Eating this way helps you maintain a healthy weight. You feel fuller for a longer duration and won't experience the hunger urges resultant of sugar lows that you do after eating more rapidly digested high-glycemic index foods.

Using Common Sense

Low glycemic index does not always mean healthier. For instance, pound cake has a lower glycemic index than some legumes, but obliviously lacks any nutritional value.  However, simple changes to your diet like preparing your pasta al dente or eating your bananas before they ripen too much can significantly cut the glycemic index count according to  Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont.

Smart Low Glycemic-Index Food Choices

Agave Nectar

Grapefruit

Eggplant

Barley

Celery

Apples

Zucchini

Spinach

Cauliflower

Whole grain

Greek Yogurt

Please visit this link to start searching the glycemic index of your favorite foods.


Interview with Hines Ward: NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver

Growing up in Pittsburgh, there was hardly a day that would pass without hearing about the Steelers and in particular, Hines Ward. The city adores #86. His loyal sports fans even tuned in weekly to watch him compete on Dancing with the Stars and flooded the downtown streets waving terrible towels when he took home the Mirror Ball Trophy. The Steelers wide receiver is a two-time Super Bowl Champion and earned the coveted MVP title in Super Bowl XL. On and off the football field, Ward tackles every task with alacrity, and his energy is contagious.  I had the chance to ask him a few questions and wanted to share with OYL readers:

Did training for Dancing with the Stars challenge you in a different way than training for football? If so, how?

Training for Dancing with the Stars was a challenge for me because I wasn’t a good dancer. I wouldn't even go to school dances to avoid embarrassment. The focus, physicality and agility that I use in professional football had to be applied in a totally new venue but this experience allowed me to adapt and excel. I was determined to succeed and Kym (Johnson) was an excellent partner and teacher.

What is your diet like during Steelers’ season? Do you incorporate any organic food?

During preseason and during football season, I am more strict than during the off-season. I eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and good protein sources. I try to eat organically but being on the road and eating out sometimes makes that difficult.

Do you take any vitamins on a daily routine?

I take fish oil and my doctor just recently told me to add vitamin D to my regimen.

You are successful in so many areas that extend beyond the NFL, what motivates you to perpetually challenge yourself and not to settle into one area?

I am a person who wants to excel at everything I do. God has blessed me; and my mom has made many sacrifices to raise me to be the best I can be. These are great motivating factors for me and I use the same approach for other opportunities that arise. I’m committed to be a good example to my kids and all my fans.

With today's economy and widespread layoffs, it is not by choice that many people enter new fields. What advice would you give on how to keep a strong mind when re-inventing careers?

People should not be afraid to seek new career choices when things don’t workout. But there is no substitute for preparation and hard work to be successful whether it's in football or challenges in life. Believe in yourself, stay focused and look for opportunities that suit you as an individual- then go for it.

The NFL player started the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation in the U.S. and Seoul, South Korea where he was born. The non-profit organization seeks to improve literacy and aid children with opportunities to succeed. For more information on how to become involved, please visit: http://www.hinesward.com/helping-hands-foundation.php


Why Greek Yogurt?

Why Greek Yogurt?

Probiotics!! Greek yogurt is packed with the live microorganisms. According to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, probiotics have many health benefits. Studies show that the live cultures help to alleviate many intestinal maladies, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, while enhancing immune function and reducing the risk for colon and bladder cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine also published findings that eating greek yogurt on a regular basis can help you keep off the weight as you get older. A great diet food-it satiates your taste buds while filling your stomach on less calories.

In addition to being good for your waistline, it's a great source of calcium and protein (especially for vegetarians, which I know comprise a lot of our OYL readership). A 6 oz serving is equivalent to 2-3 ounces of meat as a source of protein.  With brands like Fage and Chobani readily available in almost every grocery store, there's no excuse not to try. These brands are prized for their rich and creamy taste- 0% fat content and no sour taste.  The sales speak for themselves. In a Fox News article published last week, it was reported that the Chobani brand alone produces 1.5 million cases per week. Trader Joe's greek yogurt is also a wonderful economic alternative that stands up in taste to the more expensive brands.

And good news for those of you who are lactose-intolerant, the thick consistency resulting from straining,  removes much of the lactose and makes it easier to digest. Furthermore, straining doubles the protein and cuts the sugar content by half.

So when  you're are craving apple pie and ice cream, try this quick and easy-to-make healthier option: baked apples with a scoop of greek yogurt.

RECIPE

Preheat oven to 330 degrees

Slice 3 apples: 1 honeycrip, 1 gala and 1 granny smith

Coat with a teaspoon of grape seed oil or butter

Sprinkle apples with cinnamon to your liking

Bake for ~30 minutes (40-45 minutes, if you like your apples gooier)

Add dollop of greek yogurt- I prefer Fage Total 0% or Chobani

For added crunch, try adding some toasted sunflower/pumpkin seeds/sliced almonds or granola on top.

 


Lycopene and Yellow Tomatoes

Lycopene is known for its many health benefits. It has been correlated to reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and macular degenerative disease. But a common misconception is that lycopene is associated with the red pigment of tomatoes.  However, yellow tomatoes also contain lycopene and recent studies such as one published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition suggest that the benefits of the antioxidant may be greater when consumed via yellow tomatoes.  The reason why can be explained by the stereochemistry of the molecule-something I have studied in my organic and biochemistry courses at Columbia University.

Red tomatoes contain trans-lycopene and yellow tomatoes contain tetra-cis-lycopene. The antioxidant is equally potent in both forms but the human body is more readily able to absorb lycopene in the cis-form. This study supports that tangerine tomatoes are a better source of lycopene because your body is able to get more usable lycopene from them.

Yellow tomatoes taste great raw.  Cutting up a handful and mixing with avocados, pomegranate seeds with a touch of sea salt and splash of olive oil makes for a quick and delicious healthy snack. But the health benefits may be greater when eating them cooked as recent research shows that heating tomatoes enhances their anti-carcinogenic powers. Growing up in an Italian household, my favorite food is pasta and unlike Italian-American marinara sauces, which heavily rely on canned tomatoes, require adding sugar and take hours to cook; authentic Italian sauce is made from fresh tomatoes and should take no longer than 30 minutes to make. I prefer to use fresh yellow cherry tomatoes because of the naturally sweeter flavor. I highly suggest that you try it. Troppo buono!


Brussel Sprouts- Healthy Alternative to Potato Chips

If you like to snack throughout the day, brussel sprouts are a nutritious alternative to potato chips and other tempting empty calorie carbs.  Brussel sprouts are low in calories and surprisingly higher in protein than other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage. In addition to being a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, eating the veggie on a regular basis can decrease the risk of cancer via glucosinolates, metabolites that induce detoxification enzymes.

My favorite way to prepare them is to simply roast until tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. Intuition would lead you to believe that cooking the vegetable would deplete it of its nutritional value. However, research shows that cooking brussel sprouts does not strip them of cancer preventative powers.

 

 

RECIPE:

- cut off ends of brussel sprouts

-coat in extra virgin olive oil in baking pan

- sprinkle with sea salt and freshly crushed pepper

- roast in oven at 400 degrees F for ~45-50 minutes (occasionally shake the pan to help cook evenly- test with fork to see if tender throughout before serving)

Best part is that when prepared this way, the brussel sprouts taste good cold too.  I like to make extra and keep in the fridge for a snack the next day. And if you have a sweet tooth, I would suggest drizzling some aged balsamic vinegar on top before serving. Buonissimo!


Organic Wine: Interview with Founder of Yellow+Blue Wines


With the booming popularity of natural and organic grocery stores has come a greater demand for organic wine.  I interviewed Matthew Cain, the Founder of  Yellow+Blue Wines about the company and the growing industry. Yellow+Blue is one of OYL's favorite organic wine brands because its top of the line taste, affordability and eco-friendly packaging.

Can you explain what differentiates organic wine from non-organic in terms of production? Is there a difference in flavor?

Organic wine is essentially produced with no chemicals.  None in the vineyard and none in the winery.  "Normal" grape growing and wine making typically employs a plethora of chemical treatments to find a homogeneous house style.  We try to let the vineyards and vintage speak for themselves, naturally.

What motivated you to venture into this market with the Yellow+Blue Brand in 2007? Is there a story behind the name?

My background is small production French and Italian wine.  I've been in the wine import business most of my career, and at some point started thinking about the business model of wine itself.  It seemed to me that there was a lot of waste built in to the model, and given the advances in technology and packaging, I decided to make my best attempt at building a 21st century wine business.  We buy only certified organic or certified sustainable wines, ship them in an environmentally friendly way, and "bottle" them in modern packaging.  This allows us to have a carbon footprint that is half of what it would be in the "traditional" model.  We also offset the balance of our carbon footprint with carbon offsets.  Thus... Yellow+Blue=Green!

Where are your vineyards located? How do you select your winemakers?

We work with high quality producers in Argentina, Spain and California.  I personally visit the growers we work with a few times per year.  I taste and select the blends for all Yellow+Blue wines.  This is the fun part of the job!

In a 2010 survey , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that less than 25% of wine and liquor bottles are recycled. How is your eco-friendly packaging a better option?

The number of wine bottles that are recycled is closer to 15% in the U.S. glass recycling is important for sure.  However, it's not the only important aspect.  Glass is very energy intensive to produce, very heavy and expensive to ship, and expensive to recycle.  A 9 liter case of wine in glass weighs 40 pounds.  It's made up of half glass and half wine.  A case of my wine weigh 28 pounds for 12 liters.  It's 93% wine and 7% packaging.  In addition, the packaging itself is made primarily of paper from sustainably run forests.  As I stated above, our carbon footprint is half of what it would be if we worked within the traditional wine import model.

A number of upscale restaurants in NYC are starting to carry wine in Tetra Paks- do you believe that the stigma of boxed wines as being of lesser quality is starting to dissipate? Have you noticed a higher demand for your product? If so, what do you attribute this change to?

We work with many quality conscious restaurants all across the U.S.  We work with upscale restaurants like Rouge Tomate, great wine bars like Terroir, and cool joints Momo Sushi Shack.  The restaurants where we are most successful...don't hide the fact that the wine is in a box.  They promote the wine and the packaging because they believe in what we're doing.

I personally believe that, given all the information, the general consumer is quite fine with what we're doing.  If we have an impediment to success, it's really the wine business itself. As an importer, we can't sell direct to consumers.  We must sell through a distribution network, which then re-sells the wines to retailers, who then sells to the consumer.  The distribution and retail networks are very traditionally minded groups that don't live anywhere close to the cutting edge.  Our difficulty is selling them on our new model of the wine trade when their view is fundamentally different.

It's a tall task, but I think we're doing something right.  Our 2011 revenue was four times larger than our 2008 revenue.  In addition, we were recently named to Entrepreneur's list of 100 Brilliant Companies.  We were the featured beverage company, and the only wine company on the list.  I like to pull that out whenever I'm having a bad day.


Organice Your Life® Holiday Party #11

All of the "organicing" that went into the Organice Your Life Holiday Party paid off!

On Sunday evening December 18th 2011, Organice Your Life family and guests gathered on the 51st floor of the Time Warner Building to celebrate the relaunch of OrganiceYourLife.com. As the crowd of models and entertainment industry people arrived, they were greeted with a projected image of the new site on the wall adjacent to a panoramic view of Columbus Circle. The city lights complemented by Central Park foliage was even better than a Christmas tree.

Planning a Holiday party

Lonneke oversaw every detail of the planning so that the healthy living theme was palpable. All the food was organic from the homemade warm apple cider, veggie shish kabobs to chocolate truffles. Lulu's handcrafted raw chocolate sweetened with low-glycemic coconut sugar, Meltzer's 100% pure mints and Yogi Tea were parting gifts. The organic wine provided by Yellow+Blue was an especially big hit. I interviewed the founder Matthew Cain and I learned a lot about the growing organic wine industry.

Live Music

And yes, we had live music! I performed an acoustic set of original songs with cellist Joey Amini and violinist Judy Kang who has toured with Lady Gaga to Lang Lang.  Producer for The Roots, Khari Mateen added percussion to the mix with his beatboxing skills. Adding to the cool factor of attendees, David Blaine showed up after my performance and insisted I sing again because he wanted to hear "Void of a Legend" live. Couldn't say no to that.  After my second set, he did some mesmerizing card tricks.  Perfect finale to a magical night.