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BeautyNewsNYC.com – Metro Mama / Metro Baby – Get the Knack for Urban Picnicking

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BeautyNewsNYC.com - Metro Mama / Metro Baby - Urban Picnicking

BeautyNewsNYC.com – Spa – A Touch of Europe on the Upper East Side

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BeautyNewsNYC.com - Spa - A Touch of Europe on the Upper East Side

BeautyNewsNYC.com – Spa – Rejuvenate Your Skin in New York’s Most Majestic Borough

By Mrinalini Kamath

When most New Yorkers think about a relaxing visit to a spa, they think Manhattan: the Upper East Side, Soho, Midtown. But one of the things I’ve noticed about going to spas in Manhattan is that as quiet and peaceful as they may be on the inside, you’re thrust back out into the noise and crowds the minute you finish and step outside again. If you feel the same way, it may be worth your while to travel just slightly off the beaten path to visit Rejuvenate Face and Body in Astoria, Queens.

Located about 25 minutes outside of midtown, Rejuvenate is owned by aesthetician and skincare specialist Evelyn Gatzonis. A petite woman with beautiful skin herself, Evelyn first became interested in a holistic approach to skincare when she experienced severe acne from her early to late twenties, and went on a quest to rid herself of it. She ended up meeting and working with a holistic skincare expert who, in addition to administering acne peels, was able to tell her what was going wrong nutritionally that was causing her outbreaks. A light bulb went off for Evelyn, who up to that time had been working in retail. “I thought, wow, what a terrific way to live – doing something that helps people and really enjoying it.”

After getting her aesthetician’s license, Evelyn went on to work in some of the larger spas, including Equinox, but found it less than satisfying, as the time constraints of the big spas prevented her from giving clients a thorough analysis of their skin issues. So in 2004, she opened Rejuvenate Face and Body, an eco-friendly holistic spa a short walk from the Astoria Boulevard subway stop on the N/Q subway line. At the time, spas weren’t really focusing on being “green,” but she decided that this was the way for her to go as it was best in keeping with her ideals of how to treat skin issues: simply and nutritionally.

To that end, Evelyn imports the Trilogy line of products from New Zealand, since that country tends to have one of the best records when it comes to exporting products grown and produced in pristine environmental conditions. She also believes in addressing nutritional and lifestyle issues when working with a client’s skin, since what occurs on the surface is generally symptomatic of something amiss deeper down. “If something’s good for your digestive system, it’s generally very good for the skin as well, and vice versa.”

My own session with Evelyn began with her asking me if I had any particular skincare issues I wished to address. I explained that while my skin is basically good, I had been having some hyper-pigmentation issues lately. After carefully looking over my face, she thought that a salicylic acid peel was probably the best way to go, but since my last experience having a facial had not been a pleasant one, she suggested the gentler but also effective Vitamin C peel. Having overheard me empathize with her receptionist about allergies, Evelyn also offered to perform lymphatic drainage, where toxins are flushed and sinuses are helped to drain through the massaging of the lymph nodes. The combination of the two treatments, performed in a comfortable, quiet room and not at all rushed, (she explained what the purpose of each oil and mask applied) left me with glowing skin and the ability to finally breathe through my nose with no problems.

While Trilogy is the main product line that Evelyn carries, she also carries less expensive, but equally eco-friendly lines which, through a happy coincidence, happen to be owned by women business owners as well (it’s not her priority, but being a female business owner, she does like being able to support them). Other lines include bettijo scents, Marianella soaps, Coola skincare products, Melange, Nature’s Apothecary and Afterglow mineral make-up. In addition to a wide variety of facials and peels (including the most popular, the acne peel), Rejuvenate offers massages, reflexology, microdermabrasion (another highly popular service), body wraps , waxing and cellulite reduction treatment. When I stepped out of Rejuvenate, not only did I feel calm, relaxed, well-rested with glowing skin, I got to retain that feeling as I walked back down that quiet block of Astoria to the subway.

BeautyNewsNYC.com – Travel – A Peak Experience: Explorations in India

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Image of Mount Kailas, Himalayas

By Mrinalini Kamath

It sounded like a spiritual adventure when my parents first mentioned the idea. During their annual trip to India, we would spend a week in the Himalayan mountains, starting off at the city of Rishikesh then visiting the mountain villages Kedarnath and Badrinath and stopping at Haridwar before going back to Rishikesh. Some of the holiest sights of the Hindu religion, all in one week. The most exciting part (to me) was the idea of climbing up an 11,000 foot high mountain to Kedarnath.

My parents were determined to make it to Kedarnath this year, “while we can still walk,” my father had said. The temples at Kedarnath and Badrinath are considered two of the holiest in the Hindu tradition, and my parents had been wanting to go for years. As soon as my mother booked our plane tickets, she started taking brisk walks in the evening to ready herself for the 12 kilometer steep climb up the mountain. This was going to be a real pilgrimage, down to the physical challenges.

When we get down at Gaurikund, the village at the base of the mountain, the first thing you notice are the ponies. Brightly decorated with colorful harnesses and bells, ponies of all shades wait to be ridden by pilgrims and tourists who find the climb too arduous. Despite the fact that she has been walking in preparation all summer, my father insists on my mother riding up the mountain on a pony. My aunt and my cousin follow suit. I decide to try and walk.

The beauty–the greenery, the waterfalls, the wildflowers–are completely lost as I struggle to keep up with my mother’s pony. Eventually, her guide recognizes someone and rents his pony for me. The trek gets easier on my lungs, but not a whole lot easier on my body. My thighs are getting bruised as the pony walks up the wide shallow steps cut into the mountain and my palms are starting to hurt as they rub against the saddle’s pommel. On the bright side, I can view and appreciate the river, the waterfalls, the bright orange clothes of the hardier pilgrims and the way that the litter-bearers walk in sync as they carry an old woman up to the top.

When we finally get to the top of the mountain and into our guest house, the first thing we notice is how incredibly cold it is. As I lie down to take a nap before dinner, I can’t help but notice that the comforter that is as thick as my mattress, is damp. It’s made of cotton, and everything made of natural fibers in the mountains is never dry, or if it is, it doesn’t stay dry for long.

Temple at Kedarnath

After the food lodge brings us tea and we eat some of the protein bars and trail mix we packed, we make our way over to the temple. The Kedarnath temple at night is quite a sight: All the sales stalls, selling food, religious trinkets and the like, are strung with Christmas lights, as is the temple itself. Sadhus (renunciates, similar to monks) dressed in orange sit on the ground outside the temple. Musicians beat drums and play other instruments, some pilgrims sing and clap along. But the most amazing thing about the temple is its age: The temple is over 1,000 years old, and was built on the site of an older temple that was supposedly dated back to the time of the Hindu epic the Mahabharata (roughly the 4th century BCE). I feel slightly claustrophobic as I join the throng going through the temple, but also part of something bigger: I’m performing rituals and actions that have taken place in this space continuously for thousands of years.

Ponies at Kedarnath

Morning brings a bit more warmth, both in terms of the sun and the steaming buckets of hot water that the men from the lodge bring for us to bathe with (there is no running hot water). As we go out to the temple again, we suddenly see the majestic, snow-capped mountains, making me feel simultaneously powerful and insignificant. We also see how rain is made, as mists of water are sent up into the air from the surrounding Mandakini River and form clouds.

When I get back to Mumbai, I’m a few pounds lighter and have a few more more aches than I was before we started. But when I look at the video of the temple and the mountains, I believe it was all worth it. This is what people mean when they say that experiences are worth more than things, and I am so grateful for the experience.

Links: Government Travel Site for Kedarnath and surrounding districts: http://www.gmvnl.com/newgmvn/districts/rudraprayag/kedarnath.aspx

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Full Circle Holistic – Massage Therapy. Anusara Yoga. Zero Balancing.

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Simply Centered E-Newsletter, May 2011

Welcome to the first issue of the Simply Centered Digest, a newsletter for Simply Centered clients, including articles and recipes on a variety of health-related topics.
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Spring Cleaning Your Liver

We spring clean our homes. Why not spring clean our bodies, starting with the liver?

You probably don’t devote a lot of time thinking about your liver, but perhaps you should: This organ is often called the “biochemical factory” of the body, as it breaks down and builds up both small and complex molecules, secretes bile which aids digestion by removing waste from your organs and blood, synthesizes coagulation factors which help your blood clot, produces insulin-like growth factor, a hormone responsible for the growth of children and metabolism in adults, and converts ammonia to urea and generally removes toxins from your system. So maybe it’s time to treat your liver in the manner which it deserves and give it a bit of help.

Lots of liver cleansing diets consist of just juices, but I’m not a believer in that, and I’ll tell you why: When your liver wants to get rid of toxins (processed foods, simple carbohydrates, refined sugars, etc.), it dumps them into the digestive tract. If there is enough fiber in your system, the toxins are dragged out of the body with the next bowel movement; if not, these toxins can be re-absorbed into the blood stream and the liver has to deal with them again. Juice diets simply don’t have enough fiber to be effective liver detox agents.

While fiber is crucial for detoxing your liver, the liver also needs high quality protein to be in peak functioning condition. This means incorporating beans (lentils, garbanzo, kidney, black, adzuki, navy, butter, fava, etc) quinoa, nuts (raw and unsalted), Pacific salmon, as well as vegetarian-fed poultry, meats and eggs. Speaking of fish – try to keep away from fish known for their high toxin content, like shell fish, farm raised salmon, Atlantic salmon, blue fish, sword fish, mackerel, bass and tuna which are extra hard on the liver. Also try to keep red meat to a minimum, as well as dairy, since dairy is harder for the liver to process and tends to form mucous. If you really feel the need for cheese, try goat cheese, which is a high quality protein and contains live cultures that will help cleanse your digestive tract.

Another necessary ingredient for healthy, optimum, liver function, is good fat. Good fats include nuts, Pacific salmon, extra virgin olive oil, hemp seed, flaxseeds and chia seeds (the last three need to be ground before eating, in order for your body to absorb the omega-3 fatty acids). They also contain fiber and lignans, which will further help your liver. Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are also excellent sources of good fat that will promote your liver’s health, as is the delicious avocado, which helps the body produce glutathione – crucial for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins. Organic cold-pressed olive and hemp oils help your body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins from the environment, such as alcohol. While all nuts are great, walnuts have a high amount of an amino acid called arginine and are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids which support normal liver cleansing.

In terms of grains, always try to go with whole grains and limit your intake of white flour. Whole grains include: Brown rice, barley, quinoa, farro, spelt, etc., are rich in B-complex vitamins, which help metabolize fat and improve liver function and liver decongestion. When eating bread, (which you should limit) go for whole grain bread. Whole wheat bread isn’t good enough as it has been stripped of most of its nutrients which are then synthetically replaced. Another wonderful option when it comes to bread is sprouted bread, which is much higher in protein. A great brand of sprouted of bread is Ezekiel, which you can find in many grocery stores, like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. If you want to further boost your intake of vitamin B, try sprinkling nutritional yeast on your salads – it makes for a delicious salad dressing.

While eating “the rainbow” when it comes to fruits and vegetables is an excellent thing to do, the vegetables that help your liver the most are cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, which increase the amount of glucosinolate in the system, adding to enzyme production in the liver, which helps flush out toxins. Cabbage has a similar effect, stimulating two liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins, breaking down high-fat food and alcohol in the system.  Leafy greens like kale, bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens and chicory are also great for clean up duty. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls and fiber, greens literally suck up toxins from the blood stream. They also neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides and offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver by increasing the creation and flow of bile, removing waste from the organs and blood. Beets, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes and vegetables high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene and caretenoids also help stimulate and improve overall liver function.

In terms of fruits, lemons, limes, oranges, berries, pears and fruits generally high in vitamin C are all your liver’s helpers.  Vitamin C helps synthesize toxic material into substance that can be absorbed by water. A simple way to do this is to start the day by drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning to help stimulate the liver. Grapefruits are also great because they are high in both vitamin C and antioxidants; they also help the liver cleanse toxins because they help it produce certain detoxifying enzymes, but if you are taking any kind of prescription medication, check with your doctor before eating grapefruits or drinking their juice, since grapefruits can invalidate the effects of certain medications. Organic apples are also wonderful for the liver, as they are high in pectin, another great cleansing tool.

If you like your food flavorful, you’ll be happy to hear that garlic and onions offer fantastic support for your liver. Garlic has the ability to activate liver enzymes to help flush the body of toxins, while the selenium and glutathione in garlic and onions act as antioxidants. Speaking of antioxidants, you can round off your meals with a soothing cup of green tea, which is full of them.

As you can see, cleansing your liver is easier than you think when you know what foods will be the most helpful. Take care of your organs and they’ll keep on taking care of you!

Millie’s MenuMy mum Millie, an ardent vegan, has the deserved reputation of being a splendid cook and she very generously offered to donate some recipes to this newsletter. Welcome to Millie’s Menu.

Spicy Vegetable and Hummus Soup

These are all approximate measurements and ingredients, and maybe be varied according to what you have in your fridge. This will probably serve 2 to 3 people with some left over for seconds – or for tomorrow.


6 large white cap mushrooms

1 medium leek

6 florets of broccoli

1 small can of tomato puree (optional)

1 bunch chives (chopped)

½ cup finely chopped parsley

½ cup coarsely chopped coriander leaves

1 pot hummus

1 cup uncooked rice or barley (barley is nicer in this dish, but rice is gluten free.)


Bouillon powder to taste

Chili sauce or Tabasco to taste

If you use chili sauce it should have neither garlic nor sweetener added. If you are following a gluten- free diet, watch out for sauces containing vinegar.


All vegetables should be thoroughly washed.

Peel and finely slice the mushrooms

Cut leek into 4 lengthwise strips. These also should be finely sliced.

Finely chop broccoli florets into many small pieces.


Boil the rice or barley in 2 to 3 cups of water until cooked. (i.e. there should be twice as much water as rice or barley, plus a bit more.) As the rice (or barley) is being added to a soup, you do not need to worried about overcooking it. Too much water is better than too little.

For those who don’t already have their own rice-cooking routine, my easy method with rice is to bring the water to a brisk boil, then cover the pan tightly and turn off the heat. If you have an electric stove, it will retain the heat for some time and the rice will cook unattended. You can raise the lid after five minutes or so to stir the rice with a fork. If it is too dry, you can then add more water and bring to a boil again. If it is too moist, bring it back to a boil, then turn off the heat and remove the lid. The excess moisture will then steam away. Barley takes a little longer to cook, but is just as easy.

Place the mushrooms, leek and broccoli in a saucepan, add enough water to cover, plus some. You can always add more water later if there is not sufficient or if you like to have plenty of broth.

Bring to boil and simmer for no more than five minutes. As the vegetables are finely sliced they will cook very quickly so less time may be sufficient.

Add the can of tomato puree. Add more water if required.

Add bouillon to taste. I like to add at least 2 or 3 heaped teaspoons depending on the quantity of water, but this may be too savory for some palates, so put it in to taste.

Stir and bring back to boil.

You can now either add the rice or barley, the hummus and the chilli sauce or Tabasco to the pot or add to each individual serving.

I usually add everything to the pot:

Add 1 or 2 heaped tablespoons of rice or barley – or more – depending on how much broth there is.

Stir in the pot of hummus.

Add chilli sauce or Tabasco to taste.


Do not add the chilli or Tabasco directly to the soup. You may inadvertently add too much. Pour small quantities into a spoon and keep adding and stirring until you have the required amount.

Finally, add the parsley, chives and coriander.

Favorite People, Places and Things

Deborah Stotzky, Acupuncturist

Deborah Stotzky, AcupuncturistDeborah Stotzky holds a Master’s Degree from Tri State College of Acupuncture, and has been practicing acupuncture in New York for the past 11 years. Nationally Certified and licensed in New York State, she treats all kinds of imbalances and illnesses using a style of acupuncture that is very effective for tendino-muscular issues and pain. She works regularly with athletes, dancer and marathon runners.

In her practice, Deborah treats:

Tight Muscles
Stress Reduction
Emotional Imbalances
Smoking Cessation
Fertility Support
PMS Relief
Irregular Periods
Colds & Flu
Immune Strengthening
Improved Circulation

Deborah is also a Certified Yamuna Body Rolling and Vinyasa Yoga Instructor. Along with two other yoga practitioners, Deborah holds yoga and healing retreats in Mexico, yearly. She is committed to a life of learning and growth in her profession so she can continue to help nurture the healing abilities of others.

For more information please visit: www.AcupunctureAndHotstones.com


A perfect restaurant for both vegans and vegequarians, Purume serves up fresh, wholesome organic dishes, featuring a variety of vegetables, fruits and seafood.

11 East 13th Street
New York, NY 10003

Lymphatic Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is a wonderful way to cleanse your lymphatic system as well as improve your circulation and exfoliate your skin.  For instructions on how to dry brush, see: http://www.ehow.com/how_5823932_dry-skin-brush.html

Copyright © 2011 Simply Centered Living, All rights reserved.

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Simply Fit Astoria Newsletter, September 2012

Simply Fit Astoria Newsletter, September 2012

Vice Vodka

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