The Dangers Of Being a Pale Girl



The girl sitting in the front row of the 12:00 Into to Fashion Industry is not a normal color.  She is a very beautiful girl, long blonde curls fall down to her low back, long model like legs crossed and an angled elegant face.  This girl did not need to wear makeup for someone to know she was a beauty.  As beautiful as she was, she was not a normal color.  This time of year, early spring,  people start looking sick from how pale the winter has made them, especially because awareness about cancer causing tanning beds .  An equally strange color that appears is the oompa loompa pigment.  The orange skin color that covers the entire face and ends around the jawline.  With a closer look, the orange makeup can be seen all over the color of the beautiful girls’ jacket collar.

Can’t putting a substance all over your face have negative health effects?  The answer is yes. The skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it.  There is a long lost of chemicals that are not being regulated in makeup and hair products.  On the top of the list are parabens, a widely used toxic preservative. Parabens are absorbed through the skin and is known to disrupt hormones.  It’s even been found in cancerous breast tissue.  Only the European Union restricts rampent use of parabens in products.  

A great way to look great and not get poisoned this spring is to check the ingredients before buying makeup.  Often products will advertise that they are a chemical free company because of it’s health appeal.  You can check out a list of paraben-free beauty products here.

The High Line Brightens Urban Health



New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston: these cities have all come so far in improving the quality of living.  Theres something uplifting about seeing a city turn it’s trashed areas into it’s most celebrated features.  Cities that innovate this way are healthy and have their inhabitants in mind.  New York City’s High Line is a thriving hotspot that has been drawing a lot of attention.  The benefits of the attraction isn’t just limited to tourism and recreation centered building.  The High Line is bringing people out of their homes, into the community and off their couch.

The High Line used to be an elevated train line that runs through the lower east side.  Literally, even running right through buildings.  The trains stopped running on the high line in1980 an innovative non for profit was created to save the historical structure from demolition. The group was called Friends of the High Line and with the help of landscapers and architects they began construction in 2006.  The park has been open and bringing people into a historical area since the spring of 2011. 

The High Line can be accessed through Gasenvoort street and West 30th street just a few blocks in from the Hudson river.  This park has accomplished it’s goal to bring a community together.  As an additional bonus we see the health benefits.  You can find at the gorgeous design element in benches, lighting and fixtures.  A thriving green garden is a welcome sight among the grey buildings. Combining community and exercise in a beautiful environment is positively impacting New Yorker’s mental, emotional, and physical health.HighLine4-537x368

Gluten Can Make Celiacs Lose Their Hair


IMG_1202It was completely unexplainable, not alopecia, vitamin deficiencies, nor stress was causing it.  The same day the hairs started falling out an onslaught of stomach issues began.  It took a whole year of hair loss to realize that the reason my scalp was burning and the reason why I couldn’t wash my locks without pulling out handfuls of hair- was because I was gluten intolerant.  

IMG_1953Twelve months ago my hair began falling out to the point where I could only wash my hair maybe once a week.  If I had washed it any more than that I probably wouldn’t have anything left on my head! I wore my dirty, thin hair up in a bun everyday for fear that the lightest touch would pull another 50 hairs out.  And it was all because of gluten.

That’s right, all my hair was falling out because one day as a fit, healthy 19 year old I became gluten intolerant.  And what no one will tell you is that there is gluten in our hair products.  It’s called “hydrolyzed wheat protein” or any variation of that including the word wheat.  The Symptoms I’ve had and I know others have had from hydrolyzed wheat protein are:

The sensation of burning scalp

Diffuse hair loss (all over the scalp, not just patches)

Thinning hair

Pain when handling/pulling hair

Hydrolyzed wheat protein tends to appear in the more high end shampoos, conditioners, and hair products like Aveda, Wen, and Sense.  The very products that people will start to suggest you use when your hair is falling out.  I was horrified to find it in my Australian Organics shower gel along with many other all organic body washes.  It makes a case for body acne and skin irritations if we’re rubbing a substance that were practically allergic to all over ourselves.

IMG_1949Celiacs and Gluten Intolerant people suffer from an autoimmune reaction that causes the fingerlike microvilli that digest food to become damaged, inflamed, smaller, and unable to digest correctly thus causing the range of G.I. symptoms.  The intestinal walls are made of the same type of animal tissue as our skin tissue, Epithelial cells.  It stands to reason that if gluten can so severely damage the delicate cells in the intestines why can’t they damage the cells on the surface of the skin.


It’s been four months since I went Gluten Free with my hair products.  I have to read every label just like with food.  It’s easy to forget to check if you’re traveling or in a hurry.   However four months of gluten free hair equals two inches of healthy hair growth (1/2 inch per month).  So I can look forward to having my thicker healthier gluten free hair back within the next year.

Juice Fasting: Fasters Give Their Perspective of Health Efectiveness



Michael Finkelstein and his partner, Robin Queen, run a holistic retreat center called SunRaven out of their home in Bedford, New York.  A traditional doctor turned holistic, Michael offers his services as a medical practitioner to the wealthy, yet reclusive, residents of his area.  One of their most expensive and controversial programs is the five day juice fast.  The participants trade solid food for juiced vegetables in an attempt to be healthier, cleansed, and drop a few pounds in the process.  Does it really work? Scientists disagree over whether fasting is the best path to health.  What we can tell you is how the participants look and feel during their fast.

In their last cleanse five healthy looking middle aged men and women gathered together to embark on this five day adventure.  The group gathers together to mentally prepare to forgo food.   Before beginning a few participants allow themselves to be photographed to track progress after the fast.  Michael promises a glowing complexion, a clear mind and cleansed system. Included over the long weekend is yoga, hiking, sauna, and counseling with Robin or Michael for an additional charge.  The group is excited to get started and committed to going through with the whole five days 

Queen, who does the juice fast up to six times a year said “After going through my change, I can’t do a lot of the things I used to.  I’m achey everyday but when I do this juice fast all the pain goes away, my mind is so much clearer and I look great. Right in time for my trip to the Bahamas!”  Robin Queen, a spiritual counselor, is fifty five years old but doesn’t look a day over thirty.  Women who meet her are scrambling to know the secret to her beautiful youthful looks.


Michael says some closing words before breaking their fast on Monday night

Five days later the group has gathered once again to break their fast.  One of the women whispers to Queen about the terrible migraines and flu like systems she’s been having.  Although later she spoke about the change in her perspective about food.  As she picked up a raisin with her chopsticks she said “it takes so sweet to me, almost too sweet for me to handle.” She ultimately ate only three more raisins and half a pear.

Danielle Steding, a 21 year old production management student at the Fashion Institute of Technology completed a three day juice fast over the weekend. She enjoyed her experience saying “overall it was good, I had more energy.  I woke up more clear headed even though slightly less energy than when not fasting.”   She read on the internet that people doing juice fasts feel flu like symptoms and very low energy, neither of which she noticed.  Steding’s reasons to do the fast was to clean out digestive system, “I ate really shitty over break, I started the cleanse to kick off healthy eating again.  It accomplished my goals, didn’t get hungry, there weren’t any times where I felt like really needed to eat.  I felt like I could have kept going. Definitely would do it again.”  When asked how she heard about the juice fast Steding said she just about it around, like on the internet, she heard that it was just like the thing to do.

The Women’s Bodywear Takeover



You’ve noticed it.  Who can miss the super tight, super stretchy workout butts all over town. Walking through New York City there’s a style returning to popularity in street ware. You’re seeing New Yorkers in yoga and cross training clothing is a increasingly normal outfit for the modern women going about her day.  The moisture wicking feature and sleek body hugging fit has made activewear a convent and fashionable choice for fashion forward, health forward female.

With the explosion of women’s rights in the last century, women’s fashions have changed drastically.  The taboo of showing off body parts, curves, and inner wear was lost during the women’s right’s movement.  Few categories have been so revolutionary in women’s clothing as the activewear movement.  In the 1980’s and 1990’s fitness boomed in popularity, bringing a rise to bodywear.  Leotards, tights, leg-warmers, shorts, T-shirts, sports bras, unitards, sweat suits, and crop tops became a necessity in the newly popular aerobics and bodybuilding classes.  Bodywear boutiques began appearing and some stores began promoting their bodywear by sponsoring in store exercise classes.

Danskin was first to capitalize on this market in the 1980’s by continually making new and exciting products and patterns that their consumers would feel is a necessary part of their workout attire.  This category of fashion has proven itself not to be a fad.  With the explosion of the popular yoga style trend, even more types of new bodywear companies appeared selling mainly stretchy pants and cotton tank tops.   One of the most successful, Lululemon, opened in Vancover in 1998. LuLuLemon’s revenues reached 1 billion in 2011, even after their leggings were taken off the market for being see through. The transparent yoga pants incident made bodywear a subject of concern.  Skeptics wondering if many activewear garments were indecent to wear outside of gyms and yoga studios.  However taking a look back through the years we can see varying degrees of decency in activewear history.

The current styles of activewear differ from it’s rise to popularity in the 1980’s, however activewear still pushes the boundaries of what women are willing to show off.  Twenty-five years ago a thong unitard over tights was considered an acceptable workout outfit in a gym.  Today, while many don’t wear such a garment in public, American Apparel is attempting to bring the unitard culture back to popularity.   Fashion forecasters, like Yoganonymous, predict that exposed abdomens, capri pants, crop tops, high waisted shorts, graphic prints, and studio-to-street styles are in the future of yoga fashions coming this summer.  These tight garments indicate a trend of body conscious women who feel comfortable showing skin and body shape in public.  

Starving for Weight Loss is Counter Intuitive



Upwards of 57% of adolescent girls involve themselves in crash dieting like fasting, starving, vomiting and diet pills. Shocked? You shouldn’t be if you’ve been paying any attention to the media.  How do we fight this?  We educate ourselves about what we really do to our bodies when crash dieting.   Because the trend of being skinny is glorified the consequences have been overlooked.  To have an understanding of the scientific and psychological effects of under eating is an important step towards reversing the progression of eating disorders.

In the late 1950’s, a series of groundbreaking research trials were preformed at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Ancel Keys and a team of scientists oversaw the six month process of starving thirty six healthy men.  The purpose of the experiment was to better understand the effects of starvation of men returning from war.  This famous research experiment became known as the Keys Starvation Experiment.

The Keys Starvation Experiment helped give a first look into the psychological and physical effects of starvation.  But what actually happens to the body’s metabolism and digestive function is a special process.  The body will start prioritizing the energy to the nervous system and to the red blood cells, while decreasing the energy needed by metabolically active lean tissue. The body begins a process called gluconeogenesis, in which the body creates its own glucose because there are no carbohydrates available to breakdown.  This is a short term solution for providing energy that draws amino acids, lactate and glycerol from the muscles.  During prolonged starvation the body relies heavily on ketones for energy.  In the case of extreme starvation, when stores of fat become limited as well, the body must begin to break down muscle tissue for energy.  Along with skeletal muscle, muscles from vital organs will be used such as the heart.  The organs function will suffer until the organ eventually cannot work anymore and person who is starving will die.

Starvation has a huge impact on the physical, emotional, behavioral, and psychological aspects of the victim.  Starvation should never be used as a weight loss tool, it sacrifices lean tissue as well as fat.  Those who live without enough food, voluntary or not, have long term unhealthy attitudes in eating from the damaging effects on the psyche. Starvation should be avoided at all costs because it is clear that it is devastating to the mind and body.  It is seen through the emotional damage of Holocaust survivors, physical damage to the body, and the neurological damage to the anorexia patients.