Mindful and Proactive during Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

The Foundation for Living Beauty provides wellness support to women with any type of cancer and at any stage in their journey. October is breast cancer awareness month and as we work to support our “Living Beauties”, we would like to remind you that early detection and self-checking is an important part of preventing breast cancer. Living Beauty Board Member and Breast Wellness Expert, Brenda Smith shares 3 tips on how to take time and be mindful of being proactive in prevention.

Three important things to empower yourself:

1 – Take your Vit. D. Not only is it crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system but studies have shown that breast cancer cells do not thrive in a Vit. D rich environment. Take your blood levels as close to 50ng/ml as possible. D3 with K2 is the best combination for breast tissue as well as bone health.

2 – Do your self-breast exams regularly. Many women find their cancers even after clean mammograms. You know your body better than anyone. Becoming familiar with your normal density can make you more aware of changes. Keep in mind that cancer does not come and go so there’s no need to worry about lumps caused by hormonal fluctuations. While the majority of breast cancer diagnoses in the United States are in women over 50, eleven percent of new breast cancer diagnoses are in women under the age of 45. Women of all ages should incorporate checking their own breasts into their self-care routine! As you wind down for the evening and take some much-needed time for yourself, take a few seconds to perform a self-check to put your mind even more at ease knowing you are connecting with your body

3 – Especially in this time of Covid-19, release negativity and receive gratitude. We know there is a correlation between our emotions and our health. Breast tissue is susceptible to stuck emotions. As we are challenged in this moment in history, find ways to release your frustrations and anger. Get out in nature, if possible. Spend time with safe friends who are good listeners, journal, scream into a pillow! Get all the anxiety out of your body so you can relax and reduce stress hormones. Then find movement that you enjoy. Dance, walk, exercise doing something you like, and most of all, laugh. In spite of it all, we have so much to be grateful for.

For more information about The Foundation for Living Beauty, visit our website at livingbeauty.org.

 

Nancy visits the Weleda Gardens!

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! In honor of this celebration of women, we’re reflecting on ten ways Living Beauties thrive and support each other through Sisterhood.

1. They share an instant connection through empathy and understanding.
Even if they’ve only met once, Living Beauties are instantly drawn to each other. Their shared experiences bring guards down and lead to deep, enriching conversations. Overnight retreats often build friendships that last forever.

2. They share and trust each other’s knowledge.
Living Beauties understand each other’s journeys, and they share information on doctors, treatments, recipes and holistic care. This knowledge is invaluable!

3. They praise each other’s inner and outer beauty.
During Days of Living Beauty, Beauties speak words of affirmation and inspire confidence in one another, whether it’s to remove a wig or strike a pose.

4. They prioritize keeping in touch.
Gatherings like First Wednesdays, sometimes even held in Living Beauties’ homes, allow Beauties to reconnect and talk in a relaxed, comforting environment.

5. They support each other’s undertakings, goals, treatments and dreams.
Some Living Beauties start businesses. Some work towards yoga teaching licenses. Others speak on Capitol Hill. Many complete rigorous courses of treatment. All the while, there’s a crowd of women cheering each other forward.

6. They learn together.
Living Beauties are open-minded and enjoy the process of education together. Whether it’s learning about nutrition, yoga, CBD, stretching or makeup techniques, there’s a vast array of knowledge that Beauties are eager to soak in.

7. They face changes – both good and difficult – with solidarity.
Whether it’s embracing a plant-based diet or adjusting to major life changes, Living Beauties can not only relate to one another, but encourage one another.

8. They give the best hugs. It’s true!

9. They bring out the best in others.
From board members to facilitators and local businesses, the joy and gratitude that Living Beauties radiate brings out the best talents and generosity in our community.

10. They’re bonded for life.
Even when life takes them on different paths, Living Beauties are consistently thinking of each other, sharing updates and encouraging one another’s journeys. There’s no mountain high enough for this Sisterhood!

Meet The Pizza Plant

We are so grateful and excited to join forces with The Pizza Plant! The Pasadena restaurant’s plant-based comfort food is healthy, vegan and delicious. Led by founder Marvin V Acuna, The Pizza Plant has generously offered to support The Foundation for Living Beauty on an ongoing basis. When you place your online order at www.thepizzaplant.com, please enter Goddess in the promo code box. Living Beauty will receive 10% of proceeds from all orders who use this code – including catering orders!

Before (or after) you grab a slice, continue reading to learn how The Pizza Plant decided to support Living Beauties, and why they believe in the power of plant-based living.

LB: What can people expect diet/lifestyle wise from The Pizza Plant?

MA: Our human need for community and connection is as fundamental as our need for food. Food is in fact the bridge to community and connection as well as being the centerpiece of most of the major milestones in our lives.

Food connects people from all walks of life. Over a meal, people can experience and share a wide range of emotions. They can celebrate together, express love for each other, and convey heartbreak and disappointment; they can form and foster business and personal relationships;
and so much more.

Arguably the most popular food in the world, and therefore undeniably one of the leading foods that bring people together, is pizza.

THE PIZZA PLANT with its 100% organic, whole-food, nutrient-dense, made-with-love, craveable, plant-based pizza, is committed to building community and to making the world a better place.
LB: What are the benefits of plant-based eating?

MA: I’d happily put you in contact with one of the foremost experts in the world on this subject as she would be more qualified to respond. However, to quote the father of medicine, Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Plants are our medicine.

That stated, our company motto, we believe says it all. Better Planet. Better Health. Better Community.

LB: How were you drawn to The Foundation for Living Beauty?

MA: One of the most cherished people in my life was afflicted by a very rare, unpredictable, and incurable disease. Yet, due to the unwavering support of our friends and family she has gone from her deathbed to a world stage inspiring others to overcome chronic illnesses and/or life challenges.

We were fortunate to have unlimited resources to focus on her healing. Other individuals are not as lucky. The fact that this organization steps in and provides the necessary healing tools, positive resources and a safe haven for women afflicted with such a devastating diagnosis spoke to the values of my company. Upon meeting Nancy Davidson and Michael Rahimzadeh, it was apparent to me that our company had to find a creative way to lend our support.

LB: Why is helping the community so central to your business?

MA: My parents did not live a fanciful life. They were never confused by anyone who met them as the subjects of a John Singer Sargent portrait. They did not drive the most luxurious cars, they did not wear the hippest fashion, they did not dine at the trendiest restaurants, they did not travel the world in private jets, and they did not have an instagram account with millions of followers who enthusiastically liked and shared their posts, showcasing themselves flanked by the beautiful and famous.

No, they were not fazed nor trapped by those shiny objects that often distract us from the true meaning of our lives.

Instead, my parents drove a simple car, they wore simple clothes, they preferred mom-and-pop restaurants, their most extravagant trip was the treacherous, many-thousand-mile trek they made by foot at night crossing the borders of Guatemala, Mexico, and finally, the U.S.

Yet, my parents walked this earth armed with the secret to happiness and riches.

Give to your neighbors.

Corporate Spotlight: stila’s Living Beauty, Sarah Lucero

Currently serving as Global Executive Director of Creative Artistry for stila Cosmetics, Sarah Lucero is without a doubt a #GoddessBoss. Given her rockstar status, charismatic spirit, and experience with The Foundation for Living Beauty, we asked if she’d be willing to chat with us to kick off our first corporate spotlight. We covered everything from yoga retreats to brow pens, and how The Foundation for Living Beauty serves as a source of community and strength for women journeying with cancer. Our conversation unfolds below.

How did you get involved with The Foundation for Living Beauty?

My friend Janice, who was the head of PR at stila at the time, had arranged this event. Women were getting their hair done and their makeup done by stila, and were getting totally pampered. At the time, I was still going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, so for me it was great that she had aligned stila with that group. I’m so grateful that she did that.

I know that Janice had wanted to align with an organization like Aime’s, which asked the question: for women going through this right now, how do we help them during or after their experience in a way that’s less stressful?

On that same day, I got to meet Aime, mingle around, and meet these amazing women who were getting their makeup done. It was an emotional experience for me, yet it was this interesting environment that was both healing and comforting at the same time.

With The Foundation for Living Beauty, Janice found this great opportunity, stila donated money, and then through me and my situation it was the perfect timing and organization to align with in every way. I’m incredibly grateful that it all came together.

How did The Foundation for Living Beauty help you during your journey with cancer, and how has it impacted you since then? 

Number one, it connected me with so many other women going through something similar, which was comforting and a relief to know, in a way. When you’re going through cancer—or even after—you don’t know how you’re feeling. Especially afterwards, everyone’s like, “Yay let’s celebrate, it’s over,” and you’re still facing it.

It’s very lonely, and having a community of women who understand that without having to say or explain it is a blessing. It’s a relief to know that it’s ok to feel that way, even if you can’t quite articulate it. The Foundation was a community of support and strength that I didn’t even think I needed.

Number two, the yoga retreats… Tari Prinster who leads them is such a gift. The retreats taught me how to navigate my body, learn to trust my body, and feel strong again without fearing surgery or scar tissue or feeling unsure about something.

Meeting people just through the retreat, having the classes, learning the basics of nutrition and which things to incorporate now—the knowledge is exceedingly important.

There are so many different ways The Foundation has helped me and is still helping me. It’s a completely new way of life, and when you’re exploring something new and unfamiliar, your confidence has been shot down. So everything is a little bit different. That’s hard in and of itself. Things change, but having The Foundation has helped me find my confidence again in so many ways, which is incredibly healing.

More than that, the retreats and programs they have—even if it’s just a one day makeover—remind me to take the time. Be in the moment. Look at what’s happened or is happening—don’t ignore it. It reminds me that healing is a process that takes time, however long it needs to take. I’m just realizing that now.

It’s all great, but the healing emotionally and mentally is a long time coming…which is ok! But knowing I have that support, it’s less scary. It may be unfamiliar, but it’s ok. I have a group of people I can ask or reach out to and not feel judged. If I want to know how to navigate something, see what they did in a particular situation, or share my own tips, it’s a safe space.

I also love when people do something that is missing or needed. A big corporation can’t find that little missing link, but these are the things that are important. They are right now, and your money is going toward something that is helping someone—whether they’re going through it, or after. It’s lifelong wellness.

And caregivers are an important thing too. These people have been around helping, and sometimes you forget about what they went through. There should be more for them, but there’s not.

What’s one stila product you can’t live without?

Number one, the brow color Stay All Day pen. It’s an eyebrow pen. I was actually able to lab-test that product, and product development gave me them when I was going through chemo. I got to test it, and it works! Now I use it every day, so I love showing women how to boost their brows naturally.

My other one is called convertible color. It’s a cream blush you can also use as lipstick. It comes in a compact, and gives your face a glow and your lips a flush. It’s definitely a makeup bag must-have.

Thank you, Sarah, for your support and willingness to share your story with us!

 

Facilitator Spotlight: Kitty Blincoe

Kitty Blincoe has a particularly unique perspective as a yoga facilitator for The Foundation for Living Beauty, because she herself is a cancer survivor. Fourteen years ago, Kitty was diagnosed with kidney cancer in the midst of a successful, fast-paced career as a fashion executive. After her oncologist recommended reiki, Kitty began to recognize the power of blending Eastern + Western modalities. She says that after discovering yoga and reiki, she left fashion with a drive to dive into wellness. “Learning to breathe + practice yoga taught me boundaries and self care,” she explains. “I refer to myself as a ‘recovering type A.’ But [if you have cancer], you can find a new normal, day by day.”

Kitty has attended yoga retreats with The Foundation for Living Beauty as both a participant and a facilitator – she now assists Tari Prinster, who was one of the first instructors to help Kitty “slow down.” Instructor Max Strom, whose mantra is “breathe to heal,”  also influenced Kitty’s journey and commitment to yoga. “It was the breathing that hooked me – it’s a tool in my toolbox.” Also in Kitty’s yoga toolbox? Remixed Beatles music, restorative yoga and sound baths.

After reflecting on her journey from the busy corporate world of New York’s fashion scene to a peaceful community in San Diego, Kitty professes: “I like to say that doctors saved my life, but yoga gave me a life worth living.” It’s this life in San Diego that she’s generously sharing with The Foundation for Living Beauty, working to help facilitate future yoga events in San Diego. “I’m happy to introduce the Foundation to my community in San Diego, because the people are so authentic. The foundation honors our craft, and honors us as people. They honor each and every woman and the facilitators alike! My experience has always been that the events attract a special group of women who come together for a place to unwind, heal, learn tools to cope and manage daily life after being touched by cancer. No drama, no politics, just pure love and sisterhood. A tribe connected by cancer, strengthened by each other. A way to have the important “support group” without it being a traditional support group. An studies have shown being a part of a support group increases chance of survival significantly. It is my honor to share Light with anyone who needs a little to brighten their day.”

You can learn more about Kitty at www.kittyblincoe.com, or visit her in person at Sanctuary Z, her Sleep, Stretch and Stress Management space in Carlsbad, CA. 

7 Unique Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

We are so honored to have many talented, generous women in our family of Living Beauties! While many of our Beauties are mothers, all of them are nurturers as they share wisdom and comfort among themselves and with others in our community.

That’s why we wanted to share 7 unique ways to celebrate womanhood and enjoy a day of serenity this Mother’s Day – whether you take this day to lift up someone in your family, a girlfriend or your own spirit, we hope these simple pleasures enrich your health and serve as a reminder that there is both power and peace in femininity.

Share a Scent: 

If you’re looking for an affordable, thoughtful gift that keeps on giving, try a diffuser necklace or bracelet. The wearer simply dips a pre-cut pad in their (or your) favorite essential oil, then places it in a locket. Different scents can relieve a variety of symptoms, and it’s a special reminder throughout the day of how much you care. Browse styles here! 

Send a Handwritten Note

There’s nothing like a handwritten note – try writing down your favorite memory or story with your mom or loved one, and then surprise her with good old fashioned snail mail! Or, write down why you feel most proud to be a woman, and keep the note in your wallet for a rainy day.

Create a “Thinking of You” Playlist 

Whether it’s heartfelt or funky, a playlist tribute to your mom or a woman you admire is a great way to show you care. Send it to her and suggest she soak in the bath as she listens, or get together for an impromptu dance party!

Stroll in a Beautiful Garden 

The Huntington Library and Gardens, Descanso Gardens and Lacy Park are some of our local favorite spots to sit and picnic or stroll and chat.

Create Your Own Bouquet 

Head to Trader Joe’s or the DTLA Flower Mart and design your own bouquet for a surefire way to brighten any day.

Get Pampered – Naturally 

Give the gift of vegan cosmetics, soaps or other products – LUSH is all about using only safe, non-animal testing ingredients and has a special collection for Mother’s Day! Browse the freshly made treats here. 

Take a Yoga Class 

Local yoga houses often offer discounts on first month memberships or the occasional free class. Plan a morning or afternoon to spend together meditating, stretching and strengthening. There’s nothing like yoga with a friend to inspire confidence and bring a smile to your face.

 

Temple City Dental Care Brightens Teeth and Lives

 

There’s nothing like a beautiful smile, and Temple City Dental Care is spreading them in more ways than one.

Now through June 30th, the team at Temple City Dental Care is offering Opalescent treatment, the best teeth whitening system available, at half off for only $150. Part of the proceeds will be donated to children through the Smiles for Life Foundation, and the other half will be shared with…The Foundation for Living Beauty!

Denise Williams-Jones, the office’s scheduling coordinator, first heard our Executive Director Nancy Davidson speak at a Pasadena networking event. “I was in tears. I knew we had to work with them. We’ve worked with different nonprofits over the years, and I knew we had to choose to support these women. Nancy really moved me to participate.”

Williams-Jones brought her story back to Dr. Von Bulow, who soon found himself enjoying lunch at the office while learning more about the foundation. “This is something that has touched everyone. We’ve been doing this program since 1998, and when we met Nancy, it was a no brainer to support these women.”

Adds Denise, “We have been asking, what do THEY need or want? And we’re making it fun. For every milestone in our fundraising, we’re going to spray Dr. V with a super soaker! Maybe we should pie him in the face…”

One loyal patient listened in the lobby, and shared that she in fact had already participated. “The same day they told me about this, I had a close friend get diagnosed. I felt I could do something in her honor this way.”

Serendipity.

Call 626.285.3161 to schedule your appointment, or visit templecitydental.com.

Facilitator Friday: Caspar Poyck

Each week we’ve been celebrating Facilitator Friday on social media as a tribute to the many talented individuals who support our Living Beauties. Today, we asked psychosomatic therapist Caspar Poyck to help introduce his one-day workshop, How, Why, When and What We Eat, scheduled for February 18th, 2017.

When we first asked Caspar about his experiences as a nutritionist, he was quick to make a distinction between traditional nutritional counseling and his craft: “First and foremost I am NOT a nutritionist. Rather, I am a psychosomatic therapist and have related that science specifically to eating in a modality called Digestive Therapy,” Caspar explained.

13173836_10154796301388942_7293251324277338037_n

In fact, Digestive Therapy helps to evaluate and address eating from an extremely comprehensive perspective. Caspar went on to explain how his process considers some key elements that are often overlooked when individuals evaluate their dietary habits. “When we think of resolving our food related health issues we often look at food and nutrition, but have you ever noticed how people who start dieting usually end up yo-yo-ing ? Do you ever wonder why people who follow the newest fad diets and cleanses end up with a lifestyle instead of a remedy ? Why is it that many people who are determined and exact in their focus on avoiding foods they are sensitive to most often become allergic to more foods instead of less ?”

“The most important, and most often overlooked, part of our relationship to food is our emotions!” answers Poyck. Emotions affect HOW we eat and emotions affect everything from blood pressure and heart rate to digestion and allergies. A person will run from diet to diet until the REAL issues are addressed.”

Caspar’s February 18th workshop, a collaboration with nutritionist and lifestyle coach Julie Hefner, endeavors to help participants consider these issues and more in their own lives. The workshop is open to the public for a fee of $199, with a $50 deposit due to register. It will be held at The Hood Kitchen Space in Costa Mesa.

Check out more information on the workshop below!

 

16174569_10154930292684414_6958805081256112108_n

Temple City Dental Brings Serendipitous Smiles

There’s nothing like a beautiful smile, and Temple City Dental Care is spreading them in more ways than one.

Now through June 30th, the team at Temple City Dental Care is offering Opalescent treatment, the best teeth whitening system available, at half off for only $150. Part of the proceeds will be donated to children through the Smiles for Life Foundation, and the other half will be shared with…The Foundation for Living Beauty!

Denise Williams-Jones, the office’s scheduling coordinator, first heard our Executive Director Nancy Davidson speak at a Pasadena networking event. “I was in tears. I knew we had to work with them. We’ve worked with different nonprofits over the years, and I knew we had to choose to support these women. Nancy really moved me to participate.”

Williams-Jones brought her story back to Dr. Von Bulow, who soon found himself enjoying lunch at the office while learning more about the foundation. “This is something that has touched everyone. We’ve been doing this program since 1998, and when we met Nancy, it was a no brainer to support these women.”

Adds Denise, “We have been asking, what do THEY need or want? And we’re making it fun. For every milestone in our fundraising, we’re going to spray Dr. V with a super soaker! Maybe we should pie him in the face…”

One loyal patient listened in the lobby, and shared that she in fact had already participated. “The same day they told me about this, I had a close friend get diagnosed. I felt I could do something in her honor this way.”

Serendipity.

Call 626.285.3161 to schedule your appointment, or visit templecitydental.com.