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Where mind, body and spirit meet

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Emme on CNN to discuss airbrush photo ban in UK

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has banned 2 Loreal ads, one featuring Christy Turlington and the other, Julia Roberts, because of what the ASA ruled as excessive airbrushing.  The ASA felt that these ads were misleading since the images had been digitally retouched with photoshop and were not true representations of what the makeup could achieve in reality.

I appeared on CNN's Headline News, as well as on CNN Live regarding this airbrushed photo ban in the UK.

Check out the clip of me on CNN at this site 

For more info on this controversial topic check out the site Any-Body.org and their "Victory for  Body Campaigners" post  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Painfully Out Of Focus: Attention Deficit Disorder Part 1 of 2

   With the school year approaching, once again, so many of our children are going to face the struggle of trying to fit into the routine of the classroom and to achieve some measure of success while their physical mechanisms are totally unconditioned to functioning within such an environment.
     Attention Deficit Disorder is a term coined only in 1980, but since that time, it has become North America’s number one childhood “psychological disorder. The “experts” in the medical field believe that three to five percent of all North American children suffer from ADD in one form or another. One hundred years ago before food additives, chemical pollution, prescription drugs, refined sugar products, processed foods, and television and computer games were in integral part of our lifestyle, ADD did not exist.
     There are several different classifications of the disorder, generally broken down under the categories of, with or without hyperactive behavior. A contributing cause of these disorders points to toxicity and/or deficiency of essential nutrients within the body.
     In the cases of hyperactivity, emotional stress, the consumption of food additives, excess sugar and food allergies seem to contribute to the imbalance.  With interrupted focus or short term attention/retention span, stress, nutritional deficiencies and repeated antibiotic use is more common.
     How does ADD affect our children? Once again, depending upon the cause it may manifest as:

  • Lack of concentration
  • A tendency to disturb other children and the classroom in general
  • Mood swings and tantrums
  • Extreme distractibility
  • Forgetfulness and absentmindedness (daydreaming)
  • Inability to finish tasks
  • Difficulty in managing time
  • Clumsiness
  • Sleep disturbances (including insomnia and bed-wetting)
  • Failure in school despite average or above average intelligence

Irene Maltzan received her training and certification to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. Go to www.youtube.com and check out Healthy Cooking with Irene Maltzan. Please send your email address to wellness.tree@yahoo.com to find out more about the Wellness Tree programs for healthy living.

Painfully Out Of Focus:Attention Deficit Disorder Part 2 of 2

     Ask yourself what long-term effect any of these symptoms may have on the development of self esteem and worthiness of a child. Often children experiencing ADD are so ashamed of their perceived inadequacies that they withdraw into themselves to avoid being “found out”. They end up with the label of “being slow” or worse which stays with them right through school. The other reaction may be the “class clown” syndrome of a child acting out the belief that nothing bothers them. How sad that they begin their lives under the shadows of such false faces.
     What is the standard “treatment” for ADD? Currently more than 7 million North American children take drugs which contain substances to alter the brain’s neurotransmitter system in preliminary research conducted at Toronto’s Clark Institute. The lifelong impact of such alteration is yet unknown.
     Yet what is a desperate parent to do? They can’t just stand by and let their children be labeled and miserable under such a diagnosis. There are other options which are completely natural available to help ADD children. The natural approach, which supports overall wellness in the lifestyles of ADD children and their families, offers an array of alternatives which may include:

  • A complete analysis of dietary and nutritional needs of the individual. It is important to look at allergies including wheat, dairy, soy and corn. Sugar consumption can play havoc with hyperactivity or with concentration issues. It is also important to see how much food that they are eating contains hormones, artificial chemicals or preservatives.  Supplementation may be key because it can provide the right minerals, nutrients and essential fatty acids that are crucial to brain and cognitive development. 
  • Including regular Chiropractic check-ups, combined with patience and perseverance, just may bring the results we seek. Health begins at the cellular level. Each portion of our body--our skin, blood, bones, and organs--is made up of cells (about 75 trillion of them!) Each of those individual cells has five fundamental needs. None of these cellular functions, however, can be accomplished without communication from the brain to every tissue and organ in the body. The brain must send messages to the body’s cells (efferent transmission) and the cell must communicate its needs back to the brain (afferent transmission) through the nervous system. That is why all approaches to health care should begin with assurance of a healthy flow of nerve impulses to allow the body to function at its optimal level. If this flow of communication is impaired, all of our valiant attempts to eat right, take vitamins or herbs, exercise, etc., will be compromised.
  • Flower Essences as a safe, natural way to support a child in releasing old patterns of behavior associated with ADD Blends are available to encourage focus, self esteem and a calming of behavior, providing a fresh new start to learning. Flower Essences are free of negative side effects and may be used in conjunction with all other forms of treatment.
  •   Homeopathic remedies are very helpful with ADD/ADHD because they can address the emotional components of the disorder without concern for side effects. A good book to read on homeopathy is Ritalin-Free Kids by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman. Homeopathic remedies are suited to the symptoms of the individual rather then the disease name. This makes things very individualized. Two products that are safe and well tested are Attend by VAXA and Focus by www.NativeRemedies.com
  • Yoga and Martial Arts classes have shown tremendous benefits for all children. They can improve ability to :
    •  Heighten memory and mental concentration
    •  Build self esteem and increase self confidence
    •  Improve listening skills and increase coordination/flexibility
    •  Quiet the Mind
     Each of these modalities of holistic wellness offers a unique and vital link in the support system of the child. Together they form a positive, alternative option to the use of chemical therapies. The choices are available; the results are proving themselves successful beyond all expectations, as more and more ADD children who have lived with the pain and frustration of their seemingly hopeless situation are experiencing the freedom of coming into focus through programs of total body wellness.

Irene Maltzan received my training and certification to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the only nutrition school integrating all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods.Go to www.youtube.com and check out Healthy Cooking with Irene Maltzan. Please send your email address at wellness.tree@yahoo.com to find out more about the Wellness Tree programs for healthy living.

Monday, July 11, 2011

10 Things You Can Do to Raise Kids Who Make a Difference Part 1 of 2

Making a difference in the world and helping others are the best inoculations against poor self esteem for children. Having a sense of purpose, knowing that you can influence others and give back, creates a sense of self efficacy for children that leads to great self esteem. Additionally, having meaningful activities decreases boredom, isolation, and self-centeredness.

Kids today are fighting an uphill battle. They are growing up in an increasingly superficial and disconnected world. They are bombarded with messages from the media telling them what they should buy, wear and look like and that has left kids feeling empty, unfulfilled and bad about themselves.

Parents are not faring much better. Confused about how to raise self-motivated and connected children, out-influenced by today’s media and unsure of how to make fair, consistent boundaries, modern parents face bigger challenges than previous generations.

Raising a child who makes a difference in the world requires mothers and fathers to: parent in very conscious ways, foster a sense of self efficacy in their kids, help children to discover their passions, teach their children how to delay gratification, reduce entitlement and, of course, model the behavior they hope to see in their children. I never said it would be easy!

(More... for the 10 steps)

Dr. Jenn Berman is the author of two LA Times best selling books- SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years and The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids. Her first children’s book Rockin’ Babies was released May 2011 and won the prestigious Purple Dragonfly award. She can be heard live on the Cosmo Channel on Sirius XM channel 109 every night from 5-7 pm PST. Dr. Jenn has a private psychotherapy practice in Beverly Hills and is a wife and mother of twins. For more information go to www.DoctorJenn.com.

10 Things You Can Do to Raise Kids Who Make a Difference Part 2 of 2

1. Read books. Make sure to include books about famous historical figures who stood up for what they believed in (Rosa Parks) or overcame great odds (Helen Keller) along with books with stories about a quality or belief that is important to your family. For younger children this teaches them about your family’s belief system and for older children it opens discussions.
2. Have family meetings. Having a weekly family meeting teaches kids to learn to speak in a group forum and lets them know that their ideas are valued. Start including your children in these meetings no later than age five and make sure you keep them limited to 20 minutes.
3. Turn off the TV. The average American child sees 40,000 commercials and makes 3,000 requests for products and services per year. Studies show that American children believe that their clothes and brands describe who they are and define their social status which is more than that of children in any other country. Children’s focus on consumer culture has been linked to depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, psychosomatic complaints, and increased conflict with parents.
4. Give chores and responsibilities. All children should have family responsibilities (clear your place at the table, put away your toys, make your bed, etc.) as well as paid chores (rake leaves, take out the trash, water plants) as soon as they are old enough to do basic math and coordinated enough to handle tasks.  a sense of giving back in their own home and the value of a dollar which happens most easily when they earn that dollar.
5. Teach early giving. Teach children to give back to the community starting at a young age. Even toddlers and preschoolers can do something small but meaningful, like making a card to give to a sick child, helping an adult bake cookies to bring to the local firehouse, planting a tree, or helping collect cans for a food drive. It is important to teach these values early.
6. Make a “helping others” scrapbook. Using the scrapbook to memorialize good deeds allows children the opportunity to feel good while they look back on all the kind things they have done to help others. This book also enables them to revisit these generous deeds as their developmental ability to understand what they have done increases.
7. Plan “Giving Vacations.” Instead of another trip to Disneyland or Hawaii, plan a trip based around doing for others. There are many organizations and travel websites that list “volunteer vacation” opportunities, mostly for teens and older, to do things like build an orphanage, teach English in a third world country, help children with special needs, or restore coral reefs.
8. Let kids earn “the difference.” Teach kids about the household bills and let them see where they can save money. Let them “earn the money they save. If, for example they are able to decrease the electric bill by $10, they get to keep the $10. This teaches them about household costs, makes them aware of wastefulness and helps them contribute to the home in a new way.
9. Start a “Dinner Table Foundation.” In the book The Giving Family, author Susan Crites Price recommends having a regular family meeting to decide where donations will go. Decide in advance how much money will be donated (it does not have to be a large sum). If you have young children let them choose from two or three charities after you have explained to them what each charity does and how the money will be used. For older children, let them come to the table and pitch the charity of their choosing. Work together as a family to make these decisions.
10. Make giving a year-round family activity. Many families have annual giving traditions like feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving but it is important for children to see giving throughout the year. Make sure you point it out to children when you donate old clothes to a shelter, let them sit with you while you write a check for a charitable donation, so that they are aware of the regular ways you contribute to others. Also, try to create family giving opportunities every month.

Dr. Jenn Berman is the author of two LA Times best selling books- SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years and The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids. Her first children’s book Rockin’ Babies was released May 2011 and won the prestigious Purple Dragonfly award. She can be heard live on the Cosmo Channel on Sirius XM channel 109 every night from 5-7 pm PST. Dr. Jenn has a private psychotherapy practice in Beverly Hills and is a wife and mother of twins. For more information go to www.DoctorJenn.com.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Plus-sized women: It's our turn for fine fashion"

Check out the recent CNN article by Amy Wilson,
 "Plus-sized women: It's our turn for fine fashion". This is an eye opening article with great expert opinions and statistics. It addresses why clothing for larger figures is not as available in the market as smaller sizes and the efforts to try to change this. 

"The average-sized woman in America is either a 14 or 16 -- depending on who you ask and what style she's got on (and sometimes which afternoon she's trying it on)."

"Women don't want their self-esteem bashed when they walk into a department store," said Emme, the first plus-sized supermodel, head of emmenation.com and now an actress in New York. "I don't think we're talking about anorexics or those morbidly obese. We're talking about what's real.

The "size-14 on top and size-16 on bottom" mother and entrepreneur says: "Look. We eat right. We exercise when we can. We take care of our kids. We want to look good. We aren't built like teenagers. Just once I'd like to see us take a day and not buy anything from a certain segment of stores and then they'd see how much buying power we have."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whats in Your Library?

Hope you had an unbelievable 4th of July weekend full of smiles and laughs with your family and friends. Or if you got to get away and soak up the sun, hope you got some sand between your toes too.

My weekend was a pretty busy one, including my final performance in Love, Loss, and What I Wore, but now I am getting that down time we all need once in a while. My plan is to just curl up on the beach with a good read and listen to waves crashing in the background.

For those of you that just finished their books this weekend and need some recommendations check out the NYPost article, "In My Library: Emme" on the link below to find out my favorites! And comment back some recommendations for me :-)

My Fav Reads!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Am I "Whole"? - Susan Sullivan's Wise Words

Sharing the stage with Emme in Love Loss, and What I wore has been a joy.  She is courageous, open hearted, and believes in herself.  So when she asked me to write a blog on how to become ‘whole’, I was intrigued.  A blog –– I’ve never written one and ‘whole’ –– that sounded daunting.  Her request made me think.  And wonder.  Am I ‘whole’?  I’m not sure.  Maybe you can tell me.  All I can tell you is a little of my story.

First of all, I think of ‘whole’ more as a direction than an actual destination –– like an ever-receding target I make small gains on if I work really hard.  I’m assuming that ‘whole’ means a gathering together of all the disparate parts of myself, a sort of mishmash of the good and the bad.  The good takes care of itself.  The bad is what catches me up short.  Maybe ‘up short’ is the phrase that’s been at the center of my struggle.  I think I live in a dichotomous universe –– perfect or imperfect.  To me perfect is like ‘whole’ –– it sounds great but I don’t know how to get there.  You see, I’m imperfect.  Very imperfect.  There, I’ve said it.  So forget ‘whole’ –– I’m just trying to learn to live with being imperfect.  You know, now that I think about it, it’s the perfect that gets in the way.  It makes me anxious just writing the word.  You see, I’m an anxious person.  Always have been.  I’m so anxious that I have mess up the magazines on the coffee table if I’m having a guest over so as not to look the anal person I am.  Look, here’s the thing –– I have modest goals.  I know that for me to gain an inch or two toward wholeness requires me to be uncomfortable.  And I hate discomfort.  But every time I avoid being uncomfortable, I lose a few inches and my imperfections grow.  So I have a choice –– shrink my world by avoiding this or that or expose myself and tolerate the discomfort.  As I’ve said, I’m an anxious person and I hope I have the courage to continue to be one –– to put myself out there flaws and all.

I don’t know if that adds up to being ‘whole’ or not.  But I do know that I am alive, warts and all.  And that’s exciting. 

         Two time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Susan is well known to television audiences for her starring roles in the long running hits Falcon Crest and Dharma and Greg.  She also starred in the series It’s A Living,  Rich Man, Poor Man,  Julie Farr M.D.,  The George Carlin Show,  and The Monroes. Susan can currently be seen in ABC’s new hour drama Castle.
         Born in New York, Susan attended Hofstra University on a drama scholarship.  On Broadway, she starred in Jimmy Shine opposite Dustin Hoffman and in The Beauty Part. Off Broadway, she played the leads in The Fourth Wall and Buffalo Gal.  She toured with the L.A. Theatre Works production of The Pentagon Papers.  Her extensive list of regional theater credits includes Fifth Of July  at the Mark Taper Forum, the National Touring Company’s production of Uncle Vanya  as well as The Three Sisters.  She also appeared in Twelfth Night,  Macbeth, and The Winter’s Tale  for PBS. She is a member of both the Matrix and Antaeus Theatre companies in Los Angeles.
         In addition to her series roles, Susan has starred in numerous feature and made for television movies including The Incredible Hulk, Midway, and My Best Friends Wedding.
         Susan is a founding member of the Celebrity Action Council at the Los Angeles Mission. She has served on the Board of the Felice Foundation and has been a spokesperson for the National Hospice Foundation and Save The Children. She is currently on the board of The Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
         Susan is bi-coastal, and shares her life with noted psychologist and author Dr. Connell Cowan and a couple of finicky feline friends.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Supermodels are Moms, Too!

Check out this Video at PBS.com! 

"Supermodel Emme shares tips on single-parenting, maintaining healthy habits–and how she juggles raising her daughter, performing off-Broadway and being an advocate for women and girls."