The Golden Hour – Comvita’s Longevity Panel

The Golden Hour – Comvita’s Longevity Panel

I was excited to attend Expo West 2020 and interview Alan Bougen founder of Comvita, the #1 maker of Maunka Honey, but sadly the expo was cancelled due to “social distancing” in an attempt to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

Instead, however, I was invited to a much more intimate gathering of like-minded souls for Comvita’s Golden Hour: an evening of discussion and celebration on how to create a longer, more sustainable life and business. As Americans continue to invest more in wellness and the promise of living longer, healthier, more engaged and effective lives – what can be learned from tried and true expertise in the space?

First off, there was the most beautifully presented food that I’ve ever come across created by Sarah Cat from Mood Boards LA, who specialize in mood-enhancing nourishment. Sarah Cat prepares organic, nutrient-dense foods, makes dips using adaptogens, includes CBD to enhance well-being, and utilizes ingredients that enhance immunity and longevity like Spirulina and mushrooms (complete with edible glitter on). Sarah’s food display was truly a work of art and scrumptious.

To go with the food, there was a “toxin free” wine tasting of Antipodean wines provided by New Zealand Wine Navigator 

For our ears, Trevor Exter played cello and sang, preforming a delightful repertoire and strumming his cello more like a guitar while singing.  Click here for a sample of his music.

The evening started with a mindfulness mediation led by yoga instructor and psychotherapist, Ashley Turner. During the meditation, we were each given a teaspoon of Manuka honey and invited to close our eyes to really taste, feel and savor this treat.

And then the main event: a panel and Q&A with the longevity industry’s thought leaders in functional medicine, natural wellness, media and business. Panelists participating were:

Alan Bougen, Comvita Co-Founder and wellness industry pioneer (from NZ!)

Dr. Mary Pardee, a specialist in gut/brain health and Functional Medicine Doctor

David Stewart, an authority on 50+ living and Founder and CEO of Ageist

Agatha Achindu, an Integrative Nutrition Coach and Founder of Yummy Spoonfuls.

The topics ranged from nutrition to hormones to immunology, but the thing that fascinated me most was the power of Manuka Honey.

 

So, here is what I learned about health and Manuka honey:

Did you know that 70% of your immune system is in your gut? Or that your micro-biome can be affected by childhood trauma? Or that stress can damage our gut? And that it isn’t the stress that’s the issue – but how you deal with and perceive the stress.

If we know this, then a good place to start in building a strong immune system is by what we eat.

Manuka honey is a type of honey native to New Zealand that has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It cab be used for wound healing, soothing sore throats, preventing tooth decay and improving digestive issues. The antibacterial and antioxidant properties, maintain a moist wound environment and form a protective barrier, which prevents microbial infections in a wound.

Manuka honey has proven effective in healing diabetic ulcers, and helping burn patients by amplifying the regeneration of tissue and decreasing pain.

Will any honey do? Not really. Manuka honey has a UMF® rating – a Unique Manuka Factor that measures the antimicrobial ability of the honey. Comvita’s UMF® strength ranges from 5+ to 20+, with 20+ indicating the highest level of beneficial compounds. The UMF rating is a rigorous rating to receive so when you buy Manuka honey you know you are buying quality.

Here’s a great Comvita blog article that tells you “All you need to know about Manuka Honey”.

Propolis is another interesting bee product that also has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This bee product appears to provide protection from bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

And then there’s Bee Pollen. Here’s a list of what that can do for you.

  • relieve inflammation
  • work as an antioxidant
  • boost liver health
  • strengthen the immune system
  • work as a dietary supplement
  • ease symptoms of menopause
  • reduce stress
  • speed up healing

And of course, Do NOT take if you are allergic to bees.

Visit Comvita for many immune-boosting natural products. What better time to fortify yourself than right now given our state of emergency?

A Weekend in the Country: DAOU Winery Sojourn

A Weekend in the Country: DAOU Winery Sojourn

The road to SoCal’s local wine country is the El Camino Real, or Highway 101. Located 219 miles from Los Angeles,  Paso Robles is precisely the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Paso Robles used to be a dusty pioneer town famous for its almonds, but that has all changed. A burgeoning wine country, it is home to over 200 wineries, 40,000 vineyard acres and many winegrape varieties, but primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Chardonnay. It is that rare combination of warm days and cool evenings that helps produce these wines. It should also be noted that the town El Paso de Robles (which means Pass of the oak trees) was co-founded by Kentucky outlaws Frank and Jesse James’ uncle Drury around 1869.

One of the finest among them is the family owned Daou Winery in the Adelaida District. The Daou brothers, Georges and Daniel started the winery in 2007, moving their life and fortune from San Diego to Paso Robles. The Daou Winery is beautifully set in the mountains at an altitude of 2,200 feet; rich with rolling hills, a faint hint of the Pacific 14 miles away, the winery enjoys some of the best climate and soil (calcareous clay) to produce a great Cabernet Sauvignon.

We meet Daniel Daou, a man passionate about his winery and wine. In fact, there are moments where is he so engaged in the science of winemaking you too want to live this life of juice, soil, rain, air, wood and glass. It becomes clear that winemaking is indeed a science as well as passion—so many elements must come together perfectly to produce a good harvest, a good year, a good wine.

Georges and Daniel Daou hail from Lebanon, by way of France. Their father, Joseph Daou, grew up in Beirut, in a modest, urban family. Joseph was 10 years old before his father, who grew up an orphan, was able to buy the family’s first bed. The prevailing culture of Joseph’s youth was one of genteel French colonialism—Lebanon having only gained its independence from France in 1943. In time, Joseph became a successful businessman, and Beirut would become known as “the Paris of the Middle East.”

Remarkably, the greatness of DAOU Mountain was foretold 40 years earlier when the property, then known as Hoffman Mountain Ranch, was hailed by California winemaking legend André Tchelistcheff as “a jewel of ecological elements.”

The mountain was first planted to grapes in the early 1960s by Dr. Stanley Hoffman and his wife Terry. To test his faith in the Adelaida District, Dr. Hoffman enlisted the input of Tchelistcheff, who was California’s foremost winemaking authority at the time.

Tchelistcheff was impressed with what he saw, and his seal of approval gave Dr. Hoffman further confidence to go forward. Hoffman Mountain Ranch released its first wine—a Cabernet Sauvignon—in 1972.

Dr. Hoffman was nothing if not ahead of his time, and that was ultimately the winery’s undoing. The market for his Paso Robles wines was outpaced by costs of running the winery, and he was forced to sell the winery in 1981. The land’s potential would remain untapped for more than two decades to follow.

As Dr. Hoffman once recalled about his first years in Paso Robles, “There were some Zinfandel growers in Paso, but nobody that I know of who wanted to grow French varietals like I did. We were the first. People were not encouraging. They said we were crazy.”

Fatefully, Georges and Daniel were met with similar skepticism when they arrived here with their stated intent to produce wines rivaling the world’s greatest.

Five years after acquiring the mountain and planting their vineyard, the Daou brothers were presented with an opportunity to purchase the adjacent property that included the old Hoffman Mountain Ranch winery facility. Their architect recommended that they raze the building and start over, but their respect for Dr. Hoffman’s legacy was too great. They decided to restore the building instead.

A year later, they held a ribbon cutting with two very special guests of honor: Stanley and Terry Hoffman. As one observer of that day wrote, “It’s not always easy to go home, especially if there are some broken dreams involved. But dreams delayed are not always dreams denied and sometimes you just have to wait awhile to see the work you started come to fruition.”

These and other stories are related with a quiet satisfaction that they did indeed take these mountains and produce some of the finest wines in the region.

WE’RE GOING TO A PARTY

After the winery tour we were invited to lunch at the winery restaurant. Cody Thomasson, Estate Chef, DAOU Family Estates serves a table of distinctly Lebanese fare—kabobs, mezze (Hummus, Muhammara, Bali Butternut, Castelvetrano Olive Tapenade, Spicy Whipped Feta, Tzatziki, Garlic Toum, Lime Zested Medjool Dates, Almonds & Pita Bread), an offering of cheese and charcuterie, lamb chops and of course the perfect sampling of wine, direct from the barrels. If you have never had wine from a barrel, it is a tasteful experience to be enjoyed in the cooler room temperatures—even the Cabernet is cool, and Daniel admits to liking his wine slightly on the cooler side. Indeed.

Later that night, a party, a soiree has been organized at the winery— This will be the 8th iteration of DAOU’S flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, Soul of a Lion. A wine that represents the family patriarch, Joseph Daou and the lessons of persistence, passion and courage he instilled in his sons during their childhood. Food, wine, friends and music, this is a night of celebration for the 8th reiteration of the wine. The music is Lebanese, the food is a mix of Middle eastern fruits, vegetables and lamb chops. The wine is DAOU, both  Soul of the Lion and other varieties—all incredible! We are atop a hill in the middle of Pasa Robles, so when we spot Twilight actor Taylor Lautner, it is a surprise. This of course, leads to a mental discussion about the nature of celebrity: you cannot go anywhere without people talking about you, circling about to attempt a hello, you are judged. As the night progresses, everyone gets to meet Taylor and he turns about to be exceptionally sweet about it. He ultimately joins his friends and everyone on the dance floor for the last dance song of the night (see video below).

Random Thoughts: winemaking is a business and a science—at times Daniel delved so deeply into soil texture, climate and the conditions needed to produce a great varietal. There is a quiet competition between Napa and Pasa Robles although the current notion is to keep PR as rural as it can remain despite the blossoming wine trade taking place. Asked where the next wine making region might be, all answered, Livermore, CA. People who work in the wine industry seem to genuinely enjoy it. Maeve Pesquera, Senior Vice President, DAOU Family Estates has likely told her story countless times, but it is clearly evident that she enjoys her job—and why not? Daniel Daou sports the best Prada shoes we have ever seen.

DAOU VINEYARDS + WINERY | PASO ROBLES

Address: 2777 Hidden Mountain Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Appointments: daouvineyards.com
 
Phone: (805) 226-5460

 

Left to right: Daniel offers Zuke Oshiro some wine from the barrel; entrance to the winery restaurant; the spectacular view looking west from the winery; the kabobs have been served.

THE SOUL OF A LION

THE WINE | Soul of a Lion is DAOU’s crown jewel, named after the father of Georges and Daniel Daou. The 2017 vintage displays richness, elegance and balance—the hallmarks of a superb growing season that allowed for extended ripening. A deep, complex bouquet reveals notes of cassis, black currant, licorice, incense, ripe plum and vanilla. The palate is full-bodied, layered and complex, while smooth, silky tannins lead to a persistent finish. It is impossible to drink this wine without respecting the great structure that will allow it to evolve nicely for years to come. In short, this is a blockbuster vintage that showcases the innate power of DAOU Mountain.

THE VINTAGE | The 2017 growing season was preceded by one of the wettest winters in recent memory, with nearly 35 inches of rain recorded on DAOU Mountain. The vines were energized by the much-needed moisture, setting one of our best crops yet. The weather remained steady from spring through mid-summer. However, a heat wave descended upon California during the third week of August. Many vintners chose to harvest immediately, but we made the brave decision to allow the fruit to hang. As we suspected, a cooling trend snapped the heat wave ensuring that the fruit achieved optimal ripeness. The result was our latest harvest ever on the mountain, reaching all the way into the third week of October. The long hang time yielded the deepest color and concentration we have seen from our estate. The tannins are silky and beautifully integrated. We feel that the 2017 wines will rival the best ever from DAOU Mountain.

DAOU VINEYARDS & WINERY | Family owned and operated, DAOU Vineyards & Winery is committed to producing collectible, world-class wines to rival the most respected appellations in the world. DAOU Mountain’s combination of remarkable geology, microclimate, a 2,200-foot elevation, and steep slopes gives it a terroir described as “a jewel of ecological elements.” As stewards of this beautiful terroir, our goal is to make fine wines that honestly and accurately reflect the potential of the estate.

VARIETALS | 79 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING | 22 months in 100% new French oak ALCOHOL | 14.7%

Wine Education

There’s more to wine than just drinking it—here are some interesting facts:

A single bottle contains:

750 ml of wine which is 25.6 ounces made from 2.4 pounds of grapes (39.0 oz) and is enough for four to five glasses.

A case of wine is a dozen 750 ml bottles or 307.2 ounces total, which comes from 30 pounds of grapes.

One standard oak barrel of wine holds 295 bottles of wine (or 59 glasses) made from 740 pounds of grapes which works out to approximately to 24 cases wine.

An acre of vineyard land can give the grower five tons of grapes (greatly depending on variety, farming practices and location) which will give you 797 gallons of juice or thirteen and half barrels, which is close to four thousand bottles of wine.

12 SoCal-Inspired Brunch Recipes for a Weekend at Home

12 SoCal-Inspired Brunch Recipes for a Weekend at Home

12 SoCal-Inspired Brunch Recipes for a Weekend at Home

Aah. There’s nothing like a lazy Sunday when you can take your time getting out of bed, then rock your PJ’s all day long. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rainy day indulgence or a planned Netflix binge day for you and your SO. You’ll eventually need to eat!

When your stomach starts growling, it’s time to whip up a to-die-for brunch. You don’t have to bother with pants to look restaurant-appropriate. You can design a spread worthy of the Four Seasons with these recipes.

  1. Eggs Benedict

The trickiest part of this recipe is making the homemade hollandaise sauce, but it’s no more complicated than making mayonnaise. If you have a partner in crime, one of you can poach the eggs while the other handles sauce duty. The result? A decadent dish rich enough to star on many exclusive brunch menus — including the one served at Casa de You.

  1. Lobster Hash

What says decadence more than lobster? Guess what? This white meat isn’t only for dinner anymore! By adding eggs and potatoes, you can create a tasty hash that will fill you up all day long. This dish is a snap to make because the potatoes primarily cook themselves. And because you’re getting a dose of lean protein, you’ll fuel your muscles. You know, in case you do something vigorous later on — like returning to bed.

  1. Herby Everything Cheddar Swirl Buns

Brunch isn’t complete without bread — why not make your bun a rich and savory indulgence with this recipe? If you feel a cold coming on, the thyme in this meal may help ward it off — the herb contains a potent mix of vitamins and minerals to boost your immunity. The cheddar cheese keeps these buns moist, even if you don’t add a pat of butter when they finish baking.

You can prep these the night before and leave them in the fridge overnight. Then, when the morning comes, preheat the oven, and enjoy fresh-baked goodness in minutes.

  1. Whole Grain Waffles

Waffles are a classic breakfast staple for a good reason. Because this recipe contains flax seeds, it’s ideal for shiny hair and supple skin. If you have a sensitivity to the gluten in wheat, you can substitute an ancient grain, such as quinoa or amaranth. You can freeze the leftovers — making this dish perform double-duty as a quick weekday morning snack. You can top these with maple syrup or any variety of your favorite fruits.

  1. Smoked Salmon Smorrebrod

The horseradish sour cream steals the show in this recipe, which you can modify to include nearly any type of meat. If you have allergies or a sinus infection, the heat from this meal will open swollen passages. The lemon juice helps to detoxify your body, as do the fresh herbs. Radishes add a refreshing crunch and help balance out some of the heat.

  1. Easy Frittata

If your response to “cheese” is “yes, please,” then this dish is for you. The blend of ricotta, mushrooms and spinach elevates this recipe well beyond your basic omelet. In approximately 15 minutes, you’ll have a brunch delight fit for a king or queen.

  1. Curry-Avocado Crispy Egg Toast

Nothing says So-Cal more than avocado, but this isn’t your mama’s standard toast. The curry powder adds an exciting flavor, and the turmeric contained in the spice is a potent anti-inflammatory. Plus, the vitamin E in avocados supports healthy joints, so if you have arthritis, make this dish a brunch-time favorite.

  1. Healthy Banana Bread

Banana bread is delicious at any time of day, but it adds a hint of sweetness to your morning meal. Plus, because this recipe uses no animal products, it’s friendly for the vegan in your life — or yourself, if you follow the lifestyle. The coconut sugar won’t spike your glucose levels as significantly as ordinary cane sugar does, helping you ward off a mid-afternoon crash.

  1. Paleo Pumpkin Waffles

Paleo is all the rage these days — but who wants to live their life without waffles? Indulge without blowing your diet by whipping up this recipe. The coconut flour lowers the glycemic load of this meal, making it safe for your eating plan. Topping it with a low-glycemic fruit like raspberries reduces the sugar level.

  1. Strawberry Parfaits

Who doesn’t adore parfait? You can whip up this dish in a jiffy with no need to heat the oven or stove. Layer granola, Greek yogurt and strawberries in a glass. Add a drizzle of honey, and you’re ready to indulge!

  1. Hellfire Club Bloody Mary

Lazy weekend brunches make it okay to do a bit of day drinking. Plus, if you overindulged the night before, this recipe serves as the ideal hair-of-the-dog. It has the precise amount of spice to open your sinuses, although you can go heavier on Tabasco if you like to sweat.

  1. Sweet Sunrise (Virgin)

Hey, you don’t have to include alcohol to have a fun, foo-foo drink with your weekend brunch! Skip the tequila and enjoy this flavorful mocktail that won’t leave you craving a nap by noon. You’ll get heaps of vitamin C, perfect for battling off any cold or flu germs.

MEET THE AUTHOR: JENNIFER E. LANDIS

Hey there! I’m Jennifer. I’m a writer, mother, and healthy living blogger living it up in Central Pennsylvania.

I am a fan of food (obviously), distance running, and almost every type of tea there is (except red tea…which is gross).

I’m also excited by yoga and setting new fitness goals.

Toddlers are a challenge but, my family is the cutest, so that makes up for all of the crazy.

Interested in a weekly dose of mindfulness – sign up for my newsletter!

http://mindfulnessmama.com/subscribe/

Valentine’s Night!

Valentine’s Night!

Chocolate, gifts, an exchange of cards—it must be Saint Valentine’s Day. But wait—this festive holiday has some dark roots: Historians believe Valentine’s Day actually began in Ancient Rome as a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia, with the celebration dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and Roman founders Romulus and Remus. According to History.com, the day was celebrated with activities that included sacrificing animals and whipping women with animal skins until they bled, signifying their fertility. But that’s all behind us now, we even buy our pets a Valentine’s treat! For most us, we head out for a dining adventure to share with the one we love. We have assembled a small selection of our favorite places this day or any other for your consideration.

Tempo Cantina

 

Modern Mexican Cuisine. Pictured here is MAYAN GRILLED SALMON served w/ saffron rice, roasted veggie, grilled pineapple, lime crema, avocado purée, achiote sauce! There’s enough goodness here to make any heart melt.

Address: 12056 Paramount Blvd, Downey, CA 90242
Reservations: opentable.com
Phone: (562) 321-9600

The Stanton DTLA

The former Bottlerock location is now home to The Stanton DTLA. A corner side seat to the activities on Hope and 11st, The Stanton offers up some great vegetarian dishes such a Brussel Sprout salad and Housemade Meatballs. Dinner entrees range from Lobster Linguine to Lamb Bolognese. With an excellent wine selection at hand, the appropriate romantic lighting, and seating both in and out, this is the place for a romantic downtown Valentine.

 

The Stanton DTLA

1091 S Hope St. Los Angeles CA 90015

https://www.thestantondtla.com/

[email protected]

 

 

Off Vine

Since 1989, Off Vine has been serving a wide range of hearty California favorites with regional American influences. Yes, the food is very good, but let’s recollect for a moment—this is located in the heart of Hollywood, in what is now a bustling area of many restaurants, shops, theaters and bars. Rendezvous by the fireplace, enjoy a comforting,  hearty meal in the vine-wrapped outdoor garden, or perhaps a celebration with all your friends and family in one of their private rooms. If you are looking for that special zone romantic, this is one of your best bets.

 

VALENTINE’S DINNER AT OFF VINE

Date: 2020-02-14
Time: 5:30 pm-9:00 pm
Price: $ 80.00 (Per Person, Not including Tax, Gratuity & Beverage)
To reserve your exclusive seat please call: (323) 962-1900

Ask the Experts: Relationships

Ask the Experts: Relationships

One of the hardest roads to navigate is relationships. But as Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us we decided to reach out to an expert for some advice on love, relationships and everything in between. We turned to Dr. Gregory Canillas, Ph.D., who provides couple retreats. You asked, we have some answers…

 

"For many, “inappropriate text messages” are considered a form of cheating. Even though it sounds like there has been no physical contact, engaging in that kind of flirting is still a breach of trust."

Dear Doc

My boyfriend broke up with me more than a year ago and I find myself still not over it—any advice on how to get past this?

John

Dear John,

Break ups are never easy. The “grieving process”  is different for everyone. For some, they move through it quickly, and for others it may take longer.  You are not alone.

The end of a relationship is an opportunity for growth and renewal. It offers us a chance to work on improving ourselves and reflect on what worked and what did not work in the relationship, so that we are better equipped for a new relationship.

 A shift in your mental energy away from the old relationship would be most helpful.  Take up a hobby that you have always wanted to engage in, volunteer with a favorite charity or re-connect with old friends. Think of it as a chance to create new experiences and possibilities. When considerable time has passed and the end of the relationship is still painful, some choose to engage in therapy so that they can process their feelings and gain more clarity.

Dear Doc,

My girlfriend has cheated on me in the past and swore she would never do it again, but recently I found some inappropriate text messages—am I jumping to conclusions,  should I say something?

Angela

Dear Angela,

Your admission that you were going through your girlfriend’s phone is a major red flag!  It speaks to a deep level of distrust in your girlfriend’s promise to be faithful.

For many, “inappropriate text messages” are considered a form of cheating. Even though it sounds like there has been no physical contact, engaging in that kind of flirting is still a breach of trust.

You need to have a conversation with your girlfriend. Express your concerns and how her behavior has impacted you.  Talk about issues of trust and faithfulness.  Why does this issue keep surfacing? And determine as a couple how you should move forward.  Keep in mind that there are many psychological studies that support the notion that if a person has cheated once, it is likely to happen again.

I am a 36 year old male. I have been dating my girlfriend for five years. When we first started dating we had sex several times a week. Sometimes we had several sessions in the same day!!! She began a graduate program a few months ago and often says she is “too tired” whenever I initiate foreplay.  Lately, our sex life has significantly declined.  I like sex and want it more frequently.  How can I get my girlfriend to have sex more regularly?

David

Dear David,

Have an open discussion with your girlfriend about your concerns.  Listen to her concerns.  Some couples agree to schedule a “sex night”, which is similar to the “date night” concept.  They agree to make time to have sex regularly and put that on their weekly calendar.  The planned sex night can create a sense of excitement and anticipation.  Because it is scheduled, many couples will make it special: they play mood music, light candles and other special touches.

For couples who have been together for some time, sex often becomes boring or routine.  Sometimes changing up the routine will ignite the passion that you had when you first met.  Visit an adult sex shop. It can be a fun and “naughty” field trip.  These stores often carry items that range from the mild to wild.  Decide as a couple how far you want to go.

​​MEET DR. GREGORY CANILLAS, Ph.D

GREGORY CANILLAS, Ph.D. currently serves as President & CEO of Soul 2 Soul, a company that provides couples and parenting retreats.  He is an Associate Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Los Angeles campus).  Dr. Canillas also currently serves as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Joint Task Force to Revise the Professional Practice Guidelines for Working with Sexual Minority Clients.

Dr. Canillas is a frequent presenter at regional, national and international conferences on LGBTQ issues,  relationship issues, intimate partner violence, substance abuse and psychological treatment of ethnic minority populations.

Previously, he served as a Program Director at several nonprofit organizations, overseeing the child and adult therapy programs and pregnant/parenting teen programs.  Dr. Canillas has also previously served as a Clinical Psychologist with the Department of Mental Health, and later as the Clinical Director of a family preservation program. Additionally, he served on the Commission on Youth and Families (Long Beach, California) for six years, a body that advises the Mayor and city council on issues of importance to children, adolescents and families in that city.

For more information https://www.soul2soulglobal.com

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