Saturday, December 11, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
As you all know, when this happens many of us are inconvenienced and some items suffer like home landscapes, bushes and most of all trees.
We planted a beautiful Poinciana tree several years ago in the front on our home, sure enough because of the re-paving of the sidewalks; our tree was going to suffer, meaning it was going to be removed.
This tree is a floral tree full of rich red and orange flowers, its quite a spectacle when the tree is in bloom. This tree also attracts native birds and insects that like the sap of the flowers.
The tree is four (4) years old; the tree was going to be torn down, because it was in the way and it’s the easy way out of things. Luckily, there are people that care for the environment and go the extra mile to save it.
Throughout the process, Frank and Gloria, our neighbor spoke to several of the workers, who said the tree was going to be cut down and anything along the way of progress including Gloria’s fountain that was brought down from Guatemala.
When I got wind of what was going to happen to the tree, I started to contact the city, the contractor; I even called the commissioner. If I had too I would have gone higher including the governor. The project manager, Marcus was a gentleman, got a hold of me and came over to survey my house and come up with a solution to my dilemma.
Finally, we reached an agreement; the sidewalk was going to get a small shift, clearing the tree of its path and saving the tree. So I achieved the goal of saving my tree.
The sidewalk was done up to the property line of my house, you see the bulldozer behind the tree, starting Monday they start paving the front of my house, let us pray the approval is not over turned, as this is becoming a common practice in our country (hint, hint) but that’s another story or shall I say stories.
A MIRACLE ON MY STREET! Happy Holidays and Go Green!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
By Jordan Lite Sep 14th 2010 12:13PM
An apple a day -- plus a few more fruits, vegetables and whole grains -- might really help keep the doctor away. All are packed with fiber, an ingredient science is increasingly showing may stave off heart disease, diabetes, cancer and weight gain.
Fiber, a.k.a. roughage, is a form of carbohydrate the body can't absorb. It's found in abundance in produce, beans, and grains such as brown rice and whole wheat.
"Most people come up short on their daily intake of fiber," says Sari Greaves, registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "Most Americans only get about 15 grams, which is about half the amount your body needs."
Men 50 and younger should eat at least 38 grams of fiber a day, and women the same age should consume at least 25 grams, according to the Institute of Medicine. Men 51 and up should get at least 30 grams of fiber daily, and women in that age bracket should eat 21. (The recommendations are based on how many calories we need, which tends to decline with age.)
Traditionally fiber has been touted for its ability to keep digestion regular. But it's healthy for other reasons, too.
Numerous studies have shown that the greater a person's fiber consumption, the lower his risk of heart disease and heart-related death. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that risk of coronary disease-related death dropped by 17 percent for every 10-gram increase in fiber consumption, and the risk of death from any cause fell by 9 percent.
Fiber may prevent heart disease for several reasons. It lowers LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance (the body's ability to regulate sugar), all of which are risk factors for heart disease, according to a 2004 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
High fiber intake also is linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein, says Katherine Tallmadge, registered dietitian and another ADA spokeswoman. C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation that predicts recurrent strokes and possibly heart attacks in people who haven't had one before, according to the American Heart Association.
Tallmadge adds that fiber usually isn't working alone but is effective because it's bundled with other nutrients that promote health. In the case of heart disease, she says, high-fiber foods such as leafy greens, legumes and fortified cereals also contain folate, low levels of which are associated with coronary disease. "The fiber is only one of many of the reasons these foods prevent these diseases," Tallmadge says. "The fiber is really a marker of eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes -- basically a very healthy, diverse and plant-based diet."
The jury is still out on whether fiber has an effect on cancer development. A 2005 analysis of studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that it made no difference in the development of colorectal cancer, but other research has suggested that fiber-rich diets reduce the risk of those tumors. Any beneficial effects may come not from the fiber but from vitamins and minerals in high-fiber foods, according to the National Cancer Institute.
"Typically, people eating high-fiber diets are also not eating foods high in saturated fats, like fatty meats, butter and whole-milk dairy products, and saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer," Greaves says.
The evidence for fiber as a cancer weapon is somewhat stronger for breast tumors. A British study that followed more than 35,000 women for up to nine years found that breast cancer risk was lower among premenopausal -- but not postmenopausal -- women who ate fiber-rich diets. Fiber from cereals was linked to the least risk, and fiber-containing fruits had a "borderline" impact, the scientists wrote in 2007 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
A study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a benefit for older women, too: Among 185,000 postmenopausal women, those who ate the most fiber had a 13 percent lower breast cancer risk than those who consumed the least.
Fiber may have an indirect effect on cancer by speeding the passage of food through the digestive tract and minimizing the amount of time the body is exposed to potentially harmful molecules, Greaves says.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
People with irritable bowel syndrome battle diarrhea, constipation, and the cramping and bloating that come with. Though it may seem counterintuitive, fiber can help manage IBS.
A study published this year in the British Medical Journal that compared the fiber supplement psyllium with bran and a placebo found that IBS symptoms decreased most among patients taking psyllium. While they improved somewhat in those eating bran, many people in that arm of the trial dropped out because their symptoms got worse. For that reason, the Mayo Clinic recommends experimenting with types of fiber and increasing your consumption gradually.
Look for insoluble fiber found in bran and the skin of fruits and vegetables, Greaves suggests. Insoluble forms add bulk to stool that helps maintain bowel regularity. "I like to call them 'nature's broom' because they move through your digestive tract without being broken down, and in this way they can help promote regularity and prevent constipation," she says. Psyllium can be helpful, too; it's a soluble type of fiber that holds on to water, which helps slow digestion.
Fiber is a boon to people looking to prevent diabetes and who already have the disease. Research has consistently shown that a diet that includes high-fiber cereals (those that contain whole grains) is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, according to a 2008 review in the Journal of Nutrition.
Fiber is good for people with diabetes because it doesn't raise blood sugar levels, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. And patients who eat high-fiber diets have lower fasting insulin levels, a marker of overall blood sugar, Tallmadge adds. Aim for 25 to 50 grams a day if you have the disease, doctors recommended in a 2004 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
"People with insulin resistance and diabetes would benefit from getting more soluble fibers because they prevent blood sugar swings that often happen in those conditions," Greaves says.
Fiber is a tool to maintain and lose weight. Among 74,000 women followed for 12 years, those who ate the most fiber had a 49 percent lower risk of major weight gain than women who consumed the least, according to a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Fiber works by making you feel full, so you eat less. And the highest-fiber foods also tend to be the lowest in calories, Greaves says, so long as that fiber occurs naturally. Manufactured products with fiber added to them tend to be higher in calories and less healthy overall, Tallmadge says.
"If you're watching your waistline, you may not want to go to the high-sugar granola to get your fiber," Greaves says. "You may want to go for a whole grain, unsweetened cereal instead."
FOR MY READERS AND FANS:
Courtesy of AOL Health for Models&Designers Magazine
September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
MIAMI BEACH, LIV CLUB
Julie Rabbani, Editor in Chief of Bayfront Magazine hosted a lavish launch at LIV last night. Julie was surrounded by friends, family, photographers, associates, colleagues, local celebrities and featured designers Viktor and Francisco of Franovik Designs.
The evening was hot, as most Miami Beach nights are, the music was kicking, drinks flowing and the most beautiful people came out on a Wednesday night to celebrate.
Julie looked dashing last night, and the magazine…..the STAR of the evening was sensational. I saw people flipping through the pages, some folks spotted us and came over to congratulate us and ask us why ECO COUTURE; as we explained the why, what, and how most got the picture of what we were all about.
It’s about helping the environment and making use of what we have and recreating instead of tossing or putting it away in storage. Recycling is what we do, it’s more than just ECO, it’s creating “Wearable Pieces of Art” and giving back to the community; another part of Franovik, which is fundraising for needy causes.
As we waited for LIV to open its’ doors, we took a tour with a bottle of bubbly as we walked all over. It’s been a while since I last visited the Fontainebleau; the renovations are really good. The HUGE bar as you walk in was packed, as I walked out to the pool the breeze was inviting, it said “just lay by the pool and enjoy” not in a suit unfortunately….Maybe next time we will make it a day.
All and all it was a great evening full of energy, Miami is such a party town. We met new people and made new friends locally and from the West Coast of Florida, SUP NAPLES!!!!!
Thank you Julie, and your staff. You really made us feel special! We are so looking to the future and building on our relationship. Who knows, we could do a launching of Models & Designers, our magazine in Naples too…..
Monday, September 13, 2010
Jessica and I met Saturday in Puerto Rico at Yolandita Monge's concert.
Jessica, along with other drag performers represented Ms Monge in her various changes throughout her career.
They came down the stairs, very well choreographed, each one carrying a different letter that
spelled out YOLANDITA’s name on stage.
The concert was amazing and "the Girls" did awesome. They were in the show constantly, so we got to see Jessica in all her splendor.
What can I say about Jessica, besides that I am a fan, who represented herself and Puerto Rico very well on the show (She should have won). I went backstage continuously and spoke to Jessica. I found out that she is putting out a record soon and she is very passionate about giving back to community.
Google Jessica Wild for upcoming events, her record and facebook her. She is a sweetheart!
We want to put on a fashion show, where Drag Queens will be showcasing our designs for a good cause. We want to educate and create awareness on this chronic disease, luckily the medications have and will extend the life of the infected but it is not the cure.
And we must not be complacent because the meds extend lives; We must continue to invest time and money on HIV/AIDS research.
Let us not forget all the other illnesses like cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases.
With this very special fashion show, collected revenues will be donated to an AIDS foundation for assistance and research. Other performers and designers interested can email me to: email@example.com.
I had the pleasure and honor to view and work with the Ultimate Puerto Rican Diva, Yolandita Monge. The show was at the Puerto Rican Coliseum (Choliseo).
The show started with a parade of drag queens dressed representing all of Yolandita’s stages in her career. Among the Drag performers was the vivacious Jessica Wild, finalist in Rupaul’s Drag Race.
The concert was a tribute to 20 years of her “Vivencias” album, which was one of her top selling albums.
Yolandita took us on a rollercoaster of emotions, from the soft “Cierra los Ojos” to “Por Ti”, her opening number.
The performance was a winner, depending on the song; she was transformed into a Madonna type performance, especially when the bed prop came out, Scandalous!
The crowd of course participated singing along with her. Yolandita took sometime to take requests from her fans, which I thought was very special.
That coliseum was packed, they had to bring more chairs and people were standing to see her; I had to give up my seat for a last minute invitation. Trust me, I was happy going backstage and to the area.
She and the family are personal friends of mine so I have the pleasure of being in the melting pot of her performance. We, Franovik Designs, will be dressing her as well.
The highlight of the show was the closing song where the whole coliseum became a block party; there were “Vejigantes”, Puerto Rican Folklore, performers on stilts matching bands, stompers, everyone jumping and singing. It was AWESOME!
I heard through the grapevine that their will be an encore presentation in another location in Puerto Rico when she returns from Dominican Republic where she has two presentations.
For Yolandita fans this is a show that you must see and for those that are not fans, become fans….She’s AMAZING!
Yolandita.....LA DIVA, LA DIOSA!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Posted on August 12th, 2010, Written by econewsnetwork
Do you like ending your day with a glass of wine but would love to skip out on the headache the morning after? Don’t we all! Organic wine may be your answer! The no sulfite-added quality of organic wine can make a dramatic difference for those wine enthusiasts who are sensitive to this preservative regularly added in the traditional wine producing process. What’s even better, the organic farming and wine making processes are better for the environment and for our health.
America’s interest in naturally produced foods and goods has given a boost to the organic wine industry. So what makes a wine organic? According to the National Organic Program (NOP), organic wine is defined as wine made from organically grown grapes without any added sulfite. Organic or not, grapes naturally produce sulfur dioxide through the process of fermentation. A certain amount of sulfate is needed for the stability of the wine. However, conventional wineries add sulfate to expedite fermentation and longer preservation. An organic wine will include a maximum of 100 parts per million of sulfate (ppm) while the conventional wine contains over 350ppm.
Don’t be fooled! When looking for a great organic wine, be cautious not to confuse “sulfite free wine” with “organic wine” because the two differ greatly. Sulfite free wine is processed to remove the sulfate but it does not have to be produced in an eco friendly way.
Organic vineyards promote an environmentally safe way of farming by reducing the negative ecological impacts from chemicals such as pollution, soil depletion, and lack of biodiversity. To be considered organic, the grapes are holistically grown without the use of any pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, and other synthetic products that are harmful to the environment.
Many organic vineyards, like Bonterra Vineyard, are centering their viticulture philosophy on biodynamic farming practices, which views the land as the focal point and as a living system that’s to be in tune with the totality of all life. These organic growing practices are dependent upon living organisms, weather, and moon patterns to keep perfect harmony with nature. Coturri Winery, located in the Sonoma Mountains of California, is also known for its dedication of being environmentally conscious.
How about the taste? California’s Coturri Winery has received numerous awards for its organic wines. Being the leading American organic vineyard, it has been featured in the Wall Street Journal more than six times since 1999 and has received the highest rating possible from Wall Street Journal reviewers Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher.
In the east, a popular wine store in Wesley Chapel, Fla., Put a Cork In It, sells an assortment of organic brands along with conventional wines. The storeowner, Phil Kitchingman, says that organic wine is “a growing industry that will be the future of all wine partially because organic wine allows people to enjoy wine without worrying about headaches.” Kitchingman added that he sees an increasing number of people steering away from sulfates in wine by embracing the organic brands. The organic wine industry “is a great way for people with allergies to drink wine,” he commented. People can come on Thursday and Friday evenings to the store and take part in a wine tasting event for $25. At this event, you can learn about an assortment of wines while enjoying grapes, cheese and crackers, and great company. Kitchingman has recently featured a handful of organic wines at his events. Among these organic wines were The Casablanca, Chile Chardonnay, Novas, a major hit with its crisp honeyed fruit taste with a great balance of minerality. The Clos Roche Blanc, a Sauvignon Blanc from France, which was showcased as a fantastic wine to pair with seafood and chicken entrees. The Italian Pinot Grigio, Tiamo was a personal favorite of his that features a fresh citrus taste mixed with flavors of tangerine hinted with pineapple, white pepper and a light mineral finish.
The U.S. is catching up in organic wine production although much of these eco-friendly wines are imported from foreign countries. California produces more than 90 percent of the U.S. organic wine that is shipped all over the states. With the increase in national and global environmental issues, the organic industry has a hearty future. Organic vineyards are one leading example for the rest of America’s agriculture to follow.
Embrace organic wine. Both you and the environment can now be healthier.
Here is a list of must try U.S. organic wines!
Coturri Winery, Testa Cabernet Sauvignon. Mendocino County
Schweiger Winery, St. Helena
Mathieu Vineyard, Cote des Cailloux. Mendocino County.
Bonterra Vineyard, Chardonnay. Mendocino County.
Oster Wine Cellar, 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. Redwood Valley, Mendocino County
Korbel Champagne Cellar, Chardonnay. Sonoma Valley.
Part of the News Article Series courtesy of Viktor Franovik
From: Andy Soos, ENN, Published August 23, 2010 02:13 PM
Drinking tea is supposed to be healthy for you because of what it contains. In this case let us consider polyphenols. In theory, a polyphenol has the ability to act as an antioxidant to scavenge free radicals and up-regulate certain metal chelation reactions. An antioxidant helps to regulate or clean up the cell's internal functions and so make you healthier as a result. The first measurements of healthful antioxidant levels in commercial bottled tea beverages has concluded that health-conscious consumers may not be getting what they pay for: healthful doses of those antioxidants, or "poylphenols," that may ward off a range of diseases.
Tea is the agricultural product of the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, prepared and cured by various methods. "Tea" also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water, and is the common name for the Camellia sinensis plant itself.
Tea contains various types of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. In a freshly picked tea leaf, polyphenols can compose up to 30% of the dry weight. Polyphenols are highest in concentration in white and green teas, while black tea has substantially fewer.
The health benefits from drinking tea is sometimes pro and sometimes con. The theory is that the antioxidants do some good. Tea, after water, is the most commonly used world wide beverage.
Scientists have just reported at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) that many of the increasingly popular beverages included in their study, beverages that account for $1 billion in annual sales in the United States alone, contain fewer polyphenols than a single cup of home brewed green or black tea. Some contain such small amounts that consumers would have to drink 20 bottles to get the polyphenols present in one cup of tea.
"Consumers understand very well the concept of the health benefits from drinking tea or consuming other tea products," said Shiming Li, Ph.D., who reported on the new study with Professor Chi-Tang Ho and his colleagues. "However, there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients — polyphenols — found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low."
Li and colleagues measured the level of polyphenols of six brands of tea purchased from supermarkets. Half of them contained what Li characterized as "virtually no" antioxidants. The rest had small amounts of polyphenols that Li said probably would carry little health benefit, especially when considering the high sugar intake from tea beverages.
The six teas Li analyzed contained 81, 43, 40, 13, 4, and 3 milligrams (mg.) of polyphenols per 16-ounce bottle. One average cup of home-brewed green or black tea, which costs only a few cents, contains 50-150 mg. of polyphenols.
A regular tea bag, for example, weighs about 2.2 grams and could contain 175 mg. of polyphenols, Li said. But polyphenols degrade and disappear as the tea bag is steeped in hot water. The polyphenol content also may vary as manufacturers change their processes, including the quantity and quality of tea used to prepare a batch and the tea brewing time.
If one drinks tea to be healthy, one is better off with fresh brewed tea and not the better tasting commercial varieties.
For further information: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/acs-btb080610.php
From: David A Gabel Published August 23, 2010 12:18 PM
In the summer, it is a hobby of many people to lie out in the sun and work on their tans. Unfortunately, if done in excess, this hobby can lead to painful sunburns and possible skin cancer. A new study from the Tel Aviv University suggests that an effective way to prevent this is not only suntan lotion, but eating the correct foods. A diet rich in anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids — common in Mediterranean regions — can protect the skin from the sun's rays.
he sun produces ultraviolet radiation that penetrates the Earth's atmosphere. Exposing human skin to these UV rays results in a darkening of skin color. The body's natural defense in protecting itself is to create a skin pigment called melanin. Melanin combines with oxygen (oxidizes), and this creates the tan color in the skin. However, overexposure can cause melanoma, which is a less common type of skin cancer, but results in 75% of all skin cancer related deaths. UV radiation also attacks the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to repair itself.
Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University's (TAU) School of Health Professions says the prescription is to "go Greek." This means eating foods common in a Mediterranean diet such as olive oil, fish, yogurt, and colorful fruits and vegetables. In combination with traditional methods such as suntan lotion and appropriate body coverings, this will combat the oxidizing effect of solar UV radiation.
The solution, Dr. Shapira explains, is to build up anti-oxidants in the body. She performed experiments at the Baltic Sea in conjunction with Prof. Bodo Kuklinski of Rostock University. They organized two groups, one of which consumed a drink high in anti-oxidants, the other had beverages such as soda. The group which drank the anti-oxidants had half as many oxidizing products (i.e. MDA) in their blood after five to six hours of exposure to the sun per day for two weeks.
Some of the most helpful anti-oxidants are carotenoids, which are colorful fruit and vegetable pigments. This includes the reds of tomatoes and strawberries as well as the bright oranges of carrots and pumpkins. Other good foods include fish, olive oil, and whole grains.
Foods to avoid include red meat, processed foods, and alcohol with the exception of red wine which is actually good for your skin. Also, people should avoid foods containing the compound psoralen (i.e. parsley, celery, dill, cilantro, and figs).
This study is timely, especially with the specter of climate change. Higher temperature and humidity can aggravate the damages from UV rays to the point where sunscreen may not be enough.
Also, society has reached a point where it has become fashionable to have a deep tan. This was not always so. In earlier civilizations, dark tans were associated with long hours of manual labor out in the sun, and therefore, a lower social class. Some women would apply heavy makeup to their faces to appear as white as possible, a trend that continued to the Victorian Era. Sun bathing then became popular in the mid-20th century, starting with fashionistas and media stars. Now, record numbers of women work on their tan year round (tanning salons also expose the skin to UV radiation!). Hopefully, Dr. Shapira's research with TAU will help all sunbathers avoid potential skin diseases.
For more information on anti-oxidants: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants
Interesting Articles Series taken from News Networks, Courtesy of Viktor Franovik