The Westsideâ€™s 2017
Fitness Health & Beauty Guide
a walk-in clinic providing the highest quality urgent care services available without an appointment
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The Westside’s 2017
Fitness Health & Beauty Guide 6 B EAUTY
Safe is the New Beautiful
Local entrepreneurs are crafting cosmetics and skincare products that won’t make you sick 10 H EALT H
A Better-For-You Burger
Food-tech startup Beyond Meat is on a mission to convert conflicted carnivores 14 F i t n e s s
Train Hard, Train Smart
Ken Yasuda, the “Arnold Schwarzenegger of Japan,” says staying fit requires understanding your body On The Cover: Find greater health and happiness though positive choices about diet, exercise and the products you buy. Photo by thinkstock.com.
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Safe is the New Beautiful Local entrepreneurs are crafting cosmetics and skincare products that won’t make you sick By Brittany Ford
ormaldehyde in shampoo? Petrochemical solvents in nail polish? What in God’s name is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, and why is it in skin moisturizer? “Better Living Through Chemistry” may have been great ad copy for the 20th century, but savvy consumers in 2017 are demanding bath, beauty and skincare products that don’t contain ingredients that can make people sick. Jessica Alba’s fast-growing The Honest Company, founded in Santa Monica in 2011 and now located in Playa Vista, was early to the home and baby products market with this philosophy. Beautycounter, launched in Santa Monica in 2013, is taking it to the next level with skincare and cosmetics. With over 80,000 chemicals available to beauty product makers in the U.S. (more than 1,000 of them are banned in Europe), Beautycounter’s secret ingredient is what they don’t put in their products. Studies have linked some common chemicals not banned by the FDA to cancer, allergic reactions, asthma and even neurotoxicity. Founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew — who last year lobbied senators for tighter federal regulations of beauty product ingredients — has built her company on The Never List, a catalog of some 1,500 harmful or potentially harmful products that Beautycounter deliberately avoids. Beautycounter currently offers more than 100 products, all of them faithful to The Never List. The company’s first product line was its Essential Nourishing Collection, which includes a cream cleanser, rosewater mist, day cream, night cream, eye cream and a cream exfoliator. Their most popular products currently include: a Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer, which comes in a variety of shades and includes a sunscreen component to protect from UV rays; a hydrating Cleansing Balm that employs Vitamin C to brighten the skin’s appearance (not hydroquinone, a common skin-lightening chemical on The Never List); and a Charcoal Mask that soothes, exfoliates and draws out impurities. Beautycounter is growing fast, with as many as 25,000 “beauty consultants” who promote and sell its products and
hold informational events — including one on March 18 at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Find more information at beautycounter.com. Pure Perfumes Perfumes and colognes can be full of chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions. These chemicals are not always listed on ingredient labels, but are readily absorbed into the body through your skin. Without proper labeling, it’s difficult to know why you may be prone to sneezing or other reactions to your favorite scent. Venice-based perfumery Strange Invisible Perfumes has done away with chemicals to create handcrafted botanical perfumes that you don’t have to worry about putting on your skin. These scents are made instead with certified organic ingredients set in a base of custom-distilled Cognac, just like the original perfumeries did in France. Strange Invisible offers 12 signature scents in full-size bottles and a Perfume Minibar collection that includes
(Continued on Page 8)
Beautycounter’s Countertime Rejuvenating Collection delivers weightless hydration to delicate skin Fit ne s s H e a lt h & B e a u t y Gu ide 201 7 • 7
Safe is the New Beautiful (Continued from Page 7) samples for purchase. There’s also a Zodiac Line that includes a different scent for each star sign — perfumes to fit the Pisces ‘dreamer’ or ‘rolling stone’ Sagittarius being a fun, natural way to connect with your sign (or an excellent birthday gift). Visit the showroom at 1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, or find more information at siperfumes.com. Maison Fleurette’s luxurious Dream Essence Linen Spray sources ingredients from the garden
Visit the boutique at 912 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, or visit maisonfleurette.com.
Strange Invisible’s Zodiac Line matches your sign to scents derived from Mother Nature
Botanical Balms If you are looking for the ultimate natural healing balm, Montana Avenue newcomer Maison Fleurette has an incredible handmade remedy to soothe, heal and moisturize your skin. Light, easily absorbed and free of industrial chemicals, this balm can be used to heal burns, scrapes and bruises or simply to moisturize dry, irritated skin. Founder and herbalist Shalimar Luciano has worked meticulously to find the balm’s perfect blend while sourcing only the finest ingredients — starting, quite literally, in her own backyard. “Crème Fleurette originated in my own garden. It took me years to perfect the formula, which I intended as a healing botanical first-aid remedy for my children,” she says. “After more than two decades of clients reporting wideranging healing benefits, we decided to rework the formula, adding even more Bulgarian organic essential rose oil, renowned for its aroma-therapeutic and anti-aging properties. The result is a refined beauty salve that retains these unique healing benefits.” Maison Fleurette’s line of all-natural healing products also include bath salts like Rosemary and Mint, a wonderful smelling blend that works to smooth sore muscles. There’s also a range of room and linen sprays with natural healing elements and luxurious scents. 8 • F i tne ss He alth & Be au t y G u i de 2 01 7
Luscious, Natural Lips As ridiculous as it may seem, some ingredients in your lip balm may actually be drying out your lips! Ladybug Jane, a lip balm line based out of Marina del Rey, keeps them moisturized by including only plant-based, certified organic ingredients (including aloe extract and Vitamin E) — and leaving out the petroleum, mineral oils and other lab-manufactured chemicals found in many popular lip balms and glosses. Founded by actress and model Jane May Graves, who became concerned about chemicals in beauty products after her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Ladybug Jane now offers lip balm flavors such as Caramel Popcorn, Fresh Mint, Vanilla Cupcake and Calming Lavender as well as a Sweet Strawberry and a Wacky Watermelon lip gloss. They’ll make you want to lick your lips, but because they don’t dry out your lips you won’t have to. All Ladybug Jane products come in eco-friendly packaging, are certified vegan (no beeswax) and not tested on animals, so you can feel good about your purchase for your body and for the environment. Find them at Rainbow Acres on Admiralty Way, Vegan Scene in Venice, Co+opportunity Natural Foods in Santa Monica and local Whole Foods Markets. For more information, visit ladybugjane.com.
Ladybug Jane lip glosses and balms are made from organic plant-based ingredients
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Fit ne s s H e a lt h & B e a u t y Gu ide 201 7 â€˘ 9
A Better-For-You Burger Food-tech startup Beyond Meat is on a mission to convert conflicted carnivores By Stephanie Case
here are three words you’d never expect to hear from a director at a veggie burger startup: “We love meat.” But Will Schafer, head of marketing at El Segundo’s Beyond Meat, isn’t kidding around. “Meat is a thousands-of-years-old tradition,” he gushes. “There’s so much ritual that goes along with it: the familiarity of taking a red burger and putting it on a grill, the way it sizzles, how it smells. There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in that cultural practice.” Beyond Meat worked for seven years to perfect its “Beyond Burger,” a plant-based patty with a surprising reverence for the meat tradition. It’s stitched together with vegan ingredients (like pea protein, coconut oil, water and potato starch), but drop it in a pan and it sizzles like beef. After a few minutes, it’s brown and crispy. Beet juice gives its insides a pink hue, evoking the blood in a medium-rare bite. The taste is meaty, and uncannily so — enough to make even a discerning carnivore do a double take. The Beyond Burger, which launched in Whole Foods last spring, is so close to the real thing that grocers sell it in the refrigerated meat aisle alongside bona fide beef, chicken and pork — a spot where meat purists may be more likely to see it, then give it a chance. “We’re trying to win over to the people who aren’t converted yet … the carnivores who are conflicted,” says Schafer. Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat’s founder and CEO, grew up as a conflicted omnivore, empathizing with the animals on his family’s Maryland farm. He went vegan in his twenties and spent the first leg of his professional career in the clean energy industry developing fuel cells. One day, a light bulb went off. “[Brown] realized he could have a bigger, faster impact on helping the planet by trying to create meat from plants,” Schafer says. Brown switched careers, assembling a team of food scientists in El Segundo to engineer new recipes that would recreate the sensory experience of a burger and the aura of a chicken strip. They nicknamed their venture “the Manhattan
Beach Project,” both as a nod to the town next door and to the original Manhattan Project, the World War II-era team that researched the first nuclear weapons. It’s a bold comparison to make — developing atomic bombs to developing meat alternatives — but Schafer says both undertakings have massive global implications. For the latter, there’s an obvious impact on animal welfare; according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly 66 billion land animals are slaughtered every year for food worldwide. (Continued on Page 12)
Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown set out to create a plant-based burger with the same taste and texture as the real thing Fit ne s s H e a lt h & B e a u t y Gu ide 201 7 • 11
Building a Better Burger (Continued from Page 11) But there’s also an environmental impetus: “Anywhere from 14% to 51% of global greenhouse gases can be traced back to livestock … and there’s a tremendous amount of environmental pollutants that come from the livestock industry,” says Schafer. Since Beyond Meat started in 2009, mainstream interest in combatting climate change and going green has grown significantly, making plant protein a more appealing option for some. Still, others are hesitant to take the dietary leap — despite repeated warnings that consuming large amounts of red meat can raise blood cholesterol, increasing a person’s risk of heart disease. One worry in going plant-based is the taste. “The early days [of meat alternatives] were pretty crude in terms of quality,” Schafer says. “The hockey puck veggie burger is still a kind of cultural joke.” Then, there’s the prevailing myth that a vegetarian diet leaves you low on protein. To combat that skepticism, Beyond Meat tapped a handful of muscled athletes — Los Angeles Clipper J.J. Redick and beach volleyball Olympian April Ross among them — to be the company’s early adopters and get the word out about their plant-filled diets.
12 • F i tne ss He alth & Bea u ty G u i de 2 01 7
The Beyond Burger is engineered to sizzle on the grill
“Some of the largest animals on the planet — elephants, gorillas and bison — are vegetarians,” Schafer adds, “so there’s plenty of protein in plants. “And if you think of meat compositionally — as something made up of fats, amino acids, carbohydrates, minerals and a good amount of water — all of those things are abundant in the plant kingdom. Meat doesn’t have to come from a chicken or a cow or a pig.” Sometimes, though, we want meat to taste like it’s come from a chicken or a cow or a pig; it’s rooted in thousands of years of tradition, after all. “We want to give people the experience they love,” says Schafer, “and just take away the bad stuff.”
14 â€˘ F i tne ss He alth & Bea u ty G u i de 2 01 7
Train Hard, Train Smart
Ken Yasuda, the “Arnold Schwarzenegger of Japan,” says staying fit requires understanding your body By Michael Aushenker
yoto-born bodybuilder Ken Yasuda originally came to Los Angeles to play baseball for the University of Southern California. After an elbow injury ended his pitching days and dashed his dream of turning pro, Yasuda got serious about weightlifting. Very serious. Yasuda won the Mr. Japan title in 1999, his first time in the exclusive competition. In 2000, he became the first Musclemania World Championship bodybuilder from Japan. His success streak continued unabated as a finalist in numerous bodybuilding competitions, including Mr. World, the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association World Championships and National Physique Committee Excalibur. Now people call him “the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Japan.” A decade ago, Yasuda led the Tokyo Sabres to victory in the mixed martial arts International Fight League. He’s also coached Team Inoki and New Japan Pro-Wrestling Federation, training celebrated grapplers Shinsuke Nakamura, Yoshi Tatsu and Keiji Muto. And, like Schwarzenegger, Yasuda’s been bitten by the acting bud. In addition to roles in the 2001 romantic comedy “Cupid’s Mistake” and Nickelodeon’s “Big Time Rush,” Yasuda has appeared in countless training videos and dozens of Japanese film and television productions. The longtime Santa Monica resident also works locally as a private fitness trainer for bodybuilders and other pro athletes, actors and models, and even office workers deeply committed to improving their physique. What did you learn about fitness from playing baseball? I wasn’t the tallest guy among college baseball players. I’m only 5’10”, so I had to be strong and quick in order to have advantages over the taller players. I lifted weights a lot to become quicker and stronger. When I had a low-energy day, I had to figure out how I could bring up my energy level before a game in order to perform well.
Understanding how the human body works helps solve this issue. When I retired from baseball, I studied nutrition and exercise physiology, implementing what I learned in those fields as I undertook bodybuilding. Success in pro bodybuilding means a complete understanding of nutrition and physiology. How do you maintain your general fitness? In professional bodybuilding, we have a competition season, and during the other nine or ten months we purposely add more muscles and add the fat on. We call this “bulk-up season.” But it has to be done in the right way; otherwise, you can damage your health and injure yourself. The right way of bulking up is to eat healthy food and avoid unhealthy dairy products, junk food and meat. Foods that come from warm-blooded animals shoot up your cholesterol and lead to other physical problems. Complex carbs are good for health and also carb-loading after carb depletion. Complex carbs have more fiber, while simple carbs do not have fiber so they convert into glycogen immediately. This means a lot of sugar entering your blood stream at once. If you do not use the excess amount of sugar immediately, it will be stored as fat in your body. You will gain weight and may develop diabetes. In order to avoid diabetes, you need to exercise daily and eat balanced meals: complex carbs, vegetables and protein. What are the common mistakes that people make at the gym? They overdo it in a short period of time. Working out harder is not always better. You have to work out in an effective way. Intervals burn a lot of calories, but what kind of calories are you burning? Say you are on a low-carb diet: doing intervals will actually be a negative. You do not have many carbs in your system for the energy to do intervals, so (Continued on Page 16) Fit ne s s H e a lt h & B e a u ty Gu ide 201 7 • 15
Train Hard, Train Smart (Continued from Page 15) your body takes protein from your muscle cells, which leads to a loss of muscle mass instead of body fat. Where are you right now, in terms of fitness? I get within 3% body fat for competition. That’s where models are. Otherwise, 6% to 8%, which allows me to be versatile. If I need to get bigger and stronger, I can add 20 pounds in a week. Or I can slim down. As a trainer, do you adjust for different lifestyles and metabolisms? I analyze the person and customize a meal plan. Everything has to be precise. I have to assess a person’s lifestyle as much as the food they eat. Some people are more active, others are in the office looking at the computer all day. Does that mean you’ll train just about anybody? Anybody who is serious about transforming their physique, from bodybuilders to the average person, I can train and help them. But they really have to be serious about it. I have this philosophy: Everything I do has to be meaningful. Learn more about Yasuda at kenyasuda.com. Doctorate (1971) · counselor education · university of Southern california
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The Westside's 2017 Fitness Health & Beauty Guide