Page 1

Issue 26

November/December 2019

fAce the current TRAVEL

|

CULTURE

|

MUSIC

|

SPORTS & FITNESS

|

HEALTH

Maejor’s Mission Goes Mainstream in Healing the Planet Through Music The P ower o f Art t o C h a n ge the W o rl d with Egypt’s Former Minister of Culture Farouk Hosny

Enh a ncing L i v e s & Co nserving Wil d l if e Th ro ug h So u nd & M u si c : Discover the Impact of LSTN and MAAC

Dr. Vin cen t Pedre Bridg es Gap in Modern Medicin e: Honoring Human Condition of Mind-Body-Spirit

Fuel for an inspired life.

In gen u i ty a n d drive rei n v e n t life & sp ort:

Get Inspired with Dax Justin + Fresh Tracks Film


fAce the current

Editorial

Issue 26 · November/December 2019

Connect With Us... @facethecurrent Available at

(click logo to go)

www.facethecurrent.com FOR ADVERTISEMENT AND SPONSOR INQUIRIES

JOIN THE MOVEMENT Face the Current is creating a ripple effect, inspiring positive change in the world and enhancing lives by encouraging one another to relentlessly discover, explore, question and learn from current and emerging information and perspectives. Driven by a deep-rooted love of learning, creative minds and a great appreciation for connection with other individuals who are passionate about what they do, Face the Current has quickly developed into a growing team and global community of incredible people who believe in living life to the fullest and discovering their true potential. AWARDED #1 BEST PRINT MAGAZINE AND #1 IN MAGAZINE INSERTS IN A 7 STATE REGION OF THE US WEST COAST! Cover Image Credits: • Front cover: Delaram Pourabdi • Back cover: MAAC

2

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

Sasha Frate, Founder & Editor in Chief sasha@facethecurrent.com Ainsley Schoppel, Co-Editor in Chief ainsley@facethecurrent.com partnerships@facethecurrent.com All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER The information provided in this magazine is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Opinions and other statements expressed by the kind souls sharing their viewpoint, users and third parties are theirs alone, not opinions of Face the Current. Content created by third parties is the sole responsibility of the third parties and its accuracy and completeness are not endorsed or guaranteed. Face the Current Website and third parties may provide links to web pages, web sites, and various resources or locations on the web. Face the Current has no control over the information you access via such links, does not endorse that information, and shall not be responsible for it or for the consequences of your use of that information. All products and services featured are selected by our editors. Face the Current may receive compensation for some links to products and services in this magazine.


don’t Miss An issue!

SUBSCRIBE TO DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP FOR UNLIMITED ACCESS!

DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP STARTING AT $1.99

subscribe at www.facethecurrent.com FUEL FOR AN INSPIRED LIFE. BE YOUR POTENTIAL. Read us on issuu (click logo to go)

www.facethecurrent.com

National Premier Award Of Recognition 3 www.facethecurrent.com


FtC TEAM

Sasha Frate Founder & Editor-in-Chief Sasha is a perspective seeker, adventurer, and explorer. She received her Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts and continues to study a variety of subjects within and outside of the academic setting. Sasha brings her personal moonshot approach to life to FtC, aiming to provide an experience for our global community where we inspire one another to stay curious, never stop exploring, and to live with purpose and to our potential.

sasha@facethecurrent.com

Ainsley Schoppel Co-Editor-in-Chief Ainsley is a classical pianist, former figure skater, and loves summers at the lake in northern Ontario. She holds an honors BA in Psychology and Arts & Business, and also earned a graduate degree in Hospitality and Business Management while working at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. After working in Toronto on published women-focused research, she moved outside the city to raise her family. While home with her son, she indulges her love of the written word with freelance editing.

ainsley@facethecurrent.com

Sema Garay Executive Designer Sema is the graphic designer behind the development of the image and magazine of Face the Current. He has developed a multitude of projects, including his previous job leading the Creative Department of BG Life Magazine, in Marbella, Spain. Sema graduated with a Masters Degree in Architecture at ETSA of Sevilla and is proficient in a wide range of design software. He is passionate about all kinds of artistic expressions, and when not active behind the scenes of Face the Current design, you’re likely to find him playing music for Beach Grooves Global Radio or local venues along the Costa del Sol.

sema@facethecurrent.com

Letter from the editor This issue includes Fresh Tracks, an inspiring documentary about one man’s journey from leg-amputation to the invention of modern day three-track skiing, and it is a shining example of the power of one person’s drive and desire to change the lives of others.

In our world of 7.7 billion people, we can sometimes feel like insignificant specks bobbing in the sea of humanity on uncontrollable currents. However, the individuals and organizations in this issue prove that art, music, and inventive ingenuity hold the power to positively redirect humankind.

4

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

Farouk Hosny, former Egyptian Minister of Culture explains that even during a prosperous professional career, abstract art was always his calling. After enjoying prestigious museum exhibitions and international recognition, Mr.Hosny is now sharing his private collection and library with the public to inspire a new generation of artists. In a motivating interview with Maejor, FtC learns about his desire to achieve fulfillment beyond the mainstream as he looks to positively change the energy of his listeners while uniting them with the power of ancient sound healing in modern music.

In keeping with the influence of sound, LSTN Sound Co., co-founded by Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff, strives to grow its mission of global hearing awareness through the sales of their premium headphones and speaker products. Proceeds from every purchase help fund LSTN’s undertaking to supply hearing aids to those in need around the world. FtC also chatted with Jack Baucher of Music Against Animal Cruelty (MAAC) to discover the ways in which MAAC is seeking to unite the music industry in the fight against species extinction. With this issue, FtC endeavours to remind and encourage each and every one of us to realize and harness the power of creative thought and expression, because one individual truly holds the ability to motivate others and unite a movement.

Ainsley Schoppel


November/December 2019 CONTRIBUTORS

Fathia Eldakhakhny is an Egyptian journalist and columnist who was pivotal in launching Almasry Alyoum Newspaper—Egypt’s first independent newspaper. After studying mass communication and participating in a variety of workshops in multimedia, digital media, marketing, social media, and filmmaking, Fathia went on to hold many positions at AMAY including Diplomatic Editor, News Editor, Presidential Editor, Video Editor, and Web Manager. Fathia has also worked as a Regional Representative for Radio Netherlands Worldwide in the Middle East and North Africa. With interests in cultural heritage, human and women’s rights, the environment, and media development, Fathia has published one book and is currently working on her second.

We are a growing team of Up-Standers whose intention is to create positive change in the world through networking, connecting, supporting, and developing our global thought-community at both an individual and a collective level. We are passionate about building our crew of experts and industry leaders to deliver cutting-edge information that is created “by our global community, for our global community.” This issue’s FtC team and contributing crew are based in the U.S, Spain, Egypt, and Canada. 

Danny McGee

is an adventure filmmaker based out of Colorado. For the past three years he has traveled all around the world telling stories and sharing those with the world. Danny has been chasing and living his dream, unafraid to travel solo, travel deeper, or adventure to new heights. His ability to capture not only the beautiful landscapes of planet earth, but the beauty of human connection is what sets him apart. His goal is to not only share his vision of the world, but to inspire people to get out and explore it for themselves. www.mcgeemedia.co

Parashakti’s

shamanic healing work is born of more than two decades of experience facilitating workshops, trainings, and retreats around the world. Parashakti has developed the Seven Foundations and the Dance of Liberation™, as maps for her spiritual practice, living and breathing these foundations in daily ritual. Working on both an individual and a group basis, Parashakti has successfully adapted the teachings of the DOL as a modality for recovery from addiction and has developed Spiritual programs at inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. Her award-winning documentary, the Dance of Liberation, produced by the Wolper Organization recently acquired by FMTV, Itunes, Amazon & Google. www.parashakti.org

Kirsten Alexis

Lisa Guy

is a well-respected Australian naturopath, author and passionate foodie, with over 18 years clinical experience. Lisa runs a naturopathic clinic called ‘Art of Healing’ and is an avid health writer and recipe developer for leading publications. Lisa is also the founder of Bodhi Organic Tea, an award winning herbal tea company who makes beautiful unique tea blends all naturopathically blended to enhance health and wellbeing. artofhealing.com.au

is a California-based adventure athlete, content creator and writer. She is a licensed skydiver, high-altitude mountain trekker, paddle board enthusiast and drone photographer. She has worked for various established adventure and travel companies, as well as tech startups in Silicon Valley as an art director, content creator and freelance social media contributor. She received her BA from UCLA in 2010, with a focus on photography and the arts. Through adventure, storytelling and producing content, she aims to inspire others to get outside their limits and live their dream life. https://thisadventurelife.com

www.facethecurrent.com

5


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER CONTENT

36 Maejor’s Mission Goes Mainstream in Healing the Planet Through Music

42

MAAC: Uniting the Music Industry in the Name of Wildlife Conservation

travel 08. Modern Living in a Timeless Culture: Treasured Traditions of Mongolia 14. FtC Travel Connection: Ross Cole

culture 20

The Power of Art to Change the World: Egyptian Artist and Former Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny 6 FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

20. The Power of Art to Change the World: Discovering Artistic Magic with Egyptian Artist and Former Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny 28. Ballet Rising: A Classical Art Form Emerging in the Most Unlikely Places

music 36. Maejor’s Mission Goes Mainstream in Healing the Planet Through Music


FtC Issue 26

48

Enhancing Lives Through the ‘Gift’ of Sound and Music: LSTN

54 Dax Justin: Explorer, Photographer, and Seeker of Wild Truths

42. Music Against Animal Cruelty: Uniting the Music Industry in the Name of Wildlife Conservation 48. Enhancing Lives Through the ‘Gift’ of Sound and Music: LSTN

sports & fitness 54. Dax Justin: Explorer, Photographer, and Seeker of Wild Truths 62. Fresh Tracks: The Inspiring Life and Legacy of Adaptive Skier Paul Leimkuehler

health 66. Bridging the Gap in Modern Medicine: Honoring the Human Condition of Mind-Body-Spirit with Dr. Vincent Pedre 76. Perks Of The Peels: Nutrients In And Under The Skins

66 Bridging the Gap in Modern Medicine: Dr. Vincent Pedre

www.facethecurrent.com

7


FtC travel

Modern Living in a Timeless Culture:

Treasured Traditions of Mongolia By Danny McGee Mongolia is a country that many people know very little about, aside from the historical association to the infamous conqueror, Ghenghis Khan. It’s a massive country—approximately 1.6 million square kilometers—with almost no one in it (just over three million, to be exact). With such a disparity, Mongolia’s population density is only two people per square kilometer. Compared to places like Macau and Mumbai (approximately 21,000 people per square kilometer), you can see just how sparsely inhabited Mongolia truly is.

8

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


However, in spite of its sprawling landscape, many people aren’t able to identify Mongolia on a map. It’s not what you’d call a tourist destination—and that’s exactly why we went there. There is an inherent draw for me to visit places like Mongolia; places that are so untouched, remote, and far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life that they seem to be part of a completely different world.

The Kahzakh people of Western Mongolia catch and train golden eagles to serve as hunting companions. These specialized birds hunt foxes, rabbits, and even wolves. To witness this unique and ancient partnership, we arranged for our guide to take us to an annual festival that showcased Mongolia’s famous eagle hunters. This was the

main event of our trip and the reason we traveled thousands of miles over two days. The festival brings together all of the eagle hunters from the surrounding areas in the name of prestigious competition. With the assistance of our guide, we managed to arrange a stay with one of the hunters for the few days leading up to the festival.

After arriving in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, we flew to a small western town called Khovd. The three-hour flight there consisted of thousands of miles of desert completely devoid of roads, trees, or other signs of humanity. Upon landing, we could have sworn we landed on the moon. Once we retrieved our baggage, we met our guide Huandag and driver Takha that were supplied to us by Indy Guide, a local tour operator. www.facethecurrent.com

9


After the eight-hour drive we arrived at the yurt where we’d be staying and met our host, Alpamys. Over the following three days, we lived with our host family and shared meals, slept, listened to traditional songs, participated in traditional dances, hunted on horseback, and truly immersed ourselves in the local culture. As is the case with many families in that region, our host family was nomadic. Four times during the year, they pack up everything they own and relocate to allow their animals access to fresh grazing territory every season. After a few days with our host family, it was time to head out to the festival which was a 3 hour drive

10

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

away near Lake Tolbo. We were there to witness eagle hunters from all over western Mongolia compete against one another. The process of the competition is very nuanced: the hunters call their eagles and are judged on the speed, precision, and elegance of the flight. After the festival, we headed out to stay with our next host family . We lived with them for a few days and were stoked to join them for another hunt. After a couple hours on horseback, the hunter, Talop, suddenly launched his eagle and it took off into the valley below us. The eagle trapped a Pallas’s cat (a cousin of the snow leopard) inside a little hole in the rocks. When we finally caught up

to the action and I saw the cat, I can easily say it was the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. After some struggle, Talop retrieved it from the hole and I was able to capture these photos. Seeing such a beautiful animal stripped of life was pretty difficult to see, yet the feelings it elicited in me were very conflicting. The Mongolian people have been hunting in these mountains for thousands of years—what say did we have in what they did? What right did we have to question it? Even still, the Pallas’s cat is classified as Near Threatened and hunting is prohibited in all range countries except Mongolia. However, as is the case with all of their hunting


practices, not a single part of the Pallas’s cat would go to waste; the meat would be eaten, the pelt made into clothing, and the fat used in medicine. Watching this ancient hunt also made me ask myself why I felt so much empathy for this animal, yet I regularly eat meat like chicken, beef, and fish without any negative emotional feedback. (This is something that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about since I got home.) The capture of the Pallas’s cat was the first successful hunt of the year and the excitement on the faces of everyone in our group was so real and pure. It was amazing to be a part of the whole experience and I’ll be forever grateful

to have had the rare opportunity to see it firsthand. After the hunt, we headed back to the yurt, ready for some sleep and our journey back to the capital in the morning. Before we left, we had an interesting conversation with our guide, Huandag, about the effects of tourism on Mongolia. We asked her how the culture has been affected as more and more tourists venture into the country. It’s a commonly held belief that as tourism increases, “traditional culture makes its way to the door”. I’ve personally seen this happen in many places I’ve visited. Surprisingly, Huandag didn’t see it that way. On the contrary, her response was the opposite. She described the

world as being in a state of change. Whether we like it or not, change is happening fast. The internet, cell phones, and limitless information at our fingertips is changing the entire fabric of our existence, and even the most remote places on earth feel that change. People who have traditionally been isolated herders and hunters, naturally subsisting off the land, now have access to this global network. For all the good and bad of this instant interconnectedness, it’s happening. Even without the influx and influence of tourism, the industries and traditions that govern the wild lands of Mongolia are changing. Huandag further explained that www.facethecurrent.com

11


Mongolia reconfirmed to me that beauty of humanity lies in our differences. While we’re all the same deep down, it’s our inherent differences that make us so unique. Our differences define us; they earmark where we come from, they highlight our culture, and they underscore our way of life. They all blend together to make us who we are.

12

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


foreigners’ renewed interest in Mongolian traditions is actually reinvigorating cultural elements that have seemed to fade with the passing years. Practices her grandparents held were slowly vanishing, but thanks to people coming from all over the world to see them, a new passion to keep them alive was ignited.

blend together to make us who we are.

Mongolia reconfirmed to me that beauty of humanity lies in our differences. While we’re all the same deep down, it’s our inherent differences that make us so unique. Our differences define us; they earmark where we come from, they highlight our culture, and they underscore our way of life. They all

The Mongolian people know who they are and they don’t try to be anyone else. They may not have many material possessions, but they are rich in family, community, and culture—the aspects in life that matter most. Some places in this world evolve at a lightning pace, disconnected from tradition and

In a world that can often channel us to fit a particular mold or way of being, now more so than ever we need to embrace our personal traditions and all of their nuanced history.

a connection to the past. Others confidently maintain their way of life and all its cultural wisdom, even as the inevitability of technology and change seeps through their borders. Mongolia is the latter. And experiencing the country even for a short while, was an experience I won’t soon forget.

ymore info: https://www.mcgeemedia.co Instagram: @mcgee www.facethecurrent.com

13


FtC travel

FtC Travel Connection wanderlust & adventure stories

ftc travel connection

Ross Cole

PLACE I Call Home: Summit County, Colorado Instagram: @rosscole Does outdoor adventuretravel inspire your art, or does the creative process inspire your next adventures? In a way, both; they go hand-inhand for me. The outdoor lifestyle definitely inspires my art. I’ve always been especially inspired by trees and mountains because they’ve always surrounded me, so when I put pen to paper, it’s always what I want to draw. On the other hand, photography has allowed me to see things in different perspectives, and so being able to create art in that sense motivated me to go see new places and go on new adventures. How do you see natureinspired art as having an influential role in people’s lives? I believe that nature in art allows people to see the endless beauty that’s created by everything around them. Mother nature is like a painter that’s always creating something new and unique. This inspires people to go out and experience for themselves the natural masterpieces that surround them.

14

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


What is your personal backstory on how you got started creating sketches? I’ve always loved drawing, painting, and creating. My dad, sister, and brother-in-law are all artists, and I’ve always found it meditative. I’m sure this had an effect on my interest in photography. I would see nature scenes and think the classic thought, “Wow, that looks like a painting,” and I realized that I could create something that could hang on someone’s wall that can give the same impressions as a painting or drawing. Photography itself is an art. What draws you to capture landscape scenes? Being able to show people the way I see the world around me feels like a way of showcasing nature’s constant beauty. It’s exciting to think that I could spend my entire life capturing each new scene that I experience, and yet always be able to see something new.

www.facethecurrent.com

15


You often find art in real-time nature scenes, such as your campfire moment you described as, “The flame and the clouds made art in harmony. I could get used to this life…”. What is the best thing to you about experiencing this “art” live in the moment? A photo like that could not be any more rewarding. I know that that exact picture could never be taken twice and it makes it feel extremely one-of-a-kind. That’s a special feeling.

16

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Does this concept ring true for you? How would you describe this sense of discovery and finding a capture in the moment that most may not notice or that may only exist to be witnessed for a fleeting moment in time? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shot a scene somewhere that I’ve already taken pictures before, and yet I’ve walked away feeling like it was the first time. There are so many different ways to see the same thing, so when I can capture something that is unique to the way I look at things, I feel like I’m able to express myself and the way I’m feeling when I’m capturing each moment. For example, clouds are always changing and there’s always a new plant or subject that I can make the focus of a photograph.

ftC fAce the current

travel connection

www.facethecurrent.com

17


You often travel with company (your girlfriend and dog). How does sharing these fleeting moments become a different experience compared to venturing solo? By far my favorite photograph to take is a candid moment. Not only am I able to document and remember every adventure with company I love, but so much can be felt by one photo when you capture someone (or some-dog) in their own natural way of being.

18

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


What do you aim to achieve with your art? I want to eventually fade away from the social media scene and solely create art that can be displayed. The feeling of having your work hanging in someone’s home or business is unreal. It means that my art makes someone feel some type of way and that it’s something they want to look at every day. Don’t get me wrong though—I would not complain if I worked as a photographer for an outdoor company, magazine, or something along those lines! I will continue to always draw as a personal hobby, and I’m interested to see if anything comes from that, as well.

www.facethecurrent.com

19


FtC culture

The Power of Art to Change the World: Discovering Artistic Magic with Egyptian Artist and Former Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny By Fathia Eldakhakhny

20

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


Born and raised by the seaside in Alexandria—one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean—his soul was saturated with the beauty of the sea intertwined with Arabic tradition and other Mediterranean cultures. At that time, Alexandria was a cosmopolitan city, welcoming all other cultures to live on its beautiful land. Farouk Hosny, an Egyptian artist who served as Minister of Culture for twenty-four years, has always said that the sea left its print on his soul and provided him fuel in his personal and professional life. Farouk discovered his artistic gift early in childhood and began to draw the sea, boats, and the beauty of nature that surrounded him. The power of art inside his soul motivated him to study at the Faculty of Fine-Arts at Alexandria University. After graduation in 1964, he started his profession as director of a cultural palace in Alexandria, and then moved to Paris as Cultural Attaché in Charge of the Egyptian Cultural Center. Following that, Hosny relocated to Rome as the Director of the Egyptian Academy of Arts before he returned to Cairo as the Minister of Culture from 1987 to 2011. During this busy professional time, he never abandoned his passion for art. As he always says, “I’m an artist, not a minister.” Using the magic of colors with unique abstract style, Hosny expresses his inner-feelings, mixing all of his lifeexperiences with the cultures to which he was exposed. He has exhibited his works in the most influential and prestigious museums around the world and has won many recognitions and prizes. Face the Current enjoyed a special chat with Farouk Hosny about the influence of art on his life and on humanity, and the ways in which he uses the magic power of art to change society. The resulting discussion was a journey full of colors and emotions.

www.facethecurrent.com

21


Art is like magic; it leaves its prints on the soul and mind. Through art, humanity can move forward. It is like a vaccine against ignorance, hate, and ugliness. Fine art was the first method to express humanity and it was used to document ancient life through drawings of animals and planets on cave walls. All ancient civilizations used art (painting, architecture, music, and literature) to represent themselves.

Fathia Eldakhakhny: When did you discover your gift as a painter, and how has this gift influenced your life?

Farouk Hosny: I’m the son of the sea. I grew up by the Mediterranean Sea and it became my friend. It gave me freedom and the ability to read the future, and I always feel that there was a strong connection between me and the sea. This connection created me and has driven me to become who I am now. Early in my childhood I found myself attracted to nature, music, philosophy, ancient antiquities, 22

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

and reading. I start drawing like every other child, but I have a gift and everyone around me noticed that gift. My family—especially my mother—started to push me to improve my skills and discover my artistic gift. My mother actually bought my first painting and gave me a space to improve my talent and discover the world. She gave me a private room with a private entrance and let me choose the furniture. I chose every beautiful thing and put it in that room; it became my world. The power of art inside me pushed me to listen to music,

engage more with nature, and dive into the world surrounding me. It truly gave me the freedom to discover. FE: Why did you choose abstract art?

FH: Like every artist, nature was the first thing I started to draw. After a while, I felt that I was in a nature prison. I told myself, “I’m not a real artist; I lost the passion. Nature art has imprisoned me and limited my ability to express.” At this point, I told myself I should stop drawing, but the power of art inside me drove me again to look for something that suited


the passion I felt. It was then that I found myself in abstract art. This kind of art gave me the freedom to look, listen to my inner voices, and use the power of colors to represent those voices. I felt that I was full of abstract art and it didn’t just show in my paintings, but also in my life. I started to look at everything around me from an abstract view—even real nature. When my soul filled with art, music found its way to my life and controlled my early paintings. After a while, meditation came to my paintings like an opened flood-

gate. The philosophy of colors and their power found their way to my soul and my paintings, and everything changed. To complete my artistic view, I began to look at other abstract artists around the world to get inspiration and learn from them. I think dialogue between artists is very important to improve art. FE:You have so many paintings— which one is your favorite?

FH: All of them! Every painting has a part of me; it is something I felt inside me and tried to translate with colors on canvas. It is

something like a heart beating, coming to me like a storm without a previous schedule. That’s why I don’t have a specific time for painting—I simply enter my painting room when the storm of art attacks me. FE: Do you believe in the power of art to change people?

FH: Yes, sure. Art creativity is a power and this power has the ability to motivate people. Like the flowing river, it is always pushing the artist for more creativity and changes.

www.facethecurrent.com

23


From the dawn of history, art was also the way to understand others. It is a simple language everyone can understand and through art, we get to know ancient civilizations. Art is the thing that remains for ages and art is the motivation to improve humanity.

Art is like magic; it leaves its prints on the soul and mind. Through art, humanity can move forward. It is like a vaccine against ignorance, hate, and ugliness. Fine art was the first method to express humanity and it was used to document ancient life through drawings of animals and planets on cave walls. All ancient civilizations used art (painting, architecture, music, and literature) to represent themselves. Art gave value and power to ancient civilizations, and I think this power was the main motivating factor for war. In an attempt to control this power, the colonial war sought to hold dominion over the creativities and treasures of other civilizations. 24

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

From the dawn of history, art was also the way to understand others. It is a simple language everyone can understand and through art, we get to know ancient civilizations. Art is the thing that remains for ages and art is the motivation to improve humanity. Though art motivates, humanity it is also influenced by social and political development. For example, during the Middle Ages when the church dominated everything, art was used to express the power of religion. This is obvious in this period’s paintings and architecture. After the end of the church’s domination came the romantic period. People started to see nature through the artist’s eyes and this

added more beauty and value to nature. I think the power of art has a very strong and positive influence on humanity and without it we lose the meaning of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is the way to soften the world and without it, everything becomes dry, spiritless, and without value. FE: As you grew up in Alexandria, how did you see the influence of art on the city? How did you see it on other cities that you lived in, such as Paris?

FH: I think I’m lucky to have grown up and lived in Alexandria at its flourishing time. It was a time when it was a beautiful and cosmopolitan city. Artists in every field competed to make


I think art is the best way to counter radicalization, but we have to start with children. We can do this by teaching them to accept others and to understand the value and beauty of this world through music, painting, and games. When we succeed in teaching children the value of art, no one can steal or control their minds; they will have learned to see the beauty of others and the common interests they share. Art has the power of tolerance to spread love and understanding. It is the ultimate power to counter hate and intolerance.

Alexandria more beautiful; it was like a flourishing garden with the smell of jasmine everywhere and the beautiful, beckoning sea. The power of beauty and art has a real impact on the Alexandrian people and gives them the feeling of freedom and the motivation to touch the sky. Because of this, the city has delivered many famous artists to the world. When ignorance controls a city, the beauty of art disappears and the city becomes solid, dry, and unwelcoming. Its people also lose their sense of beauty and their creative abilities. When I moved to Paris, I didn’t feel any differences. On the contrary, I felt that Alexandria is a

more beautiful place with more culture and space. For me, Paris is an immortal city with great artistic and architectural views. Every street has character and the city is full of artists, philosophers, and authors. All of that gave the city a different spirit and taste, and made it an exporter of art. When people grow up in a place that understands the power and value of art, they become like a sun that distributes its rays all over the world. FE: Radicalization and hate speech has a loud voice nowadays—how can we use art to counter it?

FH: I think art is the best way to counter radicalization, but we

have to start with children. We can do this by teaching them to accept others and to understand the value and beauty of this world through music, painting, and games. When we succeed in teaching children the value of art, no one can steal or control their minds; they will have learned to see the beauty of others and the common interests they share. Art has the power of tolerance to spread love and understanding. It is the ultimate power to counter hate and intolerance. FE: As an Egyptian Minister of Culture who occupied this position for twenty-four years, how do you manage to use the power of art to change society? www.facethecurrent.com

25


FH: I usually use what is called an “artistic shock”. I knew that if I represented what the people already know, I would not get their attention. So, I tried to change the meaning of cultural work through the changing of architecture and activities. I tried to introduce the new schools and theories of art to Egyptians, and at the beginning I faced huge criticism—they said that I was destroying art, theater, and Egyptian culture. After a while, they understood the value of my visions. The young people that were exposed to what I did have now become the motivators of society. FE: In your opinion, do you see art as a motivator or reflective of society?

FH: Both! Art has the power to motivate society and improve it. At the same time, art reflects the culture and life of any given society. FE:To what extent do think we should control the art?

FH: Creativity should not be controlled. When we control art, we lose creativity. Through time, the artists who tried to rebel on societal traditions faced a lot of criticism— even death. They are the ones who gave us our rights and the life we have now, so we should always seek to break the cultural chains. FE: Do you think Egypt has this kind of freedom with art?

FH: I think the only way to improve Egyptian art and put it in competition with other kinds of artists is to give it creative freedom. Artists should also have the courage to destroy the chains and face societal criticism and anger. This kind of pushback will give them popularity and immortality. 26

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


“

From the dawn of history, art was also the way to understand others. It is a simple language everyone can understand and through art, we get to know ancient civilizations. Art is the thing that remains for ages and art is the motivation to improve humanity.

“

FE:You left the office as a minister and that gave you time to focus more on your paintings. Why did you decide to open a foundation and a museum to become involved in civil work again?

FH: Yes, the last eight years were full of paintings and exhibitions. I suddenly had more time to paint, but because I believe in the role of art to improve society, I felt that it was my responsibility

to support young artists and to help them to find their way. As a result, I established Farouk Hosny Foundation for Culture and Arts to support Egyptian artists and give them a space to create. I spent my life collecting painting masterpieces and a huge library, so I now consider it my duty to let people see my collection and benefit from my library through an art museum. It will soon be open to the public so people can enjoy,

learn, and open their minds to the future. I’m trying to use the power of art to make a better life for my society and for the world.

ymore info: www.faroukhosny.com www.faroukhosnyfoundation.org Facebook: @faroukhosnyart www.facethecurrent.com

27


FtC culture

Ballet Rising: A Classical Art Form Emerging in the Most Unlikely Places By Sasha Frate Casey Herd was born in Salt Lake City, Utah where his love for and training in ballet began. After graduating from The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C., he began his professional career with American Ballet Theatre in New York City. Following that, Casey joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where he quickly rose through the ranks to become principal dancer. In 2011, Dance Europe named Casey nineteenth in their top 100 international dancers who made outstanding achievements. Casey has gone on to receive prestigious awards and dance with ballet companies and galas the world over. After retiring from the Dutch National Ballet in 2016, Casey began a career as an international guest artist and teacher. In 2019, he was inspired to create Ballet Rising, a new initiative stemming from his lifelong passion for art, photography, history, sociology, and travel. Ballet Rising is a story-telling project focused on people around the world whose passion for classical ballet is redefining their culture and elevating ballet as a global art form. With more and more ballet stars emerging from non-traditional ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds than ever before, Casey wanted to highlight the global passion that exists for ballet. Ballet Rising’s films visit places where the drive to build ballet communities has originated within the local communities themselves. Positive relationships are built with local arts organizations so that the global ballet community grows in harmony with local customs. Face the Current had the pleasure of learning more about Ballet Rising from Casey himself, delving into the universality of classical ballet as an art form, the evolution of ballet, and the ways in which the project is connecting global ballet communities.

28

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


Sasha Frate: How did you discover your passion for ballet? Casey Herd: My first real experience with ballet was getting rejected at my first audition for the Nutcracker. I was ten years old, and out of more than thirty boys, I was one of a handful that didn’t make it. I don’t remember what drove me to want to audition, but it sounded fun! After being rejected though, I felt pretty bad. My mom recommended that I start taking ballet lessons so I could try again the following year. So, I started classes and then stuck with them not only because I really enjoyed dancing, but because I also found a group of kids with whom I felt comfortable and with whom I identified. I was an extremely introverted kid, but ballet got me to open up and socialize with others. Utah isn’t the first place most people think of when it comes to ballet,

but Ballet West (the local company) was—and still is—pretty impressive for a small desert city. I always loved Utah, but for a small boy growing up there in the eighties and nineties who wanted to be in “the big city,” it felt as far away as Mars from major artcenters like London, Paris, New York, etc. We didn’t have much money growing up, so traveling far from Utah wasn’t an option until I started getting scholarships to schools on the East Coast. When I was able to visit places that I had dreamed about my whole life, ballet became everything to me. SF: How did your personal experience with ballet influence the inception of Ballet Rising?  CH: I felt disconnected from the arts world as a kid and because of that experience; I’ve always wanted to help others who feel similarly disconnected from the mainstream

arts world. I got an idea for how I could do it after I retired from dancing full-time in 2016. At the time, I wanted to travel the world looking for some kind of new motivation and project. I never wanted to entirely leave the ballet world, but I wanted to take a step back for a while and learn more about other things. During my travels, I realized that I could use my connections and experience to help connect people in the ballet world to each other. Ballet Rising really started after I realized how many people around the world were trying to build ballet communities, and how eager they were to have me visit and lend my support. SF: Why did you choose this approach for showcasing ballet: “A journey to explore the emergence of classical ballet in the most unlikely places”?

www.facethecurrent.com

29


30

CH: I have several reasons for wanting to focus on ballet in unlikely places. First of all, I love traveling and learning about other cultures, and Ballet Rising lets me do that. However, I also have a deep desire to support others in their efforts to create new artistic initiatives and to help grow the art form. Ballet Rising is also a personal creative outlet that keeps me active in my personal life and plugged in to the ballet and dance community. It keeps me in the ballet world but in a place where I really feel I can have maximum impact.    

people I visit because they have really fascinating stories. It was at that point we decided to call the project Ballet Rising and turn it into a documentary film series dedicated to the rising global popularity of ballet. Chris is a former dancer and now an accomplished photographer, and he shares my passion for travel and making images. We decided to turn Ballet Rising into a film series because there are so many really unique and fascinating people out there doing interesting things in the ballet community.

However, I kept running into the problem of funding. I wanted to travel to emerging ballet communities, but they often have very little money to support my visit. As I started looking for ways of raising funds, my good friend Chris Weisler suggested we make films about the

We’re trying something new in the dance community—creating short dance films sponsored by companies looking to build their brand through dance and dance stories. We want to work with companies that want to become a part of the community instead of just blasting

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

paid advertisements at people. Ballet Rising’s model is a way for companies to engage with their customers in a more meaningful way while also supporting artists, students, and teachers to build a global community for the twenty-first century. For me, I’m happy to be the person who can make these connections. Since Chris and I founded Ballet Rising, Lindsay Alissa King has come on board. She’s been writing fantastic articles centered on overarching ideas about Ballet Rising, while also conducting interviews with people we hope to film in the future. This has allowed us to broaden our scope to turn Ballet Rising into a multimedia platform that includes film, photography, and journalism. We hope this will help us engage with people in an extended variety of ways.


Ballet is contributing masterpieces of humanity to the art world that are refined movements placed in a sequence that paint a picture of an idea or a story in a way that suits the interpretation like no other. Ballet is crafted and honed over years and years, and the canvas is our bodies. The work and experimentation we do as dancers is showcased with that unique ability and is set to music or sound to give the viewer/participant a different way of experiencing our common reality. The masterpieces of dance are interactive and experienced both visually and physically

I want to go where I can be most useful. I think someone like me, who loves learning about others but also has extensive experience and skills as a ballet dancer, can have a big impact in places far from traditional balletcentric cities. We often hear about emerging ballet talents from unusual places in ballet, but we only get cursory information at best. However, I think we’re at the start of a trend— there’s a major rise in the worldwide popularity of ballet and an ongoing diversification of the ballet world. I think there is a big story here. Ballet is expanding and changing to suit the twenty-first century. SF: Alonzo King said, “The purpose of art is higher than art. What we are really interested in are masterpieces of humanity.” How does

ballet create masterpieces of humanity? CH: I think that ballet is contributing masterpieces of humanity to the art world that are refined movements placed in a sequence that paint a picture of an idea or a story in a way that suits the interpretation like no other. Ballet is crafted and honed over years and years, and the canvas is our bodies. The work and experimentation we do as dancers is showcased with that unique ability and is set to music or sound to give the viewer/participant a different way of experiencing our common reality. The masterpieces of dance are interactive and experienced both visually and physically. It’s not uncommon for choreographers to talk about their ballet in terms

similar to painting a picture. They talk about rendering shapes and figures and filling in the details with color, contrasts of changing lights, or moods from moment to moment. It’s usually much more interactive as it requires a lot of cooperation between many disciplines such as dancers, choreographers, set designers, costume designers, composers, musicians, and an audience. The final artistic piece takes place over a period of time rather than a permanent and physical section of space. Masterpieces of ballet are like all great works of visual art—they speak about stories, feelings, or ideas we have in ways that move us. SF: With all the many different types/styles of dance, how do you see ballet differentiated? www.facethecurrent.com

31


Ballet, like all art forms, has always been evolving. Change itself isn’t really new, but I would say that ballet today is expanding. More and more people are coming from a wider variety of countries, races, ethnicities, and ideologies to participate in ballet. While it still retains its roots and traditions, we are finding new sub-styles of ballet and experimenting with more sciences, art forms, and other styles of dance.

However, I’m not sure I would say this is so different from other forms of dance. I believe dance is dance

32

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

Ch: Of all of the international styles of dance, ballet is probably the oldest with many other styles of dance also incorporating ballet steps into their repertoire. But a big part of my own attraction to ballet was the lifestyle and the feelings I got from performing. I loved being in the theatre with everyone, sharing a passion for a classical art form with such a rich history. There is something intoxicating in the anticipation of a big show—you feel an energy in the theatre. When the lights go on and the music starts, your head goes clear; your focus is complete. Everything else fades away and you are really living in the moment.

and it doesn’t matter what style you like. I don’t believe there is any particular style that is better than the next—all dance forms require a tremendous amount of discipline. You always have to be driven to rise to the top in all forms of dance, and you can experience that performance intoxication as you forget everything else for a few minutes. I was attracted to ballet and other people find themselves more interested in other forms of dance, but we can learn from each other and incorporate the insights from another style into our own work. I know that there are ballet elitists out there, but for me—and the vast majority of ballet dancers—dance is dance. Whichever way you like to, just do it! SF: What has been some of the most surprising revelations since

you began this project?   CH: The biggest surprise to me has been just how widespread ballet really is. I knew there were people out there doing amazing work in places far from ballet-centric cities, but I have found people building ballet communities in every country I have looked at! It’s so amazing to me that so many people from starkly different backgrounds all fell in love with the same style of dance that I did. It just proves that dance is universal; it doesn’t matter where you come from!  SF:You’ve mentioned that there is a movement to make ballet a truly global art form.  What has stood in the way of this until now? 


that this perception is starting to change both in ballet-centric places and elsewhere. Ballet in Europe and North America is becoming more diverse at the same time that the dance form is expanding in new locations around the globe. We are starting to see ballet shed its stigma as an elitist dance form intended only for white people. People already in the ballet community are finally becoming more conscious of racial, sexual, and ethnic stereotypes. It’s hard to say whether diversification is causing these stereotypes and perceptions to change, or whether perception change is driving diversification, but I hope that’s a question we can think about as Ballet There’s another problem, too: ballet Rising unfolds. This is as much a has been described as white, upper journey of discovery for us as it will class, European, and too sophisticated. be for everybody watching our films Some of these perceptions are and reading our articles. rooted in historical realities that are SF: How do you see the only now starting to change. Many movement evolving today? How people view ballet as something they can’t or shouldn’t do, but what we’ve has the art form transformed? discovered through Ballet Rising is CH: For most people around the world, it can be very difficult to engage with ballet. Without schools and companies in local regions, there was really no way for people to become exposed to or learn about ballet. Some companies have toured to places outside of the traditional centers of Western arts, but those kinds of engagements have never been sustained efforts with outreach and education as a part of the tour. However, social media has changed things. Ballet has become more global because everyone in the world can watch ballet online and study ballet on their own through platforms like YouTube.

CH: Ballet, like all art forms, has always been evolving. Change itself isn’t really new, but I would say that ballet today is expanding. More and more people are coming from a wider variety of countries, races, ethnicities, and ideologies to participate in ballet. While it still retains its roots and traditions, we are finding new sub-styles of ballet and experimenting with more sciences, art forms, and other styles of dance. Ballet added a new style in the twentieth century when George Balanchine came to the United States and founded the School of American Ballet that operated with a hint of Broadway style. We will continue see other people adapting ballet in their own way to create a style that suits their needs, even as ballet retains its traditions. SF: What do you believe (or see) is the most influential factor(s) for people choosing to dance ballet in places one might not expect?  

www.facethecurrent.com

33


CH: I think the look, style, and feeling of movement in ballet just resonates with some people. Ballet is also famous for particular movements and lines that are recognizable and beautiful to people in many places. I also believe that it’s human nature to want to feel graceful and elegant. Besides that, the sense of community draws people to ballet. Ballet gives people a shared space to meet others with whom they can identify and share the same passion and dedication. I hope that people hold on to their local history and culture, but I’ve

34

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

noticed that ballet “in unlikely places” sometimes attracts people who want to do something a little different, and maybe that’s because they want to be a part of larger or more global communities. I hope that Ballet Rising can celebrate and preserve local cultural dances while also supporting aspiring ballet dancers. SF: Who are some of the pioneers of this emerging world of ballet? What are they doing that is influencing the art and community? CH: We’ve found pioneers of ballet all over the place. It really didn’t

take long to compile a large list of people in a multitude of countries. A few who stand out to me are Ritika Chandra from India, Esther Oladipupo from Nigeria, Dirk Badenhorst from South Africa, Thereza Aguilar from Brazil,Yos Clark from Ivory Coast, and Stephen Bimson in Cambodia. There are so many others and we hope to reach as many as we can. Everyone we talk to has very unique stories, but they share the same drive to build communities and spread the love of dance and creativity in their countries. 


SF: How does Ballet Rising show this art form changing lives around the world? In what ways do you see the impact? CH: You will see it in our films and can read all about it in our articles. We will also be producing podcasts and other types of media on our website to keep up with the progress of the individuals we meet and the initiatives we follow. In some ways we’ve been able to have an impact on the communities with which we’re in touch. For years Ritika Chandra in New Dehli has been trying to get sponsorship for her projects and to spread the word to community leaders about the benefit of what she is doing in India. However, people rarely took her seriously until she could show them that she had international support. The Ballet Rising team was able to give her a bit more legitimacy in their eyes, and I hope that we can help many others this way.  We are also hoping to spotlight local ballet initiatives in order to help build up local ballet and dance communities. We want to create regional networks and, ultimately, we also want to build a truly global community where people from every corner of the planet feel that they are accepted in the ballet world. We want them to have a voice and a community where we can all communicate and be a force for good around the world. It’s our hope that artists can speak about important issues that affect us all.  We also have a lot of other more direct ways we could help in the future, but for now we want to concentrate on getting to know these people and sharing their stories.

ymore info: www.balletrising.com www.caseyhphoto.com www.facethecurrent.com

35


FtC music

Maejor’s Mission Goes Mainstream in

Healing the Planet Through Music By Sasha Frate | photography by niah rose Brandon Michael Green, better known in the music industry as Maejor, is a record producer, rapper, singer, and songwriter originally from Detroit, Michigan. Together with Dutch DJ Martin Garrix, the two comprise AREA21, a popular EDM duo. Maejor has also written and produced songs for many prominent artists including Justin Bieber, Trey Songz, Monica, Keri Hilson, Frank Ocean, Iggy Azalea, and will.i.am. Maejor has also produced successful national campaigns for Pepsi and the Boston Celtics, and has also scored soundtracks for films including The Princess and the Frog and Think Like a Man. Even with this mainstream success and a promising future, Maejor seeks to achieve deeper fulfillment and a more meaningful connection to his audiences. Face the Current enjoyed a wonderful and hopeful discussion with Maejor on topics including the ways in which he measures success, what it means to bring ancient sound healing into modern music, and his method for changing the energy of his listeners while uniting them with the power of sound.

36

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


Sasha Frate: How long have you been involved with and working in the music industry and how did it actually all start for you? Maejor: I’ve been working in the music industry for about fourteen years. I got started when I was living in Detroit, Michigan and I was uploading my music to the internet. (This is during the time of MySpace!) It just spread to the right people and I ended up featuring some songs and major albums, and then from there I just kept going. It’s been a long, awesome journey. SF: How did sound healing become part of your mission to heal the planet through music, and what set you on the path to studying the science behind it before later making it a part of your music? M: I always had a vision of wanting to make an impact with my music, and there were moments when I tried to do that through lyrics, but I felt like it wasn’t resonating with the audience I was speaking with. I was mostly working with mainstream types of artists; mainstream consciousness. It was more about things that don’t necessarily fit in a conscious space; it was just what’s common—what you hear on the radio. People don’t want to hear strong words or they don’t want to feel preached to. So, I had to find a new way to use this energy and this message and find a way to uplift people into music. That’s when I said, “Okay, forget the words. Let’s go to the frequency and the sound itself and let’s see if I can embed it into the music so that whatever the words are saying, it’s still having an uplifting effect on people.” That kind of led me down a whole rabbit-hole of experimenting with sound healing, learning, reading

books, going to seminars, meeting people, and traveling. All of these things came as a result of me trying to implement this into the music. SF: So now you’re essentially creating that stepping-stone, too, for more of a mainstream part of humanity who is not yet necessarily fully seeking that for themselves, but they need it just as much as anyone else. It’s moving them in that right direction.

M: Exactly. SF: In the realm of sound healing, you’ve studied modern technologies, binaural beats, brain waves, sound baths, and Tibetan monks, and you’ve also journeyed to places in the world where ancient, yet advanced civilizations once existed. Have you studied any of these ancient applications of sound resonance and healing vibrational frequencies? www.facethecurrent.com

37


M: Yes, I saw you in Peru when I experienced this. There’s so much information out there about the power of sound and how it was used in the pyramids in Egypt. Even when we were in Peru, they were talking about the vortexes and how they were created to be acousticallytreated spaces for working with sound. So, yes—you see it in the history of humanity; you see it going back pretty much as far as you can see.You see people using sound and just trying to harness that energy to do something. I’ve even found examples of people using it for destructive forces in terms of trying to weaponize sound. It shows that sound is just really powerful, and we all intuitively know it. That’s why we play different music when we go to the gym versus when we go to sleep. We play different

Sound is just really powerful, and we all intuitively know it. That’s why we play different music when we go to the gym versus when we go to sleep. We play different music when we need to study and focus. We know it, but it’s just about being more intentional with it—that’s what we’re doing right now.

38

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

music when we need to study and focus. We know it, but it’s just about being more intentional with it—that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re zoning in on exactly what’s doing what. It’s a really exciting time. SF: Your latest track release, “I Love You”, with rising Columbian star Greeicy is said to be the first mainstream commercial song to use “intentional healing frequencies”, applying 432 Hz tuning. While the positive vibe of this song is sure to give people that “feel good” feeling, if you didn’t let people know it had healing frequencies, they’re likely not going to realize its harmonizing effects are going above and beyond. Is this subtlety also intentional? M: Yes, I want people to be able to

hear the music and not know that they’re hearing a different style of music. I want them to feel like it’s the music they’re accustomed to and that they’ve heard their whole life growing up, but then on a deeper level, it’s having a harmonizing impact. SF: Similar to music, how has your ability to speak multiple languages enabled you to positively impact a larger global audience? M: I feel like with the gift of music, I speak all languages. It’s the universal language so I speak that, and then I learned bits of so many languages. I won’t say I’m fluent in any of them, but I’ve learned pieces of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch—pretty much anywhere I go, I try to learn some of the language and about the culture.


SF: Do you do that for your own personal fun and interest, or to connect more with people? M: To connect more with people. To be honest, the reason I like music is because I’m not such a big fan of language and talking. By definition, words are only pointers to something because the same words can have different meanings in different languages. This can bring a different set of experiences to the mind of that ear. I feel like language can be a little bit divisive in a sense because it’s like, “Oh, you’re from there? Now you must speak this language.” I’ve learned to try to be a little closer to the people, but the first language I start with is music and that opens the door to start speaking in other languages.

It’s actually really surprising that they really love it, so I’m excited. SF: That is exciting! Some of your songs have been considered big successes such as the hit single “Lolly” featuring Justin Bieber and Juicy J, which peaked at number nineteen on the

SF: R&B, hip hop, and rap are some of the music genres you’ve produced that are not commonly associated with spreading positivity and healing. How would you say your music has evolved over the years and do you see yourself continuing to produce in these genres from this new approach?

SF: You’ve produced music with a lot of celebrity artists including Justin Beiber and, more recently, Martin Gerrix. Has your concept caught on with any other artists, and do you plan to introduce this to more artists through your collaborations? M: Yes, my entire vision is to bring artists into this space and to just make them aware of the power. I’ve been hosting small, private sound baths with my friends from the music industry, and a lot of really powerful artists, executives, and different people are coming through because I want to make this a movement that involves many people, not just myself. They are responding so well to it.

when I’m playing it, and when I see people enjoying it; that’s a success. It’s cool to show other people the numbers and to get them excited to work with you, but that’s all I really see when I look at it. It doesn’t really give me a sense of satisfaction when I see the numbers, but the success is in creating the music—that feeling when everyone in the studio is like, “Whoa, this is insane!” And then, that feeling of being out and seeing people enjoying it—that’s the success for me.

Billboard Hot 100 chart, and “Vai Malandra” in collaboration with Brazilian superstar Anitta. What would you consider a success if you were to achieve it through/in music? M: For me, the success has nothing to do with the label. Success comes during the creation. That’s my joy— when the song is coming through, when I’m making and I’m writing it,

M: Going back to the first part of the question, something that I’ve learned is that hip hop was initially started as a way to educate people about issues and stuff that was going on. That was their language to communicate and that’s how it actually started. In the beginning, hip hop was about learning, history, and bringing people together, and somehow—I’m not sure if it was the commercialization of music—but things kind of changed a little bit. But I feel like the style of the music has nothing to do with the intention of the artist. www.facethecurrent.com

39


I had to find a new way to use this energy and this message and find a way to uplift people into music. That’s when I said, ‘Okay, forget the words. Let’s go to the frequency and the sound itself and let’s see if I can embed it into the music so that whatever the words are saying, it’s still having an uplifting effect on people.’

Because I’m a creative person, I like to combine styles. I like to merge different styles together and create something that is new—that is catchy to someone’s ear. I like things that stand out. I like things that are different and unique, just like people. We’re all individual, unique, creative people and I feel like the more we embrace that individuality, the better. In terms of my music evolving, I’m going to be honest: I’m so present that it’s really hard for me to look into where things will go. Right now, I’m just really focusing on my energy

40

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

and bringing as much light into the world as I can. One of the ways I think I can do it is by making cool songs that are healing, because both exist. There are songs that are healing and there are songs that are cool, and I kind of want to be a bridge for that. SF: So much of your work has been about collaboration, whether you’re uniting with other artists, organizations, or campaigns.You’ve worked with the American Cancer Society and even had fun collaborations with Will Smith, Kevin Hart, and others as you united the city of Philadelphia for the NBA playoffs. How do you see the role

of the collective in uniting and healing the planet? M: I feel like we all have a unique skillset, unique gifts, and unique blessings. When we all have the same intention, it’s necessary that you have these people from different walks come together. We all have the same intention and we walk together. For example, I’m not going to know how to make a magazine—that’s what


you’re doing and how you’re connecting to people. It’s necessary for people like me to help in order to get what we’re doing to work for more people and inspire more people. So, I think everyone’s role is equally as important. I don’t think there’s anyone who’s more or less important; I think everyone is part of the whole and without one, we don’t have anyone. SF: Well said.There have been studies by The Global Consciousness Project (GCP) that look at the power of group consciousness working toward a common goal to effect social change. This can include the organization of worldwide meditations, using technology to synchronize concerts and dancing; even participation in virtual choirs. Do you envision mainstream music with these intentional healing vibrations at concerts in the future as having a similar effort or effect on social change? M: Yes, my concerts are going to be completely designed with this in mind, bringing this experience to unite people and to make us all better. I want to lift us up; to raise the frequency; to change the energy. So yes, absolutely. When you get a group of people together doing something all as one, it’s really powerful. SF: Do you have any projects in the works you can speak about, or anything for people to be on the lookout for in the near future? M: Yes! The next few songs I will be releasing will be using 432 Hz frequency. They’re going to be coming up every few weeks with some music videos we’re doing, as well. I wish I could tell you the collaborations right now, but unfortunately, I can’t! We’re going to launch so much new music and we’re going to do a tour as well. We’re also working in TV and film—we’re spreading this everywhere! It’s a really exciting time. We’re also working with the United Nations on a film that will bring light to the darkest places on Earth, and it’s really exciting.

ymore info: www.maejorali.com www.maejor.com Instagram: @maejor Facebook: @MaejorOfficial Spotify: MAEJOR

www.facethecurrent.com

41


FtC music

Music Against Animal Cruelty:

Uniting the Music Industry in the Name of Wildlife Conservation By Sasha Frate Music Against Animal Cruelty (MAAC) is a non-profit organization solely focused on providing aid to wildlife through conservation efforts. Founded by Jonny White of Art Department, Wade Cawood, and Tears for Tigers founder Jack Baucher, MAAC functions as a broker between musicians, the music industry and its fans, and other organizations working on initiatives to save various animal populations that are facing dwindling numbers and/or extinction. MAAC looks to curate large-scale fundraising events with the intention of amassing substantial funds to curate their own initiatives. In the meantime, MAAC is an open fund to which anyone can contribute, in turn selecting several grassroots initiatives as beneficiaries. After realizing that there is an often-overlooked opportunity for artists and fans to unite their passion for wildlife conservation, MAAC seeks to galvanize the support of the music industry. Together with a worldwide collective of likeminded individuals, MAAC is proving that a determined and united collective can change the world. Face the Current chatted with Jack Baucher to learn more about the ripple-effect of species extinction, the ways in which MAAC is empowering their Ambassadors, and upcoming plans for future wildlife conservation initiatives.

42

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth over $15 Billion USD per annum. We are now facing a global crisis where if we don’t act now, species will go extinct.

Sasha Frate: What called you to this mission to save wildlife through the medium of music? What is the backstory on deciding to use music and events as a catalyst for bringing awareness to and generating support for “Earth’s dwindling biodiversity”? Jack Baucher: It is important for change to happen given the current global crisis we face. We can all do our bit, and every industry should be taking responsibility and facing up to the severe environmental problems we face today. SF: When an endangered animal goes extinct, the world loses

a unique part of our global ecosystem. What are some of the often-overlooked side effects of this? JB: The removal of a keystone species has a huge side effect on the ecosystem and therefore all of us in turn. These giants are part of a complex world created over millions of years, and their survival is intertwined with our own. Without rhinos, elephants, tigers etc., we suffer a loss of imagination, a loss of wonder, and a loss of beautiful possibilities. When we see ourselves as part of nature, we understand that saving nature is really about saving ourselves.

SF: What is one startling statistic that puts things in perspective? JB: The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth over $15 Billion USD per annum. We are now facing a global crisis where if we don’t act now, species will go extinct. SF: Jonny White has stated that the dance music sector of the music industry, “Is really untapped in terms of rallying support for wildlife conservation. Their hearts are in the right place and there’s a little bit more soul in our industry than others.” What do you believe it is about your industry that makes it stand out as “untapped www.facethecurrent.com

43


soulful potential”? JB: Nothing is being done in the music industry to help raise awareness and protect endangered species. We have conservationists tied to our charity that are extremely excited about the potential MAAC has shown, and, in terms of these causes, they are highly informed about the areas requiring attention as well as the major fundraising channels that could be used to fund them.. To this day nothing has been done in the industry to help wildlife conservation. Let’s also be clear that this is not

44

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

techno against animal cruelty but music against animal cruelty and 2020 will see MAAC target other genres and spaces in the industry. SF: MAAC has been exploring the ways in which musicians can serve as a catalyst for change. How would you describe their potential to serve as catalysts, and what types of things does a typical MAAC Ambassador do? JB: Our main calls to actions are: social support via personalizing a MAAC logo, wearing MAAC merchandise (clothing line coming

soon!), becoming an ambassador to donate prizes that fans can sign up to win through our online raffle platform, having ambassadors vote on our 2019 causes, promoting artistic support at MAAC events, and participating in excursions into the field to be hands-on with a wildlife conservation mission. SF: Perhaps using the examples of your events “Wild” at Ushuaïa and “Plastic Nation” in Ibiza, what might someone anticipate experiencing at a MAAC dance music event?


JB: An immersive wildlife experience. Our events are not just fundraisers—we want to create a mind-blowing experience for our community. We want people to attend regardless if it is raising funds or not. SF: In addition to events, MAAC has also funded unique opportunities to have further impact such as the Rhino Notching Mission. Can you tell us a bit about this mission?

SF: What has been the impact you’ve seen so far with your campaign to #SaveThemWithSound?

We want engagement because people are no longer connected to the natural world. We want fans, donors, and supporters to have an emotional connection to the wildlife and to see value in saving the species despite it being so foreign. Not only is the notching mission crucial for conservation purposes but it brings home the reality of what is happening on the ground for the participant.

JB: We want engagement because people are no longer connected to the natural world. We want fans, donors, and supporters to have an emotional connection to the wildlife and to see value in saving the species despite it being so foreign. Not only is the notching mission crucial for conservation purposes but it brings home the reality of what is happening on the ground for the participant.

JB: We’ve had incredible amounts of pick-up in the industry and the support has been amazing. Our ambassadors are a testament to this. SF: What are some examples of conservationists that you support? JB: We have only supported Lion Guardians and Rhino Conservation Botswana so far. We are about to launch two new projects SF: Your current initiatives include saving the rhinos and lions. Can you share any upcoming initiatives that you might have in the works right now?

www.facethecurrent.com

45


JB: We want to do the following:

opportunities are there?

1. Stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China. 2. Safeguard the critically endangered gorilla of Central Africa. 3. Protect the orangutan from deforestation and extinction. 4. Preserve the last snow leopards of the Eastern Himalaya. 5. Fight against the illegal trade of tiger bone in Asia.

JB: MAAC is the pioneering platform to aid global conservation issues within the music industry. We have several partnership and sponsorship opportunities to aid endangered wildlife on the brink of extinction, including:

SF: How can others within and outside of the music community help initiate the change? What

46

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

• Headlining sponsorship of MAAC yearly activity • Sponsoring a one-off “Wild” event • Collaborating on a limited-edition capsule collection of clothes and merchandise

• Sponsoring the content and creation of a mini-documentary together with MAAC as DJs visit conservation projects in Asia and Africa • Sponsoring a MAAC mix compilation brought to you by the MAAC ambassadors • Sponsoring MAAC research and investigative wildlife crime work to expose criminal organizations behind the illegal wildlife trade • Collaborating on social platforms and technology development to help spread awareness to the cause via our ambassador channels


ymore info: www.savethemwithsound.org Instagram: maac_official Twitter: @maacofficial Facebook: @musicagainstanimalcruelty www.facethecurrent.com

47


FtC music

Enhancing Lives Through the ‘Gift’ of Sound and Music By Ainsley Schoppel Created in the spring of 2013, LSTN Sound Co. was formed to be an inspirational audio brand. After witnessing a woman hear her own voice for the very first time thanks to hearing aid technology, LSTN co-founders Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff decided to focus their energy and passion on creating change through the power of sound and music. Since that revelatory day, LSTN has helped more than 30,000 people receive hearing aids through their charity partner, Starkey Hearing Foundation.

48

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


Bill Austin, founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation lives by the motto, “Alone we can’t do much. Together we can change the world.” Even as a young man, Austin knew that his calling in life would be to help people hear and by achieving that, he could have a lasting and meaningful impact on the world. For more than fifty years, Austin has been providing the gift of hearing to people in need and Starkey Hearing Foundation was officially founded in 1984. The organization was built around his vision, “So the World May Hear”, with the purpose of bestowing the amazing gift of hearing to those in need, thus empowering them to achieve their

potential. In 2010, Starkey Hearing Foundation committed to Clinton Global Initiative that they would provide one million hearing aids over the course of this decade. It was that outlook and optimism that drew LSTN to proudly partner with Starkey Hearing Foundation on what would become a shared mission of global hearing awareness. Over the past three decades, Austin has expanded the foundation’s reach from Minnesota across the United States and around the world. With the much appreciated and humbling help of thousands of volunteers and supporters, Starkey

Hearing Foundation has become the embodiment of Austin’s incredible vision and has provided more than 1.9 million hearing aids and muchneeded care to people in more than 100 countries. Some of LSTN’s past trips to deliver hearing aids have included journeys to Toluca and Tlaxcala, Mexico; Arequipa, Peru; Eldoret and Kisumu, Kenya; Kunming, China; Santiago and Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic; Gulu and Kampala, Uganda; Phoenix, United States; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Piura and Chiclayo, Peru; Kigali, Rwanda; Kibera, Kenya; and Jakarta, Indonesia.

www.facethecurrent.com

49


Proceeds from every purchase help fund LSTN and Starkey Hearing Foundation’s mission to supply hearing aids around the world. By hearing sounds and music, previously hearing-impaired people are able to reconnect with their communities. ‘Playing music for kids who have never heard before is one of our favorite things about what we do,’ LSTN proudly notes.

In Gulu, Uganda, LSTN was honored to work with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, one of Time Magazine’s

50

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

August 2013 saw LSTN’s first trip with Starkey Hearing Foundation to Peru. The youngest patient fitted with hearing aids was three years old, while the oldest was 108. For this woman, the moment was considerably meaningful not only to herself, but to her entire family, and it proved to all those involved that there truly is no age limit to receiving the gift of sound.

“100 Most Influential People in the world.” The hearing-aid fitting took place at St. Mary’s School which Sister Rosemary founded. She has tirelessly worked there since 2001 and has taken in more than 2000 young women to help improve the lives of those affected by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. “It’s such an honor to help families reconnect with their communities and each other; I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather be doing,” Hilton confesses.

Kibera, Nairobi is the largest slum in Africa and the second largest in the world. With most residents lacking basic needs like running water, electricity, and proper sanitation, it’s no wonder the life expectancy is around thirty years of age. LSTN and Starkey Hearing Foundation were able to help nearly 2,500 patients in Kibera, bringing hearing technology to those who would otherwise never have access to such life-changing equipment. In the incredibly diverse Yunnan


Province of China, home to more than fifty-six ethnic minorities, one father traveled from his mountain village home where he worked as a sheepherder to bring his ten-yearold daughter to receive hearing aids. Born with hearing loss, and due to the limited resources available to her in her community, her school was unable to accommodate her needs. Because of this, she never attended school yet still managed to teach herself to write her name and read lips. Her hearing aids expanded her

opportunities and changed her life. LSTN’s main goal has always been to introduce the highest quality of sound to as many people as possible by combining premium materials, custom-tuned sound curves, and unique drivers in every product. From zebra wood and walnut headphones with vegan leather ear pads, to a selection of cordless and corded Bluetooth ear buds, to sleek and portable Bluetooth speakers, to volume-limiting headphones for kids, and premium accessories and trendy

merchandise, LSTN offers something for everyone. Customers receive beautiful, high-quality products, and proceeds from every purchase help fund LSTN and Starkey Hearing Foundation’s mission to supply hearing aids around the world. By hearing sounds and music, previously hearing-impaired people are able to reconnect with their communities. “Playing music for kids who have never heard before is one of our favorite things about what we do,” LSTN proudly notes.

www.facethecurrent.com

51


“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito,” said the Dalai Lama. It’s that very mindset that LSTN embraces and is taking into the future. Thanks to the amazing support of their customers and partners, LSTN has and will continue to travel the world giving the gift of hearing to those who need it most. As LSTN exemplifies, philanthropy doesn’t have to be large and flashy—it can be many small efforts making the world of difference. Now that’s a life-lesson we all need to hear.

52

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito,’ said the Dalai Lama. It’s that very mindset that LSTN embraces and is taking into the future.

With all the air-travel required to spread the gift of hearing around the world, Delta Air Lines was the natural choice for a partner and supporter of LSTN’s mission. LSTN is now the in-flight headphone partner for Delta Air Lines, supplying Delta One’s transcontinental flights between JFK and LAX/SFO, DCA-LAX, and BOS-SFO, as well as Delta Premium select customers, with a pair of LSTN headphones for their flight. These headphones are specifically designed to optimize the in-flight experience, with a noise-canceling feature to allow customers to better experience Delta Studio, the airline’s industry-leading, free in-flight entertainment system. As if that isn’t enough, 100% of the proceeds from LSTN’s partnership with Delta Air Lines will benefit the Starkey Hearing Foundation. As Tim Mapes, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Delta Air Lines notes, “Our partnership with LSTN directly aligns with Delta’s commitment to give back to local communities while making thoughtful enhancements to the on-board experience for our customers.” Appropriately, the partnership’s motto is, “Good for business. Good for the world.”


Beacon True Wireless Earbud

ymore info: https://lstnsound.com https://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org https://lstnsound.com/pages/lstn-x-delta www.facethecurrent.com

53


FtC sports

Dax Justin: Explorer, Photographer, and Seeker of Wild Truths By Ainsley Schoppel Dax Justin is a Canadian explorer, adventure photographer, contributor to Canadian Geographic, certified educator for National Geographic, Helly Hansen ambassador, and a public speaker. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Dax uses his photos

54

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

and stories to connect humans back to nature. With his work demonstrating a balance between humans and our natural ecosystems, it proves to convey concern for wildlife conservation, ecotourism, ocean health, humans’ impact on the

environment, indigenous culture, and the ongoing challenges our youth face with technology. He is also the creator of the Explore in School youth initiative and Smartphone Pro Mobile-Photo Workshop.


We’re all addicts to a certain extent with something. Once I took months to understand this idea of addiction, I realized very fast that it’s misunderstood. The common idea out there now is that the opposite of addiction is sobriety. I discovered that the true opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s connection. Not connection to our devices, not just connection to just human spirit, but connection to every spirit—everything that’s alive.

Having grown up in Calgary, Dax recognizes that his environmental surroundings helped shape his adventurous lifestyle. “I describe my home city of Calgary as the ‘basecamp to the Canadian Rockies’ as we are less than two hours away from one of Canada’s most notable national parks—Banff National Park,” Dax explains. “Being this close to the pure outdoors has allowed me to explore at a frequent basis. The Rockies are ENDLESS.” Dax also expounds his advocacy for discovering everything Calgary has to offer, including the people, communities, art, and its social impact. In terms of spending time in the mountains, Dax acknowledges the power and allure they possess. “Time spent in nature resets your energy, balances your thoughts, and re-aligns

your focus. The mountains carry an unspoken magnitude that is only felt yet leaves you speechless.You feel like you belong.You know what matters in life, and you’ll become your true self,” he expresses. For Dax, living life means running toward discovery. “We are ALWAYS MOVING. Movement is a huge part of being a human and being conscious of how you’re navigating life is super important,” he notes. A life of discovery means letting go of your pre-conceived notions of personal limitations and just getting out there, taking action, and doing something. “Until we push ourselves and explore (WAY) outside our comfort zones, we have no clue what we’re capable of. I’ve skied off a freakin’ 8000 foot mountain summit and paraglided to the base. I didn’t even know what paragliding was two days before.”

In his role as a speaker, Dax speaks to a variety of organizations including schools, universities, corporate conferences, and events. He has also given a TEDx Talk and was a keynote speaker alongside Dr. David Suzuki at the Prairie University Biology Symposium in Calgary, Alberta. In his TEDx Talk, Dax bravely delved into his raw and personal battle with drug addiction; something he says is a misunderstood notion. “When I heard about the concept of ‘addiction’, I thought ‘Oh I’m not that. There’s no way I’m an addict.’ But I’ve got news for all of you: we’re all addicts,” he declared. “We’re all addicts to a certain extent with something. Once I took months to understand this idea of addiction, I realized very fast that it’s misunderstood. The common idea out there now is that the opposite www.facethecurrent.com

55


of addiction is sobriety.” However, after a period of soul-searching, Dax came to a realization: “I discovered that the true opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s connection. Not connection to our devices, not just connection to just human spirit, but connection to every spirit— everything that’s alive.” Living a life brimming with vitality in nature allowed Dax to understand the power that the natural

56

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

environment holds in terms of combating addiction. “There are a few things that stand out in my mind as to how you can slay your own addictions with nature. The first is with action.You can set intentions, but without action you’re not going to wake up being any different—it’s just your thoughts that are changing, not your behavior. So, I took action to change my life. The second thing is courage. If you don’t think you’re

courageous it’s because you’ve been taught that you haven’t been. The last thing is you need to celebrate relentlessness. Take it to the limit because only then can you start discovering your true self.You don’t have to wait for your rock-bottom,” he promised, “You have the power to change your life and other people’s life, and you have the power to discover your true self. Destroy what destroys you.”


There are a few things that stand out in my mind as to how you can slay your own addictions with nature. The first is with action. You can set intentions, but without action you’re not going to wake up being any different—it’s just your thoughts that are changing, not your behavior. So, I took action to change my life. The second thing is courage. If you don’t think you’re courageous it’s because you’ve been taught that you haven’t been. The last thing is you need to celebrate relentlessness. Take it to the limit because only then can you start discovering your true self. You don’t have to wait for your rock-bottom.

www.facethecurrent.com

57


This was a pivotal moment of clarity in Dax’s life, leading him to discover an unparalleled connection with nature that had been missing in his journey. “After that, there was a big disconnect between me and the city lifestyle. I was drawn to pursue the wild; relentlessly pursue it. When I was compelled to go into nature, I felt alive. It was the purest thing I had ever, ever felt. And not only that, I kind of felt like a kid again! But it wasn’t like I was discovering

58

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

childhood again, it was like I was discovering ‘wildhood.’ And that moment changed my life,” confessed Dax. “I started doing things I’d never done before like getting in a canoe. This was one of the most meditative experiences of my entire life—getting in a canoe or kayak—and I didn’t know that about myself, which means I didn’t even really know my true self at all. I was a product of what I thought I was supposed to be doing.” This moment came with an epiphanic

realization: “At this point, I’m still addicted, and I’m addicted to nature. That whole experience has shaped me, changed my life, and I no longer need to escape or run away. I’m running toward a life of discovery.” To further his discovery of ‘wildhood,’ Dax was part of a national campaign with GoRVingCanada in 2016 called “Wildhood”. The campaign seeks to reconnect us to the natural explorer in our hearts by encouraging


wanderlust and an appreciation for the great outdoors through travel. “Personally, I like to think of it as placing yourself back into your childhood when you played all the time; when you were wild,” clarifies Dax. “Now add the outdoors to that vision. Wildhood is the essence of bringing back your childhood as a Born Explorer.” In his expedition to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada, Dax

trekked with the year-long Ocean Bridge program—a youth initiative aiming to equip young people with the knowledge and confidence to become ocean advocates in their own communities. Once known as the Queen Charlotte islands, Haida Gwaii is comprised of 150 rocky islands off the coast of British Columbia. In Haida nation, lush oldgrowth rainforests and breathtaking landscapes abound, surrounded by crashing ocean waves.

Following this, Dax continued on to the prehistoric sands of the Canadian Badlands with Tourism Calgary in search of dinosaur bones that have never been touched by human hands. As Dax recalls, “This is Indiana Jones meets Jurassic Park out here! You can access the Badlands from Calgary in a short drive…and stay tuned because we found the bones we were looking for!” In September 2019, Dax was www.facethecurrent.com

59


nominated for Fellowship at The Royal Canadian Geographical Society—an honor he describes as “humbling.” National Geographic has also created an inspiring learning framework designed to foster an explorer’s mindset, and it’s no surprise that Dax is involved in this as well through his role as a National Geographic Certified Educator. The initiative seeks to educate Pre-Kindergarten through Grade twelve students about the world in innovative and interdisciplinary ways. As an informal educator, Dax described the course as, “Jet-fuel for my youth initiative, Explore in School.” Through his work with the RCGS and National Geographic, Dax is inspiring the next generation

60

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

of explorers, conservationists, and changemakers. In his pursuit of the wild, Dax has visited many places capturing landscapes, wildlife, culture, people, and the adventurous spirits of the lands. One of his most memorable stops was Barrier Lake in Alberta, Canada, earlier this year where he was able to gaze upon the icy textures and marble-like formations of the lake from the vantage point of a helicopter. “This warmish winter season in Alberta has brought some fascinating landscapes to life and I always enjoy capturing and sharing something different!” Being in the wild as much as

Dax is, wildlife encounters are a welcome inevitability. From “staredown” moments to observing and documenting animals like polar bears, Dax has an impressive personal catalogue in nature. In late October 2017, Dax journeyed to Churchill, Manitoba—the polar bear capital of the world—on assignment with National Geographic. “Sometimes we gently approached the bears, other times they cautiously approached us,” he recalls. “We saw several different bears over the week and in EVERY instance there’s this instantly noticeable transfer of energy between you and the bear. I’ve been struck-through the heart by these animals.”


Not only does Dax advocate for exploring the outdoors, he has also realized the importance of trekking within oneself. This past January, Dax understood that his life needed a recalibration. “I couldn’t put my finger on it but what I needed was Olympic training for my life,” he describes. “Mental health affects us all and to not talk about it is like living in a circus. Being an explorer and photographer allows me to be immersed in true life, and sharing it is a blessing. But it’s usually very fastpaced, heavily stressful mentally and physically, and you can let thoughts of ‘defeat’ slip into your mind; it’s easy to embrace.” Dax believes a big part of this mental re-set requires a disconnection from technology to reconnect with ourselves. “I believe in the moments of our lives. I believe in reconnecting youth to nature. We can become the ocean and the mountain—I will fight for it. I will carve paths and light blinding torches we can pass onto the future. That’s my commitment.”

ymore info: https://daxjustin.com

I believe in the moments of our lives. I believe in reconnecting youth to nature. We can become the ocean and the mountain—I will fight for it. I will carve paths and light blinding torches we can pass onto the future. That’s my commitment.

www.facethecurrent.com

61


FtC sports

Fresh Tracks: The Inspiring Life and Legacy of Adaptive

Skier Paul Leimkuehler By Ainsley Schoppel Paul E. Leimkuehler was born and raised in humble beginnings in Cleveland, Ohio. The oldest of four children, his parents always encouraged Paul and his siblings to participate in and enjoy sporting activities. After graduating from high school and attending Ohio State University, Paul worked as an engineer, yet even still, his ingrained passion for sport beckoned. A gifted athlete, Leimkuehler competed in the 1936 United States Olympic Cycling trials and even became the 1938 Ohio State Cycling Champion. In 1940, Leimkuehler married his sweetheart, Catherine Cawley, and together they had four children.

62

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


This seemingly idealistic life changed in an instant, however, when Paul became a second lieutenant during World War II. While fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, Paul was struck with shrapnel in his left leg and the wound was so grievous, he lost the leg above the knee. After transportation to McGuire General Hospital in Richmond, Virginia to recover from his lifealtering surgery, Leimkuehler convinced hospital staff in the limb lab to allow him to put his mechanical engineering skills to good use by helping them create braces and fabricate artificial legs. After diving into this speciality, Leimkuehler made his own prosthesis and discovered his true calling and passion in life. During the nine months of his own rehabilitation, Paul worked in the limb and brace shop and shared his personal experiential insights into adjustments that could improve the fit, comfort level, and effectiveness of protheses. After receiving the Purple Heart for his service and discharging from the military Leimkuehler studied at the University of California, New York University, and Northwestern University, and went on to found Leimkuehler Limb Company in 1948, which still serves patients today. Paul was one of the first certified prosthetists for the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics. To further highlight his workethic and drive to help others, Leimkuehler also founded PEL Supply Company—one of the first ever companies to manufacture quality prefabricated parts and supplies to orthotic and prosthetic facilities. www.facethecurrent.com

63


Because of his ingenuity and passion for skiing, Paul Leimkuehler is still known today as the “Father of Three-Track Skiing” and is considered to be a blazing pioneer in adaptive skiing in the United States. His outrigger design has allowed and continues to allow millions of amputees to enjoy the freedom and joy of the sport.

A natural athlete, Leimkuehler resolved to not let his new physical circumstances stand in the way of his own love of sport. While his friends were skiing at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, he met an Austrian ski instructor who introduced him to Miracle on Skis—a film featuring European amputee skiers. After some quick research and development, Paul developed his own ski outriggers designed from sawed-off crutches attached to shortened children’s skis. Leimkuehler and fellow amputee Stan Zakas were the first to ski with the outriggers in the U. S. and the results were ground-breaking. Because he wanted to share his invention with others like him, Leimkuehler refused to patent the outriggers and instead shared his discoveries with the amputee community. After connecting

64

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

with Head Ski Company, Paul also provided equipment to fellow amputees to give them the necessary resources to build their own sets of outriggers poles. This style of adaptive skiing became known as “three-track skiing” and Paul was happy to share his drawings and measurements with anyone who was interested in getting out on the slopes. Leimkuehler and his business partner, Bert Fischer, went on to co-found 3 Trackers of Ohio—one of the original adaptive ski programs in the United States. Because of his ingenuity and passion for skiing, Paul Leimkuehler is still known today as the “Father of Three-Track Skiing” and is considered to be a blazing pioneer in adaptive skiing in the United States. His outriggers design has allowed and continues to allow

millions of amputees to enjoy the freedom and joy of the sport. Paul’s love for adaptive skiing and the sport further extended into a dedication to learning about the field of prosthetics. He was an active member of the orthotics and prosthetics field, becoming president of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association in 1959. In 1968, Leimkuehler was the president of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics and also served as president of the Ohio State Rehabilitation Association. During the 1960s, Paul served as an advisor to the founders of the National Handicapped Ski Race which developed disabled ski programs at several resorts across the country. He also guided Mary Sue (Anter)


Tanis as she launched Youth Challenge in 1976. Her organization unites physically disabled children with youth volunteers who mutually enrich each other’s lives through one-on-one participation in adapted sports and recreational activities. Further showcasing his diverse athletic talents, Leimkuehler also began golfing and competed in the National Amputee Golf Tournament for more than eight years. Paul was rightfully inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1981 for his unparalleled role in the amputee and adaptive skiing community, and he was also inducted into the National Disabled Ski Hall of Fame in 1996, as well as the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. Leimkuehler’s unique combination of personal experience, engineering

expertise, and a genuine desire to help others meant that he was an in-demand public speaker who willingly gave numerous lectures and presentations on the advances in prosthetics. Paul retired from his business in 1978, selling the company to his sons. He enjoyed his retirement and passed away in 1993, leaving behind an incredible legacy and a proud family. Paul Leimkuehler’s family continues to honor his name and mission in life by supporting several organizations in prosthetics and orthotics, skiing and sports, and veteran-related missions. His legacy endures today as Paul’s granddaughter, Katie Leimkuehler, CEO of Leimkuehler Media, and her production team have partnered with TFA Group (a purpose-driven content production company) to

create a documentary showcasing her grandfather’s life. An expert branding storyteller, Katie has produced a moving documentary titled Fresh Tracks that highlights her grandfather’s extraordinary life and inspiring ingenuity. Also revealing his modern-day impact on Paralympians such as snowboarding gold medalist Mike Schultz and skiing gold medalist Andrew Kurka Coming this winter, Fresh Tracks will prove to inspire and uplift, demonstrating that no obstacle is too big to surmount and certainly no mountain too big to conquer.

ymore info: www.freshtracksfilm.com Instagram and FB: @freshtracksfilm Twitter: @FreshTracksFilm www.facethecurrent.com

65


FtC health

Bridging the Gap in Modern Medicine: Honoring the Human Condition of MindBody-Spirit with Dr. Vincent Pedre Interview by Sasha Frate and Parashakti Dr.Vincent M. Pedre is the Medical Director of Pedre Integrative Health and Founder of Dr. Pedre Wellness, Medical Advisor to two health-tech start-ups, MBODY360 and Natural PartnersFullscript, Chief Medical Officer of United Naturals, and a Functional Medicine-Certified Practitioner in private practice in New York City since 2004. He is also certified in yoga and Medical Acupuncture and part of the mindbodygreen collective of influencers with regular, popular blog posts. In 2017, he joined Orthomolecular as the chief Clinical Expert in the Pillars of GI Health Program, and he also joined the faculty for the Institute for Functional Medicine in 2018, teaching the first ever introductory functional medicine courses to practitioners in Lima, Peru, Brisbane, Australia, and Mexico City. He believes the gut is the gateway to excellent health and a better brain. As the bestselling author of “Happy Gut—The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy and Eliminate Pain”, he has helped thousands of people resolve their digestive and gut-related health issues. Dr. Pedre is also an in-demand public speaker and writer on the topics of sustainable health, prevention, and integrative and functional medicine. He has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, Sirius XM Radio’s Doctor Radio show, The Dr. Oz Show, and Good Morning America. Together, Sasha Frate, founder of Face the Current, and Parashakti enjoyed an informative and illuminating discussion with Dr. Pedre, touching on his method of blended health and wellness, the importance of gut health (including his best-selling book, Happy Gut), common food additives to avoid for optimal health, the future of sustainable living, and his hope for the proliferation of ancient healing arts in modern medicine.

66

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


Sasha Frate:  In what ways do you bridge and blend both Western and Eastern medical traditions? Vincent Pedre:  I became fascinated with Eastern medical traditions when I first read Deepak Chopra’s book, Quantum Healing. Around that time, my sister had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of twenty-seven. It was 1994 and I was finishing my last year at Cornell University, whilst already admitted into the University of Miami School of Medicine with an academic merit scholarship.  I decided I had learned everything college was going to teach me, so I graduated early from Cornell and spent the following eight months prior to medical school exploring

and expanding my awareness of what was called “alternative medicine” back then. The drive to look into alternatives had been spawned by my sister’s surprise illness and uncertain prognosis and by my own internal unease with my Type A personality. I wanted to figure out how to conquer my hyper-wired mind and my fear of needles. (Yes, I know—crazy! I was going to be a doctor and yet I was deathly afraid of needles, including blood draws and vaccinations.) Looking back, that fear became one of my greatest gifts because it led me to discover yoga, guided meditation, and breathwork. It was Dr. Herbert Benson’s The Relaxation Response that first awakened me to the power of the autonomic nervous system and the ways in which it controls our

“fight-or-flight” response. (This was the exact automatic process that was hijacking my ability to stay calm when I had to get my blood drawn or receive any kind of injection.) Discovering that power within using breathing and meditative techniques to control what had previously felt out of my control opened the gates to a whole new understanding of how to be well within my body. I knew when I became a doctor that I would incorporate these Eastern meditative practices. This continued to evolve over time as I deepened my yoga practice, eventually training to become a yoga teacher after completing a residency in Internal Medicine. Again, this opened my eyes to a conceptually different way of looking at the body as a whole.  www.facethecurrent.com

67


Yoga also led me to study Medical Acupuncture, which then opened my mind to the idea of the body as this interactive system. When you look at the body as a system, you realize everything interacts with everything. Conversely, my training in Internal Medicine had broken down the body into organ systems. This means that one hospitalized patient could have multiple specialists speaking to how they would manage the patient’s care from the point of view of their specialized organ system. In my experience, it was rare to find the doctor that integrated every system together. Because of this, I felt something was missing and after reading many books, including influential ones by Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Frank Lipman, I landed upon functional medicine. I

68

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

can now say that functional medicine has become my home within the practice of medicine. It is based on a system of medicine that looks to uncover the underlying reasons for dysfunction in the body and then finds ways to support the body to return to its natural state of health. Functional medicine is a scientifically-validated application of systems biology, which originated in the East over 2000 years ago with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

I don’t deny the advances of Western medicine and I do practice a blend of both Eastern and Western medicine mixed with mind-body-spirit. For me, it is one big continuum, which should naturally coexist, and having this knowledge gives me a markedly expanded toolbox from which to help patients heal. SF:  There has been a major shift to focus on gut health over the past decade, and yet, to some extent, the gut remains somewhat of a mystery. Many medical doctors attribute any and every gut issue to the generic IBS diagnosis and recommend elimination diets for “treatment”.  What do you believe are some of the most important latest discoveries in gut health? 


VP:  The gut is a complex system and we are only at the tip of the iceberg in our understanding of the ways in which the gut microbiome interacts with itself and us. Along with soil— which harbors twenty-five percent of Earth’s biodiversity—the gut is one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet.   There is an incredible amount of biodiversity that exists in each person’s gut with an estimated 100 trillion organisms including beneficial and pathogenic bacterial species, viruses known as bacteriophages, parasites and yeast. We are only beginning to understand this system by looking at gut genome analysis. There are several companies doing this in different ways, but I think the broadest way to tackle this type of analysis is through both whole genome analysis (which looks

at all the DNA present, not just fractions of it), and the analysis of the metabolome (all the metabolic byproducts of the organisms that live in our gut). For example, DayTwo, a company based out of Israel, is looking at how the make-up of the gut microbiome determines the way you digest and metabolize sugars from various foods. The hypothesis they have investigated is that not everyone metabolizes sugars from every food the same way. Depending on your gut microbiome, you may be more predisposed to elevated blood sugar when you eat certain foods. More research is needed in this area, but it is certainly fascinating to consider that what we thought was under complete body control (namely blood sugar) could actually be influenced by the gut microbiome.

Parashakti:  You’ve authored the book Happy Gut, a cleansing guide that reveals how one can balance their gut, lose weight, and gain energy. With so many diet and health-focused books, it can be difficult for people to navigate and know what will really work for them. Can you share what sets this book apart and why it is so effective? VP:  In my book, Happy Gut, I set off to accomplish a very difficult task. I created a program that could be accessible to anyone with gut health issues or gut-related health issues. It’s important to distinguish the difference because not everyone who has a gut-related health issue will necessarily suffer from gut symptoms. Let me tell you a story: I had a thirty-seven-year-old woman www.facethecurrent.com

69


present with joint pains and hives. She had read my book and started the program, eliminating both dairy and wheat/gluten from her diet. Her hives had already started to calm down, but she exhibited very high inflammatory and autoimmune markers. However, she did not have any gut issues or complaints. Nevertheless, we looked at her gut because of its strong association to both inflammation in the body and autoimmune disease. Surprisingly, we found she was harboring a parasite and a yeast overgrowth. By treating these underlying issues, her joint pains resolved.   My program is designed to be a total gut restoration with resulting effects that benefit the entire body. The meal plan I detail cuts out the most inflammatory foods from one’s diet, while making it as easy as possible to follow. With so many diet books out there (paleo, keto, anti-lectin, etc.), it sure is difficult to understand how to eat for your total wellness. The missing ingredient in a lot of these plans is a focus on the gut, restoring the gut microbiome, and healing the gut lining from an onslaught of antibiotics, medications, and stress that the majority of people have been exposed to at some point in their lives. A gut-centered approach is what I provide in my book within a total mind-body program that is designed to revamp your health in twenty-eight days. SF:  As part of the C.A.R.E Program (Cleanse, Activate, Restore, and Enhance) explained in your book Happy Gut, what are some of the first Cleansing steps that people can take towards a happier gut?  VP:  Cleanse is such an important first step in my Gut C.A.R.E. Program. It is the biggest step because cleansing involves really dialing down on everything that enters your body. As I like to say, through what you put in your mouth (the foods you eat) the gut is your biggest exposure to the outside world. The first step in cleansing involves cutting out inflammatory foods like wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, corn, most legumes, refined sugar, alcohol, and coffee.  But cleansing doesn’t end there because you also want to ensure you’re drinking clean, filtered water free of chemicals and heavy

70

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


metals. Many people also make the mistake of doing a physical cleanse without working on a mental cleanse. So, during the twenty-eight-day cleanse, I put a lot of emphasis on cleansing the mind of negative, selfdefeating thoughts and replacing them with affirmations of gratitude for what is good in one’s life. In my opinion, it is just as important to cleanse ourselves of inflammatory foods as it is to cleanse our minds of insidious and sneaky negative talk. SF:  What are some common toxins and additives that people unknowingly consume and should become aware of so as to avoid them in the future? VP:  Let’s start with carrageenan—a food additive that is FDA-approved for use in the food industry as a thickener. It’s found in whipped cream but it was also commonly added to mass-produced nut milks (seemingly a healthy dairy alternative)

to give them more of a “milky” texture. Research has shown that carrageenan is inflammatory for the gut lining and can induce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. There was an upheaval amongst the natural wellness world and most of the companies removed the carrageenan and replaced it with sunflower lecithin. This brings up a very important point: read product labels! If a packaged food has more than five ingredients or ingredients with names you can’t even pronounce, you should probably not be eating it.   Other additives include artificial sweeteners like ascesulfame, which is commonly found in gum.You also have to watch out for sodium benzoate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which are often added to preserve cured meats. And of course, mercury exposure from eating

seafood is a big concern. However, when most people think of mercury, they think of avoiding tuna but don’t realize that other fish like swordfish, Chilean sea bass, and farmed salmon are high in mercury.     Parashaskti:  Why do you believe that improving gut health has the ability to actually “unlock keys to a happy life”?   VP:  The best analogy I can use is this: the gut is to the body as the roots are to a tree. If a tree is ill you don’t look to the leaves to heal it, you look at the roots and the soil. If your body and mind are ill, you need to look at their root system—the gut. The gut is the foundation of our nutrient absorption, which, when healthy, provides all the nutrients needed to live in a healthy, balanced state. This includes the production of neurotransmitters that keep us happy. In fact, more serotonin—the “happiness” chemical— is produced www.facethecurrent.com

71


in the gut than in the brain. The gut is the center of our wellbeing. Everyone has heard of the gut-brain axis, but what people may not realize is the gut actually has more neural connections than the brain. We sense the world through our intuitive center—the gut—and depending on what you eat, you will harbor bacteria that produce “happy” neurotransmitters as well as calming ones like GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). If your gut (digestive system) is in disarray, it is inevitable that you will experience unhappiness.You need a healthy gut

lining to have a healthy blood-brain barrier that protects the brain from toxins and inflammatory insults. That’s why I believe a happy gut is the key to a happy life.  SF:  With food having the potential to be healthpromoting and healing (“food as medicine”), or disease promoting, what do you see as the greatest barrier that people face in adopting a diet that is really focused on “food as medicine”?  VP:  I think one of the greatest barriers to “food as medicine” is the

belief that access to these types of foods is limited by socio-economic status. However, when you factor in the cost of eating cheap, fast-food over a lifetime with the disease burden it creates, it is in fact more costly in the long-term to eat a processed food diet. The other barrier is our fast-paced lifestyle based on convenience. It takes time and education to source foods that heal the body. It also takes patience to cook a healthy meal at home versus simply eating out or ordering take-out or delivery. However, I think it simply requires a bit of mental reframing. Adding more vegetables to your day in the form of a salad that accompanies your dinner takes only about five extra minutes to prepare. It really doesn’t take that much time to prepare a healthy meal.    SF:  In a previous interview (Microsoft’s news platform in 2018), you named five foods that you would “never eat again” and they were: cereal, milk, coffee, sandwiches, and pasta. Why did these foods make your list, and is it specific to you or something you advise others to avoid as well?  VP:  These are among the most inflammatory foods out there, laden with both added and hidden sugars. I’m sure your readers already know that sugar is one of the most inflammatory and addictive substances out there. Sandwiches and pasta contain wheat/gluten, which is not only a source of sugar (as a refined carbohydrate), but it also increases the permeability or leakiness of the gut in pretty much every person. Pasteurized, homogenized milk is very hard to digest and is higher in sugar than people realize. A great majority of people in the world are lactoseintolerant, so they should avoid milk all together. I will admit that cheese is my guilty pleasure, but it is also

72

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


inflammatory. For this reason, I only eat cheese in the summer months when I don’t have to worry about its mucous-producing and immunesuppressing effects on my body. I mostly avoid it the rest of the year, or I have a limited amount of goat cheese. Coffee by itself is okay, but really only when it’s organic and free of mold. However, most people are drinking blended coffee drinks like lattes that are drowning in added sugar. For me, coffee is also over-activating because I metabolize caffeine slowly and this makes me feel jittery when I drink it. How do you know if you’re a slow or fast metabolizer? You can determine this by paying attention to the ways in which coffee affects you, especially late in the day. I cannot drink a caffeinated beverage in the afternoon without it disrupting my sleep cycle. So, for people like me who have difficulty metabolizing caffeine, I recommend avoiding coffee and drinking tea instead, completely abstaining from all caffeinated beverages after twelve or one in the afternoon. (Tea is also rich in polyphenolic antioxidant compounds!) However, as part of my cleanse, I have everyone give up coffee for the twenty-eight days because we want to reduce the amount of work the liver has to do to detox the body of ingested chemicals. This helps you cleanse at a deep level.     As emphatically absolute as the words “never eat again” may be, the way I practice these principles with myself now allows for softer edges. Perhaps now I would say “rarely” instead of “never”. For example, after I had given up coffee for good, I was traveling in Cuba and our host in Havana offered us the most delicious smelling espresso you could ever imagine. I didn’t stick to food dogma in that moment and I gladly took a few sips of the most memorable

espresso I have ever had. I believe you cannot make the edges of your dogma (whatever it may be) too sharp, or you will “cut yourself”. Softening the edges takes away the sense of deprivation and makes it all about choice, not restriction. Parashakti:  How has becoming certified in yoga and

acupuncture enhanced your medical practice?   VP:  Becoming certified in yoga in 2003 changed my perspective on the body. I went from thinking of separate internal organ systems to looking at the person as a whole unit. It brought me back to where I had started on my own healing journey through yoga www.facethecurrent.com

73


and meditation. In fact, I worked with two of my yoga teachers, Paula Tursi and Janet Dailey Butler, to create poses and breathing exercises for my book, Happy Gut.   Medical Acupuncture truly shaped the way I looked at the body because it was the first time that I learned to look at the body as a system, the summation of which creates an integrated whole. I practiced acupuncture with my patients for many years, but I have recently decided to phase it out as I focus more on functional medicine and teaching, which involves a lot of travel.    SF:  What is something from the ancient healing arts that you would love to see incorporated

more often in modern medicine practices?   VP:  There is so much to look at that we are not yet fully seeing. What ancient healers really understood is that the disease is not the person. Healing is really an art of looking at the individual and their unique circumstances and helping them navigate their way back to health. I would love to see a greater connection with the mind-bodyspirit in the modern practice of medicine with a true honoring of the human condition. We are becoming so technological that we are losing touch with our humanity. What is true about the ancient healing arts is they were connected to our essence—our humanity—and our interaction with the natural world

I would love to see a greater connection with the mind-body-spirit in the modern practice of medicine with a true honoring of the human condition. We are becoming so technological that we are losing touch with our humanity. What is true about the ancient healing arts is they were connected to our essence—our humanity—and our interaction with the natural world around us. We need to return to that and fuse it with modern medicine. Healing is much more than what is found in a research study.

74

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

around us. We need to return to that and fuse it with modern medicine. Healing is much more than what is found in a research study.    SF:  What do you see as the next steps in sustainable living, beyond a focus on organic choices?    VP:  Let’s talk about three really important steps that need to come into the public consciousness: 1)   Homegrown: Did you know that children who experience how vegetables are grown tend to eat more vegetables? Do you know how delicious food can taste when it’s grown in your own organic soil? I see a movement not just to buy organic, but to return to growing vegetables and fruit at the


home-base. What better way to experience organic than to grow it in your own front or back yard? (Or, for those living in urban areas, by installing a hydroponic garden inside your apartment?) We have grown so disconnected from where food comes from that there’s no better way to get back in touch with true organic living than to have your own garden. Have you ever tasted freshly clipped lettuce from your own garden and expressed the mineral-rich, milky white liquid from the base of its leaves? You cannot get that result with organic produce that has traveled the country to be on your local supermarket’s shelves. Homegrown is simply the freshest product you can eat. 2)   Locally-Sourced: I think there’s been a strong movement in this direction, but there’s still more room for growth. Local CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture)

or farmer’s markets where you purchase your vegetables are a great way to support the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint. This makes your eating more in line with what is both good for your health and sustainable for the planet. Thinking about this, we should also focus on seasonal eating practices, much like our ancestors. With access to apples from Argentina and kiwis from New Zealand in the middle of winter, we have falsified our seasons and expanded our carbon footprint across the globe in an unsustainable way. 3)   Soilcentric: It’s not just about the fruits and vegetables we grow; the real important issue is the soil in which it grows. Healthy soil makes healthy plants. Did you know we’re losing the amount of farmable soil on earth at an alarming rate? I recently saw the documentary, The Need to Grow, and it is really scary

how little attention we have paid to maintaining and ensuring rich, viable soil for generations to come. As a whole, soil is a living organism, teaming with bacteria and earthworms. It contains twenty-five percent of the biodiversity on the planet and it may actually be the real solution to global warming (or climate change), because healthy soil traps carbon dioxide and keeps the excess from entering the atmosphere. In going beyond organic, let’s focus on building vibrant, pesticide-free soil as the foundation for sustainability.

ymore info: https://pedremd.com “Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain” https://amzn.to/2MBuQ0q www.facethecurrent.com

75


FtC health

PERKS OF THE PEELS

NUTRIENTS IN AND UNDER THE SKINS By Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea Did you realise that when you peel and discard the skins of fruits and vegetables, you’re actually removing one of the most nutrient-rich parts of the plant? If you want to really maximize your dietary intake of valuable antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, you should be eating the skins, too! The skin or peels of fruits and vegetables are jam-packed with beneficial nutrients, dietary fiber, and protective antioxidants that are needed for good health and disease prevention. Unpeeled fruits and vegetables contain significantly higher levels of these nutrients compared to when they’re peeled. For example, when you peel an apple, you’re throwing away half of the apple’s beneficial fiber content. Enjoying an apple with the skin on will also provide you with 31% more vitamin C, 60% more vitamin A, and a whooping 300% more vitamin K than a peeled apple (1).

76

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


WHICH SKINS ARE EDIBLE Most fruit and vegetable skins are edible and can be easily incorporated into meals. Potatoes (only avoid eating them if the skin is green), yams and sweet potatoes, squash, beetroot, bell peppers, parsnips, eggplants, cucumbers, carrots, apples, berries, citrus fruits (cooked or zested), cherries, kiwi, apricots, grapes, peaches, pears, and plums, all have edible skins. However, some fruit and vegetable peels are tough and difficult to digest, even when they’re cooked. These inedible peels should be removed and put in the compost. These include melons, pineapples, lychee, papayas, mangos, and banana peels. While onion and garlic skins are also inedible, they make a great addition to stocks. Avocado skins are also considered inedible, but when you’re peeling off an avocado skin, make sure you don’t excise the healthy dark flesh that’s just under the skin—this part is loaded with beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins B12 and E. While mango skins aren’t considered dangerous to eat, their skins can be bitter, and they contain a toxin called urushiol (the same compound found in poison ivy) that can cause inflammation and digestive issues. www.facethecurrent.com

77


FIBER Fruit and vegetable skins are an especially good source of insoluble and soluble fiber. On average, around one third of the fiber content in fruit and vegetables can be found in their skin (2). This extra fiber from the skin will make you feel full for longer after eating and slows down the absorption of glucose from your meal. This in turn helps keep blood sugar levels balanced. Eating more fiber will also help lower cholesterol levels and supports digestive health by preventing constipation and boosting gut microbiota. Fiber is considered a prebiotic food as it’s fermented by bacteria in the gut. This produces short-chain fatty acids that feed beneficial gut microbiota and help stimulate their growth.

78

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

ANTIOXIDANTS Antioxidants are a vital part of everyone’s diet as they neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress to the body. A build-up of free radicals increases the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and premature ageing.

Fruits and vegetables are naturally high in beneficial antioxidants, especially purple, blue, red, orange, and green leafy varieties. The more colourful the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants they usually contain. In most cases, the colorful skins have concentrated levels of these protective antioxidants and studies have shown that antioxidant levels can be up to 328 times higher in fruit and vegetable peels compared to their pulps (3).


PROPERLY CLEANING PEELS 41% of pesticide residue is removed & WHY YOU SHOULD BUY from washing alone. However, soaking fruits and vegetables in a baking soda ORGANIC PRODUCE solution for two minutes will remove You should always wash non-organic more pesticides than rinsing under fruits and vegetables well, especially tap water for two minutes. (Use one when you’re consuming their skins. teaspoon of baking soda to two cups Pesticides and insecticides are of water.) routinely sprayed on commercially Another reason you need to wash grown crops and residues of these and scrub non-organic produce well toxic chemicals are found on the is that some fruit and vegetables have skins—and even in the flesh—of been covered with a protective layer fruits and vegetables. Soft-skinned of wax. This is used to give produce fruits readily absorb pesticides so an appealing shine and it also keeps these toxins can easily penetrate them firm and plump. Wax also delays the skin. This is why it’s important ripening so produce can last for to choose organic soft-skinned weeks to months after being picked. fruits such as berries, plums, grapes, apricots, and peaches. Commonly waxed produce includes For harder-skinned produce, washing apples, bell peppers, cucumbers, egg plants, citrus fruits, parsnips, and scrubbing is a good way to pumpkins, sweet potatoes, turnips, remove some of the pesticide and tomatoes. residue. It has been reported that

Produce wax is usually made from the leaves of Brazilian palm trees, beeswax, shellac, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly and it sometimes contains fungicides to help prevent mold. Some fruits like grapes, berries, apples, and plums naturally produce their own wax, which looks like a fine white dust, and rinsing easily removes this type of natural wax. When you buy produce directly from farmers at grower’s markets, produce is much less likely to have been artificially waxed. If you are concerned about exposure to pesticides, buying organic is your best option. Buying organic produce is the ideal way to avoid exposure to pesticides and other chemicals sprayed on crops. www.facethecurrent.com

79


COOKING HACKS FOR FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PEELS

Don’t let your fruit and vegetable peels go to waste! Instead of throwing out the skins, use them to give your meals a nutritious boost. Not only is eating the peels better for your health, it also helps reduce the impact of your food waste, too. Here are some delicious and practical ways to liven up your meals with fruit and vegetable skins.

CITRUS PEELS Citrus zest is extremely versatile, adding extra flavor and increased nutrient value to a variety of sweet and savory dishes.You can zest the skins of lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges using a microplane, zester, or grater, but stop when you hit the white part of the skin. Compared to the juice and pulp, citrus peels are also a more concentrated source of vitamin C, fiber and active compounds like d-limonene. D-limonene is responsible for many of lemon’s health benefits including its ability to fight several types of cancer (4) and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Lemon and lime zest are delicious sprinkled over roasted root vegetables, stir-fries, rice dishes, and salads. Use citrus zest in cakes and muffins, and to decorate baked goods and raw desserts. Try orange zest on ricotta toast or in scones, carrot cake, and fruit loaves. Try dehydrating citrus zest in a low-temperature oven or in a dehydrator until crisp and dry. Dried lemon zest is ideal to grind up in a mortar and pestle with herbs for tasty rubs and seasoning for meat, chicken, and fish. Add some lemon peels to your olive oil bottle for a lemon-infused oil for salads. Put leftover citrus peels in a container in the freezer to use for drinks, and use citrus peels in cocktails and iced teas. A study has shown that people who drink strong, hot black tea with lemon peel had a significantly reduce risk (70% less) of developing skin cancer (skin squamous cell carcinoma) compared with those who didn’t (5). Preserved whole lemons are delicious added to Moroccan dishes with fish, lamb, chickpeas, and chicken. Enjoy oven-baked chicken and fish topped with slices of unpeeled lemon or try placing slices of lemon inbetween chicken and fish kebabs.

80

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE


OTHER FRUIT PEELS Fruit is the perfect fiber-rich snack or healthy addition to your breakfast. Don’t miss out on all those extra nutrients—eat fruit with their skins on! Give your next berry smoothie a fiber-boost by adding leftover apple peels. Apple peels are also an excellent source of quercetin which is a nutrient that has impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists have also discovered a group of active compounds called triterpenoids found in the skins of apples that may help fight a number of different types of cancer (6). Keep the skins on fruits when you add them to cakes, muffins, fruit crumbles, and other baked goods. Stewed peaches, plums, apples, pears, apricots, and nectarines added to yogurt or eaten with natural muesli are a delicious way to incorporate fruit skins into meals. Add shredded unpeeled apples or pears to Bircher, natural muesli, or natural yogurt for a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack.

VEGETABLE PEELS Keep leftover vegetable peels and use them to make a vegetable stock for gravies, soups, risotto, sauces, and broths. Simmer vegetable peels (carrots, parsnips, potato, sweet potato, onion, and garlic) with some herbs for 40 minutes, then strain. Try storing leftover peels in a container in the freezer until you have enough to make a stock. Leave the skins on root vegetables when roasting them in the oven (e.g. potato, sweet potato, carrots, yam, beetroot, and parsnip). Make sweet potato and potato wedges with the skins on or try making crispy chips out of roasted vegetable peels. (Toss the peels in some olive oil and sea salt and lay them out on a baking tray. Bake your peels in a 400*F oven for around 10 minutes or until crispy, tossing halfway.) Veggie peel chips are delicious served with tzatziki, hummus, or added to burgers or tossed through salads. REFERENCES: (1) SELF Nutrition Data, know what you eat. www.nutritiondata.self.com. (2) Alvi Shahnaz, M. Masud Kamal Khan et.al. Effect of peeling and cooking on nutrients in vegetables. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 2(3), March 2003. (3) Changjiang Guo, Jijun Yang et. al. Antioxidant activities of peel, pulp and see fractions of common fruits as determined by FRAP assay. Nutrition Research, Vol 23, Issue 12, Dec 2003, pg. 1719-1726.

ymore info: www.artofhealing.com.au www.bodhiorganictea.com (4) Xiao-Guang Lu et al. Inhibition of growth and metastasis of human gastric cancer implanted in nude mice by d-limonene. World J Gastroenterol. 2004 Jul 15;10(14):2140-2144. (5) Hakim IA, Harris RB, Weisgerber U. Tea intake and skin squamous cell carcinoma: influence of type of tea beverages. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 2000;9:727–731. (6) Cornell University. An apple peel a day might keep cancer at bay. Science Daily, June 3, 2007.

www.facethecurrent.com

81


FtC fAce the current

82

Fuel for an inspired life. Be your potential. Subscribe to digital membership at www.facethecurrent.com

FACE the CURRENT MAGAZINE

Profile for Face the Current

Issue 26 / November-December 2019  

In our world of 7.7 billion people, we can sometimes feel like insignificant specks bobbing in the sea of humanity on uncontrollable current...

Issue 26 / November-December 2019  

In our world of 7.7 billion people, we can sometimes feel like insignificant specks bobbing in the sea of humanity on uncontrollable current...