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T HE A RT O F LI V IN G W ELL WWW.INFLUENTIAL-MAGAZINE.COM JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

VERA WANG

STARS IN 2021 EPONYMOUS EYEWEAR CAMPAIGN

The 2021 Hair Forecast According to

EDWARD TRICOMI

of Warren Tricomi Salons

HELLO 2021! THE MOST INFLUENTIAL THINGS IN BEAUTY, FASHION & STYLE, FOOD & BEVERAGE, HEALTH & WELLNESS, LIFESTYLE, AND TRAVEL


CONTENTS

BEAUTY

14 | 2021 Hair Forecast According to Edward Tricomi of Warren Tricomi Salons 18 | Beauty Makeup Editorial Portrait of a Girl 24 | Luxury for Less: 5 Tips for Glowing Skin This Winter 26 | Digital Star and TV Personality David Dobrik Teams with Flower Shop Perfumes Co. to Launch David’s Perfume 30 | Lipsticks and Lip Stains for Latinxs: PDL Cosmetics by Patricia De Leon FASHION & STYLE

56 | Toss Away Your Beret: Meet Internationally

Acclaimed Hat Designer, Jay Cheng FOOD & BEVERAGE

72 | Peanuts and Sweet Potatoes

are Delicious Superfoods 74 | Turn to Tempeh for a Plant-Based Superfood 76 | Create Plenty of Cheer with Steven Soderbergh’s Singani 63! HEALTH & WELLNESS

[ ] FASHION EDITORIAL

60 | WORLD WOMAN BY ARINA SOLNCEVA

FEATURE 10 | AFRO-LATINA BEAUTY BRAND CO-FOUNDER TALKS TIPS, CULTURE, AND FINDING SUCCESS 46 | VERA WANG STARS IN 2021 EPONYMOUS EYEWEAR CAMPAIGN 68 | LIFELONG BOND: HOW DAILY WALKS CAN HELP YOU AND YOUR POOCH BOND 78 | WHY YOU MIGHT NEED MORE THAN A DAILY MULTIVITAMIN 90 | THE EMOTIONAL TOLL OF 2020 96 | RESOLVE TO ACHIEVE HEALTHY SLEEP IN 2021 112 | EASY EXERCISES TO IMPROVE THE DAILY MINDSET

82 | 4 New Year’s Resolutions Black Women

Can Make to Improve Heart Health 84 | 7 Ways to Improve Your Family’s Dental Health in the New Year 86 | Keep Up Those New Healthy Eating Habits with Farmbox Direct 94 | How to Gift Happiness in 2021 LIFESTYLE

106 | Resolve to Learn to Play

EXCLUSIVE 36 | THOMAS SIEBENALER AND ANTHONY SHOOK OF FOSTER’S LAB ARE SERIOUS ABOUT SKINCARE 98 | MEDIA INFLUENCER, ACTIVIST, AND ENTREPRENEUR, MARCUS BELL, IS LIVING HIS PURPOSE

an Instrument in the New Year

108 | How Your Family Can Adopt Healthier

Digital Habits in 2021 TRAVEL

110 | Top Ways to Vacation Responsibly in 2021

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IN NETWORK PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW

116 | Chris Besse


EDITORIAL CREDITS

FOUNDER / CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF William Jackson, ABA, B.Acy., MBA Round Rock, Texas

WRITING TEAM Contributing Writers Patricia De Leon Dr. Robert Kiltz Dr. Margit Gabriele Muller Dr. Patrick Porter Edward Tricomi Guest Contributing Writer William Jackson, ABA, B.Acy., MBA ART & PRODUCTION Creative Services What Taller Gráfico Argenis Gudino Jose Luis Venegas Quintero Contributing Photographers David’s Perfume by David Dobrik Juliette Krivosheeva Foster’s Lab Jaycow Millinery PDL Cosmetics Kenmark Eyewear Singani 63 Shandrew PR Edward Tricomi, master celebrity hair stylist and co-founder of Warren Tricomi Salons Arina Solnceva Kyle Weeks www.doctorkiltz.com.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR shall be signed with a full name; please include a daytime phone number, full mailing address, or e-mail address. Letters shall be no longer than 300 words. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Letters may not be edited, added to, or changed by the sender once we receive them. For Letters to the Editor please email: editor@influential-magazine.com. For Advertising inquiries please email: ads@influential-magazine.com. For Public Relations inquiries please email: pr@influential-magazine.com. For general information inquiries please email: info@influential-magazine.com. Our mailing address: InFluential Magazine, P.O. Box 1811, Round Rock, Texas 78680. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the Founder & Chief Business Officer. All the rights of the artwork and photography belong to the Founder & Chief Business Officer. InFluential Magazine is Round Rock, Texas owned and op

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A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER

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Like so many, I surmise you were eager to turn the page on 2020, a year that’s a clear representation of despair. At this time of the year, it’s appropriate to look back at the past and forward to the future. People have asked me how the InFluential Magazine family is doing. The quick answer is, we’re adjusting much easier than we initially thought possible; however, many things remain uncertain and precarious. The early impact of COVID-19 arrived in March and changed many key aspects of our business model. Our management had to respond expediently to identify changes needed to our finely tuned advertising, sales, editorial, and human resource process foundations. Refinements were mostly seamless to the view outside our organization but impacted the way we conducted business to bring each of our award-winning editions to life and continue to serve our communities. During early 2021, we expect to finalize and, if necessary, implement additional adjustments to further guarantee the future of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential. I hope you’ll continue to support us as we continue our thrilling work to improve our publications and inform our readers. Of course, we’ll strive to keep you updated on our progress. On behalf of everyone at InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential, I wish all of you and your loved ones a prosperous and exceptionally large 2021. Please, please, please, continue to be kind to yourself and others. There is so much more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. Fondly,

William Jackson, ABA, B.Acy., MBA Founder, Chief Business Officer, and Publisher of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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FEATURE

AFRO-LATINA BEAUTY BRAND CO-FOUNDER TALKS

and

TIPS, CULTURE, FINDING SUCCESS 10

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ADA ROJAS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL ENTREPRENEUR AND SMALL-BUSINESS OWNER. SHE’S ONE OF ONLY A FEW AFRO-LATINAS TO LAUNCH A BEAUTY BRAND WITH HER COMMUNITY IN MIND AS THE INSPIRATION. ALTHOUGH REPRESENTATION IS A HOT BUTTON TOPIC FOR MANY INDUSTRIES AND WORKPLACES, LATINA VOICES AND STORIES OFTEN STILL GO UNHEARD.

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I

FEATURE

n partnership with Target, Ada’s story is being told via the retailer’s Más Que (“More Than”) campaign, which is a new, year-long celebration that features Latino artists, entrepreneurs, and team members’ inspirational stories of success, resilience, and cultural contributions. Ada, an Afro-Latina Dominicana (Dominican) from the Bronx, is now on a mission to pave the way for other aspiring Latina entrepreneurs who also “live in the hyphen” and embrace their bicultural experiences. “I’m proud to be Afro-Latina,” says Ada. “I’m equally proud of my Latinidad but also proud of my Blackness because that’s what people first see when I walk into a room. I feel it’s my duty to use my platform so that my Latinx community can help uplift marginalized voices. With the current fight for social justice, people may forget the makeup of the Latino community is extremely diverse and inclusive of the African Diaspora. I’m hoping my platform and brand can help my fellow Afro-Latinas to always feel seen and heard.” As the co-founder of Botánika Beauty, a brand carried by Target nationwide since 2019, Ada and her six siblings were raised by their single mother who reinforced the importance of staying close to their cultural roots. As the first in her family to graduate from college, Ada used her cultural experiences as inspiration to create a beauty blog that launched her notoriety as an influencer who understands the nuances of hair and beauty care for Afro-Latinas. “I’m not creating a revolutionary product that is going to change the hair game, I just decided to be a little more intentional about the stories that we’re telling through products,” says Ada. Ada’s success story involves taking risks and luckily finding a mentor, a fellow Latina that helped make her dream of starting a natural hair and beauty brand for Latinas a reality. Ada’s entrepreneurial journey began after she left her job as a beauty influencer, with a sizeable YouTube following, to work on a cruise line. It was

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during this time of unplugging from her life as an online influencer she formulated a business plan and connected with her mentor, Aisha Ceballos-Crump, founder of Honey Baby Naturals, who guided and partnered up with Ada in the 2019 launch of Botánika Beauty. “When people think of entrepreneurship, they think of some pretty picture. But what about the lady from apartment 4B who makes cakes for everybody’s birthday and that guy selling pastelitos (“pastries”) on the corner? That’s an entrepreneur, too. Now that my brand is here, it’s my duty to do what Aisha did for me. I want to pay it forward, while also standing up for my community.”


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In that spirit, Ada offers her top five tips for other burgeoning entrepreneurs:

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Know the Community You Want to Reach. Start with an Established Mission for the Brand or Product That Will Be Created to Foster the Community Served. “I began my journey as a beauty influencer on YouTube because I didn’t feel seen in the beauty space. My mission was to create more representation. I made it a point to build and foster my audience as a true community and they ultimately ended up serving as the inspiration for my brand.”

2

Build a Network of Like-Minded Entrepreneurs to Exchange Ideas and Support Each Other’s Business Potential. “For me, networking is key. It’s crucial to put yourself in front of the right people who can help you. But beyond looking for help, I find it’s always more beneficial to be ready to offer something as well. Ask

yourself, “What can I offer and how can I be helpful to other entrepreneurs?” This mindset makes it easier to network and you’ll have the potential to help other small-business owners along the way.”

3

Build a Team, Delegate and Surround Yourself with Individuals who Share Your Vision and Values for Success. “When I first started my entrepreneurial journey, I did everything. Over the years as my business started to grow, I could no longer do everything. With advice from my mentors, I finally released my need for control and began delegating. I owe so much of my success to my incredible team and the people who I constantly surround myself with.”

4

Have a Learning Mindset and Focus on Continuously Improving Your Skills. “Study your industry as much as possible and never be afraid to ask for help. There are always new skills and techniques to learn. No matter how successful you may be, it is crucial to continuously look for ways to improve yourself and your business.”

5

Proper Self-Care is Crucial to the Success of Your Business. “You’re the most important asset in your business. What good is it to accomplish your goals if you’re tired and empty when you get there? Exercise daily, eat nutritious foods, take care of your mental health, find a hobby that will spark your creativity, make sleep a priority, and meditate. All of these things will help maintain energy and productivity.” Ada’s is just one of many success stories that Target is highlighting on its Más Que (“More Than”) content hub all year round. Visit target.com/masque for more information. (BPT) l JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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2021 HAIR FORECAST ACCORDING TO

EDWARD TRICOMI

A

OF WARREN TRICOMI SALONS

fter countless years of very successful industry experience, it’s safe to say the team at Warren Tricomi Salons has mastered the art of hair care. Co-founder Edward Tricomi is an extremely well-known master celebrity stylist; Edward’s unrivaled expertise sets trends and has defined beauty across the globe. Edward has a track record of working with tons of A-List celebrities, and it’s no surprise considering his jawdropping talent. In addition to his star-studded track record, Edward has worked for years designing hair for fashion shows including Valentino, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianfranco Ferre, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren.

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CONSIDERING THE NEW YEAR, WE’RE PLEASED TO SHARE INCREDIBLE INSIGHT REGARDING 2021 HAIR TREND PREDICTIONS, AS TOLD BY LEGENDARY MASTER CELEBRITY HAIR STYLIST, EDWARD TRICOMI OF WARREN TRICOMI SALONS.

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Fun fact: When Tim Burton got his hair cut by Edward Tricomi, he was inspired to write the movie Edward Scissorhands, and if you’ve seen the flick, you’re familiar with the way Edward Tricomi cuts hair; It’s a one-of-a-kind experience with lightning-fast blades and hair flying everywhere. Edward has us covered with the inside scoop on the most “happening” hair trends to look out for as we move through 2021.

kPHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF EDWARD TRICOMI, MASTER CELEBRITY HAIR STYLIST AND CO-FOUNDER OF WARREN TRICOMI SALONS.


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WARREN TRICOMI SALON.

The Cut Forecast for Winter Two haircuts you can expect to see a lot in the coming months as we begin 2021 are bob haircuts and long-layered haircuts. We’ll see short, bob haircuts with bangs. The long-layered haircuts, where the layers are not too drastic, but more subtle, are also something we’ll see this season.

rich and deep, in the brown, rust, and burgundy tones.

The Color Forecast for Winter During the winter season, the trending colors will continue to stay

The one-length haircuts are typically shoulder length or a little bit past the shoulder. With these types of cuts,

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The Cut Forecast for Spring and Summer As we transition into spring and summer, two cuts we’ll begin to see are one-length, blunt haircuts as well as short layered and disconnected short haircuts.

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the hair is all one layer; no layers, no anything, amazingly simple, straight lines. The disconnected short haircuts are when the underneaths are cut out and the tops are much longer. The Color Forecast for Spring and Summer With respect to color, as we transition into spring and summer, the trending colors will begin to lift and get lighter. Also, pastels, such as a pinkish rose and lime green, will become hot, out of the box, and trendsetting colors. l


THREE THINGS EVERY CONTACT LENS WEARER SHOULD KNOW An estimated 50 million people in North America wear contact lenses, precisely correcting their vision while offering ultimate flexibility to be physically active and look their best. Healthy eyes require good contact lens wear-and-care habits -- yet sometimes adults and teens struggle to remember. “People who love their contacts often have the best intentions to follow instructions from eye- care professionals. With so much else happening in their lives, it is possible to forget at times. That’s human nature,” says Dr. Rick Weisbarth, an optometrist and chairperson of the Washington, D.C.-based Contact Lens Institute. These behaviors are consistent with recently-conducted YouGov research among 705 adults in the United States. It reveals that while about three in four people will read a new product’s instructions, problems arise if they are too difficult to understand, misplaced or users find themselves in a hurry. In another eye-opening finding, 58 percent of respondents admit to figuring out how to use a new product by trial-and-error. Aided by these insights, the Contact Lens Institute has introduced The EASY Way (Eyes, Awareness, Safety and You), designed to streamline and simplify sometimes confusing contact lens wear-andcare guidelines. At the center of the program are three easy to recall steps for healthy, comfortable contact lens wear that everyone should know: 1. Think Clean. Wash and dry your hands every time before touching your lenses or eyes. If you wear reusable lenses, always clean and disinfect them with each removal, and clean your case as directed. Keep your lenses and case away from any type of water, which can contain harmful microorganisms. 2. Remember: Fresher is Better. Wear your contacts for as long as your eye-care professional says, replacing them with fresh lenses on schedule. Only wear daily disposable lenses once, and always rely on new solution for reusable lens disinfection and storage. Replace your case at least every three months. 3. Trust Your Eye Doctor. Listen to your eye care professional, who has specialized training. If you have any questions, contact their office -- they care about your health and great vision. More information for contact lens wearers is available at EASYwayprogram.org/MyEyes/ “Taking care of your contacts doesn’t have to be hard; it can be easy. That’s why thousands of optometrists and ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Canada will be sharing The EASY Way with patients in the coming months,” says Dr. Weisbarth. The Contact Lens Institute’s members include Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision. (NewsUSA)


BEAUTY MAKEUP EDITORIAL

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PORTRAIT of

A GIRL

kMAKEUP LENA KRASOVITSKAYA @lenakrasovitskaya PHOTOGRAPHER JULIETTE KRIVOSHEEVA @juliettekrivosheeva RETUSH RITAINTZ @ritaintz_photografer COSMETICS ZUII ORGANIC @zuiiorganic_rus MODEL ANASTASIA @book.scotch JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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BEAUTY MAKEUP EDITORIAL

PORTRAIT of

A GIRL

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IN FLUENCE

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PLUMMETING TEMPERATURES AND WHIPPING WINDS ARE HERE FOR MUCH OF THE COUNTRY, AND NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, COOLER AND DRIER WINTER AIR CAN REALLY WREAK HAVOC ON YOUR SKIN.

W

hen humidity is lower and indoor heat is on full blast, your skin gets stripped of the moisture it needs, causing dryness and dullness. All these factors can exacerbate the visible signs of aging, from loss of elasticity to lines and wrinkles. There are natural oils already in healthy skin that help create a protective barrier, but this time of year, extra

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LUXURY FOR LESS:

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TIPS FOR

GLOWING SKIN THIS

WINTER


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TLC is essential to combatting both aging and the changing elements - and you don’t need to spend a fortune to make that happen! Your lightweight moisturizers and oil-free cleansers work well in summer, but winter months call for a refresh if you want to maintain a glowing, youthful complexion. Whatever elements you’re facing, now is a good time to re-examine your skincare shelf and update daily habits. You can swap in cost-effective solutions that offer the luxurious experience and efficacy you and your skin crave, for less. Check out these tips to keep your skin healthy and glowing on a budget all winter long, including suggestions from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sabrina Fabi.

1

Find a Glow Serum at the Drugstore Sometimes a moisturizer is just not enough. “When your complexion is dulling, adding a lightweight serum with vitamin C to your routine can give skin the boost it needs to rebuild glow and instantly look more luminous,” says Fabi. RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Daily Serum is a new option that helps with radiance and firmness, with the bonus benefit of reducing fine lines and wrinkles. “What I like about this serum is the potency of the vitamin C. It has a 10% Active Vitamin C + Peptide

blend and it works fast, delivering both instant results and longerterm benefits after four weeks of using it,” Fabi adds. “You can easily find it at Target.com for under $25, and I think the results rival if not exceed some of the other expensive vitamin C options out there.”

2

Hydrate From Within It’s not just about products you put on your skin. Dewy skin starts from within - after all, your skin contains 64% water. Drinking plenty of water helps minimize dry skin that becomes more noticeable when it gets cold outside. As a rule of thumb, you should drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. To make your fluid intake more enjoyable, try adding sliced fruit to your iced water, or having a mug of hot tea when you’re feeling chilled.

3

Cleanse, Don’t Strip After a cold or long day, you might be tempted to hop into a long, hot shower. It’ll warm you up, but it won’t do your skin any favors. “Hot water breaks down barriers in your skin and takes away moisture,” says Fabi.

Aim to get in and out of the shower as fast as you can, using lukewarm water. Skip the soap or try a gentle cleanser. As soon as you’re done, pat dry and apply a moisturizing cream immediately to prevent your skin from itching and flaking. If you’re still feeling dry, consider investing in a humidifier to add moisture to your home’s air.

4

Moisturize and Protect Moisturizing your skin starts with finding the right product. Swap your summer formula for a thicker, more hydrating consistency. There’s no need to spend money on several expensive products. Look for an allin-one formula with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to draw water into the skin, and glycerin or dimethicone to help retain moisture and protect it from the elements.

5

Gently Exfoliate In between all that moisturizing, gentle exfoliation is also crucial to getting your glow. Buff away flaky dead skin cells so new ones have a chance to shine. Chemical exfoliators with alpha hydroxy acids also help improve the effectiveness of your moisturizer. When those dead skin cells aren’t in the way, your skin will absorb and retain more moisture. Winter is here, but your skin doesn’t have to pay the price. Follow these tips to stay within your budget and achieve the glowing, more youthful look you desire. (BPT) l

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DIGITAL STAR AND TV PERSONALITY

DAVID DOBRIK Teams with

FLOWER SHOP PERFUMES CO.

to Launch

DAVID’S PERFUME kPHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF DAVID’S PERFUME BY DAVID DOBRIK.

BRINGING HIS SIGNATURE BRAND OF SHAPE-SHIFTING FUN AND PLAY TO THE WORLD OF FRAGRANCES, FLOWER SHOP 26

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PERFUMES CO. LAUNCHES DAVID’S PERFUME BY DAVID DOBRIK, THE WILDLY POPULAR YOUTUBE STAR AND SOCIAL


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MEDIA PERSONALITY RECENTLY NAMED “GEN Z’S JIMMY FALLON” BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. DAVID’S PERFUME IS THE DEBUT

FRAGRANCE COLLECTION OF FLOWER SHOP PERFUMES, A NEW VENTURE BY SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR ISAAC LEKACH. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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vailable exclusively on www.davidsperfume.com, the D2C fragrance collection launches with two scents:

David’s Perfume #01: Amber & Cashmere, packaged in a semi-opaque black bottle, is an invigorating and alluring blend of subtle spice and woody notes. l David’s Perfume #02: Grapefruit & Sandalwood, packaged in a clear bottle with pink fragrance, is a warm, seductive scent with notes of grapefruit, violet leaf, amber, and sandalwood. l

On the heels of launching his first product, the mobile camera app

David’s Disposable, David Dobrik broadens into a new consumer lifestyle sector with the introduction of David’s Perfume. Known for his highenergy videos, his YouTube channel has gained 18.4 million subscribers and 7.8 billion views since its launch in 2015 and was the fifth-most viewed creator channel on YouTube in 2019. Earning numerous People’s Choice, Kids’ Choice, Shorty and Streamy Awards as a social media and reality TV personality, Dobrik landed on Variety’s 2019 “Power of Young Hollywood” list. People magazine named him the “Sexiest Heartthrob of 2019,” while the Wall Street Journal crowned him “Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon” in March 2020.

DAVID DOBRIK.

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“One of the first things I notice in a person when I first meet them is their scent. And I have always wanted to create the perfect smell that feels elegant and unexpected that everyone can use as their signature scent,” said Dobrik. “David’s enthusiasm for life and magnetic personality makes him a perfect candidate for this product category. Working with him on designing the packaging and finding olfactive notes reflective of his spirit was a singular and entirely pleasurable experience — one his fans, and fans of fragrance, will appreciate,” said Isaac Lekach, Founder and CEO of Flower Shop Perfumes. l


IN FLUENCE

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LIPSTICKS AND LIP STAINS FOR LATINXS:

PDL COSMETICS by

Patricia De Leon

PATRICIA IS A PANAMANIAN ACTRESS WHO WORKS BETWEEN ENGLISH AND LATIN ENTERTAINMENT MARKETS. SHE STARS AS RECURRING CHARACTERS ON TWO HIGH PROFILE ABC DRAMA SERIES, STUMPTOWN OPPOSITE ADRIAN MARTINEZ AND GREY’S ANATOMY SPINOFF, STATION 19. PATRICIA WAS RECENTLY IN CENTURION XII OPPOSITE BILLY ZANE AND AMBER MIDTHUNDER, AS WELL AS SPORTS DRAMA, ONE HEART. HER PENDING PROJECTS INCLUDE THE HEAVY LAUDED FILM ONE NATION UNDER GOD. PATRICIA IS AN ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST WHO IS THE FACE OF A WORLDWIDE ANTI-BULL FIGHTING CAMPAIGN AND SPOKESWOMAN FOR PETA WORLDWIDE. kPHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SHANDREW PR.

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P

atricia launches her line of lipsticks and lip gloss aimed at the Latinx community, PDL Cosmetics.

PDL offers three formulations – a ‘High Powered’ lipstick in 12 shades, ‘Bold Aspirations’ liquid lipstick in 12 additional shades, and ‘Sexy Shine’ Lipgloss in two varieties (‘Angel’ and ‘Pure’). The swatches offered encompass the notion of la belleza (beauty), being specially formulated pigmentations that compliment Latinxs skin tones. All three lines offer allday, luxuriously hydrating coverage while also being cruelty-free, vegan, and made in United States of America. The array of inspiring lipstick hues include Panama Paradise, Justice Speaks, Fearless, Senorita, Tropicana, Azucar Morena, Boom Boom Babe, Luna, Bonit, and September Rose. PDL Cosmetics icon of a butterfly represents the freedom and transformation possible; to be ‘You, Unlimited.’ The language of Patricia de León Cosmetics speaks from the heart and the story of Patricia de León herself. A woman with a dream whose passion and drive took her where she wanted to go. A woman who is dedicated to helping all women aspire and persevere. When asked about her inspiration for the brand, Patricia said, “I created PDL Cosmetics because I have learned through my life, career and work with others that beauty can be positively life changing. Color is incredibly powerful and transformational, and it was important to me that the products are flattering and last all day. The empowering feeling one gets when they put on a great lipstick or lip gloss is why my brand was born to encourage confidence and motivation for all.” PDL Cosmetics will be sold in the USA via www.PDLCosmetics.com and through beauty partners in Latin America. l

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LIPSTICKS AND LIP STAINS FOR LATINXS:

Patricia De Leon

PDL COSMETICS by

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EXCLUSIVE

ANTHONY SHOOK AND THOMAS SIEBENALER.

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ThomasSiebenaler AnthonyShook AND

OF FOSTER’S LAB ARE SERIOUS ABOUT SKINCARE FOSTER’S LAB IS A TEAM FOUNDED BY UNCLE AND NEPHEW, THOMAS SIEBENALER AND ANTHONY SHOOK. THE TWO HAVE ALWAYS BATTLED WITH TROUBLESOME SKIN THEMSELVES. AFTER TRYING MANY PRODUCTS THAT JUST DIDN’T WORK, THEY SET OUT TO MAKE A SKINCARE PRODUCT OF THEIR OWN.

kWRITTEN AND CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM JACKSON, ABA, B.ACY., MBA AND FOUNDER, CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER, AND PUBLISHER OF INFLUENTIAL MAGAZINE, SPANISH INFLUENTIAL, AND TEEN INFLUENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FOSTER’S LAB.

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EXCLUSIVE

hey soon realized they had created an amazing serum they wanted to share with others. The decision was made to team up together and revitalize their family’s brand name, and Foster’s Lab was born. What was once a family-owned chain of stores in the midwest is now an innovative skincare brand that is solving skincare issues for a hyper-connected world. Foster’s Lab is a family-owned brand to the core. They take a real sense of pride in what their family name represents. They promise to bring honest products that have real value to everyone. That is something that has been instilled in them from their midwest roots. They treat everyone as if they are a part of their family, and they love that their family is growing bigger and bigger every day. More About Thomas Siebenaler and Anthony Shook Co-founder & Lead Chemist, Thomas Siebenaler is a highly skilled Quality and Compliance professional with more than 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/FDA-regulated industry. During his career, Thomas worked with many prescription and over-the-counter treatments for acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, and skin blemishes, including cleansers, lotions, ointments, gels, creams, shampoos, and pads. Co-founder, Anthony Shook has many years of entrepreneurial experience under his belt, and decided it was time to make another dream come true. Initially, his uncle and himself brainstormed and created skincare products as a personal solution for themselves. The two decided to create their own remedy to protect against skin damage caused by blue light exposure from modern technology. In developing the products, the duo knew others could benefit from their work, and the Foster’s Lab brand was born. I had the pleasure of conversing with Anthony to learn more about the determined Foster family, why

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he’s proud of his family’s heritage, and why developing a successful skincare line is so important to him and the entire Foster family. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our lively and inspiring conversation. William Jackson: What was your inspiration for the Foster’s Lab skincare line? Anthony Shook: When my uncle and I decided to create our own skincare line, we looked back at our family history and the pillars of character instilled in us, honestly, family, and fair business and realized we could think of nothing better than to name our new skincare venture after our family’s heritage. In 1895 T.G. Foster started a line of general stores in the midwest, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana are called Foster’s. But the Foster family has been risk-takers and fought the status quo long before the first store opened its doors. In the 1600s the Foster family took a huge risk to move to the colonies here in America from England, facing a whole new world. Subsequently, the Fosters decided to move into what was then the Ohio Territory for more opportunity. Then T.G. Foster opened his own business which he kept running through several major conflicts in world history. The Foster family’s history mirrors that of the country in determination and ability to make something of one’s self, which my uncle Thomas and I are so happy to write our next Foster’s family chapter in our skincare line. William: What was the inspiration for your launch product? Anthony: Upon entering middle school, I started to have issues with my skin and acne. I remember getting so frustrated at my skin not knowing why some kids had no skin issues and I’d break out. As I continued through school and into my early adult years, JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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I continued to battle acne, which led me to many costly and painful treatments including laser and a few rounds of Accutane, a powerful acne drug. During the process of constant treatment and experimentation, I couldn’t find products actually work for my skin. Retinol was too harsh, but the other products weren’t harsh enough to fix the issues. The inspiration for the skincare line and hero product came from our battle with skin issues and the desire to make a product that would help solve many skin issues while simplifying the skincare routine and is reasonably priced. Many of my family members have skin issues like me or in addition to acne, like my uncle Thomas, Co-founder, and Lead-chemist of Foster’s Lab, have rosacea and wanted to have a serum that he could use without causing his rosacea to flare up. William: Foster’s Lab has recently introduced the Anti-Tech Serum. What specific skincare issues does it address? Anthony: When we formulated the Anti-Tech Serum, we really wanted to create a powerhouse serum that not only protected from environmental stressors like blue light damage and pollution but also gave visible results in the form of skin’s appearance and texture. We knew much like sunscreen, blue light protection and anti-pollution are important, but the results are not immediately visible since you’re preventing damage, so we decided to also repair and renew. The formula is specifically engineered to repair damaged skin in the form of collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but we didn’t want to stop there. With Vitamin C the Serum also has an anti-inflammatory property where it helps to calm the skin while brightening and evening its overall appearance. Brightening helps with hyperpigmentation from sunspots and acne scars. William: What do you believe customers will love most about the Serum?

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Anthony: I know I love the results I see by constantly using the Serum, my skin is radiant, and I know used properly customers will see real results. In addition, the number of ingredients and benefits of this product really make it a tremendous value at its price point. We want to make sure everyone had the ability to get a powerful serum, like ours, without the exorbitant price tag. William: How important were ingredient choices when formulating your line? Anthony: Ingredients are everything to us. My uncle is obsessed with knowing how ingredients work together and we can get just the right combination to have maximum results without irritation. Since I’ve sensitive skin from using Accutane and he has rosacea, results without irritation are important to us at Foster’s Lab. William: What are the three benefits consumers realize from using the Serum? Anthony: a. Reduction in fine lines and wrinkles b. Brightening and evening of skin tone c. Overall softer skin William: What is the hero ingredient if you had to select one? Anthony: Choose one? That’s hard since we’ve so many hero ingredients, but I think Vitamin C is a customer favorite for the anti-inflammatory with the brightening and evening of the skin tone aspects. William: Of what are you most proud about your product/brand launch? Anthony: To be able to work with my favorite uncle (don’t tell my other uncles), and reinvigorate our family brand with such high-quality products I’m really proud to put our name on. I’m immensely proud an idea my uncle and I had, came to fruition to create a product which allows users to have better skin while protecting them from

modern-day damage and blue light. We wouldn’t have thought this possible a few years ago. William: When developing the formula – did you identify the problems you wanted to solve first or the ingredients you wanted to use? Anthony: We knew we wanted to be different from other skincare brands in the market but were unsure initially how to do that. As we conducted more research on blue light and pollution damage, we realized we were onto something. We believe blue light protection will be like SPF in the coming years, where it’s common to know protection is necessary. However, we also know there’s nothing enthralling about sunscreen so we wanted to offer a product that did more than just protect but would help repair damage already done and visibly better everyone’s skin who uses the product. William: Describe the power of the ingredients. I understand there’s a high concentration of ingredients delivering extreme value? Anthony: We calculated the level of our active ingredients as we have more than one serum in one product. We worked to make them as potent as possible without interfering with each other or causing irritation to those with sensitive skin. For example, Bakuchiol, it allows us to provide a similar result to retinol but without the irritation and dry skin so many retinol users experience. We carefully turned each nob, if you will, to the edge where results would be powerful, but not irritate. William: Describe how you wanted to have your new brand revive your past family business name. Anthony: When we were thinking about what to name our new family endeavor it didn’t take us long to realize we had the perfect brand name, our own, and the heritage gave us so much inspiration for the brand. While the design process initially was very apothecary, we wanted to give the rebrand a modern fun esthetic and we added lab since my uncle is a chemist and we find the formulation of our products to be the most JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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important thing to us. Our formulation efforts are really the bedrock of our brand, building quality from the ground up. William: Why was it important to keep this in the family? Anthony: To be honest, for me, I’ve always turned to my family for support and when I thought of a skincare line before I even took another action, I called my uncle to ask him for his help. His experience and dedication to chemistry, not to mention him being a perfectionist, I knew were beyond essential for the brand. We wanted to carry on the tradition of high-quality services and products as well as honest business the Foster’s started back in the 1800s, and I believe we have done that today with Foster’s lab for the skincare industry. William: When it comes to blue light exposure, do you have additional tips on how people can help eliminate/reduce damage to the skin? Anthony: Once you have applied our Anti-Tech Serum there are other ways to help offset blue light exposure. Just like sun exposure, it can’t be completely avoided in today’s electronic world, but many devices have an option to switch into “night mode” where they alter the predominant colors of the screen from blue to yellow. There are blue light blocking glasses to help with eye strain, my favorite brand is Barner Brand, a Spanish eyewear designer. Some companies also make screens go over your computer screen or tablet. William: What inspired you to have the charity angle with the Tree-Nation? Anthony: Giving back has always been near and dear to my heart. During undergrad, I volunteered at both the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and as a pilot to fly search and rescue and disaster relief missions. We came across Tree-Nation and the idea of planting a tree for every Serum we sell, and it was a perfect match. We can offset any carbon footprint we create as a company and allow our customers to improve

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the beauty of their skin as well as the beauty of our earth by planting a tree. We feel so fortunate to have found a great partner like Tree-Nation to help us to make this a reality. We look forward to many more philanthropic initiatives as we continue to grow as a company and brand. William: I know the product is vegan – is it also organic? Are you Leaping Bunny or vegan certified? Anthony: I don’t believe we can claim organic since some of the chemicals are synthetic like most skincare brands, but we’ve confirmation from each supplier our products are all vegan and cruelty free. We have submitted the paperwork necessary and are waiting on the certifying agencies to finish processing our submissions. Stay up-to-date with everything Foster’s Lab by connecting personally with Anthony on Instagram at @Anthony.r.Shook, Foster’s Lab at @Fosters.Lab, and www.FostersLab.com. l

I’m immensely proud an idea my uncle and I had, came to fruition to create a product which allows users to have better skin while protecting them from modern-day damage and blue light.

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Vera Wang

FEATURE

STARS IN 2021 EPONYMOUS EYEWEAR CAMPAIGN

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or Spring 2021, the iconic designer incorporated feminine bridal elements to the otherwise tailored, modern looks. She styled each of her various looks in the campaign role playing iconic fashion personalities from ladies who lunch to disco queens.

“Eyewear is one of my favorite fashion / beauty accessories. Like a new lipstick or eyeshadow, a special pair of glasses can express your own sense of style, create a new persona and most of all, protect your vision....Eyewear is FUN, CREATIVE, EASY, PERSONAL, PRACTICAL!” – VERA WANG For 2021, those elements come into play in the form of shapes that range from feminine to masculine, but always keeping them modern and flattering. Colors and materials are often mixed by lamination or by layering to create a palette that plays on Vera’s use of grounded neutrals and dark floral touches. Crystal embellishments are still key for this collection and are used in more prominent ways. Several styles in both optical and sun feature crystals that are front and center. They are built into the shape of the frame and do not shy away from making a statement.

TO CELEBRATE THE LATEST EYEWEAR COLLECTION, VERA WANG HAS BECOME THE FACE OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.

The 2021 Vera Wang campaign starring Vera Wang features the latest styles from all the collections segments including luxe, core, alternative fit, and VWX. She wears stunning styles like Lilah, V573, V577, VA47, and more in the new campaign imagery. “We’re so thrilled to have Vera Wang featured in our 2021 campaign,” says Vice President of Marketing, Marissa Cundiff. “This is such exciting news for the collection and the imagery is beautiful. We couldn’t be more excited to release what we feel is our best campaign yet.” For more information on the optical collection visit www.kenmarkeyewear.com. New sun styles coming soon to baxterandbonny.com. l

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Vera Wang V577

STARS IN 2021 EPONYMOUS EYEWEAR CAMPAIGN

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IN FLUENCE

Fashion & Style

TOSS AWAY YOUR BERET:

JAY CHENG

MEET INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED HAT DESIGNER,

JAY CHENG. 56

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INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED HAT DESIGNER, JAY CHENG, HAS A NEW LINE OF WOOL AND FUR FELT HATS THAT WILL BRING A SMART CHIC TO YOUR WINTER LOOK.

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ounder of Jaycow Millinery, Cheng is showcasing her new Block Common ready-towear winter line. Felt hats have a long tradition providing warmth and elegance. Felt lends itself readily to moulding into creative and whimsical fashion looks. Felt is the oldest form of fabric known to be made by man. It predates spun fabrics and is produced by applying pressure to natural animal fibers such as fur or wool. The fine fibers are stimulated by moisture and friction, tangling and fusing together to create a solid sheet of fabric. “It is wonderfully versatile; its density makes it extremely warm,” says Cheng. “While felt is used in all manner of clothing, it lends itself particularly to millinery where it is both practical and at the same time provides the design flexibility needed for an original fashion statement.” So, this year, go for something new and stylish to up the ante on your winter look and brighten your 2021 winter style. l

kPHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF JAYCOW MILLINERY.

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IN FLUENCE

Fashion & Style

TOSS AWAY YOUR BERET:

MEET INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED HAT DESIGNER,

JAY CHENG

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MAN kPHOTOGRAPHER ARINA SOLNCEVA

@solncevaphoto MODEL NANA JUKWA @NANAjUKwA

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FEATURE

LIFELONG BOND:

HOW DAILY WALKS CAN HELP YOU AND YOUR POOCH BOND Bonding Reason

1

Bonding with your dog is give and take. During walks, you interact closely with your dog and he learns to react to you in a much better way. Some dogs are a bit shy when it comes to experiencing unfamiliar or uncommon situations. Through walks, you give your dog the support he needs, and he feels more secure. By knowing you’re there to protect, support and keep him safe in all circumstances increases his affection, trust, and bond to you.

Bonding Reason

2

In the wild, dogs live in packs with a hierarchical structure; therefore, they require a clear understanding of who’s boss. In your relationship - that’s you and you lead the way. Your pooch will love you even more if this relationship is followed through on your daily walks. By learning to walk properly on a leash, to concentrate on you and not be sniffing around, to follow your pace and direction, and to heel, your dog accepts your leadership position which helps both of you to bond even more.

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DR. MARGIT GABRIELE MULLER.


kWRITTEN BY DR. MARGIT GABRIELE MULLER,

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LEADING VET AND AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF YOUR PET, YOUR PILL: 101 INSPIRATIONAL STORIES ABOUT HOW PETS LEAD YOU TO A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL LIFE

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FEATURE

5

Bonding Reason

Walkies are the perfect time for quality playtime. Oneto-one time with your furry friend with the intention to enjoy a special time of the day together works wonders for the human-canine bond. Even a few minutes of fun playing will do the trick – and your dog will bond with you much more.

Bonding Reason

Bonding Reason

3

Daily walks are the best time of the day to talk to your dog. By walking on the leash, your canine partner learns to focus attentively on you and to expect your commands. Your role is to give him the motivation and praise when he is doing something well. Through positive reinforcement, your dog will understand what you want from him. Dogs love to please their leaders, so let him understand what he should do to please you. This creates a deep-rooted bond between you and your dog.

Bonding Reason

4

Strong mental health is vital for you and your dog to bond well. So, bring excitement in both of your lives. Daily walkies are a great way to escape from boredom, to bring new experiences and new sights that stimulate both your brains – and creates beautiful lasting memories. Doing something different on each walk keeps that stimulation high and makes the walks even more interesting. And your dog will love you even more because it’s you who give him those delights and take him out on another new adventure.

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Walking in different environments helps you understand your dog better. You see when he is happy, scared, worried, unsure, or simply wants to run from the situation. By observing your dog’s body language, such as how he holds his ears and tail, you learn a great deal about him. This is the key for a strong bond between both of you. Once you understand his emotions and feelings, you can calm him down and let him understand you are there for him. The better you understand your pooch, the more profound and unbreakable the bond between you and your dog will become.

Bonding Reason

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Walks are a highlight of the day to look forward to for both of you. They’re one of the best remedies for loneliness, unhappiness, and stress. It’s a time to be together as a great team, enjoy the moment, forget stress, relax, be happy, and simply have lots of fun.

Bonding Reason

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No daily walk is ever the same. Socializing with other dogs and their dog parents during walks shows both of you what a great team you are. It helps establish correct social behavior, which is vital for dogs, and benefits your daily life with your dog in a great way as it shows him the correct way to behave at home. The bonding benefits of daily walks can be achieved by just a quick 15-20-minute stroll although walking your dog twice a day for up to one hour is ideal. l


IN FLUENCE

Food & Beverage

PEANUTS AND SWEET POTATOES

ARE DELICIOUS SUPERFOODS “PEANUTS AND SWEET POTATOES BOTH CONTAIN NUTRIENTS THAT SUPPORT OPTIMAL HEALTH. ONE GREAT THING ABOUT COMBINING THESE SUPERFOODS IS THAT THE HEALTHY FATS IN PEANUTS MAY HELP YOUR BODY GET MORE VITAMIN A FROM SWEET POTATOES. VITAMIN A IS IMPORTANT FOR PROPER IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION AND HEALTHY AGING,” SAYS DR. SAMARA STERLING, NUTRITION SCIENTIST AND DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH FOR THE PEANUT INSTITUTE.

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ased in Albany, Ga., The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization supporting nutrition research and developing educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles that include peanuts and peanut products. The Peanut Institute pursues its mission through research programs, educational initiatives, and the promotion

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of healthful lifestyles to consumers of all ages. As an independent forum, The Peanut Institute is uniquely positioned to work with all segments of the food industry, the research community, academia, consumer organizations and governmental institutions.

FLUENTIAL JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Casserole with Peanut Streusel Topping Prep time: 25 Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins Total: 1 hour 55 minutes Servings: 10 For the sweet potatoes: 3 pounds sweet potatoes 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs ¾ cup low fat milk ¼ cup creamy peanut butter ¼ cup peanut powder/flour For the topping: 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted, salted peanuts


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Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and wash the sweet potatoes. Lightly prick the skin of each potato with a fork and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through. Allow to cool then peel. 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. 3. Place the peeled sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash well. Add

the sugar, vanilla, eggs, milk, peanut butter, and peanut powder/flour and mix until smooth. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish. 4. To make the streusel, combine the melted peanut butter, brown sugar, and all-purpose flour in a small bowl. Press the mixture together using the back of a spoon. Keep pressing and mixing until the mixture is combined and crumbly. Add the peanuts and mix well. Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potato filling and bake for

30 to 35 minutes or until the center is mostly set. Serve hot. Per Serving: 363 calories, 10.7 g fat, 2.1 g saturated fat, 38 mg cholesterol, 141 mg sodium, 60 g carbohydrate, 7.7 g fiber, 18.1 g sugar, 10.6 g protein, 65% vitamin D, 5% calcium, 12% iron, 27% potassium. For more peanut-inspired recipes, visit www.peanut-institute.com/ recipes. l

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IN FLUENCE

O

Food & Beverage

TURN TO TEMPEH FOR A PLANT-BASED

SUPERFOOD

ne increasingly popular way to add protein to your athome menu is with protein-packed, plant-based foods like tempeh. Tempeh’s roots date back thousands of years and originate in Indonesia. It’s an all-natural protein source made with simple, whole-food ingredients – most often fermented soybeans, water and rice – and is high in protein, packed with fiber and low in fat, sodium and calories. Tempeh is also loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium, manganese, phosphorus and iron, and has all nine essential amino acids. Because it’s fermented, the nutrients in tempeh are easy for the body to digest. The health benefits of tempeh, including 18 grams of protein per serving, are one reason to give it a try, but another is it’s easy and versatile to cook. It has a firm texture, nutty taste and can be baked, fried, steamed or grilled. Tempeh also easily absorbs marinades, spices and sauces. To prepare tempeh, cut it into cubes, strips or crumble it then toss into a stir-fry, layer it onto a BLT sandwich or simply warm a skillet and sear it

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until golden brown. The possibilities for tempeh are nearly endless, and it’s also increasingly easy to find. For example, Lightlife, founded in 1979 as “Tempeh Works,” was among the first commercial producers of tempeh in the United States. Today, it offers its Original Tempeh at more than 18,500 retail stores nationwide. Find protein-packed meal ideas, like Sesame Ginger Tempeh Power Bowls with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes, at lightlife.com. (Family Features)

Sesame Ginger Tempeh Power Bowls with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes Pickled Pink Onions: 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 2 teaspoons white sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 teaspoons sesame oil 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

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AS A KEY PART OF A NUTRITIOUS EATING PLAN, PROTEIN INTAKE CAN BE A HEALTHY STEP TO TAKE IN THE NEW YEAR. 2 teaspoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds Sweet Potatoes: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices Tempeh: 1 package (8 ounces) Lightlife Original Tempeh 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 cups baby spinach or kale 2 cups cooked tri-color quinoa, at room temperature 1/2 ripe avocado, cubed 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained 6 red grape cherry tomatoes, halved 6yellow grape cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup pea shoots


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To make pickled pink onions: In small pot, bring white wine vinegar, sugar and salt to boil. Add onions and toss to coat 15 seconds. Turn off heat and let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and bright pink. Set aside. To make sesame ginger vinaigrette: In small bowl, stir vegetable and sesame oils with ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Pour into two small ramekins. Set aside.

To make sweet potatoes: In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add sweet potato slices and cook, turning occasionally, 15-17 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary until tender when pierced with knife. Remove to cutting board and cut each slice into quarters. Wipe out skillet. To make tempeh: Cut tempeh crosswise into eight triangles. In nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, heat vegetable oil. Cook tempeh with soy

sauce until golden brown and warm, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove tempeh from pan and add baby spinach or kale; stir 1-2 minutes just until wilted. To assemble bowls: On bottoms of two shallow bowls or plates, spread cooked quinoa. Top with piles of warm sweet potatoes, pickled pink onions, sauteed spinach or kale, avocado, chickpeas, grape tomatoes, and pea shoots. Top with tempeh and serve with sesame ginger vinaigrette. (Family Features) l

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Food & Beverage

CREATE PLENTY OF CHEER WITH WHAT IS SINGANI 63? IT’S BEST DESCRIBED AS AN ELEVATED DRINKING EXPERIENCE. IMPECCABLY CLEAN AND UNDENIABLY MIXABLE, SINGANI 63 IS A BOLIVIAN SPIRIT WITH A RICH HISTORY DISTILLED HIGH IN THE ANDES FROM MUSCAT OF ALEXANDRIA GRAPES. LET US INTRODUCE YOU TO THIS BOLIVIAN SPIRIT BY SHARING THESE DELIGHTFUL RECIPES CURATED BY MIXOLOGISTS FROM AROUND THE UNITED STATES. CHEERS TO AN AMAZING 2021! Vegan Egg Nog Revolution Recipe by Chad Phillips, Baker’s (Seattle, Washington) 1/2 oz Singani 63 1 1/2 oz Lustau Solera Brandy 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum 1/2 oz Bittermens Tepache 1/2 oz Shio Koji Rice Milk 1/4 oz 2:1 Demerara Syrup

1 cup of cranberries, 3 sprigs of rosemary. Crush, strain when thickened. Mix first three ingredients with ice, top with club soda, and garnish.

After the Frost Recipe by Emily Morton, Deli/126 (Burlington, Vermont) 1.5 oz Singani 63 .5 oz Amaro Nonino

1. Swizzle over crushed ice. 2. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Singani Roseberry Spritz Recipe by Becky Alford 2 oz Singani63 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice 1/2 oz Rosemary Cranberry Simple Syrup* Club Soda Rosemary Sprig and Cranberries Garnish *Roseberry Simple: Boil 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water,

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SINGANI ROSEBERRY SPRITZ.


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STEVEN SODERBERGH’S SINGANI 63! kPHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF

SINGANI 63.

.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice 1 Bar Spoon Honey, or to Taste (Preferred Raw Honey) 3 Drops Owl & Whale Lemongrass Bitters 8 oz Chamomile tea Fennel Frond for Garnish 1. Start brewing the tea in a separate vessel and simultaneously pre-heat the teacup with hot water. 2. After 3 - 4 minutes, empty the prepped warm teacup and add the remaining ingredients.

AFTER THE FROST.

3. Top with the tea, and garnish with a fresh fennel frond.

3. Garnish with mint sprig and cocktail cherries.

Naughty

“Nice”

Recipe by Ivy Mix 1.5 oz Singani63 .75 oz Lemon Juice .25 oz Simple Syrup .75 oz Red Currant Jelly Infused with Ground Ancho Chili (1/2 cup: 1 tsp) 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters 1. Shake all ingredients with ice. 2. Strain over rocks glass filled with crushed ice.

Recipe by Ivy Mix 1.5 oz Singani 63 .75 oz Simple Syrup .75 oz Coconut Milk 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 2 dash Angostura Bitters 1. Shake and serve up. 2. Garnish with grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick. l

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FEATURE

DID YOU KNOW MULTIVITAMINS WERE CREATED DURING WORLD WAR II, IN ORDER TO HELP AMERICANS ADDRESS FOOD SHORTAGES DURING THE WAR? AND MULTIVITAMINS HAVE BEEN POPULAR EVER SINCE, HELPING PEOPLE MAKE UP FOR NUTRITIONAL AND DIETARY DEFICIENCIES. NOT EVERYONE IS SUCCESSFUL AT GETTING ALL THE NUTRIENTS THEY NEED FROM THE FOOD THEY EAT, SO MULTIVITAMINS SEEM LIKE A REASONABLE CATCH-ALL TO STAY HEALTHIER.

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ut the science of nutrition has changed a lot since the 1940s, and the fact is, multivitamins are a one-size-fits-all approach to an extremely individualized issue - your body and its unique needs. What you may require to best support your personal well-being is unlikely to be the same as what your neighbor needs.

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WHY YOU MIGHT NEED

MORE THAN A DAILY MULTIVITAMIN

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF WWW.PERSONANUTRITION.COM.

FEATURE

A new survey for Persona Nutrition by Wakefield Research reveals that almost half (47%) of Americans say it’s even more important to take a daily multivitamin now than last year. Most people look to multivitamins for specific health challenges, including: l 53% for supporting their immune system l 44% to have more energy l 26% to maintain a healthy weight l 24% to support a good night’s sleep l 24% to maintain a healthy stress level

However, a multivitamin might not contain the exact nutrients to help all people with those health concerns. In addition, vitamin supplements can also have a potentially negative effect on - or interaction with - other medications you may be taking. How to Determine Your Vitamin and Supplement Needs Answering simple questions about your health history, lifestyle, and medications in the online assessment at www.PersonaNutrition.com will reveal your personalized plan for recommended vitamins and supplements in 3-5 minutes. “At 50, I’ve learned that I need more than a multivitamin to tackle my sleep and digestion challenges, so I love having all of my vitamins and supplements - like melatonin, peppermint, vitamin D, ginger, omega-3 and probiotic - organized with my multivitamin in daily packs,” said Kelly Ripa, award-winning host and executive producer of LIVE with Kelly and Ryan. “It’s reassuring to connect with Persona’s nutritionists whenever I have a question or want to try a new combination of vitamins - they really take the guesswork out of my vitamin routine.” The company’s proprietary algorithm used for the assessment is based on scientific research reviewed by a team of doctors and nutritionists, factoring in your lifestyle, individual needs and current

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for potential drug-nutrient side effects - and we complement our high-quality multivitamin with specific nutritional supplements that are aimed at supporting each person’s health issues and diets.” Top Health Concerns Jackson points out the company’s approaches to address three of the primary health concerns of Americans right now. Your immune system. Health-conscious consumers today are looking for ways to support their immunity. “It’s important to remember that the immune system is just that - a system,” says Jackson. “Your multivitamin should be paired with good lifestyle habits and complemented by immune-supporting supplements like quercetin, garlic or even additional vitamin D, when needed.” l

Fatigue. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to fatigue. If you are already regularly taking a multivitamin, you might consider having bloodwork done at your next wellness visit to look for other issues. If you have done so and still experience low energy levels, it may be a good time to complement your multivitamin with natural nutrients, including fermented ginseng or adaptogenic cordyceps. l

Sleep problems. During challenging times, getting enough sleep is even more important than ever. While vitamins and minerals can play a role in your ability to fall asleep and sleep soundly, taking a multivitamin alone likely isn’t doing the trick. Consider supplementing your vitamin with sleep-inducing ingredients such as L-Theanine, hops extract and melatonin to support sleep quality and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. l

prescription medications to provide doctor-formulated vitamin and supplement recommendations that are as unique as you are. “Especially for those with specific health concerns, whether stress and sleep problems, energy levels or immunity concerns, a multivitamin alone is not going to supply sufficient or targeted nutrition,” said Courtney Jackson, MPH, CN, director of nutrition research at Persona Nutrition. “We feature daily nutrition coaching from on-staff nutritionists, a robust database to scan

It’s time to swap your one-size-fits-all multivitamin for a more scientific, personalized approach to your nutrition, so you can give your body what it truly needs, not what your neighbor needs. (BPT) l JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

BLACK WOMEN CAN MAKE TO IMPROVE HEART HEALTH

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE -THE LEADING RISK FACTOR FOR HEART ATTACK AND STROKE CONTINUES TO DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECT COMMUNITIES OF COLOR. ADDRESSING THIS HEALTH INEQUITY IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW, AS PEOPLE WITH HYPERTENSION AND SERIOUS HEART CONDITIONS ARE AT AN INCREASED RISK FOR MORE SEVERE OUTCOMES IF THEY ACQUIRE COVID-19.

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ccording to the American Heart Association, the prevalence of high blood pressure among Black adults in the U.S. is among the highest in the world, with the prevalence of high blood pressure in Black women nearly 40 percent higher than white women in the U.S.

While many long-standing inequities and stressors produced by structural racism have created and

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continue to exacerbate these conditions, there are steps individuals can take to help improve their blood pressure right now. The New Year is a great opportunity to prioritize self-care and get started. This is why the American Medical Association (AMA), the AMA Foundation, Association of Black Cardiologists, American Heart Association, Minority Health Institute and National Medical

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Association have launched the “Release the Pressure” campaign with ESSENCE. The campaign is aimed at partnering with Black women to help improve their heart health and be part of a movement for healthy blood pressure, with a

kPHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF

shared goal of engaging more than 300,000 Black women. As part of the campaign, the AMA and this coalition of national health care organizations encourages Black women to take a pledge to be part of

(C) YACOBCHUK / ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES PLUS.

a healthy blood pressure movement at ReleaseThePressure.org. Specifically, the pledge encourages Black women to take the following four steps: 1. Set a blood pressure goal: Schedule an appointment with your physician or other health care professional, in-person or virtually, to work in partnership on understanding your blood pressure numbers and knowing your goal for optimal blood pressure. 2. Monitor blood pressure numbers at home: Once you learn your blood pressure numbers, take and keep regular records of your blood pressure. 3. Activate a personalized wellness plan: Identify specific goals for fitness and heart healthy eating and connect virtually with family members and friends from your “squad” to keep you on track. 4. Make regular check-ins with your “squad”: Lean on your family and friends to help you achieve your heart health goals by checking in with them on a daily basis. “Preventive care is vital to breaking the devastating impact of high blood pressure within the Black community, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Patrice A. Harris, M.D., MA, president of the AMA. “At the individual and family level, it starts with understanding blood pressure numbers and taking action to manage blood pressure.” (StatePoint) l

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Health & Wellness

WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FAMILY’S DENTAL HEALTH

IN THE NEW YEAR

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THE NEW YEAR IS THE PERFECT TIME TO HIT “RESET” AND START OVER WITH FRESH DENTAL HABITS THAT CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH.

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kWRITTEN BY PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF

(C) WAVEBREAKMEDIA / ISTOCK VIA GETTY IMAGES PLUS.

s we move into the new year, so many of us are looking at our health and wellness through a new lens,” says Dr. Ruchi Sahota, American Dental Association (ADA) spokesperson. “Your oral and overall health are connected -- and even small improvements in your oral health routine can have big payoffs in your overall well-being.” To help you usher in 2021, the ADA offers seven recommendations for improving your family’s dental health routine:

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Brush twice a day for two minutes each time using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Gently move the brush back and forth in toothwide strokes. Brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically

and make up-and-down strokes. Parents should instruct kids to do the same.

2

Clean between teeth daily using only interdental cleaners, such as floss or water flossers, to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.

3

Eat a nutritious diet. Sugary foods and snacks can lead to tooth decay. On the other hand, calciumand phosphorous-rich foods protect and strengthen tooth enamel. Fruits and vegetables are also good choices for a healthy smile since they have high water and fiber content, which help clean teeth.

4

Schedule regular dental visits for prevention and treatment of oral disease. Experts say that your family can have safe dental visits, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in 2020, the ADA used science to develop guidance for dentists on extra steps they can take to help protect patients and staff, in addition to the infection control procedures they’ve always followed. According to a report published in the “Journal of the American Dental Association” in October, 2020, 99 percent of dentists are using enhanced infection control procedures and disinfection practices when treating patients.

5

Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Every product carrying the Seal has been evaluated by independent experts to be safe and effective. To earn the Seal, companies are often asked to meet higher standards than what’s required by law. Look for specific Seal bullets on the back of every Seal product package to find out how they can help keep your mouth healthy.

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Think twice if you’re considering DIY dental treatments. Some such fads, like oil pulling, are just not effective. Others, such as whitening with charcoal, could even cause damage. Before taking matters into your own hands, talk with your dentist to learn about the potential risks and benefits of each treatment. “A dentist’s office is a safe place where a doctor is ensuring you’re getting quality care that will actually treat the root of your problem,” says Dr. Sahota.

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Ditch bad habits that can harm oral health, like nail-biting, clenching your jaw, chewing ice and using your teeth as a stand-in for tools like scissors. For more dental health tips and resources, visit MouthHealthy.org. You can find a dentist near you by visiting FindaDentist.ada.org. Resolving to improve your family’s overall health? Start with your dental care routine. (StatePoint) l

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KEEP UP THOSE NEW HEALTHY EATING HABITS WITH

FARMBOX DIRECT

IT’S A NEW YEAR AND ALONG WITH THAT COMES NEW GOALS AND RESOLUTIONS, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THE TOP GOAL THIS YEAR IS A FOCUS ON IMPROVED HEALTH.

Meet Farmbox Direct, safely delivering organic produce right to your door with a click of your mouse. Farmbox Direct, a pioneer in the wellness and food delivery space, brilliantly offers customizable boxes filled with fresh fruits and vegetables directly from organic farms. Farmbox Direct is helping you to stay true to your resolutions this year, or just simply helping you to eat well and balanced without needing access to a farmers market or having to step into a crowded grocery store. Customers can choose between three different seasonal box sizes - they even offer specific boxes for juicing and boosting immunity.

nfortunately, there’s STILL no easy pill to suddenly lose that 20 pounds that has been hanging around or a smoothie that will increase immunity. However, there’s one simple action you can take to meet any wellness goal, whether it is weight loss or to make sure you’re getting proper nutrition, is upping the fresh fruit and veggie game.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for proper nutrition, and in turn, actively support a wellfunctioning immune system, which is the absolute best base for building foundational wellness and immunity. There’s much to be said for fresh organic produce versus conventional grocery store produce. There’s also a well-documented, large nutritional discrepancy between fresh from farm to

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table when compared to conventional grocery store produce. This is due to the deterioration of nutrients during the transit time between farm to distributor to inventory to grocery store stock room to grocery store floor - you simply cannot get the full nutritional value from conventional grocery store produce. Created by Ashley Tyrner, Founder and CEO of Farmbox Direct, a mom who didn’t always have time to make a weekly trip to her local farmers market to pick up the freshest, local, produce for her kitchen. Ashley began to realize the true need for this service. With the underlying belief that everyone truly deserves the right to eat healthy, Farmbox Direct was born with a vision of how food SHOULD be: fresh and local. Her driving principle is to address the needs of busy moms, foodchallenged families and to eradicate the overwhelming food desert problem. Ashley personally hand picks every farm, and vendor that Farmbox Direct works with. Learn more at www.farmboxdirect.com. l


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ASHLEY TYRNER.

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A DIFFERENCE-MAKING DISINFECTANT

With a need to protect your home and family like never before amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s exceedingly important to ensure your spaces are properly disinfected, which means bacteria and viruses are completely inactivated or destroyed. Consider these steps to disinfect surfaces with an option like Original Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner. The disinfectant received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for kill claims against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after third-party laboratory testing proved the disinfectant’s efficacy against the virus when used as directed on hard, nonporous surfaces. To learn more, visit pinesol.com/covid-19-resources. (Family Features)


PREPPING FOR DISASTER AMID COVID-19 With this natural disaster season almost sure to be unlike any Americans have faced before amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s all the more important to take small steps to protect yourself and your family in the event of a natural disaster. Consider

these tips from Monica Sanders, disaster response expert, and Clorox. To find more information on how to help keep your family safe before and after a natural disaster at Clorox.com/ disaster-preparedness. (Family Features)


FEATURE

IT’S NO SECRET THIS YEAR HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING IN A MYRIAD OF WAYS. LIFE ALWAYS COMES WITH ITS SHARE OF DIFFICULTIES; HOWEVER, 2020 BROUGHT WITH IT A MORE CONSISTENT FLOW OF STRESS TRIGGERS. kWRITTEN BY DR. PATRICK PORTER, NEUROSCIENCE EXPERT AND CREATOR OF BRAINTAP®

THE EMOTIONAL

TOLL OF 2020 90

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About Dr. Patrick Porter Patrick K. Porter, Ph.D., is an award-winning author and speaker who has devoted his career to neuroscience and brainwave entrainment. As the creator of BrainTapŽ, Dr. Porter has emerged as a leader in the digital health and wellness field. BrainTap’s digital tools and mind development apps use Creative Visualization and Relaxation, a biohacking technique that has made tremendous advances in helping mental, physical, and emotional health issues. BrainTap has been praised for helping people relieve symptoms associated with stress, insomnia, pain, and much more. For more information visit www.braintap.com.

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FEATURE

mong COVID-19, this year has been overwhelmed with political tensions, racial prejudice, unemployment spikes, natural disasters, and completely new routines. Yet through upheaval of our normal lives, the day-to-day stressors remained unchanged: bills, work, school, and more moved forward at a rapid pace. The emotional toll of 2020 topped with everyday stress can cause health problems, financial worries, worsening of mental health conditions, changes in eating and sleeping, and an overall rise in worry. If you’re feeling completely undone after a year as traumatic as 2020, you’re not alone. Our bodies are designed to use stress as a tool of survival. But what happens when we are in survival mode nearly every day all day? Understanding this may help us better understand the emotional toll of 2020 and where we go from here. How Stress Affects the Body When our bodies are in survival mode, our central nervous system triggers our fight, flight, or freeze response. This response in the brain causes the body to release hormones attributed to stress: cortisol and adrenaline. Stress hormones cause blood flow to increase to the heart, muscles, and brain for quick thinking survival. However, if stress is chronic and constant, the body is unable to turn off the response and return to normal hormone levels. This can cause further issues, such as the following: l Irritability l Increased mental health conditions l Digestion issues l Difficulty sleeping & daytime grogginess l Increased chronic health issues l Weakened immune system Combating Chronic Stress Triggers It’s crucial to create a system for your body to reset and recharge for the day. Allowing stress to build can cause issues in both your mind and body, like when pipes continuously get backed up with no place to release the pressure. Here are helpful ways to release some of the built-up pressure from this year:

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Spend time with nature. Our minds and bodies do better when we take our eyes from the harmful screens and addicting technology we’re constantly using. Spending time in the outdoors allows us to gravitate toward the healing influence of being with nature and allowing ourselves to rest from the constant flow of stress. On the days you cannot get outside, BrainTap provides the healing wavelengths of being out in nature at the touch of a button on the app or through the headset. l

Take a break from social media. The world changes rapidly around us — faster than any other point in history. One such area is in the use of social media. Our brains have not yet evolved to be able to handle the opinions and influence of hundreds, let alone thousands, of others. Humans traditionally have lived in small tribes, villages, and communities; today, we may still live in a small town or even a big city, but social media causes us to have more eyes on us than we are yet equipped to handle. Taking a break from the unattainable standards seen on social media, as well as the temptation to compare ourselves to one another, allows us to soothe the stress that affects our minds and bodies. l

Keep in touch with loved ones. Remaining intact with friends and families is crucial for not only surviving in life but thriving. We’re social beings, and as such, we need to create and maintain relationships throughout our lives. Though COVID-19 protocol can often make this difficult, technology can be a great tool to remain connected with our loved ones. Plan regular calls and ways to reach out to your friends, family, and community to help ease the day-to-day stress. l


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l Create a routine — and stick to it. COVID-19 has

caused a major shock to everyone’s daily routines. Routines are important not only to accomplish the tasks you need to get complete during the day and week, but also for our overall brain health. Our brains thrive on routine and predictability, especially for those who struggle with mental health conditions and addictions. Plan out your day and week, scheduling out the things you need to get done and when you’ll accomplish what’s required. This includes keeping a regular routine of sleeping, eating, and working. Doing so allows the brain to function better and your body to deal with stress as it comes and goes. Exercise your body. It’s well-known endorphins make you happy. Each day strive to get your heart l

rate accelerated and moving; changing your heart rate each day will slowly allow you to change your life. Exercising allows the brain and body to process stress and negative emotions, while flooding the body with positive endorphins. Additionally, sitting inside all day in a hunched over position looking at screens can cause a major strain on your body. Exercising and getting your body moving helps stretch out your body, healing both body and mind. Moving Forward The emotional toll of 2020 can be a learning experience if we so choose. Much of the baggage of 2020 will follow us into 2021; nevertheless, we can be stronger, more prepared, and better capable to deal with the stress of whatever is to come in the new year. l JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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HOW TO GIFT HAPPINESS IN

2021

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2008 study out of the Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia has shown that the act of giving gifts makes people happy. Even happier than if we spent the money on ourselves. So, to make everyone

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more cheerful, here are some smileinducing (and stress-reducing) gift ideas for 2021. Plants to Calm and Cheer If you’ve never heard of the term ‘biophilia’ that’s OK, most people

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THERE ARE NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT: 2020 WAS A LOT TO TAKE IN. WE FORGED AHEAD AND MADE AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN IN THE FACE OF ENORMOUS UNCERTAINTY, BUT IT WASN’T AN EASY TASK. IN 2021, EVERYONE’S LOOKING TO GROW THEIR HAPPINESS AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS. IT’S ONLY NATURAL, AND FORTUNATELY RESEARCH HAS GIVEN US SOME SOLID IDEAS OF WHERE TO START.


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haven’t. It’s a theory that says humans naturally seek out and benefit from connections to nature. Research has backed up this theory, particularly with the study of houseplants. Houseplants can do everything from bettering our concentration to improving our wellbeing. A 2019 Japanese study showed that people with a small plant on their desk showed lower anxiety and stress levels after four weeks. “Plants are the perfect gift to help us relax and be happy,” said Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising for leading gifting site 1-800-Flowers.com. “For folks looking for a way to connect in 2021, you can’t go wrong with the Prayer Plant, deemed our plant of the year. Its leaves fold together at night like praying hands, making it a wonderful reminder to be thankful and calm.” The Red Maranta Prayer Plant also makes a great gift because it’s easy to care for. When gifting houseplants, you’re hoping to give your loved one something that will last for months or years to come. Choosing a hardy species will help make that a reality, while a finicky plant might backfire and cause more stress for first-time “plant parents.” Flowers to Energize Another gift scientifically proven to drive happiness, according to a Rutgers University study, is a lovely bouquet of cut flowers. What’s more, flowers provide an instant burst of color. Bright colors have been shown to have their own

positive psychological effects, from releasing “feel-good hormones” to increasing a person’s motivation. One especially positive color is yellow. It can have uplifting, illuminating and energizing effects. Perhaps that’s why a yellow hue was chosen as one of Pantone’s colors of the year for 2021, and why it is featured prominently in the 1-800-Flowers.com flower of the year: sunflowers. Gifting a sunflower bouquet is an easy way to spread happiness. Not only do they boast bright, cheerful

colors, they’re also a large bloom that lasts more than a week after being cut. The Shared Joy of Gift-giving At the end of the day, there are a lot of ways to do gift-giving right. In 2021, look for presents that channel a strong sense of optimism and positivity. After all, those are feelings we all craved more of during 2020. Remember, whatever gifts you give, there’s happiness to be had all around. The joy of giving is equal to the joy of receiving, which makes gifting a sure-fire way to grow happiness in 2021. (BPT) l

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FEATURE

RESOLVE TO ACHIEVE HEALTHY SLEEP IN 2021 ACCORDING TO A RECENT SURVEY FROM THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE (AASM), 85% OF U.S. ADULTS DO NOT GET THE RECOMMENDED SEVEN HOURS OR MORE OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT.

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fter a challenging and stressful year, the New Year provides Americans with the opportunity to refocus on the importance of making healthy sleep a priority. “Our survey findings show a worrying trend of national sleep deprivation,” said AASM president Dr. Kannan Ramar. “Insufficient sleep contributes to the

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risk for several of today’s public health epidemics, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. As such, it is critical that we incorporate healthy sleep habits and routines into our daily lives to be our best in 2021.” Why should we make healthy sleep a New Year’s resolution?


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The AASM recommends that adults sleep at least seven hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. In the same survey, slightly more than onethird (34%) of Americans said they sleep for seven or more hours only two nights - or fewer - each week, in line with findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Regularly sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. Resolve to make 365 days of healthy sleep your goal for 2021 by keeping in mind its extensive benefits: l Sleep makes you healthier - Without good sleep, both mental and physical health suffer greatly, putting Americans at an increased risk of chronic disease. l Sleep makes you happier - Sleep has a positive effect on mood and overall sense of well-being and can improve relationships with others. l Sleep makes you smarter - Getting the right amount of sleep is conducive to learning, memory recall, creativity, and cognitive function. What is inhibiting us from achieving the recommended seven hours of sleep? Despite evidence showing the importance of adequate sleep, it often can take a back seat to other behaviors we find important. According to the AASM’s July 2020 survey, a vast majority (68%) of U.S. adults lose sleep due to drinking alcohol past bedtime. Americans also report staying up past their bedtime to binge-watch a TV show or stream a video series (88%), read a book (66%), watch a sporting event (58%) and play video games (50%). How has the pandemic impacted sleep? With a change in daily routines, the COVID-19 pandemic is also disrupting sleep for Americans. According to the AASM survey, one in five Americans (22%) are sleeping worse due to the pandemic, and 19% are getting less nightly sleep.

“Despite the fact that many Americans are no longer commuting to and from work, it is paramount to establish and maintain morning and bedtime rituals, such as getting up and going to bed at regular times to achieve adequate sleep,” added Ramar. What are some tips to kick off the New Year with healthy sleep? l Obtain adequate sleep - Set a bedtime that allows you to get enough sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed and alert. Identify an appropriate bedtime for your age and lifestyle using the AASM bedtime calculator. l Establish a bedtime and waketime routine Consider developing a nightly routine that evokes calm and relaxation, which may include reading, journaling, or meditating. Even for those working remotely, allow ample time to wake, reflect and prepare for the day ahead. l Ensure the bedroom is a space for sleep - Limit noise and distractions by making your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool - and only use the bed for sleeping, not watching TV, or reading. l Set boundaries for blue light exposure Consider setting a technology curfew by turning off your TV and other electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Silence your notifications and charge your devices away from your bed so you are not tempted to look at social media or news alerts. l Limit alcohol, caffeine, and large meals before bed - Avoid consuming caffeine after lunch and avoid alcohol near bedtime, as both can disrupt sleep. If hungry after dinner, keep snacks small, sugar-free, and easily digestible so as to not disrupt sleep. For PDFs of the AASM’s 2019 and 2020 Sleep Prioritization Survey results, please visit aasm.org/ about/newsroom/. For more information on the importance of healthy sleep, visit SleepEducation.org. (BPT) l

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MEDIA INFLUENCER, ACTIVIST, AND ENTREPRENEUR,

MarcusBell, IS LIVING HIS PURPOSE 98

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MARCUS “BELLRINGER” BELL IS AN AMERICAN MUSIC PRODUCER, SONGWRITER, MULTIINSTRUMENTALIST, SINGER, SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER, ACTIVIST, AND ENTREPRENEUR. k WRITTEN AND CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM JACKSON, ABA, B.ACY., MBA AND FOUNDER, CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER, AND PUBLISHER OF INFLUENTIAL MAGAZINE, SPANISH INFLUENTIAL, AND TEEN INFLUENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF KYLE WEEKS.

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M

arcus has marketed and promoted, produced, remixed, and written for, mentored, and developed some of the world’s most notable superstars and brands. His list of credits includes Nicki Beyonce, Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Timbaland, Sony Music, HBO, Netflix, Showtime, Discovery Network, Amazon, Warner Brothers, Arista Records, EMI, and Universal Music. He has also created music for worldwide brands such as McDonalds and General Mills. Marcus Bell, the entrepreneur, is the CEO of Bellringer Productions LLC, a music sync licensing and production company that operates a catalogue of over 10,000 songs and over 300 recording artists. Marcus published an Amazon #1 bestselling book titled Bellringer Branding Bible: The 5 Musician Branding Principles for Singers, Rappers, DJs, Music Producers, Composers, Writers, and Recording Artists. From the Beginning The son of national tennis champion Carolyn Williams Bell and entrepreneur father, Harvey Lee Bell Jr., Marcus was born into an environment of excellence and creativity in Norfolk, Virginia. With a love for the arts fueled by the support of his parents, he started playing piano and studying music when he was two years old and started an independent record label at twelve. Marcus’ teen years were spent studying and developing his craft as he learned to play over twelve instruments and gained mastery in songwriting and producing music. He also learned how to build audiences of fans and supporters at an early age. After high school, Marcus attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he majored in business with a minor in music. He later transferred to the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston where he graduated with honors. At the end of his time at Berklee, he briefly interned at Universal Music Group and then began working for BMG (Arista Records,

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Jive Records, and RCA) marketing and promoting the careers of some of the biggest recording artists such as Britney Spears, Usher, and Puff Daddy, and groups such as Outkast and TLC. After working for major entertainment companies for four years, Marcus realized entrepreneurship was his pathway to being self-expressed and fulfilled. He has been creating value as a creative technologist and sustained a thriving entertainment business over the past two decades. Having started several companies, Marcus has achieved many successes, learned from failures, and has inspired and helped hundreds of artists develop their creativity. He has been using his experience as an entrepreneur to make a difference in people’s’ lives with his Wealth and Impact Bootcamp. Marcus is committed to social justice, dignity, and compassion and has been involved in social issues such as promoting STEM education in underserved communities to music education in schools. After participating in marches and political campaigns, Marcus realized the power of music to impact society and be a vehicle for the empowerment of communities. In 2018 after the passing of his mother, he created the Carolyn Bell Foundation whose mission is to advance the causes of social justice through storytelling and the arts. Marcus is a social media influencer who is unstoppable, and he’s motivating people from all over the world who are touched directly and indirectly by his wisdom and musical genius. He believes every human has amazing inner potential which can be tapped into and encouraged to grow. His mission is to leave a legacy which helps to provide meaning to billions of people. I invite you warmly to step into our exclusive conversation. I hope you’re just as inspired by the accomplishments and humble attitude of Marcus Bell.


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William Jackson: Let’s start with how Marcus “Bellringer” Bell, as a person and brand, have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic. Marcus “Bellringer” Bell: These are troubled times in which we’re living. I know five people who’ve passed from COVID-19 or related issues. I’ve friends and clients who’ve contracted the virus and I feel very fortunate my family and I haven’t suffered from the medical issues impacting so many. It’s been a surreal experience and I’m hopeful about the vaccines. My business has been thriving and growing manifold during this period. It’s nothing less than a blessing for me as a brand. I’ve been able to offer help to the people who’ve been interacting with my training programs and music opportunities by not just providing hope for now and the future but also a frame of reference that helps them to embrace their inner power. I’ve been pouring myself into not just my own personal ambitions but other’s success as well and I’m seeing people’s lives transform for the better.

them, living them, and then inventing new dreams. My internal work is to stay present and in gratitude for the amazing life I’m living.

William: I should ask, what was your dream? Marcus: I’ve always had big dreams of helping the most amount of people I could. That still is the dream I’m pursuing in various ways whether it’s creating music which uplifts people or by being an example of what is possible for others by striving to live to my fullest potential as a human being. I had what I’d call here “the music dream” the first time I played an original song in front of an audience and people started crying. Right now, when I get a message from someone that my music helped them in some way get through another day, it makes me feel like my work is meaningful.

I’ve always had big dreams of helping the most amount of people I could. That still is the dream I’m pursuing in various ways whether it’s creating music which uplifts people or by being an example of what is possible for others by striving to live to my fullest potential as a human being.

William: When you were a boy, did you dream the life you’re living now was possible? Marcus: I’m future oriented and I can see possibilities for myself but also possibilities in and for others. I can’t remember ever not being that way. I was exposed to a lot having started in business when I was nine years old and having been featured in the media and performing for thousands of people so young. I saw successes early on which fueled my motivation to keep going and creating bigger dreams.

William: How does the reality compare with your dream? Marcus: My life right now is unimaginable to what I knew even ten years ago. I’m still learning how to live my dreams. As far as I can tell, there’s creating dreams, maintaining them while you pursue actions toward

William: What were your emotions when, for the first time, a crowd roared for music for which you’re associated? Marcus: There’s no feeling like the roar of a large crowd in appreciation. It’s a high difficult to express. It’s like being in love and receiving love back for the first time. That rush of warmth and excitement, hope, and attentiveness… multiply by 10,000! The first time I felt that was on stage with President Clinton at one of the inaugural events when I was playing saxophone. It was incredible. I’ve experienced that many times now with various recording artists, and it’s a drug I can’t kick. William: From where does your strong work ethic originate? Marcus: I got it from my mother, Carolyn Williams Bell, who died a couple of years ago. I’d see her stay up late at night working on a grant, a project, or her dreams till she couldn’t go anymore. Because of that drive, she was hugely successful at whatever she endeavored. She did whatever it took to make things happen and JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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I’ve been the same way. It’s easy when you’re doing what you’re purposed to do, difficult when you’re not doing what you were put here to do. William: What’s noteworthy about Norfolk, Virginia? Marcus: It’s a small city which has struggled with racism and racial tension for a long time. I was involved in a school busing lawsuit when I was ten years old in the 80’s where my mom and I were sued by the city. She was trying to get me into a better school as well as break down the walls of segregation in that city. We lost the case. William: Share with me the highlights of growing up Marcus Bell. Marcus: I grew up with love and support from my family. Encouragement to live my life in the best way possible. I was thinking recently about this topic. The best quality music instruments and equipment can be expensive. My family sacrificed a lot to pay for lessons and purchase the recording equipment I needed to be able to record my songs when I was growing up. I had money coming in from shows but not enough to afford the thousands and thousands of dollars spent for my record label start-up back then. They were my first investors and after them I had some mentors who invested in me. Being able to launch into the music business so young was a major achievement I didn’t recognize until later in life.

patterns, to improvise in conversation and to create possibilities in life. The direct connection between applying practice to learn a musical instrument and learning something like marketing or how to build a website is no different in the amount of effort and near immediate feedback. Anything worth endeavoring in takes deliberate practice and I learned how to practice very early.

William: Tell me about your favorite childhood memory. Marcus: One of my favorite memories was when my dad took me to a parking lot when I was a kid. He got out of the car and handed me the keys and said, “today you are going to learn how to drive”. I was around eight years old and was shocked and excited! That was the beginning of me realizing the limitations people often have don’t have to apply to me. If I could drive a car, I could drive a business.

After a love breakup when my heart is bleeding on the keys of a piano. I use music to channel the heartbreak and those songs hold meaning and healing.

William: Tell me about the experience and long-term impact of studying music at such a young age. Marcus: I believe the study of music for everyone is as essential as studying reading, writing, and math. It’s a language all of humanity hears but very few, in general, can speak. There are scientific studies which talk about the impact music has on brain development and emotional wellness. It’s a biological necessity as far as I’m concerned. It has helped me with being able to see

William: From where do your best productions come? Marcus: After a love breakup when my heart is bleeding on the keys of a piano. I use music to channel the heartbreak and those songs hold meaning and healing.

William: When listening to an artist, how do you know whether the person has what it takes to be successful in the music industry? Marcus: I’ve the ability to see potential in people and hear potential. I also recognize it takes more than a great voice and artistic perspective but also requires an experienced team that can navigate all of the nontalent oriented factors for being successful. When I’ve coached artists in my programs, we get into the other elements which allow an artist to define what success is and organize a plan to achieve it. William: When it comes to lyrics, do you believe you’ve a sense of responsibility to the artist and, subsequently, the listener? JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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Marcus: I see my job as a songwriter being a communicator of the human experience. My aim is to capture the emotions all can access. I’m a lover of words and meaning. Lyrics are just one of the many opportunities for expression music gives us. William: What is your process for creating a great lyric? Marcus: I keep a note on my phone which has hundreds of lyric ideas and titles. I don’t create the lyrics; the lyrics create me. I’m still learning how to better express and solve the puzzles crafting a lyric requires. William: What is your ultimate Top Five Play List? Marcus: 1. Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing (Stevie Wonder) 2. A Hour Is Not a Home (Luther Vandross) 3. Halo (Beyonce) 4. Jealous (Labrinth) 5. Better Days (Diane Reeves)

William: What’s most important when it comes to nurturing a successful personal relationship? Marcus: Everything is important especially when acceptance, unconditional love, loyalty, and trust are present.

I see my job as a songwriter being a communicator of the human experience. My aim is to capture the emotions all can access. I’m a lover of words and meaning. Lyrics are just one of the many opportunities for expression music gives us.

William: Whom do you recognize as your most influential partner in the music industry and why? Marcus: My wife Clare has been most influential. She isn’t in the music industry, she’s an educator but she was with me when I was struggling to find my footing and learning how to have a sustainable career. She’s seen my ups and my wilderness experiences when I was disappointed when something didn’t go the way I planned as well as seen me soar. William: There’s no argument you’ve made great impact in the music business. What do your accomplishments and accolades mean to you? Marcus: I’m grateful for all that has happened with all the mistakes I’ve made and learned and grown from. However, as it comes to meaning…We still have homelessness in the world, there are people still

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hungry, there are kids victimized by sex trafficking, and I could go on…I have a lot more work to do in music and through music. It’s a mountain with no top for me.

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William: How do you determine who you are when considering this thing called ‘fame’? Marcus: In my Wealth and Impact Bootcamp we spend time unpacking fame and all the dimensions to it. There are 28 levels of fame and once I saw that in my studies on celebrity it gave me a different relationship with Fame. To me, fame is ultimately a vehicle to make a contribution to the world. William: How has your imagination carried you forward in your successful music career? Marcus: It has allowed me to have a music career. Without imagination there’s no differentiation. Without imagination there’s a dreary future. With imagination we write our destiny.

William: What is your best achievement in life, to date? Marcus: Me and Clare adopting our daughter Melonie. It’s been the ultimate accomplishment. Nothing compares to being a father. William: Marcus, are you having a good time doing what you’re doing? Marcus: I don’t do anything I don’t enjoy. If I hate doing something, I’ll try and automate it, delegate it, or hire someone to do it. I’m striving to live every moment in my genius zone doing what I’m here to do. I’m living my purpose. l


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Lifestyle

RESOLVE TO LEARN TO PLAY AN

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INSTRUMENT IN THE NEW YEAR

ave you been wanting to learn to play an instrument for a long time? Let the New Year be your motivation to finally take the plunge. Here are some top tips for getting started and for sticking with it:

Schedule practice sessions: Learning to play an instrument requires a time commitment, so actually schedule a daily practice session -- at least 30 minutes -- in your planner or calendar. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or just before bed, identify a time of day when you are best able to turn off distractions and focus on the task at hand. l

Check out online resources: While in-person lessons may not be available at the current moment, you might try taking a remote class or working with an online

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music teacher. Free tutorials are also available online and have the added benefit of being paused or replayed again and again. Stay motivated: When learning a new skill, fast progress can be one of the greatest motivators. Thankfully, some of the latest tools make picking up the basics easier then ever. For example, with the Casiotone Keyboards from Casio, which feature a built-in learning system, you can go from being a novice to an intermediate player in a matter of weeks. By connecting the instrument to the free Chordana Play app, you can learn to play your favorite songs from downloaded MIDI files. Some of the keyboard models in this series even feature light-up keys, helping new musicians quickly get the hang of proper finger placements and chords. l

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Set new goals: Set concrete goals and dates by which you’d like to achieve them. This could be mastering a particular song or performing a live stream concert for your friends over social media. Always having a new goal to reach toward can keep things fresh, helping you stick with your New Year’s resolution. l

l Be compassionate with yourself:

Learning to play an instrument is not easy, and some practice sessions will

go more smoothly than others. Have patience with your own progress and try not to compare yourself to others, especially those who have been playing a lot longer than you! Building your music skills is not only fun, it’s good for your mental and physical wellness, making it the perfect New Year’s resolution. Be sure to get started with the right mindset and tools. (StatePoint) l

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Lifestyle

HOW YOUR FAMILY CAN ADOPT HEALTHIER

DIGITAL HABITS IN

2021

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AS WE HEAD INTO 2021, ADULTS AND KIDS ALIKE MAY STILL BE ENJOYING THE EXCITEMENTOF DIGITAL DEVICES RECEIVEDAS GIFTS OVER THE HOLIDAYS. HOWEVER, THE NEW YEAR IS ALWAYS A GREAT TIME FOR A RESET, SO ALONGSIDE THOSE NEW DEVICES, CONSIDER ADOPTING SOME NEW DIGITAL HABITS.

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ere are some great ideas for helping your family build healthier relationships with their digital devices:

Get healthy: Not all screen time is wasted time. You can use your device in positive, productive ways that help your family work toward improved physical health. For example, a steps counter might encourage your family to move more or even take up running, while a yoga app can help guide your family through quick routines you can practice from the comfort of home. l

l Get smart: Likewise, the members

of your family can use their devices to exercise their minds. Encourage everyone to let their smartphones and tablets double function as e-readers, and to download apps that teach new skills and build knowledge. You can even try setting a goal as a family, such as learning a new language using the same app.

l Schedule digital downtime: Too

much screen time is associated with poor quality sleep, increased anxiety and a range of other physical and mental health concerns, so be sure each day includes digital downtime. This is especially important if your family is working and learning from home right now. Make the most of these screen-free blocks by engaging in active play, moving, getting fresh air or spending quality time together. l Get assistance: Making sure every

member of the family is using their device only in safe and healthy ways is easier said than done, however, a parental guidance app can help.

Using OurPact for example, the most comprehensive parental control app, you can remotely establish automated schedules for when internet, apps and the device itself are unavailable. Features include URL whitelisting and blacklisting, daily screen time allowances and iMessage/SMS blocking, helping ensure device usage passes your approval. Available at the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, parents can also sign up for an account at www.ourpact.com. For better overall health and wellness, make 2021 the year your family adopts great digital habits. (StatePoint) l

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Travel

TOP WAYS TO VACATION RESPONSIBLY IN 2021

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eading to Coastal Mississippi: The Secret Coast is a good option as its location in the Southern United States brings warm weather throughout the year, plus access to the Gulf and plentiful opportunity to explore outdoors. Travel interest is up for The Secret Coast as its 62 miles of scenic shoreline dotted by unique coastal communities boast Southern charm and hospitality. Many people are choosing to discover this destination based on the Coastal Mississippi Promise of Health and Safety, which pledges that visitors can expect all hospitality partners to follow recommendations from leading health agencies and regional health care authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. “Travel will likely still look different in 2021. While we welcome visitors to explore Coastal Mississippi and safely create lasting memories, we encourage travelers to make informed decisions when planning their vacations,” says Milton Segarra, CEO of Coastal Mississippi. In addition to visiting a destination that prioritizes public health, it’s wise to take additional steps to keep your travel group and others

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AFTER MONTHS OF CAUTIONARY TRAVEL AND SHELVING VACATION PLANS, PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH FAMILIES AT HOME, ARE RESEARCHING HOW THEY CAN INDULGE THEIR WANDERLUST SAFELY AGAIN IN 2021. THE GOAL IS TO ENJOY A VACATION IN A RESPONSIBLE MANNER, CREATING MEMORIES WHILE KEEPING YOURSELF AND OTHERS SAFE.

includes when you’re on vacation, so pack extra masks and plan on wearing them indoors - such as at shops or attractions - as well as outdoors if you’re within 6 feet of another person not in your household. You might even consider ordering special masks that commemorate your group trip rather than the traditional T-shirt. They make for great vacation photographs!

safe. To help you do that, here are some of the most effective ways to vacation responsibly in 2021:

Sanitize Frequently Keep hands clean by washing regularly and avoid touching your face. Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds, or about the length of time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. When soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a good option. In addition to hands,

Mask Up Everyone 2 years and older should wear masks while in public, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation. This

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Know and Follow Local Restrictions Although the federal government has provided best overall practices for staying safe during the pandemic, specific regulations may vary depending on where you travel. Take the time to research your destination and what specific protocols they may require. Then talk with your travel group ahead of time so you can all be proactive in following these rules and keeping everyone safe.


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consider sanitizing surfaces before use, such as the tray table if flying on your vacation. It may have been sanitized already, but this gives you peace of mind and limits germspread even more. Enjoy Outdoor Spaces When planning your itinerary, consider ideas that are outdoors. Fresh air and space to social distance is safer and can make your vacation more enjoyable. From beautiful bayous and bays to the longest man-made beach in the nation, Coastal Mississippi offers an array of outdoor adventures, including exploring the Gulf Islands National Seashore at Davis Bayou, water paddling along scenic blueways, fishing trips, sunset boat excursions and much more.

Explore Accommodations You want to be comfortable where you stay and confident it’s clean, so spend some time researching what different accommodations are doing to keep guests safe. Then, book what feels right for you, whether that be a sprawling resort, private bed and breakfast, or unique boutique hotel. Featuring four modern, floating cabins complete with wet bars, and private, lush outdoor showers, Hotel Beatnik in Mississippi’s Ocean Springs Creative District offers a fun new option for travelers. Book Tickets Early for Attractions Many attractions are altering procedures and rules to keep wellness top of mind. Call and ask about what they’re doing to keep everyone safe and if there are new occupancy limits. You

may want to book tickets early because fewer are being sold so less people are in a particular attraction at once. The newly opened Mississippi Aquarium in Coastal Mississippi is adhering to all recommended guidelines and provides an opportunity for visitors to explore more than 80,000 square feet of exhibits connected by landscaped walkways with plantings representing all seven Physiographic Regions of Mississippi. Stay Home if You Feel Sick Finally, if you feel sick, stay home. Many accommodations and attractions will refund your money or offer vouchers for use in the future. That way you can go when you’re feeling well and can fully enjoy your trip while also helping to limit the spread of illness. (BPT) l

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FEATURE

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Gratitude, Positive Intention, Mindful Meditation Several years ago, I felt something was missing in my life. I constantly sensed the loss of something I just couldn’t put my finger on. Unbeknownst to me, I was seeking satisfaction and happiness in all the wrong places. A concerned friend urged me to start a daily exercise I still practice today and has really helped me control my thoughts and how I act and feel. Express Gratitude Each morning I take a minute to greet the sunrise with the words, “Thank you, God, for this awesome and amazing day you have gifted me.” I say these words out loud, and my day begins from there. Today is the gift, and we’re blessed to be opening our eyes and breathing despite whatever problems you’re facing. You don’t have to thank God. You can thank whatever spirit, energy, or creator you believe in. Gratitude has physical, psychological, and social benefits. Practicing gratitude has been shown to improve your immune system, regulate blood pressure, reduce aches and pains, and help with sleep. Gratitude can help you to achieve higher levels of joy and allows those who practice it to feel less lonely and more optimistic. The mind-body connection is very real.

About Dr. Robert Kiltz Dr. Robert Kiltz is an author, motivational speaker, artist, board certified OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist, and Founder and Director of CNY Fertility, one of the largest and most dynamic fertility centers in the country, featured in the Wall Street Journal, Today Show, and CNBC for helping shape the future of fertility medicine. With more than three decades of experience, Dr. Kiltz has developed cuttingedge protocols grounded in Western medicine and supported by Eastern practices, and changes to diet and lifestyle. While working with patients on dietary and lifestyle changes for fertility, Dr. Kiltz discovered that he was simultaneously helping hundreds with other medical problems (diabetes, IBS, chronic migraines, and much more). He has earned recognition outside of the fertility world for pioneering the holistic health movement and the keto lifestyle. In addition to his own media outlets, Dr. Kiltz appears regularly on numerous popular blogs and has shared his views as a TEDx speaker. For more information visit www.doctorkiltz.com.

EASY EXERCISES TO IMPROVE

THE DAILY MINDSET kWRITTEN BY DR. ROBERT KILTZ, THOUGHT-LEADER IN HEALTH, WELLNESS & MEDICINE PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF WWW.DOCTORKILTZ.COM.

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Kindness begins with the person you see in the mirror. Make sure you are saying positive and uplifting things to yourself when you look in the mirror. Love thyself first. And remember, happiness isn’t what brings you gratitude; gratitude is what brings you happiness. Set a Positive Daily Intention After expressing gratitude, I write my positive intention for the day. I use my own words to express the beauty I feel inside and around me. Unlike goals that are usually related to outward, measurable things (like weight loss or learning to speak Italian), intentions are internal motivators and inspiration for how you want to treat yourself and others and how you want to live your life. My positive, intentional thoughts lay the foundation for my success. Often my inspiration is quotes or the writings of others. Sometimes they are my own observations, but they are always reminders to recognize the beauty of love, kindness, and gratitude in life. You decide if it’s a good day or bad day, an easy day or hard day. In the words of Prentice Mulford, “Thoughts are things.” Our thoughts can manifest any number of experiential and material effects. A negative thought will attract negativity just as a positive thought will attract positivity. We can reverse our negative thought patterns simply by changing how we view our career, family, friends, and life as a whole. We must start by appreciating the small stuff, like the hot cup of coffee you had this morning, a blue sky, or the beauty of new-fallen snow. In doing so, we allow ourselves to be open to love and positivity and resist negative and emotionally unhealthy thought patterns.

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Most of us spend lots of time thinking about what we put into our mouths. We read books on diets and blogs about nutrition, but we don’t invest the same concern about what we put into our minds. I’m talking about television, weather, talk radio, negative gossip from friends, etc. These are all external influences that distort our perception of reality and start to control our lives.

Find Moments for Mindful Meditation Take breaks during the day to practice moments of mindfulness. I practice meditative breathing several times a day. Breathe in through the nose for five seconds; hold it for six seconds and breathe out through the mouth slowly for seven seconds. “In through the nose, out through the smile,” I like to say.

To find our best selves, we need to look inward. Once you find the beauty within, you begin to see the beauty all around. Remember, you create the vision of your health and wellness in your mind, and then you make it happen. Setting your own daily intention can be a great first step toward a more positive outlook and life.

Although this breathing is a meditative practice, you don’t need to be sitting in a lotus position or at an ashram or yoga studio. Right where you’re sitting, standing, lying, resting, or relaxing is just fine. Just stop what you’re doing and focus on your breathing for a minute or two. Think of it as a little snack break for your mind.

If you’re struggling to find a positive uplifting messages, I’ve begun compiling my own on my website and in my book, and invite you to take a look.

It takes just 21 days to create a habit. Take the first step today to a happier, healthier, more positive you this New Year. l

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IN NETWORK

A Person You Should Know

Who He Is: Chris Besse is a Partner and Chief Commercial Officer at Edsby, a learning management system for K-12. Chris is an experienced and recognized leader with a history in the e-learning industry. Prior to joining the Edsby team, he served as CEO at EdgeMakers and FreshGrade and prior to that, SVP and Managing Director, K-12 at Nelson Education. Chris joined Edsby in September of 2020 to help drive global growth. Pointing Out Potential: Having worked in and led edtech companies for over 30 years, Chris was close to the needs of K-12 school districts and was astounded to discover just how superior a service Edsby was and quickly realized the company’s vast market potential. The Edsby platform’s unique and comprehensive breadth of features provides K-12 education with the richest set of engagement and data management capabilities available in a single application. Chris started down the path with Edsby as an investor, but the more he learned, the more excited he became. Early Success: In the same month that Chris joined Edsby, he felt compelled to chart a path for the company’s success by leading an investment round, securing $5.3 million in Series A financing to boost growth worldwide. Based in Toronto, Edsby has had good traction in North America and is expanding to select regions worldwide. Edsby has been architected from day one to be customizable to incorporate local educational policies and terminologies for a wide range of districts, regions and countries in different languages.

CHRIS

BESSE

Partner and Chief Commercial Officer Edsby Ontario, Canada

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Long-lasting Confidence: Before joining the team, Chris understood how Edsby had proven itself over the last 10 years to be the right technology for its market. In K-12, there’s been wide adoption of free software like Google Classroom and other edtech point solutions. But districts and regions, particularly in these challenging times of online learning, have been hitting the limits of what lightweight systems can do. In 2020, Edsby won EdTech Startup of the Year, Best Parent-Teacher/School Communication App or Tool, Best Learning Management System and Best Classroom Management System. Chris is confident in Edsby’s future success in K-12, with its modern, born-in-the-cloud architecture built specifically for the unique requirements of big data, mobile and social media.


PHOTO COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES

COMMIT TO GETTING THE CARE YOU NEED AS YOU AGE

Older adults in America are living longer lives and will outnumber people under the age of 18 by nearly 500,000 by 2034, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, living longer does not automatically mean living healthier or happier. In fact, nearly 61% of people in America aged 65 and older live with chronic conditions, according to the National Institutes of Health, and a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found nearly 1 in 4 older adults are considered to be socially isolated. Research published in “Health Affairs” indicates that people who advocate for their own care feel more empowered. The age-friendly health systems approach can help older adults take control of their well-being and demand care that helps them maintain independence by making sure their doctors know their needs and preferences; also called “what matters.” Just as the name implies, age-friendly care prioritizes what matters most to each individual older adult and helps meet goals such as daily walks around the neighborhood or cooking favorite meals. To get started, consider these four essential elements of age-friendly care from The John A. Hartford Foundation to discuss with your doctor: What Matters. As people age, what matters most to them might change. It is important to share concerns, goals, wishes, needs and experiences with your health care providers. What matters also includes end-of-life care goals and preferences.

Medication. Many older adults take multiple medications, which can cause side effects and, in turn, impact daily living. Honest conversations with doctors about medications, their interactions and side effects can ensure treatment plans are optimizing quality of life. Mentation. Older adults are at higher risk for dementia, depression and delirium, and conversations with medical providers about changes in memory or mood and annual screenings for dementia and depression can lower the risk. Mobility. Staying active can help older adults maintain health and independence. Talking to health care providers about mobility concerns can identify personalized tips to improve strength, flexibility and balance. Healthy aging is possible when the patient and care team are on the same page with the same plan in mind. For ideas on how to start these conversations, visit johnahartford.org/ agefriendly. (Family Features)


January / February 2021 InFluential Magazine