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February/March 2008

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A Little Less Conversation… A Little More Action


Volume 3 Number 3 Editor-in-Chief Lisa Peters

I overheard a long conversation recently. It went something like this. “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… ” All those blahs are enough to give you the blues! Why is it that we spend so much of our time venting, complaining, discussing, debriefing or decompressing? We are the generation with the gift of the gab. It is as important as breathing! On average you take 18–20 breathes a minute (normal breathing that is, not after you have been training like a racehorse) but you can talk 200 words a minute–and we all have some fast talking friends who can easily beat that! Some do not let even a brief moment of silence fill the air.

Assistant Editor Matthew Peters Creative Director Lisa Massicotte Advertising Director Jo-Anne Kourtis Photography Nick Lafontaine Ryan Young Logo Design Armen Pattoukian Bayou Design Studios Contributors Corrie Sirota-Frankel Dani Brassard Dr. Marlene Kalin Erica Moscovitch George Demirakos Greg Gottlieb Linda Zlatkin Marla Gottlieb Ryan Young Technical Support Ouestech: Dani Brassard Ed Dowbyhuz Newsstand Distribution Benjamin News

Ten minutes and 2,000 words later, can your brain even absorb all of that? Remember the line “You had me at hello,” said by Renee Zellweger to Tom Cruise when he went on and on and on professing his love to her in Jerry McGuire? We spend so much time processing what we hear it is like we go through a food processor ourselves–coming out all diced and sliced. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of talking things out. But when is too much talk, just too much for the human psyche? When does it amount to neurological OVERLOAD. Your brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, are constantly firing messages and receiving them. In the time it takes to read this sentence your brain has done more processing than the most sophisticated computer. Your hippocampus, at the center of the brain, processes information before it is stored and overload is easy, especially if you are tired or disinterested. To make matters worse, men and women’s brains are different! (quelle surprise). A man’s ability to process and solve complex problems declines after 16 and women start having issues processing information quickly. So too much talk, especially if it entails a lot of problem solving or processing, can actually backfire those neurons right back at you.

ME Magazine is published six times a year by Panther Publications Inc. 65 Brunswick Blvd. Suite 225 Montreal, Quebec H9B 2N4 Tel: 514-421-5995 Fax: 514-421-5991 Email:

When it comes to e–mail, the problem increases. Fingers move on a keyboard faster than a tap dancer. Many people can type over 80 to 100 words a minute (with typos galore). One hour and 4,800-6,000 e-words later, processing and responding to all those words, have depleted a great deal of your brain cells. Originally captivated, maybe even addicted, one e-hour later you feel drained. You yawn and then you wonder where the time went? You wonder why you didn’t accomplish what you wanted. Your desk is still piled high, the house is a mess, and your kids are playing in traffic.

Toll Free: 1–877-421-5995

By 2:00 a.m. your eyeballs look bug-eyed. Add a few glasses of wine to your e-talks and whoa! But what did you really accomplish? Maybe the answer is a little less talk and a little more action.

Printed in Canada ISSN 1712-6525

If you can spend an hour talking about quality time you should be spending with someone, maybe replace it with a real moment spent in a hug or warm embrace. We can talk and talk the days and nights away until there is no grey matter left in our brains, but life goes anyway. At the end of the day, it is what you have done, that means the most. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t tell me–show me might just be the answer, or maybe a little of both. Maybe life is largely based on show and tell. Hope you enjoy the issue!

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Magazine Fund for this project.

Lisa Peters Editor-in-Chief



me & my child

Brooke Shields, Rowan and Grier The pain and gain of motherhood: Lipstick Jungle’s Brooke Shields’ Real Life Battle

DEPARTMENTS 5 Editorial 8 Contributors

HEALTH 10 Health Tips 12 Health Myths 14 Let’s Get to the Heart of the Matter 16 Getting Back into the Stretch of Things

LIFESTYLE 17 Preventing Identity Theft Online 18 Top 10 Weight Loss Tips



20 Houdini, an all new stage musical, captivates au the three week run of this inspired world premier Montreal Highlights Festival and sponsored by Er showcases over twenty actors and six live music event in this year’s Festival.

34 ENTERTAINMENT 20 Magic at the Segal 22 What’s Going On In Montreal 24 Upcoming Theatrical and DVD Releases 26 Star Power 28 Celebrity Parents 29 Magazine Launch: Introducing Me & My Child

GO GREEN! 30 Top Ten Ways To Save Your Planet 34 Healthy Body, Healthy Planet

PETS 36 Aging is Not a Disease

38 36

udiences at the Segal Theatre for re. Co-produced with The rnst and Young, Houdini ians on stage and is a featured

LOVE 38 A Passion for Passion

Passionate couples communicate their feelings in a variety of ways: loving words, affectionate touches, seductive gazes.


contributors Lisa Peters Lisa Peters Editor-in-Chief Involved in successful publications for over 10 years, Lisa is the author of a bestselling biography on Celine Dion. She has done extensive entertainment interviews at the Grammies, Junos and on Broadway with celebrities such as Stevie Wonder, John Travolta, Peter Gallagher, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Goldie Hawn and her daughter Kate Hudson.

Jo-Anne Kourtis Jo-Anne Kourtis Advertising Director Jo-Anne is on top of everything and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Her calm personality creates the perfect disposition for multi-tasking at ME Magazine. Her varied background in media includes work in the record industry.

Erica Moscovitch Erica Moscovitch Feature Writer As a result of her years of experience in the video retail industry at Nickelodeon Video on Queen-Mary road, Erica has built an extensive knowledge of films and of the filming industry. Erica is currently studying Sociology at Concordia University.

Corrie Sirota-Frankel Corrie Sirota-Frankel Master Social Worker A unique individual with expertise in all aspects of relationships, Corrie gets right to the heart of the matter... whether it’s saying hello or saying good-bye.

Ryan Young Ryan Young Environmental Specialist Ryan is a freelance writer, documentary filmmaker, and the host of Ecolibrium, a one-hour environmental radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal heard every Tuesday between 11 a.m. and noon. He also teaches media courses at John Abbott College


Matthew Peters Matthew Peters Assistant Editor Bright, determined and talented, Matthew is an integral part of our staff, and with his thirst for success and charisma, we are sure he will leave his mark in this magazine for years to come. Matthew is currently studying Psychology at Concordia University.

Lisa Massicotte Lisa Massicotte Creative Director With a touch of class and chic style, Lisa adds elegance and flavour to our magazine. Brimming with talent, we are sure Lisa will have a successful career ahead of her in graphics and beyond.

Marla Gottlieb Marla Gottlieb Feature Writer Marla, a graduate of McGill University’s Bachelor of Education Program and Special Education Certificate, enjoys Montreal and all it has to offer. She loves to explore our city, looking for special activities and events so that she can inform ME readers about the wonderful places they can discover around our beautiful city.

Linda Zlatkin Linda Zlatkin Feature Writer Linda, a dedicated writer for ME, keeps the ideas flowing. Her creativity, friendly demeanour, and passion for writing are welcome contributions. She recently completed her first novel.

George Demirakos George Demirakos Physiotherapist George brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in sports medicine and injuries. Having worked for the Montreal Canadiens’ hockey team, as well as a member of the medical team at the 2004 Athens Olympic games, he has treated many high-profiled professional and Olympic athletes, as well as celebrities.

Health Tips HEALTH

By Linda Zlatkin

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT The next time you feel tense, try this simple technique: smile! Smiling has been found to signal the release of healing endorphins and immune boosting killer T-cells. As well, smiling reduces the amount of stress hormones–cortisol and epinephrine–in the bloodstream, and produces hormones that stabilize mood.

BRING FRESH AIR INDOORS Indoor air pollutants like toxic gasses from plastic bags, benzene from wall coverings, and xylene from computer screens emit volatile organic chemicals into the work and home environment. This can aggravate allergies and increase fatigue, and in extreme cases can even lead to cancer and birth defects.

Bio feedback research has shown that although a heartfelt smile produces a more profound effect, a surface smile can actually trick the brain into releasing happy hormones. Even if you feel like frowning instead, you’ll find out that if you fake it till you make it, within seconds you’ll begin to feel better. Before you know it, negative energy will be transformed into positive, and your agitation will be relieved.

This is where plants can come to the rescue. The natural air purifying properties in plants produce oxygen and eliminate unstable compounds. Scientific research shows that people feel better in a space that’s filled with a splash of green. Their productivity increased and their stress level and blood pressure decreased. When you bring the fresh air indoors and fill your home and workplace with plants, you improve the quality of the air inside. Not only do you brighten the interior, you brighten your


health too. GET ROCKING TO CHANGE YOUR BAD MOOD Try rocking when you’re feeling grouchy. This will allow your body to relax and your heart rate to slow. You can rock in a rocking chair, or if this isn’t possible, you can try a simple yoga move. For example, sit on the floor, draw your knees up to your chest and then join your hands under your knees. You then tilt your head forward towards your knees, and rock forward and roll backward onto your rounded back. You can actually find any calming rhythm to shake off your bad mood, even dancing. Just make sure that the music you listen to is slower than your heartbeat. WATER YOUR DAILY MENU Start your morning off by drinking a glass of water before your cup of coffee. This will help to reduce the negative fidgety-buzz feeling that coffee often produces. Also, enough water each day helps to keep the fat away.

HEALTH Water suppresses the appetite and helps the body metabolize stored fat. When you drink water before meals, it gives you a feeling of fullness so you end up eating less. This enables you to manage your weight at the same time. The more water you consume, the less you retain, so it’s wise to water your daily menu whichever way you can. You can also go beyond the water bottle to satisfy your fluid needs. Fruits and vegetables contain a unique array of disease-fighting phytochemicals to protect your health. Besides being excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre, they contain lots of water. For example, oranges contain 87% water, and cucumbers have 95%. Watermelon is almost 100% water. So whether you want to replenish yourself after exercise, manage your weight, or simply want to fine-tune your health, keep the water flowing.

HOP ABOARD THE FITNESS TRAIN It’s a good idea to make a daily ritual of moving your body around. Climb stairs, walk instead of drive, mow the lawn, or participate in sports you enjoy. Anything that keeps you moving is not only a fitness tool, it happens to be a stress buster too. As well, regularly working out in a gym has been shown to produce numerous health benefits, like increasing your energy level, building and maintaining muscle tone, and reducing body fat.

Exercise is the nearest thing to a youth drug. When you deposit fitness into your health account, you increase bone strength and flexibility, enhance your sense of wellbeing, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and improve your sleeping patterns and levels of anxiety. As well, research shows that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing Dementia by 30-40%, and slow aging effects on your body by reducing the action of insulin in the brain.

So instead of allowing your muscles and bones to start shrinking, your body to sag and your posture to droop–do the opposite by keeping fit and strong and hopping aboard

the fitness train. Stay young by extending the warranty for your body, and improve your heart health too. That way, the aging process will be kept on a slower track, and you’ll have a better chance to enjoy the ride.

YOU GET OUT, WHAT YOU PUT IN Help for a young, healthy and vibrant complexion can be found by turning towards the right nutrients. What you put into your body has a powerful effect on the way your skin looks and feels. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, helping to normalize skin lipids and prevent dehydration. This in turn keeps your skin cells strong and full of moisture and decreases the appearance of fine lines. Studies confirm that omega-3 rich foods like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna improve skin conditions like Acne, Dermatitis, Psoriasis, and Eczema.

So give yourself the red carpet treatment and raise your nutritional status. Let omega-3 help feed your skin, your heart, your brain, and even your mood. That way you’ll be glowing all over, regardless of your age, with true beauty from the inside-out.


Health Myths

MYTH: YOU CAN’T PREVENT TYPE TWO DIABETES, BECAUSE IT’S HEREDITARY Although the genes you inherit have an influence on the development of Type Two Diabetes, the good news is that it takes a back seat to behaviour and lifestyle changes. According to the World Health Organization, consuming high fibre foods like whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables protects against it. When you combine this with exercise and weight loss, the effects of high glucose levels in the blood are decreased. The increased insulin resistance in obese and overweight people makes them more prone to developing the disease. This, combined with a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices, adds to this unhealthy recipe. A more active lifestyle not only diminishes insulin resistance, it also discourages deposits of fat around the abdomen. In fact, studies have shown that diet and increased physical activity may reduce the development of Type Two Diabetes by 32 - 58%. So get moving, and do your best to tune up your diet and exercise habits, instead of your TV!

By Linda Zlatkin MYTH: PEOPLE WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SHOW SYMPTOMS Many people say that they can feel the symptoms of high blood pressure. However, the truth is: it’s unusual. About 1/3 of people do not experience any symptoms at all. And because there are no symptoms, many people go for years with uncontrolled high blood pressure. Left untreated, it can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure. “That is why it is often referred to as the silent killer,” says Dr. Ed Zimney, a physician with more than 21 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry. It’s possible to appear fit and healthy and not know you are a victim of high blood pressure, until measuring it in the doctor’s office. On the other hand, you can have some of the risk factors for developing high blood pressure–like smoking and being overweight, or having too much stress and anxiety in your life–and not necessarily be affected by high blood pressure. High blood pressure is not a natural part of aging. Not everyone develops high blood pressure when they get older. The only way to know for sure is to get the diagnosis, before it gets you.

MYTH: OILY SKIN WRINKLES AT A SLOWER PACE Oily skin is just as sensitive to outside stresses and does not necessarily wrinkle at a slower pace. However, when people with oily skin use certain products to control for greasiness, they actually may be accelerating the aging process. “The last thing aging skin needs is drying anti-acne creams,” says NYC dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler. Dry out formulas cause older skin to produce more oil to compensate, resulting in more breakouts. Keeping the skin luminous–not shiny–is the best advice for future youth. Treat your skin with TLC and feed it with nutrients, vitamins and minerals in a water-soluble form. That way, when you look at your aging face in the mirror, you’ll feel like smiling instead of frowning. MYTH: YOUR BODY IS BUILT TO HANDLE STRESS A certain amount of stress is normal, and reactions like dry mouth, sweaty palms, and knots in your stomach are not necessarily reasons to panic. Mild levels of stress enhance immune function and accelerate performance. Some of us even thrive on a bit of pressure. However, chronic stress over an extended period of time can take its toll. The hormone cortisol is released into the bloodstream when the human body is under increased pressure. Oversecretion of this hormone, may rush to



“The last thing aging skin needs is drying anti-acne creams,” says NYC dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler.

the brain and kill brain cells. Research done at the Washington University School of Medicine reported that even mild flare-ups of stress impair brain function. They showed that when high levels of cortisol remain in the bloodstream for several days, memory is negatively impacted. Let’s say for example, you’ve had a difficult week at work, your children are fighting, and you don’t have enough money to pay the bills. Then to add fuel to the fire, you don’t remember where you parked your car. This lapse in memory may be related to the stress you’re under. Chronic stress can also lead to disorders like Depression and Diabetes. And although it’s impossible to stop stressors from invading your day, you can do your best to overcome them with a change in attitude. This will help you to smarten up, and change your brainwave patterns too. MYTH: A TREADMILL DOES NOT STRESS YOUR KNEES AS MUCH AS OUTDOOR RUNNING Running impacts the knees no matter what. In fact, when you run you absorb from 1.5 to 3 times your body weight and it’s this force from your body weight that causes stress to your knees. “It’s the same whether you’re on a treadmill or asphalt,” says Todd Schilfstein, a clinical instructor at NYU Medical Center’s Rusk Institute. “The best way to reduce knee impact is to vary your workout. If you mix running with other cardio activities, like an elliptical machine, or a stationary

bike, you’ll reduce the impact on your knees. So you’ll be able to run for many more years.” A shoe specific to running is very important. Stretch before and after, and pay attention to how you run: land on your heels, not on your toes. Also, don’t huff and puff yourself into exhaustion, and then lie on the couch nursing your injured knees. Simply get on the right track, by training instead of straining.

Strength training boosts metabolism, helps to build a lean toned body, and increases energy levels. It keeps your bones strong and helps to prevent osteoporosis. Women who workout with weights regularly increase their chances of slowing down the 10% loss of strength per decade that occurs in women who don’t train with weights.

MYTH: WOMEN WHO WEIGHTLIFT BECOME BIG AND BULKY Many women are afraid of strength training because they’re afraid it will create large and unattractive muscles. However, the truth is the vast majority of women cannot build large muscles because they’re genetically incapable of it. In order to get big muscles, women would have to spend excessive hours in the gym, adhering to strict diets and even steroids.

Now that this confusion is cleared up, don’t be afraid to allow yourself to look and feel great!

“It’s physiologically impossible,” says Michael Wood, an exercise physiologist and the director of the Sports Performance Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Testosterone is responsible for a muscle’s bulk, and women simply don’t have enough of this predominantly male hormone to build Schwarzenegger-sized bulges.”


to the


Let’s Get Heart of the Matter

By Marla Gottlieb It isn’t easy being a woman these days. There are so many daily worries, the kids, your husband, your job and the house still needs cleaning. Taking control of our health seems to take the back burner of important things to do. I am writing to you today about something that is dear to my heart as I hope it is yours. I believe that we as women need to take better control of our health. With advice and information all around us, my job today is to put it all together for you. But, why listen to me? I am not a doctor or more intelligent than anyone else. I am a mother who at the age of 49 survived a heart attack. My friend and reader, please read carefully and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to better your health and well-being. Today is my day to make a difference. The list of illnesses that affect women is long but there are three major diseases that run rampant: LISTEN TO YOUR HEART The number one cause of death in women is heart disease. You read that correctly, heart disease is the number one killer of women. Heart disease, which includes high blood pressure and stroke, kills almost twice as many women as all the cancers combined. Nearly one half of all women will develop heart


disease in their lifetime and one third of them will die from it. Two thirds of women who die of heart disease do not have recognizable symptoms. While some women may have the same symptoms as men when they are having a heart attack–like tightness in the chest or a crushing pain–many women feel symptoms that are different from their male counterparts. Nausea, excessive burping, extreme fatigue, headache, jaw pain or terrible sweating are some of the warning signs that women experience. Indicators that a woman is at risk for heart disease are: obesity, smoking, a diet high in sodium, trans fats, and saturated fats, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of early heart disease. Exercise and a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, and fish, with most of your foods low in saturated fats will greatly help your chance of a healthy heart. Listen to your heart and symptoms. We, as women, tend to think we will feel better tomorrow. If you are concerned, go to a hospital to check out the problem. Unfortunately 39.5% of women aged 40 - 59 will have some form of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, so please don’t think that this is a disease that you should only worry about when you are older. Take care of yourself today. You can find more about heart disease online at: www.americanheart .org


We must know what tests to do yearly and we must never forget to be vigilant in making sure that we stay healthy.

WE NEED OUR LUNGS TO BREATHE Women who smoke are more likely to get lung cancer than their male counterparts. According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of a woman getting lung cancer is one in 16. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. It is a very serious diagnosis. There have been great strides made in fighting this disease and more than 400,000 people are still healthy today after their diagnosis. The person who contracts this disease is greatly helped by early intervention, so make sure that you go to the doctor regularly for checkups and see your doctor for any unusual symptoms. More information on this can be found online at: HEALTHY BREASTS ARE THE BEST Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women after lung cancer and is the most common cancer in women except for skin cancer. Breast cancer death rates have been dropping due to better detection and therefore early intervention. Great strides have been discovered in curing this disease. According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of a woman dying from breast cancer is one in 27. However, that number can still decrease with more women detecting it at an earlier stage. Oprah aired a show about women who close their eyes to a medical problem, afraid to see the doctor

about the illness, preferring instead to pretend it isn’t there. Seeing the doctor early will prevent the disease from spreading. A mammogram is a slightly uncomfortable test but it will help diagnose any problem before it is visible. Certainly, this is worth the slight discomfort. The only way to be sure of success in fighting this disease is to begin fighting it early. You can find more information online at: TAKING CHARGE OF OUR FUTURE We, should be aware of how to take care of ourselves and we need to know what to look for. We must know what tests to do yearly and we must never forget to be vigilant in making sure that we stay healthy. Does this seem difficult to you? Do you just say to yourself that you will go to the doctor when you have time? Do you put off that time and then put it off again? I can’t tell you what to do. I know that you are aware and intelligent. You know that you need to take charge of your own life, your health and well-being. Go to the doctor. Go for the recommended tests. Follow your doctor’s advice. You have so much to live for. IN CLOSING… I am sure that your hair is standing up. These statistics are scary. I am writing them and shaking, thinking of the ramifications of all of this. How frightening. I used to think that, well, I had to die of something and now, as time has marched on, I know, beyond anything else I know,

I want to live a good, long time. I have so much to do, so much to learn, so much to conquer. I know that you have your goals as well. You have your families, your lives and dreams. Don’t let them disappear like a puff of smoke from the cigarette in your hand. There is more than one dreadful illness that we can contract. We must work towards stamping out all disease. Let me talk to you as a close friend. I know that we have become close throughout this article so I am going to ask you to do something very important to me. I would really like you to go to all of your doctors for all of your checkups and tests. Early intervention is essential in fighting disease. There is another important thing I must ask of you, would you please stop smoking? It is essential for your well-being. Smoking is the cause of so many awful diseases. Good healthy food is vital for strength in the fight against illness and don’t forget to place a major consideration on portion control. Stress plays an important part in all illnesses so try to ease up a bit. Relaxation therapies, meditation and yoga are very important. Exercise your body and your mind because, now that we are friends, I want you to live a long, long time.


Getting Back into the

Stretch of Things HEALTH

By George Demirakos, Physiotherapist Do you remember all of those resolutions you made this year? Do you remember watching the ball drop on New Year’s eve and thinking: “This is my year to get in shape! I will go to the gym and workout hard everyday!!”

that position; don’t bounce at all, for one minute. Bouncing, or ballistic stretching, can set you up for injury, so avoid doing it. Try performing this exercise on both legs, two times each.

Whoa cowboy! Before you go to the gym and push so hard that you injure yourself, let us go over a few things. Proper stretching is an important way to protect your body against unwanted injuries.

Calf Stretch: Although there are really two main muscles in the calf area, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, we will concentrate primarily on stretching the gastrocnemius muscle. This muscle is located right below your knee. If you are standing in front of a wall, and you want to stretch your left leg, place you right leg in front, and your left leg in the back. Keeping your back leg straight and pointing forward, start bending your right leg forward, until you start to feel a slight pull in your left calf. Make sure you are keeping your left heel down as you are going through the stretch. Again, don’t bounce, and hold the position for one minute. Try performing the stretch two times on each leg.

PROPER STRETCHING IS KEY! This is a quick review of some of the most popular stretches that are around today. Just take your time with them, warm up properly beforehand, hold the positions for one minute, and you will be off to the races before you know it!! Quadriceps Stretch: The quadriceps muscle is otherwise known as your thigh, which is located above your knee. Let us go through how you would stretch, for example, your left thigh: Lie on your right side. Bend your right knee up to your chest, as high as it can go. Now with your left hand grab your left ankle, right at the junction where your ankle bends and straightens. Now, pull your leg back, so that your knee is pointing away from your body. Also, think of slightly pushing your hip out. You should feel the stretch in the muscle belly of your thigh. Hold the position for one minute, and try it twice on each leg.

Perhaps the biggest question on everyone’s mind is: should I warm up before I do these stretches, or try them right away without warming up first? I believe that warming beforehand will help you with your stretches, as well as greatly decrease the possibility of acquiring an unwanted injury. The best way to warm up your body is through exercise. A five-minute stationary bike ride, with no resistance, pedalling at a moderate pace, should sufficiently increase the body’s temperature,

“Proper stretching is an important way to protect your body against unwanted injuries.”


Hamstring Stretch: The hamstring muscle is located in the back of your leg, starting from your bum and ending up below the knee. There is one move that everyone seems to do with this stretch. Everyone tries to grab the foot, no matter what the cost!! I am here to say that there is a much safer and more efficient way to do this stretch. If you are going to stretch, for example your left leg again, start by sitting on the floor. Bend your right leg, and let the right knee fall out to the floor. Your right heel should be touching your left knee, approximately. Don’t do it the opposite way, because there is a possibility of placing undue stress on your right knee ligaments. Now take both hands and place them on your left leg. Now, with your foot flexed toward you, slowly bend forward, until you feel a pull in the back of your leg. Hold

making your muscle tissue more pliable, looser and ready for some stretching. You can try any other apparatus to warm up if you are not so crazy about using the bike. George Demirakos, holds bachelor degrees in physiotherapy from McGill University and Concordia University. He is a polestar level I Pilates instructor, and is the senior physiotherapist at the MAA sports medicine clinic. You can reach him at


Preventing Identity Theft Online Public Safety Canada explains: “Identity theft refers to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.” We have been advised on how to minimize that threat out in the world, but what about online? How do we prevent our personal and financial information or reputation from being compromised? We’ve listed a few simple steps that you can perform to minimize this risk as well as secure your computer from unwanted online “guests” snooping around inside.

By Dani Brassard

1 Purchase a reputable anti-virus/anti-

spyware program, install it, and make sure that it is set to automatically receive daily updates. This will keep your computer protected against the latest virus threats, and also prevent programs from recording your keystrokes, tracking your surfing habits, and obtaining your passwords, credit card numbers, and contact lists.

2 Get a low limit credit card for online

shopping use only. Sign up for online banking so that you can view the online transactions made with that card at any time.

3 Always make sure that “https” appears at the beginning of the URL in the address bar of your internet browser before entering your credit card information. Also, look for the “lock

icon” in the bottom right corner of your screen, which indicates that the website you are viewing is secure.

4 Learn the difference between

legitimate e-mails and websites to those that are “spoofed.” Spoofing is the creation of e-mails and websites that appear to belong to legitimate businesses. Consumers will receive e-mails claiming to be from a legitimate business and are often directed to a website, which appears to be from that business, and asked to fill out personal information. These websites are created by criminals solely for the purpose of stealing your personal data. Contact Ouestech for more information and advice on how to protect your identity and your computer from online identity thieves.



Greg, a Montreal DJ, lost 40 pounds at age 20.

Top 10

Weight Loss Tips By Greg Gottlieb

“I battled my weight for many years before finding success. This has worked for me… let it work for you!” 1. EAT You have to eat to lose weight. Through the years I have gone on some crazy diets! My favourite is “the have a carrot when you feel faint diet.” At the end of the day, starvation diets do not deliver long-term results. If you want to lose the weight and KEEP IT OFF, you have to eat full and balanced meals. The key is choosing the right foods and controlling portion size. 2. Don’t fear carbohydrates Carbohydrates are not your enemy. Whole wheat carbs are important for giving you the energy you need to burn fat and gain muscle throughout the day.


3. Limit your sugar intake Especially at nighttime, I highly recommend controlling your sugar intake. It is a big myth that eating fruit is the healthiest option no matter what the portion size or time of day. Not true. Consuming an excessive amount of sugar–even natural sugars, like those found in fruits–close to bedtime are not good for your health or your waistline.

4. Have a healthy breakfast More and more studies are showing that having a healthy breakfast everyday is a big factor in giving you the energy you need to burn fat throughout the day.

5. No meal replacements Meal replacements only work for short-term weight loss, but do not help to keep the weight off in the long-term. If you want to keep the weight off, the best advice is to have balanced meals every meal, everyday.

“You have to eat to lose weight.”

LIFESTYLE 6. Move it! Exercising is essential. Exercising and burning fat go hand-in-hand. With that said, I believe running is the best exercise you can get. Not only are you keeping a steady heart rate, you are burning those calories fast.

8. Push it! Weight training boosts your metabolism which in the long-run burns fat. However, weight training is useless and sometimes even harmful if it is not done properly. For beginners, I advise getting a trainer and doing your homework. 9. Sweat off those pounds! Burning calories involves maintaining a healthy cardio workout. Try doing an aerobic style cardio exercise for 20 - 30 minutes a session, 3 - 4 times a week, with your target heart rate in fat burning range. Individuals will differ in their cardio goals, so again I advise having a trainer design a personalized plan that works for you.

7. Shake it! Don’t have anything to do this weekend? Go out and dance! Dancing is a great cardio workout and can be fun at the same time. With friends, alone, at a club, at home–no matter where you are or who you’re with dancing is a fun way to shed those pounds.

10. Have fun!!! Don’t make exercise a chore, have fun while you are doing it. Exercising, losing weight, and seeing results can be fun and quite rewarding.



Magic at the Segal Houdini… A Magical Musical That Offers a Breathless Escape Into the World of Great Theatre


Directed By Bryna Wasserman Book by Ben Gonshor, Lyrics and Music by Elan Kunin

Houdini, an all new stage musical, captivates audiences at the Segal Theatre for the three week run of this inspired world premiere. Co-produced with The Montreal Highlights Festival and sponsored by Ernst and Young, Houdini showcases over twenty actors and six live musicians on stage and is a featured event in this year’s Festival. Houdini tells the story of the rise of one of the twentieth century’s greatest entertainers. Harry Houdini was the world’s most legendary handcuff king and escape artist; and since his death 80 years ago, his life has been chronicled in books, film and television. The musical features some of Houdini’s most legendary routines, and explores his life from his humble vaudeville beginnings to the heights of his fame and eventually, to his fierce, highly publicized battle against mediums and spiritualists.

By Lisa Peters This year is exceeding all expectations at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts at the Saidye. A beaming Bryna Wasserman, Artistic Director, explains: “Houdini celebrates Montreal as a launch pad for new theatrical works bringing out the best in local talent and creativity.” The Segal Theatre also unveils the state of the art CinemaSpace; the 77-seat, state-of-the-art new screening room, as it welcomes the prestigious Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois documentary film festival for a week of screenings. The Centre recently launched its Academy of Performing Arts, welcoming young people to new courses in Music, Theatre, Media and Circus Arts taught by some of the finest artists and educators in the city. Moreover, student groups are attending specialized courses and dynamic educational programs such as the new Schulich at the Segal Educational Concert Series, presented in partnership with McGill University’s esteemed school of music. “I think it was a great learning experience for everyone involved, the expressions on the students’ faces as they listened to the band were priceless,” said Professor Gordon Foote, Associate Dean of the Schulich School of Music. “The (studio) space is absolutely gorgeous,” he continued, “and its acoustics were fantastic for a jazz orchestra. I’m really happy that this concert series is happening and I know that many students will have their eyes and ears opened to the world of music as a result.” “All this creative activity and seeing so many new, young faces entering the Centre is a blessing,” comments Bryna Wasserman. “Leanor and Alvin

Scene from Houdini Houdini represents an example of the Centre’s ongoing commitment to producing first class, English language professional theatre in Montreal: “We are proud to have had the Segal Theatre as one of our partners since the Festival’s inception,” said Alain Simard, President and CEO of Equipe Spectra (the Festival’s producer). “This year, to help celebrate the launch of the new Segal Centre we are delighted that Houdini is one of the Festival’s featured attractions.”

Segal’s commitment to the centre and the arts community is truly extraordinary. Their example inspires us to keep believing wholeheartedly in what we do and to work tirelessly towards making dreams into reality.”

Scene from Houdini

The inaugural event of the Schulich at the Segal music series. Schulich is the renowned school of music at McGill Calendar of Events: February to July 2008 Al Hirschfeld: The Magic of Performance exhibit February 1- March 3 Houdini: February 10 - March 2 Segal Centre Academy courses: February 4 - May 15 Schulich Educational Concert Series: Schulich Jazz Quartet: February 13 Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois: February 16 -21 Culture Montreal Board Meeting: Rendez-Vous 2007 Follow up: February 28 I, Claudia: March 16 - April 13 Schulich Educational Concert Series: Strathcona String Quartet: March 19 No More Almonds, No More Raisins (a Young Actors for Young Audiences production): March 24 - 26 The Village: March 28 - 30 Schulich Educational Concert Series: Schulich Percussion Ensemble: April 14 MacBeth (The Other Theatre production): April 18 - 24 The Haunted Hillbilly (a Sidemart production): April 25 - May 7 The Odd Couple: May 4 - 25 Ben Gonshor The Wise Men of Chelm: June 11 - July 3 The Segal Theatre is located at 5170 Côte-Ste-Catherine Rd. in Montreal. Call: (514) 739-2301 Ext 327 or visit them at:

Elan Kunin

Ben’s Pen

By Lisa Peters

Ben Gonshor not only penned the book on Houdini, but he has a passion for theatre that is as massive as his talent. Ben is perfectly cast as Director, Marketing and Communications & Executive Producer of Online & New Media at the Segal Theatre. ME Magazine editor Lisa Peters interviews Ben on the Magic of Theatre. LISA: How would you best describe Houdini? BEN: It is really a celebration of the life of Harry Houdini, a glimpse into the life of the man who was to become the first great international star. At the same time that he was fiercely committed to becoming the best he was equally devoted to his family, his mother in particular and to promoting himself and the world of magic as entertainment and not something otherworldly. LISA: What made you decide to do a musical? BEN: Bryna Wasserman, Artistic Director of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts and director of this play, had wanted to take the 2007 Yiddish Theatre production (which was a success at the time) and translate it into English for a broader audience. Elan Kunin wanted to write an all new musical score. I have never written a stage play, although I have written several screenplays, one of which Bryna really loved and I guess that gave her the confidence to believe in my ability to take on this project.

LISA: Can you describe what made you fall in love with theatre. BEN: From the time I was five I was acting in the Yiddish Theatre, founded by Dora Wasserman. My parents studied at her feet when they were young as well. It runs in my blood I guess. There’s no better energy than when you’re on stage, telling a story to an audience that is right there with you, waiting for the next line to come out of your mouth. I remember when I was a kid we would go down to NYC every year and that invariably meant waiting in line at the TKTS booth in Times’ Square to see a Broadway show. You could have waited for hours, but it didn’t matter. Going to see a Broadway show was and is like no other experience in the world.

LISA: Describe the musical score. BEN: Elan’s music is fantastic. He was inspired by the time period that Harry Houdini lived in: the turn of the twentieth century; the beginnings of show business as we know it; the sideshows on Coney Island; and the start of Vaudeville. The songs defy any one description. They are happy, sad, upbeat, and dark. Like any good musical hopefully the music for Houdini will touch people on many levels. LISA: The play is a strong focus of The Montreal Highlights Festival. What impact has this had on the Segal Theatre? BEN: We are delighted to be partnering with The Montreal Highlights Festival which is promoting the musical as a central part of this year’s festivities. It really is an honour. LISA: Please describe your current roles at the Segal Centre? BEN: I’m currently the Director of Marketing and Communications & the Executive Producer of Online and New Media at the Segal Centre. I’m privileged to be working there at a time when we have been given a new mandate to create a world class performing arts centre, in the heart of Montreal. There is a new, exciting energy that permeates our renovated spaces as new people and fresh ideas are coming in daily and really, the sky’s the limit as far as I’m concerned.

Ben Gonshor, age 8, in “Lies My Father Told Me”

LISA: What were some of your most memorable acting roles? BEN: I’d have to point to a couple that really were salient moments in my life. And it’s all thanks to the Yiddish Theatre. When I was 8 years old I played the part of Davey in Dora’s adaptation of Ted Allan’s Lies My Father Told Me. That was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. We performed the play in Vienna, Austria in the fall of 1999. When the curtain came down on the opening night performance, a deafening silence came over the theatre, so powerful was the performance, until the audience erupted in applause which went on for what must have been like half an hour. You never forget experiences like that.

Ben Gonshor & Elan Kunin

LISA: Describe your musical ability. BEN: Although I’m a schooled musician (electric bass), I’ve always had a natural musical ability, whether it’s singing, playing guitar or even drums. LISA: How do you feel the Segal Centre compares with worldwide theatres? BEN: There’s only one Broadway but having said that, I’ve never been anywhere else in the world and felt that Montreal paled by comparison. We are very fortunate that the Segal Theatre, under the artistic leadership of Bryna Wasserman, has brought to Montreal the finest actors and other theatre artists in Canada today. Off the top of my head: Douglas Campbell, Martha Henry, Diana Leblanc, the Soulpepper Theatre Company, Damien Atkins, Steven Schipper, Marti Maraden, Peter Hinton. The Segal Theatre has contributed strongly to the growth of the English language theatre community in Montreal, providing a home for all theatre artists to practice their craft. LISA: What impact does the Segal Theatre expansion have on the artistic community? BEN: The Segal Centre’s mandate is to be a meeting place for the arts, a place all performing artists can call home. We are building on the strong success the Segal Theatre has had over the last number of years and expanding to provide a second stage where young, up and coming theatre companies can present their works. Our Academy will be a training ground for people seeking to build a career in the performing arts and also a place for seasoned professionals to continue growing in their field. The best way for people to really get a feel for it all is to come by the Centre and take part in what’s happening. Buy a ticket to a show, take a course, come see a film at our new CinemaSpace, or simply come by for a drink at our ArtLounge. There’s bound to be something inspiring happening when you’re here. For more information, please contact Ben Gonshor at Tel. (514) 739-2301, Ext. 8326 Fax (514) 739-9340


What’s Going On In Montreal Winter 2008 ENTERTAINMENT

By Marla Gottlieb

Tourism is a major business in Montreal because of our rich history, our cosmopolitan flavour and the many exciting events that are held here. We are lucky to be a part of such an amazing city, full of joie de vivre, a love of life. Here are some events coming to Montreal.


Montreal High Lights Festival From February 21st to March 2nd, there will be a variety of exciting events scheduled for this amazing festival. Activities include: hundreds of food and wine tasting activities, shows, exhibits, concerts, all-night events, and an outdoor light show. Come and join the many chefs and vintners that will be around during this festival. For more information please visit or call 1-888-4779955. The festival will be held at the Old Port of Montreal and other venues around the city.

184th Annual St. Patrick’s Parade On March 16th, come and join this amazing Montreal tradition alongside an estimated 4,000 participants, 40 parade floats, and 45 marching bands. Rich with Irish music, dancing, floats, and some good old fashioned St. Patrick’s Day spirit, this parade is guaranteed fun. The event will be held on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, starting at noon. For more information please visit


International Festival of Films on Art Now in its 26th year, this annual festival has become one of the largest of its kind in the world. Whether you’re a film-buff or an everyday appreciator of the arts, this event is a must-see. Film themes include: painting, dance, sculpture, architecture, photography, art history, and much more. The festival will be held March 6th to 16th at several locations around Montreal. For more information please visit or call 514-874-1637.


Montreal’s White Party Week Party-people, it’s that time of the year again!! If you have recovered from last year’s celebration, get ready for another party week of jam-packed fun and entertainment. Join an estimated 15,000 party-goers, for this five night event celebrating the best of Montreal’s Electronic culture, music, fashion, and dance. The event will be held March 20th to 24th at the Palais des Congrès convention centre in Montreal (1001, Jean-Paul-Riopelle Place). For more information please visit



Evgeny Kissin and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra If you have not already, I highly recommend experiencing the beautiful sounds of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Now in its second season under the direction of conductor Kent Nagano, increasingly rave reviews have been coming out in praise of this Montreal gem. They can be seen at the Place des Arts (175, St. Catherine Street West) year round. And we especially recommend catching their series taking place on April 1st and 2nd, which will feature the works of Brahms, interpreted by renowned pianist Evgeny Kissin. For more information please visit or call 514-842-9951.

Harlem Globetrotters 2008 After 82 years of trotting the globe—visiting more than 118 nations across the world thus far–the spectacular show still goes on. A wonderful time to spend with your family, you will be wowed by their talented basketball moves and humored by their comedy routine. Come on and be a part of the millions who have already seen their stunning performance. The show will take place on April 4th at the Bell Centre (1260, De La Gauchetière Street West). For ticket information please visit or call 1-800-361-4595. Music and People Festival Presented by Musique Multi-Montreal, the aim of this festival is to introduce Montrealers to a wide variety of local and up-and-coming musical groups from diverse cultural backgrounds. Come, discover, and enjoy Montreal’s hidden talents on April 20th to 26th at the Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic-Cartierville (10300, Lajeunesse Street). For more information please visit or call 514-856-3787.


Upcoming Theatrical


DVD Releases By Erica Moscovitch

Coming Soon to Theatres Over Her Dead Body In Theatres February 1, 2008 After a horrible accident Henry’s fiancée is killed. Devastated and determined to come to terms with what had occurred, Henry (Paul Rudd) decides to consult with a psychic named Ashley. As Henry and Ashley begin falling in love, things start to get rough. Unknowingly, they are being haunted by the ghost of Henry’s past fiancée (Eva Longoria), who is absolutely determined to break up their romance. Fool’s Gold In Theatres February 8, 2008 Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey play Tess and Ben Finnegan, an adventurous and lovestruck couple. When they are given a clue that may lead them to the location of a lost treasure, Tess and Ben jump to the occasion and attempt to find it. This film is full of laughs, and is appropriate for all ages! As actors, the chemistry between Kate and Matthew is magical, and the scenery all throughout the film is just beautiful. The film also stars Donald Sutherland. The Hottie and the Nottie In Theatres February 8, 2008 After being dumped by his girlfriend, Nate (Joel Moore) decides to move to L.A. to date Cristabelle (Paris Hilton), his childhood crush. Upon his arrival, Nate discovers that Cristabelle is living with June, his ex-classmate infamous for her unattractive and repulsive looks. Nate realizes that because Cristabelle spends every waking moment with June, he is unlikely to get a date with Cristabelle, alone and to himself, without June tagging along. He figures that the only

way he can get rid of June for the night is to find her a date of her own; however, because of her unpleasant looks, no one agrees to date her. As Nate tries his best to pamper June and make her look more appealing, he finds himself drawing closer and closer to her, rather than to Cristabelle. Definitely, Maybe In Theatres February 15, 2008 Ryan Reynolds plays Will, a divorced father with an eleven-year-old daughter named Maya (Abigail Breslin). When Maya starts asking her father all sorts of questions about her mother, Will decides that he is going to tell her three different love stories, and leave it up to her to decide which one was her real mother. The film goes on to portray the three love stories, narrated by Will as he discusses them with his daughter. Also starring Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, and Rachel Weisz. Horton Hears a Who! In Theatres March 14, 2008 Horton is an elephant who starts hearing cries from a speck of dust. After believing that the speck of dust is a home to the “Whos of Whoville,” Horton decides to protect the home from any harm. Despite the frantic reactions from his neighbors, Horton sticks to his beliefs and refuses to let anyone get in the way of his new job. This film is based on the famous series of children’s books by Dr. Seuss. Celebrity voices include Jim Carry (as Horton), Steve Carell, Seth Rogan, Isla Fisher, Will Arnett, Dane Cook, Amy Poehler, and Jaime Pressly. Pride and Glory In Theatres March 14, 2008 Ever wonder what it’s like to be a cop? To have a job where you always have to be courageous, and in constant search for

the truth? It is not as glamorous and heroic as it all may seem. Ray Tierney (Edward Norton) is a cop, from a family of cops, who unfortunately becomes involved in a tragic crime scene where four cops are found dead. His world begins to crumble as solving the crime starts to take control over his life. The truth is hard to find, and the clues are just not there. Ray is forced to dig as deep as he can to piece together what occurred that night, and ultimately put rest to one of the biggest homicide investigations of his lifetime. With his intelligence put to the test, and his family at risk, Ray learns the importance of truth, and the consequences of betrayal. The film also stars Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich, and John Voight. 21 In Theatres March 28, 2008 21 is based on the true story of five college students who are trained in card counting during the game of blackjack. Using their skills, these five students go to Vegas casinos and win millions of dollars. Things start to get a little rough, however, when the casinos begin to catch on to their tricks. Then, when their coach (Kevin Spacey) starts demanding more and more money from them, the students find themselves in even more trouble. Consequently, the action heats up and the fighting begins. The film also stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, and Laurence Fishburne. Leatherheads In Theatres April 4, 2008 The leatherheads are a football team with no rules. They know how to fight, and they know how to win. When their game is threatened by circumstances out of their control, they are forced to find new ways to rise above. Dodge Connolly

(George Clooney), the team’s coach, decides to bring in Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski), a well-known football star, to their team. When Dodge and Carter start to fall in love with the same woman (Renée Zellweger), their fight for her affection fires up, and hell begins to break loose. Shine a Light In Theatres April 4, 2008 Shine a Light is a documentary about the Rolling Stones. The film displays the excitement of their fans, a little bit of music history, and it offers a great understanding as to how important the Rolling Stones truly are in the world of music. This film is great for Rolling Stones fans, as well as for anyone who is interested in learning more about the history of rock n’ roll music. The film offers a great deal of insight into the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes (and curtains) when putting together a successful concert tour. The Brothers Bloom In Theatres April 11, 2008 Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrian Brody) are the world’s greatest con men. Before leaving the game, they team up with their sidekick Bang-Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) for one last job. Their goal is to con a beautiful millionaire heiress (Rachel Weisz), by travelling with her around the world and scamming her out of all her money. However, the con gets compromised when Bloom falls for the wealthy beauty.

Coming Soon to DVD

Across the Universe DVD Release February 2008 Across the Universe is one of the most unique films of the year. In this dramamusical film, a dock worker named Jude (Jim Sturgess) sets out to travel to America to search for his father. Once there, Jude finds himself tangled up in anti-war protest, the art scene, and rock n’ roll. After one of his friends is drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, Jude and his friend’s sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), become involved in peace activism. Shortly after falling in love with Lucy, Jude is forced apart from her, and consequently must fight for an additional cause. The Martian Child DVD Release February 2008 In an effort to come to terms with the death of his wife, a writer (John Cusack) adopts a six-year-old boy. When the boy claims to have come from Mars, him and his new companion (Amanda Peet), are quick to take it as a joke. When a series of strange events occur, the boy’s origin becomes less questionable. The film is based on the award-winning short story by David Gerrold. Joan Cusack is also featured in the film, as well as Bobby Coleman. Rendition DVD Release February 2008 After a suspected terrorist disappears on a flight to Washington DC, everyone is trying to find out exactly what happened to him. His wife Isabelle (Reese Witherspoon) franticly tries to find answers, while Douglas (Jake Gyllenhaal), a CIA analyst, gets tangled up in the case, and the lengthy interrogations that follow. Also starring Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin. Margot at the Wedding DVD Release February 2008 Margot’s sister is about to get married to Malcolm (Jack Black), a low-life loser who Margot (Nicole Kidman) believes has no stable future. Margot and her sister Pauline have always been best friends, but with Malcolm in the way, Margot feels their friendship is being compromised. Margot decides that it is her absolute duty to do everything in her power to stop her sister from marrying him, before their friendship is entirely over. Fred Claus DVD Release March 2008 Growing up in the North Pole was tough for Fred (Vince Vaughn), Santa Claus’ brother. Fred has never been close to

being a perfect saint like his father or brother, and is therefore rejected by his entire family. After ending up in jail, his family sympathizes and agrees to bail him out. There is however one condition. Fred must return to the North Pole to repay his debt, making toys. Once there, Fred begins to stir up some trouble, and ultimately puts the Christmas holiday in danger. Bee Movie DVD Release March 2008 Jerry Seinfeld voices Barry B. Benson in this animated feature. Barry is a bee who has just graduated from college, ready to settle down as a honey producer. But, when Barry meets Vanessa (Renée Zellweger), his entire outlook on life changes forever. After discovering the truth about how the honey they produce is being consumed by humans, Barry decides to sue them. This hilarious animated film also stars such voices as Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, and Chris Rock. Nancy Drew DVD Release March 2008 Emma Roberts stars as Nancy Drew, a teen detective, who upon taking a vacation in California, stumbles across some clues that lead to solving a murder mystery. Drew’s vacation is put on hold as she sets herself off onto a journey to solve the mystery. This movie is both scary and hilarious. Based on the 1930’s children’s book series Nancy Drew, the film is sufficiently updated to coincide with the 21st century. Cassandra’s Dream DVD Release April 2008 Colin Farell and Ewan McGregor play brothers whom after running into some financial difficulties are forced to turn to crime. However, after years of friendship and brotherly love, suddenly a new woman enters their life and begins to stir up trouble between the two brothers. Eventually, the two brothers become enemies as a result of what they perceive to be betrayal and deceit in their relationship; but soon realize, however, that perhaps the young woman isn’t as innocent as they had presumed. This film is written and directed by Woody Allen who is worldly renown for his twisty and unpredictable plots.



he’s 29 and divine. While flirty, vivacious characters have been part of her acting roles, the real life Katherine is a down to earth, outspoken feminist who has turned pain into promise.


Half Irish and half German, Katherine Marie Heigl was born in Washington, DC, on November 24, 1978, to Nancy and Paul Heigl. The family soon moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where she spent her childhood. The youngest member of her family, Katherine–or “Katie” as she is nicknamed–has two elder siblings, John and Meg. Tragically, her older brother Jason died in 1986 of brain injuries suffered in a car accident, after being thrown from the back of a pickup truck. When doctors determined he was brain-dead, the family made the difficult decision to donate his organs. Katherine’s pain turned to promise, as she vowed to make a difference and use her celebrity status to promote the importance of organ donation.

Star Power

Katherine Heigl By Lisa Peters

Date of Birth: November 24, 1978 Birth Name: Katherine Marie Heigl Nickname: Katie Height: 5‘ 9” (1.75 m)

Katherine was first thrust into the limelight as a child model. A visiting aunt, took a number of photographs of Katherine, then aged nine, and sent the photos to a number of modeling agencies in New York. Within a few weeks Katherine had been signed to Wilhelmina, a renowned international modeling agency. She soon appeared in a national commercial for Cheerios breakfast cereal, where she earned $75 an hour. Following a number of commercials and modeling assignments for Sears and Lord & Taylor, she made her big-screen debut in That Night (1992), which starred Juliette Lewis. Katherine continued to attend New Canaan High School, where she played the cello and balanced academics while working on films and modeling. In 1994 Katherine beat Alicia Silverstone for the lead role in My Father the Hero co-starring as the rebellious teenager alongside Gérard Depardieu. In 1995, she played Sarah Ryback, the niece of Steven Seagal’s character, in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995). She still modeled extensively, appearing regularly in magazines such as Seventeen. She took the lead role in Disney’s Wish Upon a Star (1996). During that year, Katherine’s parents divorced and, following her graduation from high school in 1997, she moved with her mother into a four-bedroom house in Los Angeles’ Malibu Canyon area. Her acting career began to soar under the guidance of her now turned manager mother.

build a nuclear device to illustrate the need for a change in national priorities; the device ends up in the hands of a terrorist following betrayal by a fellow student. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, however, the film was shelved when its plot was considered inappropriate; it re-emerged in 2003 under the title Critical Assembly. Other films included: Evil Never Dies, Wuthering Heights, The Ringer (cast opposite Johnny Knoxville) and Romy and Michele: In the Beginning (2005). In 2005, Heigl was cast in what would become her most high-profile role, as intern Dr. Isobel “Izzie” Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, an ABC medical drama. The show became a huge ratings success. In 2006, Heigl was nominated for a Golden Globe award in the category, Best Supporting Actress for her work on Grey’s Anatomy. On September 16, 2007, Heigl won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Izzie Stevens. In her acceptance speech she acknowledged that even her mother did not believe she would win. When her name was called, she had to be censored by the telecast’s producers, due to her saying “Shit!” when she reacted to the win.

After starring in 100 Girls (2000) and Valentine (2001), she accepted a role in Ground Zero, a television thriller scheduled to be telecast that fall. She co-starred as a brilliant and politicallyconcerned college student who helps to

Katherine was equally outspoken about her starring role in the 2008 romantic comedy 27 Dresses. She plays Jane, a perpetual bridesmaid who helps her friends find wedded bliss–without taking the time to find love herself. As the plot unfolds the star finds fairytale romance, and Katherine had this to say about the movie: “People need to understand that life is not about finding the most charming, sexy, fabulous guy and then making him yours. But of course in 27 Dresses she does just that.” Katherine married singer Josh Kelley, on December 23, 2007 in Utah where she has a ranch property. Her best friend and bed-fellow on Grey’s Anatomy– intern George O’Malley played by T.R. Knight, was a groomsman. Up Close and Personal: Heigl on Heigl

Katherine started to take on diverse roles. She co-starred with Peter Fonda in the made for television movie based on the Shakespearean play The Tempest (1998). She then did an about face and ventured into the horror genre in Bride of Chucky. In 1999, Katherine decided to branch out into series television in the role of the haughty yet vulnerable Isabel Evans on Roswell (1999), a show that blended teen angst with sci-fi drama. She and her mother Nancy appeared in an episode of the Sci-Fi TV talk show Crossing Over with John Edward (1999), during which she spoke with John Edward, a psychic medium, about her late brother, Jason.

accusations of sexism in Knocked Up, Katherine was tagged as an assertive modern proponent of women’s rights. Ironically, her bombshell looks continue to reap the geeks: she was announced the Most Desirable Woman of 2008, according to She continues to be on FHM‘s “100 Sexiest Women in the World” list and was once Miss October in their pin up calendar.

The role that launched her from femme fatale to feminist was Alison Scott–the gorgeous goddess in the film Knocked Up, (2007)a comedy from writer/director Judd Apatow, starring opposite Seth Rogen. In a highly-publicized Vanity Fair interview, about the film Knocked Up, Heigl called the movie “a little sexist” claiming: “The film paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. I had a hard time with it on some days.” In the wake of widespread media attention to

ON BEING A TEEN: In my role in My Father the Hero (1994), there are still men who come up to me today and say, “You were really hot in that film!” I was 14, for God’s sake! ON BEING BEAUTIFUL: I’m grateful people think I’m beautiful or think I’m sexy, and I suppose it’s better than the alternative, but I do try to fight it a bit so it’s not all people see me as. And I’d love to one day be in a position where I could choose a role to showcase my creativity versus just my bra size. ON LOOKS: I love changing my look. I would love, love, love to cut all my hair off into a really short, punky haircut. ON WINNING AN EMMY: My own mother told me I didn’t have a shot in hell of winning! ON KNOCKING “KNOCKED UP” The movie was a little sexist. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? It was hard for me to love the movie. ON HAVING BABIES IN REAL LIFE: I’d like to start taking children seriously in the next year (2009), but my husband Josh feels more like two years, so we’ll probably do a year and a half. I’m excited about having a big family. I’m talking five or six.


me & my child CELEBRITY PARENTS By Linda Zlatkin

here seems to be a baby boom going on and Hollywood celebrities and their Tbabies are right in the spotlight.

Brittany gave birth to her first child, Sean Preston Federline, on September 14, 2005 in Santa Monica, California by a scheduled caesarean section, and her second child, named Jayden James was born on September 12, 2006.

As new parents, they often go through many of the same things that “regular” parents are. Some clearly have a harder time than others, and their stardom only magnifies the issues. Whether it is postpartum depression, bi-polar disorder, the act of juggling career and parenthood, or the challenge of staying in shape, here is a glimpse at Celebrity Parents both under control and out of control.

When you ask Angelina Jolie about her children—like any proud mother, she’ll brag about them. “They give me so much joy, and I want to make a better world for them.”

Under Control Katie Holmes, staring in the recent motion picture Mad Money, seems far from “mad” in spite of the fact that it’s been said— husband Tom keeps her under Cruise Control. She has a passion for running, which turned into a family affair at the recent 37th annual New York City Marathon this past November. Tom and daughter Suri were there to greet her at the finish line. “I’ve always loved to run,” Katie says. “It has helped me to lose the extra baby weight.” Katie’s gorgeous curves and lean muscles come from lots of hard work. She runs around her neighborhood and uses a state-of-the art gym at her Beverly Hills home. “Being a Mom is magical,” said Katie. “Suri is so sweet and already talking a lot.”

Brittney said that although she’s achieved success, money and fame, her greatest accomplishment is being a mom. Under Control Brooke Shields is currently undergoing a makeover of her own as star of the new television series: “Lipstick Jungle.” She has endured several real life jungles out there, including the media controversy over child pornography in her role as the 11-year-old child star of Pretty Baby, as well the wellpublicized annulment of her marriage to tennis superstar André Agassi. Her greatest battle, however, came after the birth of her daughter Rowan Frances (May 15, 2003) when Brooke Shields experienced a crippling depression and even thought of taking her own life. Today, she’s written a book called Down Came The Rain, which discusses her journey through postpartum depression and how she overcame it. She’s also spoken out in support of The Mother’s ACT, a bill that has been introduced by the United States Senate to help identify and treat postpartum depression. Brooke’s illness may have been triggered by a traumatic childbirth, the death of her father three weeks earlier, stress from

Out of Control The reason that Brittney Spears has been acting in such outrageous ways and experiencing such intense mood swings is because of the Bipolar Disorder she’s been diagnosed with. The latest news is that she is receiving psychiatric treatment at the UCLA Medical Center.

in vitro fertilization, a miscarriage, and a family history of depression, as well as the hormones and life changes brought on by childbirth. The Once Out of Control Superstar Who Became Totally Under Control

“I think Angelina is the greatest gift I can give my kids. They have such a fantastic mother,” says Brad Pitt. The big news is that Angelina’s expecting twins. To top it off, they’re planning to adopt more children. Right now they have 4 children, Maddox 6, from Cambodia, 4-year-old Pax from Vietnam, 2-year-old Zahara from Ethiopia and their biological daughter, 18-month-old Shiloh.

Gwen Stefani is expecting her second child with her musician husband, Gavin Rossdale. “Make babies, make music, I’m on repeat mode,” she said. Her due date is this summer, and she’s delighted. “My son Kingston is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I love him so much, and he’s just getting into music too. He sings a lot to himself. He does this whole head-bouncing thing. He’s so cute and entertaining.” Halle Berri, 41 and boyfriend, 32-year old model Gabriel Aubry are looking forward to their baby this spring. Jennifer Stone is expecting her second child with former Wonder Years Star, Fred Savage in May.

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Brooke Shields, Rowan and Grier The pain and gain of motherhood: Lipstick Jungle’s Brooke Shields’ Real Life Battle

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top 10 w ay s t o save our planet

1. CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS The number one thing you can do to help the state of the world today is by choosing to eat as much as possible food that is organically grown, lower on the food chain, and local. If the food is local it doesn’t have to travel far, that means there will be less CO2 from the trucks, airplanes, trains, and ships that are used to transport it. If it is grown organically than it won’t be contributing to the billion pounds of pesticides that are used by North American farmers to protect crops each year, which of course causes a very negative toxic effect on people and wildlife. Organic farms often tend to be more diversified and integrated with the surrounding natural environment so the local biodiversity and wildlife habitat is better maintained. The less animal products you eat the better due to the fact that it takes more resources to raise animals than it does to grow plants and trees. Try planting your own vegetable garden to be as local as you can be. 2. CHOOSE GREEN TRANSPORT The best thing you can do in this department is to walk, bike, or take public transit to your destination. However, if you have to drive, it is important to realize that because your car emits as much carbon dioxide as your entire house, anything you can do to improve the fuel efficiency of your car will have an enormous impact on climate change. In fact, some experts say that paying attention to fuel efficiency in your car may be the single greatest thing you can do to prevent global warming.

By Ryan Young 30

Buying a fuel-efficient car like a hybrid is great. In fact, replacing your gas-guzzling car with a fuel-efficient one is by far the best choice. But not all of us can do that. So, in the meantime, there are things you can do with the car you drive now to conserve energy and be more fuel-efficient.

- Drive less. - Get your car tuned-up. Even a simple tune-up often improves fuel efficiency by 50 %. If 200,000 of us went out and got a tune-up, we would save 248,000 tons of carbon dioxide. - Slow down and watch your idling. All of these save on gas, which saves you money and has a big impact on burning gasoline.

5. MAKE YOUR HOME ENERGY-EFFICIENT The heating of homes accounts for a huge proportion of greenhouse gas emissions in this country. The heating and cooling of your home also make up half of your household energy costs. This means that you have lots of room for improvement, and even small changes make dramatic improvements in household fuel efficiency.

3. BUY NON-TOXIC PRODUCTS So many of the products we buy have toxic ingredients in them when in many cases there are real alternatives. PVC or polyvinyl chloride is a good example. Greenpeace claims that it is the absolute worst plastic for the environment. It creates dangerous dioxins during its manufacturing process and it is a known carcinogen. Lead and cadmium are also added to the mix. PVC is in all kinds of products that range from shower curtains to toys to umbrellas to soccer balls to car dashboards. In many cases there are alternatives and some chain stores like IKEA have phased out their use altogether.

Things you can do right now to make sure you’re setting the right temperature in your house include: - Tune-up your heating system. This one thing every two years can reduce your heating costs by 10 percent a year. - Buy a programmable thermostat, which can regulate different temperatures at different times of the day, and make sure windows and doors are sealed. - Of course when it comes to cooling, by far the best approach is to avoid air conditioners altogether. Ceiling fans, instead of AC, can reduce your cooling costs by more than 50%.

4. BUY RECYCLED AND RE-USED Whether it’s buying toilet paper made from recycled paper or buying second-hand parts to fix your car, buying recycled or re-used products gives a second life to materials that would end up as waste in our rivers and lakes or in our landfills much faster than if only used once. According to Greenpeace, the average person goes through 100 rolls of toilet paper a year, which means that in Canada we use over 3.2 billion rolls annually. If each household in Canada switched just one roll of regular toilet paper with one roll of the recycled kind, we’d be able to save 48,000 trees and prevent 4,500 kilograms of the air and water pollution that comes from making it. Imagine what we’d be able to do if we all switched over to using recycled tissue exclusively.

6. EXPLORE AND PROTECT YOUR LOCAL NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Exploring your local natural environment is actually one of the most important, but often overlooked, things you can do for the planet. One of the first steps in doing something about the environment is getting to know it better. Awareness is essential. Without knowing what we’re saving, we won’t care much about it. And in today’s world, many of us are so isolated from the outside world that when we hear about the destruction of our environment, it’s an abstract concept. If you make nature important to you, then you’ll do something about it. So get outdoors more. Go outside, take a walk through nature, hike through a forest or park or up a mountain, take a swim in a lake or river or ocean, explore and observe wildlife. If you do this in your local area then you’ll also be more aware of the potential threats to its integrity that may come in the form of a development scheme or nearby source of pollution.

GO GREEN! We need to be citizen scientists because we cannot rely on government and private industry to do it for us. The Harvard biologist and entomologist Edward O. Wilson, estimates that more money is spent in New York City bars in two weeks than on studying biodiversity in a year. Imagine how much more we would know about the natural world if the inverse were true. 7. WRITE A LETTER TO A POLITICIAN, COMPANY, OR NEWSPAPER All institutions are concerned about public opinion and so it is important that we make our voices heard when we are not happy about something. Whether it’s writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper about an environmental issue, writing a company to suggest they use more non-toxic ingredients in their products, or writing a politician to push for legislation that will protect the environment. The most important point to make about writing a letter is that it can have an effect. It is a common assumption that letter writing is a meaningless exercise, a wasted effort that will only fall on deaf ears when, in fact, well-timed, informed, and clearly written letters can have an effect on political and corporate decisions. The impact of a letter is, of course, cumulative. Rarely are there instant conversions. The best letters have four points as their basic structure: - Who are you? - What are you concerned about? - What new information, if any, can you shed on the debate? - What do you want done or to do? 8. INVEST IN GREEN ENERGY Many people invest but what many people don’t realize is that most banks invest their money in environmentally destructive industries like gas and oil, nuclear power, and even weapons production. Learn the truth about nuclear power and natural gas as viable “green” options. Radioactive waste will be a problem for tens of thousands of years into the future, and natural gas produces almost as much carbon dioxide as coal and oil. Natural gas can help us make the

transition to renewable energies, but it isn’t the solution. So if you do invest, invest in green stocks and renewable energy companies through socially responsible funds. They perform just as well, often even better, than all of the unfiltered funds. 9. BE A MINIMALIST We know it’s not easy, but in today’s consumer economy, an easy way to conserve energy is to simply use–and buy–less. Every time you buy a consumer item, energy has gone into getting that product to you. So the less you buy, the more you contribute to conserving our precious natural resources. So how about some specific things? Here are a few: - Buy basic items in bulk. In short, bulk items use less packaging, which translates into less energy. - Buy one of something, not 10 of something. You don’t need 10 pairs of shoes, if one pair works just as well. - Donate or recycle what you really don’t need, then make a pledge not to replace everything you got rid of. - Buy quality products that will last longer, you’ll buy fewer products that way. - Be creative in what you do for work, play, and leisure. You don’t always have to buy the latest products to entertain yourself. 10. RECYCLE AND COMPOST If every plastic bottle were recycled, landfills would be two billion tons lighter. Re-usable bottles and water filtration systems make that much more of a difference. David Suzuki was able to get his family household output of garbage down to one bag a month by recycling and composting as much waste as possible. 30% of residential waste can be composted instead of taking up space in a landfill, and if more people compost it will cut down on gasoline use because less matter will then be transported to landfills. Composting your kitchen waste in a backyard composter will also return valuable nutrients to the soil when it is used as fertilizer or mulch.

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very year more and more people are getting into shape and taking advantage of natural healthcare. People are leaving their sedentary lifestyles behind and finding solace in natural and holistic living.


Whether it’s taking a yoga class, buying organic food, or just exercising more often, the tides are turning. Here are some tips that will help you lead a healthier and more fulfilling life using the power of natural and holistic health promotion.

Healthy Body, Healthy Planet By Ryan Young

We must watch what we put in our bodies. Our food and what we drink is probably the simplest way to influence our health. The connection between what you eat and the environment is multifaceted. Organically grown food is healthier for you and healthier for the environment. The pesticides that are used in conventional farming are lethal to many different forms of life in the environment, as their sole purpose is to kill-in fact, some peaches have been found to contain enough pesticide residues to kill a small child. The healthiest food is always the food that is grown in mineral-rich soil, close to your home, and therefore having the potential of being the freshest food around. What about what you cook your food in? It turns out now that non-stick coated pans can release toxic fumes when they heat up. PFOA, the compound used to manufacture the coatings, was deemed a likely human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and it has been also linked to thyroid damage. Safe alternatives are readily available and include stainless steel cookware and cast iron skillets. We now know what not to put in our bodies, how about what we put on our bodies? The average adult uses nine personal care products a day, containing hundreds of chemicals that are often largely untested, petroleum-derived, genetically modified, animal-tested and animalbased. The Environmental Working Group researched 14,000 personal care products and found that a third of them contained ingredients that have been linked to cancer. And when you consider that only 11% of the chemicals used in these products are actually tested for safety, it might be wise to switch to natural personal care products. Educate yourself by reading labels and looking up information about the different ingredients. It’s also easy to find safe alternatives at most health food stores. Have you tried green medicine? Natural medicine is increasingly now viewed as a viable alternative to taking countless prescription and over-the-counter drugs. We have been overly conditioned to pop a pill for the slightest discomfort or complaint. However, our over-consumption of antibiotics is leading to the emergence of more and more deadly super bugs, and this is becoming a big issue in Canadian healthcare.

Author Sonia Shah notes that the powerful synthetic compounds in many pharmaceutical drugs are aggressively tested on animals and the world’s poor, and many of these compounds are ending up in our lakes and rivers. Before the pharmaceutical industry started producing synthetic formulas in sterilized labs, village doctors and tribal healers prescribed hundreds of wild plants to heal any and all ailments. One-quarter of all pharmaceutical drugs today in fact contain ingredients that originally came from a plant or were made to copy the effect of a plant. So why not just boost our health with natural remedies that come from the earth and only turn to pharmaceutical drugs when we really need them? Think Green! Our bodies also like nature. Research has even suggested that access to nature in the workplace is related to lower levels of perceived job stress and higher levels of job satisfaction. Roger Ulrich, director of the Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University, performed a study examining the recovery rates of patients who underwent gall bladder surgery and found that those who could see trees and other greenery from their hospital rooms recovered faster, spent less time in hospital, had better evaluation from nurses, required fewer painkillers, and had less postoperative complications compared with those that viewed an urban scene. Edward O. Wilson’s hypothesis in his book Biophilia turns out to have been true after all: “There’s something in us that loves a tree, whether it be in a city park, a wilderness or outside our hospital window.” We often forget this and now it is abundantly clear that never in history have humans spent so little time in physical contact with animals and plants, and the consequences are unknown. So, it is imperative that we reverse this trend and reap the associated health benefits. Therefore, it is important to also work into your routine time spent in natural settings and this can easily be combined with many different types of exercise. These are just some of the ways that you can improve your health while also treading lightly on the planet. So be good to yourself and the planet. If enough of us do it there’s no limit to how much of a positive effect we can have on our environmental, community and individual well-being.




It is simply a stage of life By Dr. Marlene Kalin age 5 to 7 times “Pets faster than humans do and consequently, the potential for age related disease also progresses 5 to 7 times as fast.

he golden years for pets are getting better all the time. With proper exercise, diet and preventive health care, pets are living healthier, happier and longer lives. Dogs generally live well into their mid teens (depending on the breed) and cats commonly can reach 20 years of age. The oldest age for a dog was 29 years and 5 months (an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey).


Pets age 5 to 7 times faster than humans do and consequently, the potential for age related disease also progresses 5 to 7 times as fast. Prevention and early detection of these diseases are very important to extend the life of your pet. In general, dogs and cats 7 years and older are considered senior. Twice yearly visits with your veterinarian are recommended after the age of 7 (the equivalent of an adult person going for annual check ups every 3 to 4 years). During these wellness visits, complete blood tests, urinalysis and chemistry profiles are run to help detect problems and measure changes over time. Prompt treatment of diseases can prolong and impact the quality of life of your pet. Disease is detected in 23% of mature pets at the seventh year health check—even when they appear healthy. Nutritional requirements change as your pet ages. There is a decrease in total energy needs due to decreased activity and metabolism. Senior dietary management, regardless of health status, follow general guidelines of fewer calories, lower sodium and phosphorous, increased omega fatty acids and vitamins, high quality proteins, antioxidants and fiber. It is very important to keep seniors at an optimal weight. Obesity contributes to arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory, bone and joint disease. Dental problems increase with age. Chipped, worn and fractured teeth are often a source of pain and increased sensitivity to heat and cold. Gingivitis, tartar, pyorrhea and periodontal disease can cause serious infection, loss of


appetite and systemic disease (liver, kidney and cardiac problems). It is very important to monitor oral hygiene, brush daily and address problems promptly. Owners of older animals often notice changes in behaviour but erroneously consider these changes as inevitable and untreatable results of aging. Some signs of aging are obvious however, subtle changes in your pet’s behaviour may signal underlying pain, disease or disorientation. Difficulty rising, reluctance to climb stairs or jump up, stiffness, lameness and loss of muscle mass are indicators of degenerative joint disease. Decreased interaction with family members, change in sleeping patterns, loss of house training, confusion, increased vocalization may be the start of cognitive dysfunction. Weight loss, increased thirst and urination may indicate kidney disease, diabetes or adrenal gland disease. A simple checklist of changes can help signal early signs of disease. Changes in • drinking or urinating habits • weight, energy or appetite • senses (hearing, smelling or vision loss) • mobility (lameness, stiffness and pain) • hair coat (hair loss, dullness, itchiness, sores) • breathing (coughing, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, panting) • growths (new growths or changes in previous growths) • digestion (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation) • behaviour (reduced interaction, confusion, sleeping more) • fainting It is important to consult your veterinarian if any of the above changes are noticed.

Aging is a natural process. Even though many conditions that affect older pets are not completely curable, they can often be controlled. Almost all problems, especially early on, have solutions and small changes to senior pet health care can significantly prolong and improve the quality of their life. While it is important to insure regular health checks and proper nutrition, there is no substitute for daily attention and affection. In fact, this is equally important to humans. Pet owners have better psychological well-being, fewer minor health problems, lower levels of anxiety and can lower their heart rates and blood pressure by stroking their pets. Dr. Marlene Kalin is the director of the Cote St. Luc Hospital for Animals, 7930 Baily road, Montreal, Que. H4W 3J8. 514-489-6845, e-mail:



A Passion for Passion By Corrie Sirota-Frankel

doesn’t matter how much you care about or love someone, inevitably the excitement of a new relationship will lessen to some degree over time. Does that mean you have to settle for a passionless relationship? Absolutely NOT! All relationships take work. It’s up to you to do something each and every day to ensure that your relationship is strong, steamy and more passionate for years to come.


Here’s how: COMMUNICATE We all know that effective communication is one of the most important aspects of a healthy

relationship. However, most people think that communication refers to managing (and avoiding) conflicts, but it’s really so much more. In order to keep the fire alive in your romance, the first thing to evaluate is how you communicate with your partner. Passionate couples communicate their feelings in a variety of ways: loving words, affectionate touches, seductive gazes. All of these non-verbal cues demonstrate how much they care by doing kind things. They also make their attraction known by giving compliments. They share how much fun they’re having by flirting. By communicating and hearing these feelings, you’ll be more in touch with your relationship and more in tune with your partner.

“A tell tell sign that your relationship has gone a miss: you don’t touch each other. ”

GET PHYSICAL A tell tell sign that your relationship has gone a miss: you don’t touch each other. Or worse, you don’t feel anything when you do touch each other. Even if you and your partner are the best of friends, if you don’t stay connected physically, your passion for each other will surely fade over time. Additionally, it’s important to recognize that it becomes even harder to bring physical fire back if the rest of the relationship has also faded. To avoid this vicious cycle, make your physical relationship a priority. If your sex drive’s not what it used to be, start small, with some subtle physical steps. Make an effort to be more physically affectionate by offering hugs and kisses, holding hands and giving each other backrubs. At night, don’t just get into bed and roll over to your side-spend a few minutes cuddling before you go to sleep. As time goes by, you’ll feel more and more physically connected and your passion for each other will surely grow.

DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN! When relationships first start out, they are all about FUN. Couples get to know each other by going out on dates and sharing little adventures together. But as time goes by, couples settle into daily routines of cooking, cleaning and raising kids. Even if you have professional and domestic responsibilities that keep you from adventuring the way you once did, you can still find the fun that’s so vital to passionate relationships. How? Create opportunities for fun. You need to make the effort; after all, dates don’t plan themselves, so it’s your job to make them happen. Set aside time each week for a fun, romantic date. Take turns planning the date each week, and be sure to shake up your routine by trying new things. If you’re usually homebodies, go for a walk, hike or bike ride. If you want to really heat things up, consider a sensual date like a couple’s massage, a dance class, or a weekend away. Keeping the passion alive in your relationship is one of the best investments you can make as a couple, and the payback you will receive is priceless! Corrie Sirota-Frankel, MSW and PSW, holds a Graduate Degree in Social Work, is a guest lecturer at the McGill School of Social Work, and is a Clinical Supervisor who practices in the Montreal area.


ME Magazine  

Volume 3, number 3. Feb/mar 2008.