Page 1

Issue 2 March- April 2012 Saving Haiti’s future one child at a time

Danita’s Children

Karen Gilbert DIY natural beauty

The Lopez Foundation Giving the opportunity of a brighter future

Hassle-free dinner recipes with ®

Karma Free Cooking



Hope for Haiti Children’s Center




Spring is a rebirth, a new era after the cold and dreary winter months. Greet it with a fresh face and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses! Did you know? This publication is interactive! That means you can turn Karma Life & Style into your own customized experience with the click of a button. Clicking pictures, links and sections will lead you to company websites, Twitter and Facebook profiles, among other interesting things. Try it now by liking our Facebook page or sending us a Tweet:


OUR EDITOR Dear Reader: When I was going through this issue’s line up, two words came to mind: unity and balance. Most of the articles here present individuals and companies that strike a balance between the old and the new, the outside and the inside and the individual and his environment. Consider, for example, our entire Beauty section, where we showcase two individuals and one salon that focus on beautifying through the use of natural ingredients and de-stressing, a far cry from the complicated chemicals that rule the industry today. These entities also focus on giving back, be it through sharing their knowledge, like wood artisan Mario Garcia in the Home section, or by helping others surpass the difficulties of an illness like George Lopez does through his Foundation for kidney disease patients. Through solidarity, balance is achieved, and the world becomes nicer every day. We hope you feel inspired yourself, and remember you can sponsor a child through Danita’s Children, the awe-inspiring organization of one woman who has saved more than 100 Haitian children from illiteracy and homelessness. Want to show us some love? You can stay in touch through our Facebook page at karmalifeandstyle. Good karma,

Carolina Fragoso Editor in Chief


Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products provide an effective alternative for people who are concerned with the environmental effects of conventional cleaning products. Our formulas combine natural essential oils with leading-edge cleaning know-how to provide an enjoyable, safe experience for our customers.




George Lopez Foundation & Danita’s Children


Michelle Nassar



Karen Gilbert, Karlo Star & Manzana Studio


TransforMadera & Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day



KarmaFree Cooking & A Healthier Pantry


ZEN LIFE Crossfit

Marcia Moran Druzy Heart Necklace in support of the Lopez Foundation

Fashion Designer



MADELYN RODRIGUEZ Is a lacto-vegetarian and Yoga enthusiast who has agreed to share her knowledge with Karma Life & Style.

ILIANA SUCH Our Creative Consultant, is the person who helped mold this magazine’s concept.

JUAN CARLOS MEDINA Art Director. He loves art, books, magazines, music, oriental cuisine and dogs.

IVIA PANTOJA A graphic design student, with a passion for all things art, that brought life into the pages of this issue of Karma Life & Styles.


Campfire Stories that Change Lives Back in 2005, entertainer George Lopez had a successful kidney transplant that allowed him to continue enjoying his two passions: playing golf and giving back to those less fortunate. In order to work towards an improved quality of life for those with genetic kidney conditions such as his, Lopez created The Lopez Foundation in San Fernando, California. Every year, the organization raises funds to send 125 underprivileged children with kidney disease to camp for a week, and over 25 deserving families to the Kidney Disease and Transplant Family Weekend at The Painted Turtle Camp in Lake Hughes, where children with serious illnesses and their families are encouraged to learn about their conditions in order to lead rich, productive lives. To unite his two passions, George created the George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic, which is now preparing for its fifth year. This year, they hope to raise at least $400,000 so they can continue to increase awareness about kidney disease and organ donation. Contributions can be made by visiting and clicking on the Donate Heart or by contacting Linda Small at Many thanks to Linda Small, US Director for The Lopez Foundation. Linda Small



Generosity Personified


or Sheree Bowie, passion and giving go hand in hand. As the U.S. Director of Danita’s Children, her work exemplifies her values: the organization manages a center that feeds, educates and takes care of nearly 450 Haitian children. By connecting donors and volunteers with fellow trailblazer Danita Estrella, whose lifechanging project began in 1999 with a small house and 14 children, Sheree makes altruism accessible and fulfilling for all. How do you define generosity? I believe generosity is an intangible matter of the heart; a willingness to freely give of yourself spiritually, emotionally, financially in ways that benefit others and not self. True generosity doesn’t require the recognition of others. What qualities are common among donors? Donors are passionate, caring investors with a purpose. They are looking to invest their resources in organizations or ministries that have a purpose other than financial enrichment. Helping donors find ways to donate or invest in programs and projects that match their passions is a priority. What have been your most memorable experiences working with Danita’s Children? When I read this question, two important memories came to mind. One of my most poignant moments came in June of 2010.  The name ‘Emmanuel’ means God with us.  I believe God visits us each day through those He puts in our path.  For me, on this day in June, it was through a dirty, nearly naked, hungry and physically disabled child begging at the Haitian and Dominican Border.  His name was Emmanuel.  I was able to get him some food and water although he could barely


hold the fork because of his disability. He didn’t speak except to tell me his name. It was a moment that deeply moved me and since then, I’ve tried to look more closely for those visits from God in every day. Another very memorable moment with Danita’s Children would have to be the week following the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010.  Thousands of people from all around the world called, emailed and got involved to help us rescue orphaned and abandoned children. I watched in amazement at the generosity of hearts and hands. It made me realize how important each person is to just one child and how truly generous and compassionate humanity can be when given the opportunity.

Could you offer me insight into your future plans? Every day comes with new opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life. I hope and pray that I am awake and aware of each opportunity whether it be in my personal life or work life.  There’s a song that says, “We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.”  I trust in God’s plan for my life and stay open to His leading.  Right now, I am so happy for the opportunities to serve and I’m grateful to be on this journey. Could you tell me something you have not shared with other publications? My heart is broken for the millions of lost and hurting children around the world - the orphaned, the child-slave, the hungry and lonely.  There are times I lay in bed at night and cry thinking about them.  I believe all of us have a responsibility to speak up for the orphaned and needy - they are all around us, wherever we may live.  Whatever our skills, talents, abilities may be, there is a way for all of us to use them to help others if we’ll just open our hearts and our eyes. 

How do you define balance in your life? Finding balance in my life is a daily challenge. I’m a wife, mom of four, and grandmother of three. In addition to my work with Danita’s Children, my husband and I are involved in several other organizations.  My goals are to stay healthy spiritually, physically and emotionally to be able to enjoy all that life gives us.   How do you inspire others? I can only hope that I inspire others in some positive way.  My greatest desire would be that somehow through my work and advocacy, others may be encouraged to realize they can make a difference wherever they are.  God visits us every day with an opportunity to be a difference. What is your motto? At Danita’s Children we have a program called Won-by-One, which I think is a great motto.  I really do believe that change happens one by one through you and me.

Want to know more on how you could help Danita’s Children? Visit for information on the many ways you can help make a change!

Image: Luis Carle 16

Karlo Star Make-up artist and stylist extraordinaire

Me et

Michelle Na s sa r ,

an upcoming designer from Panama. Much like her country of origin connects the two American continents, the fresh colors and classic silhouettes that define her collections unite styles both modern and traditional. With fun pieces that will never go out of style, what's not to love? Who or what do you consider your most important style influence? The styles that most inspire me are usually vintage pieces, particularly the ones from the 1960´s & 1970´s. I feel a strong affection towards that specific period of chic. What is your signature style, color or piece? Prints combined with an extended bright color palette are my distinguishing styles. Due to its versatility, Kaftans are my favorite pieces; you can wear them over a bathing suit, over a cami to run errands during the day, or with high heels and fine jewelry for a special occasion. What famous personality would you love to dress some day? I think I have an extended list for that! I love Rachel Bilson's style because it's full of fun and


edginess, the boho chic style of Nicole Richie and the elegance of Sarah Jessica Parker. Definitely those are among the ones I will love to dress someday. What are your thoughts on the fashion industry these days? Fashion has evolved so much during the past few years. To be in a best-dressed list today is not only about high end designer labels, but also about being able to mix and match with more affordable pieces. This is one of the reasons why most of the exclusive designers are launching or producing more affordable lines for partnerships with other companies, which I think is great. I loved the Missoni for Target collection. What inspires you? Where do you go when you need ideas and inspiration? Everything inspires me! I can find inspiration everywhere I go because I see the beauty in what others may consider ugly or pretty. Which 2012 trends are you most excited about? I love the modern revival of the eras, most particularly that of the 1920´s, 1960´s, and 1970´s. I am also pleased with where the color block movement is going right now. What's in the future for Michelle Nassar? Many good things! I want to create a more affordable line while keeping the same style and quality as the couture Michelle Nassar Label. And perhaps to create a beach resort collection…. I like that idea!


Pretty P r istine Armed with a questioning nature and an inclination towards DIY projects, Karen Gilbert is tackling the Beauty Industry head-on by making her own products and teaching others to do the same. Having studied cosmetic science and aromatherapy, she was always wary of the synthetic ingredients and processes employed by big name beauty brands in the creation of their products. Read on to find out how getting your hands dirty can indeed make you beautiful. What three words would you use to describe your work? Simple, Honest, Authentic What fueled your interest in natural cosmetics? I have quite a questioning nature and was never happy to buy products based on marketing or sales copy. I always wanted to know what the ingredients were, why they were there and how they were put together. I dabbled with making my own products as a teenager and then went on to study cosmetic science and aromatherapy. Working in the product development team at Neal’s Yard Remedies, I learned so much about sustainability and natural ingredients, and was inspired to want to share this knowledge with others. How were your products and book received by the general public? I’ve had so many lovely emails and positive reviews for the book and my workshops. My aim with the book was to enable people to make luxurious yet simple skincare products at home that were just as good as those bought in a store. Many people resist making their own products because they think it is either too difficult or time consuming, or that they will not be able to create products that are as effective as commercially bought ones. I’m aiming to change this with my recipes. Why go green when it comes to beauty products? I think the choice of products on the market today can be very overwhelming for most of us and the information about cosmetic ingredients can sometimes be contradictory. Use good quality products with ingredients you understand and keep your routine simple. If an ingredient is damaging to the environment, chances are it’s not good for you either. We are all part of the ecosystem of the planet and I believe its important that we respect it and do our bit to keep it in balance. What is your definition of beauty? Someone who is happy, confident and comfortable in their own skin.


What does your morning beauty routine look like? My routine is very simple: I do not use many skincare products. I always cleanse my skin with a massage balm cleanser and hot cloth at night to remove any make up so I just sweep over my face in the morning with a damp muslin cloth. I have quite oily skin that is prone to breakouts and have found that it is happiest if left alone, so if I am working from home I don’t even put moisturizer on. Since I always wear make up when I am out in public, its good to give it a rest at home. What are some of your favourite green ingredients, and why? Honey is my all time favorite, I use it in my cleansing balm, lip balms and also in scrubs and masks. Manuka Honey is especially good as it is very healing and antibacterial. I like the lighter oils such as Thistle, as they are more suited to an oily skin and do not clog pores. Rice bran oil is also fabulous as a facial oil for an occasional treat. What’s in the future for Karen Gilbert? I’m currently working on some online courses for both beauty products and perfumery that will enable my overseas readers to participate if they cannot reach me in the UK workshops.

My simplest recipe is a honey based mask that can also be used as a scrub: Mix 1 tsp honey with 1 tsp jojoba or almond oil and 2 tsp white or pink clay (or enough to make a spreadable paste). Smooth over the skin as a nourishing and cleansing mask. You could also add 1/2tsp ground rice and a few drops of rosewater to turn this mixture into a simple but effective face scrub.

Ready to DIY? Find more info & recipes at


More than Skin Deep When it comes to creating beauty, stylist and make up artist Karlo Star doesn’t just stop at the surface: both his work and words resonate with the quality and balance of someone who has found his passion. Read on to discover his personal views on beauty and his tricks on how to achieve it. How do you define beauty? Beauty is as diverse as its audience. In the broadest term, beauty is anything that brings you pleasure and floods your senses with joy. If I were to get hardcore about it, I would say that it is an experience that connects you to humanity and leaves you completely vulnerable. Beauty has been known to forge alliances between empires, but also bring them down like in Cleopatra’s case. Beauty is that powerful. I can’t talk beauty without mentioning beautifying: an intention, something we owe to ourselves, to look and be our best, a joyous process in itself.   What is your favorite make-up brand? Why? I love Make Up For Ever.  It’s highly


pigmented, so one doesn’t have to use too much product and the skin doesn’t look heavy. To apply makeup and be able to see the skin, that is glorious. What would you say is the most important step in the make-up process? Of course, I’m going to say that the most important thing is to take painting classes, where you learn how to use a brush and loosen up your wrist.  Also, wash and moisturize your face every morning and evening. If you can do this the battle is half won. Then, choose a good foundation, one that matches your skin tone exactly, please!    In terms of hygiene, what is the best way to keep make-up brushes and cases clean? Keep your face clean, wash your brushes regularly and don’t share them.  Once in a while use an instant cleanser like Brush Off, but at least once a week wash them with soap and water. I wash mine with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo; rinse, and then dip them quickly into a blend of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (1:1 ratio). Shake off the

excess water and place them on a flat surface to air-dry.  A good quality brush can last years. Could you name a beauty product women should always carry?  A condom.  It keeps them beautiful and stress free!  Besides that, lipstick.  It instantly brightens your face, men like it, and it writes smoothly on car windows. Who would you say is a contemporary beauty muse? why? Wow, this is a tough one, especially since I concur with Dame Westwood on her last comments about fashion and style.  To paraphrase Dame Viv, nowadays people are boring, copy-paste individuals. Beauty is not exempt from this malady. We should look into developing our own style. At first hand names like Talitha Getty, Dalida, and Maria Felix come to mind - I would love to be able to bring them back to 2012. Then I think of the beauty that has amazed us for decades, like Sonia Braga, Iman and Diane von Fürstenberg. Tapping into these timeless glamazons, contemporary beauties like Sofia Vergara, Elena Anaya, Marion Cotillard, Joan Smalls and Adele have become modern muses because they all exude elegance in their way of living.  Natural elegance imbues your life from how you get out of bed in the morning to how you order your coffee at the bodega.     How do you spread good karma? Good karma starts with your intentions.  It is self-awareness, purpose. I scan my mind frequently, checking my thoughts. If I find some of them to be negative, I either turn them around into positive ones, or I get rid of of them entirely .   Good karma is about making your life mean something. Understanding people is key, so put yourself in the other person’s shoes and karma will guide you.

Spotlight on... The Light Smokey Eye For his favorite 2012 Beauty Trend, Karlo chose a subtler, more elegant version of the quintessential smokey eye. His trick is to draw the eye with colors that complement the skin tone to achieve that naturally glowing look he describes as "a chiaroscuro waltz", and pair those with light pinks and translucent corals on the lips and cheeks. Take inspiration from super mogul Jennifer Lopez, whose face always looks like she's spent an entire week sunbathing in Vieques.

Images: Luis Carle


One Rad Apple Manzana Studio

For Daniela Etchevers, growing up with her mother and sister meant having beauty and pampering rituals as an essential part of their lifestyle. After having the opportunity of traveling all over the world to experience great products and services, she decided to condense the best of the best into Manzana Studio, her first beauty business venture in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A genuine and delightful spa and salon, Manzana offers accessible, natural services like custom-blended skin masks. These utilize the inherent properties of fruits and vegetable to address the specific needs of each individual: apples are used for closing pores and spinach moisturizes while pineapples, strawberries and tomatoes soothe problem skin prone to blackheads and breakouts. Hair is indulged with their best-selling Keratherapy, an organic keratin that is great for anyone looking to tame frizz while conserving fullness. Even manicures and pedicures are enhanced with natural moisturizing lotions and afterwards treated to trendy designs inspired by runways, magazines, blogs and the likes of Lana del Rey, Dita Von Teese and Zooey Deschanel. As for Daniela, her favorite nail trends include black and nude, brightbright pastels, stripes, wallpaper florals and the reverse french.

Want to see more? Visit their



TransforMadera Changes it Up Have you ever felt like your furniture could use some TLC, but your woodworking skills aren’t up to par? Fret no more - Mario Gracia is here to help you see repurposing as an art, and how revamping your home doesn’t have to be so expensive. What motivated you to delve into carpentry? Foreseeing that, frankly, my bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature would not guarantee a job after graduation, I began to seriously consider alternate work possibilities. I always questioned why our educational system leaves out practical information and knowledge, for example, how to repair your car, how electricity works in houses, and how to build all sorts of things. With this in mind, I aimed to dedicate my time to learning a skill that would involve creativity, physical activity and a workshop environment. I eventually narrowed my search down to wanting to work with wood, a natural, versatile, beautiful and readily available material. I was somewhat familiar with most elements and tools in woodworking because my father Jaime Gracia is a wood and metal sculpture artist. Having such an example so close to me enabled me to see the potential of wood as both a medium of expression and a way of earning a living. Where did you learn? I believe that there are no coincidences. As I began asking around for people who could teach me, my friend Pablo told me his father Juan del Hierro ran a homegrown workshop.


I called him right away to ask if I could become his apprentice. The timing could have not been better: four days before my call he had had an accident in which he injured his shoulder, rendering him unable to work alone in his workshop. He needed help, and there I was. We met the day after my call and from there on I went every day to his house, his shop, eager to learn. Originally from Ecuador, he got the chance to travel to New York City, where he learned all sorts of skills in the city from a wide variety of people while doing dancing professionally, which is his passion. After getting married, the entire family moved to Puerto Rico and he established his shop little by little, with lots of hard work. His story is very inspiring; I could not have had a better teacher. How would you describe your approach to every project? I see every project as unique, having its own particularities and necessities. Communication with who I am working for is fundamental in developing any project. Asking the customer for examples they have seen or thought of for their furniture project is always very helpful; if they have a clear idea of what they want I have a clearer idea on how to design and build. Initially I try to target the specific needs the customer wants the furniture to fulfill and try to create several possible solutions which may vary in the materials used, finish and price. My work is careful and detailed, with the goal of presenting what fine woodworking is about.

Which has been your favorite project? Hard to tell. I would say projects in which I do not use as many power tools, since I enjoy working with hand tools very much. That’s where the art lies. You put your soul into handmade pieces. Apart from working with wood, what other interests do you have? I try to stay as creatively active as I can. Music is a river I’ve dipped in since my teenage years. I mainly play drums and other instruments such as flutes, which I make myself, focusing on improvisation and collective creation of experiences. I am influenced by great artists such as John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Django Reinhardt and Paul Chambers. Literature has also been very important to me. Every book I read is a window to other worlds, new possibilities of thought and experience. Another interest that has grown in me, within the line of being productive, is agriculture. Plants are so incredible and generous. I have learned so many things about myself and my relation to this planet by taking care of a planted patch of land. Planting for food and beauty is so necessary in these times; reconnecting with the earth is fundamental. Do you believe you can inspire others through your work? How? Ultimately we are all learning beings, constantly adjusting to and creating changes all around and within us. At the very least, every time I can, I try to pass to others the knowledge I have so willingly been given. I certainly hope more people would get involved in artistic expression and communication, for it is a field

that unites. Wood can teach us how to feel through textures, colors and patterns. What inspires you? Just look around. What quick, easy tricks can readers implement to breathe new life into their old furniture? When dealing with old paint, good old sandpaper is key. Depending on how degraded the piece is, is one could use 150 medium grit, 220 fine grit or 320 very fine grit (grit being the size of the sanding particles) to make it look like new. After carefully sanding and getting an even texture one could paint the affected area or the whole piece, preferably with a similar painting material to the one used before, which could be water based acrylic/ latex paint, oil paint, varnish, oil and water based polyurethane, etc. Each paint responds to specific furniture needs, looks, and scenarios. Finely sanding and waxing old furniture with beeswax polish is sure to bring it to life. When repairing furniture it is better to respect the way it was made and try to go along these lines. Observation is the key. Don’t just hammer some nails in wherever. In case of doubt it is best to ask someone who knows a thing or two about building furniture. Most importantly, be creative. If you have a piece you are thinking of dismissing, experiment with colors, decorate it with prints or transform it into something else. Turn a big box into a table, a vertical bookcase into a bench, some planks into shelves, whatever comes to mind.


When it comes to defining a home, Pam Helms knows what’s important: “the people who live there and the love and care they have for each other.” She is the Chief Innovation Office at Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, a company that focuses on exactly that which makes a home by producing natural cleaning products that turn household chores into pleasurable, healthy experiences. They are inspired by the homes and gardens around them, as well as the well being of their employees, their consumers and their families.

The new line of Bluebell scents


Shown here is the new 68 load Laundry detergent for spring 2012 in Lemon Verbena Scent and the top three best selling products in Basil scent.



We can all cook!

ome of us love and enjoy cooking, while others just like to eat and would very willingly skip the cooking part because they find absolutely no joy in it. Sometimes they just believe they do not have the skills necessary to cook delicious and healthy meals. Such is the case of Alison, our Executive Director. Alison loves to eat and she actually wants to follow a healthier diet, but feels her skills in the kitchen are an obstacle to her goal. She does not feel comfortable in the kitchen at all - not even her own kitchen. She doesn’t even know what kitchen appliances she owns and what they do! She came to me for help: “Madelyn…I can’t cook to save my life! Where do I start?” Alison is not alone. I get this same question all the time from friends, family, and even people I meet randomly. And what I suggest all of them do is start small. I now love cooking, but it wasn’t always like that. I remember there was a time when all I knew was how to make things in the microwave. It’s all a matter of exposure to flavors, techniques and ingredients that make your life easy and delicious. I went to Alison’s home recently and created a whole dinner party menu anyone can put together, even those of you who are kitchen challenged. This menu is all a matter of “assembling”: mixing, layering, pureeing and tossing together ingredients which in the end all look and taste delicious. The best part is, it’s all good for you. If you look closely at the recipes, you will find that they require lots of assembly and very little tending over a stove. Here was our menu: White Sangría Hummus Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce Asparagus Tart Mesclun Greens, Figs and Blue Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Apple Crisp I hope Alison and some of you “eaters-not-cookers” find the confidence to make at least one of these recipes at home. You don’t have to make them all for a dinner party… start small. Pick one and start building your self-confidence. You’ll see that in very little time you’ll slowly start enjoying cooking - or at least “assembling” - a whole lot more. Stay positive, I am rooting for all of you. Right, Alison?


White Sangría 1 bottle of white wine or non-alcoholic apple cider 1 32oz bottle of natural ginger ale ½ can of passion fruit juice concentrate 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly 1 orange, sliced In a pretty glass pitcher, mix all the ingredients together. Let the flavors meld together for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Serve over ice.

Lemony Hummus 1 can of organic garbanzo beans – I still haven’t figured out how to make dry garbanzo beans work 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese The juice of one lime About 1/2 cup of olive oil – enough to make the mixture as creamy as possible 1 clove of garlic, minced ¼ cup of water, optional salt and pepper to taste a dash of paprika Rinse the garbanzo beans. Place garbanzo beans, cheese, garlic, lime juice salt, pepper, paprika and some of the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is creamy.  If the mixture is not as creamy as it should be, add the water and a bit more olive oil in small increments until you reach the texture you seek.


Baked Goat Cheese over Tomato Sauce 3oz of goat cheese, keep refrigerated until ready to use ½ cup crushed tomatoes or tomato puree A drizzle of Spanish olive oil, plus more for bread Salt and Pepper to taste Pinch of Italian Seasonings, optional ½ French whole-wheat baguette, sliced on a bias Take the bread slices, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and toast in a toaster oven. Set aside. Place the crushed tomatoes in a small bowl and season with some sea salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  Mix well and place in a large ramekin dish. Cut a 3oz piece of goat cheese and place in the middle of the ramekin on top of the seasoned tomato puree.  You can drizzle a bit more olive oil on top of cheese to help it get a golden brown color. Place in a 350 – 400F oven for about 15 minutes to cook a bit the tomato and warm up the cheese. Plate the ramekin with the bread toasts and enjoy.

Asparagus Tart 1 package puffed pastry, thawed in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours 1 package of thin asparagus, trimmed of the woodsy part in the bottom 2 small onions, sliced very thin and cooked down slowly in 1 tbs of olive oil until caramelized About ¾ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese About 4 oz of goat cheese Garlic Salt and Pepper Olive Oil Some spelt or whole wheat pastry flour to roll out the pastry   Preheat oven to 425F. Open up each sheet of puff pastry and with a little flour stretch it just a bit… enough to kind of erase the creases but not that much that the pastry sheet would not fit the baking tray you have. Using a paring knife, score a ½ inch border around the pastry sheet but be careful not to cut through the pastry. Prick the inside of the pastry using a fork. Prick especially the corners to make sure the inside will not puff up when cooked in the oven. Make sure the border


you created is not pricked… you want the outside border to puff up. Spread the caramelized onions you cooked down earlier over the pricked portion of the pastry. Spread it evenly all over the bottom. Scatter Parmesan cheese over the onions. Place the asparagus one next to the other, tips facing out and alternating one tip towards the right and the next tip towards the left. You just want to make it look pretty… no matter how you place the asparagus, it’ll taste good all the same, so no worries. After you create a whole layer of asparagus on top of the pastry, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Afterwards, place dollops of goat cheese on top of asparagus. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes… or until the edges are puffed up and look golden brown.

Mesclun Greens, Figs, Pickled Onions and Blue Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Mixed Mesclun Greens Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, sliced or diced Dried Mission Figs, diced Pickled Red Onions in lemon juice Sliced Almonds Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Aged Balsamic Vinegar Salt and Pepper to taste To pickle the onions, slice ½ medium red onion as thinly as possible. Place in a glass bowl or jar and pour the juice of 1 lemon, a drizzle of warm water and 1tsp of salt. Allow the onions to wilt in the water mixture for about 30 minutes. Assemble all salad ingredients in a salad bowl – from the spinach down to the cheese. In a measuring cup or bowl mix together 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar with a dash of salt and pepper to season. Mix well and drizzle over salad. Toss to coat.


Apple Crisp 5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced 3 tbs cornstarch Zest and juice of 1 yellow lemon 1 cup of brown sugar Sprinkle of cinnamon ½ tsp of vanilla extract Canola Oil Spray For the Crisp Topping: 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour 1/2 cup of brown sugar ½ cup of quick cooking oats 2/3 cup of sliced pecans 1 stick of butter, cut into small cubes Sprinkle of cinnamon Pre-heat oven to 375F. In a large glass baking dish sprayed with canola oil, dump the cut apples and mix in the cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine. Set aside. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, pecans, oats with the pieces of cold butter. Using a fork, combine the butter with the rest of the ingredients until it becomes like the consistency of wet sand. Pour the topping over the apples evenly. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes… the apples will bubble and the topping will look cooked and golden.

Find more delicous recipies and info at:


Karen Gilbert Natural skincare and fragrance expert

Don’t miss her new book A Green Guide to Natural Beauty available now at


For a Healthier Pantry… any of my friends still think that to lose weight and be healthy they need to “diet” - and by that they mean making temporary changes in what they eat and when. After they have reached a certain goal, they believe they can go back to the way they were eating again while somehow, magically, their weight and health remains intact. It is my personal experience that losing weight and being healthier starts when you make lasting lifestyle changes. These changes don’t have to mean you deprive yourself of what you love, they mean you can start loving new things that you probably didn’t know existed. It means you’re going to make slight modifications to the things you enjoy. It’s about consciously making better choices for yourself and your family. Better diets start at the grocery store. You need to think and inform yourself about modifying the way you purchase food. This way, when you’re at the grocery store you will know which product is better for your health and spirit.

Buy Whole Grain Baked Goods, Pastas and Rice Whole grain ingredients are much more nutritious than refined ones. The hull of cereals is where the fiber and nutrients exist. Insoluble fibers in whole grain products is very necessary to help our intestines properly clean our bodies. Refined products need to be enriched artificially because the polishing takes away most of the natural nutrition that was there originally. There are several benefits to transitioning from white-refined goods to whole grains: • Whole-grain products contain more nutrients. • Whole-grain products have more flavor. • Whole-grain products contain fiber to help our digestive system. • Fiber has complex carbohydrates, which help you feel satisfied long after eating. Breads, cookies, pancakes, pastas… you can easily find them all ,are from whole grains and whole wheat flours. It’s just a matter of picking one brand over another. It’s important to read the labels because the first and only main ingredient should be “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain flour”. Many brands say they are “whole grain” and are really a mixture of refined and whole. Try to avoid these “impostors”. Whole Grain or Brown Rice comes in a variety of formats – basmati, short grain, long grain…


just like white rice. Again, it’s just a matter of which bag to choose at the store. You prepare it basically the same way you make white rice – just add a bit more water until you get it right. Whole Grain or Brown Rice comes in a variety of formats – basmati, short grain, long grain… just like white rice. Again, it’s just a matter of which bag to choose at the store. You prepare it basically the same way you make white rice – just add a bit more water until you get it right.

Avoid Artificial Ingredients and Colorings

The food industry modifies foods in such a way to make them comply with the latest fad out there – carb-free, sugar-free, fat-free, etc. To do this, they don’t mind filling foods with chemical additives, preservatives or colorings to make us believe we’re eating the original… and in the end, these modified products are not even a shadow of their original counterparts. wwThis is my philosophy: I read labels and I try not to buy anything that contains ingredients I can’t understand or even pronounce. Basically, I only buy products with the least ingredients and try to buy fresh ingredients without any labels as often as possible. By choosing the more natural and least-processed products with the least ingredients, you also avoid: • Chemicals. • Artificial colorants such as FD Red #5, FD Yellow #10, etc. • Products containing sulfite – which is a preservative and known carcinogen added to food to preserve a vibrant color. I know it’s a challenge, but you just get used to reading the labels and being more conscious of the ingredients that go into the food you eat. And even though you might get familiar with the brands you prefer, you need to periodically read the labels because companies change formulas, and a product that used to be perfectly fine might now have something it didn’t have before.

Avoid Canned Goods

Try to avoid cans as much as possible. • Usually, canned products contain more chemicals to help preserve the contents when compared to the same product in a different package format. Our approach to this is very in line with the section above on avoiding chemicals and additives. • Canned products were cooked previously a long time ago and, by the time you open them, they’re there are no more nutrients left in them. • Cans can’t be recycled the way plastic or glass containers can be. I understand how convenient it is to buy canned goods. How they’re economical, they’re always there in your pantry when you need them…and, hey, they give you comfort in times of need, like when preparing for a hurricane. But, instead of purchasing what you typically buy in cans, start buying them in another packaging format, still getting the convenient pantry shelf life.


Your New Grocery List Having a healthy pantry is the key to having a great, healthy diet. When you make the choices at the grocwery store, not when you’re hungry at home, you will have smart alternatives available and you will not cave into unhealthy temptations. Here you’ll find an easy list to follow on how to substitute what you currently buy at the store.



Discover CrossFit, an innovative program that combines fitness and nutrition to help participants be themselves - that is, a very improved version of themselves. There are no unrealistic expectations, and everyone is responsible for both personal and communal achievements. Yes, the stakes are high, but you'll never be alone in the process. Are you in?


CrossFit is a fitness program that is designed around the mastery of functional human movement and optimal physical health. It increases the average person’s ability to perform in real life situations – professional or recreational sports, first responder and military or even simply being a mom or dad – harder, faster, better and for longer periods of time than ever before. Doing CrossFit the right way will increase your strength, endurance, speed, coordination, balance and confidence. For the average person who participates in CrossFit, there is a level of achievement, accomplishment and community

that simply isn’t available in any other part of their lives, let alone in a standard gym routine. Training is fun, challenging, exciting, and it brings a level of sport and play back into people’s daily lives.

building experience like no other – people learn about themselves and learn to cause the success of the people around them as well as theirs. Like a team, people struggle and win together.

One of the most unique and exciting things about CrossFit is that each and every person who participates, whether they are a family guy, full time mom, weekend warrior, gym rat or a competitor at the international level, does the exact same things. Everyone who participates earns the feeling of being a champion. CrossFit’s training and movement philosophy, combined with passionate, committed and sound coaching, increases people’s wellness both inside and out, enhances performance, promotes self-esteem and amps their ability to squeeze the juice out of life.

One of the most important steps to follow to succeed in the Whole Life Challenge is to identify what actions you can take right now, today, that will point you towards your vision. No one gets from here to there in a day, and taking the daily view gives people an opportunity to succeed all along the way. Like being in a river, just stepping in will carry them downstream before they even know they are moving. Another critical step is to not be alone. Interacting with the community to get support, share successes and breakdowns, contribute information and experiences, and to witness the transformations that are possible and are taking place all around you gives you far more power than you would have on your isolated island of one. Finally, doing what you said you were going to do even though you might not feel like it at the moment is the most important motivation. Everyone faces distractions and temptations that draw them away from long term fulfillment in exchange for short term gratification. This challenge gives you the tools you need: if you use them, you see what is possible if you are true to yourself and your vision. - Michael Stanwyck

The Whole Life Challenge was inspired by the idea that having next level results in your life takes daily commitment and accountability for your actions and how these relate to what you want. Every day we fight the same battle with what we envision for ourselves and the reality of daily life, which is full of demands and routines. The Whole Life Challenge is a community game that breaks the routine and puts you and your friends in the battle between your vision and your reasons. It acknowledges that those reasons are very real, and giving them structure will enable you to achieve your goals by taking single steps each day. To begin, participants spend over 56 days training to become more aware of the way that they are about their body and their health. With real, daily tracking of what they do and don’t do and actual physical and performance measurements, they understand how they get the results that they get (or don’t get!). It empowers the participants to create an environment of support as well as information about their local community and what it has to offer that supports healthy living. The Whole Life Challenge is a tool that brings people to an awareness that their choices have actual consequences that they may not have been noticing. It is a health and wellness community

Can you share a positive experience you’ve had with a client lately? I was completing all of the registrations for the beginning of our current Whole Life Challenge and I had to get on the phone with a friend of one of my members at CrossFit LA. One of the best improvements we’ve recently made to the game is that we allow our clients to enroll their friends and family members in the game to play with them. It not only puts them in the position of being a leader, it also allows them to start transforming their whole environment. They get not only to contribute to the well-being of others, but to build health and well being into the space around them, something that helps to guarantee their long term success. I needed to call this woman because her


Images: Carlos Tapia 42

payment hadn’t gone through. I hadn’t ever met her before and we started talking about her excitement and anxiety about the challenge – this was day 1. She said that she was really worried because she had a thyroid problem and was already very thin. She didn’t do any cardio workouts and mostly lifted weights. She was less than 10% bodyfat, with for a woman is extremely lean. She told me that she was already really hungry trying to adhere to the particulars of the nutrition guidelines of the challenge. As I listened to her tell me about herself, I realized that the particulars that we have decided are most appropriate for our clients probably weren’t for her. So I told her that. I told her that she probably shouldn’t adhere strictly to our nutrition rules, and should focus on what was important to her. This isn’t about any particular nutrition or workout. This is about accountability and practice. She was so relieved. She told me she was so happy I had called, even though it was about something completely unrelated, and had a whole new vision for how this could work for her. She got that there is no one-size-fits-all program and that she didn’t have to do what worked for her friends. This was an opportunity to find the best possible fit for her. Opening people up to the idea that their world is theirs to create, that they are responsible for the results, giving them the freedom to do it and watching them take it on fully is one of the most gratifying experiences in my daily life. In terms of nutrition, what works and what doesn’t? In my experience, eating real, whole food works. Eating animal protein, whether it’s beef, pork, chicken, fish or eggs, combined with fresh produce – mostly vegetables and some fruit, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, and olive oil gives the best results. I’ve seen it over and over. From weight loss and strength gain, to improvement in all of the medical markers of health like cholesterol and triglycerides this type of nutrition gives the greatest levels of improvement I’ve seen. Does this mean it’s appropriate for everyone? Not at all. I’ve also seen people be vibrant and healthy as vegans – but the ones that I’ve seen

succeed most as vegans were brutally honest with themselves about what works and what doesn’t even inside a political, nutritional or environmental philosophy. But as a general rule, what I’ve described seems to work best for the greatest number of people. What doesn’t really work? Counting calories and not paying attention to the quality of your food. The calories in / calories out method of dieting isn’t sustainable, doesn’t work, and it tends to drive people nuts. A diet that people can’t follow doesn’t work. Processed “health” foods, grains, sugar, and even dairy are also all culprits in thedegradation of people’s health. How do you spread good karma in your daily life? I make sure that people know that as a coach I support their vision for their life, not one that I think is best. I am here to fulfill on what is most important to every individual who enlists my help. I also spread karma by being completely honest with people about their actions and their results. I refuse to empower the reason maker. I speak to people’s true self, the creator of the vision, not the complaining, whining, excuse making self that oppresses their most vibrant possibilities.







Profile for Karma NYC

Karma Life & Style Magazine Issue No. 2  

March-April 2012 Issue

Karma Life & Style Magazine Issue No. 2  

March-April 2012 Issue


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded