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tr evor m born md


T RULY MODERn beauty

the HAPPY issue!

DOCTOR’S NOTE How being “happy” keeps you beautiful, inside and out...

FACT V FICTION We debunk a few “old wives tales” about cosmetic procedures


What is Beauty to you? Cover girls Lauren, Nana & Sheena tell us how they’ve learned to look, and feel their most beautiful...

TMBmag 04-06 DOCTOR’S NOTE...

for our “happy” issue, Dr. Born talks about the health benefits of happiness...

11-17 FACES OF TMB..

beauty, happiness & skincare with skinmedica® and cover girls lauren, nana & sheena...


Yolanda Balatbat R.N debunks a few cosmetic procedure “myths...”

tru gazine ly mod ern bea uty Trevor M. Born, M.D

Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

TMBmagazine Editor Erin Mccann


Kavita & Parveen Kaith are two very extraordinary sisters-in-law...


terrified of bikini season? sculpt your summer body now with non-surgical body-shaping treatments...

36-41 REST, REJUVENATE,RELAX, RESTORE... the health & wellness benefits of a great vacation, with exclusive resorts...

assistant to the Editor Justin Andrzejewski DESIGN & layout marymary Productions Cover:

pictured Lauren Baca, Nana Liu, Sheena hall Photographer JACLYN LOCKE WARDROBE & Styling NICOLE MANEK HAIR & makeup natalie ventola





Photo: Mark Binks Styling: Nicole Manek Grooming: Erin Winn 4

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pring has sprung, and (having endured the hardships of the winter months) a welcome sense of opportunity and optimism returns. Hallelujah! If the New Year is about “starting over,” then spring represents a time of growth and “midpoint” reflection, where we can nurture our efforts for greater health and wellness with continued care, and also reevaluate our strategies. What is working? What is not? What do we have to do/ change in order to see our efforts blossom fully into successful outcomes? Most importantly, as we approach the halfway mark of 2017, it’s probably a good time to ask ourselves: Am I happy? Really, all other questions are secondary to that one very, very important one. Am I happy? I think we can all agree: feeling happy feels good, and like we are always saying here at TMB: when you feel good, you look good, and vice versa. So: in this issue of TMB, we’re devoting a little more space to one of the most essential components in your beauty and anti-aging toolkit: Happiness! with change, or desiring it, or seeking help to achieve it. What IS wrong, is looking in the mirror and feeling like the reflection looking back at you isnt’t really YOU, at your best. I assure you, I promise you: it can be. Lets just

Happiness and good health go hand in hand. In fact, recent clinical studies have found that happiness is not only essential for good psychological health, it can make our immune systems stronger, our hearts healthier and our lives longer. A 2007 Harvard research study found that attributes such as optimism, emotional vitality (hopefulness, enthusiasm), as well as supportive networks of family and friends actually lowers one’s risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Happiness can even mitigate aches and pains: A 2005 study asked patients suffering from arthritis and chronic pain to rate their positive emotions on a daily basis for three months. The study concluded that those with a higher “happiness” score experienced less pain. The physiological benefits of “happiness” extend to our appearance as well: Another medical study (University College London) showed that people who report greater “happiness” in their everyday lives produce less of the “stress”hormone cortisol overall. Cortisol breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin, accelerating the aging process and leading to wrinkles, lax skin and loss of facial volume. Apparently “happiness” really can make you look younger! cont. >>



>>With this in mind, we’ve tried to pack this issue full of content that inspires you to “Get Happy!” We didn’t have to look very far either: our TMB community of amazing patients, friends, colleagues and partners provided everything we needed. “Faces of TMB” features three incredible young women who offer thoughtful insight on happiness, beauty, and self acceptance.“Soul Sisters” is an up close and personal interview with two amazing moms/ entrepreneurs/ sisters-in-law, Parveen & Kavita Kaith. We talk to these everyday super-women about what it takes to find balance, beauty, and happiness when family, work and social obligations leave you little time for self care. “Rest, Relaxation, Restoration, Rejuvenation” looks at the important beauty, health last surgery of 2016... anothertime. success! and the happiness benefits of vacation Making the time, and taking the time to foster your own happiness should be a part of everyone’s beauty, health and wellness strategy. There is a tendency to think of “happiness” rituals as luxury: “How can I take an hour for myself to exercise/rest/visit TMB for Botox... when there is important work that needs to get done? Kids to take care of ? Deadlines looming?” This kind of thinking is common, but misguided. It can be a challenge to put aside the demands of work and take time for myself when I need it, but I do! I do this because I know: when I am happy, I am a better doctor, surgeon, husband, friend and boss. I encourage all of you to adopt a similar mindset, and those of you who struggle with feelings of guilt because you’re putting your hapiness first? I’m here to tell you (and I’m a doctor, so you can drop my name whenever you get push back on the subject…): you NEED to put yourself first! No ifs, ands or buts! Beauty rituals are an easy way to kickstart that “happy” feeling, so I hope to see many of you in our offices for a little spring cleaning and maintenance. There are so many treatment options available that can make a world of difference: whether it’s a little no-downtime skincare treatment like Thermage® (my go-to!), or a more purposeful change with surgery, positive change is attainable if you are ready to embrace it. As always, me and my staff are ready and eager to help you look and feel like your most beautiful, authentic and happiest self. So… Let’s all get out there and get happy!



A few things that make me happy...

photo cred: Adrian Mainella

Is this a surprise to anyone? I love kitesurfing, and I make the time for kitesurfing trips at least 3 times a year. Nothing gets in the way of me and my beach time! Its an important part of my life now. If something delays a trip, I start to get cranky... Not good for anyone!

I am most happy in my O.R., doing the work I love so much! Its so important to be happy in your work. I feel very lucky to be a cosmetic plastic surgeon, and I don’t take this privilege for granted! I am always working to improve, to be the BEST in my f ield.

I love cycling around Manhattan. I like to ride along the West Side Highway, and often do laps of great American History at Grant’s Tomb (Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th president of the U.S, who also worked closely with Abraham Lincoln.) Dinners out at my favorite restaurant in Toronto, Campagnolo. Great atmosphere, absolutely amazing Italian food... Life without Italian food and wine would not be fun... I love visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I frequently visit the Greek and Roman Arts, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts sections. Art informs my work as a surgeon greatly: I am very inspired by beauty in painting and sculpture...


HA5 E X P O N E N T I A L LY SMOOTH . HA 5 Rejuvenating Hydrator provides immediate smoothing in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and supports the skin’s natural ability to replenish its own hyaluronic acid for overall skin health. Instantly smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles Immediate hydration Improves the appearance of skin texture and roughness It’s a daily smoothing product that complements dermal filler and injectable treatments that address the deeper lines.

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INFINI smooth INFINI tight



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No surgery, little-to-no downtime, treatment for aging skin

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Before Courtesy of Sarah Mess, MD, USA




Courtesy of Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD, USA


LIFT. TIGHTEN. SMOOTH. N AT U R A L LY. Aging aff ects us al l – the way we act, the way we f eel, and definitel y the way we look. But with advancements in skin c are, you c an have a say in the way aging aff ects your skin – and may be e ven get bac k to the way you looked not so long ago... The r mage® is a pr o ven, unique ra diofr equenc y t r eat ment that c an help impr o ve the appearance of sag g ing or loose skin , g iving you a smoothe r, sleeke r and younge r look and f eel. Ther mage® works in just one treatment with little down time and delivers a natur al looking result. It ’s you, just younge r looking and mor e conf ident.



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from left to right: Sheena Hall, Lauren Baca, Nan Liu


e are always asking ourselves, what is the magic formula for “beauty?” What we’ve come to learn after years in the “beauty” business is that actually, you’re the experts! Only YOU can really determine what looks, and feels beautiful to you. As providers,

we simply work to help you enhance and preserve that unique beauty as much as we can, for as long as we can. With this in mind, we decided to ask a few spectacular women we know exactly what makes them look, and feel beautiful, inside and out. The consensus? When you’re happy and comfortable in your own skin, you are at your most “beautiful.”

So… we’ll let our cover girls Sheena, Nana and Lauren tell you what “beauty” is to them, and we’ll take care of the skincare plan (with a little help from SkinMedica®). With their insight, and our skincare regimens, we’re pretty sure you’ll take away a few good ideas about how you can look and feel a little more “beautiful” this season…>>





t this point in my life, beauty is about embracing the things about myself that I can’t change. It’s about acceptance. In fact, the things I can’t change are probably the things I like most about myself. Those “quirks” are what make me unique, so I embrace them and play them up. I used to struggle with my hair: I processed it, I didn’t really know what to do with it, so I let stylists make decisions for me (not good…). Once I finally embraced my natural hair, I think my beauty really blossomed. It was empowering to research and discover the products and regimens that worked for me. That journey actually led me to start my own hair care line; it’s become my passion! I know now that my hair is a gift. I think happiness comes from within, and the more you accept and love yourself, the happier you will be. I definitely feel the most beautiful when I’m happy! I make a point of smiling a lot to encourage the “happy” in myself, and others. When you say hello to a person, and you give them a great big warm smile, I think it’s contagious. They smile back at you, and then you both feel good. So I would tell others: Smile more! A great smile is a beautiful thing.

TMBxSKINMEDICA Rx: Sheena’s got the right idea! Skincare shouldn’t be a battle. Focus on protecting and nourishing your skin by investing in a few good products that are right for your skin type. For a beautiful glow like Sheena’s, we recommend a product that contains Hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a natural “water loving” substance found in the skin which acts as the body’s natural hydrator. It keeps our skin looking “plump” and dewy. As we age, the body’s ability to produce HA diminishes. SkinMedica’s HA5 works to replenish the skin’s HA, decreasing the appearance of f ine lines and wrinkles while keeping skin hydrated throughout the day. This, combined with semi annual glycolic or lactic acid peels to encourage skin cell turnover will keep skin radiant and healthy. TMB recommends a series of Dermaceutic Milk Peels: an in office peel that is safe for all skin types and yields fast, beautiful results.



If I could give other women advice, I would tell them: be brave. Don’t be afraid to try and achieve the things others say are “impossible.” Be unique, be your own person… having the courage to be honest about yourself and show your emotions is so beautiful! I feel very awkward and silly sometimes, but even that is beautiful, because it’s real. Its “me.” I think women are particularly beautiful in this way: we can be strong, and vulnerable at the same time. That’s something to be proud of.

TMBxSKINMEDICA Rx: Nana’s amazing skin certainly reflects her inner beauty! It’s pretty much perfection. To maintain her baby soft, even toned complexion, we recommend starting (and keeping) a daily skincare regimen that starts with sunscreen application. Your sunscreen should give you “broad spectrum “coverage: meaning it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Prevention is always the best approach to skincare. SkinMedica’s Essential Defense Everyday Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 47 is a lightweight formula that won’t leave you greasy.

Follow this up with daily use of a great “all in one” serum like our TNS® Essential Serum to maintain even skin tone and texture. This patented formula is loaded with growth factors, antioxidants, soluble collagen and peptides, all of which protect your skin from environmental factors while combatting the sights of aging

like fine lines and discolouration.





eauty is kindness. I think people are most beautiful when they are kind to others, kind to the environment, kind to animals… When we are kind to one another, we truly make the world a better place, now and for the future. One way I try to do this is through my work with animals - I work as a “Panda Ambassador” for the Toronto Zoo, teaching people about the pandas and how we can protect them for the future. It’s so important that we respect and help creatures who are in need, who don’t have a voice. Animals can’t speak to us, so we have to make sure we are protecting them and acting in their best interest. It makes me happy to know I am helping them, and preserving the special relationship that humans and animals share for future generations.



eauty is really a subjective thing. I don’t think there’s one person who sets the bar as to what “beauty” is or is not. Just because one person finds something attractive doesn’t mean that everyone else will. You just have to make those decisions for yourself and set your own bar. Work with what you have and stop trying to fit into a mould. I was diagnosed with alopecia and I lost quite a bit of my hair at one point. It was a struggle, because the society we live in tends to advertise this ideal of big, long beautiful hair. Rather than focusing on what I no longer had and couldn’t do, I started focusing on what I DO have and what I CAN do. Take a great feature and play it up. I have pretty unique eyes so I make them the focal point of my look. I wear eyelash extensions, I play them up with makeup… I also work out a lot and I’m pretty proud of my booty! So I show it off when I can. I work with what I’ve got. My beauty icon is really my mother. She’s Eastern European and she has always taught me to accept and love who I am. Eastern European women tend to embrace and flaunt their unique beauty. They’re very proud and unapologetic, and that’s something my mom has encouraged in me. Be proud of who you are, and where you come from. Those are the things that make you uniquely beautiful.

TMBxSKINMEDICA Rx: Wow. Lauren’s eyes certainly ARE mesmerizing! The skin around the eyes is particularly thin, making it prone to aging faster than other areas of the face. To stave off fine lines and keep the under eye area smooth and hydrated, we recommend a good eye cream such as our TNS® Eye Repair. If you find your eyes are sometimes puffy, or suffer from undereye “bags,” we recommend applying our Uplifting Eye Serum in the AM to de-puff and improve skin’s appearance throughout the day. Regular RF (radio frequency) treatments such as Thermage CPT area also essential to keep the eye area bright, tight and youthful. Thermage uses heat technology to stimulate collagen production from within, lifting and tightening droopy upper and lower eyelids for are fresher, more rested appearance. There is no downtime, and results are natural, and gradual.





There are more than a few myths surrounding cosmetic procedures. Many of these myths are completely unfounded, outdated and just plain false! Once and for all, we’d like to clear up a few misconceptions and set the record straight... with Yolanda Balatbat, RN


>> 19


Botox® causes “Mad Cow’s Disease...” First off: humans cannot get “Mad Cow’s Disease.” Clinically known as “bovine spongiform encephalopathy,” it is a transmissible, degenerative nerve disease (Botulism) which is found in adult cattle. In rare cases, humans may encounter a variant of Mad Cow’s disease known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is believed to be transmitted when humans ingest contaminated meat from infected cattle. So the answer to this question is NO, Botox does not cause “Mad Cow’s disease.” However, Botox® is derived from the same bacterial spores (Clostridium botulinum) that cause botulism, therefore there is a very rare risk of adverse side effects. It is important to remember that Botox® is a safe, FDA and Health Canada approved medication which is indicated for the treatment of many medical conditions (including involuntary muscle spasm, chronic migraine, urinary incontinence), while Botox Cosmetic® is indicated for aesthetic improvement of crow’s feet and frown lines. In 2016, Botox injections were the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the U.S, with over 7 million procedures performed (according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.). To minimize the potential for any side effects, make sure your Botox® is administered correctly by a medical professional in a controlled environment.


Breast implants cause cancer... There is a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) that has been associated with silicone and saline breast implants, however it is extremely rare and the research is still inconclusive. The FDA reports that as of February 2017, a total 359 cases of breast implant associated ALCL have been reported - some of those cases dating back 10 years. Currently, it is estimated that 10 to 11 million women worldwide have breast implants (according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons), which means that the chance of developing ALCL is less than one in a million or something like .003 percent. 20



Retinol “thins” the skin... Not true. If you are using the proper retinol or prescription retinoids (Vitamin A) for your skin type and applying them correctly, the medication will actually boost collagen production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin quality overall. Retinol can cause skin sensitivity (dryness, irritation, redness, crusting) in some patients, and those people who have pre existing “thinness” of the skin are more susceptible (eg. fair skinned individuals who have visible blood vessels or a blue tinge to the skin). However, there are many different strengths and formulations of retinol products, and when used as directed, anyone can use them and should see a good result.


You shouldn’t use Retinol or glycolic products in summer... This is a myth. When using any exfoliating products that contain acids such as Retinol (vitamin A), glycolic, salicylic or lactic acids, you should practice caution and limit your sun exposure, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop using them all together during the summer months. Use of these products does make you more susceptible to the harsh rays of the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen (make sure its broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher), protective clothing and a hat during peak sun hours. And (it should go without saying), tanning is absolutely off limits when using these products.


Thermage® (radio frequency skin tightening) “melts” fat or fillers... This is not true. As we age, we lose facial fat volume and skin also begins to lose its elasticity. This results in the overall “droopiness” we see as we get older. When treating the aging face, a multifaceted approach is needed to combat these effects: we need to add volume AND tighten skin for the best, most natural looking result. Thermage® and injectable fillers are very complementary procedures, as the fillers address volume loss while Thermage® addresses lax, sagging skin. You need both in order to maintain a taut, youthful appearance! Thermage® uses radiofrequency technology to stimulate collagen production in all three layers of the dermis. Over time, collagen will rebuild the skin’s underlying structure, firming and tightening skin in the treatment area. Thermage® is particularly useful for lifting and tightening skin around the jowl and jawline, as well as droopy eyelids. There is no downtime associated with Thermage®, and results are very gradual and natural - making this an ideal treatment for those patients who prefer to keep their anti-aging regimen on the downlow... --Are there any “Cosmetic Procedure Myths” you would like cleared up? Send Yolanda your questions! or find her on Twitter @expertnurseRN

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O SUL When you’re a busy mom and entrepreneur, how do you make time for yourself ? It helps when you’ve got family to cheer you on. Sisters-in-law Parveen & Kavita Kaith tell us how they’ve helped each other f ind balance, strength, and happiness, by working as a team…



hat does it take to be “happy?” For this issue of TMB, we thought we’d try to answer that question, or at least look at ways we can all be “happier” in our everyday lives. More and more, we see that happiness is one of the keys to wellness, and beauty. The healthiest, and most beautiful people radiate positivity and happiness from every pore. It’s that unique “thing” that makes us want to be around them. What is the recipe for that “thing” exactly? Is it just a magical, mystical quality that some people naturally possess and others have to work at?



ar veen & Kavita Kaith are the latter: they’ve just got that “thing,” or so it seems to the casual observer. They radiate light and joy and fun. Their candor is that perfect combination of sass and self deprecation: inspiring, confident and sympathetic, never self important or righteous. They also happen to be stunningly gorgeous! What I learn soon enough however, is that these remarkable women are not in fact magical creatures to whom “happiness” comes naturally. In fact, they quickly dispel the notion that “happiness” is some kind of gift bestowed only on a lucky few.

“Happiness,” like so many things in life, is earned. It takes work, and these are two women who aren’t afraid to put in the hours. Its this work ethic that sets them apart. That, and a shared understanding that even though their schedules and to-do lists may be maxed out, making time for their own happiness is essential.


e sat down with these two sisters-in-law/ soulful sisters to learn what brought them to the realization that “happiness” is the key to success in family, business, beauty and life... >>


Ever wonder what the pros do to keep their skin glowing? The Gee Beauty crew talks to us about what works for them, and some tips for you on how to:



efore the door to our photography studio has even opened, we hear Kavita’s throaty, full bodied laugh from outside. It’s raining on this particular day, but when she and Parveen walk in, their smiles and body language are so sunny, you’d never know it. The energy in the studio instantly goes from “dreary morning blah...” to “Let’s get this party started!” “Oh my gosh! We’re late! I blame our children… It was them!” Kavita exclaims before she and Parveen sheepishly break into more laughter. This happens often: the two women love to laugh at themselves, and their circumstances. With four children between the two of them,

The experience is entirely foreign to them: being primped and fussed over and ogled by a team of hair and makeup artists, clothing stylists, photographers and videographers. I notice them steal looks at one another as if to say, “Can you believe this?!” They will often find one another amid the chaos and throw these kinds

TMB: So tell us how you two met? How long have you known each other?

TMB: Do you still give each other honest advice like that?

Kavita: I guess we’ve known each other for about sixteen years now? Wow. That’s crazy...

P: Definitely. At first there was maybe more of a learning curve for me. Moving in with the whole family (including Kavita) was an adjustment. Being older, I was kind of used to being the authority on everything. I was maybe a bit of a “know it all...”

Parveen: I know! We were kids. It’s amazing really… K: Our first encounter was over the phone… she used to call my house a lot (to talk to my brother). It was… a bit stalker-y? It was a bit much… P: Oh god. You’re right. I know! K: I mean, I don’t know why... He obviously liked her. But you know how guys are - they push away the thing they want? They’re afraid or something? (sorry bro!) Anyway, I told her on the phone after she had been calling a LOT, “You know… I don’t think you should call so much. I don’t think he wants to talk to you…” P: I remember. I appreciated that! She was honest with me. She told me what I needed to hear. So I listened, I stopped calling. Then, later that year I think, we were all at a wedding together, and I guess “not calling”did the trick because he asked me out that night! The rest is history...


I’m sure any morning they manage to make it out of the house on time is a miracle. In fact, they aren’t that late and it’s really not an issue, but after they’ve shared a good laugh, they quickly begin to apologize profusely for their lateness to anyone within earshot. Having worked on many editorial photo shoots, it’s a relief to know these women aren’t divas: they are humble, they are good sports, they are genuine.


K: You were (They both laugh heartily at this). That changed quickly though. I think when we both started our businesses, we started sharing more. We had more in common. Parveen and Kavita have both owned and operated Carol Baker Visage franchises - a “face spa” that offers everything from skincare to lash extensions to makeup applications. After discovering a love for fitness and nutrition, Parveen eventually moved on to start her own business as a personal trainer and fitness coach. Kavita’s Visage location in the Upper Canada Mall is still going strong.... P: Right. We both ran Visage salons so we had a lot to talk about at the end of every day. We would compare notes, run ideas by one another. We both wanted our business to not only succeed, but excel and grow.

of reassuring glances, silently communicating, “I’m here for you, we’re in this together.” It’s very sweet to watch, and clearly an effective system! 10 hour photoshoots are no walk in the park, but both women manage to remain professional, patient and in good spirits as it all unfolds. Together, they make a great team. At the end of the photoshoot, we talk about what brought them together, how their friendship evolved, and how exactly they manage to juggle demanding careers, raise their families, and still make time for their own self care. Most importantly, we want to know what makes these effervescent women “happy” every day. Perhaps they’ve got a family recipe we can steal...

K: That was the first thing that clicked with us. Work was (is) so important to both of us. I think we both have a bit of a competitive streak. It’s not good enough to come in second. Just “getting by” was never an option. We want to break records! P: She was always very supportive, and I like to think I’m a good motivator… So we really started working together and helping one another early on. That’s pretty special. I think women in business roles often find there is no support network there for you. You have to come up with solutions on your own, work harder to prove yourself… We had each other at least. Then came the kids... I had my two children first (my daughter is 14 and my son is 11)... K: My kids are 5 and 6… Motherhood definitely made us closer. I understand better now about what it means to be a mom. I remember there was a family vacation and Parveen came to me two weeks before we were leaving and was like “Okay, I’m all packed. Am I missing anything?” I said, “Parveen, it’s in two weeks! Seriously??” But now I get it. With kids, I’m always thinking ahead. You have to! Now when we go on vay-kay, I’m like, “Okay. We leave in a month... Let’s pack!” cont >>



>> P: Right? Motherhood definitely teaches you about preparation. But yes, we both learn from each other. We come to each other for advice, for help when we need it. Even now, my kids are older but I still value Kavita’s advice so much when it comes to them. I think women benefit from each other’s perspectives. It’s the “it takes a village” thing… K: As moms and as business women, we have to be 20 steps ahead to make sure both of those things are successful. For that to happen, you have to be able to ask for help. You have to look for that advice and take it when you can get it from other women. No one can do it all, all of the time. So I think that is one way we’ve both managed to make things work in our lives: we listen to each other, we help each other when we need, and we’re willing to take advice from one another. TMB: Talk to us more about how you help each other “make things work.” What does that mean exactly? P: I think “making it work” means finding balance. As women, we deal with so many things at once. There’s your home and family life, there’s work, and then there is you. It’s a kind of juggling act, and the tendency for many of us (as Kavita brought up) is to mistakenly think we have to do it all on our own, all the time. K: And that we have to be a superhero who is amazing at all of those things, all of the time! P: Yes. I’ve been guilty of that kind of thinking myself. I would try to do everything, be this superwoman whose daily schedule is just overflowing to the point where I’m basically never sitting still, but somehow, never getting to the finish line... K: It’s that to-do list. I think every mom knows about “the list.” Once you write one thing down on that list, before you even move on there are five more things to add to the list. Its never ending! P: Exactly! You have this checklist and you feel like if everything is going to get done properly, only you can do it. >>

>> But that list is so long, and growing all the time, how can one woman possibly manage? I mean, my husband would help out, but… it has to get done “right,” right? I was afraid that if everything wasn’t done, and done perfectly (by me), everyone around me would be disappointed. K: You try to do too much, thinking you’re doing yourself and everyone a favor… Meanwhile it’s a disaster, you’re stressed out, you feel terrible… I think we’ve both learned how to rely on each other a little more, to carry some of that weight. We’re definitely lucky to have each other (and a very close family in general). It makes it easier to admit, “You know, I can’t really handle this today… I can’t do it,” when you’ve got a network that you really trust to back you up.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself! That check list you’re stressing over? The world will not end if it doesn’t all get done today...” P: Yes. I’m often telling my fitness clients. “If you knew how to do it on your own, you’d have done it by now.” Needing help, and being able to ask for it is not “weak.” Whether it’s your family, or a personal trainer, or a nutritionist - there are people in your network who can help you. Don’t try to be superwoman! K: I would also say that part of “making it work” involves learning how to go easier on yourself. If I could tell other moms or business women anything, it would be, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself !” That checklist you’re stressing over? The world will not end if it doesn’t all get done today. There are things you can do tomorrow, or the next day... It will get done. Just set realistic goals, and chip away at them at a pace that makes sense.

>> P: I’m all about setting realistic goals now. In business, at home, for myself... When I started working out, I made the mistake of focusing on an impractical “end result.” I had this idea of the body I wanted, the “perfect” body for a woman... But no matter how much I worked out or dieted, I could never get there. And of course, that made me feel like a failure. Now I understand why that approach didn’t work. My body was never built to look like a swimsuit model! And then after having kids… like, what was I thinking?! Once I started setting realistic goals that were focused on feeling good, getting stronger - that’s when I started to see changes. “Today, I’m going to beat my personal record for push-ups.” Or, “I’m going to bench 5 more pounds…” Set goals that are challenging, but not impossible, and then do the work, and you will start to see the successes instead of the failures. TMB: Let’s talk more about your health and wellness journeys. You bring up something which we hear about often: self criticism and negative thinking, preventing you from living your happiest life... P: Like many women, I struggled with that nasty “inner critic” voice. Worrying that I’m not a good enough mother, that I’m not devoting enough energy to my business, that I’m devoting too much time to it… And of course at one time I had such a poor image of myself and my physical appearance… It was this see-saw of negative thinking. K: I can totally relate to that. My biggest struggle is overcoming that voice that tells me I’m a bad mom. Because I work, I worry I’m taking too much time away from my kids. And I realize that when I get home after work sometimes, I’m there physically but my mind is still back at the salon, and I feel so guilty. I worry that my kids are going to be angry at me in ten years and tell me “you were never home...” Then I see-saw and worry that I will be judged as a business woman for not being focused in that realm. It’s hard to “ride with the guys” in that world; there’s an assumption we’re always “distracted” in some way by family, so we have to work extra hard to prove ourselves... P: Right. And the way I dealt with those negative thoughts was unhealthy... >>



>> I was trying to fix my problems in all the wrong ways. I became very fixated on “weight loss.” I tried every diet imaginable, I worked out constantly. it was extreme. My body just seemed to always be working against me. My cortisol levels were through the roof so I took medication for that. I was exercising but had no energy… I would come home angry and frustrated, and that seeped into my home life. K: It’s true… you were crusty there for awhile! (they both burst out laughing again…) P: I was crusty! I knew it! And that just makes you feel even worse and hate yourself more… It wasn’t until I started working with a naturopath that I was able to break that cycle. He recommended one day that I start “listening to my thoughts” every day, for five minutes. I thought he was crazy! Like who has time for that? K: Yeah, let me just add that to the to-do list… (more laughter) P: Exactly! As if I don’t have enough to do!? But I decided to listen to him and I tried it out. That was when I heard myself for the first time… I was SO mean to myself ! I would hear that voice every 5 minutes: “Why didn’t you lose more weight? Why don’t you have a six pack? Why aren’t you setting a better example for your kids? What’s wrong with you?” I was bullying myself. I mean, I spend all this time educating my kids not to put up with bullying, but I was doing it to myself ? K: I remember all of that. She was always complaining and unhappy. I didn’t really want to be around her to be honest! And when she was in those early days of her fitness kick, whenever she talked about it, it was like I was getting a lecture. I would tune it out. But now, it comes from a good place. Its genuine, and it’s actually helpful. P: Oh god, I’m sorry! I know, I was trying to convince myself (by lecturing others I guess) that was I was doing was working, when it wasn’t. Its funny because at Visage, I spent hours a day helping women feel beautiful: showing them how to take care of their skin, do their makeup. They walked out feeling amazing.



Then, I would lock the doors at the end of the day and feel the exact opposite of how they felt. I would make everyone else feel amazing, but not myself. K: I think many of us do that: we put ourselves last. I mean, we both have a unique experience and view of that because we work in the beauty industry. We help women feel beautiful and try to bring a little joy to their day, and we recognize the importance of that: women need to take that time for themselves and invest in their happiness with these rituals, be it beauty or fitness or what have you. But do I do that for myself ? For a long time I didn’t. I came last. P: Yep. But at a certain point, you realize that you deserve better. For me, that moment came once I actually took the time to listen to my thoughts. I

“I make the time for these things because they help me be a happier person, and that in turn helps me be a better mom, and boss, and wife...” said to myself: no more. I’m not going to be nasty to myself anymore. I’m going to stop fixating on what I’m not and start accepting who I am and loving that woman more. That’s when fitness started to click for me. I made it about getting strong, and healthy, so that I could be a better version of myself - NOT someone else. Like, hey, I’m curvy! Nothing wrong with that. I love it it now. I’ve never felt better. TMB: So, you made a commitment to being “happier” in your everyday lives, and that made a difference for you both. What do your “happy” rituals involve? How do you feel more beautiful, healthy, and happy on a daily basis? K: There was definitely a point where I realized: If I’m unhappy, my family is unhappy. If I’m unhealthy, they’re unhealthy. My business has a lot to do

with the way that I feel. If I have a hard day, it tends to come home with me. It spills over. I know if I don’t burn off that that negative energy it will affect me at home. 12 or 13 years ago, I ate whatever I wanted, drank alcohol, didn’t exercise, worked all the time, and I was 95 lbs and unstoppable! Then I had my first child… and that did not work anymore. At first, I didn’t change my behaviour, and it left me irritable, tired... I just didn’t have the energy for anything (work or home life), and that was so frustrating. I also used to have panic attacks, which had everything to do with those old habits. You’ve got to find healthy ways to deal with the stress, especially when you have kids, because you can’t be that person unravelling in front of them, you know? So gradually, I started making changes. And Parveen really helped with that. She was like: “Try something different. Try this, try that…” She’d been through it and her perspective really helped me. I started thinking about what I was eating, making better choices, and finding ways to decompress and focus my energy in the right way when I needed it. I run for 20 to 30 minutes or do jumping jacks every day, whatever I can do to just burn off some of the energy and adrenaline from my workday. I practice yoga and meditation; clearing my head of everything that has happened that day before my head hits the pillow helps me get better rest, which is so important. I make the time for these things because they help me be a happier person every day, and that in turn helps me be a better mom, and boss, and wife, and sister-in-law… P: I was going to say, I come first now. And I do it for me, so I can feel good and be happy, but I have explained to my kids as well: I do it for them too. I do what I have to do to be happy and healthy and strong, because I want my kids, especially my daughter, to see an example of a hard working mom who takes care of herself. A woman who respects herself enough to say, “Hey, my happiness matters. So before anything else, I’m going to take care of me.” I work every day for an hour and a half, because that is what it takes for me to feel happy. And yes...>>

>>... sometimes my kids are like “Mommy, can’t you just skip it today?” And I tell them “NO. This is a part of my routine. Just like brushing your teeth, it has to get done. I do this because I want to be strong and live a longer life for YOU, and your kids, so I can see them grow!” I get my kids involved in meal prepping now, and they help cook too. We have treats, pizza night and fun dinners out, but most of the time we are eating healthy… It’s just a part of our life now, there is no exception.

P: How you feel affects how you look - no doubt about it. In my case, the first thing that motivated me to make a change in my lifestyle was the fact that I was unhappy with my appearance. That’s the truth. Now, that unhappiness wasn’t all about what was happening physically, it was also mental. I didn’t feel confident. I didn’t

K: I was just going to say that too: confidence is everything. In my work at the salon, more than anything, I try to help other women feel confident about themselves. I want them to leave feeling beautiful.

K: I think as moms, you want to know that what you do today will resonate with your kids 20 years from now. Are they going to be the people want them to be? You can’t really know. But... you can lead by example. I have to show them that I can run a business and work hard every day and have a family - and all of those things contribute to my happiness in equal measure, you know? You don’t have to give anything up, you can make it work with the right attitude... P: Oh absolutely. I want my children to say “Hey, if my mom can do it, I can do it.” I want my kids to wake up when I’m not around (a long time from now!) and be proud of me. I want them to have learned how to be strong, happy people from me. You have to set that example for them, it all starts with you. TMB: Our mission with TMB is to bring to light the important link between inner wellness and outer beauty. Would you say that “happiness” contributes to your overall health and beauty?

That’s not my important to me. Admittedly yes, at one point I was fixated on my weight and my figure, and that was unhealthy. And… it never worked! That mentality actually prevented me from reaching my fitness goals. I do the work that I do because I know, true happiness comes from the inside and radiates outward. You’ve got to love yourself. Fitness is how I do that. I love feeling strong, and I know that confidence translates now into how I look.

P: If you unconditionally love and accept yourself: guess what? That’s going to show on the outside. No matter what makeup or outfit you choose to rock that day, you’ll already be at your best because you’ve made that decision about yourself. “I love myself.”

feel beautiful. I know there are other women out there who are in the same boat I was in: I could have been a supermodel and I would have found something wrong, you know? So I committed to change. Body and mind. When it comes to my own appearance though, I want people (and my kids especially) to understand: I don’t do the work I do “to be skinny.”

K: I would say as well: feeling like you look beautiful on the outside, that does make you feel “happy.” It’s that self-fulfilling cycle: you like how you look that day, you smile, you feel happy, that happiness shines through… So I do think that taking care of your appearance is important. Take care of your skin. Good skincare starts from the inside out with proper nutrition, rest, exercise… My salon clients are often like me - they’re busy! They only have 15 minutes (because they have that to-do list!), so in that time I try to listen to them and give them a product or service that fits their lifestyle, so they can leave feeling, and looking great. >>



>> P: I think we both got into beauty and health industry because ultimately, we understand how very important that feeling is. Looking and feeling like the best “you” you can be. TMB: Us too! We are always saying: our goal is to help people feel like the best, most authentic and beautiful version of themselves. P: That’s why we love Dr. Born and TMB! That makes sense. Everyone deserves to feel their best, every minute of every day! K: Oh my gosh, thank you Trevor and team for making us feel so wonderful today! This has been an amazing experience. I love the message of TMB. That is very true - feeling like yourself, like your “best” self, should be the goal. I think in this day and age with social media, there are all of these unrealistic images of women out there, and we have a tendency to compare ourselves. It’s important to remember that it’s about you, staying true to yourself, your uniqueness… Just be you, at your best! TMB: Ladies, thank you so much for sharing your stories with us today. The floor is yours. Any f inal words you’d like to tell our readers? K: I was thinking when Parveen was talking about her naturopath, telling her to “listen to her thoughts…” What great advice that is. I need to do that more! Ha! We should all just take a minute to just STOP sometimes and take a moment, take a breath… There are a million things that we, as women, have to deal with every day. It isn’t easy, and being self critical and cruel to ourselves doesn’t help. Make time for yourself to just stop, and listen. Surround yourself with people who support you and allow you to invest that time in yourself. Everyone has fifteen minutes to invest in some kind of self care ritual: so just close the door, and do it, every day. P: Just do it! K: Yes! There’s a reason that slogan works for Nike! P: It’s true! “Just do it.” The biggest mistake I see my fitness clients making is not getting started. I hear so many women



telling me “I want to make a change, but maybe later…” What are you waiting for? There are people that can help you, and I promise, you’ll get started and be like, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?!” Whether it’s a trainer like me with a new fitness program, or maybe a visit someplace like Kavita’s salon, where a professional can educate you on good skin care, or TMB! Listen to Dr. Born! He knows what he’s talking about and he can help you make that change... There are so many ways to get started. Like Kavita says: we all have fifteen minutes every day to invest in ourselves. Start there. I know what it’s like to have kids and feel like they deserve all of your time - but they don’t. They need you to be strong, and happy, and healthy, and that requires some solo effort on your part. Don’t be afraid, just let go of that fear that you’re doing something wrong - it’s just noise. It’s that inner critic talking and that voice is not the one you should be listening to. Listen to the voice that tells you, “Enjoy life. You deserve to be happy. You are beautiful. Now go get it!” TMB: Amazing! One f inal thing we’d like to ask you: We chose you for this feature because the pair of you exemplify the kind of beauty we like to promote. Real beauty, accessible beauty, beauty that is earned… Who taught you about “beauty?” K: Oh, me first! P: We’ll both say the same thing I bet… (they look at each other, like giddy children playing a game of chicken…) K: Well, obviously all of the women in our lives: our mothers, our other sister in law Inneta Kaith who came today to help us dress and has the best style… P: And each other. K: Absolutely. TMB: Can each of you tell us, what is the most beautiful thing about one another? (They pause for a moment and readjust, looking straight into each other’s eyes…)

P: Kavita… K: Yes Parveen? I feel like you’re going to propose to me… the answer is YES! (they burst out laughing.) P: Kavita... The most beautiful thing about you is your big heart. You are the most caring and giving person. I am so thankful for you. And… if something was to ever happen to me, I am so glad my kids have you. K: Oh man, no fair! (they are both weepy…) Okay, let me just stop crying here… Parveen… The most beautiful thing about you is your dedication. You have a dedication and a discipline that resonates in every aspect of your life. I admire you so much. I love that you’re an amazing mom. I love your amazing kids… and I love that you love my brother so much, and so well. Thank you. They hug, and the rest of us dry our eyes. // Kavita & Parveen would love to hear from our readers! Get in touch with them directly at: Parveen Kaith (FitnessTrainer) Email: Instagram: @pinkrock_kaith Kavita Kaith: Instagram: @visageuppercananada Carol Baker Visage Upper Canada Mall: 905-836-8577

--Photography by Jaclyn Locke Styling by Nicole Manek with special thanks to Inneta Kaith Hair & Makeup by Natalie Ventola

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Photos courtesy of Marek Kacki, MD

Photos courtesy of Radina Denkova, MD

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you’re fit, you eat well, you do everything right, but you’re still struggling to get that bikini body? read on... non surgical fat reduction treatments are ideal for fit, healthy and athletic patients battling bathing suit bulges.... The summer swimsuit season is almost up on us… Why does it always seem like such an unwelcome surprise? Every year around this time we see throngs of patients looking for last minute solutions to help them get into their bikinis - sans muffin top, saddle bags, love handles etc. Along with swimsuit season also comes the inevitable guilt, comparison, and self criticism: “I should have worked out harder this winter…” “Why don’t I look like a swimsuit model when all I do is work out?” “I’m dieting all the time but I still have this d#%$ pot belly!?”

You should be relieved to know - it’s not all your fault! Even very fit people can accumulate fat in certain areas of the body - particularly as they get older and hormone levels begin to fluctuate. Starting at age 30, men’s testosterone levels begin to decrease by about 1% per year, allowing for more subcutaneous fat to accumulate, particularly around the abdomen. As women enter their perimenopausal years (early 40’s), estrogen levels begin to drop off. This hormonal shift leads to increased and shifted body fat mass, which is why women start noticing more belly fat as they get older.

Thankfully, there are many ways we can fight back in the battle of the bulge(s). Changing your diet and exercise routine should come first: naturally, what worked in your 20s or 30s won’t necessarily work in later years. In particular, as we age, workouts should focus on building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Strength training with weights or weight bearing exercises and functional fitness (incorporating real world movement that engages joints) will help keep the aging body pliable and strong, while muscle mass helps burn excess body fat.

Diet and exercise is the first step, but it’s not necessarily enough to banish the fat getting between you and your bathing suit. Supplementing your fat fighting strategy with non surgical treatments may be necessary; thankfully there are several effective, convenient options available. “I would say the majority of patients seeking non surgical fat reduction treatments are fit, active, healthy eaters who are at a healthy body weight. In fact, this type of patient responds best to these treatments, as they are designed for “spot reduction,” rather than bulk fat reduction.” Dr. Born tells us. cont. >>



vanquish me™ non surgical fat reduction CASE 1 BEFORE





photos courtesy of BTL Aesthetics

“I would say the majority of patients seeking non surgical fat reduction treatments are fit, active, healthy eaters who are at a healthy body weight. In fact, this type of patient responds best to these treatments...” In other words, treatments such as these are not intended as an overall “weight loss” tool. However, they are very effective at treating specific problem areas, smoothing out a bulge here and there so your swimsuit fits better. So which treatment is right for you? According to Dr. Born, there are a number of factors which determine this: “It really depends. Within out practice, we offer Vanquish ME™ fat reduction as well as Coolsculpting® for non surgical fat reduction. Both are very effective. We assess a few factors when devising a treatment plan for a patient: How does the fat present on the patient? For example, does their fat present circumferentially



(ie. do they carry a “spare tire” of fat around their mid section)? Or do they present localized “pockets” of fat in multiple areas? Also, what is their skin quality (ie. do they have lax skin/ will they need skin tightening in the area as well)? There is also the question of desired result: what does the patient want to see in the end? After a full body assessment, we would prescribe a series of treatments and/ or combination therapies to achieve best results. In some cases, surgery may be a better option.” How exactly do these non surgical treatments get rid of that unwanted fat? Vanquish ME™ uses radio frequency pulses to selectively target fatty tissue with intense

heat, disrupting and killing the fat cells in the treated area. Fat cells are very sensitive to temperature changes, and when introduced to heat from the treatment, begin to break down. “Vanquish is a great option for treatment of large areas. The device has a “wrap around” panel which can effectively target the abdomen and flanks in one sitting (so for example, those patients with the “spare tire” would be ideal candidates for this procedure... It is also a “nocontact” or hands free treatment, which makes it very comfortable.” Dr. Born explains. What’s more, the radio frequency heat of the Vanquish treatment also stimulates collagen production, improving skin quality and tautness in

the treatment area. Four to six treatment sessions are needed for optimal results, and there is no downtime associated with the procedure. Results will gradually appear over the course of 3 to 6 weeks as your body eliminates the dead fat cells targeted by the procedure. “I think athletic people can be particularly self conscious about unwanted fat bulges, because they work so hard at staying fit,” Dr. Born tells us. “Apart from liposuction, there weren’t really any feasible options for this type of patient. These non surgical fat reduction treatments offer noticeable results in a relatively short period of time, making them a great option for those looking to shape up in time for summer.” //









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Beach club at Real Del Mar 36

Are you getting the most out of your vacation? We spent a few days with Exclusive Resorts at Real Del Mar, on the stunning Pacific Coast of Mexico and learned how the right kind of vacation curated, planned and executed by a team of experts can help weekend warriors maximize the health and wellness benefits of their time off... by Erin Mccann


and rejuvenates your mind, body and soul, ow often have you wanted to So, for those of you who might still be inand it’s not hard. The key to success? Major take a vacation, but put it off clined to skip the time off all together, take DIY planning or - professional help. because you simply have too it from the wellness experts: you’re makmany obligations? In today’s non stop, ing a mistake. No one exemplifies a “hard If you’re like me, DIY is out. Planning 24-7 connected world, taking a vacation work” mentality more than Dr. Born hima holiday that will suit everyone in my seems more and more like a luxury most self, so we discuss the topic. family while fulfilling all of my own wellof us can’t afford, even when we really can ness goals is next to impossible. Inevitably, afford it: According to a recent Harvard “I hear so many people tell me they don’t the vacation falls short of someone’s exsurvey, approximately half of North Amehave the time… they’re too busy… And as pectations. I’ll return home, slightly bitter, rican workers don’t take the vacation days a surgeon who is on-call 24-7 for my pafeeling more run-down than “restored,” they’ve earned. What’s more, among those tients, with practices in both Toronto and needing another vacation after... my respondents who did actually take vacaManhattan, I can relate!” He explains. vacation. I know I’m not alone in this. tion, 30% of them confessed to doing a si“But I also know that vacation, specifiProfessional help sounds wonderful to gnificant amount of work while they were cally time away from work, is an absolute those of us who barely have time for a supposedly “taking time off.” It shouldn’t must from a healthcare perspective. I nevbath, let alone dream vacation planning. be a surprise to anyone that these same er, never cheat myself of well deserved vapeople also reported feeling overworked, cation time, and I encourage my patients Bis etand aut sick. ad et maiotooccusae idunt.Udam cullori aribus atquatium cullorporio et Resorts, a Enter the pros at omnis Exclusive overwhelmed, stressed out do the cuptasp same. Just like exercise, healthy private holiday and destination “club” eating, regular doctor’s visits, vacation that provides a very unique (and essential) As healthcare and beauty providtime keeps you healthy and happy.” service: they orchestrate and execute iners, we are all too familiar with the effects spirational, one of a kind, luxury travel exof overwork, stress and lack of rest. With this in mind, I begin to wonder: periences. This isn’t “all-inclusive” travel, The most oft heard complaint in if the health benefits of vacation are so it’s “next level” travel, designed to provide the treatment room? “I look tired.” indisputable, should we be more promembers with a more personalized, auactive about our time off and how we thentic, and rewarding travel experience. Newsflash: that’s because you ARE tired. utilize it? Specifically, can our time off If you can set the goals for your vacaBotox can certainly help, but ultimately address (and perhaps remedy) our own tion, be it R & R, or detox, or maybe just (we’ve said it before!), practicing proper self unique health and wellness issues/ chaltime to strengthen family relationships care and encouraging wellness from the inlenges? A kind of “mindful” vacation that (often the first casualty in the culture of side out is an essential part of anti aging. is somewhere in between the bootcamp/ overwork), the Exclusive Resorts team And yes: this includes a little down time retreat style holiday and the lazy all incan make it happen for you. Memberfree of smart phones, and emails and other clusive “beach, buffet and beers” option? ship gives you privileged access to the everyday stresses that encourage unhealthy club’s portfolio of 400+ luxury residences life habits. The health benefits of a good vaThe answer is YES. Whether you’re a around the world, a direct line to their excation are numerous: reducing stress and weekend warrior with only a couple of pert team of travel planners, concierges, stress related ailments, improving mental days to spare, or a big family looking and service staff, the opportunity to parhealth and brain function, vacation time to maximize a two week sojourn - It is take in VIP members-only events (cont.) can even lower one’s risk for heart disease. possible to have a vacation that restores



Having someone take care of all the preliminary details for me makes all the difference. Two emails is all it takes, and I feel confident that my trip is going to be everything I need, and want it to be...

(cont.) and adventures, as well as customized activities and travel itineraries that promise a more enriched cultural experience than your average “one size fits all” tour. With a few days to spare, and an invitation to try out Exclusive’s services this past winter, I jump at the opportunity to construct a more “mindful” vacation for myself. I will identify a few of my own health and wellness challenges, and hopefully the Exclusive Resorts team can design a vacation for me that ticks all of the right boxes. A week before my departure, I get an email from the on-site “personal concierge” (Antonio Hernandez) at Real Del Mar , a gated community of luxury villas overlooking the stunning Bahia de Banderas on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Antonio politely introduces himself and asks to confirm the details of my flight so he can have a private car ready for me at the airport upon arrival. He provides a complete list of all the amenities available to me (including a private chef, spa services, athletics and excursions), and invites me to share my vacation goals so that he can advise as to how I might fulfill them. He also attaches a provisions and grocery list so that everything I need is already at the villa when I arrive. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I am in good hands. Having someone take care of the preliminary details for me makes all the difference, particularly when one is only on a short 3-5 day break.



I think of said “vacation goals” when writing my reply. Lately, I’m feeling sluggish (exercise is a monotonous chore I do, but hate), I’ve been battling the winter blues (seasonal affective disorder is an ongoing battle), and feeling the effects of stress from overwork: tension in my body, fatigue, and a general sense of malaise. If this trip can in some way reanimate my rather listless sense of fun and adventure and help me feel a little more energized, I know I’ll return home inspired and invigorated - and in my line of work, inspiration is essential.

comes to the property itself. It is majestic, welcoming, modern with traditional Mexican design elements... simply beautiful. With floor to ceiling west facing windows, there are views of the bay from almost every room in the house, and believe me when I tell you: the blue hued vista of the Bahia de Banderas is a sight to behold. The Sierra Madres line the horizon, the ocean waters reflect the pure golden Jalisco sun - everything glitters. Truly one of the most breathtaking views in the world, its bucket list worthy.

I reply to Antonio and explain my needs. He is excited and eager to meet the challenge, and has many suggestions as to how I can fulfill my wellness goals. He promises a list of options for me to choose from within 24 hours - and he delivers. My customized itinerary will include private sunrise yoga on the beach, surfing in Sayulita (a nearby town), massage therapy, sailing, and meal plans that adhere to my “clean eating” diet while still favoring local cuisine. Two emails back and forth is all it takes, and I feel confident that my trip is going to be everything I need, and want it to be.

Antonio arrives and provides us with our itinerary for the trip, everything is laid out for us: what we’ll be doing, where to be and when - it’s so hassle free I almost feel guilty. Shouldn’t I be worrying about something? Someone? Nope. Everyone in the group has been contacted in advance, their wants and needs determined well ahead of time so we can all just enjoy our time together. What a concept!

A week later I leave the slush and snow behind and head to Mexico. When we pull into the driveway of our villa, the property manager, David, is there to greet us. After a warm introduction he hands us the keys to our home for the next four days. Luxury is an understatement when it

“Wait until you see the room!” Antonio gleefully tells me. “The view is very inspiring.” Both he and David seem to have tuned in to the fact that I’m the “health/wellness” hippie type in the group, and I welcome their foresight! Sure enough, the view from my balcony gets me teary eyed. I explain to them both that I’ve recently taken up meditation and this spot will certainly make my morning practice easier. They smile and nod, and invite me to rest before our group dinner planned for that evening. (cont.)

The view from my balcony at our villa , Casa Risco...

Inf inity pool overlooking the bay...

lounge and dining room at Casa Risco...



(cont.) I take the time to kick back by our private infinity pool with a glass of fresh coconut water, a pitcher of which was waiting for us, along with a bowl of freshly prepared guacamole and margaritas that our team of chefs whipped up in advance. It’s these little details that set Exclusive Resorts apart: isn’t it nice to arrive at your destination after hours spent on a plane and just have these things waiting for you? It’s like these people are mind readers - only they’re not. They just know what questions to ask beforehand, and are (gasp) genuinely invested in the success of your vacation. As I look out over the bay I am overcome by the soothing sound of the ocean waves. It seems a fitting time for some Ujiayi Pranayama (the yogic practice of deep breathing), wherein you mimic an “ocean sound” by constricting the base of your throat upon every exhalation. I take a seat, and for five delicious uninterrupted minutes, I am able to fill my lungs with sweet beach-y air. I time my exhalations to coincide with the lapping surf sounds below me and the meditative quality is uniquely transformative. I can’t remember the last time I took advantage of a setting like this to just... nourish myself with breath. I open my eyes feeling clear, hopeful, and grateful. The trip to Real del Mar only gets better. I wake up after a glorious sleep and head down to the kitchen to grab a morning coffee, and find that our private chef ’s have already prepared a complete breakfast for our group. There’s something for everyone: sweet and savory, healthy and hearty options, as well as traditional Mexican huevos, tortillas and freshly made salsa. My colleagues and I chat enthusiastically over breakfast about everything from the whales we’ve just spotted breaching in the bay, to the recent inauguration of Donald Trump. Conversation over breakfast is a luxury in itself for all of us, and we are thankful for the time to actually connect. Next up: private massage therapy in my room. Hallelujah. Massage is another one of those things we tend to identify as a “luxury,” when in fact, therapeutic touch has been proven to have a positive impact on both our physical and mental health. Next time you feel guilty about indulging in one - don’t. Massage doesn’t just feel good, it does a body good: improving circulation, lowering blood pressure, and triggering the production of mood elevating hormones serotonin and dopamine.



As my RMT kneads away the effects of sitting at a desk for 10 hours or more every day stressing over deadlines, I consider lighting votives for her and her family at church in gratitude. One of my “mindful vacation” goals was to get moving in some way, but I need a break from the monotony of the gym. I need exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. Luckily, there is no shortage of fun, heartpumping things to do here at Real del Mar. Antonio offered up many options: tennis lessons with the club’s pro, kayaking, golfing, stand-up paddle boarding… I confess I did a little dance of joy when I saw that surfing lessons in Sayulita were available. Just a half hour’s drive north, Sayulita is known for its reliable year round surf, with breaks to suit every level of surfer. The town has a very laid back vibe, with plenty of boho-chic shops, artisanal markets, stylish restaurants, and a bustling nightlife that is worth checking out. Our surf instructor Papas is a member of the national stand up paddleboard surf team, and makes a promise that all of us (total beginners to moderate experience level) will be up on the board catching waves before the lesson is over. We’re all pretty giddy when that turns out to be true! After 20 minutes of paddling, popping, falling and successful rides, my legs and arms are jello - and I can’t get enough of it. I catch a final wave and ride it all the way to the shore. Time slows down. I feel a lightness and joy that I haven’t felt in ages. I am reminded why I love surfing: a playful balancing act between you and the all powerful ocean, it demands a complete surrender to the present moment. That, and a strong core! Pleasantly exhausted, that evening we enjoy a dinner back at the house of fresh grilled lobster and shrimp (which we picked up earlier from a local fisherman on the beach), talking and laughing about our surfing successes and wipeouts. Delayed onset muscle soreness starts to kick in - I know I’ll be feeling the effects of the surf workout in the morning. Thankfully, I have my private yoga session at sunrise on the beach! I look forward to some deep stretching and the chance to practice as the magical Pacific sun comes up over the mountains. It’s still dark out when our yoga instructor arrives the next morning. We set up our mats to face the sun and take sukhasana (easy seated pose).

As the warm sun begins to seep through my closed eyelids, I exhale, and I realize: For the first time in a long time, I have no desire or inclination to check my phone, or my emails, or my Instagram. Without even trying, I’ve successfully “unplugged,” taking a much needed breather from the technology that is typically the first thing I look at in the morning, and the last thing I see before I go to bed. I stretch deeper and deeper into the poses, and before I know it, the sun is up in full force. A new day begins, and I too, feel a sense of renewal. As we wait for our car to take us to the airport later that day, Antonio and David come to say their farewells. It is of course, a bittersweet goodbye. I have never enjoyed a holiday that felt so completely restorative, in such a short time. “Are you ready?” Antonio asks me as the car pulls up. I am reminded of a well known quote among travellers: “A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.” Certainly, I could stay a little longer. But I am ready, and eager, to get back home and get to work on this article. Everyone needs a great holiday now and again. Don’t short change yourself, or your loved ones, by treating your time off like its nothing special. A good vacation should leave you feeling rested, relaxed, restored and rejuvenated. Anything less is less than you deserve. // For more information about Exclusive Resort’s properties and membership privileges, visit www.e xc lusiveresor

MINDFUL VACATION TIP #1 “Rest” on vacation isn’t just passing out on the beach after one too many margaritas. Next time you find yourself ocean side, try practicing Ujiayi pranayama: a deep breathing technique wherein you mimic the sound of the ocean upon exhalation. Research has shown that regular sessions of focused breathwork can aid in: • reducing anxiety, stress and depression • stabilizing blood pressure • releasing endorphins (our pain relieving “happy” hormones) • improving sleep Practicing Ujiayi is particularly useful for calming the mind. It is known to be beneficial for those suffering from stress, insomnia, amd mind/body tension. The best part? Anyone can do it.

MINDFUL VACATION TIP #2 Feel like you spend the first few days of your vacation “unravelling” all the of built up tension from home? Speed things up by booking a massage right off the bat. Massage doesn’t just feel good, it does a body (and mind) a world of good. A 2010 Cedars-Sinai study showed that massage can: • Decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol • Increase white blood cell production, improving the body’s immune function • Increase neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, combatting depression and anxiety Regular massage therapy has also been shown to be as effective as medication, acupuncture when treating chronic pain of the shoulders, neck and back.

MINDFUL VACATION TIP #3 Exercise is one of the key’s to a long, healthy and happy life, but let’s be honest: the gym isn’t always the most inspiring place. If you’ve lost the motivation to move, take advantage of some of the unique opportunities and activities your vaykay destination offers. In fact: stepping out of your workout comfort zone and trying something new is good for you, in more ways than one: recent evidence suggests that taking up a new sport in midlife (or later) has a measurable effect on the aging brain, increasing gray matter in the areas that control motor skills. We also know that even 30 minutes of mentally stimulating physical activity (such as skiing, surfing, golfing) performed on a regualr basis increases blood flow to the brain and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50 percent.

my friend Jordan: from beginner to successful surfer within an hour!

So what are you waiting for? Grab a board and ride that wave!



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Truly Modern Beauty - Spring 2017  

In this issue: Spring Skincare with Skinmedica, Fact V Fiction (debunking cosmetic surgery myths); Spring into your Summer Body (non surgica...

Truly Modern Beauty - Spring 2017  

In this issue: Spring Skincare with Skinmedica, Fact V Fiction (debunking cosmetic surgery myths); Spring into your Summer Body (non surgica...