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  • JUST BACK — from Turkey

    Hakan Balcan, General Manager of Richmond Nua Wellness Spa in Istanbul, walks his talk. A previous Black Belt competitor in Turkey, he kept my heart rate up during our early morning walk, despite rain (of course, with impeccable hospitality and thoughtfulness, he came with raincoats for all). This sense of mindfulness infuses Richmond Nua, a destination spa set on the shore of Sapanca Lake in the middle of a national park, approximately one and a half hours from Istanbul. I traveled there recently for a press launch, introducing our partnership with Richmond Nua, Kerstin Florian’s first spa in Turkey. And my stay was both beautiful and memorable.

    Richmond Nua is about wandering around in an airy kimono, forgetting about time as you enjoy the beautiful outdoor areas, dozens of various water therapies, rasul, hamam, ice room, salt room and outdoor cabanas. It’s about delicious healthy cuisine. I loved the enormous figs, local honeycomb and traditional Turkish dishes with eggplant and tomato. And it’s about extraordinary treatments. Expert therapists attend to guests with personalized treatment programs, massage, Kerstin Florian facials and extensive rituals.

    Part of my mission on this trip was to experience true Turkish Hamam in Turkey. I have experienced Hamam several times but I must confess never in Turkey. The Hamam, or Turkish bath stands for far more than getting a leisurely bath or cleansing, it is a traditional Turkish ritual in which the elements are harnessed for the cleansing and purification of the body. My therapist, Kenan, did a wonderful job. Laying down on the heated marble platform in the center (gobektasi), bowl after bowl (hamam tasi) of warm water cascaded upon me, immediately imparting a primal sense of warmth and relaxation. Kenan exfoliated every inch of my body with a traditional Kese mitt. Then, my favorite — the ethereal cloud of suds. They use a traditional soap inside of a cloth similar to a pillowcase. When they open it, they catch air inside, and then wring it out the air to create an enormous amount of suds. I loved watching Kenan’s skill with the bubbles (when I wasn’t relaxing with my eyes shut). Hamam truly is an art form. The room is beautiful, made of marble. After the cleansing and warm rinse, the water gradually gets cooler. And unlike some guests who don’t care for the cool-to-cold portion of the therapy at the end, I was all for it. My skin felt amazing afterwards, vibrant, smooth, alive and ready for my indulgent relaxing massage with Kade who had angelic hands and just the right pressure.

    I was touched by many things this trip, most of all the people and Turkish culture. I highly recommend a trip to Turkey to experience the amazing historical sights (Ephesus) and natural sites (Pamukkale, Cappadocia), mosques and Mediterranean resorts in the south (Bodrum), and not without a trip to Richmond Nua. Definitely consider a June visit. Belgin Aksoy, family owner of Richmond Nua, is a natural, smart and beautiful woman on a mission — to change the notion of a healthy lifestyle in Turkey, and globally. Every June, Richmond Nua hosts Wellness Day, a day of information and speakers on longevity and wellness. A big success last year, the tradition continues and is open to the public. I, for one, will be there.

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • Introducing….Our New Kerstin Florian Corporate Retreats

    Our new Corporate Events and Retreats program launched last week with an exciting private event in a beautiful house in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Los Angeles. Fifty guests mingled over gourmet salads, sustainable protein, cacao maca smoothies and skin cleansing green juice, all while enjoying skin consultations, Eye Rescue and hand treatments in our pop-up spa, and lectures from world-renowned speakers on nutrition and longevity.

    Kerstin Florian has always been more than ‘spa treatments’. Our philosophy is centered on “Outer Beauty, Inner Health,” and the four core lifestyle practices for radiant skin and total wellness: nutrition, exercise, peace of mind, and care of face & body. So this marriage of our philosophy with private events makes perfect sense.

    Our retreats are available to any group. The concept began with a request from a large corporate company, which wanted to create a wellness experience for its employees that was educational, inspiring and fun. We created that event and are working with our spa partners to host private parties and similar retreats for small businesses.

    Each retreat encompasses our philosophy with passion and authenticity, inviting guests to fully experience a complete approach to well-being, while taking away knowledge that will help incorporate changes into everyday life that promote radiant health, longevity, increased mental focus and vitality. Topics include:

    Proper Nutrition
    Trends in longevity: super foods, Chinese Tonic herbs, juicing and smoothies for optimal health, understanding water, living foods lectures and demonstrations. Eating healthy for a lifetime.

    Regular Exercise
    Fitness for energy, longevity and health – yoga, hiking, resistance training.

    Peace of Mind
    Finding work/life balance, mindfulness and stress relief, meditation, sound healing and energy therapies.

    Care of Face & Body
    How to achieve and maintain healthy skin. The benefits of skincare and spa trends in skincare ingredients, technology, massage, salts, essential oils, natural resources and anti-aging trends.

    Each event is custom-designed and structured to deliver an experience that will achieve the objectives set for the group. Retreats are crafted for a wide range of goals from team building to stress reduction, to a focus on fitness, yoga, nutrition or overall lifestyle habits to improve health and mental clarity. The length of the programs range from a one day wellness event to a two, three or four-day retreat.

    For more information, contact Julie Andrews at

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • Summer Living Cuisine for Beautiful Glowing Skin

    At Kerstin Florian, we take pride in the quality ingredients we use in our products to achieve healthy skin. Equally important to maintaining healthy glowing skin is the food we eat to nourish our skin from the inside.

    In recent years, I’ve become a huge fan of raw living cuisine – which preserves important enzymes and is never cooked over 118 degrees. There are all kinds of benefits to eating raw and living food. Living cuisine contributes to glowing skin that is less prone to hyperpigmentation, congestion, dullness and loss of elasticity. It also contributes to youthful abundant energy and a healthy body! Since my culinary course at the Matthew Kenney Institute in Santa Monica last December, I’ve been on the look out for creative, easy (and I stress easy), delicious raw-food recipes, and recently I found a book worth sharing: Matt Amsden’s “Rawvolution.”

    The book appeals to everyone from vegetarians who want to take the next step in natural cuisine, to those who simply want to diversify and improve their daily diet. Included are recipes for appetizers, soups, entrees, delicious desserts and even healthy eating while traveling. What I love most is how simple and flavorful the recipes are, and most don’t require the use of a dehydrator. While I have personally invested in a dehydrator (the Sedona), I’ve found that using it requires advanced planning and patience I don’t’ always have – especially given my travel schedule.

    Amsden has a restaurant in LA but I prefer Matthew Kenney’s MAKE in Santa Monica, or Café Gratitude in Venice or Hollywood. Amsden has also recently come out with “The Rawvolution Continues” which I will definitely get. One piece of equipment that comes in handy with living cuisine (and for the recipe below) is a spiralizer (you can get one on Amazon for about $50). This great kitchen tool makes raw noodles from zucchini, squash and other hard vegetables. Simply add organic tomato sauce or the pesto recipe below and you have a delicious summer meal or side dish for your summer BBQ.

    Following is one of my favorites:

    Spaghetti-Style Zucchini Noodles in a Creamy Pine Nut and Basil Pesto Sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 3/4 cup Thai coconut water
    • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 cup raw pine nuts
    • 1 cup fresh basil
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 6 to 8 zucchini, peeled and cut like spaghetti noodles with a spiralizer according to manufacturer’s instructions.

    In a high-speed blender, combine all of the ingredients (except the zucchini noodles) and blend until they are smooth. Put the zucchini noodles in a bowl, pour the sauce over them, mix well and serve. Note: The texture of the zucchini noodles improves when they are left to sit in the open air at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours.

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • NEW! Correcting Body Care

    We have an exciting announcement! A brand new body care system is making its debut. It has taken over two years to create, develop and launch this new, amazing line of Correcting Body Care! This almost feels like a birthing process with the excitement, anticipation and love I have for these products. And now they are ready to be introduced to the world.

    The introduction of Kerstin Florian Correcting Body Care comes on the heels of our highly successful Correcting Skincare line. The solution-focused formulas address brightening, exfoliation, slimming, firming and hydration with plant actives and technology. The four-product line offers a unique, freshly aromatic home spa experience that will remind you of an authentic five-star spa treatment. A little on each product:

    Intensive Slimming Serum – This powerful slimming serum with clinically proven actives combines plant-based firming and refining extracts, including Ginger, Kombuchka, Brazilian Pepper and Caffeine to encourage microcirculation and help minimize the appearance of cellulite and activate lipolysis for a sleek, smooth contour. Simply, massage onto skin morning and evening using a vigorous circular motion. The aroma is a natural green organic Ginger blend. The texture is light and it soaks right in.

    Brightening Body Scrub – Actively retextures the skin for a brighter, smoother appearance and skin tone. Exfoliating Bamboo, Jojoba beadlets and stimulating fruit enzymes polish, while rich emollients hydrate and protect. Especially beneficial for dry, summer skin. This also contains the fresh green organic Ginger aroma.

    Brightening Body Peel – Modeled after our popular At-Home Professional Peel for the face, these easy-to-use, pre-moistened body peel cloths provide glow, on the go, with a simple swipe. Key ingredients include a Multi-Acid Complex (a combination of Glycolic, Lactic, Salicylic and Phytic Acid), and Botanicals (Red Algae, Olive Leaf Extract) to create a smooth, healthy appearance. Simply sweep a pre-moistened cloth over clean, dry skin, concentrating on arms, legs, décolleté and other areas of dryness. Reveal a smooth, bright, healthy-looking appearance!

    Multi-Vitamin Firming Crème – Botanicals, vitamins A, C and E, nutrient-rich Algae, natural Shea Butter and Grapeseed Oil are the secret to this high-performance body treatment, perfect for dry and aging skin. Triple action, vitamin-rich crème firms, brightens and provides antioxidant protection to hydrate and nourish the skin with a clean natural Cucumber fragrance.

    All of us at Kerstin Florian are very proud of these new products and look forward to you experiencing them soon. Look for our two new spa treatments that utilize these products at your favorite Kerstin Florian spa – Brighter Body Scrub + Massage and Body Firming Detox.

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • Pregnancy Glow

    Spring has arrived at Kerstin Florian. Many, in our KFI office, are expecting babies and with the new arrivals, there is a lot of smiling, planning and celebrating. Pregnancy is a time to celebrate the creation of life and female super-hero invincibility. It’s also a time to address the myriad of physical changes that coincide with the surge of hormones, particularly in the skin.

    Fortunately, most skin conditions seen in pregnancy disappear after the baby arrives. And during this time, much can be done to support the changes in the skin. Knowing what can be done makes a big difference in maintaining balance and peace of mind.

    So what, exactly, happens to the skin during pregnancy?

    1. Sensitivity: Skin may become sensitive or break out due to hormonal activity. It may be a time to reevaluate your skin regimen. Choose a gentle cleanser like Rehydrating Neroli Cleansing Milk or mix Rehydrating Neroli Cleansing Milk with Clarifying Oil-Control Cleanser. Rehydrating Capilar Essence and Neroli Oil are also great for moisturizing the skin.
    2. Acne: A big challenge for many. It is important to keep a strict cleansing routine. Part of the challenge with treating acne during pregnancy is ingredient-based. Many of the products typically used to treat acne are not recommended while you are pregnant. Eliminating milk and wheat from your diet can help. Try Clarifying Oil-Control Serum to help keep blemishes under control.
    3. Hyperpigmentation: a.k.a. “Pregnancy Masque.” Some statistics show that 50 percent of pregnant women show some signs of pregnancy masque. Why? Pregnancy causes excess melanin production. Melasma (also known as chloasma) is a form of hyperpigmentation characterized by tan or brown patches. It is always a good idea to limit excessive sun exposure and wear a hat in the sun – but even more so during pregnancy. Try Correcting Brightening Facial Treatment.
    4. Stretch Marks: As the body grows bigger, the skin has to stretch and unfortunately, this can lead to stretch marks. Once formed, stretch marks are difficult to get rid of – so prevention is better than a cure. A twice-daily massage with a pregnancy massage oil (raw coconut oil or Vitamin E) using light sweeping movements does wonders. Gently rub the oil into the skin of the abdomen. I also recommend Aloe Gel with organic aloe.

    The skin conditions often seen during pregnancy can, of course, be lessened by creating a healthy inner ecosystem – i.e. eating a diet high in raw green leafy vegetables, energizing and fermented foods and taking probiotics (Note: a healthy skin will stretch as far as it needs to and return to normal). In her book, The Body Ecology Diet, Donna Gates (whom I’ve heard speak on several occasions), discusses the importance of keeping candida under control. Candida Albicans is a yeast microorganism that commonly lives in the intestinal tract. When the “inner ecology” gets off balance, it can cause a candida overgrowth (yeast infection) resulting in a multitude of symptoms. For moms, candida can fuel skin flare-ups, but for infants, it is the culprit of so many of the challenges, such as thrush, rashes and poor digestion.

    As you move through your pregnancy, try not to stress over pregnancy skin, and instead, as the women in our KFI offices are doing – celebrate, laugh, and eat well. Healthy babies begin with healthy parents.

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • Tonic Herbs: Not Complicated At All

    I have a deep respect for Chinese herbs. I used to think they were strictly medicinal in nature, a remedy to get well. For years, my Chinese acupuncturist would recommend a few needle sessions, and a less-than-delicious muddy tea of roots and bark to detoxify my system. The ‘treatment’ was natural and it worked – quickly. I was able to say goodbye to antibiotics as a remedy and get over my belief that antibiotics were the only way. Then one day, I met Ron Teeguarden (www.dragonherbs.com), a master Chinese herbalist, educator and owner of Dragon Herbs on Robertson in Los Angeles. Ron introduced me to Tonic herbalism. In Chinese medicine there are three classes of herbs: superior, general and inferior. Basically, inferior and general herbs are medicinal and are used to correct or help prevent an illness or imbalance. Superior (or Tonic) herbs can be taken regularly (like SUPERFOOD) for longevity and wellness. Using tonic herbs peeked my interest because our food supply is not what it used to be. We can no longer live on healthy greens, organic grains and sustainable protein and achieve radiant health. And radiant health means radiant skin.

    Although the concept of using tonic herbs is new in our society, it is universally accepted in Asian cultures. Tonic herbalism preaches oneness with nature and the balance of our mind, body and spirit. Ron taught me that tonic herbs should be a part of our overall nutritional program. These herbs nurture the Three Treasures: Jing (Essence), Chi (Energy) and Shen (Spirit), increase adaptability, help overcome stress and help regulate vital functions. Tonic herbs also strengthen our ability to rid the body of wastes and toxins (so important in the world today). Most of the herbs, such as Gynostemma, Pearl, Reishi and Goji Berries (I take them all) – and many others – have powerful antioxidant activity, which we all know protects us and keeps us healthy and young. What I love most is that tonic herbs promote our psychological and spiritual growth – improving clarity of mind, energy and intuition. Tonic herbs also help us achieve our full potential and promote beauty from within – Outer Beauty, Inner Health. Certain tonic herbs are amazingly effective at protecting youthful beauty by enhancing inner health at profound levels. Pearl, Schizandra, Goji Berries, Snow Lotus and Longan are all very famous in Asia for keeping the skin pure, radiant and soft.

    So it’s not just about eating a high plant-based diet or applying the most advanced skincare ingredients. The road to radiant health also leads to herbs like reishi, chaga, schizandra and goji berries. Be aware of quality. That’s why I love Dragon Herbs. The herbs come from Di Tao locations, which means “authentic source”. We use a few of the herbs in our products. My greatest gift is understanding the magic of these herbs, what they can do, and how taking tonic herbs super-activates our potential. It’s not complicated like I used to think. Herbs come in the form of teas, tinctures, capsules and snacks. After all (and I remind myself of this regularly), we are what we eat.

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • MINERAL WELLNESS SOAK

    The age-old adage, ‘You are what you eat,’ is one I’ve always prescribed to. The idea that the fuel you put into your body shows on your face, your skin, and your overall health status, resonates with me.

    Certainly, a look at the isles of Sardinia in Italy, and Okinawa in Japan, confirms the malnutrition theory, which states that we age because of a lack of nutrients the body needs to perform properly. On these two islands, people live longer than anywhere else on earth (average of 100+ years). Both cultures, while very different, eat a plant-strong diet and benefit from minerals and trace elements from natural resources around them.

    Of the many aging theories, the malnutrition (‘you are what you eat’) theory, to me, makes sense. So, every year, I get a comprehensive nutrition evaluation (blood test) to make sure I’m getting all of the nutrients I need in my diet, for my health and for my skin.

    This year, one of the nutrients I discovered I am low in is magnesium. But I’m not alone. I was surprised to learn that 70 to 80 percent of the population is magnesium deficient. Magnesium is one of the major suppliers of energy to the cells. It helps to regulate over 300 enzymes, regulate muscle control, electrical impulses and energy production, eliminate toxins and play a roll in the reduction of anxiety, migraines and insomnia. Magnesium also has a significant impact on the absorption of calcium ions into the cells (great for bones) AND it benefits skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis (think benefits from the Dead Sea). Magnesium-rich foods include brown rice, wheat germ, raw cacao, almonds, peanuts, black beans and pumpkin seeds.

    Magnesium supplements can be taken orally, but the preferred supplementation method is transdermal absorption (a.k.a. as a warm soak in mineral-rich water). Because I appreciate our need to re-mineralize, I love natural hot springs which are often rich in magnesium and other essential minerals. On my ski trip to Colorado last month – I spent time soaking in pools at Hot Sulfur Springs. Rich in sulfur and one of the nation’s oldest hot mineral springs, Hot Sulfur Springs lies a couple of hours northwest of Denver. Seven natural hot springs, which are cooled to a temperature of 95-112 degrees F, are fed into 21 pools and private baths. The Ute Indians used the springs as a sacred place to bathe and heal the body, mind and spirit. Today, there are hot waterfalls, interesting alcoves and pools of various sizes. The lodge is not fancy but I highly recommend the experience. A few weeks later, on my trip to London for the Professional Beauty Conference, I made my fifth visit to Bath, England and reconnected with the sacred and mysterious hot springs there. I am always in awe of these ancient Roman ruins.

    The timing of these hot-spring visits was perfect, as we have just introduced our NEW Mineral Wellness Soak – which means I can keep on replenishing my magnesium levels at home. These fair-trade, hand-harvested and solar-dried mineral crystals from a pristine source elevate the bathing experience into a purifying, remineralizing, muscle-relieving wellness treatment. One of Earth’s most incredible natural treasures (98.76% pure); this Soak contains a perfect and rare balance of over 60 essential minerals and trace elements. The salts are high in magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, lithium and colloidal silver (natural antiseptic). So, if you’re like me – low in magnesium and unable to bathe in a natural hot spring regularly – this therapy is the next best thing. For ultimate results, with any mineral bath, we recommend taking the bath consecutively for 10 days, as a traditional KUR – and to do four KURs a year, with each change of season (plus individual baths in between).

    Twenty minutes of relaxation is all it takes. The salts are all-natural, so adding an essential oil or bath gel makes the therapy a sensory experience. Fill your tub with warm water, add 1/4 cup of the salts and relax, meditate and soak in your magnesium and essential minerals. You will sleep better than ever and have the best dreams ever.

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • Winter SkinCare: Layer Your Products As You Would Your Clothes

    With Canada reporting frigid temperatures, Europe blanketed in snow, and New Yorkers vying to have photographs taken in front of their city’s newest tourist attraction – a frozen Bryant Park fountain – there’s no question. It’s cold outside. Winter has arrived – and with it, the pressing need to winterize our skin. I’m skiing in Colorado this week for a few days and you can bet I’ve brought an arsenal of serums and oils to help keep my skin moisturized and protected.

    Surprising to many, ‘winterizing’ the skin isn’t just about applying the richest, thickest crème (although a high-quality moisturizer is paramount to keeping skin hydrated in winter). Instead, ‘winterizing’ means layering your moisture just as you would your clothes.

    For the Face:
    In winter, I recommend a milder cleanser (Rehydrating Neroli Cleansing Milk is one of our bestsellers), and a serum to complement your daily moisturizer. Both our Correcting Hyaluronic Serum and Correcting Rescue Crème were developed specifically for winter conditions. I also advocate using organic essential oils (after the serum) to boost the effectiveness of your moisturizer, and also to use a milder exfoliant during the winter months.

    For the Eyes:
    Sunglasses are a must for winter sports, as is eye crème to keep the delicate skin around the eyes as moist as possible. I am all for exposing the eyes to healthy mild sunlight. Everything in balance.

    For the Body:
    During winter, I crave hot baths and showers laced with warming, hearty ingredients like magnesium-rich mineral salts and essential oils (We just launched our new Mineral Wellness Soak, perfect after a day on the slopes). But refrain from making your baths too hot as a bath can actually be drying. When emerging from the shower or bath, gently pat (not rub) the skin, and apply a nourishing, warming oil or lotion while the skin is still damp, again to seal in moisture.

    Also try not to crank the heat indoors. Although it feels cozy, too-high heat (just like a too-hot bath) dries the skin. It’s a good idea to run a humidifier, especially at night, which combined with facial night creme and all-over body moisturizer, will go a long way in helping to hydrate your skin.

    And finally, don’t give up on your hands. While dry and often chapped hands seem to take the brunt of winter, there is an easy solution – our Rejuvenating Moisture Balm. Yes, it’s a face masque. But it makes for an amazing night-time hand treatment and you don’t have to wash it off.

    Love,
    Charlene

     

  • 2013: Healthy Skin from the Inside Out

    Warm wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous – and bright 2013. Already, this new year is bright, and for more reasons than one…

    Recently, I attended a four-week training in the fundamentals of raw cuisine from the Matthew Kenney Academy in Santa Monica (www.matthewkenneycuisine.com), the nation’s first (and only) classically-structured Raw and Living Foods educational center. A beautifully modern, hip and professional facility, it was a joy to learn in the white marble and wood environment with eleven other like-minded classmates from all walks of life. Emphasis was placed on flavor balancing, recipe development, knife skills, sprouting techniques, super foods (many of which are great skincare ingredients), creativity, preparing meals with professional execution, aroma and innovative plating and presentation of the dishes. We learned how to make cultured cheese (made from nuts), kefir, kimchi, nutritional smoothies and blended drinks, hand rolls, sushi, soups (yes, cold), desserts (lots of raw cacao) and so much more.

    One person asked me what raw food has to do with skincare and my response was Everything! The principles of development are the same – harmony and quality of ingredients are essential. At Kerstin Florian, our philosophy is to (externally) promote nourishing and effective skincare products and (internally) promote nutrition as a way to positively impact the skin. Knowing how to prepare gourmet living cuisine makes it fun – and easy – to be really healthy (and I will share some recipes in the coming weeks).

    Externally, the new year also marks an exciting new product, our Brightening Facial Treatment (launching this month). This serum combines a powerful blend of clinically proven skin-illuminating botanicals that synergistically work to restore clarity and visibly fade dark spots. Expect improved radiance as continued use helps to inhibit melanin production, deliver brightness to dull, uneven skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

    In-vivo tests confirm in 28 days, clinical levels of brightening ingredients show substantial results:

    • 76% of participants showed a dramatic improvement in the clarity of the skin, significantly reduced hyperpigmentation and increased lightening of the skin
    • 86% saw a significant decrease in melanin content and skin pigmentation

    Some of the amazing ingredients in this product include red algae and brassica napus extract (for skin pigmentation); skin-lightening peptides, Chinese mushrooms (reducing redness and irritation), Kombuchka (black tea ferment that is smoothing and improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the negative effects of sugars on collagen that weaken the skin structure); Vitamin C (helps to boost collagen production, enhance skin’s structural support and prevent age spots); and Chlorella, a super nutrient green algae (containing high levels of skin-benefiting vitamins and omega-3 acids. Other ingredients include turmeric root, bitter orange oil and sodium hyaluronate.

    These topical skincare ingredients, combined with lots of internal raw food, promise a brighter 2013 – from the inside out.

    With love,
    Charlene

     

  • Gratitude this Season

    Although Hurricane Sandy’s fierce winds and pummeling waves occurred 3,000 miles from my home in California, the impact of the storm struck a chord deep within me. Within the hours and days following Sandy’s landfall, as images of NYC blanketed in darkness and decimated New Jersey shore towns made way into our living rooms, I was instantly humbled. And grateful for the simple things I unintentionally take for granted: a hot shower, running water, electricity, a charged computer and cell phone, heat, a nourishing meal, my own bed.

    Hurricane Sandy was a reminder to me to say thank you for all I have in my life—at this very moment, right now.

    Expressing gratitude is a ritual I incorporate daily in my life. Every morning, before getting out of bed, I say a simple thank you. Deeply appreciative of nature, I do the same every time I walk in the forest or in the local hills. I also keep a journal—where, at the end of the day, just before bed (or whenever), I take a moment to write down things I‘m thankful for. Admittedly, I don’t write religiously in this journal. But I’m working on that.

    My yoga practice has played a big part in helping me to work on being mindful…I’ve been practicing for over 20 years. As a result, I am acutely aware of how being grateful—for the simplest things—helps me to appreciate my surroundings more deeply.

    As we approach Thanksgiving Day—the day of giving thanks—I am so very grateful for the people—my parents, beautiful daughters, family, friends, colleagues—in my life. I’m grateful for our company and especially to you, our customers for allowing us to turn our passion into great skincare products for well-being and health. And my heart goes out to the east coast, and all affected by Hurricane Sandy – particularly those who’ve lost their homes, cars, personal belongings and entire communities. I’m also, as the rebuilding begins there, encouraged and again, humbled, by the beauty of the human spirit at work. People helping people. People going to extraordinary lengths. One of the most touching stories I’ve heard surrounded a simple photograph unscathed that washed up on Ortley Beach in NJ. The photo was from the 1970s, and showed two women and a man in giant sunglasses, bright swimming suits and I Dream of Jeannie hair. The woman who found it was relentless in finding its owner—posting the photo on FB, Twitter, Pinterest. A family member saw it and reclaimed the treasured heirloom.

    The little things. The simple things.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    With love,
    Charlene

     

As Vice President of Corporate Creative Development for Kerstin Florian International(KFI) Charlene Florian has a rich and varied background in the art of wellbeing. Read More