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A Letter from Kris Carr to All Self-Healers

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:04 Written by Kris Carr Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:02

 A Letter from Kris Carr to All Self Healers

Last weekend I crawled out of my writing cave, dolled up and headed to NYC for Dr. Mark Hyman’s book launch at Donna Karan’s apartment. It was meteoric. MD star-studded. I was in heaven! Glamour + revolution = pinch me hard, like bruising hard.

As many of you know, Dr. Mark Hyman is the founder of the famed UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts and the world’s leading functional medicine pioneer. He blogs for Crazy Sexy Life, is a dear friend, mentor and fellow status quo disturber, and I just love him. Why? Because he’s real and smart and so dang dedicated. We’ve spent many hours over dinner talking about the state of healthcare and how we can make a difference. And the one thing that stands out for me is the way he authentically lights up, like a curious (and brilliant) kid on a mission. It’s contagious.

Naturally when Mark sent me an early copy of his latest book I was thrilled to devour it. Well, not only did I love it, I found several new and important areas to improve in my own wellness routine. Mark includes easy quizzes that lead to big ah-ha’s. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, BAM! I’ve already scheduled some blood work and am hot on the case. Vegans and conscious non-vegans alike will learn an enormous amount about harnessing the power of your forks.

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UZIT Nutrition Weekend: We Are Expressions of What We Eat

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 11:02 Written by Ali Schechter Monday, 27 February 2012 05:53

UZIT NUTRITION 1 UZIT Nutrition Weekend: We Are Expressions of What We Eat

Though there is no straight formula to getting and staying healthy, there is one principle that all speakers at this weekend’s Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program supported in their own way: food is medicine, and what we put into our bodies directly determines our health. There is no way around it: we are expressions of what we eat.

This may sound obvious, because it is. It is so obvious that one can’t help but drop a jaw at the current epidemic of nutritional ignorance in our country. Soaring rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more are all byproducts of this fundamental disconnect between us and our food. Our inbred agricultural system thrives on keeping people disempowered and under a spell of sugar and starch, while pharmaceutical companies swoop in to Band-Aid the aftermath. Instead of breaking down our food–our food is literally breaking down us.

Things need to change, and we have the power to speed up that process by how we spend our dollar. People all over the world are coming up with solutions to our current out-of-sync state, and we had the pleasure of hearing from a handful of luminaries this weekend, including Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Mark Hyman, among others. Perfectly setting the tone for the enlightening conversations were the beautiful nutrition images donated by Matt Armedariz, Helene Dujardin and Lindsay Moris that were projected throughout the Urban Zen Center.

First, though, we heard from incredible innovators Brooklyn Grange, an organization building commercial organic farms on New York City rooftops. Entering its third season, Brooklyn Grange will expand this spring to a second rooftop farm (45,000 square feet) in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Yes, there will be a CSA. I get giddy imagining all the fresh (and seriously local!) produce made possible by these visionaries.

Next we learned from Brian Halweil, a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institiute, co-Director of Nourishing the Planet and editor of East End Edible Magazine. Brian addressed current issues facing the food system on a global scale. Did you know that we produce more food today than ever on this planet? And yet still millions of people live in poverty and hunger. As Africa urbanizes more quickly than anywhere in the world, we will need sustainable urban farming models like Brooklyn Grange. Or cheap ways to fertilize the ground: like the Acacia tree in Kenya weaving Nitrogen into farm soil. Our interconnectedness became clearer and clearer as Brian spoke, outlining farming and food waste solutions from New York City (Check out Tri-State Biodiesel) to Nigeria (see the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s answer to Cowpea Storage). Most importantly, we need to educate our kids, creating models like Stephen Ritz’s “Green Bronx Machine.”

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Discussing Care and Community at Dr. Mark Hyman’s Book Launch Event

Last Updated on Friday, 2 March 2012 04:51 Written by Urban Zen Monday, 27 February 2012 12:03

img 2 Discussing Care and Community at Dr. Mark Hyman’s Book Launch Event


In celebration of Dr. Mark Hyman’s latest book, “The Blood Sugar Solution,” our founder, Donna Karan, opened her home to a community of like-minded people ready to reignite the conversation of putting CARE back into healthcare (a mission of the Urban Zen Foundation and a desperately needed solution in the healthcare field).

Joining Dr. Hyman for this necessary and relevant discussion were two of Urban Zen’s biggest well-being champions – Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Dean Ornish. All three physicians have been, and continue to be, at the forefront of holistic well-being and use their knowledge and passion to encourage individuals to change the way they approach health. As Dr. Ornish shared, “awareness is really the first step in healing.”

This philosophy was a unifying factor for the evening and the purpose behind Dr. Hyman’s new book. It is because of his deep understanding of the diabetes epidemic and its far-reaching impact on the state of this country’s collective health that Dr. Hyman wrote, “The Blood Sugar Solution.” Dr. Hyman believes that what we put at the end of our forks is one of the most important medical decisions we’ll ever make and that making informed decisions about lifestyle matter. Dr. Hyman shared his belief that if we want to change the system, “we have to create health where we live and work and breathe.”

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