By Christine Newheart 25 Feb, 2016

Nutrition is often considered an essential component of maintaining a healthy weight, but is often forgotten when it concerns the skin. Yet, the skin is not only the largest organ of the human body, but one that can directly reflect the internal health of a person. Surprisingly, people neglect this organ despite the great number of skin illnesses and diseases that can occur on the skin. Skincare nutrition can help the skin to maintain a healthy balance, and even clear out problematic inflammation. 

When examining whether the skin is healthy, one must consider what nutrients the skin is obtaining from internal and external compounds. The skin can benefit from a diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that it needs. Externally, the skin can benefit from lotions and creams.  

If your skin has acne, eczema, psoriasis or is aging, these changes are directly reflecting what is happening inside your body as well. These can be considered warnings that you need to focus on your nutrition. Even food allergies can manifest themselves on the skin. In fact, this is one example where you really need to pay attention to what you skin is telling you, as allergies are nothing to be trifled with.

So, how do you obtain great skin nutrition? It begins with food and nutrition. If you feel that you don’t get enough from your food, you can take dietary supplements. This is only a temporary solution until you can cut fat and sugar out of your diet, and start eating more fruits, vegetables, and protein. 

When choosing supplements to benefit the skin, Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K are the best. Vitamin E has been beneficial in preventing wrinkles, and making the skin smoother, and softer.

Vitamins have also been known to counteract the adverse effects of sun damage. You’re giving your skin a boost in healing if you do get a bad sunburn when outdoors. Recent studies have even suggested that a topical application of Vitamin C to a sunburn can speed healing.

If you’re one who prefers to eat healthier, you can obtain these beneficial vitamins by eating extra citrus fruit, and dark green vegetables. These foods also prevent the loss of the vitamin through the skin, which can happen more commonly with just taking a supplement.

For the best surface skin care nutrition, you need to source out a great lotion and moisturizer. There is controversy over some of the more common ingredients such as dimethicone, parabens, mineral oil, and other petroleum products. There are numerous studies suggesting that these chemicals aren’t entirely safe for the skin.

Before purchasing your skin care nutritive product, read the labels. Are there only a few ingredients listed? Do you understand what they are? Look for coconut oil, shea nut oil, aloe vera gel, or other products organically-derived. If you can eat it, it’s likely safe for your skin.

If you need a boost in your skin care nutrition, start by changing your diet, taking supplements, and finding an effective skin care lotion.


By Christine Newheart 25 Jan, 2016
By Christine Newheart 10 Jan, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Hope everyone had a great New Year. We are excited and looking forward to implementing some great new ideas and adding a new line of organic products to Aviv-Wellness, LLC very soon. We also will be incorporating sea salt stones that help to relax and improve blood flow to tired muscles.

We have received great feedback from our existing clients and welcome your suggestions as to what you’d like us to change or add in the future. We hope Aviv will continue to be your source for wellness tips an advice going forward.

I hope this year will bring us all new and exciting opportunities and most of all health and safety to all our loved ones. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

By Christine Newheart 10 Jan, 2016
  • cup brown or green lentils (not lentils du Puy), sorted for debris and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, optional
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Greek yogurt, for serving, optional



Watch how to make this recipe.

Throw the lentils into a medium saucepan . Fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, as the lentils cook, grab a large skillet. Pop it over medium-high heat and add the oil. Allow the oil to warm for a minute, then drop in the cumin seeds and cracked peppercorns and cook, shaking the pan once in a while until the cumin seeds darken a touch, about 1 minute.

Add the onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often. This will take about 15 minutes. Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan. You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color and by the slight crispiness developing on some of the onions.

Using a slotted spoon or spatula , remove about half of the onions to a paper towel-lined plate; these are for garnish later. Sprinkle in the ground cumin, cayenne and then add the cinnamon stick ; saute about 1 minute.

By Christine Newheart 02 Dec, 2015
Fall brings to market a slew of cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. I’m lucky to love them all, but that’s not always the case for others. It seems cabbage is cool in salads and slaws, broccoli rocks with cheese sauce, kale is hip among the coolest of foodies, and cauliflower is the new “mashed potato” for the lo-carb crowd, but the bold and brawny beauty of the Brussels sprout has often been overlooked. (Have you seen those gorgeous Brussels sprouts stalks?)

Brussels sprouts reach their peak between September and mid-February, so now’s the time to partake in the bounty of Brussels sprouts. If you’ve shied away from Brussels sprouts in the past, I urge you to keep an open mind and be bold. Give them another try, but bear in mind a couple of things:

  • If they are over-cooked or burnt, canned, rotten or otherwise maimed, they are definitely a no-go. But when cooked right, oh my! They are really, really good!
  • They can be a bit bitter (as can many cruciferous veggies), and once cooked, they do have that special off-putting “aroma” so common to the crucifer. This comes from sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant that make these veggies among the healthiest.

Brussels sprouts are right at home in many dishes, including omelets, salads, grain dishes and side dishes. They are complemented by aromatics such as onion, ginger, herbs and garlic. When shopping, purchase small, firm, compact Brussels sprouts. They should be green, not yellow or brown. If possible, choose similar sizes for more even cooking. If you’re not using them right away, store them in a sealed plastic bag for up to four days. Here are tips and recipes to help you enjoy the best of the brawny Brussels sprouts:  

By Christine Newheart 02 Dec, 2015

The Aloe Vera plant leaf has been use for thousands of years. It is loaded with vitamins and notorious that is excellent for your skin and body. There is so much information on the internet concerning this plant. I enjoy using it as a skincare treatment.

Aloe Vera is used in many cosmetic and beauty products because of its natural ability to heal. It contains over twenty-five effective components, which include amino acids that are necessary for the human body. The substances in Aloe Vera contain Salicylic Acid, and Sterols provide its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

Aloe Vera used as cosmetic and beauty products offers incredible benefits for the skin. They help moisturize the skin, gets rid of fine lines, wrinkles, dead cells on the surface of the skin, rejuvenating the skin keeping them supple and glowing. They also have a remarkable capacity to remove stretch marks and blemishes helping the skin retain its soft and smooth texture.

Aloe Vera comprises of more than seventy-five effective components, which includes the twenty amino acids and the eight essential amino acids indispensable for the human body. Besides these, they also contain certain enzymes effective for metabolic health, essential vitamins, minerals, poly-saccharides that render immune-stimulating properties along with its magical healing touch. The substances in Aloe Vera such as Salicylic Acid, Saponins and Sterols provide its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. - See more at:  The gel acquired from the leaf is helpful for treating various skin ailments such as dermatitis, burns and other skin disorders. They protect the skin against sunburns, prevent itching and scratching of the skin, heal wounds and stops bleeding from minor cuts. They also help cure insect bites blisters and combat any type of skin allergies. - See more at:

Aloe Vera is very effective in treating and preventing skin disorders, due to its ability to seep through the multiple layers of the skin. Therefore, it is beneficial for disorders such as herpes, eczema, psoriasis, Lichen Planus, dermatitis and skin allergies.

Aloe Vera comprises of more than seventy-five effective components, which includes the twenty amino acids and the eight essential amino acids indispensable for the human body. Besides these, they also contain certain enzymes effective for metabolic health, essential vitamins, minerals, poly-saccharides that render immune-stimulating properties along with its magical healing touch. The substances in Aloe Vera such as Salicylic Acid, Saponins and Sterols provide its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties
By Christine Newheart 05 Nov, 2015
The Essentrics Studio video series online offer great strengthening and toning exercises to help create lean muscle tone in the body and they are also quite helpful to improve posture issues that would help with common chronic aches in the body.
By Christine Newheart 05 Nov, 2015

Puerto Rican Seasoning


Sofrito is a traditional seasoning used in Puerto Rican recipes. It is comprised of various herbs and spices used in foods including meats, stews, sauces, seasoned rice and beans and many other recipes. It’s difficult to find all the natural spices that are used to make this blend of herbs in Colorado, to bring forth this authentic Puerto Rican flavor to these dishes.  However, my daughter Michelle put together the herbs that are included in this recipe and just improvised other ingredients that complement this blend of herbs and add flavor to many types of dishes. Sofrito is also packed with vitamins and nutrients needed to support a good diet.

1 large onion

6 garlic clove

1 green pepper

3 or 4 mix (red/yellow, orange) peppers

1 bunch of parsley

1 cup cilantro

1 cup green onions

1 cup culantro (optional) find in international market

1 small hot pepper (optional) remove seeds

Add salt and black pepper to taste (optional)

Wash and cut long stems before adding to the blender. Blend and place in small container in the freezer (to keep fresh) or use ice cube tray.

Use 1 cube and add to your favorite meal.  

By Christine Newheart 21 Oct, 2015

Not that long ago, a forearm made sore by too much computer mousing was the extent of technology-related injuries a person might experience. But the widespread use of an increasing variety of technology—pads, laptops, smartphones—has detonated a cache of related conditions, from tight necks and sore backs to painful thumbs and increased stress. Oh, and those sore arms caused by too much mousing? They’re still around as well. “Anyone who has spent much time on a computer, cellphone, tablet or other advanced electronic device has surely experienced the discomfort of poor body mechanics and repetitive straining,” manual therapy specialist Rick Bates, L.M.T., B.C.T.M.B., C.F.T., told MASSAGE Magazine. “These problems are not limited to the neck, as more and more people seek relief from shoulder, arms, wrists, hands, low-back and hip pain,” added Bates, who is an elite trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association and also holds credentials in exercise therapy and nutrition.            


Massage therapy can provide the damage control needed to combat text neck and other injuries of the digital age.

Text Neck

The first smartphone was introduced by Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs (1955–2011), in 2007. Eight years on, 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone, according to the article, “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015,” published by the Pew Research Center .

Talking on a phone might strain one’s arm or elbow after a while—but combine that with holding a smartphone in front of your body while looking down at it and typing, texting or surfing the Internet for the American average of 4.9 hours every day—the figure arrived at by a 2015 Informate Mobile Intelligence report —and you’ve lit the fuse leading to a physical condition called text neck.

The average human head weighs about 12 pounds—but for every inch the head hangs forward, the amount of weight put on the spine increases by 10 pounds, a statistic attributed to I.A. Kapandji, M.D., in his book, The Physiology of the Joints: The Trunk and the Vertebral Column , and used widely by health professionals to illustrate the dangers of forward-head posture.

See how hours of peering down at a smartphone combined with 40-or-more pounds dangling from the spine can be an explosive combination—one that causes pain, tension and lack of mobility in the neck?

This posture can also result in a loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine, according to Kenneth K. Hansraj, M.D., chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, in New York, New York, whose findings were published in the study, “Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head,” published by Surgical Technology International Online in 2014.

“Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine,” Hansraj wrote. “These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries.”

He also noted that while it is “nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.”

As they say, that is easier said than done, as evidenced by an increasing number of massage clients presenting with technology-related disorders, according to Bates.

“High-tech devices have not only had a big impact on how we interact with each other, they have also had a big impact on the manual therapy industry, as more people look for alternatives to pain-relieving and muscle-relaxing medications,” he said.

Not only does massage therapy provide some very needed downtime in a quiet and peaceful setting, it can also work out the kinks and knots in tight and stressed muscles created by hours spent on computers and other high-tech devices, he added.

Muscles, ligaments and tendons all benefit from massage—but so does the mind, and this betterment is needed, as well, as Americans’ use of technology increases.


A smartphone or pad is basically a tiny computer, one on which a person can talk, type, text, send an email, and do research on anything from a personal health condition to the next time a blockbuster movie is showing at the local theater. As we try to manage our lives via technological tools, we feel effects mentally and emotionally, educator and author Cyndie Koopsen, R.N., told MASSAGE Magazine .

“For most people today, being connected means being constantly available through phones or email, juggling numerous tasks in their personal and professional lives, and sorting through mounds of information coming from multiple sources,” said Koopsen, who is co-CEO of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions LLC , a company that designs and develops education courses and certificate programs, and the co-author of Spirituality, Health , and Healing: An Integrative Approach and Integrative Health: A Holistic Approach for Health Professionals.

This multitasking using digital devices can contribute to a condition called technostress , she added, a term coined by Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D., and Larry Rosen, Ph.D., authors of TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @ WORK @ HOME @ PLAY .

Technostress can be defined in several ways, Koopsen said, but for many people, it means the negative impact on thoughts, attitudes, behaviors or physiological responses caused either directly or indirectly by technology.

According to Koopsen, a more severe mental effect, technosis, can be ignited via digital devices: “People who allow themselves to be drawn into the technological abyss become more machine-oriented and less sensitive to their own needs and the needs of others,” Koopsen said. “With some people, they become so immersed in technology that they risk losing their own identity—this is called technosis.”

Defuse with Massage

How can massage help divert the salvo of mental and emotional stress launched by technology? By providing that downtime Bates referred to earlier; by the calming effects massage has on the nervous system; and more. According to Koopsen, massage therapy:

  • increases one’s awareness of the mind-body connection
  • improves immune function
  • decreases stress and aids in relaxation
  • reduces muscle tension and stiffness
  • increases range of motion
  • fosters the healing of strained muscles and ligaments
  • reduces the pain and swelling of overused muscles and tissues
  • promotes blood and lymph circulation
  • improves posture
  • relieves mental stress
  • improves sleep and the ability to think calmly and creatively
  • improves cognition and mood
  • decreases anxiety brought on from long hours at the computer or discomfort in the neck, back, and shoulders brought on by the extensive use of technological devices

Survive a Hectic Lifestyle

“It wasn’t that long ago when massage therapy was only enjoyed by very wealthy individuals or others that were considered health nuts,” Bates said. “Today, more and more people are aware of the health benefits of a regular massage.”

The people Bates sees at his Hands on Healing Massage Center in Gainesville, Georgia, don’t book appointments for massage because they want to be pampered, he said. “They come because massage provides them the ability to perform at their best—whether that be in the corporate setting or to just survive the stresses of a hectic lifestyle.”

Anyone who uses a smartphone, pad, joystick, laptop or desktop computer does not need to wait until the cumulative effects of digital device use explodes into a stiff neck, painful hands or emotional stress. Regular massage therapy can defuse those effects and keep one’s mind and body ready for the next challenge—or device—of the digital age.

 By Karen Menehan

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