Thursday, October 30, 2008

{artist: patricia van essche}

I recently commissioned some pieces of art for my store Sur La Mer , and I just got them back. Artist Patricia van Essche of PVE Design did a beautiful job and I am excited to use them in my new ad campaign. Thanks Patricia!

Click Here for more information about the artist

{GOOP: eat right, sleep well, and a little exercise}

Healthier By The Day

You want to feel healthier, everyone does. You want more energy, a better body and the ability to do what you do better. Like most other people, you’ve listened to the experts, read their advice and never been sure which of it applied to you or was really worth doing. That’s because the things that help you get healthier are usually unique to you. There is no universal plan for better health, no best diet, workout routine or way of solving problems. As unique as you are, there are some guidelines you can follow that will help improve your health:

Start with sleep. Sleep eight hours or more each night. Do what you have to do to get to sleep; there are plenty of natural agents that work. Try them: herbs (valerian), tea (chamomile), amino acids (tryptophan or hydroxy-tryptophan) and vitamins (magnesium and B6). These can be powerful sedatives and work just as well as prescription agents without the risks. Sleep plays a powerful role in determining your appetite, energy and attitude. Sleep better for two weeks before changing your diet. Then try eliminating “white” foods, those that are made with sugar, white flour and milk. If you eliminate them one at a time, start with flour, then eliminate dairy and then sugar. Sugar is easier to quit after a few weeks of no other “white” stuff. Remember high fructose corn syrup and dextrose are sugar by another name. Give yourself about two weeks to get used to each before eliminating the next one.

Exercise regularly. I know you want to but you don’t have the energy to do it. Sleep eight hours for two weeks, then start eliminating “white” foods. After two weeks of sleeping and eating better, you’ll have the energy to exercise. Begin as you like. If you are totally out of shape, start by walking 15 minutes a day and add a minute every day for the first month. At the end of a month, you’ll be up to 45 minutes a day, which should make you ready for whatever more strenuous form of exercise you want to try. Experiment with them all to see what works best for you and stick with it.

Police your thoughts and deal with your feelings constructively. Most of the background chatter in our mind is worrying, judging, criticizing, defending and complaining. Catch yourself and create a distraction by redirecting your thoughts toward the things that you are grateful for and optimistic about.All these are free (okay, except if you have to buy the sleepers) and all are within your ability. No professionals required. By doing them you will create a customized health plan that will surely result in you getting healthier by the day.

Christian Renna, D.O. LifeSpan Medicine, 2008

Dr. Christian Renna is a nationally recognized expert in the field of contemporary preventive medicine and the founder of LifeSpan Medicine clinics.

Another Inconvenient Truth

The human body is a self-healing, self-renewing, self-cleansing organism. When the right conditions are created, vibrant well-being is its natural state. We have departed from the ways of nature and live under less than natural conditions. Like global warming, the toxicity of our planet is undeniable. I call it "Another Inconvenient Truth." The air we breathe, the water we drink and shower with, the foods we eat, the cosmetics we use and the buildings we live and work in, are loaded with toxic chemicals that alone or in combination cause disease, suffering and even death. When we remove these obstacles and add what is lacking, our bodies bounce back into health as if by magic. This is natural, common-sense medicine, enabling the body to heal, regenerate and even rejuvenate itself.

With this in mind, if you live in a modern city and want to stay healthy, there are two fundamental practices to follow: detoxification cleansing and eating real foods, just as nature intended food to be.

1) Detoxification cleansing:

Approximately eight hours after eating our last meal the processes of digestion, absorption and assimilation are completed and the body enters into detoxification mode, a function we don’t think about often. A healthy body, used to eating natural foods, needs around four hours to cleanse and detoxify itself from all the waste products of normal metabolism. This is without counting the toxic overload of modern life. It’s a really good practice to fast every day for 12 hours after our last meal: eight hours to complete food processing plus four to allow for detoxification. So if your last meal is at 10pm, don’t eat anything before 10am. Breakfast should be exactly that, break-fast, or breaking the fast. This would be enough in a toxin-free world. Since that is not the case, we should periodically make an extra effort to go deeper and catch up with the cleaning, as it were. This is where detox cleansing programs come into play. There are many programs available today based on different systems and philosophies of healing. Some are great, some dangerous. Make sure someone who understands and has experience guides you.

How often and for how long one should engage in detox programs depends on how clean one is to begin with. In addition to all of the above, one should educate oneself as to how to keep our environment toxin-free. Water and air filters, eco-cleaning utensils, chemical free cosmetics, green architecture, alternative fuel vehicles….

2) Real foods:

We used to pick our food from trees and the earth, and hunt or fish the rest. Now we buy it in modern supermarkets. Ninety percent of the products in supermarkets come in some kind of container. In order to extend shelf life, these food-like products are loaded with chemicals, preservatives and conservatives that kill bacteria. Most products also contain additives to give them the color, smell, taste and texture that will tempt us to buy and eat them. The remaining 10% of what is edible – the produce, the fish, the meats and the dairy products – are loaded with chemicals as well. All of these chemicals cause havoc inside our bodies, being the most intimate source of toxins for us since we throw this mixture in our bellies and soon enough it passes into our blood.Returning to a more natural way of eating is the best way to avoid disease and premature aging. It also keeps the weight off. Buy organic foods, shop in your local farmer’s markets. Increase the consumption of vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains and legumes. More raw foods are better for health (enzymes remain intact), the environment (smaller carbon footprint) and the pocket (lower utility bills).To round things up, don’t forget to nourish your soul. The future of medicine is “no medicine.” If we return to a more natural life, our bodies become the best doctors.

With love,
Alejandro Junger, MD

Dr. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist who practices integrative healing. He currently sees patients in his private practice at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York and, in 2008, he was named the Director of Integrative Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Holistic Detox

My journey with nutrition came from looking after performance artists and dancers who were trying to find a healthy balance between diet, looking good and having enough energy to perform. I use the age-old wisdom of ayurvedic medicine, the holistic approach of osteopathic medicine and basic common sense to help patients realize how to achieve their own optimum health. The older, more natural forms of medicine work predominantly on promoting and improving the body’s ability to eliminate waste (detoxification) and also towards finding balance and well-being. My motivation is towards not only the nutritional needs of a healthy body, but also on encouraging better sleep patterns, ways of coping with stress and reducing its effects on the body, and teaching individuals how to care for themselves and make healthy lifestyle choices: the true mind-body-spirit sense of health and well-being.

My first bestselling book, Joshi’s Holistic Detox explains in more detail the fundamentals of my detox and dietary program, but its essence lies in:
  • Avoiding all refined carbohydrates including white flour and sugarAvoiding all foods with chemical preservatives and flavorings including foods that contain toxic elements (such as heavy metals, e.g. tuna)
  • Drinking at least one to two liters of pure water daily to help the body clean and detoxify itself
  • Eating fruit and vegetables that are ripe, fresh and as free of chemical fertilizers as possible
  • Minimizing tea, coffee, dairy products, and alcoholBoosting your health and vitality with a diet rich in organic, ripe fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating protein such as white fish or white meats with each mealSleeping at least eight hours a night and practicing some gentle exercise, yoga or meditation every day to reduce the effects of stress on the body.

Neish Joshi, Joshi Clinic

Dr. Neish Joshi is the founder of the Joshi Clinic in London, and has developed a unique approach in his practice, embracing centuries-old Indian traditions, ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and a wide variety of other healing philosophies from all over the world with both eastern and western approaches to orthodox medicine.

All photos and copy: GOOP

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

{design: sunken tennis courts, so chic}

I noticed a very cool trend while in the Hamptons, the sunken tennis court. It is my new favorite thing.

The old style. While I still think it's fabulous, it's not chic.

{design: The Hampton Designer Showhouse}

I'm just getting around to posting this... and I think it's worth the wait. There are no cameras allowed in most showhouses, but I managed to sneak some pics anyway. The blurry ones are because I was about to be busted by a cranky docent.

STATS:The house is in Sagaponack (59 Farm Court), and listed at $12.5 Million. South of the highway. 11,430 sq.ft., complete "green" energy home (solar & geo-thermal), 7,930 sq ft first & second floors- 8 bedrooms,3 with secluded private decks, 9.5 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces. Below, 3,500 sq ft of gym, sauna, steam room, and media room. Tennis court, pool and spa.

There are many things I liked and disliked about this house. Location, a ten. Layout, a seven. Interior Design, well... you be the judge. Not particularly my favorite showhouse, but there were a few interesting things.

Amazing pool area and tennis court

Georgeous kitchen outfitted with Electrolux appliances and Christopher Peacock cabinetry.

One of the few bedrooms I actually liked. Interior designed by Kevin Hart Design, Inc.

LOVE this cabinet in the shower. Great detail.

Love the large scale of the hexagonal marble tiles. I only see them in the small size out here on the West coast.

You can't really tell from the picture, but this entry table is amazing. Also, Tyra Banks was standing just off to the right of this picture. Gorgeous, also.

I liked the red paint on the woodwork of this bar area.

Little hanging tv's. Not sure what that was about...

Fuzzy wuzzy was a chair?

Look at the python chair.. to die for.

I think the designers were on LSD left over from the 60's on this room. Not so much my fave, but photographs well?

Okay, seriously, this was in the basement. And, yes, it is a torture device with a neon sign that says "swallow". No, I can not make these things up. Who decided that was appropriate for a design house?? What is that bottom hole for?

The marble detail in the medicine cabinet is genius!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

{sailing lesson: 1}

My house looks out onto the bay, so every morning and evening is spent watching the boaters head out and head back in again. I'm happy to say that I am joining the ranks as one of those boaters.

Yesterday, we began our quest to learn how to sail. I've been boating my whole life, and truly love being out on the water. It is one of my greatest passions, and a core part of who I am.

Since I moved out to LA five years ago, I have only been out on the Pacific Ocean twice... yesterday being the second. The strange thing about it, is that both times were on sailboats. That is strange, because I never considered myself to be a sailboat person and almost 100% of my boating experience comes from powerboating.

It's inexplicable to know what changed in me, that has drawn me to sailing, but I'm going to go with it, and hopefully learn a lot about myself in the process. 9 lessons to go.

Learned in lesson 1:

- There are these little pieces of yarn on the sails that are called tell tales. You are supposed to look at them all the time to look at how the wind is blowing. I'm assuming that is where you get the term "telltale signs". Right! Right?

- Lots of sailor talk, and I don't mean cursing. I learned that a LONG time ago. I mean real sailor talk, like jib, halyard, clew, tack, hank, shackle, hull, boom, tiller. It's a whole lot of hub bub to me.

- We learned the five points of sailing. I can't remember even one. Not even one of the words describing one...

The fact of the matter is, I may not be cut out for this. More to come. Lesson 2 next Sunday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

{designer: Nancy Corzine}

Nancy Corzine has this gorgeous store on Main Street in Southampton. It is a gem, with beautiful pillows, furniture, lighting and accessories. She just recently opened another store in Palm Beach, that I can't wait to see.

As she states, “It hasn’t been so difficult; all it takes is total devotion, boundless energy and the ability to reinvent yourself on a continuing basis.” Halleujah, sister. Not many people trust themselves with reinvention, it's a gift. She really has an interesting story to tell, and with over twenty years in the business, it sounds like she has seen it all.

What I love about the Hamptons is that you can find anything here. Each town is small, each has it's own thing going on, and they cater to both high end boutique shops and entrepenuer boutiques. Southampton is my favorite, with lots of design boutiques and antique stores... it's a designers heaven. East Hampton is where you want to shop to stock up your closet. Obviously, I love EH, as well.

{travel: I never told you about...}

... our amazing summer trip to Southampton, NY.

I've been in such a fog over the last month, and I'm trying desperately to get out of it. Part of my therapy is to start checking things off of my to-do list. A major item on the list is getting my SH posts up. Tomorrow is the day, I can feel it!

{cook: Gwyneth's Recipes}

Just this morning, I was having an in depth cooking conversation with my housekeeper (aka lifesaver & friend), Maria, about the incredible tamales she made for us last week. I promise to post the recipe once I can weasel it out of her! Then these recipes were in my In Box this morning, courtesy of GOOP. They look gorgeous- and healthy, to boot.

It's that time of year where I am feeling inspired to spend time in the kitchen and be nurturing. I'm going to start posting lots of recipes I am testing out. I hope you enjoy them. Cooking is a passion of mine, but I can only cook when I am happy. It's been a tough month for me since being back from the Hamptons, and I have not been inspired to cook. When I feel myself longing to cook and create in the kitchen, I know there are better days to come.

Please let me know what you think of these!

(all photos and recipe copy courtesy of GOOP)


I recently found this recipe in Food & Wine magazine. It’s from Charles Phan, who runs the great Vietnamese restaurant, Slanted Door, in San Francisco. When I make it, I use a little less sugar, a lot more cilantro and organic chicken breasts (I prefer the texture of white meat in this preparation). This literally takes minutes, is so easy and tastes like what you always imagine take-out will taste like (but sadly never does). Serve this with jasmine or brown rice and stir-fried or steamed vegetables.

SERVES: 4 generously
TIME: 10 minutes

2/3 cup dark brown sugar (unrefined)
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons finely grated garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1 or 2 fresh Thai chilis (to your taste!), halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 pounds organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces (1/2”)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, pepper and chili and reserve.In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the shallots until softened and a bit brown, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and stir-fry, browning it all over, about a minute. Add the sugar mixture and simmer over high heat until the chicken is totally cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.


This started as an elegant, plated tuna dish, but it quickly turned into an out-of-this-world sandwich. If you’d like, you can omit the bread and simply serve the tuna on a bed of arugula and use the soy and sesame mayonnaise as a dressing.

TIME: 10 minutes

2 tuna steaks, about half a pound each
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
8 slices ciabatta
Extra virgin olive oil
Soy and sesame mayonnaise (see recipe below)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup arugula


Beyond quick and simple but full of flavor. Also a nice dip for steamed vegetables.

MAKES: 1/2 cup (more than enough for 4 sandwiches)
TIME: 1 minute!

1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise (or Veganaise – the only substitute that tastes good)
2 teaspoons shoyu (soy sauce)
2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
Whisk everything together.

Slice each tuna steak in half horizontally so you end up with four thin steaks (more bang for your buck!). Rub them with the peanut oil and ginger. Set a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, cook the tuna steaks for 20-30 seconds on each side or until just seared. Meanwhile, grill or toast the bread and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Spread the soy and sesame mayo on one side of each slice and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Distribute the tuna and arugula evenly on four slices of bread and sandwich with the remaining four slices. Devour.


I’ve got a thing for pancakes. This combination of nutty buckwheat and sweet, sticky banana is just great. You could sprinkle chopped walnuts on the pancakes as they’re cooking for a full-on pancake-meets-banana bread experience. These happen to be vegan, but don’t taste like it. Buckwheat flour adds a lot of value to the plain white flour – it’s rich in nutrients like calcium, iron, B vitamins and protein, and it's gluten-free. Definitely worth a trip to the health food store.

SERVES: 3 or 4 (makes about a dozen pancakes)
TIME: 15 minutes

1 1/4 cups soy or rice milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or white spelt flour (substitute rice flour to make pancakes completely gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bananas, thinly sliced

Mix all the wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a slightly bigger bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir just enough to combine – be careful not to over-mix (that’s how you get tough pancakes).Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat (I love Jamie Oliver’s nonstick cookware – it’s so slippery that I don’t need to use any oil or butter). Ladle as many pancakes as possible onto your griddle. Place a few slices of banana on top of each pancake. Cook for about a minute and a half on the first side or until the surface is covered with small bubbles and the underside is nicely browned. Flip and cook for about a minute on the second side. Repeat the process until you run out of batter. Serve stacked high with plenty of maple syrup.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

{artist: Dale Fairbanks: The Berry Pickers}

I've shown artist Dale Fairbanks work on my blog before, and wanted to share her latest piece. Her art speaks to me, and the added story makes it more vibrant than it already is. I see different things now, and feel different feelings after reading the accompanying story. She is amazing and I'm so happy to have her words and works in my mind and heart.

The Berry Pickers

Price: $9,500 ♦ Size: 60" x 60" ♦ Date: 2008 ♦ Medium: Oil on Canvas

Our son returned to Alaska and the river Tanana in May, 2008, his truck primed and loaded, hauling behind an eighteen foot Jon boat packed with cold winter gear and provisions. The man, my boy, is twenty-one years old fierce on the trail of a dream and old roots he calls home.
I was slashing paint across a white fresh canvas before he crossed out of Florida...crying like a fool for what I am confused. He'd made sure in two months of packing that we would be glad to see him go.
The Berry Pickers appeared unsummoned to remind me that this boy is formed and done with growing. They taunted me, called me his yoke, a reminder of his vulnerability, his fear. The Berry Pickers will see to him now, and not in my fashion. They will leave him be, watch him out of the corners of their eyes, monitor his mistakes with no word, no opinion, no judgment. He will follow the trapping trail and disappear, and I trust with faltering faith he will return. The Berry Pickers understand he may not and go about their business of gathering: blueberries, salmonberries, lowbush cranberries, gathering for the long impatient white of winter.

New Work: See Dale's online portfolio for details.