A Rise in Plastic Surgery

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Chade Nix, 27, clicked on various websites surveying the different options of plastic surgeons near her Marietta, Georgia home. As she studies the ‘before and after’ photos from different surgical procedures, she glances at the reflection of her almond shaped eyes, high cheek bones and protruding lips. Nix expresses her excitement at the idea of a possible consultation regarding which of her own physical features could possibly be altered or enhanced to achieve her idea of perfection.

“Women want to be pretty, and whatever that look is, that’s what they want to be,” said Nix. “If this means being an over-processed blonde, or a long wavy brunette, a refined nose or ears pinned back. Whatever will make you reach that pillar of success or at least look the part.”

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RISE IN NUMBERS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2013 statistics indicate a rise since 2012 in the most common procedures of breast augmentations, eyelid surgeries, facelifts, Botox injections, chemical peels and soft tissue fillers.

“Cosmetic surgery has evolved,” said Nix, who feels surgery is no longer as controversial as it was 10 years ago. “Cosmetic surgery now is like scheduling a routine Pap smear. Being ‘au naturel’ is overrated”.

“The rise in numbers is primarily due to the new innovative, minimally-invasive procedures,” said Adeena Badditt, ASPS director of public relations. “Botox became the number one non-surgical procedure and led to fillers, lasers procedures, and all types of new treatments. New technology means new less invasive procedures that people feel more comfortable with.”

“There are two populations of consumers,” said Dr. Edward Farrior, Tampa Florida plastic surgeon. “Younger people are usually coming in to address an unattractive feature. Typically, the older people are perfectly well adjusted with the skeletal characteristic of their face; they just don’t want to look older. There’s always been that dichotomy in the two populations of consumers.”

The conceived benefits of these surgeries include improved self-esteem, enhancing social lives, and even heightening careers. “Self-esteem certainly impacts someone’s ability to perform at work. Cosmetic surgery is known to enhance that,” said Farrior. “So if someone has a distracting feature – a weak chin, a prominent nose – and they address that distraction, when they’re having meetings with people, they’re not concerned with how they look because they know they look good.”

The Facial Plastic Surgery & Reconstructive Surgery Academy has indicated that two-thirds of men and women requested cosmetic surgery because of competition in the workforce where emotional confidence was directly related to better performance, often amplifying success.

Nix considers plastic surgery an investment in personal success and happiness. “Enhancement of one’s career, social status, or love life is kinda the point of well, life”.

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PATIENTS GETTING YOUNGER

Advancements in technology also have influenced a rise among teens who seek to go under the knife. In 2011, plastic surgery in teens accounted for over 131,000 procedures. Recent ASPS statistics reveal that over 160,000 patients between the ages of 13-19 opting for minimally invasive cosmetic surgery throughout 2012.

“I don’t like my boobs. They make me look like I’m 12,” said Long Island high school student, Kira Palmer, 16. Palmer is one of many young girls who feels that enhancement of her cup size would make her more content with her appearance. “I’m still an A [cup], it’s bad”. While Palmer has no immediate intention to alter her looks, she understands the allure. “Plastic surgery is a personal preference. I don’t really see a problem with it”.

“Kids, kids meaning people under 18, are beginning to feel surgery is an option for them whereas, ten years ago, very few teens considered it,” said psychologist Vivian Diller Ph.D. “Now we’re seeing an increase in request for many other surgical procedures including breast reduction and breast enhancement.”

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IMPACTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

A recent 2014 AAFPRS study indicated that one in three facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in requests for procedures due to social media, attributing increased photo sharing to the dissatisfaction patients have with their own image.

Reports revealed in 2013, more than half of surveyed facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectable in those under age 30.

“If you look at what social media has done with both the way we present ourselves, and with the success of younger people, the perception is in order to remain competitive you have to look young and engaged in more timely appearance,” said Farrior.

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PROCEDURES MORE AFFORDABLE 

Plastic surgery isn’t exclusively for celebs anymore. The recent change in affordability and availability of financing allows those of limited income to afford this luxury.

“Cosmetic surgery is very sensitive to the state of the economy and so when the economy took a downturn, the prices came down. It’s very market sensitive,” said Farrior.

Health insurance may cover some of the cost depending on the procedure. Under the law, breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is covered by health insurance. A deviated septum can, at times be a justifiable reason for rhinoplasty coverage. However, if the purpose of the surgery is intended only to improve physical appearance, no coverage is offered.

Surgical procedures and pricing are discussed during consultations, with all fees reviewed. During this time, financing options are also discussed. These options enable those with average or limited incomes to pay for surgical procedures over a period of time. Popular financing companies include American Benefit Credit, Chase Health Advance, Cosmetic Surgery Financing, and Health One Financial, each offering different revolving lines of credit and interest rates based on individual credit scores.

“Financing makes it better,” said Astoria, Queens resident Elizabeth Garcia, 24. “It’s more affordable. I wouldn’t think twice now about wanting to get something done. If I wanted [a procedure], I would just put it on a credit card.”

Less recovery time has also led many to think more favorably towards plastic surgery. Non – invasive procedures are also more isolated allowing surgeons to perform major operations without large incisions. The use of new technology such as lasers, results in less pain, minimal scarring, and a speedy recovery allowing the patient to return work sooner.

“Having any downtime can cost you your job these days”, said Garcia who considers the quick recovery a significant perk of the new advanced procedures. “Now you can get a little nip/tuck on Friday and be back to work by Monday. Talk about convenient.”

Written By Janurie Ulett: Hailing from quaint suburbia, Long Island meets the fabulousness of NYC. With a Bachelors degree in journalism from Brooklyn College, Janurie’s passion for writing comes naturally, fueling her career as a health and fitness freelance journalist. Her signature flair can be described as 19th-century English meets modern day Dear Abby as she faithfully satisfies her readers’ appetites, one word at a time.

Workouts that Burn the Most Calories

It takes time to see improvements; that’s the gym-goers’ mantra when creating fitness goals. Any exercise regiment is best utilized through consistency, with noticeable results apparent anywhere between six to twelve weeks depending on the individual.  While it’s extremely unlikely to begin a routine on Monday and see results by Friday, there are some fitness classes that are known to render faster improvements than others. Knowledge of what classes burn the most calories, along with the tactics they use, will help you determine if you’re ready for the intensity these classes offer.

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Spinning: This high-intensity activity will keep the heart pumping, building muscles particularly in the core as well as the calves, thighs, and glutes. The increase and decrease of speed and tension is similar to the physical challenge of riding up and down hills, heightening cardio endurance and burning 400-600 calories per workout.

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Circuit training: Quickly moving from one exercise to the next is a great form of resistance training. This method maximizes workouts in short periods of time by rotating frequently between exercises that target various body parts with minimum rest in-between. Due to the limited resting periods, the heart rate remains elevated throughout the workout, burning anywhere between 500-600 calories in a 30 minute session.

Kickboxing

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Kickboxing: Using every muscle in the body, this high energy workout is a combination of karate, boxing, martial arts, and cardio. The vigorous workout involving quick movements, tones, defines and strengthens both the upper and lower body while enhancing the core, burning an average 700-900 calories per class.

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Bikram Yoga: Engage your muscles by performing intricate yoga poses in studios with temperature set between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit. The heated environment increases flexibility, pulse rate and metabolism, enhancing circulation and increasing blood flow throughout the body. The heat also aids in detoxifying and stress relief as participants practice the 26 postures, linking one pose to another, while practicing deep breathing exercises and burning 500-1,000 calories per class.

If you’re ready for heightened intensity, any of these workouts provide the challenge, as well as the results your body will thank you for.

Written By Janurie Ulett: Hailing from quaint suburbia, Long Island meets the fabulousness of NYC. With a Bachelors degree in journalism from Brooklyn College, Janurie’s passion for writing comes naturally, fueling her career as a health and fitness freelance journalist. Her signature flair can be described as 19th-century English meets modern day Dear Abby as she faithfully satisfies her readers’ appetites, one word at a time.

Fitness Classes that Fit your Personality

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A significant part of fitness success is selecting workouts that you love. It’s widely known that when you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. The workout routines that better suit you are not only based on the results you desire, but your own personality.

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Self-Motivated: Love to schedule your day? Constantly making lists and striving to accomplish new goals? Goal-orientated personalities need to feel a sense of progress. An exercise program without new levels of goals will never entice. If this is you, you enjoy workouts that allow you to track your progress whether through measuring time and distance or improved endurance. For this purpose, try cardio workouts like spin class, weight training and swimming.

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Habit Lovers: Routine lovers are known to be very disciplined, less interested in logging their progress, and more concerned with maintaining a regiment. With consistency being the key to success, you prefer familiar activities that will fit into your daily schedule with ease to enable everyday workouts. Regular fitness classes such as yoga, cardio kickboxing and bootcamp are known to cater to hectic work schedules while maintaining a toned body.

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Conscious Contemplators: Conscientious people usually enjoy regular workout routines but often prefer solo ones. Activities that don’t including coordinating plans with others or the cooperation of the weather, that allows you to meditate and reflect while relishing solitary workouts. Long distance running, hiking, biking, yoga, and Pilates are great for enabling that solo time while enhancing your physique.

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Plays Well with Others: While some thrive on the idea of great workout, social butterflies get an extra boost from workouts that allow them to interact with others. For you, working out is also your social time, where the comfort of camaraderie enhances the appeal of getting off the couch. Group classes and team sports are your best avenues to remain entertained while burning calories.

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Compulsive Competitors: The gratification of winning is a strong motivator. For you, being enticed to push yourself further in the midst of healthy competition is the best form of a mental and physical workout. Tennis, rugby, lacrosse, basketball, swimming, and marathons will feed into your competitive nature while keeping you in shape.

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Spontaneous Challenger: A strategic exercise program isn’t enough to hold your attention. Constantly craving new activities to keep you interested, you enjoy mixing things up so you never get bored. Needing a variety to help stick to a routine leads to numerous new activities that provide an additional sense of thrill. From sprinting to surfing, rock climbing to bungee jumping, as long as you maintain your love of trying new things, you’ll never have a stagnant workout routine. A workout regiment that can cater to your personality, whether structured or spontaneous, is a sure-fired way of being one step closer to your fitness success.

Written By Janurie Ulett: Hailing from quaint suburbia, Long Island meets the fabulousness of NYC. With a Bachelors degree in journalism from Brooklyn College, Janurie’s passion for writing comes naturally, fueling her career as a health and fitness freelance journalist. Her signature flair can be described as 19th-century English meets modern day Dear Abby as she faithfully satisfies her readers’ appetites, one word at a time.

Secrets of a Raw Vegan

Live healthier and apply these raw vegan techniques to enhance your Vitality!

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With cancer rates higher than ever, many people might be interested in knowing what they put into their bodies to not only prevent disease but to feel their best all the time, because who wouldn’t want to feel their best all the time? And as we all know, you literally ARE what you EAT, so come on people wake up! If you are inspired to eat cleaner and live a healthier lifestyle then you may be interested in taking diet and lifestyle principals from a raw vegan and introducing such concepts into your non-raw vegan life!

Every single raw vegan I have ever met raves about being eating raw vegan because they feel ‘sooo good all the time’. After hearing this repeatedly from both strangers and my college roommates whom were either vegan or raw vegan, I decided to take on the raw vegan lifestyle myself for a few months during my junior year of college. Months later, after eating only a diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products, I started noticing changes in not only my physical appearance but most importantly in my mood and energy. I soon began understanding what these raw vegans and vegans were talking about when they said they had a certain special ‘high’ on life, describing it as a constant happy and peaceful mentality with little to no depression, anxiety or mood swings.

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First, let’s discuss what exactly is the difference between Veganism and Raw Veganism.

  • Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes dairy, eggs or anything that derives from an animal, such as honey. Also, vegans do not eat anything that is made using animal products, like refined white sugar.
  • Raw veganism combines veganism and raw foodism, excluding any food that comes from animal origins and also any food that is cooked over 118 degrees Fahrenheit.  

So, why is your health and vitality amplified when you incorporate Veganism into your lifestyle?

Due to human evolution and our adaption to a certain environments millions of years ago (think of cave men scouring the land for berries or whatever the terrain had to offer) certain evolutionary conditions challenged and conditioned our bodies to adapt and rely on such environments in order to be at the top of our body’s health. Our bodies relied on fruits and vegetables because that’s what was available. Until today, our bodies still rely on those original evolutionary conditions such as eating from food that is grown from the land. This food is untouched, whole, has no soul that has to die for you to consume it, and no hormones either. The problem is, in modern society many people do not take this into consideration and do not realize what our bodies actually need. In order to be at our best health, modern society must stay as close as possible to our body’s natural evolutionary roots of eating a predominantly plant based diet straight from mother earth herself. A concept that is the foundation of raw veganism is the idea of cooking our food. In modern society, humans are the only animals who cook their food and in fact, according to famous raw food blog Raw School, “No other animal on Earth cooks its food, and no other animal besides humans (and the animals we feed) experiences disease on the scale that we do”

The science behind veganism is one that might change your perspective on what you choose to put inside your body and no, this has nothing to do with losing weight (although that’s often a side effect). This has everything to do with health, longevity, vitality and disease prevention, so you’re not shallow for thinking vegan, you are smart!

Vegans understand that heat actually changes the molecular structure of foods, making the nutrients ‘unstable’ and pretty much useless. Vegans believe the more raw the food, the better for you because cooked food is unnatural and your body has a much harder time digesting it than when food is in its whole and raw form. Eating cooked foods actually confuses your body, because the molecular structure has been changed (due to heat) the body does not absorb the nutrients in the same way or recognize it as nutrition at all. This results in accumulated waste inside the body and this is where disease arises. “It is this accumulation that leads to an overall toxemic state in the body and results in disease. Biologically-appropriate, raw food is almost entirely usable by the body, and provides all the nutrients that the body requires, as it does for all the other species of animals on the planet” (Raw School).

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A vegan and raw vegan diet has the following benefits:

The absence of animal hormones in your diet will allow your body to feel the natural balance of your own hormones, improving your mood and helping with any future mood swings. Also, veganism is a diet in reduced saturated fats, improving your cardiovascular health. Veganism amplifies the following: antioxidant, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, fiber, protein, phytochemicals, potassium, magnesium intake helping you fight cancers, repair and regenerate cells, red and white blood cells, higher energy levels, metabolizing amino acids, boosting your immune system, improving your heart, skin, eyes, brain. It may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, fighting arthritis and cataracts, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and help fight type 2 diabetes. On the vanity side, being vegan makes you look amazing! The physical benefits of veganism is a healthier weight, healthy skin (due to high intake of nuts, vitamin E and A) vegans almost always have amazing skin. Also, vegans are known to live longer than non-vegans by about 3-6 years. The elimination of body odor, bad breath, PMS, allergies and migraines is another great beautifying side effect of eating vegan. Lastly, the hair and nails become stronger, healthier and shiner. Consider either transitioning slowly to make only some of your diet vegan or go all out and be a true raw vegan for optimum results.

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So what should I eat?

A diet high in raw vegetables and fruits, grains, nuts, nut pastes, sprouts, seeds, plant oils, herbs and dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, peas, lentils, and soy products. Take baby steps and transition out red meats slowly giving your body time to get used to the new diet. If you don’t want to go completely vegan try making at least half of your diet vegan, this means you will need to substitute foods! A great technique is to start the day with a green smoothie full of vegan friendly ingredients to super-start your day and throughout the day eat a larabar!

A favorite vegan smoothie recipe is: ½ cup of kale, ½ cup of spinach, 1 frozen banana, a handful of blueberries and ½ cup of almond milk blended with ice. For other great vegan ideas and recipes go to Post Punk Kitchen.

Ultimately this is why raw vegans are healthier and why everyone should borrow from their food habits such as: not eating processed foods, not cooking foods over much as to change their molecular structure, eating only locally grown organic produce, etc. Sooner than later your body will begin craving these things anyways, leading to a life of serious longevity and inner happiness!

Written By Chelsea Clishem: From San Diego, California to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this bicoastal girl loves all things travel, beauty, nutrition, fitness, fashion and entertainment. Chelsea graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she began her journey to be an entertainment journalist. Chelsea drops the word ‘fabulous’ on the regular and believes it’s ‘okay’ to freak out with good music and fashion!

A Circle for Success

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In the article, “Be The Star of Your Own Life,” we encouraged you to make yourself the leading lady in your life for 2014.  Now that we are halfway through the second month of the New Year, I would like to revisit one of the points made in our life star article:

  • Encouraging Relationships – It is important to have relationships that push you to better yourself.  Remember, “Birds of a feather flock together” (Be The Star of Your Own Life). 

The women in the last article expressed a strong belief in the value of social relationships that inspire and support you in your life’s aspirations.  The well-known quote “No Man is an Island,” is based on the concept that “human beings don’t thrive when isolated from others.” Nevertheless, you must keep in mind that the key element is picking the right people to create your “Circle for Success.”

Art Enthusiast and Mentor Deborah Charles, 61, who has done everything from Modeling to orchestrating successful art exhibits in honor of her late husband, photographer and author Roland Charles, accredits some of her biggest achievements to her circle of supportive friends. “I’ve been blessed with people, who no matter what I’m involved in they support it,” said Charles.   One of Charles’ life goals is to serve her needs and the needs of others, with such an honorable but challenging endeavor, one must be discerning in the choice of the company they keep.

“…Observe and listen…learn how they would be meaningful to your life,” explained Charles, on her methods for choosing beneficial relationships.  In addition, Charles said those in her social circle have a spirit of gratefulness, a willingness to share their friends, and have similar interest. For her,  the icing on the cake is “people who will speak up for you. ”

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If putting yourself out there to meet new people is a little intimidating, you might join an organized group such as clubs based on your interests or cultural group.  For instance, just last month sororities were celebrating the anniversaries of their organizations, and pictures of women united by their sorority affiliation were all over social media. Who you are is a great place to start when deciding which groups you might want to join.

Middle school english teacher, Aquyla Walker, 32, who is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc., says being a member of the prestigious sorority offers a sisterhood with women of high stature. “I am surrounded by women (who) already have achievements,” said Walker. Sororities are known to be networks of educated women, who work towards the betterment of the community and its members.   Being affiliated with such organizations puts you in the environment of upward mobility. “It is the best…I have received jobs because my resume says Delt Sigma Theta Inc,” exclaimed Walker. In addition, Walker says her social circle outside of Delta, is composed of dreamers and visionaries, who are in constant pursuit of their goals. “I believe in having a network of mentors… my friends are people who say, ‘No you [got to] do it’.”

Equally important to the meet, greet, and be-friending process, the golden rule to maintaining positive relationships, is to stay connected.  In an age of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we have to remember a little face to face time can go a long way. Make the time to nurture your relationships, so in turn they too can nurture you.

Written By Ricki Jae. Morris: “Since of Style Need Not Make Sense,” is her motto.  This Southern Cali Girl is not opposed to standing out in the name of Fashion & Art. As a mother of a 4-year old daughter, she strives to set an example of “Success with Class,” by always being a lady and staying true to self.  In her spare time, Ricki Jae. Blogs about Fashion Designers and Events.

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