WWB February IDEAL FINDS Features Inspiration + Wisdom + Tools for Self Care & Living Life Well…

Feb 10, 2018 by



Happiness truly is the best decision you can ever make, and every cell in your body will thank you for it! February is the month we celebrate love, so this month WWB Ideal Finds is focusing on self-love and self-care. Everyone needs a little TLC, and sometimes we forget to give it to ourselves. Shopping is fun and temporarily feels good, but I hope when you decide to gift yourself, it will be something ideally good for your health, happiness and longevity. Happiness is a ultimately a mindset and different for us all, but everyone knows what personally feels good and doesn’t feel good. WWB’s featured Ideal Find book is sure to provide inspiration + wisdom + tools to get you thinking about what feels good for you. And get this…how pleasure can lengthen your life! A definite WWB Worthwhile read…

As always, I have specific criteria for Ideal Finds, so below are the conscious living values I followed for making this month’ selection for you.¬† Live life well and take good care of yourself. Because no-one can live your life as well as you! ūüėČ







  • Cruelty Free:¬†No animal was harmed or tested on
  • Sustainable & Eco-Friendly:¬†green, organic and sustainable
  • Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise:¬†Free of harmful chemicals known to harm you
  • Socially Responsible:¬†Fairtrade and Social Mission Retail
  • Committed to Wellness Culture



  • Self Care:¬†Personal care products for calm, relaxation and empowerment
  • Conscious Beauty:¬†Meets one or more of the ‚Äėfeel good‚Äô criteria
  • Healthy Epicurean:¬†Edible treats and food with healthy and organic ingredients
  • Artisan Hand Made:¬†Beautifully Designed, Creatively Crafted, Useful & Enduring
  • Books & Inspirational Gifts:¬†Celebrating Wellness Wisdom, Lifestyle & Culture







WWB Feels Good Check List: Cruelty Free, Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise, Committed to Wellness Culture

Mask ‚Äď 3 ways to supercharge your skin

  • Deep Detoxing Facial-at-Home:¬†Take a dollop of the mask and warm between your fingers. After warming, apply a generous layer on your dry face and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water with gentle movements. It works as a face mask and exfoliating detoxer, leaving skin cleansed, nourished and glowing. We recommend this application for especially rough feeling days.
  • Light Refreshment: Mix a dollop of the mask in your hand with 1-2 drops of water before application and then apply to dry face. Remove the mask with warm water after 10 minutes. This application is ideal for an instant glow and a quick pick me up.
  • Powerhouse Facial: Add a drop of (a pump full of)¬†Essential Radiance Serum¬†to the mask and mix it well before application. Apply to dry face and let it do its magic for 10-15 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water. Add¬†Essential Radiance Serum¬†‚Ästbeauty equivalent of a shot of espresso,- into your mask turn it¬†into a high-performance facial to deliver radiance and smoothness gently to reveal a fresher, more vibrant skin ‚Äď instantly.

See the Illustrated Guide for all these 3 Honeyactive Beauty Mask applications here.

AveSeena Ideal Values:AveSeena products are all allergy tested, Dermatologist approved; PETA and Leaping Bunny certified: cruelty-free;¬†EWG Verified¬†TM¬†¬†for your health and vegetarian.¬†H-free ‚ÄstMade with safer ingredients: Free of any unwanted chemical additives such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (parabens, phthalates) SLS, artificial fragrance and artificial dyes.”



Shibori Chic Comforter Set


WWB Feels Good Check List: Sustainable & Eco-Friendly, Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise, Socially Responsible, Committed to Wellness Culture

FOUND ON AMAZON¬†and other major retail outlets like Macy’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond

Shibori Chic Comforter Set: The ancient art of Japanese hand-dying comes alive in this Shibori Chic collection. A diagonal print across the top of bed is complimented by unique standard shams in saturated indigo blues.The shell is made of 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, and the fill of the comforter is made from recycled polyester certified to the Global Recycling Standard for a truly sustainable sleep experience.

Coordinating euro shams and decorative pillows are available separately. Machine Washable.

Under the Canopy Ideal Values:¬†“We hold ourselves to the highest standards of sustainability. For us, protecting the earth is an obligation, not a business model. That’s why Under the Canopy adheres to six kinds of certifications. Together, those certifications prevent the use of harmful substances, reduce resource and energy waste, and support worker welfare. So you can rest assured knowing that every purchase from us truly makes an impact.”

Books & Inspirational Gifts

Feeling Good is Good For You. Long before there was “The Telomere Effect’ a recent Pulitzer prize winning book there was this thought provoking¬† book. I did a Q&A with the author of the Telomere Effect and you can learn all about the very important research on ‘teleomeres’ and why it matters so much to your health and longevity. My featured Ideal Find today is a book published long before ‘The Telomere Effect’ and focuses specifically on how pleasure can boost your immune system. It offers tips and inspiration for boosting your mood and quality of life. Everything in this book will most certainly lengthen your teleomeres. Longer telomeres equal a healthier and longer life! For all my Healthy Epicurean followers, this book is for you! Eat, play and love and you will be on your way to feeling good. Just remember that Epicurus himself believed everything in moderation was the secret to overall wellness! ūüėČ

WWB FEELS GOOD CHECK LIST: Committed to Wellness Culture. Need I say more?

Amazon Introduction: What excites and inspires you, tickles your funny bone, fills you with awe, or just generally makes you feel good? For health reasons we might never have fathomed, you need to be doing much more of it–each and every day.

For more than 18 years, Dr. Carl Charnetski and Dr. Francis Brennan have been performing extensive studies on the immune system and how factors such as music, sex, laughter, pets, optimism, and pessimism affect it. Their breakthrough research supports the notion that everyday pleasures cause a measurable increase in your body’s ability to fight disease.


Vitamin D Inflammation - Device Mockup - Phone and Box

EverlyWell Modern Lab Testing 

WWB FEELS GOOD CHECK LIST:  Committed to Wellness Culture

WWB SPECIAL NOTE: The future of wellness culture is in personalized medicine and wellness. It’s great to be well informed and empowered to take care of our own health and bio-individuality, but there is one important wise tip I would like to personally share. Any tests that you take independently and not through a traditional lab-test requested by your doctor, should be shared with your doctor. Self empowerment is good, self-diagnosing not so good! Doctors are trained to read lab results and can help you understand the result of a test in context with your complete health profile. I would also suggest always getting a copy of your own lab report at any lab you go to, so you can begin to examine your results and discuss personally with your doctor. Learn more about your own bio-chemistry!

I would research companies like this and make sure they are reputable. As you can see at their site, this lab company has been covered by a number of large media outlets. What I like about this lab company is they clearly state the following. “The tests we offer are not intended to diagnose or treat disease, or to substitute for a physician’s consultation. For regulatory reasons, our tests are not available in MD, NJ, NY, and RI.”

EverlyWell Ideal Values:¬†“EverlyWell is placing the lab testing process into your hands. With our convenient at-home sample collection process and your results delivered to you on our secure platform in just days – it has never been easier to take control of your health. Our easy-to-read results visualize exactly what the test results are telling you and how they could be affecting your health. We provide detailed information on all of our markers and links to additional information so you can make the best choices for a healthy life.”

Artisan Hand Made





WWB FEEL GOOD CHECK LIST: Sustainable & Eco-Friendly, Beauty, Health & Wellness Without Compromise, Committed to Wellness Culture

Special Note from Copper H2o:¬†“We are sorry to say that many other sellers falsely claim to sell pure copper water bottles that are actually plain metal bottles plated with copper. The copper plating will start to rub off these bottles after only a few months of use. Many of our customers came to us and bought one of our pure copper water bottles after having a bad experience with one of these sellers. While these sellers are able to offer their bottles for sale at a lower price than our bottles, beware ‚Äď they are not the real thing!”

COPPER H20 Ideal Values: “Drinking water stored in a copper water bottle has amazing health benefits and is widely recommended by health experts. Water stored in a copper vessel (which is known as ‚Äútamra jal‚ÄĚ in Ayurvedic medicine) balances the three doshas in your body (vata, kapha and pitta) by gently infusing the water with the positive health properties of copper. Water stored in a copper vessel will also become¬†natural alkaline water, which helps balance your body‚Äôs pH levels. Accordingly, our bottles are also natural alkaline water bottles. Our water bottles are handcrafted with pride by skilled artisans using traditional techniques. Each of our bottles is shaped from a single sheet of pure copper with no joints or seams, and capped with a beautiful leak-proof cap made of pure copper and a food-safe seal. As a result, our bottles are of exceptional quality. We are proud to say that this may be the last water bottle you own!”

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WWB WATCH: New Year, New Diet? Read this First…The Best 2018 Diets are Ranked and the Top Two May Be the Wisest for All

Jan 11, 2018 by


Its a New Year and many of us are starting a new leaf and a new diet!¬†An estimated 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, and¬†Americans spend $33 billion each year on weight loss products. At World Wise Beauty, I have been sharing wisdom on healthy diets from experts and doctors from around the world. Much of what I gleaned from the experts over time about diet is essentially common sense. We bypass the fad diets here at World Wise Beauty and focus on living life well. I love to quote Marion Nestle, a well respected Nutritionist and author of many books like “What to Eat” and Food Politics.


“Nutrition advice could not be easier to understand. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits,

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† balance calories and don’t eat too much junk food.”

~Marion Nestle


Sounds fairly easy and pretty wise, but for many people, losing weight and keeping it off is challenging.¬† A lot of it has to do with our habits, our fast food culture, and lifestyle. We are all unique bio-individuals and for many complicated reasons we may have lost our way when it comes to healthy eating habits. We turn to diets to give us structure and regimen. Sometimes trendy diets sound appealing because they are so rigid and definitive. Unfortunately those same trendy diets eliminate entire food groups and this in itself is generally not healthy or wise.¬†The good news is, the two diets that tied in first place overall as the best diets, are also the top two for those with conditions like Diabetes and Hypertension. What makes both the diets ranked highest superior to others, may be the flexibility they offer so many people. The Dash and Mediterranean Diet tied for the number one spot on the report produced by U.S News & World Report.¬†“Here is a quick at a glance definition of the top 2 diets and you can find a complete Diet list from the report below this post.

                                                              #1 Diets 2018

DASH Diet: The DASH diet eating plan is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat or nonfat dairy. It also includes mostly whole grains; lean meats, fish and poultry; nuts and beans. It is high fiber and low to moderate in fat. It is a plan that follows US guidelines for sodium content, along with vitamins and minerals. In addition to lowering blood pressure, the DASH eating plan lowers cholesterol and makes it easy to lose weight. It is a healthy way of eating, designed to be flexible enough to meet the lifestyle and food preferences of most people. It can be considered to be an Americanized version of the Mediterranean diet, with a few more specific guidelines. It discourages refined and processed foods, which are mostly empty calories.

Mediterranean Diet¬†is based on a diet shared by many regions along the the Mediterranean sea ( think countries like Greece, Italy, France, Turkey, Morocco, and Spain). Each of these regions eats differently, but they share many of the same principles. One of them is Olive Oil and it’s a very important example. You can learn more about the power of Olive oil in a Q&A I did with Dr. Simon Poole for the Healthy Epicurean department at World Wise Beauty . He is an internationally respected expert on the Mediterranean diet and also wrote a book called ‘The Olive Oil Diet’ which will be released this March in the U.S. The Mediterranean diet is full of veggies, beans, nuts legumes, whole grains, lots of spices, fish and seafood and moderate amounts of poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt. Oh and a little red wine to wash it all down!

Personally I’m a big fan of the Mediterranean Diet, because not only is it tasty, but I believe it is anchored to important cultural values that matter to people of all races. Valuing friends and family, living simple and sustainably are two major values paramount to a healthy society and culture. I like the 5 Basics the founder of “The Mediterranean Dish’ outlined here and you can also learn more about the Mediterranean Diet and mindset from Maria Benardis, author of ‘My Greek Family Table’.

Both Dr. Simon Poole and Maria Benardis shared their wisdom on the Mediterranean Diet at a recent Rise of Wise event in Princeton, NJ. Check out their inspiring talks below in video. We also featured three other high profile authors and experts in wellness culture. It was a wonderful day filled with wellness wisdom…

 Rise of Wise presents.mov

Whatever diet you select, it should be ideally one that works for your personal body and health condition, and it should be scientifically evidence based. There is no one perfect diet for everyone but there is a perfect diet for you. Get to know your body and genetic profile so you can make wise decisions for your personal wellness program. Weight loss is just one goal for a diet, but health, happiness and longevity are the important and valuable benefits of a good diet. Live, life well, and take time to enjoy your food!




2018 U.S. News Best Diets Rankings

Full lists available here.

Best Diets Overall 
1. DASH Diet (tie)
1. Mediterranean Diet (tie)
3. Flexitarian Diet

Best Commercial Diets 
1. Weight Watchers
2. Jenny Craig
3. Flat Belly Diet (tie)
3. Nutritarian Diet (tie)

Best Weight-Loss Diets
1. Weight Watchers
2. Volumetrics
3. Jenny Craig (tie)
3. Vegan Diet (tie)

Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets 
1. HMR Diet (tie)
1. Weight Watchers (tie)
3. Biggest Loser Diet (tie)
3. Medifast (tie)
3. SlimFast (tie)
3. Volumetrics (tie)

Best Diets For Healthy Eating
1. DASH Diet (tie)
1. Mediterranean diet (tie)
3. Flexitarian Diet (tie)
3. TLC Diet (tie)

Easiest Diets to Follow
1. Mediterranean Diet
2. Flexitarian Diet (tie)
2. Weight Watchers (tie)

Best Diets for Diabetes
1. Mediterranean
2. DASH Diet
3. Flexitarian Diet (tie)
3. Mayo Clinic Diet (tie)
3. Vegan Diet (tie)
3. Volumetrics (tie)
3. Weight Watchers (tie)

Best Heart-Healthy Diets
1. DASH diet
2. Mediterranean Diet (tie)
2. Ornish Diet (tie)

Best Plant-Based Diets
1. Mediterranean Diet
2. Flexitarian Diet
3. Ornish Diet












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How to Live Life Well in 2018…WWB Features 4 Inspiring Books Filled with Inspiration, Wisdom & Tips

Dec 31, 2017 by


WWB Library of Wellness Culture




It’s New Year’s Eve, and baby it’s cold outside here on the East Coast of the United States! It seems like the perfect day to recommend 4 wise books that will be sure to warm you from the inside out and inspire your New Year. Here are a few points of interest about the books selected for you.

  • Three of the books have been selected as World Wise Beauty ‘Book Wise’ Picks in 2017 and you can find links to the Q&A with Authors below.
  • One of the books ‘The Little Book Of ‘Lykke’ was just released this week and the author also wrote the International Best Seller ‘The Little Book of Hygge’. Don’t know these fun Danish terms? Learn more via my book highlights below…
  • All of the books focus on wellness lifestyle and culture and inspire us to cultivate a healthy positive mindset while providing us with real tips on adopting their approach to happiness, personal fulfillment and well-being.
  • One of the books is about a Japanese approach to longevity and happiness. The authors are not natives of Japan but one of them has lived there for over 10 years and has really embraced the ‘Ikigai’ mindset. We can too!

Enjoy the overview below and order these books as soon as you can, so you can relax by the fire, or under a warm throw on a comfy chair, with a good book full of wellness wisdom and inspiration. While each book is short in length, they are filled with meaningful ideas and tips you will want to apply in 2018. Happy New year and may it be full of Ikigai, Lagom, Lykke and Hygge! Live Life Well…








The title of the book Ikigai¬†is a Japanese word whose¬†meaning¬†translates roughly to a reason for being, encompassing joy, a sense of purpose and¬†meaning¬†and a feeling of well-being.¬† Recently the book was selected as WWB’s Fall Book Wise pick. You can find the Q&A with author of the book here and learn more how he has embraced the ‘Ikigai’ mindset living in Japan.

WWB’s Fav Section:¬†Finding Flow in Everything You Do–How to turn work and free time into spaces for growth. In a world that has us crazy with multi-tasking, we can learn a lot about focus and becoming completely absorbed with one task. Don’t you love that wonderful feeling when you have lost track of time and you are completely committed to where you are and what you are doing. Let’s go with the flow in 2018…



The title of this book Lagom, is a Swedish word¬†meaning¬†“just the right amount”. The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines¬†lagom¬†as “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right”. Lagom¬†is also widely translated as “in moderation”, “in balance”, “perfect-simple”, and “suitable” (in matter of amounts). I think this mindset maybe the most challenging for Americans as we tend to strive for ‘more’ and this is strongly embedded in our psyche! With the environmental crisis we are facing world wide, hopefully we will embrace a Lagom state of mind sooner than later. What if enough was enough? Good questions to ponder in the New Year. Of note there are several books with LAgom in the title, but this particular book I found to be the most insightful and grounded. The author is not Swedish but she’s a travel writer and photographer, and enjoys exploring various cultures through food, tradition, and lifestyle. Of note, she‚Äôs an award-winning writer, speaker, and photographer represented by National Geographic Creative. You can find her award winning photographs throughout the book! My Q&A featuring her book is here to learn more about her worldly perspective and love of Swedish lifestyle.

WWB Fav Section:¬†Nature and Sustainability! We Americans could use MORE of this wisdom! Don’t you think? What I love about the Swedish approach to home and living is the art of bringing nature indoors but also their appreciation for nature all around them. The Swedish interdependent mindset’ is one we can all aspire to.




The title of this book is based on a Danish word ‘Hygge’ meaning a¬†quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). I like how the author simply says it’s ‘cocoa by candlelight.’ Love it! Don’t you want more “Hygge’ in your life? That hot cocoa metaphor is easy to conjure and can be experienced in your real life easily. Especially this week in New Jersey! You can find my feature on the book here and also learn more about the author’s research at the Happiness Research Institute.

WWB Fav Section: What’s Love Got to Do With it? Oxytocin! That’s what. Also called the ‘cuddle hormone’¬† oxytocin is a natural neurohormone produced by our bodies when we experience a feeling of love, warmth and security. It requires a hug, cuddling or just general physical closeness. The amazing thing is you can release Oxytocin just by petting and cuddling with your pet!¬† However we achieve some cuddling, we all need more of it flowing through our bodies for our health and wellness!



Hot off the press! Last but not least,¬†this book was just released here in the United States this week. Lykke is a Danish word for happiness and what better way to explore the concept of happiness than with the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (the capital of Happiness!) Here’s the thing, the really really good thing, Meik Wiking believes we all have the ability to achieve happiness. His research allows him to talk to people from all over the world and he believes WE HUMANS have a lot in common no matter where we are from. He has found the common denominator of happiness and whether we are in New Jersey, Copenhagen or India, we get happy about very similar things. Reading this book you will arm chair travel with the CEO of Happiness around the world and discover what truly makes us happy!

There are so many good tips sprinkled throughout this book, like simply start doing little random acts of kindness. I just did this today. My neighbor is away, and I brushed all the snow off her car and pulled her wipers up! I worried by the the time she got home, with the deep freeze we are facing this week, she might not be able to get into her car. I was doing my car, so why not do hers? Random Acts of Kindness starts right in your own neighborhood! Shhh don’t tell her. It was random!

WWB Fav Section: Decouple Well-Being and Wealth. Need I say more? Okay I will. Money does not buy happiness. Especially in Denmark! What seems to work well in Denmark,¬† is enjoying a good quality of life does not have to cost a lot of money. In fact the Danes are not alone, there are other cultures he highlights in the book who know how to be happy without being wealthy. Here is another cultural mindset example. In America we are told we will be happier if we make more money and buy more new things.¬† But what the author’s world wide research finds is happiness is linked with experiences not things. You will find so much wisdom in this ‘Little Book of Lykke’. A very world wise and worthwhile read sure to inspire your resolution to truly be happy in 2018!



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WWB’s ‘Book Wise’ Fall 2017 Surprise: Two Inspiring Books Explore Cultural Ideals and Values for a Life of Happiness & Wellness. Special Q&A with Two International Bestselling Authors…

Nov 2, 2017 by


Book Wise Category: Non-Fiction/Wellness Wisdom & Inspiration




Author Profile: LOLA A. Akerstrom, Author of ‘LAGOM’, The Swedish Secret of Living Well

Having lived on three different continents ‚ÄĒ Africa, North America, and now Europe ‚ÄĒ for extended periods of time, Lola (Akinmade) √Ökerstr√∂m is drawn to the complexities and nuances of culture and how they manifest themselves within relationships.

She holds a master’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Lola worked as a consultant and programmer for over a decade before following her dreams of becoming a travel writer and photographer, exploring various cultures through food, tradition, and lifestyle.

Today, she‚Äôs an award-winning writer, speaker, and photographer represented by National Geographic Creative. She regularly contributes to high profile publications such as AFAR, the BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure and National Geographic Traveller, to name a few ‚Äď
She has received photography and writing awards, including recognition from the Society of American Travel Writers and North American Travel Journalists Association. In addition, Lola is the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm, an online magazine dedicated to exploring Sweden’s capital city in depth.

Author Insight: “For me travel is about being an open minded sponge.”


HGAuthor Profile

H√©ctor Garc√≠a ¬†author of ‘Ikigai’¬†the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, is a citizen of Japan, where he has lived for over a decade, and of Spain, where he was born. A former software engineer, he worked at CERN in Switzerland before moving to Japan, where he developed voice recognition software and the technology needed for Silicon Valley startups to enter the Japanese market. He is the creator of the popular blog kirainet.com and also the author of¬†A Geek in Japan, a #1 bestseller in Japan.

Author Insight: “I enjoy more creating things than consuming them, I‚Äôm a dreamer.”



Laura Connolly, Founder of WWB Opening (aka Lauroly)-¬†It is only when we read books like yours, that we realize how important ‘ideals, values and rituals’ are to a happy society, when they are baked into the culture. Culture¬†is¬†a way of life and a collective mindset. What I enjoyed about both your books, is you manage to distill the little rituals and habits that any person in any culture can adopt. We hope so anyway! The challenge for a big melting pot like the United States, is we have so many cultures within one country, and the only common one we all seem to relate to is our love for success and independence. Starting from this premise, how does a country like the USA adopt ‘wellness mindsets’ like yours when our philosophical pillars are so different? ‘Independence’ as a way of life is very different from an ‘interdependent’ socially connected way of life. How will your prescriptions for happiness and wellness translate to a place like the United States?

Lola: You can tell a lot by a culture based on how it handles stress. I often say that some cultures prioritize fighting stress first so they can be productive while some other cultures try to be productive while working through stress. Sweden (and many Scandinavian countries) fall in the former category while the US falls in the latter category. And what are the sources of stress in our lives? Getting adequate food, shelter, money, healthcare, education, etc, as well as other physiological needs. What happens is, cultural mindsets that prioritize fighting stress first will put structures in place to create as much harmony, order, fair access and organization as possible first, while cultures that fight through stress can create more ingenuity and competitiveness to deal with stress. Both mindsets have their pros and cons. However, Sweden (and other Scandinavian countries) have been consistently ranking in the Top 10 for high quality of life, overall happiness, work-life balance, and other social indices for decades. So there is something we can clearly learn and adopt on some level from their cultural mindsets. This is why it was important for me to tackle the “why” of the lagom mindset on a deeper level in my book, not just “what” a lagom mindset superficially does (i.e., fika recipes, eat cinnamon buns, declutter, etc). A lagom mindset is all about balance and anything that tips that scale heavily to one side or the other (not too much, not too little) can be considered a form of stress so the mindset continually re-calibrates itself (just right) by trimming excess and unnecessary things – be they physical, relationships, or tasks.

Hector: I like to thing in terms of individualism(independence) vs collectivistic mindset. As you say U.S culture is very individualistic and that leads everyone to be always in a mindset of continuous competitiveness. Japan is a very collectivist society, there is competition but at group levels. If you try to be individualistic here and stand upon the group you will most probably fail here. You have to be much more careful and mindful about others by default just by being here embedded in the culture. So, how do you implement a wellness mindset in a place like the United States? I believe it all starts with having an awareness of things. It seems easy but is not. One way to gain awareness is by asking ourselves WHY are we doing certain things. Many times we will realize that we are just doing things to show off or to gain the approval of others (for example checking smartphone first time in the morning is a reaction of wanting to know if we have the approval of others on Facebook, Instagram etc.). Once we have the awareness that we are being driven by a very “independent” mindset the next step is to start finding what we really want to do in life, our IKIGAI. This is also not easy, but one of the first steps is to start by eliminating bad habits from your life. A simple one is to not check your smartphone during the first 2 hours of the day. When you start eliminating bad habits, you will naturally tend to start doing more of the things that you really like and love. Your life will start shifting naturally to your IKIGAI--your reason for living.

Lauroly Q-¬†One of the things I found when reading your books, is both cultures value ‘simplicity’ and ‘nature’. It seems in your cultures, you do not separate the home from nature. In other words, your ‘interdependent’ mentality extends to nature as well. Share with us, how this leads to happiness in the home and the community in your culture…

Lola: Indeed. The Swedish love for nature is rather intrinsic and has been cultivated since youth (as early as kindergarten). Kids are bundled up under layers of clothes and left to play for hours outside regardless of weather (barring full blizzards). Many schools follow an active outdoor program. Babies sleep in strollers outdoors. There are several government policies in place (including Allemansr√§tten – every man’s right) that allows you to fully enjoy nature, camp. pick berries/mushrooms and use any public land as freely as possible. So Swedes see nature as their home and are proactive in terms of cleaning and taking care of it, just like our physical homes.

Hector: Simplicity is key in Japan. When I arrived here with my European mindset I found Japanese shinto shrines so simple that I was not impressed at all (I was used to European cathedrals and churches). But with time I came to appreciate more and more the beauty of Japanese shinto shrines precisely because of how simple they are. I learned that simple does not mean easy. We humans tend to get attached to all kinds of objects or possessions. Training our minds and souls to be happy with as less as possible is not easy, but once done we will feel freedom in our souls. I will use the same analogy with nature. Japanese shinto shrines are almost always surrounded by nature, even when found in cities, the shrines are filled with trees that cover them in green. Japanese know that nature is not part of life, they understand that nature is life.

Lauroly Q- Daily rituals are a big part of both cultures. Which rituals do you think are driven by the cultural values of your country? Can you connect the value with the ritual? Which ones do you think can translate and work in any culture?

Lola: One of the most notable rituals is the daily act of observing fika – which is breaking several times a day (3-4 times even) to enjoy coffee and a sweet treat with colleagues, friends, or family. While on the surface it may seem like just a sweet tradition, it is a form of re-centering to keep that internal lagom scale balanced. Working too much is an antithesis of lagom. Work-life balance is collectively pushed within the Swedish psyche through lagom. Partaking in fika is an act of re-calibration, so you can carry on processing the day from a point of balance and harmony. The tradition of fika is firmly rooted in lagom.

Hector: One big daily ritual in Japan is to bath in hot water. It is done most of the times before going to bed. It has been shown lately that both hot water baths and saunas 3-4 times per week have many benefits to our health. This is just one of the most common rituals, but Japan in general is a ritualistic culture, in which “micro-rituals” embed the life of everyone. For example, before starting any business meeting there is always the same business card interchange ritual with very precise manners that sets the mood of the meeting. It is not about specific rituals that will change your life, it is more about using rituals or micro-rituals to do things daily without having to be stressed to make decisions or be stressed about doing something. Rituals automate many things in our lives and help us to focus on what is important.

Lauroly Closing-¬†I am so honored to share both your books as ‘Book Wise’ picks at World Wise Beauty. Both books are inspiring and together create a healthy cultural cocktail we can all enjoy and digest. I would suggest including each of them in a loved ones stocking for Christmas. Or each can be given on days of Hanukkah!¬† Here is to a lovely holiday season full of wellness ideals like slowing down and spending time with family and friends. we have to find a way to make this more of a daily experience in our lives.

Lola Closing: Thanks so much Laura. The beauty of observing how other cultures work and what they do exceptionally well is that we can pick and choose which elements of their mindset we can adopt to make our own lives richer in many ways.¬†Lagom doesn’t hold all the answers in life but what it does hold is the mental key to free us from overt and needless consumerism by paring down what we truly need to be focusing on, buying, or maintaining in our lives.

Hector Closing:¬†Totally agree Laura. We have to slowly shift our awareness from always trying to stand out, be successful and compare ourselves to others to being more present to our friends and family. The more we listen to the people we love, the more they will start also listening back and forgetting a little bit about getting more likes on their social networks. We humans, we are social beings, let’s be together in our lives and not alone and “individualistic”. In a way it can also be something to make us better, since the more love we give the more supported we will feel by the people around us, and the more love we feel, the healthier we will be and the longer we will live. This is what we discovered when visiting Ogimi, the village of the longest living in the world to write our book about IKIGAI. They live in very close communities in which they all support each other. Thank you for featuring us!

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WWB Wise Guru Series: Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Research on Circadian Rhythms. WWB Joins the Sleep Doctor, Dr. Michael Breus, for a Q&A to Discuss Why it Matters to Us…

Oct 11, 2017 by




Laura Opening- Welcome back Dr. Breus. For all those who haven’t read your book ‘The Power of When’, here is a chance for them to learn more about your important work and pick up your book. Before we get to your ground breaking research, we first have to acknowledge the Nobel Peace Prize award in Physiology or Medicine that went to three doctors who have discovered molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. Now when we just say this, many will wonder, well why would that matter to me?

At World Wise Beauty I try to present important research, medical science and wellness wisdom in real context. The first question I always ask is, ‘Why does it matter?’ But before we get to this, let’s start first with a simple question. What did this Nobel Prize winning research specifically unveil for us from a scientific perspective that is so ‘eye opening’? No pun intended!


Dr. Breus: The basics behind the research showed that in fruit flies (who actually have very similar circadian rhythms as humans) the researchers were able to isolate the gene that controls our daily biological clock. This gene encodes a protein that accumulates in a cell during the evening and degrades during the daytime. This clock regulates behavior, weight loss, hormones levels, sleep and body temperature. Understanding this mechanism helps us all understand why we experience jet lag, how our internal biological clocks affect disease, our hormones, and literally everything we do. As you may remember in my new book, ‘ The Power of When’ this is EXACTLY what I have been writing about.

Laura Q- Yes you did, and hopefully more people will discover your work with this post! Now that we understand how our genes control our daily biological clock, what does that really mean if we are all different bio-individuals?

Dr. Breus: Actually we are more similar than you might think. The genetic studies that are going on in Sleep Research are on ‚Äúcommon species‚ÄĚ areas.

Lauroly Q– Why do circadian rhythms matter and why does understanding our unique biological clocks matter to our health?
Dr. Breus: So here is where it gets so fascinating, when I was in school, we learned that basically there was one central biological clock for time passage ( aging) and there were a few others that controlled hormone regulation, etc. Now we have found over 100 different control centers in the body. They each send information to each other. I think of it like grand central station in New York City. There are trains coming from all over the place to one central location. If one train is late, it could mess up all of the other trains going in or out. So the timing of these clocks actually controls our health, completely. These systems have a regularity to them or a rhythm. They become predictable, and more efficient. This is how the immune system, metabolic system, sleep system, all systems function.

Lauroly Q-¬† There is our answer. Sleep is a real regulator to everything in our ‘ biological system’. Should we all be in sync with sunrise and sunset for optimal health?

Dr. Breus: Yes, but it is really unrealistic to think that we can do it correctly. Remember that we have at least 4 different chronotypes, so there are some of us, who are more prone to late evenings and others who are morning people. As a side note, there was a great study on insomnia, where they took insomniacs out into the woods camping for 2 weeks. By the end of the study, everyone’s sleep had significantly improved. It was likely due to the sun exposure, and a reduction of EMF exposure talk about in sync with he sun!
Lauroly Q- In your book you identify many different types in the context of sleep needs.¬† Does the circadian ‘sync’ vary from person to person?
Dr. Breus: It does vary based on Chronotype. Lions (early risers), Bears (in-betweeners), Wolves (late nighters) and Dolphins (poor sleepers). If you want to know your type go to www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com and get it for free.
Lauroly Q–¬† So does this mean that some people are just genetically wired to be night owls?
Dr. Breus: Absolutely. I am. Interestingly enough you can even get this tested at 23 and Me, due to the genetic nature of chronotypes. It is based on the PER3 or Period 3 gene and its length. It effects sleep drive and timing.

Lauroly Q- While we are different genetically, is there still some unifying wellness wisdom when it comes to sleep that all human beings need to listen to?

Dr. Breus: Yes, consistency is the key. Most specifically in your wake up time, keep the same for weekdays and weekends, everything gets better, assuming you are sleeping by your chronotype.
Lauroly Q- The first thing I think of when it comes to circadian rhythms, is cultures living in the Northern Lights part of the world. How does the abundance of light exposure and then the significant decrease of light effect their circadian rhythms?
Dr. Breus: There are a lot of issues with sleep in these areas of the world. Sunlight appears to play a significant role in the human biology, from Vitamin D production to being the re-start button for the brain each morning.
Lauroly Q-Have their genes adapted over time living in these areas?
Dr. Breus: To a certain degree, yes. But I doubt that anyone is completely unaffected.
Lauroly Q- We know there is more depression associated with the decrease of light. I suppose even if you don’t live in these areas, but are vulnerable to depression, getting sunshine would be important. This correlates with the Vitamin D hormone that activates when we are exposed to the sun and then chemically regulates our serotonin synthesis. As we know, serotonin is one of the happy chemicals in our system. Take it from here Dr. Breus, I’m just trying to connect all the dots!

Dr. Breus: Light therapy is used in both depressive diagnoses and some sleep disorders. In depression the light helps re-set the persons circadian rhythms, which sends all of the other systems back in sync. This appears to play a role in the recovery from depression. While it is not the whole reason, it does seem to have a significant effect.

Laura Closing- Thank you for sharing your expertise with us Dr. Breus. Now that we are learning more about our biological clocks and our connection to nature, we can begin to see how everything is interdependent in wellness. As Plato so wisely said “The Part can Never be Well, unless the Whole is Well.” I encourage everyone to read ‘The Power of When’ and learn more about your own body’s internal clock. Sleeping will become a healthy habit, just like a good diet and exercise is.

Dr. Breus Closing: Thank you so much for having me, and if people want to learn more they can check out my website www.thesleepdoctor.com or learn your chronotype at www.thepowerofwhenquiz.com

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