Living a Healthier and Happier Life

SOME OF OUR MOST TREASURED MEMORIES COME FROM THE UNEXPECTED MOMENTS. The element of surprise! Flying by the seat of your pants often times leads to stories of a lifetime that can be shared for generations to come. In turn providing moments of laughter and inspiration and to living a healthier and happier life. Expecting the unexpected with a positive attitude or simply throwing caution to the wind is an adventure in itself. And can also lead to living a happier and healthier life. Like Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates.”

As the editor of the Paragon Healthy Lifestyle’s department and CEO of Paragon Societies™, I’m continually in search for new approaches and philosophies that support living a healthier and happier life for an extended period of time. Featuring Paragon products, nutrition, lifestyles, longevity experts and new technologies in healthcare, the chief goal is to enhance one’s overall well-being. Mindful living, adventure, balance and harmony are key elements of happiness.

Healthy Aging

Case in point, Dr. Erica Miller, a Holocaust survivor and author of three books including Chronologically Gifted: Aging With Gusto. She travels the world annually, discovering unexpected moments that lead to further adventure. Big things do come in small packages. This 86-year old Calabasas, California resident thrives on adventure off the beaten path, meeting new people and creating connections that lead to new possibilities. Miller, who has a doctorate in clinical psychology, has set a goal to live to (at least) the age of 123. In 2018, she climbed Mount Everest and for her 85th birthday she celebrated by skydiving! She demonstrates that taking a leap of faith and making a commitment to live a longer and better life honors and incorporates a new or renewed sense of a higher power. “The willingness to cultivate spirituality and a holistic worldview can connect you with something larger than yourself that matters,” claims Miller.

Keep in mind that while these adventures are not completely unplanned. They are executed with the attitude that unexpected possibilities may occur that can create a state of awe. It’s much like toddlers who experience something new and mesmerizing for the first time. Think of seeing bubbles float above their heads or experiencing snow falling from the sky. Remind yourself that we are never too old to enjoy the sense of awe.

Endorphins (neuro-transmitters in the brain) are released and help increase serotonin levels. This a hormone that transmits signals contributing to feelings of well-being and happiness. As we age, many struggle in this area. The result?  Depression and, in turn, trying medication made from a variety of chemicals designed to boost serotonin. This is the easy way, but not necessarily the healthiest choice considering that some forms of dementia are linked to mind-altering chemicals.

Time Magazine Mindfulness

So what is the best way? Time Magazine recently published a special edition entitled, “Mindfulness: The New Science of Health and Happiness.” The entire issue dedicated to how slowing down and staying present leads to a happier, less stressed life. The edition included topics such as:

Tuning in to your body

The power of slow eating

Five minute meditations

These are a few of the many solutions with proven results for those looking for peace of mind in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. And let’s not forget the incredible power and healing energy of laughter. Clinical studies show that laughter changes our biochemistry and equips us with better coping mechanisms.

Paragon Healthy Products

Collagen drinks for healthy skin, nails and hair have hit the market. The California-based company, Forever Beaumore, created Collagen Beauty Drink among other products.

This collagen dietary supplement uses high-quality collagen to support the body’s natural rejuvenation processes, helping you generate youthful, healthy skin from the inside out. Research has proven collagen to be one of the most effective natural skin care ingredients. Additional ingredients and benefits from this product line include:

Fish Collagen Peptides Replenishes collagen for healthier, more radiant skin while improving the health of hair, nails, joints and bones.

Salmon Milt Extract Helps premature aging of the brain and body while improving skin conditions and overall stamina of the body.

Hyaluronic Acid Provides moisture, plumpness, firmness and suppleness to the skin.

Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 Relieves stress and helps reduce the harsh effects anxiety can have on your skin’s health while helping to diminish the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles.

Coenzyme Q10 Withstands and reverses skin damage while having the ability to preserve collagen and elastin within your skin cells to make you appear younger.

Vitamin C Encourages collagen production to improve texture and appearance of skin.

Ceramide Helps hold skin together by forming a protective layer that limits moisture loss and protects against visible damage from pollution and other environmental stressors.

Learn more at foreverbeaumore.com.

Spirulina Products

Spirulina is another great superfood product with proven health benefits. And another factor in living a happier and healthier life. One California-based company, SP2 Life, says people are looking for a “clean, sustainable source of nutrition.” The company’s founder, Adam Papazian, was introduced to AlgaeMor, an Israeli-based company farming spirulina, and became instantly intrigued. It’s a completely sustainable, clean source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids—and not in a powder form. Papazian says, “Think about what happens to greens like algae, kale and broccoli when they get beat down into powdered form … think about what you’re losing in that process.” The bioavailability of fresh spirulina is second to none: 95 percent of the nutrients are absorbed, compared to the average food absorption rate of 35 to 40 percent. “It’s a complete protein, with all the essential amino acids.”

SP2 Life delivers frozen spirulina in single-serve packets. They are ready to be popped into smoothies, juice, bowls and even pesto for a dose of nutrition. For those eating more plant-based diets, the nutrition profile of spirulina makes it a perfect diet supplement. But spirulina isn’t just for hardcore vegans. A serving has more antioxidants than berries, more iron than spinach and a full complement of the B vitamins (including the hard-to-find B12), which vegans often lack. A single serving of SP2 contains only 27 calories, but packs almost five grams of protein into a tiny package.

“The results for some of the athletes who’ve been testing SP2 Life have been unbelievable,” says Papazian. “Performances are up, the athletes are using less supplements for their B12 and amino acids, and they’re reporting that they feel better. Spirulina isn’t really a supplement, it’s simply an underwater vegetable.” That’s why SP2 Life has just one ingredient: Pure, fresh, deep-green spirulina. Learn more at sp2life.com.

CBD Products

CBD products are taking over the market in regard to pain relief among other benefits. But how effective are they and which products have clinical data to back up these claims? A recent Live Science online article stated that cannabis plants produce thousands of compounds. The most recognized belong to a class called cannabinoids. There are several cannabinoids but the two most well-known among consumers are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). People use cannabis oil for conditions ranging from pain to acne; some even claim the oil can cure diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. (But again, there is no clinical evidence to support these claims).

Therefore, Dina Ousley, Founder of Dinair Airbrush Make-Up System, Inc. and AirbrushCBD is launching studies. Her plans? To provide hard-core data supporting the positive health benefits of CBD. Ousley, an Emmy award-winning makeup artist, says, “I have seen and personally experienced the wonders of CBD after I suffered a serious back injury. I have spent years researching how to produce the best products that can not only help relieve chronic pain but hopefully one day cure cancer, among many other health benefits. In the near future, we will have the data to support these claims and this will be a real game changer for the healthcare industry.” Find Ousley’s company on Instagram,@airbrushcbd, to learn more.

Collagen Products

Founded in 2015, ALASTIN Skincare provides a comprehensive collection of cutting-edge products for optimal procedure results and daily skincare regimens. The company strategically focuses research and development on innovative products with the greatest impact on skin. Products are formulated with TriHex Technology, a patented blend of active peptides and botanicals specifically engineered to work with the skin to clear out old collagen and elastin proteins that have been damaged by sun exposure and aging while support-ing the skin’s natural ability to produce new collagen and elastin. It is the fastest-growing, physician-dispensed skincare brand, with innovative, scientifically proven and clinically-tested products. Learn more at alastin.com.

Healthy Italy

Millions of tourists flock to Italy and the beautiful Amalfi Coast every year because of the beauty and the food. But many don’t know about the wonderful health benefits that can be found in this beautiful region of the world. Visiting here is definitely a boost to living a happier and healthier life. In addition to the many organic vineyards, there are fresh vegetables bursting from the healthy soil (containing high-mineral content) and an over abundance of fresh lemons—which is partially why the food is known to be as healthy as it is tasty. If you haven’t tasted a tomato in Italy, you have never really experienced what a tomato is supposed to taste like.

Furthermore, one of the most famous digestive aids in Italy is an after-dinner drink called limoncello. Walks of Italy, a popular blog, states that this drink is also the pride and joy of Italy’s Campania and Liguria regions. They say: “If you’ve ever had a sip of this sweet, almost fluorescent-yellow liqueur (perhaps poured for you as a sign of thanks after a dinner in Italy), you know that it’s unlike any other digestivo. Digestivi (plural; also ‘digestifs’) taken at the end of the meal to, ostensibly, soothe the stomach have a long history in Italy. The ancient Romans infused wine with herbs, believing that such a drink had medical, even supernatural, powers. Hip-pocrates indulged in bitter, post-dinner drinks as a way to aid his digestion. In the Middle Ages, monks grew herbs and created concoctions that they thought could stave off disease—hence a phrase still applied to many digestivo labels, ‘anti-colerici,’ meaning the drink can ‘prevent cholera.’ But it wasn’t until the 19th century that such drinks became commercialized.”

The Amalfi Coast

In addition to all of the unique culinary delights, the fresh air and unforgettable beauty, Italy provides, in itself, healthy benefits. A few magical respites in Italy include the island of Capri as well as popular destinations along the Amalfi Coast like Sorrento and Positano. The Amalfi Coast stretches across the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula in the Campania. However, most travelers spend time in the great city of Rome either before or after visiting the Amalfi Coast. If one is looking for a unique, boutique hotel located near the sights and shopping but slightly off the beaten path, the art-deco Hotel Valadier, overlooking Villa Borghese Park, is the place to experience a little mindful living. The city of Rome’s history, faith and art often inspire a healthy sense of spirituality. hotelvaladier.com.

Rebecca Gray Grossman has worked extensively in the healthcare field for more than 25 years as a researcher, journalist, and television correspondent. Among other shows, she was a guest host on a weekly morning news segment entitled, “Stop The Clock” for ABC7 Eyewitness News in Los Angeles. She was the Publisher and Editorial Director for Westlake Magazine for more than a decade and launched West Luxury Magazine and Paragon Healthy Lifestyles Magazine in 2016. As Chair of The Grossman Burn Foundation she dedicates her time to supporting burn survivors both locally and globally and exploring new technologies in healthcare.

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