What’s Happen to This Blog?

Well, you’ve probably been wondering what’s up with this blog…why hasn’t it been updated in over a year?  I have no excuses other than “life gets in the way sometimes.”  While I was MIA, I have been raising my 2 teenaged kids and, of course, attending to other drearier things such as chores and a job.  I wish somebody invented a laundry gadget  – throw all the clothes in, press a button, and voila!  Clothes come out sorted, folded, and ready to put away.  That would make a gazillion dollars.  The first born is now in college and he is doing great (I think).  He was very anxious to be on his own, and it’s hard for me to not e-mail every day to check on him.  However, when I get replies like “ok”, “fine”, “thanks” to my laundry list of questions, it’s a clear sign he wants to be left alone.  I’m sure he doesn’t want his dorm mates to see Mom Skyping him either.  But he will be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas soon, so we can grill him then and he can’t hide!

As for my beauty regimen, not much has changed there.  Still a minimalist, and I still use 302 skincare and Avogen supplements daily.  I haven’t even tried any other products for the last 8+ years now.  I just don’t see a need or burning desire to pay big bucks and chancing it on something new and revolutionary.  I have, however, acquired a new gadget called the STOP which is a radiofrequency device.  I’m hoping it will help tighten the neck and jowl area.  I haven’t used it enough to say yay or nay yet.  I’m also thinking about getting a new galvanic device to replace the UP5 I had years ago.

As is my blog tradition, here’s my latest birthday picture, taken last June when I was 58.  I’m starting to see the beginnings of fine lines under the eyes when I smile, so I’ve been using the 302 Eye Firming Serum every day.  It’s the only 302 active that can be applied daily once or twice.  I like the firming so far.

 Nancy58

I plan to post more in the future, describing some alternative ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle but enjoy life at the same time, and also beauty must haves of course.   So keep posted, and thanks for reading!

The 70 Year-Old Who Looks 40

I was surfing the net, having more free time than usual this week, and I stumbled upon this video about a woman who is 70 and looks like she is in her 40s.   Her secret is eating raw vegan.  I’ve noticed that people who eat totally raw often look much younger than their age.  I’m not about to give up meat, but I think eating more raw vegetables and fruits is definitely something to strive for in your diet.  Take a look at this woman.  She truly looks and acts like a much younger woman.   No plastic surgery either.  Her skin is amazing.  I think part of it is genetic, part of it is attitude, and part of it is her diet and lifestyle.  But the overall lesson here is that beauty begins from the inside out.  All the skincare and gadgets in the world won’t keep you looking your best, if you aren’t taking care of your health first.

http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/ageless-woman

My Latest Avogen Convert

Is my very best friend in the world, the person who keeps me grounded and makes me realize what is important in life….my husband of almost 19 years, Jim.  He probably would not approve of this post because he is very humble and not one to be in the limelight.  But I have to say he is the smartest, coolest, most wonderful husband a girl could have, and the best Dad in the world.  On his own accord, he started taking the Avogen supplements over a month ago.  After 7 years of seeing 302 Skincare bottles all lined up against the bathroom wall, he never once wanted to try the skincare, even though he’s commented on how much better my skin was looking.  I guess skincare is still not very manly, but the pills he could handle.  This is a shot of us on my 57th birthday date last week.  He is 3 years younger than me (something he constantly reminds me of), but  I think he looks at least 13 years younger and is still  a hunky guy.

I continue taking the supplements as well.  I think I’m holding up pretty well.  I will say the pills are much better than using the dropper method with the 302 RX and much cheaper than eating avocados every day.  The last time I looked, the big Hass avocados were $1.77 each!  Organic ones were $1.99 each!!   It’s funny, it seems one year they are abundant and really cheap, the next year, they are scant and expensive.  This must be the expensive year.  Cost-wise, the Avogen pill is about $1 a day, plus no calories, no messy avocado remnants to deal with.  But I still eat avocados weekly because I just love them.  One simple salad I make is to cube some up with fresh cherry or cut tomatoes, minced red onion, (optional black beans and jalapeno), cumin powder, salt, pepper, squeeze of lime juice, and olive oil…yum!  Just make sure the avocado is not too mushy; you want it firm with just a little give when you squeeze it.  Enjoy!

Confession: I’m a FitFlop Fanatic

But I’m probably not alone….

I’ve just come to the realization that I spend 99.9% of my time wearing these $60+ “flip flops” on a daily, year-round basis.   If you haven’t heard of FitFlops, they are high-end flip flops with style.  I wouldn’t even classify them as flip flops because they don’t “flop” around at all.  They are pure heaven for my feet and they are becoming more fashion forward with every season.  I’m now proud owner of at least 14 pairs of FitFlops.  Luckily my husband has no clue how expensive these things are.  Thanks to Zappos, I can get my latest FitFlop must-have in less than 24 hours after ordering.  It still amazes me how they do that.   Why can’t all online companies be like that?

 Why Do I LOVE FitFlops, Let Me Count the Ways

Firstly, they are the MOST comfortable shoes/sandals I have ever worn in my entire life.  I can walk all day in these (and I do).  They have been around the world with me on our summer vacations, running errands, hanging out around the house, going to outings around town,  music festivals, doing kids activities, etc., etc.   Any place where walking is involved, I wear my FitFlops.  Unless there is snow on the ground, I’m in my FitFlops outside.  For cold weather, I wear UGG boots (I also have a collection of those).   You can pretty much count on me wearing FitFlops every single minute of the day and night unless I have to get “really” dressed up.

Secondly, they are so well-made.  I have my original pair from 5 years ago.  I have never had to break them in or gotten any blisters or calluses from them.  They are ideal for people with foot problems or people who stand on their feet all day long.  I don’t have any problems with my feet but I do love comfort.  I’ll break out the high heels for special occasions, but first thing when I get home, is find my FitFlops to put on.   It’s like my feet’s best friend, all cozy and comforting.  They conform to your feet.  The special 1-1/4 inch wobble board platform is key to its support and comfort.  Plus, it’s nice to have a little height, since I’m so short.  This cushy platform sole also supposedly gives your legs a workout, but I can’t attest to any calf building or strengthening.  To me, their best selling point is the all day comfort and styling.  They are very lightweight too.  Easy to pack multiple pairs when traveling.

Thirdly, they are so darn cute and stylish!   When they first came out, they were admittedly very utilitarian and blah looking.  But go to their website (http://www.fitflop.com/) and you will see how far they have come since their original model called the Walkstar.  One hint on sizing:  They don’t come in half sizes and tend to run big.  I normally wear 7-1/2 or 8, but order FitFlops in 7 and they are perfect.

 My Favorite FitFlop Style of All Time

FitFlop styles can be quite diverse; and they are not your typical flip flop styles.  You can go from everyday simplicity, to quite chic styles, to some pretty bizarre looking ones.  But I must say I have a special affinity for the Pietra style, it’s classic and simple.  Read all the 5 star reviews and watch a video about it here:

http://www.zappos.com/fitflop-pietra-patent-bronze-patent

I can go from day to night in these and wear them with just about anything. . .  shorts, jeans, slacks, dresses, skirts.  In fact, I have all 3 colors of this style (black, silver, and bronze).  But I think the next love of my life will be the Arena (the one pictured on top) which just came out this year.  I think I better start saving those coins and dollar bills that fall out in the dryer machine….

News Flash: 302 Avogen is Now a Supplement!!!

It’s been in the works for a long time, and I’ve been dying to tell you all about this latest development.  Finally I can spill the beans:

The molecule that is the star ingredient of the 302 Skincare line has been made into a nutraceutical supplement, to be used with or without 302 Skincare products.  Of course, if you approach the skin from the inside with the Avogen capsule and from the outside using 302 Skincare, your results will be accelerated.  The wonderful part of using the supplement is that it can be taken without supervision of a 302 professional.  You can’t overdose from it or cause undesired effects from misuse.  You take 1 capsule (for up to 250 lbs) a day, preferably at night.  Even though you could take more capsules, it won’t increase the benefits.  Unless you are allergic to avocados, there are no side effects.  Toxicology and safety studies have shown it to be totally safe, with no cancer promoting effects.  Even pregnant women can take it.  You gain all the skin and health benefits of eating an avocado, but without the calories or the mess!

So, What the Heck is So Special About Avogen?

I get this question occasionally. . .  isn’t Avogen just glorified avocado oil?   Absolutely NOT!   Avogen is a specific molecule found in avocado that is isolated and purified.  The molecular weight of Avogen is 302 daltons, which is very, very tiny, allowing it to pass easily through the epidermal layer into the dermis.  In the nutraceutical supplement, the Avogen molecule is added to avocado oil in a concentration that is equivalent to eating one avocado a day.  Avogen is not store-bought avocado oil!  It is a patented, proprietary lipid from a specific variety of avocado.  Avogen undergoes rigorous cGMP protocols and quality assurance testing as required by the FDA.  Avogen is not available in any other skincare or supplement line.  You can’t buy it for DIY potions either.  The properties of Avogen go way beyond what avocado oil can achieve.  It’s the essential nutrient found only in avocados and no other plant species.

If you Google about the avocado’s benefits, you will find tons of anecdotal information about its ability to improve skin, hair, and health.   For the last decade or so, the Avogen molecule has been studied extensively by scientists and doctors, working in conjunction with Richard Huber (founder of 302 Skincare).  As a result of these studies, the biological mechanism with which the avocado achieves all these benefits is now known….It all has to do with Avogen’s unique ability to normalize the extracellular matrix (ECM) in our body, including the ECM of skin, eyes, bone, muscles, joints, and internal organs (the liver, lungs, heart, brain, etc.).  The ECM is composed of proteins, collagen and elastin, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), proteoglycans, hyaluronic acid, among other components.  It comprises the various connective tissues in our body.  The health of the extracellular matrix normally declines with age, but also from external factors such as sun damage, toxins, stress, trauma, and inflammation.   Avogen, in preliminary studies, has been shown to reverse ECM damage from aging and external factors, restoring it to a healthier, more functional state.  Avogen is the first and only supplement available on the market that targets the health of the ECM.

Why a Healthy ECM Leads to a Healthy You

The ECM is the matrix which surrounds your cells, like cushioning jelly or scaffolding.  It gives tissues its structure and integrity.  It enables cell signaling and proper cell functioning.  When the ECM is healthy and functioning normally, cells can signal each other easily, and cell functions are optimized.   If the ECM is compromised, it turns into a clogged network or wad of gristle-like or crosslinked protein strands, which hinders or prevents cells from communicating with each other.  As a result, cellular activities such as replication, waste disposal, mitochondrial energy production, and wound repair become dysfunctional.  External scars (such as acne scars) result from dysfunctional ECM and excessive crosslinking which forms hard, inelastic tissue around wounds or traumas.  Though scarring is a protective mechanism intended to protect exposed tissues from infection, this excessive crosslinking also causes disfiguring depressions and pitting in the skin.

Excessive crosslinking results in both external scars and internal scars (adhesions).  Adhesions often result from surgery and abnormal tissue growth (such as in endometriosis), especially in and around the pelvic and abdominal areas.  Adhesions can cause internal organs to become misshapen and to stick to other organs, causing pain and/or organ dysfunction.  It’s believed that infertility often results from adhesions in the uterus (Asherman’s Syndrome) or in other reproductive organs.  Studies have also shown a possible connection between ECM dysfunction and cancer metastasis.

When used topically in skincare, Avogen softens and plumps the skin by renormalizing the skin’s ECM and stabilizing the tendency to excess crosslinking.  It’s the only topical I know of that can safely repair scars without using damaging acids or inflicting injury and inflammation on the skin.  As a result of using Avogen in 302 Skincare for 7 years now, my acne scars are 98% corrected; my skin is firm, supple, plump, and unwrinkled.

This is a un-retouched shot of me, 2 months shy of  57, bare skin, no foundation or concealer, just eye and lip color.  I’ve never had botox, fillers, or a facelift done.

Click to enlarge

I’m happy with my skin, even though it’s obviously not a 20-year-old’s skin, and I have some light freckling and one age spot.  Believe me, my skin was a lot worse before 302, and considering I don’t do much to my skin, I’m okay with the tiny flaws I have.  I’m sure I could do a more aggressive 302 regimen, but frankly I’m too lazy to bother.  I do shudder to think what my skin would look like today had I not stumbled across 302 Skincare and Richard Huber in 2005.  I am eternally grateful to all the help he gave me in those beginning years.  Yes, I have strayed…I used other natural skincare lines in the beginning.  It was the skincare junkie in me, but time and again, I ended up going right back to my beloved 302 products.  I just haven’t seen anything come close to the quality and effectiveness of 302 Skincare.  I’ve been strictly a 302 girl for the last 4 years and couldn’t be happier.

So Why is Avogen a Supplement and Not a Drug?

Since ECM is present in all skin, bone, muscle, and organs, ECM dysfunction could conceivably cause many different diseases or abnormalities in the body.  Avogen addresses and corrects ECM dysfunction throughout the body, not just the skin.  For a supplement to potentially address such a vast array of conditions with virtually no side effects is groundbreaking.  I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but it’s coming from my personal experience.  You may wonder then, “Hmmm, if it’s so great why isn’t it a drug by now, like Retin-A?”  Well, mainly because getting a drug approved through the FDA requires money, lots of it, millions of it.  Small companies don’t have the hundreds of millions to do that.  Only Big Pharma does.  The FDA also requires a strict protocol of phased clinical trials which can take a decade or more to complete.  In the meantime, nobody outside the clinical trials can use the therapy.  Thirdly, drugs will cost you, the consumer, MUCH more than a supplement because of all the cost involved to get it approved.  What costs Big Pharma a few dollars to manufacture ends up costing you hundreds, or thousands, of dollars to buy.  Unless you have medical coverage or are really rich, you will have no access to these types of groundbreaking drugs.

So, what’s a small biotech company to do??….one option is to sell Avogen to the highest Big Pharma bidder for a ton of money and let them handle the long tortuous  FDA drug process….at the end of which they will make billions, once it’s approved (See links below).  Instead, the Avogen company decided the more equitable, economical, and expedient route  was to sell Avogen as a nutraceutical privately instead of going the drug route.  This way,  more people can buy it at a reasonable cost.  The Avogen company has done its own extensive clinical tests with human subjects using Avogen internally and externally.  They have almost a decade’s worth of Avogen use in 302 Skincare, showing its effectiveness on the skin.  They have toxicology studies done at Eli Lilly showing it’s safe.  So, there is no issue with efficacy or safety here.  Unfortunately, the company cannot post or advertise on their website anything related to Avogen’s therapeutic or medical benefits, other than skin benefits.  This is solely due to FDA labeling restrictions on nutraceuticals.  Nutraceuticals and supplements, by law, cannot make any claims that they can treat, cure, or address medical conditions.  It doesn’t mean they don’t provide such benefits, it’s just that the company cannot claim or talk about it.  Only drugs can make medical claims.  If a supplement company makes any hint of a medical claim, then they must declare it as a drug and go through the whole long, drawn out, expensive FDA drug approval process…or face being shut down by the FDA (See related link below).  This, in effect, prevents consumers from learning about promising new nutriceuticals in a timely manner.  You will always hear about the latest drugs coming out of Big Pharma through big press releases and ads, but will seldom hear about  new nutriceuticals, like Avogen, right from the start.

Also, you will not see the clinical studies on the website or anywhere on the Internet.  Be assured, they exist.  There are independent, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on humans.  You can access them from the Avogen company if you are a researcher, doctor, or someone with a need to know, but first you have to sign a Confidentiality Agreement (for intellectual property purposes).  I wanted to explain this upfront to people who are skeptical because there are no published studies for Avogen available in the public domain.  The company may eventually decide to release some or all of their studies to the public, but I think it will depend on their future plans.  They are still researching Avogen’s properties and will be for many years to come.

For More Information and to Order the Avogen Supplement

There is more information, including links to scientific articles about ECM and lysyl oxidase (the specific protein that Avogen targets in the ECM) on the new Avogen website.  There is also some bio information on the team of dedicated scientists and medical experts who have been working on the Avogen project.  This is also where you can purchase the Avogen supplement:

www.avogenusa.com

All 302 Skincare professionals will also carry this supplement, so you can conveniently order it along with your 302 products.  Availability is scheduled for May 7, 2012.   In the meantime, read up on all the reference links on the Avogen website; it will become much clearer that ECM has a tremendous impact on your body’s health, not just skin health.  You can think of Avogen as the “Fountain of Youth” supplement because it addresses the whole body, not just what you see on the outside..

My Meeting with Richard Huber and A Little History about the Supplement

A year ago, back in March of 2011, is when I first found out an Avogen supplement was being developed.  I had a very interesting conversation with Richard Huber, the director of 302 Skincare and, now, the Avogen project.   He happened to be on business in my neck of the woods.  I was thrilled to have the chance to talk to him face-to-face.  I have been e-mailing/calling him about 302 skincare since the beginning of 2005, but never met him in person.  I was a little scared at first at the notion….me a little ol’ consumer, and him, a big nerdy scientist type….what would we talk about?  Well, my fears were unfounded.

We met on a beautiful spring day and spent 6 hours talking.  I was impressed by his humble, unassuming nature, his wealth of knowledge, his keen sense of humor, and the wild stories of his adventures in Guatemala.  Time flew as we were chatting about how he discovered Avogen, how it was produced, and future plans.  Really fascinating stuff, hopefully he will write a book someday about his 302 adventures.   He also told me that I could take Avogen internally; that it would further improve my skin and my overall health.   He had been taking Avogen internally himself for over a year and he was still alive and kicking.  So, at his suggestion, I started taking the stuff internally, about half a dropperful at night, under the tongue.   I used the 302 Drops RX as the supplement since there were no capsules at that time.   Since that particular product is only comprised of Avogen, jojoba oil and avocado oil, nothing in it is toxic; it was the closest thing to pure Avogen available at the time.   The new supplement contains only Avogen and organic avocado oil.

Almost 57 but feeling 37 (click to enlarge).

It’s been a year now, and I feel fantastic.  It seems like I’m getting younger instead of older in every sense…my skin, hair, nails, energy level.  I have no bone, joint, or muscle problems.  My breast cancer is still in remission.  I’m on no medications at all.  My physicals are excellent.  Of course, I also live a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy foods, but I believe the internal use of Avogen has also helped, (along with my 302 Skincare regimen).  I use it like my other daily supplements.  I may skip a day or two during the week, but I’ve been using it pretty consistently.   I’ve never experienced any side effects whatsoever, not even on an empty stomach.

Now, luckily for you, you don’t have to bother with messy droppers or squirting Avogen in your mouth like I did.  You can simply pop 1 capsule at night.  They are also introducing a 1% Avogen mist to use with the capsules to specifically target skin problems.  The mist can be used with existing skincare products, but I recommend you stick with only 302 topicals and never use acid products for maximum results in the shortest amount of time, especially where scars are concerned.

Now for the Best Part. . I Have Free Products for Trial 

Since this is a brand new product launch, and I want more people to learn about it, I have a very special, limited-time offer for people interested in trying the Avogen supplement.  The Avogen company is graciously providing me with some full-sized products that I can give away for trials after the official launch on 5/7/12.  I will have 25 sets of the Duo-Pak which includes 1 bottle of Avogen (60 capsules) and 1 bottle of the Avogen Mist (2 oz).   I will ship this free of charge (except shipping fee) to the first 25 people who e-mail me at freeavogen@gmail.com.  Once I acknowledge your e-mail, I will ship products, first come, first served, as my time allows (I have a day job).  As I am paying out-of-pocket to ship this to you, please reimburse me for shipping with a $6 payment through Paypal to my e-mail address once you receive your products.  The other conditions are:

1.  One per household.

2. USA residents only.

3.  Use up the entire bottle of supplements.  Use the mist as you see fit.   If you use 302 skincare now, you may not need the mist.  The 302 serums/drops already have 3% Avogen in them.  You can give the mist to a friend.

4.  After 60 days, if you are happy with what you see and how you feel, tell your friends, family, acquaintances about Avogen and/or post about your experience with Avogen on your favorite forums or blogs.  Spread the love, in other words.

NOTE:    Depending on various factors such as your age, extent of scarring, current health and lifestyle, you may need more than 2 months’ supply of Avogen to get full scar repair.  Also, keep in mind that if you are on multiple medications that affect the skin, this may decrease Avogen’s effectiveness on the ECM.  As for anything, individual results will vary.

Final Words and a Request

If you have followed my posts on various skincare and acne forums and this blog for the last 7 years, you might think either 1) I work for 302 Skincare or 2) I’m an obsessed 302 cult member.  I may come across as overly enthusiastic at times (OK, all the time) when it comes to 302 Skincare and Avogen.  But the facts are that I’ve never worked for 302 Skincare or Richard Huber, been told what to say, or paid for any posts, and I really DO have a life outside of skincare.  I just have a passion (not obsession) for doing everything I can to stay young in mind and body, and want to share information with others who feel the same way.  So to that end, I invite everybody to send me any progress reports/testimonials/pictures, and I will post them here.  I want a true picture of results, so I will accept anything, positive or negative, as long as it’s written in a respectful and informative manner.  Please share your experiences with others who can benefit.  I look forward to hearing about your experiences with Avogen!

Resources: 

http://www.examiner.com/article/avocado-is-a-tremendously-healthy-food

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/health/states-seek-to-curb-exorbitant-drug-costs-incurred-by-patients.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&src=igw

http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/10/can-patients-get-around-the-exorbitant-new-cost-of-a-pregnancy-drug/

http://www.rxrights.org/your-thoughts/fda-approval-leads-to-exorbitant-drug-pricing

http://www.naturalnews.com/021791_the_FDA_medical_racket.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/035519_Ron_Paul_FDA_Big_Pharma.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22285947

Study Shows Parabens in Cancerous Breast Tissue

Having had breast cancer 6 years ago, this really hits home.

A recent study has shown parabens being detected at an alarmingly high rate of 99% in cancerous breast tissue.  If you thought topicals can’t ever get into internal body tissues, this study totally blows that theory.  Anything you put on your skin can accumulate in the body if exposed long enough to it. So try to limit the personal hygiene and skincare items to a minimum and/or check the labels.

Also, think about using thermography instead of mammography for early tumor detection.  It’s a much safer, painless process using heat instead of radiation to detect the presence of tumors.  You get a baseline study done and then a surveillance study every year to compare with.  Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not pay for it.  It cost me $150 out-of-pocket   I’ve done it twice now, and it’s totally effortless, no painful squishing of your boobs or contortion of your body required.  Google thermography and see if that is a viable option for you.

Read the actual studies and not just Dr. Mercola’s summary.  Come to your own conclusions.  

 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/02/toxic-parabens-on-breast-cancer-patients.aspx?e_cid=20120402_DNL_art_1

A Plug for Zello Walkie Talkie App

My husband is a software programmer, and this is his baby…just got released on the Apple App Store a few days ago.  It runs on IPhone, Android, BlackBerry and PCs.  It’s a free app too, which is the best part.  It replaces your old-fashioned walkie-talkies.  If you want to reach somebody without having to text or call, this is your app.  I use it to contact my hubby in the house.  When he’s working downstairs and I’m upstairs, I just “Zello” him.  It’s much faster than walking downstairs, plus he can’t talk over me…(the best part).   Also good when I’m at the store and have to ask him what brand of salsa he wants.   There is also a neat feature called “Channels” where you can create a channel for your friends or  general public access, just like a chat room but only one person can talk at a time.  There are existing channels already where people from all over the world can chat to each other, which makes for some pretty interesting listening at times. Be forewarned, there is profanity on some of these channels.  So don’t listen while kids are near.

So check it out.  Here’s a short video about it.  The real interface is greatly improved from the Beta version on this YouTube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LikYr1yTdb4

Here’s the Zello website:  http://zello.com/

Go Zello some friends today!