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Kathleen Trotter’s 360 Approach To Health.

March 13, 2019

Kathleen Trotter is a fitness expert, media personality, personal trainer, writer, life coach, certified Pilates and ELDOA instructor, and overall health enthusiast. Her passion is motivating others to “find their fit” and works with clients ranging from endurance athletes to individuals living with Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis. She also writes for the Globe and Mail and Huffington Post, blogs for Flaman Fitness, and makes regular TV appearances. Kathleen holds an M.Sc. from the University of Toronto and a nutrition diploma from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She lives in Toronto where she owns a personal training studio. Find out more about Kathleen at

To paraphrase an old adage, “To elicit different results you need to think and act differently.”

If you feel you are constantly working on and worrying about your health yet never reaching your goals, it might be time for a new approach. Come at the problem with fresh eyes!

“Steal” from the business world — give your lifestyle a “360 review.”

A 360 review is a well-rounded, multi-layered, collaborative assessment where peers, employers, employees, etc. collaborate with the person being reviewed in assessing performance.

Some iteration of a 3D, systems-based analysis is critical — although typically missing — when adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Why? No one intervention (diet, workout program, miracle product, etc.) can be the health panacea; key variables like sleep quality and quantity, types of workouts, recovery, and nutrition interact as within an ecosystem or chemistry experiment. You can’t exercise daily while treating your body like a garbage can and never sleeping. Piecemeal solutions don’t work long-term.

Too many of us overestimate our healthy choices and attitudes and underestimate our unhealthy ones. Having friends and family weigh in (pun slightly intended) can highlight blind spots.

A well-rounded 360 analysis allows you to build a well-rounded plan for long-term ACTION!

Step 1. Complete an analysis

Awareness brings choice. You can’t change a habit you are not aware of!

Include personal, peer, and family reflections.

Keep a journal. Record data on the linchpin health habits below. Pinpoint your biggest blind spots. Prioritize improving those. For example, if you’re fairly active but have terrible nutrition, prioritize food prep.

Ask family, colleagues, and peers to identify strengths and areas for improvement. You might think you only occasionally grab nuts at work; your colleague might know you grab handfuls multiple times daily. Handfuls add up. Note all feedback. If you hear something more than once, or something resonates with you, make that your priority.

Step 2. Work on blind spots


Your body and brain recover and your hormones are rebalanced as you sleep. For example, a lack of sleep increases ghrelin (which makes you hungry) and adequate sleep encourages production of leptin (which makes you feel full); it is nearly impossible to say “no” to sugar if you are chronically tired.


Consider establishing a cut-off time for caffeine and setting a “start sleep routine” alarm. Then turn of screens, stretch, meditate, take a hot bath, etc.


Strength training


Strength training fuels every health and fitness goal, from fat loss to decreased injury to improved mental health. Consider working with a trainer to learn proper form and getting a fitness buddy to increase motivation.


Recovery includes activities that bring you into your parasympathetic nervous system, such as stretching, foam rolling, meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and massage. When you don’t have a chunk of time, pepper a few seconds of deep breathing and stretches throughout the day.

Interval training

Interval training requires alternating between high- and low-intensity bouts of activity. This places a high metabolic demand on the body, burns lots of calories in a short time, produces a high EPOC (post-workout calorie burn), increases mitochondrial growth (mitochondria help burn fat), and improves fitness. Try Tabatas, AMRAPS, Minutes, or intervals on any cardio machine.


Consistency is key. Consistency requires preparation. Consider syphoning off time weekly to prep easy-to-assemble healthy meals; make healthy choices as convenient as unhealthy ones.

Main take-aways

What counts is the sum total of your lifestyle choices — weekly, monthly, yearly trends. Become aware of variables you have under control (so you can reproduce) and areas needing improvement. We all have limited time, resources, and energy. Invest energy where it will serve you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s natural. But don’t get mired in the muck. Don’t change everything at once. Start. Tweak as you go. Aim to trend positive.

When you fall of your health horse, course correct as quickly as possible and learn from the experience!




What the Fashion Industry Needs to do This Year to Be More Accepting of all Body Types

February 24, 2019

If you’ve been to a mall or commercial strip recently, you may have noticed ads and/or merchandise featuring plus size models. With the body inclusivity movement going mainstream, it’s hard not to consider bringing out the champagne. 

But it’s too early to celebrate.

Although, Deborah Weinswig reveals that the plus-size category was responsible for 41% of growth in the women’s apparel market in the recent years, there are still companies that are hesitant to diversify their portfolios. For instance, Urban Outfitters were in a pickle last year when they released an ad featuring plus-size models, although it turns out that the company only stocks sizes up to size 12. Victoria’s Secret’s Ed Razek also drew criticism when he said that the company will not feature trans or plus size models because their shows are “fantasies”, implying that these types of models will ruin the shows’ fantastical nature. 

Thankfully, many brands are sincere in their attempts to include all body types in their target market. But in order to truly reach out to this audience, we need more than lip service and media pandering. 

One thing that brands can do is to create designs aimed at all body shapes. This also means changing fashion and design philosophies in general, a task that is obviously easier said than done. Designer Sander Lak admitted in an interview that size “does become more complicated the lower or higher up you go, because it becomes a completely different design.” He added that this is because “the whole industry is built around a certain type of body – so if I make all my samples in a [larger size], it immediately eliminates a lot of possibilities.” Fortunately, this seems to be changing fast, as the fashion world is already expanding its target market, and thus, its design philosophy.

Last year, for instance, the Full-Figured Fashion Week shows drew large crowds, and brands responded with products that address the interest. More designers and manufacturers are coming up with versatile pieces that can be worn by people of various sizes. Oversized pieces such as boyfriend jeans and baggy tops are selling well for big brands like Calvin Klein, Forever 21, and Zara, finally embracing plus size women. Another brand that is fighting the good fight is Woman Within. The 7-day knits leg pant on Woman Within has an elastic waistband that “stretches to fit perfectly”, showing how fashionable attire can easily be designed to accommodate all body types. When our designs become more inclusive and versatile, body type and size become irrelevant. 

But other than creating inclusive designs, removing the division between plus size and the perceived ‘normal’ sizes (under 12) can be helpful in pushing towards real inclusivity. While many brands have jumped on the bandwagon by using the plus size category as an expansion market, some companies such as ModCloth have ditched the plus size section to put straight and plus size garments under the same categories. The aim is to remove the binary notion that plus size is a ‘special category’ and straight sizes are the ‘norm.’ This way, consumers are given more size options without having to go to a separate section or be branded as plus size.

After all, the inclusivity movement is not just about adding a special section for sizes above 12. It’s about making the industry acknowledge the existence of body types that do not fit into the body image peddled by society.

Clearly, what the fashion industry needs to do is to go beyond marketing gimmicks and begin expanding their inventories in such a way that includes all sizes. This means not only offering more inclusive designs but also to actively integrate other sizes. This will take more than a few commercials or token products. What we need, more than ever, is a paradigm shift that will give people of all body types a world that acknowledges their fashion needs.


February 21, 2019


  1. Avoid Hot [beverages and bath]– tepid temperatures and shorter showers will be good for your skin and the environment
  2. Toss the Trident and Forget the Flavored Balm [ especially minty spicy or even fruity] balms – both contribute to drying and chapped lips
  3. Cover your mouth! Don’t just slather a balm or emulsive lip product on in the morning pull a scarf, neck warmer or wind-breaking muffler over your lips and lower face
  4. Exfoliate in the evening– effectively and gently with enzymes [natural papaya, bamboo or volcanic] or glycolic, lactic, salicylic or azeliac acid so night moisturizer and serum will penetrate most effectively
  5. Crank up the humidifier especially in heated buildings by day or overnight
  6. Slow down and sip– because it is so cold may not feel dehydrated – so drink more room temperature water and slowly to keep hydrated no matter how cold
  7. Max your Moisturize after showering – use the benefits of while skin is still wet to seal the skin surface and add in an essential oil to moisturizers at night
  8. For Serum Sake– Sleep on Silk! Cotton will absorb the expensive actives and prevent best benefit
  9. Don’t skimp on sunscreen– apply as much and as often in winter as summer [including not just face, but neck and hands]
  10. Change up your Product Routine!
    • Consider a ceramide-based product because the fatty acid will improve the skin barrier and function aiding in moisture sealing and protection
    • AMP up the AHA and Vitamin E intake
    • Make it better with butter– slather on the shea butter mango butter or incorporate squalene, apricot or coconut oil
    • Add a hydrocone mask for additional moisturizing benefits
    • Change your cleanser to a hydrating formula with AHA
    • Layer Serums in an anti-oxidant serum at night


  • Puffiness dissipates and the cold naturally rejuvenates and tightens dermis
  • Acne lessens, and pores appear primed and perfect
  • We breath deeper, sleep sounder and give our skin more time for turnover, recovery, and actives to work more effectively
  • Less active sweat means fewer clogged pores and less absorption of environmental sludge, debris and dead skin cells in the follicles [a.k.a acne]
  • AND the Natural Flush of color makes for less makeup

For any “9th inning” winter dermal dilemmas or any other skincare needs, Dr. Shamban is available for interviews quotes or comments. We will be in touch to see what is hot on your list of editorial topics as we ease out of the cold weather season and spring ahead!

Kathy and Rick Hilton attend Chinatown 90210 hosted by LA philanthropists Christine and Dr. Gabriel Chiu in celebration of Chinese New Year presented by Piaget and Bottega Veneta at Two Rodeo.

February 20, 2019

Last night, to close out 2019 Chinese New Year celebrations under the beautiful super snow moon, L.A. philanthropists Christine and Dr. Gabriel Chiu brought Chinatown to Beverly Hills for a lavish #Chinatown90210 celebration at Two Rodeo Drive.

As guests ascended the staircase from Wilshire and Rodeo, they were greeted with champagne and lychee cocktails under a cascade of Chinese lanterns and traditional Guqin music. Entering through a specially-erected recreation of L.A.’s Chinatown grand entrance, guests enjoyed dim sum from carts alongside a special 360 photo activation and sparkling product from event co-host Piaget. They were then ushered into a glamorous tent decorated in lush reds and golds for a dinner by Wolfgang Puck’s legendary Chinois on Main and performances by ribbon dancers, martial artists, musicians, and more.

LA philanthropists Christine and Dr. Gabriel Chiu bring Chinatown to Beverly Hills in celebration of Chinese New Year presented by Piaget and Bottega Veneta at Two Rodeo.

After dinner, a parade of dragon dancers descended on the tent and led guests to Café Chiu, a beautiful after-dinner lounge completes with a custom tea blending bar, calligraphy, candy art, carts full of Chinese pastries, and gift bags by Bottega Veneta. For each guest that attended, the Chiu family made a donation to support a child in China for one year.

Kathy Hilton, Christine Chiu, Richard Hilton attend Chinatown 90210 presented by Piaget and Bottega Veneta at Two Rodeo.

Photo Credits:

Marc Patrick/BFA

Dina Douglass

Botanarchy – Botanical Medicine for Body Autonomy

February 2, 2019

Botanarchy’s mission statement is
‘Botanical Medicine For Body Autonomy’

Ancient Chinese Poetics +Holistic Primary Care

Embracing The Cycles Of Nature To Work In Sync With The Universal Flow

Carolyn Barron, Chinese Medical Physician + L.Ac

Says it all. And really not it all. Carolyn is a messenger, I truly believe. Ushering in what you have been asking for, without knowing it. My in depth session with Carolyn started with a deeply thorough intake (based on the online paperwork I had pre-prepared) about everything. My health, body, hormones, meds, energy, etc….Then she got to work with an incredible acupuncture session (sound bath on repeat as I relaxed into bliss) then a fantastic cupping session. Her space is divine and magical (and I walked there!! Hello WeHo!) and filled with all sorts of goodies and offerings like teas, medicinal mushroom elixirs, oils, rubs, books – oh dear good lord it’s little treasure trove. But it’s Carolyn’s energy, tuning in, wisdom, nurture and deep knowledge and expertise that makes the whole experience dreamy. I cannot wait to go back. She will for sure be go-to for all things acupuncture and so much more. She also gives workshops around town and is a specialist in so many areas I don’t know where to begin. Or stop. I think I’ll just keep going!

From her website below:

Botanarchy Herbs & Acupuncture is committed to providing accessible, radical healthcare while giving a voice to alternative viewpoints from marginalized areas of medicine. We believe that botanical medicine enhances the body’s innate capability to heal itself, empowering the patient as the healer. 

It is not about ‘popping a pill’ for passive symptom relief. It is about taking an active role in your wellness to treat the root of what ails you, and igniting your inner healer. This path engenders a true state of body autonomy, freeing the patient from a reliance upon privatized healthcare and allopathic methods that often harm the body and undermine its innate, elegant intelligence.

8217 Beverly Blvd, Suite 7, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Photo Credit: Jessica Chanen


The defining question of my life has always been how do we – individually and as a culture by and large – decondition the noxious knots that industrialization, capitalism, and culture have wound deep within the body and spirit? Before I encountered the Tao and traditional Chinese medicine, I examined this as a writer deeply entrenched in the Riot Grrrl movement and third-wave feminism. The crucial praxis of my work en masse has been a systemic inquiry of how to reject authority, trust your own senses, and recover the capacity to taste and feel and sense for yourself. My goal in both my personal development and my interpersonal work with patients is empowering the individual with the tools to recover authority over their own processes and regain autonomy over their own body.

I am a licensed and California board certified acupuncturist, herbalist, and nutritionist based out of my hometown of Los Angeles. I went down this path because for-profit industrialized medicine made me feel hopeless and disenfranchised, and I longed for the tools to take care of myself and my community when the system failed to protect and sustain us. I have always been fervently motivated to shift the paradigms & politics of women’s bodies, and bridge the chasm between body and spirit by re-acquainting women with the magic of their biology. I believe that medicine is a dynamic force that is ever-evolving, and I am comfortable fusing my western clinical experience with diverse fields of natural medicine to provide holistic primary care to my community. 

I named my acupuncture practice Botanarchy, which to me hearkens to the idea that medicine can be both a form of resistance and a reclamation of original, authentic nature. I’ve often thought that the practice of traditional Chinese medicine in its purest form awakens the creative, gestative spirit of the body, helping patients discover their own Tao and supporting them in living it.

I treat patients of all genders, but I consider my approach to medicine radical feminist health care, in that it is rooted in natural models that do not suppress the true nature of the body, and enhance connection to both the microcosm of the body and the macrocosm of the earth. I’m passionate about embodying a model of medicine that is not fear-based, shaming of choice, disease-driven, and authoritarian, one that does not like to tell their patients what to do or how to think, but instead asks their patients ‘what does that feel like’ and ‘what is your experience of this?’

As an acupuncturist at the Venice Family Clinic Integrative Medicine Chronic Pain Program, a clinical intern at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine, and as the manager of a functional medicine practice specializing in chronic disease, I have spent the last 12 years in a clinical setting, supporting patients and their families through nutrition, needles, and natural medicines. Enshrined in my temple of saps, twigs, roots and resins, the gristle of my life has been teaching myself and others how to master the arcane as a vehicle for self-healing and self-reliance. Committed to destroying the institutionalized lies our culture propagates about food, wellness, consciousness and the body, I teach my patients self-governance through ritual and DIY medicine, as tools of healing, self-care, body mastery, and eradication of externally-imposed dogma. 

To schedule an appointment: | (213) 265-4853.

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