1. Valerie Austin having a chat with Donald Trump, co-chair of the Unicorn charity 'Buddha Ball' at his scrumptious private club in Palm Beach
2. Auction prize - 7-day Hypnotherapy Course priced at $18,000 U.S., a great way to give back.
3. Inger Garcia has lots of support at her chemo. Pictured with musician Kirk,our song writer for our documentaries
4. Lucinda, an executive of Martha Steward, book signing for her cook book.
5. Valerie Austin and friends at one of the Miami ladies charities' luncheons.
6. The sumptuous ballroom where the Buddha Ball was held at Mar a Lago
HotGossip / Spring 2013
As usual time has flown by with winter literally melting into summer without a sign of spring. However, it was very surreal watching the news of heavy snow and the dreadful cold in the UK from my place in Florida where I spend the winter. I would be seeing the news while I was sunning myself on my balcony enjoying the hot weather or perhaps looking at my iphone at an outdoor dinner in the lovely warm nights before returning back to enjoy the summer in London, where I am experiencing the best of both worlds. Again the winter and spring has been a whirl of charity functions, too many to mention, but one stands out the most.
A Magical Weekend
Wow! Was I in heaven? I definitely had a magical weekend at the spectacular annual Unicorn Charity ball for autism and children with learning difficulties at Donald Trump's exclusive private club in Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago. it's an amazing place with a price tag to match. The American Academy of Hospitality named it "The best club anywhere in the world" so it is not surprising the membership is running high at around $200,000 to join plus an annual fee with around $1,000 a night stay (members only) - but what luxury.
In the 1920's it took 4 years to build at a cost of $8million in those days. This huge 110,000-square-foot historic mansion was owned by the cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post who donated it to the City after her death and then it was purchased by Trump, who certainly did it proud, by keeping it immaculate and true to its heritage. The 20,000-square-foot ballroom's inaugural event was Trump's marriage to Melania Knauss and our astute group held our spectacular event only a few months later to the envy of many high-end charities.
For my fourth yearly stay I spent the weekend with my two good friends Jerri and Louise just wallowing in luxury in a beautiful place which gives the impression of being your own private palace. It certainly was for Trump when he lived there with his family (and I am told many servants) for the ten years before he made it into a private club in 1996.
This year's charity event was called the 'Buddha Ball' and as we had our early evening glass of Champagne at the intimate bar we were able to see the fabulous dresses of the army of wealthy volunteers working hard at putting the finishing touches to the event, giving us a chance to choose our own ball gowns. Yes, we did bring a choice.
Needless to say the ball was exquisite and I was able to grab Donald for a quick chat and picture. He looked slimmer and his hair was more like his portrait of a younger Donald hung in one of the intimate bars.
I was also able to auction my London 7-day Hypnotherapy Course on my Yacht at the US price of $18,000, the proceeds going to the charity, which gives me the opportunity to show how hypnosis can help autism. So my glamorous life style has some feet-on -the -ground advantages.
The fabulous ball was set in the elaborate ballroom which opened in 2005 at a cost of a reported $100 million.
For me, it was very important to know that much of the food is grown on the estate and is organic, saving me from just picking at event food or generally eating beforehand to save my health. It still amazes me how even the Cancer charities serve unhealthy food at their functions, but my Unicorn friends are health conscious, thank goodness.
Do labor and conservatives use different parts of their brains?
It seems so. Are we so surprised? US scientists have found they do. US co-researcher Dr. Darren Schreiber of Exeter University says, "The results could pave the way for new research on vote behavior". They found that when asked to play a game the Democrats (near to our Labour) showed greater activity in the left brain which is associated with social and self-awareness while the Republicans (near to our Conservatives) had a more active right amygdalae which is a region that is responsible for the 'fight-or-flight' response. This was enough to predict their political allegiance with an 83% accuracy. With this research going on, added to other new psychological research such as the 'dream catcher' research where scientists have managed to catch dreamers' dreams with a 60% accuracy, there will soon be nothing left to our imagination that cannot be used against us.
'Healthy' Drinks – I don't think so!
This is according to Dr. Robert Lustig in his book 'Fat Chance: the bitter truth about sugar'. Dr Lustig explains that the lack of fibre in fruit juices, as opposed to in the fruit itself, is a key issue. The fibre in whole fruits is a protective layer that acts as protection to the intestine and slows the absorption of sugar. This slowing down of the absorption of sugar from fresh fruits allows time for the liver to catch up. However, in fruit juices, fizzy drinks, smoothies and the so called 'healthy' drinks, the fibre has been squeezed out, thus the protection has gone so the liver becomes overloaded. Experts have now warned that 'health drinks' can actually be unhealthy. In fact one fruit drink has the same amount of sugar as over three doughnuts. Lustig explains that liquid fructose sugar is dangerous to your health whatever the source and can lead to heart problems, diabetes and obesity - the tretment of which is costing the NHS £6 billion a year. So don't kid yourself that they are good for you.
More on my Cancer research and how glamorous events can help
I have been whisked from the dilemma of being a carer for my personal friend and co-documentary maker, Inger, who found she had aggressive cancer to going out to the many luxury charity events which is an essential part of my business. It is important for the many new friends and contacts I meet. But the cancer experience has changed my direction and, I am glad to say, changed it into a very positive experience. It gave me so much hope for cancer sufferers as I worked with my friend this year, looking for what can be done to maximize the healing process.
My reasons for getting involved were firstly that so many friends and people around me and people I knew had cancer that it was like an epidemic and secondly - and not least - the incredible success of my friend's cancer treatment. So in order to help my friends, my clients and myself I wanted to understand more about this whole new world of cancer. So I started going to conferences, interviewing specialists and even accompanying my friend to her cancer treatments.
With my articles on nutrition and early research on specialist cancer prevention foods it had been fairly straightforward since I have the experience and I have been living and writing about nutrition for many years. However, the area of expertise regarding treatment was very new to me and I have had to immerse myself for the past year in order to learn about what is happening, whilst still keeping a balanced and open mind.
Inger used her attorney skills of research and I my journalistic skills of interviewing and we attended cancer conferences together to film and learn from the experts. These conferences were very informative, so much so that we are now making our second documentary. Its goal is to give advice on how you can work with both fact-finding and complimentary treatment as well as traditional medicine. I will be teaching these specialist hypnosis methods to other hypnotherapists at my September Hypnotherapy Conference (13th-15th) in Central London. You may be interested in attending so check out the link below. There is plenty of information and training for both therapists and anyone who has an interest in hypnosis. There is also a section on cancer help.
I am happy to report my first documentary, 'Condo Commandos: One Vote Away From Hell', which was chosen for the Cannes Film Festival short films' corner in 2010, has now won the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival short film prize 2012. This has helped new home owners to watch out for the pitfalls of buying a condo in Florida so I am looking forward to our second documentary, on cancer, to again help to really make a difference.
As I wear two hats, as a journalist and a hypnotherapy trainer, I am invited to many glamorous charity events which I support, so my years of becoming part of the high-ticket charity events have not only given me wonderful experiences but I have also been able to collect a lot of important contacts along the way. Contacts that have been delighted to give me personal introductions to leading cancer experts, helping me to navigate through the incredible world of cancer, guiding me to the help there is out there.
'Mad Handy Cravings'
Is the title of Lucinda Scala Quinn's new cook book. I was invited to her book signing and talk at one of the prestigious hotels at the beginning of her book tour. She is an executive at the Martha Stewart Company and she was certainly the most interesting speaker I have heard in a long time. What did she stress? Don't eat out, prepare and eat only fresh food and eat organic as much as you can. What else?
The most important and consistent advice from all the experts I have talked to on cancer is very simple and is directed at everyone: always avoid eating processed food, rather eat 'real' food that has no preservatives or chemicals, take plenty of exercise and do not overeat as research is now finding that obesity can create cancer. There are some healthy restaurants and eateries out there but they are very hard to find so start cooking to save your life.
Beware ot the word 'natural' which does not always mean what it says and is just a word for food suppliers to hide behind, while 'organic' is at least controlled.
I find I am spending much too much time on the Internet so I have decided to be more strict with the time I spend on the computer. It can become an addiction especially with great websites such as Netflix where you can watch all your favorite TV series one-after-the-other instead of just once a week.
Taking a look at the Internet figures may help. What happens in an Internet minute? 204 million emails are sent, 6 million Facebook pages are viewed, 1.3 million YouTube clips are downloaded, 47,000 apps are downloaded, 20 people have their identities stolen and one study says that by 2015 the number of networked devices on the Earth will be double the number of people.
Link fo my Austin Hypnotherapy Conference Sep 13-15th 2013 September: www.austinhypnotherapyconference.com
Our award winning short film (trailer): gem-documentary-films.com
You can check about my training on a new career in hypnosis on www.austinhypnotherapyconference.com
Or email me at [email protected]ol.com
Eds Note: VALERIE AUSTIN is an author of six successful self-help books including SELF HYPNOSIS (Thorsons), journalist and trainer with an international reputation in the field of hypnosis. Her best-selling books and training help people achieve their full potential. She founded the Austin Corporate Stress Management Company focusing on reducing stress and anxiety amongst executives and CEO's. She is also founder of UKRAH (1992) The UK Register of Advanced Hypnotherapy. Valerie has also worked as a consultant in hypnosis at the Priory Hospital, the UK's equivalent to The Betty Ford Clinic, which specialises in food addiction and alcohol abuse. Her work in the film industry (Hollywood) interviewing movers and shakers, producing TV news segments and publishing celebrity magazines in London gave her invaluable experience for her current Harley Street practice.
Links of the conference: www.austinhypnotherapyconference.com