“Beauty,” they say, “is not just skin deep.”
To be beautiful, we can’t just rely on beauty products — our diet is very important too. Did you know that eating salads can help to moisturize your skin, boost your energy and improve your overall appearance? And that salads don’t have to be boring?
Low calorie, high fiber content – eating raw foods in salads gives you beneficial vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that can be destroyed in the cooking process. A vegetarian friend recently said something that really got me thinking, “Name an animal that cooks their food.” Of course, there aren’t any others – only humans insist on cooking their meals. Why is that?
The best way to hydrate your skin is by eating salads, suggest many health and beauty experts. According to studies, iceberg lettuce and cucumbers are both about 96% water while a red tomato contains about 94% of that wonderful H2O!

The basics of a typical ‘American salad’ (like the one in the photo) are lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Or you can make salads as exotic as the one that visitors from France made for me with cold rice topped with vegetables, fruit, and nuts, all sitting on a bed of lettuce. Note that in many countries, “salad” is the word used as a name for lettuce.
Sprinkle flax seeds on top for intestinal health; add walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia or other nuts for both flavour and texture. Or make a fabulous salad like the one I had at the “Red Tomato” restaurant on Langkawi, Malaysia. Their chef starts with rocket lettuce, then tops that with tomatoes and cucumbers, then adds slices of mango and avocado and spills handfuls of cranberries over it all. To finish it off, he offers a choice of proteins from the menu of chicken, salmon, or tuna. The ‘secret’ dressing melds the flavors.
Speaking of dressings…One of the healthiest dressings is a simple mix of Spanish or Italian olive oil with apple cider or balsamic vinegar. Another ‘secret’ of a chef I know is to add a spoonful of honey and/or a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Spice it up with seasonings: salt, pepper, and herbs like thyme, rosemary, and basil make it “Italian;” soy sauce and mirin rice vinegar turn it into an Asian dressing.
The famed Mayo Clinic offers a number of salad recipes online to encourage people to eat healthy foods. According to research posted on their site, “Americans are making salads for less than 10 percent of meals — a decline of 20 percent in the past 15 years.” No wonder there’s an ‘obesity epidemic!’
Best foods for your skin…
Mayo Clinic dermatologist Dr. Lawrence Gibson lists the following “best foods for healthy skin:”

  • Carrots, apricots, and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables
  • Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Beans, peas and lentils
  • Salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish
  • Nuts
Throw all those things together in a bowl and just think of all the healthy anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and oils you’ll be eating! The olive oil alone will do wonders for your skin and hair – inside and out!
Salads don’t have to be boring!
Let yourself be inspired by the cuisines of many countries and create your own. Of course, if you’re not in the mood for the ‘crunch,’ you can throw your salad in a blender, add some yogurt, and make a great smoothie! You can have salads at almost every meal!
Photo Credits:


Australian Hair & Makeup Artist Promotes Natural, Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

One of the very proud moments in my life with the incredible Jane Goodall during the launch of her film at IMAX…. A brief background on myself… Hi : -) I am Nicole Groch. I have been a professional freelance hair & makeup artist based in Melbourne, Australia for over 19 years. I have been working in the fashion, advertising and music industry both in Australia and overseas. Quite some year’s back now, I took it upon myself to rethink my attitude towards the makeup & hair products I used in my kit.
I had been a vegetarian for many years for ethical reasons, and only used ‘cruelty free’ products in my work, but I was also very interested in all the natural and organic products that were becoming more readily available.

I did research into the common ingredients used in the majority of cosmetic brands and was astounded at how many toxic ingredients they contained and how they can adversely affect our health. I then converted my kit, so I now use on my clients only the safest, cruelty free and natural products that I can source. This is how I came to love the Paul Penders range as they stood for everything I believed in, vegan, natural and safe. Over the years I got to know Paul and he is an incredible inspirational person.
Because I didn’t believe it was ethical to use or promote any products that were tested on animals I was constantly turning down work for companies that either used such products, or had real fur in their ranges, including their TV commercials, fashion parades, fashion shows and product editorials. Particularly I wanted to do something positive with my makeup skills to help animals!
So I got in contact with the Australian (they accredit cruelty free companies) and offered to start “The Cruelty Free Makeup Tips”. I arranged a huge celebrity launch for the “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” poster campaign I had put together and did all hair and makeup for it as well.

I was able to use my connections to get celebrity support for the front covers of our magazines and for campaigns. After a few years I was asked to become a Director of Choose Cruelty Free and as their PR Director I found Paul Penders products. Our Preferred Product List lead me to do PR work for other natural and cruelty free companies.
Now I am the mother of two beautiful children. And along with doing my hair and makeup work, and PR for CCF, I embarked on a journey that I am very passionate about! I have become the writer, editor, photographer, marketing and PR person for a website my husband Jonathan (an IT professional) and I together designed, called:

The aim of Living Safe is to give individuals easy tools and accurate knowledge to help them create a safe and healthy environment for their children, pets and …ultimately themselves! Since we have launched the site several months ago we have been getting fantastic positive feedback, especially from parents thanking us for creating this much needed site. It has made them more aware and informed about these very important issues. We hope our site will help to create a better world for the all of us. We also have a directory of “Safe & Non-Toxic” companies and of course, Paul’s products are on it as well as they fit the Living Safe ethos perfectly!
Paul Penders is now available in Australia. For more information please visit:
Author: Nicole Groch

An unforgettable trip to Paul Penders Beauty Salon in Kuala Lumpur!

This week we had visitors over from different places in the world. We were honored to receive Paul Penders distributors from Saudi Arabia, Australia, India, Japan, Baltic’s and The Netherlands. We are all building up Paul Penders business in these respective countries, and for this purpose our active distributor in Malaysia wholeheartedly invited us to how the distribution and promotion of Paul Penders products is being done in Malaysia. So all took the plane from our headquarters in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark to the capital Kuala Lumpur to see the Juveness Wellness Centers, the newest Paul Penders Natural Organic Beauty Salon, and a “road show” in a busy shopping center.
The first visit was to the Juve Wellness Center in Kuala Lumpur with a warm welcome from Mdm. Chin, Malaysia’s true pioneer in promoting organic food and natural lifestyle. Her staff organized an interesting tour at the Juve Wellness Center. We saw a “healthy combination” of natural food, vitamins, herbs, books, remedies and of course, the full range of Paul Penders natural organic cosmetics!

    One of the current 30 Juve Wellness Centers in Malaysia

Mdm. Chin believes in the health of the complete person in every dimension, and in the same atmosphere Paul Penders are presented in the store. Located at different shelves with interesting information and brochures and consumer product testers where needed. The organic color cosmetics are placed at a special counter with service from a trained beauty specialists always ready to serve when requested by customers.

    Mdm. Chin explains the success of the Juve Wellness Center


    Agate, Mariek, Sarah & Munira enjoy the organic color cosmetic displays

Then Mdm. Chin and her team prepared a fantastic vegetarian lunch of some 10 different dishes! They were all beautifully presented and all well-balanced for our health. With every course Mme Chin explained why the specific combinations of different ingredients were prepared; to give maximum healthy contribution to our body. For me it was a total pleasure to experience.

    The team having lunch at the Juve Wellness Center


The next action on this very special day was at the Paul Penders Natural Organic Beauty Salon complete with 6 relaxing beauty treatment rooms, complete with sauna as well. And here I got more and more respect of the concept of Mdm. Chin. It were not only the Juve Wellness Centers, the vegetarian restaurants and Paul Penders Natural Organic Beauty Salons, but especially her specific training to the staff and consumer towards all different aspects of a natural healthy beauty what she believes in, and is so fully committed to.

    Mdm. Chin explaining the treatment room


    Our Indian distributors got a well deserved treatment.


Here shown Mdm. Chin with Agate (Baltic distributor), Mr Lim (Australia distributor), Sarah and her sister Munira, and Mr Musabeh from (Saudi Arabia) and few of Paul Penders staff that travelled to Kuala Lumpur with them as well.
Then finally we went off to the Paul Penders flagship Natural Organic Beauty Salon!! In our blog Paul Penders Malaysia NIC International Opening Day Part 2 we already introduced the newest Paul Penders beauty salon at opening day. However for this group of foreign distributors it was for the first time they saw it. The entrée is completely in “Paul Penders looks” (feel and colors) with many different rooms for facial and body treatments. So many thanks to the great and caring staff of beauticians who made it possible for our (tired) foreign distributors getting a treatment here as well.

    Mariek and Sarah rest in one of the treatment rooms.


    Agate (Baltic distributor) & Hong (PP’s Operation Manager)


    Munira, Sarah, Bastiaan & few of the beauticians

The last part of this eventful day was a visit at Jusco in a shopping mall (same store like a Tesco in UK or a Wal-Mart in the US). This week the road show for Paul Penders was at Jusco. ! Many shoppers were able to try the Paul Penders products and be informed about their benefits and even got a quick facial treatment if they wanted!

    Images of the Paul Penders road show in Jusco, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

For me it was a very long but inspiring day. And I believe also the same counted for our visitors from above mentioned countries.
Many thanks to Mdm. Chin, Mr. Teh, Lee Booi, Richard and Phoebe and their whole team who made this such a truly wonderful and unforgettable day! Paul Penders India Pvt. Ltd has extended their invitation and very happily receives Mdm. Chin and Phoebe at the Saponam Ayurvedic Hospital in Kerala, India for great Ayurvedic treatments combined with yoga, meditation and healing vegetarian foods. Our thanks again to our successful Malaysia Paul Penders distributor!
NIC CORPORATION also regularly organizes in Malaysia “Paul Penders Beauty Contests” where customers who buy Paul Penders products at a total of US75 receive not only a free makeover with our organic color cosmetics but also a personal photo session (with before and after shots!) followed with a contest.
Please visit “Paul Penders International” at Facebook and also read the PPBlog story about this here.

Managing Sopanam Ayurvedic Hospital & Wellness Centre

Managing an Ayurvedic Hospital with physicians, traditional Ayurvedic massage therapists, a full-range Ayurvedic pharmacy… and of course patients visiting from anywhere in the world, who need various treatments, including Ayurvedic dental care may not be the easiest job in the world.
I was traveling with the group of Paul Penders Company to India together with my business partner Bastiaan Penders, also from Holland. As part of this special company trip we also stayed for 4 days in this fantastic Sopanam hospital and I thought it would be a good idea to interview the GM of Sopanam Hospital and ask him how it is to run an Ayurvedic Hospital which at the same time is a few stars hotel accommodation with a superb vegetarian kitchen as well.
Mr. Lonappan, the General Manager is a graduated accountant, who studied at Christ College in Irinjalakuda, Kerala state, India. After his graduation he started working in Bombay, after which he went abroad. He spent 16 years working in Saudi-Arabia and 6 years in the UAE.
While working in the UAE Mr. Lonappan and a friend made the plan to set up a specialty Ayurvedic Hospital in India because they felt there was a real need for quality care and with it spread the word about Ayurvedic Medicines as well. So in 2003 they bought land near Kochi in Kerala State and started to build the famous Sopanam Hospital & Wellness Centre.

    Entrance of Sopanam Ayurvedic Hospital


    The rooms in Sopanam Ayurvedic Wellness Centre are very comfortable

Building the hospital took approximately four years and in 2007 it opened for patients and guests, therefore the hospital is now already three years in operation.
Mr. Lonappan tells that roughly there are two groups of people visiting the hospital.
The first group is people that come especially for Ayurvedic treatments, in combination with regular tourism. This group is offered a light diet during the first three or four days of their stay, and they can go out of the hospital on various trips. Possibilities are the Athirapilly Waterfalls, an elephant sanctuary or shopping and sightseeing in Kochin. After these first couple of days, the people will be put on a complete and strict diet and will not be able anymore to go out on daytrips as the schedule will be full with treatment sessions, doctor’s monitoring, yoga etc.

    Athirapilly Waterfalls                  Our morning yoga sessions

The second group is the real patients. They become truly hospitalized. Sopanam Wellness Centre has successfully treated several patients that could not be treated by modern medicine. Among them were a few stroke patients, but also a patient that had had a transection. This particular patient was advised by modern medicine that she would never be able to walk again. After 33 days of treatment in the Sopanam Wellness Centre she could get up out of her wheelchair and has now recovered to a normal life for over 70%.
I asked Mr Lonappan what is the secret of Ayurveda that it can achieve results that modern medicine cannot achieve?
His answer was that it is a matter of the correct diagnosis, the correct treatment and the correct medicine. “So far not really different from modern medicine, but as Mr. Lonappan says, Ayurveda looks for a cure not for a remedy. As it is also 100% natural, treatments will not negatively affect other parts of the body, such as is possible by modern medicine. Here Mr. Lonappan refers to, for example, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Ayurveda is a lifestyle, not just a medical treatment.

    Side view Sopanam Ayurvedic Hospital


Mr. Lonappan has the ambition to make Sopanam Hospital one of the best centers in the world for Ayurvedic treatment. He strongly believes that the future is promising and the centre already has such a good reputation as well.
Besides operating the center, Mr. Lonappan explains they are looking for a small factory to produce Ayurvedic medicines. Mr. Lonappan shows a genuine interest in both visitors, as well as the staff working in the center. He easily remembered several patients, and we saw him busy at several places in the center, helping the staff. He has two sons of 25 and 15 years old.
I was extremely impressed with him and with the special care and great vegetarian meals we received each day, with the Ayurvedic treatments and yoga, meditation we got. The kind and professional way the hospital is managed in general. Soon they will start an Ayurvedic dental service as well.
We wish Mr. Lonappan and his wonderful staff all the luck in the world to make a long-time dream come true where Sopanam becomes the best specialty Ayurvedic Hospital where all people want to be for the best and affordable health and inner peace as well.

    General Manager Mr. Lonappan and interviewer Ingmar Waarheid

Sopanam is a Multi-specialty Ayurvedic Hospital that falls into the organic way of living with specialty clinics for gynecology, paediatrics, eye care, general medicine, dermatology; and contains special programs for: spine care, slimming, rheumatoid and rejuvenation. They promote healthcare from Abhyanga, Patra Potali Sweda, Choorna Pinda Sweda till Vasti and many more treatments; as well as traditional Ayurvedic massages, yoga and meditation classes. Rooms are very comfortable and meals all authentic vegatarian; lovingly prepared exclsuive from fresh certifed organic ingredients.
Please visit