Archive | March, 2010

Duking it out: Chia Seed vs. Flax Seed – Jill Sung

31 Mar

What seed am I?

Metta came back from Expo West natural trade show with promises of improving our nutritional health and renewed vigor to turn a “pretty healthy” diet into “Healthy!” One of the healthy additives that she’s been raving about is Chia seeds, which I’ve been eyeing at the health food stores with a personal interest to try once my flaxseeds are used up. I currently add a tablespoonish of golden flaxseeds (I heard, though unconfirmed, that golden has more vitamins than red) to my almost daily smoothie. I experiment a bit, but it’s more a healthy smoothie of convenience consisting of Scobie Bryant’s (my Kombucha’s nickname) miracle tea, an apple (skin included), frozen berries if no other fresh fruits of the season are gracing my kitchen, yogurt/milk if available and it cuts the light vinegar taste of the Kombucha, and that tablespoonish of flaxseeds. But let’s get back into the ring…

FLAX SEEDS: high in Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber, minerals: folate, manganese, magnesium, copper, etc.

I use whole flaxseeds because they can be stored up to a year whereas flaxseed meal can only last up to a week at room temperature because the unsaturated oils can go rancid easily. But I grind the flaxseeds before using them because that releases the goodies. Toasting flaxseeds is helpful too because it breaks down the small amounts of natural cyanide in them (also found in cashews and some beans). And according to US agencies and research, the recommended safe dose is anywhere from 2-6 tabespoons a day. Just don’t go overboard as both of these are high in fiber! If you’re a fan of the oil, just remember it does not contain the phytochemical antioxidants or the fiber.

CHIA SEEDS: high in soluble fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals: potassium, calcium, amino acids

The soluble fiber in gluten-free chia seeds is so evident that if you mix up a cup of water and tablespoon of powder, you can get a  gel in half an hour! That’s great for controlling food intake, carbohydrate to sugar absorption conversion, and diabetics where blood sugar level is particularly important. Plus chia seeds help keep you hydrated because they absorb water (a must for healthy skin and inner body health/healing). More than 20% protein, chia seeds are filled with a good mix of essential amino acids that your body doesn’t naturally make. Recommended dosage varies, but 3 tablespoons, 3 times a day is commonly recommended. Excellent place to purchase online:

Incidentally, a great website for checking out nutrition data is It covers everything and has useful tables and comparisons.

So the winner? Undeclared. After researching both of these, I’d love to incorporate both; they serve different purposes and complement each other well. So my future smoothies will have both… It’s a win win for everyone.

JAMU-JUARA Inspiration #2: Crash Course in Popular Jamu – Metta Murdaya

26 Mar

Here’s a bit more into JAMU itself – I talk about 2 of the MANY kinds of jamu that are considered ‘daily jamu’ for overall health and well-being. Get ready because after these JAMUs, on the next installment of the JAMU series, I’ll be getting into more interesting ones, such as ones that cure particular ailments and also help on relationship issues… yep, as in you and your significant other. Oh, the power of herbs and a little bit of creativity… 🙂

Also, feel free to check out our JUARA YouTube channel for more JUARA videos, where all the how-to’s on our products and other brand stuff is housed if you want to see it all in one place!

4 things that actually make life easier when you have a baby – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

23 Mar

Chowing down a sandwich at Bouchon Bakery

As a first-time mother to a baby daughter, Asami, I now comprehend what other people were talking about when they said life as a new parent is tough.  But in addition to the rewarding feeling of seeing your baby smile and grow, I have actually found a few things that are – surprise – much easier now that I have to take care of a baby:

I always have perfectly luscious lips

With my baby daughter, I have to change diapers every couple of hours.  Right before I apply some ointment to my baby’s bottom, I take some Aquaphor Healing Ointment out of the big tub and apply it to my lips.  Voila – Luscious Lips!

No need for annoying upper body strength training

As a bottom-heavy person, I’ve always sacrificed my upper body strength training for doing lower body work outs.  Now I have to lift a 12-pound baby so many times a day, my arms have naturally become more toned and strong.  I don’t have to even have to motivate myself to do an arm work out.  And the weight will naturally get heavier without my having to push myself!

Breastfeeding – the best weight loss program ever

You can eat pretty much whatever you whenever you want in whatever quantities you want and you STILL lose weight!  Need I say more?

Peace of mind – for the most part

Pregnancy and even more so motherhood sweep through your brain and make you forgetful, thus the term new mommy brain.  But along with important names and sales figures, you also forget and frankly stop caring about a lot of petty things that used to clutter your brain.  What is left is peace of mind – for the most part…


22 Mar

Enter to win a JUARA MONTHLY SPECIAL, valued at $70! All you have to do is:


It takes less than 5 minutes to fill, and we will draw a random winner in 2 weeks.

MARCH MONTHLY SPECIAL: SAVE 15%. Normally $81, this kit is specially-priced at $70 for this month only! Naturally balance and prep your model-soft skin at a great value! JUARA’s Rice Facial Cleanser & Scrub + Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner work together to give you super smooth, and oh-so-touchable skin, while hydrating and preparing it for a day’s make-up or working with your body for a restoring night’s rest. JUARA’s best kept secret!


Up in the Air and Behind the Brand – Metta Murdaya

19 Mar

I just came back from a trip to Indonesia, one of many I take every year. The stay there is the focal point of my trip, but I think getting there alone is a trip of its own. It’s a 24 flight EACH WAY from NY, I have to strategize on how to keep myself amused and when I sleep so I don’t walk out of the plane like a lost zombie. So, here are some key highlights of my frequent flights…

– I save about $40 watching at least 4 movies each way that I missed in the theatres and think “Oh, I’ll catch that on the plane for free.”  And then I do. Woohoo!

– I practice a little yoga in the hallway to keep me limber, to the amusement of the stewardesses. Note: This always challenges my balancing poses. Especially when there’s turbulence.

– I have threatened jet lag to keep me at bay by sleeping on and off to adjust to the time change. Futile are its efforts to get me, “We try her every time but she just won’t pass out at 2pm!”

– I sashay radiantly out of the plane each time, since I take a Travel-Size of the Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner to keep my dry, recycled-air exposed skin refreshed and faboo. And faboo is good.

So – back to Indonesia.  I go back home to Jakarta and Bali to see family, friends, and of course, live, breathe, and research for JUARA. After all, it’s the ancient Indonesian herbal tradition and beauty rituals I grew up with that inspired me to create the line. I wish I could take everyone who asks “What’s it like over there,”  but that’s a little tough. Ok, I can do carry on luggage, so for all you JUARA fans 40lbs and under – you must be this small to ride this ride – jump on in, and we can watch the movies together.

For the rest of you over 40lbs, I give you this video. Enjoy!

(Do you have travel tips to make long flights easier? I’m always looking for suggestions!)

To Paper or Not to Paper? – Jill Sung

12 Mar

That’s not really the question. Or is it? As in any business, you can’t avoid paper, but at JUARA HQ we always think twice before we print anything on recycled paper: emails, bills, orders, etc. When possible we print front and back or print on the back of paper that we no longer need. And we love recycling! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. That’s our live-by mantra. We recycle as much as we can, try to use recycled when possible, or produce on paper from well-managed forests. We produce products that use as little “packaging” as possible. Our folding cartons and samples are printed on FSC or SFI certified paper – meaning it’s from well-managed forests.

But in considering the pervasiveness of paper in life, and trying to be responsible about the use of paper, we find that the challenge is to always challenge ourselves. We’re constantly finding new ways to improve our use of paper: streamlining, changing processes, etc. And learning where paper comes from and where it goes is important too in making that decision. What does recycling really mean? Is it better to use paper from a well managed forest or a recycling plant? Does recycled paper use more energy to create? What are the standards of recycling, etc.

Although this is a topic that a blog can barely cover, I did want to share a few facts. Did you know that paper recycling results in an energy savings of 40% (aluminum is 95%!) and an air pollution savings of 70%? Paper can only be recycled up to about 6 times, after which the fibers become too short to produce quality paper. (Metals and glass can be almost infinitely recycled). Much of the waste paper that is produced in recycling is actually shipped to India to be recycled, then shipped back… And there’s so much more to learn and understand…but it’s Friday night and my attention is waning.  If you know more about paper and trees and considerations about their usage, please share!

March’s Monthly Special – The Video – Metta Murdaya

9 Mar

Check out MARCH’s monthly special here! We had a blast making the video – I think we had about 3 minutes of battery life on my camera, and Jill and I were totally late for a dinner engagement, but all we can say is after this shoot, we had reeeaalllyyyy clean skin… 🙂 Hope you enjoy!  I really love the Rice Facial Scrub myself… Big time.