12th Annual Black Friday Buy 1 Get 1 Free Gift Card Sale @ ESSpa Kozmetika in Pittsburgh, PA

BOGO is BACK! ESSpa Kozmetika is celebrating its 12th Annual Thanksgiving Black Friday BOGO Gift Cardapalooza Sale. And this year, in response to all of the big-box, impersonal corporations determined to interrupt your Thanksgiving Dinner – ESSpa is pleased to announce that THIS YEAR – our 2013 BOGO Event will take place The Night BEFORE Thanksgiving – WEDNESDAY Night, November 27th from 8:00 PM until 11:00 PM – to accommodate customers searching for the best Holiday Gifts (and the Biggest Deals) of the Season WITHOUT disturbing your Thanksgiving Dinner plans OR making you wake up at 3AM. And don’t worry about rain or snow, if the weather is bad – we will open the doors early so you can stay warm and dry.



Nationally-recognized as “The 3rd Best Spa in America” by The Industry Source, Pittsburgh’s skincare institution will open the Day BEFORE Thanksgiving on Wednesday Night to start the shopping with its iconic Cardapalooza Buy One Get One Deal and a host of other special deals.


“Black Friday has always been our biggest event of the year,” said Eva Kerschbaumer, Founder, CEO and Esthetic Director for ESSpa Kozmetika. “This is our 12th year and our Black Wednesday BOGO Event is designed so more and more customers can take advantage of these special deals. This year we’re really pulling out all the stops so everyone can save big $$, have fun and be healthy.”


In the past, ESSpa Kozmetika opened its doors in the earlier morning on Black Friday. For 2013, Eva and her husband Scott will open the doors The Day BEFORE Thanksgiving on Wednesday November 27th to provide this unique healthy BOGO opportunity to more people than ever before. “We asked our guests what they would prefer,” said Scott Kerschbaumer, COO and Director of Marketing. “We set up an online poll and responded to our customers’ request to do something different, to not interrupt Turkey Dinner, to open earlier than past years. Beginning at 8PM, when someone buys a Gift Card, we will give them an additional 100% Bonus Gift Certificate.”


According to the Owners and customers of previous ESSpa BOGO Events, there are no limits to how much (or how little) a customer can spend. For instance, if someone buys a $1000 Gift Card they will receive an additional $1000 Certificate for FREE. Or, if someone buys a $25 Gift Card they will receive a Free $25 Bonus Certificate. It is an honest-to-goodness, 100%, 1 for 1 match.


ESSpa Kozmetika will offer other special Gift Card deals on Black Friday when the spa opens for regular hours at 10am. The Kerschbaumers also said that 25 customers will also have the ability to purchase Buy One Get One Free Spa Club Memberships – allowing the lucky purchasers to save thousands of dollars and enjoy a full year of treatments for a fraction of their regular price.


ESSpa will continue to have additional sales throughout Black Friday that will continue until the close of business at 8pm for purchasers of standard Gift Cards and their exclusive organic creams, masks and serums – and new for 2013 will be specials deals on recycled, eco-chic items.


When asked why someone would visit a dayspa at 11pm, Mr. Kerschbaumer said “When you can come out to a local dayspa, spend $100 and walk out with hundreds of dollars worth of Free Bonus Certificates, that is a deal worth staying up for!”




Only a limited number of people will be allowed to take advantage of this DEAL. Please plan to arrive early to ensure you are allowed to enter and participate – Don’t get left out in the cold!


NOTE* If you have RSVP’d here – you are guaranteed admission, so don’t worry.

Complimentary Refreshments and Entertainment will be provided for your enjoyment.
You must visit the spa in person to take advantage of this offer.  Be sure to study obscure 1980’s pop music and movies to win Scott’s random trivia contests.


Please note that you cannot use existing Gift Cards to make BOGO Event purchases.
Those wishing to spend $1000 or more and those interested in Spa Club Memberships will receive special consideration and should call us for details.


Call 412-782-3888 for more information. We look forward to seeing you, you are the best customers and we truly appreciate your support!


Spa You Soon,
🙂 Eva and Scott Kerschbaumer
ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare
17 Brilliant Avenue
(corner of Brilliant Ave and Freeport Road)
Pittsburgh, PA 15215

PS – If you really don’t want to wait (or are going to be out of town) then we offer the exclusive Exclusive BOGO Pre-Sale Opportunity going on now at https://www.thegiftcardcafe.com/vcart/special.php?storeID=1266&offer=897.


Why Beauty Products with Liposomes Don’t Work.

We spend considerable time, money and effort researching how to make all of the skincare products that we use in our Spa Treatments as effective as possible. One of the most unique (and costly) products are called Biopeptix Cosmeceuticals. Not only are the the most effective creams, serums, masks and exfoliants we have ever found – ESSpa Kozmetika is the Exclusive North American Master Training Center for Biopeptix.
Read the following for just one major reason why Biopeptix products are so different (read – BETTER) than any other OTC skin care product out there.


Liposomes Don’t Live Up to Beauty Hype

Beauty Products with Liposomes Don’t Work

Posted by ThirdAge.com on February 20, 2013

Don’t believe the hype: liposomes, which are often included in beauty products because they can supposedly alter the skin’s structure, really can’t do that.

Liposomes, small capsules of fat, are said to transport themselves deep into the skin, releasing  substances that rejuvenate and hydrate, leading to a structural alteration in skin. But researchers from the University of Southern Denmark discovered that liposomes, far from getting deep under the skin, sometimes don’t even get past the skin’s surface.

“We have shown that liposomes are destroyed before they enter the skin or very soon after,” researcher Luis Bagatolli said in a statement.  He also said that liposomes are not the “efficient carriers” they are supposed to be.

To reach that conclusion, the researchers used the technique RICS (Raster Imaging Correlation Spectroscopy) to see what liposomes do when they’re applied to the skin. Bagatolli said that previous studies using another technique had indicated that liposomes didn’t do what they were said to do. But this study, he said, established that definitively.

The findings, published in the journal Investigative Dermatology, came as no surprise to the researchers.

“The human skin is designed to prevent external components to enter the human body,” Bagatolli said. “It is natural that it also prevents liposomes to enter.”

So how does this relate to Biopeptix? BECAUSE, all Biopeptix Products use Fullerenes as their method of encapsulation. Fullerenes are unique and different because they are a carbon based, spherical, transdermal delivery system that are able to penetrate through the skin’s outer layers allowing the active ingredients to be more readily absorbed and put to use by your body.

I love it when real clinical trials confirm the science that makes Biopeptix Cosmeceutical Products so amazingly effective.

Mothers Day Beauty, Baubles and More


  ESSPAtiqueEva Kerschbaumer




From Eva: Color me excited about these vivid enamel looks!

Whether you’re big into bold brilliance or adore crisp black & white,

there’s something to love from any style spectrum in today’s sale …


Celebrating Baby Bumps
Sale ends tomorrow

Pin your favorite styles to win
Sale ends in 2 days

…Let Her Choose Her Own Style.
Sale ends in 4 days

    UP NEXT  

Style Break!
Animal House


Style Break!
Trending Now


Hunt For Style
Spin & Win!

115 Kingston St, 3rd Floor | Boston, MA 02111 | Kitsy Lane
Published in: on May 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What Monsters are lurking in your Refridgerator

Things In Your Fridge You Should Throw Away Immediately

Thank you to Kitchen Daily, which is where this article was originally posted on 5/5/13

For many of us, there are things hiding in our fridge that we dare not unearth, from cloudy Tupperware shoved at the back of the fridge to the unidentifiable object in our produce drawer. Spring is the perfect time to clean out your refrigerator and take a closer look at what exactly you’re stocking up on, and you may find that some items you don’t normally think twice about may actually be hazardous to your health. Whether to practice safe food storage or to adopt a healthier lifestyle, we’ll show you seven hidden hazards in your refrigerator that you should throw out immediately.

So the Scary thing is here – open that fridge (or pantry) door and see how many things on this list are in there right now. 99% of us have at least 1 or more of these things in our homes and we consume them all the time. And even though I own an organic spa and was raised on an organic farm (my dad still has his organic farm in Hungary) I usually have some of these items every week. Why? Because they are convenient and I am always too busy to think about the consequenses of my choices. Hmmmm, now that I think about it, perhaps I should listen to Scott more as he is constantly wanting to eat out more often than not.
STAY SAFE and EDUCATE YOURSELF. Because Beauty is more than Skin Deep.

6 ‘Gee Thanks’ Mothers Day Gifts

I would like to thank for providing this wonderful article that I am pleased to share.

“Silk flowers? A ceramic pot? Heated socks? Oh and you’d like me to make Mother’s Day Breakfast? Thanks?” On Sunday, May 9th, these woes will be echoed from Moms across America. We’re not saying you should go broke to show your affection, but at least make an effort. We asked some of our favorite mommy bloggers which Mother’s Day gift they DO NOT WANT, despite the delusional marketers’ beliefs that it’s “perfect for all moms!” Hilarious, but truthful answers below.

HINT: MOM REALLY JUST WANTS TO GO TO A SPA, so get her a Gift Card for that massage, facial or mani-pedi she so desires. No risk, all kisses! Ship, email or print – now thru Mother’s Day.

And my Mother’s Day gift to them that hopefully they WILL love:


As seen on TV… again and again and again

It happens every Valentines Day, Christmas, and Mother’s Day: Chain jewelry stores over-advertise one specific thing, touting how inexpensive it is. Who wants to get this? You’ve seen the ads for weeks, you know your significant other spent exactly zero brain cells deciding to buy this thing, you know it’s cheap, and worst of all you know that a ton of women with sucky men are opening up the same exact gift.

–Amy, Selfishmom.com


Mothers Day Link Love: Best Mom Advice


Oh… you want me to clean something?

Cleaning products like vacuums and items for the house such as printers & gadgets (unless it’s especially for her like an ipod touch or an iPad) that they claim are “perfect” for mom’s on Mother’s Day. Some people don’t know that Mother’s Day is just that – for the mother, not the house or anything else.

–Lisa, newyorkchica.com


Mothers Day Link Love: New York mom blogs


That’s pretty… pretty trashy

I got an email from SimpleHuman the other day promoting trash cans, paper towel holders, and recycling bins as Mother’s Day gifts. I think their products are beautifully designed, but a trash can for Mother’s Day? What better way to say I love you than here’s a place to throw out trash!

–Kelly, thecentsiblelife.com


Mother’s Day Link Love: family money saving tips


Painful to the hair follicles… and the heart

One of the Mother’s Day gifts I would never want is a waxing kit (either at home or at a spa). Yes, husbands might think that’s a sure fire way of getting “private time”, but whenever I see highly marketed waxing kits: I wince! Call me crazy, but sheering pain and being “detailed” like his favorite car doesn’t say “Thank you Mom” as much as a Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy and a cold pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

–Bailey, makeovermomma.com


Mother’s Day Link Love: mom style blog


Heartfelt poetry… by someone else

Can I be frank?  I absolutely do not like getting those pre-made poetry plaques that gift stores sell! All they do is collect dust and really, don’t mean a whole lot more than, “I had to find something that said ‘MOM’…”. Now, when my son wrote a poem for me and my husband had it engraved in a plaque, I thought that was pretty sweet and I’ll treasure it always!

–Tammy, amominredhighheels.com


Mother’s Day Link Love: best mom blogs


Want it… but save it for another holiday

Although most of us would love to own a super awesome Dyson, I think that if my husband got me one for Mother’s Day, he’d be putting on an apron and demonstrating it’s uses in front of the camera for the whole bloggosphere to see!

–Tisha, crazyworkingmom.com


Mother’s Day Link Love: advice for working moms


Here’s an idea: get her a gift that would never end up on this list… an ESSpa Kozmetika Gift Card. They’re on sale right now, and you can print them instantly. They’re redeemable 365 days a year, and they never expire! Just visit http://www.ESSPA.net right now to see all of our special spa packages that your Mom will LOVE!

Published in: on May 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Best Mother’s Day Gift in Pennsylvania: Professional Massage Therapy

The Best Mother’s Day Gift: A Professional Massage


My family and I recently moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I had been suffering of lower back pain for a while. Therefore, I went to the doctor and had an X-ray. I had developed osteoarthritis in my spine. Well, at least now I knew the cause of the pain.

A couple of months later, my son surprised me with one of the best gifts ever on Mother’s Day. He took me to a popular, local Spa to get one of their famous therapeutic massages.

The atmosphere was relaxing, cozy, and friendly. The owners and their staff greeted us very cordially. Afterwards, they took me to a private room and did a short interview to find out about my health history (allergies, ailments, pain) and needs. They informed me that all of their masseuses were highly trained, certified, and permanent staff members. Then, they proceeded to tell me about the various types of massages available to me, each designed to address different goals.

First, they told me about their Hungarian Honey massage. This type of massage has amazing effects in the body. It helps eliminate toxins, moisturizes, nourishes, and cleans the skin, improves blood circulation, relaxes the nervous system, boosts the metabolism, reduces cellulite, enhances the immune system, and relieves chronic exhaustion.

Then, they introduced me to the Swedish massage, which is done all over your body to ease tension, increase circulation, and relax you.

They offer many other types for different purposes such as hot stone, reflexology, trigger point, maternity, head, neck, and shoulder, and deep tissue sport massages. They all sounded divine to me. That is where things became a bit difficult for me because after learning about their variety and purposes, I wanted to have them all! Yet, I had to choose one.

I decided to have the Hungarian honey massage. The masseuse took me to her room and, after giving me the time to undress and wrap a soft towel around; she began to rub my body gently with honey focusing on my lower back. I immediately began to feel the effects and relief.

There is no doubt that this massage at ESSpa in Pittsburg was the best Mother’s Day gift I have had in years. Schedule a Mother’s Day massage treatment at Esspa Kozmetika Organic Skincare for your mother today. Just use their convenient online form at www.esspa.net . She’ll love it!


Stop Senate Bills S.3767 and S.510 – Protect Fresh, Local Food Choice

Listen up friends. I usually do not make a such a post but this issue is simply too important and the potential long-term harm if nothing is done is too great. We are not paranoid but something is going on in the US Senate that you need to know about right away.

On Thursday, September 23rd, 2010, the United States Senate will officially consider Legislation that if passed will restrict your access to fresh, locally produced, non-GMO, organic food (these Bills will effectively put small, local family farms out of business and subject the farmers to criminal penalties and/or jail). This Legislation (Bills S.3767 and S.510) will also determine whether we can easily find natural vitamins & supplements – and will potentially make natural health cures a crime.

The Senate is close to passing these pieces of Legislation which will end our freedom of food choice by having the FDA follow International standards (e.g., Codex Alimentarius) to restrict our local farmers and degrade our food. The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider these restrictive Bills on Thursday, September 23, 2010.

I am urging you to tell your Senators to VOTE NO by clicking the link below like I have already and then share this post and link as fast as you can with everyone you can. Explain the situation to them and ask them to take these actions for their households and then send this to their contacts, and so on. Thank you for caring about your health and our common right to fresh, healthy food. Click Here to send a letter to your Senator NOW!

The Incredible Edible Egg – Or Not. What exactly is in your egg?

So for the last year or so, Scott has really gone on a healthy food / eat local kick. But even before this, we both went out of our way to buy the “organic, free-range” eggs at the supermarket. And wouldn’t you know it, along comes this article that blows the whole healthy egg thing right out of the water. I’ll tell you what, it is getting very depressing reading about what is going on with our food production in today’s world.


Eggs are one of the most beneficial foods you can eat, and it’s a shame they’ve been vilified for so long in the United States. In the U. S., roughly 280 million birds give us about 75 billion eggs per year, which is about 10 percent of the world supply.

But not all eggs are created equal.

Eggs from truly organic, free-range chickens are FAR less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, and their nutrient content is also much higher than commercially raised eggs.

The dramatically superior nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free ranging, pastured hens and commercially farmed hens.

If you are eating organically, then you have learned how important the diet and care of an animal is to the quality of its meat, and in this case, their eggs. But have you ever thought about what happens to these eggs AFTER they are collected?

You would think that organic eggs would be your best choice when picking them up at the grocery store. However, most states have laws that make them illegal unless all the eggs that are sold commercially are processed in a way that could damage them.

Some states require that all eggs receive a chlorine bath and mineral oil coating before they are nestled into their cartons.

There are vast differences in how eggs are processed and handled, even under the “certified organic” label.

As it turns out, what happens outside the shell is as important as what happens inside the shell, and that is the focus of this report.

Your Egg’s Journey from Hen to Market

Ideally, eggs should be processed the day after they are laid. The USDA requires processing within 30 days of lay. High quality eggs are processed within seven days of lay.

Egg processing involves the following six steps:

  1. Egg collecting
  2. Cooling
  3. Cleaning/Disinfecting
  4. Candling (a measure for assessing the interior quality of the eggs whereby eggs are held up in front of a high-intensity light and visually examined; among other problems, cracks can be identified that necessitate disposal of the egg)
  5. Grading
  6. Packing/Labeling

It is the cleaning process that you as a consumer should be aware of, because in this step, chemicals and contaminants may be introduced that compromise your eggs’ quality.

Why Eggshells are Like Your Skin

Did you know that, like your skin, eggshells are actually a porous membrane rather than an impermeable barrier?

An eggshell contains approximately 7,500 pores or openings. The outer surface is covered with a waxy cuticle (called the bloom when on a chicken egg), sealing the egg and helping prevent bacteria from entering.

Gases are transferred and moisture is lost through these pores.

When moisture is lost, carbon dioxide is also lost, speeding up the breakdown of the egg.[i] Loss of carbon dioxide causes the egg’s pH to increase, which results in thinning of the albumen.

Why is this important?

Because commercial processing regularly destroys this protective cuticle.

As it turns out, it is standard industry practice to wash chicken eggs. Depending on the method of washing, the cuticle can be easily damaged, which leaves your eggs vulnerable to contamination and faster spoilage. The egg industry knows this, so to replace what Mother Nature put there for good reason, they must coat the egg with something—often mineral oil. It’s akin to adding preservatives to processed foods.

Not only is mineral oil a non-natural agent, but it’s a petroleum product that was never intended for you to eat.

Some egg producers use vegetable oil as a more natural alternative.

If you are a culinary talent, you might be surprised to hear that using eggs whose shells were oiled will prevent those “stiff peaks” from happening, because some percentage of the oil seeps into the egg white.

Not all eggs undergo oiling, but many larger producers do, particularly if they are preparing their eggs for long-distance shipment and/or storage.

According to the “incredible edible egg[ii]” website, about 10 percent of all eggs are oiled. I could find no statistic about what percentage of eggs are cleaned in a way that their cuticle has been wiped out, but I suspect it is much higher than 10 percent.

Like your skin, what’s put ON your egg goes INTO your egg. Meaning, whatever the eggshell comes into contact with can cross over this semi-permeable membrane and end up in your scrambled eggs, from chlorine to mineral oil to dish soap — to salmonella.

Your Organic Eggs May Be Chlorinated or Rinsed in Lye

According to A Guide to On-Farm Processing for Organic Producers: Table Eggs[iii], detergents and other chemicals used for “wet cleaning” eggs must either be non-synthetic or among the allowed synthetics on the National List of allowed non-agricultural substances (205.603 of the National Organic Standard).

These synthetics include:

These agents serve mostly as sanitizers, rather than washing agents.

If chlorine is used at levels over 4 ppm, it must be followed with a clean water rinse at no more than 4 ppm residual levels. Chlorine itself is relatively benign and breaks down to chloride in your body — which is not much different from the chloride ion in table salt.

However, chlorine can interact with organic materials to form highly toxic compounds called DBPs (Disinfection Byproducts), which can be carcinogenic and mutagenic. And eggs are an “organic material,” which bears the question of what chemical interactions are occurring in a chlorinated egg that have yet to be discovered?

Instead of harsh chemicals, the guide cited above recommends cleaning eggs with plain vinegar (mixed with 3 parts water) because it is non-synthetic and quite effective at removing both bacteria and stains on the eggshells (which some people find objectionable).

Some farmers report rinsing eggs very quickly in water, just to dislodge any debris, and believe this is adequate. Others use a dry brushing process — no liquids at all — just a brush, sandpaper, or a loofah sponge.

This dry brushing technique is highly recommended for small producers.

If eggs are rinsed in water, it is very important that the wash water be about 20 degrees warmer than the eggs, and at least 90 degrees F, but not more than 40 degrees above the eggs’ temperature because of the risk of thermal cracking. This proper temperature gradient encourages the contents of the egg to swell and push the dirt out of the pores.

If the water is too cold relative to the egg, the egg can literally “suck in” the washing solution — along with the bacteria in it. Water exposure should be as brief as possible to minimize the potential for contamination, and the eggs dried immediately.

Mineral oil is not listed in the National List of allowed substances.

I think it is unlikely that an organic farmer would choose to use mineral oil, but the regulations are so variable from state to state, and the national guidelines so nebulous, that there is lots of wiggle room.

Scrambled Federal and State Regulations on Eggs

There are different federal and state regulations for egg farmers, depending on what the eggs are intended for.

Eggs that are going to be used in egg products (i.e., those that will be cracked and emptied) are subjected to one set of regulations, and eggs that are sold as “table eggs” or “shell eggs,” which are sold fresh and whole “in the shell,” are subject to another set of regulations.

And then there are state regulations, in addition to federal regulations.

In 1970, Congress passed the Egg Products Inspection Act (administered by the USDA) to ensure that eggs and egg products are safe for consumption. This act imposes specific inspection requirements for both shell eggs and egg products for anyone who sells eggs to retailers (grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.).

In 1972, on-site inspections of all shell egg producers became required quarterly. However, any producer with a flock of less than 3,000 birds is EXEMPT from this act.

Every state has its own specific egg laws, which makes it more complicated to figure out what process your eggs have gone through. Although the USDA does not allow immersion washing (allowing eggs to soak in water), most small producers are not subject to those restrictions.

And most state egg laws do not specify washing methods.

For an extensive list of egg regulatory agencies, you can refer to this USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service “fact sheet.”

Egg Cleaners and Sanitizers

According to the USDA’s publication “Guidance for Shell Egg Cleaners and Sanitizers”[iv]:

“Compounds used to wash and destain shell eggs are potential food additives. Therefore, they are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unfortunately, FDA does not have any published regulations dealing with shell egg cleaning and destaining compounds.”

Leaves it wide open, doesn’t it?

The publication goes on to give some guidelines for egg cleaning chemicals, basically instructing farmers to use substances that are “GRAS” (Generally Recognized as Safe), but these substances are not limited in any way.

Since organic egg producers are interested in producing high-quality eggs, many of them—especially small, local farming operations—have implemented gentle washing methods that don’t compromise the cuticle.

Interestingly, in Europe, Grade A eggs are not washed. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service[v]:

“This practice is a result of research done in the early 1900s that indicated washing eggs before storage resulted in unpredictable and sometimes deleterious results. However, the length of wash time, cleanliness and temperature of the water and the proper use of sanitizers varied widely in these studies.

Older egg production books do not recommend washing eggs at all. In the past, it was important to protect the cuticle because refrigeration was not always possible.”

To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate

Despite what you’ve heard, eggs that are fresh and have an intact cuticle do not need to be refrigerated, as long as you are going to consume them within a relatively short period of time.

In other countries, including most of Europe, eggs are frequently not refrigerated.

In the U.S., refrigeration of eggs became the cultural norm when mass production caused eggs to travel long distances and sit in storage for weeks to months before arriving at your superstore. The general lack of cleanliness of factory farms has increased the likelihood that your eggs have come into contact with pathogens, amplifying the need for disinfection and refrigeration.

Not only that, but as a culture, we are rather “germ phobic” here in the U.S., compared to other countries.

So, IF your eggs are very fresh, and IF their cuticle is intact, you do not have to refrigerate them. According to Hilary Thesmar, director of the American Egg Board’s Egg Safety Center[vi]:

“The bottom line is shelf life. The shelf life for an unrefrigerated egg is 7 to 10 days and for refrigerated, it’s 30 to 45 days. A good rule of thumb is one day at room temperature is equal to one week under refrigeration.”

Eggs purchased from grocery stores are typically already three weeks old, or older. USDA certified eggs must have a pack date on the carton, and a sell-by date. Realize that the eggs were often laid many days prior to the pack date.

For cracking the egg carton dates code, click here.

For more information about how to maximize the health benefits of your eggs, please review my earlier article.

Hello, Big Farma

About 95 percent of the eggs produced in the U.S. come from gigantic egg factories housing millions of hens under one roof.

According to the American Egg Board:

  • Prior to World War II, most egg production came from farm flocks of less than 400 hens. By the early 1960s, technological innovations caused a shift from small farms to huge commercial operations.
  • There are currently about 245 egg companies with flocks of 75,000 or more.
  • Of these 245 companies, 60 have at least one million laying hens, and 12 have more than 5 million hens.

You can only imagine how difficult — if not impossible — it is to keep 5 million hens healthy and happy, under one roof… a clucking nightmare!

This is just another reason you should buy from your local organic farmer.

According to Robert Plamondon’s Poultry Pages[vii], the most common sources of dirty eggs are the following:

  • Hens who sleep and poop in the nest boxes
  • Hens who enter the nests with muddy feet
  • Broken eggs (from insufficient nest litter, or too many hens jammed together)
  • Traffic (too many hens coming and going in a small area)

It is much easier to produce clean eggs than to clean dirty eggs.

Preventing dirty eggs is best done through better management of the hens and their nesting spaces, which greatly reduces the need for egg cleaning in the first place.

As the guide states, “Disease prevention in organic systems starts with clean birds.” Your egg farmer should be paying attention to proper nutrition, clean water, adequate housing space, and good ventilation to reduce stress on the hens and support their immunity.

Crowded conditions in factory farms are a major reason why so many commercial eggs have to be bathed in caustic chemicals in order to be “safe” for you to eat!

How Can You Guarantee Clean, Fresh Eggs?

So, how can you tell if your eggs have been washed in chlorine or lye, or in some other chemical, or coated with mineral oil?

You certainly can’t tell by looking at them.

The only way to know if your eggs have been washed or oiled (and using what agents) is to ask the producer — and the only way to do that is to buy from small local farmers you have direct contact with.

It is important to know where your food comes from. And if you don’t ask, they won’t tell you.

The key here is to buy your eggs locally.  About the only time I purchase eggs from the store is when I am travelling or for some reason I miss my local egg pickup.

But finding high quality organic eggs locally is FAR easier than finding raw milk as virtually every rural area has individuals with chickens. If you live in an urban area visiting the local health food stores is typically the quickest route to finding the high quality local egg sources.

Farmers markets are another great way to meet the people who produce your food. With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you’re buying. Better yet, visit the farm — ask for a tour. If they have nothing to hide, they should be eager to show you their operation.

Remember, clean and happy chickens lead to healthy eggs.

Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page. http://www.mercola.com/js/citation.js

[i]Fresh Farm Eggs—Marketing and Regulations” (Agricultural and Natural Resources Fact Sheet #511), Washington State University Cooperative Extension for King County 

[ii] American Egg Board (AEB)

[iii] Fanatico, A and Keupper G. “A Guide to on-farm processing for organic producers: Table eggs” 

[iv]Guidance for shell egg cleaners and sanitizers,” USDA Regulations and Policies, Food Safety and Inspection Service

[v] Fanatico A. and Conner B. (2009) “Small-scale egg handling,” National Sustainable Agricultural Service (ATTRA Publication #IP348/346) 

[vi]Storing eggs differs in Europe, America” (May 6, 2009) 

[vii] Plamondon R.  “Egg quality/egg washing” 

Eva Kerschbaumer, ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare – 17 Brilliant Avenue – Pittsburgh, PA 15215 – (412) 782-3888 – www.esspa.net

Jamie Oliver strikes a nerve – TED prize = food education

I am not sure how I found the link to this (I get over 300 emails every day about all kinds of things that direct me to all kinds of different stories, links and websites) but for some reason, this particular video grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Most of us recognize Jamie Oliver from TV (I think he is the Naken Chef guy). He is kind of the anti-Gordon Ramsey. I always liked his “down-home” charm and the way he carries himself (very approachable) so I was intrigued to see what he could possibly be up to that would win a TED prize.

For those who don’t know, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The global TED Conference, held annually in the spring, is the heart of TED (there are other TED conferences held on a regional level). More than a thousand people now attend, the event sells out a year in advance, and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.

So back to Jamie Oliver and his “wish”. I think the best way to describe it is to take a moment and listen to Jamie explain it himself. Please, please, please – I implore you to indulge me and listen to this short video. It is filled with information that is absolutely essential to living a healthy life and helping others do the same. I wanted to bring this to your attention because as much as we care about making people look and feel great, ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare can only do so much “exterior” work. Facials, Massages, Manicures, Pedicures, Etc. are all great things that (when properly applied) can help you really be healthier. But if you are constantly filling your insides with pounds of foodstuffs that are not healthy (or in some cases 100% synthetic), then everything that we can do to help you on the outside is being undermined from the inside BY YOU. It just doesn’t make sense so I was enthralled when I saw Jamie’s video and very pleased to hear that he won the 2010 TED prize.

Here is the video of Jamie Oliver’s prize winning presentation:

I have to tell you that beginning around June of 2009, I really was not feeling well AND I was putting on some extra pounds and adding some inches to my waistline. The problem was (and still is) that I LOVE TO EAT, and I have always been able to eat everything and anything I wanted at any time without worrying about gaining any weight (I was a good althelete with a high-metabolism). So beginning that summer, overnight I decided to stop eating red meat and highly processed foods like pizza, pasta, deserts and fried foods. After talking to some knowledgable people, I fine-tuned this new diet to include 100% locally-raised, grass-fed beef and lamb from Pittsburgh area farms, cut out almost all chicken, eat fish and seafood when I am out at restaurants and started making smoothies out of everything I could get my hands on. BTW – the next post I will do will include me making a smoothie because anyone can duplicate my process and it works incredible well.

The result of all of this is that I lost about 20 pounds (I now weigh less than I did when I was 18) am back down to a 33 inch waistline and (most important of all) I feel more energetic and healthier. Added bonus, I don’t eat out as much and I spend a lot less on food (Since I basicaaly am throwing everything into a blender and drinking smoothies everyday).

So, once again in case you missed it, I urge you to watch Jamie Oliver’s TED video and make a promise to yourself to change the way you think about (and eat) the food you are putting in your (and your kids) mouth. We are definately going to start including more of these types of tips and strategies in our Spa Experiences because our mission is much more than just looking better, the mission at ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare is all about BEING better.

Spa You Soon,

Scott Kerschbaumer

ESSpa Kozmetika Organic Skincare

Celebrating 8 Years of Spa Success spent with some Walt Disney Institute Training

First allow me to say on behalf of my wife, and ESSpa Kozmetika CEO, Eva and all of team-members and other stakeholders – THANK YOU (times infinity) to every single one of our guests who have visited our spa (in person or virtually via our website) over the last 8 years. It is because of your generousity, friendship and trust that ESSpa Kozmetika has been able to grow and continues to innovate and lead while staying true to our traditions.

To celebrate 8 years of operating a (we think) successful business, Eva and I decided to spend the anniversary of our original opening date (02/02/02) with an intensive, all-day educational training seminar with a group of executives, cast-members and facilitators from the Disney Institute. These incredible people generously shared their processes, programs and protocols (plus a little magic) that the Walt Disney Company uses to create the best customer experience on planet earth.

What does this mean to you. It means that Eva and I and our entire team of spa professionals will not rest on our laurels or our international awards. We are not satisfied with being named the “Best in Pittsburgh” or even the “3rd Best Spa in America”. It means that Eva and I will go to unusual degrees to ensure that every time a guest walks through our doors (or calls us on the phone, or visits our website) WE will exceed their expectations.

So, as we say thank you for helping us achieve 8 years of growth and success, we also say to all who are listening – “wait til you see what we are going to do tomorrow.” To reinforce our feelings about this, I invite you to watch the short video below.

Sincerely hoping to exceed your expectations every day – Scott Kerschbaumer

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