Hallmark Channel’s Debbie Matenopoulos on Halloween

3 DIY Trick-or-Treats Bags for Your Littles

The third major holiday in the USA since COVID-19 started is quickly approaching.  Depending on where you are in the country, Halloween may just be hypothetical this year. Treats without tricks. Because make no mistake about it: even if kids cannot (or at least, are highly advised not to) trick or treat this year, it doesn’t mean they can’t have the magic of Halloween!

Thanks to the brilliant mind of the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family Show and our client Debbie Matenopolous puts a whole new spin on Halloween this year! DIY is all the rage these days, so why not apply it to all Hallow’s Eve and create the magic at home?

Check out these 3 DIY ideas to circumvent traditional trick-or-treating, and keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe while still enjoying the fun this holiday has to offer.  Debbie plans on putting together some treats with her daughter and delivering them to her neighbors front doorsteps!

1. Spooky Glove – we all have plenty of these latex gloves laying around – easy to fill with packaged candy.  All you need is see-through gloves, spider rings, candy to fill it with, and a bow!

2. Toilet Paper Roll Mummy – You can use toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls (cut up), or wrapping paper rolls for this easy to make creative ghost candy roll.  Color the top of the roll with a black marker and then place googly eyes near the top. With white medical tape wrap each roll completely from the bottom up, leaving the eyes to peek through.  Fill with your favorite wrapped candy!

3. Pumpkin Tissue Paper Pouches – Take one piece of orange tissue paper and cut it in half.  Place candy in the center and form around it to look like a pumpkin.  Use florist green tape to make the stem!  Check out this fun how-to DIY Video from Factory Direct Craft!

 

Photo credits: Crafty Morning, Instrupix, Lovethispic

Socks for a Cause

Help the Homeless for “Socktober” with Hocsocx

Want a good deed idea to help your community during COVID-19? Did you know that each night in the United States, an estimated 600,000 people live on the streets? This October, a grassroots movement called Socktober wants you to show that even a small act of love, such as donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors who are homeless.

But you can’t donate used socks, (for obvious reasons). So you have to buy them new! Our friends at Hocsocx have the most amazing socks, with the most adorable prints, sure to brighten anyone’s day. They even have Halloween skull-themed socks! The company was started by a mom whose daughters kept getting terrible shin rashes from their field hockey shin pads. Their mom, a pharmacist and clearly a problem solver, designed Hocsocx to combat the rash, and voila – no more shin guard rashes!

The company made its debut at the USA Field Hockey Festival in Palm Beach Gardens, FL on Thanksgiving Day 2012! They were a big hit! Hocsocx has been official suppliers to the USA Women’s National Field Hockey team since 2013 and added the USA Men’s National team in 2015.

So what are you waiting for? Find your local shelter, buy some fun patterned Hocsocx, and donate to the homeless this Socktober.

For more information visit https://www.happysocktober.com/ and https://www.hocsocx.com/

Keto & Fitness Expert Drew Manning’s Weight Gain Update

Week 5 of Purposely Gaining 60 Pounds – See Where Drew is at!

Photo credit: Drew Manning

Hello everyone! A few weeks ago, we began to follow the journey of Dunn Pellier Media client Drew Manning, who has embarked on another challenge to gain 60 pounds in 4 months and to lose that same amount of weight in another 4 months. Drew is currently 5 weeks into his weight gain journey and will begin his weight loss journey on the first Monday in 2021, just a few days after his 40th birthday.

You might recall that Drew has already done this before. In 2013, he gained 75 pounds on purpose in an effort to try to feel more empathy toward his clients who were trying to lose weight. It worked. As a personal trainer who had never been overweight in his life, gaining that weight helped him understand not just the physical toll being overweight can have on your body, but also and probably more importantly, the emotional one. Suddenly, he understood his clients’ struggles from the most intimate level, and he finally saw through the myth of the fitness industry: that being fit makes you happy. Turns out, it’s not being fit that makes you happy. It’s loving yourself first, no matter your weight, and choosing to love your body from that place. Choosing to lose weight out of love for your body instead of hate for your body is the most effective way to maintain health.

Drew is turning 40 at the end of December, and he wants to turn the myth on its head that you can’t get fit after 40. Please note that he wants to do it from a knowing place. He understands that hormones change and your body changes in ways that it might make it hard to lose weight after 40, so he’s embarked on a journey to gain weight and lose it after 40.

The reason why so many Americans give up on a fitness journey is not that they aren’t trying, but because sustainable health cannot be distilled to just eating less and exercising more.

No one believes in this more than Drew because he found himself becoming so obsessed with how he looked on the outside, instead of focusing on how he felt on the inside.

After successfully completing the challenge and losing the weight the first time, he felt so much stronger — physically and mentally — because he challenged his core motivations. He now believes that one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is,

  • Why am I trying to lose weight?
  • Is it for myself, or because society is telling me I have to look a certain way?

Drew also recognizes the lack of empathy in the fitness industry: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care first.” He cares SO much about truly understanding the helplessness and frustration that his clients feel when pursuing a healthier lifestyle that he’s doing it all over again.

Drew’s journey began 5 weeks ago. Let’s check in to see where he’s at:

Photo Courtesy: Drew Manning Instagram
Week 1 Stats:

Weight – 181.6 lbs
Body Fat – 8.4%
Waist Size – 33.5″

Week 5 Stats:

Weight – 211.0 lbs
Body Fat – 15.5%
Waist – 38.5″

In his own words:

“This journey is way harder than people think y’all…Physically, yes, it’s hard, but it’s way harder mentally and emotionally. Not being able to exercise, the physical exhaustion, the sleep deprivation, and how all of that affects my brain and my ability to deal with stress is no joke. I’m surviving, but it’s getting harder and harder each day. ’ll get through this though and so will we! Let’s do this!!!”

Keep it up, Drew! You’re doing great!

If you’d like to follow Drew’s journey, check him out on fit2fat2fit.com and follow him on Instagram for up to date posts on his progress, food challenges, weight gain, when diets go bad, and more.

Photo Courtesy: Drew Manning TikTok

See what food challenge Drew has up next!  Follow him today!

What You Need to Know About Nitric Oxide

Understanding the Coronavirus: Nobel Prize-Winning Dr. Lou Ignarro’s Take

It’s been 6 ½ months since the world effectively closed down, and the door to the life we knew before COVID-19 was closed. As we look toward a future, one that isn’t free from this or other viruses we have yet to encounter but rather one where we have to learn to live with them, we know this one thing is true: we have work to do. We have work to do in how we as a nation approach new viruses and diseases like this, how we keep everyone safe, how we study and learn how to treat new threats, and so much more.

There have been many bright lights in the midst of the darkness of COVID, and one such light is on our client Dr. Lou J. Ignarro. Dr. Ignarro is a Nobel Prize-Winning and UCLA Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and he has been quite vocal about the importance of Nitric Oxide and proper breathing with regards to combating COVID. In June, he was quoted in Biospace.com when he pointed to a recent study by Ackermann et al. in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Pulmonary Vascular Endothelialitis, Thrombosis, and Angiogenesis for COVID-19.”

Essentially, he said, “this study shows that the coronavirus causes destruction of the capacity of blood vessels in the lungs to produce Nitric Oxide (NO).”

As such, Nitric Oxide may be considered as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

What is nitric oxide?

In Dunn Pellier Media’s client’s own words, “Nitric Oxide, also termed NO, is a gaseous molecule that is produced by our arteries in all organs to regulate cardiovascular function. NO causes the muscle cells (smooth muscle) enveloping arteries to relax, thereby causing vasodilation, or widening of the arteries. This physiological action results in a decrease in blood pressure within the arteries and increased blood flow to all organs through the dilated arteries. In the erectile tissue, the NO released during sexual stimulation causes profound relaxation or dilation of the arteries within the erectile tissue, termed the corpus cavernosum. This results in engorgement with blood and consequently penile erection.”

You can read more of the science behind why nitric oxide might be a good potential treatment for coronavirus here.

But if you want to learn a free way to increase NO right now, here you go:

“One thing I urge everyone to practice during this coronavirus pandemic is to breathe or inhale through your NOSE and exhale through your mouth. The cells and tissues in the nose, but not the mouth, constantly and continuously produce nitric oxide, which is a gas. The physiological significance of this is that nasally-derived NO improves oxygen delivery into the lungs by causing bronchodilation – the relaxation and widening of the bronchi and bronchioles in the lungs. Moreover, when inhaling through the nose, your nasal nitric oxide is inhaled into your lungs, where it stands a chance of meeting up with the virus particles. Inhaling through your mouth will NOT accomplish this. By the same token, exhaling through your nose is highly wasteful in that you would be expelling the NO away from the lungs, where it is needed most.” says Dr. Ignarro in an article on Mark’s Daily Apple earlier this year.

There you have it, a simple technique to help you combat this virus in case you or a loved one should fall prey to it. As for the studies regarding NO as a potential treatment, we promise to keep you updated as the story unfolds.

In the meantime, check out more information about Dunn Pellier Media’s client, NO, and Dr. Lou J. Ignarro here.

A Free Calorie Counter & Diet Assistant

Meet MyNetDiary

Looking for a scientifically proven way to lose weight? Hailed by Women’s Health, USA Today, Shape, Wall Street Journal, Runner’s World, Consumer Reports, and more, MyNetDiary is the latest and greatest in weight loss apps that actually helps users track calories and lose weight.

This app allows you to:

  1. Set your targets and plan
  2. Log meals and exercise
  3. Stay on track
  4. Reach your goals

MyNetDiary food catalog is the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date nutrition database in the English-speaking world. They update approximately 900 foods every day by their special food team! They have a special interface for users where customers can send in their photos of new or incorrect food so that the food team can process the request and make the necessary additions or changes!

MyNetDiary boasts over 50,000 4.5-5 star reviews like this one:

“This is my favorite food diary app. I used six of the “top” apps in this category for several days so that I could compare them and select what worked best for me. MyNetDiary was the winner. Intuitive, simple layout, decent database, appealing graphic design, and no ads.”

And this one:

“I downloaded several food tracking apps to test them out and this one blew them all out of the water! It’s so easy to use. The food library is extensive and it’s simple to add your own on the rare occasion your search comes up empty. It tracks your calories and the percentages of carbs, protein, and fat of your allotted intake. You can add exercise and connect with your fitness watch. I have the FREE version and it gives me a daily analysis with tips! And it works! I saw major results within the first week that I hadn’t seen trying for a month and a half prior!”

It connects with all the major fitness devices like Garmin, Apple Watch, Fitbit, Samsung Health, Google fit, and more, so you really can’t go wrong.

They have a free version, which has many of their popular features. But there is also the option to do a Premium version, which takes the experience to the next level.

So what are you waiting for? If you’ve been struggling to find accountability and a proven method to help you stay on track and lose weight, try MyNetDiary today!

Want to Know What Truly Grows a Brand?

Being a Great Storyteller!

Do you remember being a kid? What is the one glaring difference you can think about when you compare what being a kid is like to be an adult?  Ok, there are probably many (like responsibilities, bills, etc.), but one of them is glaringly obvious: imagination.

When we were kids, our imagination reigned supreme. Many of us were lucky enough to have books read to us each day and night, and we would weave images around those stores in our minds. Those visuals would guide our imaginative play, and we went about our lives – carefree – as we let our imaginations be our compass.

When you add in the pressures of adult life, it’s easy to see how our imaginations kind of took a backseat to other more pressing responsibilities. But for those among us who allowed our imaginations to continue weaving stories around certain narratives, well, magic has happened. The Wright Brothers dreamed up flying through the sky. Thomas Edison dreamed up electricity. Steve Jobs dreamed up all those Apple products you have and love so much. And every producer and director who ever lived dreamed up stories and made them into movies that touched us to our very core, compelling us to listen. Why? Because storytelling makes us feel understood, it makes us relate. It makes us feel like we are part of a community.

Make no mistake about it: as a top public relations firm we are wired for storytelling. Storytelling compels us, captivates us in a way that the children inside of us will never forget.

And that is why being a great storyteller is the magic sauce behind growing a brand. CEO of Dunn Pellier Media, Nicole Dunn, wrote about the power of storytelling for the Forbes Business Council last month:

Great stories can leave powerful impressions on us. According to media psychologist Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D., “Stories are how we are wired. Stories take place in the imagination. To the human brain, imagined experiences are processed the same as real experiences. Stories create genuine emotions, presence, and behavioral responses.”

Understanding this is the key to leveraging a good story for a successful public relations campaign. Let’s explore how businesses can use strong storytelling to their advantage when looking to build brand awareness and boost sales.

To read more, and to unlock your storytelling advantage in growing your brand through public relations, visit the original article here.  If you are interested in having our public relations firm help tell your story to the media, please reach out to Oumy Thiam to set up a time to say hello and tell us about your goals!

May your imagination be free to roam about the cabin.

Give Your House the “Quarantine Clean” With Safe Alternatives!

Have You Become a Clean Freak During COVID?

Photo credit: Pexels/Burst

Naturopathic doctor and non-toxic living expert, Dr. Christian Gonzalez, joined KTLA 5 to discuss his advice on cleaners that are both effective and non-toxic.

You may have already been on the more non-toxic side before COVID, but perhaps you decided that bringing bleach and other traditional cleaners back into your life in this new era would be more prudent. That line of reasoning is definitely logical, but thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice your health, nor the health of the environment, in order to safely and effectively clean your hands and home! Phew!

As Dr. Gonzalez explains in his interview, remember, just because a cleaner is effective against the virus, doesn’t mean that it’s safe for you and your family. Take bleach, for example. It’s effective, but it’s toxic and can be corrosive to the skin, the eyes, the nose, the respiratory system. It irritates it and inflames those tissues. So you might want to use it sparingly, or find another option entirely.

If you want to avoid greenwashing, which is a concept that misleads a consumer in saying that a product is “green” when in fact, it’s not, Dr. Gonzalez recommends scanning your cleaning products through the EWG (Environmental Working Group) guide to healthy cleaning. This is a database that allows you to cross-reference your cleaner and get a letter grade to determine what level of “clean” it actually is. You can use that list to search for the A’s and B’s (the cleanest ratings) and purchase those cleaners.

Here are some of the top natural, non-toxic but effective cleaners Dr. Gonzalez recommends:

  • Thyme oil – this is actually on the EPA list as an approved agent against COVID-19. So you want that in all of your cleaning products.
  • Baking soda and cleaning vinegar – cleaning vinegar is a little more effective than just regular white vinegar.
  • Cleaning vinegar and lemon are especially great for dirt and grime.
  • Castille soap – For those among you who are dog owners, Castille soap is not just great to use in your home, but is also great for cleaning the paws of your dogs after going for a walk.
  • Borax – this one is great for places where there is water (so for mold and mildew).
  • Hydrogen peroxide – is great for bacteria, yeast, and fungi.

So as you can see, there are many alternatives that are both safe and effective in cleaning your homes! And as mentioned above, go to the EWG website to search for products that will be safest for you and your families.

For more information, check out Dr. Gonzalez’s podcast here.

Make Cooking A Cinch

With the New York Times “Favorite Cooking App” SideChef!

A funny thing is happening during COVID: home chefs are coming out of the woodwork! People who swore they didn’t have a culinary bone in their body and barely knew how to boil water have brushed their excuses aside and become masters in the kitchen! Ok, maybe not masters. But close to it!

If you’re one of those people who have discovered a love for cooking (and finally, a use for your pots and pan!) but could still use some help – great! Meet SideChef, a cooking app described by USA TODAY as being the “best app” and by the New York Times“favorite cooking app.”

Over 2.5 million meals cooked using SideChef’s dynamic step-by-step recipes. Home cooks of all levels now have the power to flawlessly create a delicious meal every time. SideChef unlocks your ability to cook at home, empowering you to eat healthier, save money, and impress your friends and family. Not sure if there is something for your palate and level of skill? They’ve got recipes for every allergy, every preference, every diet. Their library of 18,000+ recipes should be more than enough to meet your needs.

If you’re still intimidated, fear not. Their step-by-step recipe format provides an image or video for every cooking step so you know exactly what to do. They even have built-in timers so you never overcook or burn anything! How-to videos teach you valuable culinary skills from how to properly dice an onion, to how to press tofu. You can even rate recipes and share your photos to join in on the SideChef home cooking community, and exchange tips and share cooking fails and successes. How cool is that?

As if it could get any cooler, their meal planning tool allows you to select your recipes for the week, or save appealing recipes to your cookbook. You can then add recipes to your shopping list for a simplified grocery store experience, OR purchase your ingredients directly in the app, and they’ll be delivered through AmazonFresh. WHAT???

These guys really have thought of everything. So what are you waiting for? Try SideChef today and get cooking!

Fitness Expert Drew Manning Announces New Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty Challenge

This Time Drew Will Gain And Lose 60 Pounds As He Turns 40

Drew Manning Fit2Fat2Fit

Fitness expert Drew Manning who skyrocketed into stardom when he went from fit to fat and intentionally gained 70 pounds in 2011, revealed today his plans to get fat again for his new challenge, Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty.

Drew Manning Video on Fit2Fat2Fit Forty Challenge

The Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty journey will take Drew through the highs and lows of gaining weight over four months beginning at the end of August, and then attempting to lose that weight beginning in January 2021, while focusing on four diets (Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and Vegetarian).  He will showcase all the things you shouldn’t do when good diets go bad (hence why you would gain weight) while following each diet.  Under the guidance of a medical professional and armed with eight years as a fitness and nutrition expert, Drew will examine the mental, emotional and physical struggles of those who gain and lose weight while examining the added challenge of age as he approaches and then turns 40 in December.

“I gained so much knowledge when I first did the Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit experiment, gaining and losing 70 pounds,” said Manning. “I was on the brink of diabetes and other weight-related medical conditions and felt lethargic for the first time in my life.  Now, I have empathy for what some of my clients go through when they try to lose weight.” He added, “this new challenge came about when I started to explore turning 40 and how your body can change with age and I’m focusing on some of the most popular diets and the pitfalls and how to be successful with each of them.”

“I have no idea what will happen this time around when my fat cells are awakened”, continued Manning, “because it’s easier to gain more weight when you’ve been fat in your past.”

The entire Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty journey will be documented across social media channels and Fit2Fat2Forty.com beginning on August 27, 2020.  A program launch video can be viewed beginning today on http://fit2fat2fit.com/forty.

On a weekly basis Drew will do a live weigh-in and a food challenge to showcase how a specialty diet can go wrong.  He will also take you along on his food shopping trips and take you down the aisles. Throughout the months, he will be joined by Dr. Mike Cobble who will guide him as his doctor and other notable experts like Mark Sisson (Paleo), Thomas DeLauer (Keto), and others in their respective fields to interject with knowledge and insight into what he is experiencing.  Drew will also undergo a series of cognitive tests throughout the journey under the eye of four-time U.S. National Memory Champion Nelson Dellis, to investigate the role weight gain plays on memory performance. The last day he will gain weight is his 40th birthday on December 27th and then it’s really on…Drew will then switch gears to follow the four diets properly to lose the weight he’s gained and will invite everyone to join him on January 3, 2021, to become healthy and fit alongside him.

Drew has a very clear intention this time around to show how and why empathy is critical for those who struggle with physical transformation. He knows now from personal experience that people who are overweight are wrongfully judged, misunderstood, and too often labeled as lazy or less than because of their weight. He truly believes empathy can help bridge that gap by aiming to understand a person’s mental and emotional state of mind, and how they influence their weight gain in the first place.

Drew Manning Fit2Fat2Fit

About Drew Manning:
Drew Manning is a fitness trainer and Keto Diet, expert. Drew made major headlines eight years ago when he embarked on a journey to gain 70 pounds to understand what his clients undergo and experience the challenges himself. “Fit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose” is a New York Times Bestseller, released in 2012, and his weight gain and weight loss journey were made into a TV show for A&E.  Drew has been covered by every major media outlet and surprised himself with how it was equally an emotional journey as physical.

Want to Take Your At-Home Workout to the Next Level?

Meet Your New Favorite App: Ladder Teams

Austin Texas always seems to be churning up something amazing for all the be had. It’s like it own little silicone valley. Stuff that comes out of there is just…well…amazing.

On August 10th, another surefire company sailed into existence and is guaranteed to disrupt the on-demand fitness industry, taking it to new heights. It’s called Ladder Teams, and it’s about to change the way you workout. Forever. But don’t take our word for it:

“People want more than just a good workout,” says Ladder CEO Greg Stewart. “They are looking for expert guidance, motivational support, personalization, and they expect a world-class, tech-driven experience. This is exactly what we are delivering with Ladder Teams. The app‘s unique training programs, easy ‘press-and-play’ workouts, and our star-studded roster of elite coaches really set us apart. However, we are most proud of the supportive communities we’ve been able to foster; especially during this ongoing pandemic when almost everyone is craving social support and human connection.”
Best described as the “Slack of Fitness” for its emphasis on community and team engagement,  Ladder Teams is poised to lead the movement of hyper-connected fitness training.

The easy-to-navigate app offers access to weekly structured workouts ranging from former senior Peloton instructor Jennifer Jacob’s functional full-body “J Method” program, and Lauren Kanski’s and Meghan Hayden’s “Body & Bell” kettlebell-focused strength and cardio training, to Sam Tooley’s “Project Alpha” which advances members of all levels on their running speed, strength, and endurance. Other programs include pre/post-natal-friendly workouts for busy moms, flexibility and strength-building routines, and HIIT programs. The app‘s globally-recognized coaches also include Ebenezer Samuel of Men’s Health, former Barre and Barry’s Bootcamp instructor Taylor Walker, Men’s Health “Fittest Trainer” and Crossfit expert Andre Crews, NYC fitness entrepreneur Miriam Fried, and former MTV reality TV personality and fitness pro Kenny Santucci.

Members can chat one-on-one with their coach, or connect via their team group chat for unparalleled comradery, motivation, and accountability. The app even comes complete with a member-exclusive “Ladder Shop” feature where users can purchase fitness equipment and accessories recommended by their trainers for their specific program.

If you’re feeling inspired, try out Ladder Teams for yourself. Your first week is on them. To sign up or to get more information, visit https://teams.joinladder.com/

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