The Culture of Water:
An Anthology of Poetry
Poetry detailing the trials of love and yearning by Jasmine Duran
In an isolated state in Guatemala City, Jasmine Duran began writing her first few poems about Sarita, the young girl she was assigned to au pair in the Spring of 2016. After a grueling heartbreak and transformative travel experience throughout South America, Duran released her emotions into the world via her blog: jasminenduran.wordpress.com.
Years later, after being chosen to perform her spoken word and poetry within the Coachella Valley of the Southern California desert, Duran put together her collection of poems that most closely detailed her transformation. Aptly titled, The Culture of Water for the many states of "rooms" she lived in throughout the years, she describes her fluidity, resilience, and exposes her soul through her first poetry book.
Getting to Know Alternative Medicine Specialist, Dr. Sonja Fung
August 6, 2016
Dr. Fung of La Quinta’s Live Well Clinic Says, “I Love What I Do”
Written By: Jasmine Duran
We all love a little rest and relaxation, so when we heard they were being prescribed by dynamic duo doctors Dr. Sonja Fung and Dr. Nicole Ortiz, we had to get our dose. The Live Well Clinic, located in La Quinta, Calif., provides a range of traditional as well as alternative, holistic medical treatments to address what they describe as a “balancing of body, mind, and spirit.” This innovative clinic has programs and services that range from cancer support and stem cell therapy to detoxes, acupuncture, massage treatments and yoga classes, offering the Coachella Valley healthy lifestyle options and therapeutic medical treatment.
Dr. Fung, a primary care Naturopathic Doctor who has been practicing in the valley for nearly a decade, specializing in integrative cancer therapies and pain management. Dr. Fung sat down with us to discuss her work and passion.
Question: Live Well Clinic makes sure to “focus on treating individuals, not the disease.” Can you explain how this sets your practice apart from others?
Dr. Sonja Fung: One of the main reasons for co-founding Live Well Clinic is so that I, and the other doctors here, can have the time to focus on our patients and not just symptom management. After putting together all the pieces, we can accurately diagnose and treat the underlying cause, more effectively and fundamentally improving our patients’ health. I wanted to create the time and space where my patients can focus on healing.
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about your practice?
SF: The primary focus in my practice is taking care of cancer patients using my expertise in IV nutrient therapy, along with nutrition and vitamin supplementation, in collaboration with their conventional therapies. I have seen some dramatic health improvements in the past decade of using IV nutrients in many of my patients, creating custom formulations to support specific nutritional needs leading to greatly improved quality of life. As an advocate for more community education of naturopathic oncology, I am on the board of Desert Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit that supports cancer patients with their basic every-day needs, such as groceries, gas cards, and even raising funds for their cancer therapies. I enjoy the collaboration with all of the other doctors, social workers, nurses, and business owners that are also on the board, working to make getting through cancer treatment just a little easier to bear.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your profession?
SF: I am with my patients through their ups and downs, triumphs and set-backs. I get to know the person, not just the patient. Making a positive difference in such a fundamental way in people’s lives feeds my soul and energizes me to work even harder for my patients. What can I say, I love what I do.
Q: It’s easy to reach for foods with hidden additives and sugars, or feel overwhelmed when trying to choose what foods are best for our bodies. How can your Nutritional Counseling remedy that?
SF: Nutrition is a fundamental part of sustainable health, and every person starts at a different place on their journey towards optimal health. People have different reactions and motivations regarding food, so I spend a significant portion of time addressing their needs and how to work around obstacles. I give them specific guidelines to start with and often let my patients set the pace, but I usually encourage them to get going faster or redirect when they fall off the wagon. It’s always a work in progress.
Q: Can you tell us about your “non-toxic therapies”?
SF: I primarily use dietary interventions, intravenous nutrients, botanical medicines, specific vitamins and supplements, and bio-identical hormones along with prescription medications when indicated. In doing so, the body is able to use these substances as building blocks to function as it is designed to do; heal and rebalance itself.
Q: What are your favorite local restaurants to go to?
SF: I am a huge foodie and love trying new places. Here are the places I can’t get enough of:
Tacos- Taqueria Teotihuacan in La Quinta
Sushi- Gyoro-Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise in Palm Springs
Thai- Le Basil in Palm Desert
Mediterranean- Catalan in Rancho Mirage
Q: Where can we find you when you’re not working?
SF: I’m an introverted, low-key individual. I enjoy reading Sherlockian and sci-fi/fantasy novels, playing with my two rambunctious cats, and working in my garden in the evening and trying to keep it alive through the summer. I also love spending time with my wonderful husband; practicing Tae Kwon Do together, eating his cooking, and traveling and exploring different cultures through our taste buds.
Come Hungry to the 6th Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Written By: Jasmine N. Duran
Photography Provided By: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival
Food and wine lovers unite for the 6th Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival located in Downtown Los Angeles as well as across the city Santa Monica, including Barker Hangar in Beverly Hills. The culinary festival arrives this summer and stretches its red carpet along Grand Avenue on August 25 – 28, 2016. Los Angeles hosts four unforgettable days of culinary programming, book signings, wine tastings, and cooking demonstrations with the help of renowned chefs from Los Angeles and around the country. Downtown Los Angeles will combine its diverse food scene with cultural and nightlife programming. The event aims to engage foodies and wine connoisseurs at the ultimate showcase of the city’s finest food and drink culture with the entertainment industry’s all-star chefs.
The line-up may include past chefs like Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis, Daniel Boulud, Tyler Florence, Scott Conant, and local LA favorites such as David Lefevre, Michael Voltaggio, Nobu Matsuhisa, Joachim Splichal, Ray Garcia, Richardo Zarate, and many more.
New and returning programming highlights include (with more to be announced soon):
The premiere of Amazon’s Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse, which will kick off the festivities on Thursday, August 25
“Grand Avenue Night Market” on Friday evening, August 26
Modern Diner Dinner on Friday evening, August 26 will be an exclusive event featuring dishes from prominent Chefs Bruce Kalman (Union/Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market), and Nick Shipp (Upper West) at Nickel Diner
Power Lunch Series on Friday, August 26 with exceptional chef collaborations taking place at Los Angeles’ most treasured restaurants
Brandon Kida (Hinoki & the Bird) and Kevin Meehan (Kali) at Hinoki & The Bird
Vartan Abgaryan (71Above) and George Mendes (Lupulo & Aldea, NYC) at 71Above
Timothy Hollingsworth (Otium) at Otium along with a private tour of The Broad
Shawn Pham (Simbal) and a special guest chef at Simbal
And many more!
“Live on Grand” on Saturday, August 27, featuring tastings from over 30 chefs and 50 wineries
Grilling Event at Sunset, featuring the wines of Copper Cane and Mi Marcelle swimwear, will be ushered by distinguished Restaurateur Rick Bayless (Red O, Frontera Grill) at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica on Saturday evening, August 27
Events will be held around the city, but the festival’s main events are centered in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, in front of the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Broad Museum (with closures between Grand Ave 1st and 3rd street).
The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival provides an eclectic culinary sampler, uniting the country’s food and wine in one very hungry city. The city provides visually appetizing scenery and beautiful summer evenings that are unparalleled for nightlife events. Be prepared to walk, eat, and drink your heart out amongst friends and foodies alike.
Tickets are available online at www.LAFW.com or by phone, 855.433.LAFW, and range from $50 to $300, with additional package and VIP options. Please visit LAFW.com for updates and full details of participating chefs, wineries, and program of events for the 6th Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine festival.