Monthly Archives: August 2013

Service Saves Your Emotions

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

First published at in November 2012

Many women do not realize that Menopause provides a free pass for women to re-invent themselves.  With the amount of wisdom women have accumulated at this stage in their lives, they have grown to the point where they know for sure what they no longer want in their lives, but going forward and doing what they really want can be a scary thing. One of the safest and easiest ways to see if their new choice in career and lifestyle is what they really want, and will feel comfortable doing, is by volunteering their time somewhere doing the work they are truly interested in.  What many don’t realize, is that being of service to others ironically ends up making people a lot more whole because focusing on a chosen interest is what makes a life fulfilling. It’s that link that helps people understand who they are, and overcoming negative emotions menopause can trigger.  The key is genuinely caring about the people/organization you are helping, as opposed to helping out of obligation or for recognition and a title.   Continue reading

Eating the Right Greek Yogurt During Menopause

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

First published on  October 2012

Yogurt is a popular food to eat for maintaining strong healthy bones.  The popularity of Greek yogurt over the last five years has skyrocketed, but unfortunately some companies claiming to sell traditional Greek strained yogurt in fact are serving a product that does not align with the way pure traditional Greek strained yogurt is actually made. Being Greek, this begins to become insulting, especially growing up with the real thing, knowing the proper flavor and ingredients.  Some of these yogurts are not making people healthy, but are contributing to their health issues.  Don’t assume because a label says it’s a “Greek” yogurt that it’s healthy.  Make sure you read the ingredients of your yogurt before purchasing; otherwise you will be buying a product that will in fact agitate and worsen your menopausal symptoms.  For some, even a pure traditional Greek strained yogurt on its own can actually increase hot flash symptoms.   Continue reading

George Stroumboulopoulos – From Music to Consciousness

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

Outspoken and open to the world, George Stroumboulopoulos is Canada’s bridge between its youth and its older, structured adult world.  His young peers love him because he listens to them, speaks their language, and explains things to them on a level they can relate to, while adults love him because he asks the difficult questions.

Before I interviewed George I wasn’t sure what to expect, after speaking with him  I was so impressed with his intelligence and humor that I’ve had a crush on him ever since. He doesn’t mince his words and is truly honest about all topics of social interest. What you see on TV is the real thing, and better yet he lacks the arrogance that other TV personalities have.  He is a person that inspires his audience to change and get involved in issues that matter to them.

I can quote him on so many things and topics, but one of my favorites is when I asked him about the advice he would give to his young peers and fans, he answered with a response that could be applied to anyone at any age, and that is, “Be what you want to be.  Live on your own terms, otherwise you will be fake.  If everybody did what their parents wanted them to be, then everyone would be a doctor or lawyer, and we wouldn’t have artists.”  He also suggested they read the book “Travels with Charley,” which is an amazing non-fiction road trip featuring celebrated author, John Steinbeck.

Having a balanced healthy life includes being honest with yourself, asking difficult questions, and as George said, “be what you want to be. Live on your own terms, otherwise you will be fake.”  Keeping up with the Jones’ is more stressful than living on your own terms. Trying to always impress friends and family will take it’s toll on your health, especially if you put their needs ahead of yours all the time.

George Strouboulopoulos had great input on how to live life that we can all follow.  He is currently still hosting the Hour on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and started a show on CNN through the summer season of 2013 on Friday nights. Hopefully CNN will keep him on longer so the world can be inspired.  If you want to read more from my interview with him click on the link below.

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Petition to force large food corporations to list ALL their ingredients

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

There is a deception going on in the food corporation world, where marketing and packaging of food products tend to not list if genetically modified food is part of the ingredients on the package. We as the public do not know what these ingredients can do in the long term to our bodies, there has not been long-term research done.

Sign the Environment Working Groups Petition if you want to know if your food is genetically modified or has ingredients that have been genetically modified.

Follow this link and add your information:



Responsibility in Business Leads to an Environmentally Friendly Society

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

I met Polly Mazaris, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Baxter Group Ltd. in Melbourne, Australia in 2005, who taught me that drive and determination to do what is right for the environment, despite all odds, can slowly change the minds of some of the most stubborn business people. Her company is one of the most economically and environmentally efficient and accessible waste management operators in the South Eastern metropolitan area of Melbourne, Australia.

Polly was one of the few women working in this industry back in 1990 when she started, and even worse, environmental considerations by most landfill owners was not taking place.  Her insistence of best practice guidelines took some time to be accepted, but she never backed down and stood behind the ethics of keeping the environment clean, and preventing any waste entering water sources. Fifteen years later she won Southern Australia’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award in 2005 for Services Including Financial, Business and Property, and was also a finalist for their national award.

She told me that her most valuable lesson in business is, “to stand up for your values, and be honorable and ready to accept responsibility.”

Part of living a balanced life is respecting your environment, whether it be at home, work, or your surrounding community. We all have the ability to do the right thing one small step at a time, whether it is picking up the garbage at the local park, or following your community’s recycling program properly. I think we are all guilty of putting something in our regular garbage bin instead of our recycle bin.  Small steps to doing the right thing for our environment leads to greater changes and a cleaner environment for the generations after us, as well as creating a healthy balanced world.

To learn more about Polly Mazaris and how she operates her company and life, read my article below.

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Costa Gavras – Stimulating Minds Through Film

Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades

I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview the director and screenwriter of the classic movie Z, Costa Gavras, before the Canadian premiere of his movie The Axe a few years ago. He is one of my all-time favorite movie directors and screenwriters because of his ability to make his audience question authority and think about various political, social, and ethical situations. He is truly a humanitarian at heart. In my interview with him he made a beautiful statement, that to me exemplifies how art should bring balance to one’s life, he said, “the role of art in society is to question life and let the audience decide.”

Art, in all its forms, has more power when it makes you think about what is going on around you, or the ethics and humanity of things that happened in the past, helping society make wiser decisions for our future.

Choosing your favorite forms of art can truly keep you in balance if you choose wisely.

Here is my interview with Costa Gavras.

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