Last week, Donna Karan hosted the Urban Zen Well-Being Speaker Series, a two-day symposium on nutrition, health and wellness that was open to the public and attended by a mix of medical professionals, alternative therapists and a few boldfaced names like Zani Gugelmann. Held at the Stephen Weiss Studio, Karan’s enormous West Village space and favored fashion show venue, the event was outfitted in signature Donna style: wood block tables with grass-filled vases, and row upon row of green apples.
1) Dr. Oz is the next Dr. Phil.
Mehmet Oz, the symposium’s keynote speaker, revealed that he is taping his last show with Oprah Winfrey this week. After the audience made appropriate “awwww,” noises, he added that it’s because O asked him to start his own show, which will be taped in Conan’s studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Like his frequent appearances on Oprah, Dr. Oz’s show will involve much discussion of superfoods and organ functions, as well as compelling patient stories.
3) Mariel Hemingway is a health nut.
Who knew? The actress sat on a panel about women’s nutrition with Spent author Dr. Frank Lipman, nutritionist Susan Luck and holistic OB/GYN nurse practicioner Marcelle Pick. As she recalled (to much stifled laughter), for years she convinced her two young daughters that unsweetened rice crackers were cookies.
If you have the chance to see Kris Carr speak, go.
The dynamic and funny filmmaker held the audience in thrall, even as she told the kind of story we’ve all heard before. On Valentine’s Day 2003, Carr, then 31, was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer. Instead of taking it lying down, she picked up her camera and started filming a documentary about her ordeal, Crazy Sexy Cancer. Her battle has since spawned two books and a busy speaking schedule. Her story was touching, honest, real, and inspirational, and it was Carr who had the bon mots of the afternoon. Our favorite? “Make juice, not war.” (You can buy a bracelet with the phrase on her website, crazysexycancer.com) And when she revealed she just received her “best scan ever,” the room erupted into applause and tears.