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A Note from April: The following article is an educational guest post from Julie Anne Davis, owner of Pura Vida Body & Mind Spa in Fleming Island, FL. There are a few things I love about this spa and why I wanted to share this article with you. One is that they have a Salt Therapy room, and it’s absolutely tranquil in there. Actually, the whole spa is tranquil, which is unusual for a medical aesthetic spa. Those are typically flooded in bright white lights and feel very sterile, while Pura Vida is very zen with a bit of coastal chic thrown in. The other thing I love is how friendly and knowledgeable the staff are in their given specialties. This leads them to bring in some of the best products and services on the market, and ultimately, a better experience for their clients. I hope you’ll take some time to read the article and go spoil yourself with a facial, a massage, or another service that Pura Vida offers in the near future!

pura vida day spa fleming island body sculpting

The Back Story

The Nutrient Body Sculpt system was developed by a former hospice facility owner who sought to create a natural compound to heal a particularly bad decubitus ulcer for one of her patients.  With the help of a biochemist, she created a formula of micronutrients that worked to heal the ulcer when traditional medicine had failed. It was this part of the Nutrient Body Sculpt back story that intrigued us since it was in keeping with our Pura Vida philosophy. When Pura Vida Body & Mind Spa was founded, we made a promise to ONLY provide the very best, healthy, safe, and evidence-based treatments for our guests.  Every product we use or sell has been researched extensively before being offered to our Guests.  So, it should come as no surprise that Pura Vida was the very first in Florida to offer a cutting-edge approach to vitamin and mineral delivery that also improves body contouring (inch loss).


What are Micronutrients? 

Micronutrients are simply the vitamins and minerals which are required by our bodies to support normal metabolism, growth, and physical well-being.  Most Vitamins are organic, essential nutrients that cannot be made by the body but are vital to sustaining a healthy life.  Minerals are inorganic nutrients including trace elements like copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.  Although our bodies only require small quantities of micronutrients for optimal health, even when we eat a so-called well-balanced diet, it almost never contains a sufficient amount of micronutrients for optimal function.


Benefits of Micronutrients in the Body

If you’re on social media, you no doubt find advertisements for all sorts of supplements in your newsfeed.  Sure, companies have flocked to the vitamin industry due to its lucrative and unregulated nature, but it’s only lucrative because millions of people just like you want improved health, to live longer, and to be more active. But all supplements are not equal and many cannot offer the wellness benefits of natural, mined from the earth, micronutrients, antioxidants, and minerals.  Nutrient Body Sculpt’s proprietary blend boasts all of the following benefits and more with the science to back it up.  Here are the most common benefits[1]:

  • Regulating metabolism / Stable weight
  • Antioxidant properties which reduces the cell damage caused by oxidative stress
  • Regulation of hormones
  • Reduction of chronic inflammation
  • Reduction in the incidence of cancer
  • Improvement in healing
  • Lean tissue mass
  • Lower body fat
  • Reduced likelihood of diabetes
  • Improved immune system
  • Healthy cells (reduced oxidative stress)
  • Improved eye health


Can’t You Just Eat Right and Forego Supplements? 

Theoretically yes, you can get all that your body needs from food, but Americans just plain suck at eating. Don’t get me wrong, we Americans love to eat. The problem is, we eat terrible!  The obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease epidemic is proof of that. I think most of us can admit that we don’t eat the daily dietary requirements as prescribed by the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) which is 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day[2]. This fact was proven in a clinical study of people aged 19-64 with results showing that only 13% of men and 15% of women met the five portions a day requirement[3].


Other Causes of Micronutrient Deficiency

If it isn’t bad enough that many of us don’t eat a varied and healthy diet regularly, many other things can reduce the amount of micronutrients in the body. For example, anything that causes impaired absorption of micronutrients or when increased metabolism is needed, drop in micronutrient levels can occur.  How many of the below things apply to you?

  • Chronic alcohol consumption;
  • Acute infection;
  • Surgery or trauma;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Anorexia;
  • Disease;
  • Chronic inflammation;
  • Periods of weight gain;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with chronic or acute diarrhea;
  • Menstrual or other blood loss; and
  • Loss of body fluids/dehydration


How Does Pura Vida’s Nutrient Body Sculpt Help?

This just might be the most interesting part!  Typically, to supplement the body we use pills, or drinks or foods that are supposed to be packed with all the good things we need.  But, here’s the real problem with that. Even if the supplement really has what it says it has (which is often questionable), when your body is already impaired by any of the above things, the gut cannot properly process or absorb what you take in by mouth. Common sense, right?

That’s where Pura Vida comes in.  We give you all those amazing minerals and nutrients in a totally different way!  Using a propriety wrapping process, we tightly wrap your body, from knee to head, with liquid micronutrient-soaked bandages.  Once all wrapped up, you will stand on a vibration plate for 20 minutes.  The vibration plate, according to Dr. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic, provides the body with additional health benefits and aids in weight loss so it is a great compliment to your body sculpt treatment session.  While you are wrapped and vibrating, your skin (which is the largest organ of the body) is absorbing all of the amazing nutrients that your body is lacking.  This transdermal approach to vitamin supplementation bypasses your malfunctioning gut and allows a high level of absorption into your body’s tissue and organs where the nutrients are ultimately needed.   As an added bonus, because unhealthy inflammation is reduced, most people will experience an immediate loss of 1-2 inches around the waist and other areas of the body with long-term from continued treatment.  The body’s tissues will also be well hydrated (unlike wraps which dehydrate the body)creating a more firm and toned appearance.

Nutrient Body Sculpt’s Ingredients

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B-5
  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • N-acetyl-L-Carnitine 9
  • Green tea extract
  • Trans Reservatrol
  • Selenomethionine
  • Embolic fruit extracts from Phyllanthus Emblica
  • Trace minerals
  • Magnesium
  • Lemon balm
  • Microcrystalline cellulose


Book a Session with us to learn more about how Nutrient Body Sculpt can help you achieve your health, wellness and even weight-loss goals.

1715 Eagle Harbor Parkway, Suite C Fleming Island |  904.644.8586  | www.pvmedspa.com


Want More Research?

To learn more about the role of micronutrients in health and disease, you can download the e-Book written by Dr. Kedar Prasad who helped develop the Nutrient Body Sculpt mineral powder.  Dr. Prasad’s book explains how “increased oxidative stress due to the production of excessive amounts of free radicals together with the results of chronic inflammation play a significant function in the initiation and development of a host of disease states, ranging from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder.  In varying doses, micronutrients, including antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals have shown to help ameliorate these effects. Following an overview of basic facts about micronutrients, oxidative stress, inflammation, the immune system, and the results of various clinical studies, Micronutrients in Health and Disease explores the use of micronutrients in prevention and improvement of standard therapy in a number of disease states, including

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Hearing disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Arthritis
  • Adverse effects of radiation

Heavily steeped in research and incredibly referenced Micronutrients in Health and Disease concludes with a substantial list of usual myths and misunderstanding concerning micronutrient usage and along with a chart of dietary reference intakes (DRIs) of all the major products, making this a solid resource for practitioners and others who promote healthy aging as well as prevent and manage disease.”

[1] Aged-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss:  AREDS report no. 8 Arch Ophthalmology 20011191417-1436.

[2] Food and Nutrition Board IoM Dietary reference intakes for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline.  Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1998.

[3] The Key Role of Micronutrients.  Clinical Nutrition, 2007.

Then and Now: The Evolution of a Glamour Session

In the 80’s, glamour photography was all about the big permed hair with a thick, heavy hold of White Rain hairspray; cheesy, identical wardrobe options of leather jackets and feather boas, super-bold backgrounds, heavily caked-on makeup, along with some heavy-handed retouching. I was lucky enough to purchase a few of these beautiful gems myself.

not the way we do glamour shoots anymore

mother daughter sessions are so beautiful now. These were not.
Yep, real, authentic Olan Mills Glamour Shots from 1994 taken from inside the Orange Park Mall! Aren’t you jealous?! They weren’t a classic look that would be hanging on my wall now, but these really are the last portraits I have of my mother and therefore they are cherished. I’m grateful for the memories and times they captured. My mother had a ball taking these portraits, and that’s the one thing that hasn’t changed over the years. It’s still a completely boutique experience, though, and one that can help you when you need it!

ENTER: The Modern-Day Contemporary Glamour Portrait Session

photo shoot includes makeup and hair styling

To experience a modern “glamour” – or contemporary beauty portrait session – with April Peebles Photography, you’ll find that YOU are at the center of all the decisions.

It’s about allowing you to see yourself the way your loved ones see you . . . about seeing the best version of yourself!

It’s about photographing you the way you want to be photographed – whether that’s in a custom designed dress or barely anything at all; whether it’s in my studio, your home, or in an exotic location halfway around the world! It’s whatever you’re dreaming of . . .

And it’s about giving you an experience of being a model for a day, having a girls day out, or just help you feel a bit more beautiful and pulled together than you may be on any other given day. Your session will be designed complete with 4-5 outfit changes, professional makeup artistry, hair styling, and me, a professional photographer who understands the art of posing because goodness knows, the camera makes all of us feel un-photogenic.

It’s my job to make you look and feel like a goddess, and create photos you absolutely fall in love with!

ponte vedra beach pregnancy photographer

You can see a gallery of our Before and Afters HERE.

So, let me ask you: How do you want to be photographed? And is there anyone special you’d like to share the experience with? 

styled mother daughter photo session in jacksonville florida

contemporary portrait photographer in Jacksonville Florida

Florida Photographer for Personal Branding and Headshots

jacksonville florida fine art maternity portrait

How to Find the Perfect Photo Shoot Location


Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn’t have to be difficult. A location usually drives some of the other decisions you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a location:

  1. What kind of theme do I want? If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. If you don’t know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It’s easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas, too. Here in Jacksonville, it’s easy to have nautical and beach themes. This image was taken at Mickler’s Landing. 

locations in jacksonville, florida for a photo session

  1. Are you allowed to take pictures there? Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it’s not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first. A lot of locations in the area, such as Epping Forest (seen below), charges a hefty fee if your clients are not members; or some require permits.

ideas for locations in Jacksonville Florida for a photo shoot epping forest

  1. Is it accessible? Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look neat but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way. Likewise, some people try to climb down steeply-eroded shorelines to get to some beach locations. Be careful!

great location ideas for a photo shoot

great locations around the area for a photo session

  1. How do you get to your location? Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it. The session above was in my home studio location and I love how natural and organic it was; and also, how easy it is to change looks in a short amount of time – OR when the weather is inclement.

awesome locations for a photo session

  1. Will the photo session be in a public place? If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others. If not, you might want to rethink your choice in location. Sometimes, having a session in the comfort of your own home or a studio may be the best option for you! The session below was taken at Alpine Groves Park in Switzerland (just south of Mandarin).

locations around town for a beautiful photo shoot

Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction in your images, though, and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot. As a professional photographer, I go through a multitude of questions to make sure we’re choosing the right location for YOU. Please contact me today if you’re interested in some further ideas!




Christmas in July Celebration!! | Jacksonville Family Portraits | 2017

It’s July 25, and you know what that means?! It’s Christmas in July!!

This special is designed for immediate families with children who are 6+ months and older. At the very least, babies should be able to push up and look around for several minutes at a time. Email Me today so that you can reserve your date! There are a limited number of spots for this deal and must be held in August or September and is only available for purchase until August 1, 2017.


family portraits above a fireplace

For $299 (a savings of over $200), you will receive:

  • a pre-session consultation to discuss location and wardrobe ideas
  • a full Platinum family session at the location of your choice in the Jacksonville area. Other locations available for an additional charge.
  • an in-person reveal and ordering appointment
  • a $150 print credit to use at your reveal/ordering appointment
  • 25 custom-designed cards with one set of changes

Fine Print: This deal can not be used with any other offers. Your session is not booked until I’ve received both the signed online contract and payment in full. Session fees are non-refundable and your session must be held prior to October 1, 2017 or the session fee paid reverts to standard pricing ($225 session fee with $75 product credit, no cards). Non-transferable.