Saturday, November 12, 2011

Alexandra Shulman Instigates Size Zero Backlash

You know the model weight debate is getting serious when a Vogue editor gets involved! The Independent is reporting that Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue, sent out a letter to some of the biggest names in fashion including Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander McQueen blaming them “for forcing fashion magazines to find unrealistically tiny models to squeeze into their designs”. It appears that sample sizes are too small for even size 0 models and stylists are having to squish models into too-tight clothing for photo shoots. Shulman admits that Vogue frequently retouches photos to make models look bigger. Could this be the end to rail thin models and protruding ribcages on the runway? Probably not, but it’s nice to see somebody of Shulman’s status calling attention to the problem.

Via Style Hog

The White Tuxedo Blazer

As seen on the Fall/Winter 2011 runway at Jason Wu and Stella McCartney, the white tuxedo blazer isn’t just for hot summer nights or swanky holiday parties – it can actually be incorporated into your everyday autumn wardrobe, if worn correctly. Take for example, model Candice Swanepoel who took menswear-inspired suiting to a new extreme when she stepped out in a full white slim fitting tuxedo style suit. Head to toe white looked great on Candice on the red carpet but it may not be the best option for a day at the office. Instead take a page out of Anne Hathaway’s style agenda and pair your new white tuxedo blazer with a pair of black pants that you already have hanging in your closet. Or layer it over a shift dress and pointy toe pumps for another take on the trend.

Via Style Hog

A Guide to Good Table Manners

Restaurant Seating Etiquette
Traditionally, a man cedes the inside seat, whether a banquette or a chair, to his female companion. “The woman faces out, and the man faces in―he should want to look at the most beautiful thing in the room,” says Tracey Spillane, general manager and partner of Spago Beverly Hills. If you’re dining with someone of the same sex, the guest gets first dibs on the best seat (and view), says Peggy Post, coauthor of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition ($40, With friends, anything goes.

Napkin Etiquette
Place your napkin on your lap either when you take your seat or when your drink arrives. “If you wait for the food to arrive, the server will have no place to set your plate,” says Robert Burke, a waiter at Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. Feel free to tuck your napkin into your collar when eating spaghetti or another potentially messy meal. It’s not the most elegant look, true, but napkin tucking is acceptable if you’d otherwise worry about your clothes.

If you leave the table during the meal, loosely fold your napkin and place it on the table to the left of your fork. While some authorities recommend putting the napkin out of sight on the chair, Nathalie Dupree, a cookbook author and the host of the PBS series Nathalie Dupree’s Comfortable Entertaining, says, “Napkins are meant to get messy; there’s no need to hide them.” Besides, the napkin could soil the chair, which could then soil your clothing. At the end of the meal, set your napkin on the table.

Using the Right Utensils
The general rule: Start from the outside and work your way in toward the plate as the meal progresses. Usually the big fork is for the entrée; the big spoon, for the soup. Any utensils placed horizontally above your plate are meant for dessert. “With different textural elements on one plate―puddles, solids―one utensil won’t necessarily serve all well,” says Alan Richman, a contributing writer for GQ. “I tend to grab what is functional.” When in doubt, “the host and hostess should be your guides,” says Dupree. “Use whatever they are using.” At a restaurant, everyone at the table might be stumped. William Grimes, former restaurant critic for the New York Times, once encountered “a strange device that looked like a medical plunger mechanism.” (He later learned that it was meant for handling a single stalk of asparagus.) “If you can’t tell what something is for, then it isn’t much of a tool, and it’s fine not to use it,” he says.

Proper Placement of Used Utensils
Once a utensil has been sullied, it never goes back on the table, says Post. When you’re taking a break, rest your fork and knife entirely on the plate. When you’re finished, place them diagonally on the plate, side by side, with the handles at four o’clock. The knife blade should face the center of the plate, not point out toward another guest (an ancient sign of aggression, according to Spillane).

Navigating Table Turf
Memorize two simple rules: Your glasses are on the right; your bread plate is on the left. (If you forget, think BMW, for “bread, meal, water”―the left-to-right order of items when you’re seated at your place.) “If the poor person next to you took your bread, don’t make him feel ill at ease,” says Dupree. She recommends asking the unwitting thief, “I might be mistaken, but isn’t that mine?” Post advises claiming the bread plate on your right (as the original perpetrator did) and hoping that the whole table plays along. Cynthia Rowley, a fashion designer and the coauthor, with Ilene Rosenzweig, of Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life ($22,, suggests playfully telling the person you’re happy to share your bread. Of course, at a restaurant, you can just ask the server to bring you another plate.

Fixing a Dining Faux Pas
If your fumble was subtle and did not harm another person, his clothing, or his possessions―something fell out of your mouth and back onto your plate, for instance―move on as if nothing has happened, says Post. If you spill a drink or break something in a restaurant, discreetly signal a server for help. The aim is to avoid distracting others from their meals or drawing attention to yourself. But if you spill something on a fellow diner, hand her a napkin, apologize profusely, and pay for the necessary dry cleaning, says Grimes. Also offer to pay for the cleaning if you’ve spilled red wine on your host’s tablecloth (that conversation should take place in private, after the meal). “If she refuses―and she should―it is nice to send a special gift,” Post says. Consider a new tablecloth or a bottle of wine, with a note of apology.

Eating With Your Hands
The more formal the meal and setting, the less inclined you should be to eat with the utensils you were born with. Post has a lengthy list of acceptable finger foods: bread, crisp bacon, pizza, hors d’oeuvres, corn on the cob, asparagus (provided it is cooked al dente and is not dripping with sauce), fried chicken (though perhaps not the breast), French fries (unless you are eating the rest of the meal with a knife and fork), and tacos (except for any filling that falls out, which you should retrieve with a fork). Of course, if your host is using a fork, you should do the same.

Tasting a Companion's Meal
There are several ways to share without reaching across the table and leaving a telltale line of sauce or crumbs across the white cloth. Colin Cowie, an event planner, slides a bite-size portion onto the side of the recipient’s dinner plate. Grimes passes samples on his bread plate. Richman sometimes asks the kitchen to split a dish so it arrives at the table on two plates.

Table Manners When There’s No Table
It may be tempting to think that picnics and clambakes are free-for-alls, but they’re not. You may not have to worry about putting your elbows on the table, “but some manners should never be discarded,” says Dupree: “politeness, graciousness, making others feel at ease, and ensuring that you don’t damage anyone’s body or clothes.” Decorum enhances any dining experience: It slows you down and makes you pay more attention to the food. “Even when you are by yourself, if you eat like a slob, you don’t appreciate the food as much,” says Richman. “You can’t stick your head in a trough and enjoy it.”

Table-Talk Guidelines
When in a restaurant, remember: Volume matters. “Occasional loud laughter is fine, as long as there is no hyena at the table,” says Mario Batali, chef-owner of Babbo and several other restaurants in New York City. “But a constant uproar is not appropriate.” If someone is seated too far away for you to speak at a normal volume, wait until after the meal to talk. Also try to avoid speaking over the person next to you in order to talk with someone else. At formal dinners, there used to come a time when the hostess “turned the table,” moving from speaking with the person on her left to the person on her right―a cue to her guests to do the same. While this formality is rarely observed, avoid monopolizing one person and pay equal attention to the two people sitting next to you. And try to bring into the conversation anyone who appears to have no one to talk to.

Via Real Simple

Everyday Etiquette for Public-Place Encounters

Are the rules for navigating a crowded sidewalk or hallway the same as the ones for the road?
Absolutely. "You walk on the right and pass on the left," says Charles Purdy, a columnist for SF Weekly, in San Francisco, and the author of Urban Etiquette: Marvelous Manners for the Modern Metropolis (Wildcat Canyon, $15, And keep in mind that people shouldn't walk more than two abreast, says Sheryl Shade, author of As a Lady Would Say: Responses to Life's Important (and Sometimes Awkward) Situations (Rutledge Hill Press, $15, But "there's nothing you can do when other people don't play by the rules," Purdy adds. "When that happens, you should avoid bumping into them or causing an accident―just like on the road."

On the sidewalk, feel free to shuck off the Victorian custom of a gentleman's walking closer to the curb to protect a lady from mud from passing carriages. "The person on the inside should be whoever is wearing the nicer trousers that day," Purdy says with a laugh.

On a cross-country flight, I'm seated next to a chatterbox who wants to swap life stories. How do I let her know that I don't?
Start with nonverbal cues, if possible. Carolyn Hanley, who flies about 60,000 miles each year as a technical trainer for a semiconductor-equipment company in Austin, Texas, has dealt with nosy seatmates on several continents. Her advice: Thumb through the pages of a book, open your laptop, or pull out your PDA. Or, if you've already started to engage the talker, "break off the conversation by calling the flight attendant over and asking a question like 'When do we actually land?' or 'Could I get a rum and Coke―quickly?'"

Nancy Huss, who spent 32 years as a flight attendant for TWA, notes two other important points of high-altitude etiquette. If you need to leave a window seat to stretch or use the facilities and your neighbor is asleep, "lightly tap her on the shoulder instead of attempting to crawl over her," says Huss. "No one wants to be rudely awakened by someone doing acrobatics on top of her, especially if there is turbulence." And don't bolt from your seat as soon as the plane arrives at the gate, says Huss. Exit one row at a time. Pretend you're leaving a church after a wedding.

How do I claim a parking spot when everyone's clamoring for the next open one? Is it OK to follow a person in a parking lot as she leaves the store and heads to her car?
First of all, never let a passenger jump out of your car to claim a spot for you by standing in it―if another car speeds into the open space, the parking spot will be the least of your worries. Use your blinker to show you've claimed a spot. By the same token, if you see another car with a flashing blinker, accept that the person has claimed the space, even if you are closer to it.

If you're a woman and you see someone heading from the store to her car, it is OK to follow the person. Why? That person is less likely to feel threatened by a female driver, says Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, a volunteer community-safety patrol with chapters around the world. Just be sure to first roll down your window and ask, "Are you leaving the parking lot?" and then follow at a respectful distance.

Purdy notes that parallel parking has its own rules: Pull over in front of the space and put on your blinker, then back toward the curb. Of course, "there are some jerks who are going to ignore your signal and veer into that space," he says. When that happens, you have two options: "You can get upset and compromise your dignity and yell at them, or you can say, 'Some people are jerks, and I'm going to get on with my life and find another parking space.'"

At some cash registers (in fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, and drugstores), it's not clear whether customers should form separate lines at each register or stand in a single line. How do I resolve queue confusion?
Go with the flow―even if the flow feels like chaos, says Shade: "Just try to stay in the line, and sooner or later you'll get to the front." Don't bother trying to whip the rest of the crowd into shape. At the supermarket, if you have just one or two items, it's fine to ask the person with the $100 grocery cart to let you slip by. "People will almost never say no," says Randy Cohen, Ethicist columnist for The New York Times Magazine and the author of The Good, the Bad & the Difference: How to Tell the Right From Wrong in Everyday Situations (Broadway, $14,

What should I do when I'm pushing my cart down the aisle in a grocery store and someone has left her cart blocking my way?
It depends on what's in the cart. If it's just groceries, feel free to move it over so you can roll by. If the wandering shopper returns to catch you red-handed, "say, 'Excuse me―I had to get by,' with a smile," says Purdy. If the shopper has left her purse or baby in the cart, however, a hands-off policy should apply. Generally, "you can go around to another aisle―it won't add more than 30 seconds to your trip," Purdy says.

On a rainy day, when everyone is carrying an umbrella, how should I keep from bumping mine into other people? And what are the proper times to open and close my umbrella?
The tall ones need to take charge here. If two people are sharing an umbrella, the taller person should hold it. When two people carrying umbrellas are walking toward each other, the taller person should always raise his umbrella to allow the shorter person safe passage.

The rule for opening an umbrella is simple: Keep it shut until you are fully outside and clear of the door. Before entering a public building, Purdy says, "shake off your umbrella outside. If you get a little bit wet, that's what happens when it rains. A few raindrops on your head are preferable to creating a wet mess in someone's place of business."

The same goes for public transportation. When boarding a bus in the rain, always turn your back to the door, shut your umbrella, then make your entrance. "Otherwise I get sprayed, and the water on the floor makes things slippery," says Aretha Bull, a bus driver for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority. Finally, never place your wet umbrella on an open seat or you'll put a damper on someone else's day.

I'm at a crowded airport and I see a pregnant woman or an elderly person looking for a seat near the gate. I don't have one to give her, but should I ask someone else to give up his seat?
Give it a minute. The person will probably speak up for herself. If she does ask and her request is declined (or if she's clearly uncomfortable but appears too meek to ask), then it's fine to step in, says Cohen.

"If you ask one person and he says no, chances are someone else is going to offer," Shade adds. There's no need to keep asking on down the line.

Is it OK to read over a person's shoulder?
The experts are split on this one. Bull flatly says that it's impolite: "People have to have their own space." Purdy agrees that leaning into someone's personal space is inappropriate but says, "If you're at very close quarters, how can you help it? If someone's newspaper is over your head and you're reading the back page, that's polite. Asking them to turn the page isn't."

There's a line of people behind me as I walk through a door. Should I hold the door for only the person behind me, for all of them, or for none of them?
Hold the door for the person directly behind you. For everyone else, you have to make a judgment call. If the door opens in and people are coming behind you, it's easy to make eye contact and hand the door off, Purdy says. If it opens out, you'll be removed from the flow of traffic by holding it, "but it probably won't take more than 15 seconds off your day," he says. If you're with a companion, there are all sorts of permutations as to who holds the door for whom, but it boils down to something fairly simple: "People in 'honor' positions should have less contact with doors," says Purdy. "If you're a gentleman on a date, hold the door for your lady. If you're showing a client to a conference room, hold the door for your client. And so on."

The rule for revolving doors is less intuitive, but it usually comes down to sex. Clarence Winfrey, a doorman at the venerable Peabody Hotel, in Memphis, says, "If the revolving door is moving, the woman goes first." But if it isn't moving, the man should try to "give the door a little push before letting the woman go through it first."

Is it OK to help handicapped people through doorways, or should I ask first?
Always ask first. "It's just the courteous thing to do: 'May I hold the door for you?'" says Cyndi Jones, director of the Center for an Accessible Society, an organization in San Diego that promotes understanding of disability. "But don't say, 'Here, let me help you' or 'Let me do that for you.'"

I'm standing in line at the movie theater and the person in front of me asks me to hold his place. A few minutes later, he comes back―with five friends. Should I challenge him?
While it's fine to hold a place in line for one or two people, this person has abused your courtesy. Whether to challenge such a transgression is a tougher question. Purdy suggests a gentle "Excuse me, but the line extends way back there." If that doesn't work, you have two dignified choices. You can accept that others won't always behave properly and understand that the joys of living with people are sometimes accompanied by annoyances, or you can alert the authorities and your bully will most likely lose the tough act.

Banish a Bad Mood in 15 Minutes

Decode Your Mood
Ask yourself these key questions to figure out what’s wrong.

What’s really bugging me? You’re irritable and sad, but you’re not sure why. “Think about what happened earlier in the day or in the week,” says Larina Kase, author of Anxious 9 to 5: How to Beat Worry, Stop Second Guessing Yourself, and Work with Confidence (New Harbinger, $15, “Keep going back until you hit on the most upsetting thing, something that resonates with you.” This will help you address the underlying problem rather than just focusing on the latest snafu in your life.

Am I avoiding something? It’s easier to pin your bad mood on stalled traffic than on, say, your stalled romantic life. If you still don’t feel that you’ve arrived at the root problem, ask yourself if there’s something big going on that you’re unwilling to address. Is there someone―your new love, for instance, or your best friend―whom you’re reluctant to show anger toward? Is there a nagging problem that has been building for months that you’ve been hoping would simply go away? Merely acknowledging the bigger issue will take some pressure off.

Could it be more than one thing? Say you had a bad fight with your sister. It might be a simple case of cause and effect: You argued, and now you’re angry. But the fight might have been aggravated by a problem you’re dealing with at work or compounded by the fact that your father is sick. In those instances, you might be angry but also feel sad or hopeless. It’s common to have multiple emotions cropping up at the same time. When you have two or more pressing problems bringing you down, try to address them one by one.

Calm Down
Start by taking a few deep breaths to get your emotions under control. Then choose one or more of the following techniques to help clear your mind.

Focus on breathing. Take 10 deep breaths. Breathing may help restore the balance between the parasympathetic (or restorative) and sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous systems, buffering your body’s natural reaction to stressful situations, says Brian Knutson, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Stanford University.

Make a pie chart. Draw a circle and create slices of a pie chart to represent all the things that are upsetting you, suggests Kase. Include everything you can think of, even if it’s as mundane as the nonstop rain outside. The act of presenting your concerns visually clarifies things, she says, making the problems easier to identify and therefore to manage.

Find a quiet place. “Ideally, go someplace where you can have privacy to shut down the stimulation to your brain,” says Pierce Howard, a cognitive psychologist in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the author of The Owner's Manual for the Brain. ($30, If you’re at a busy place, like your office or a restaurant, he suggests, head to the bathroom and take a few minutes for yourself. If you’re at home, go to your bedroom or a place that feels comforting.

Distract yourself. Read a favorite funny website, play with your dog, fold laundry, or wash dishes for a few minutes. “Diversions allow your emotions to calm down,” says Peter Ubel, a professor of medicine and psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “And because your brain keeps processing the problem even when you’re not consciously thinking about it, you’ll be better able to deal with the issue once you return to it.”

Get some exercise. If possible, go out for a brisk walk, or do some yoga poses. “Just 10 minutes of an active and distracting activity breaks the flow of rumination and lifts people’s moods,” says Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a professor of psychology at Yale University and the author of Eating, Drinking, Overthinking ($16, “This leads them to think more clearly.”

Blow off steam. Call a patient friend. Be sure to tell her you’re not trying to fix anything―you just want a listener. “Talking through your concerns makes them seem more manageable,” says Kase. “But once you’ve vented, it’s important to let it go.”

Create a Strategy
The tips below will help you fix the situation that caused your bad mood. Do all three in sequence. If you’re still in a funk, consider making an appointment with a therapist.

Talk to a problem-solver. “People often think they should be able to handle problems on their own, and they don’t want to burden others,” says Kase. “But it’s easier to strategize with support.” Discuss things you can do to feel better as well as fix the problem.

Make a list. It should include things that will make you feel better, like sending flowers to your husband, calling Dad’s doctor to discuss his progress, or going to the gym at lunchtime. “Lists force you to structure your concerns and help you move into problem-solving mode,” says Nolen-Hoeksema. Number the items in the order that you want to accomplish them.

Visualize your ideal. Take a few minutes to close your eyes and picture what you want in the moment, as if it’s actually happening. This visualization technique is “basically a form of rehearsal,” says Howard. For instance, after you and your sister argue, imagine the two of you having a great time over dinner at your favorite restaurant. The memories of the fight will be replaced by a positive picture of harmony and fun.

Via Real Simple

Friday, November 11, 2011

Foods That Fight Wrinkles

This light breakfast food contains B-complex vitamins that can help tighten your skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. For a quick facial before a night on the town, beat 2 egg whites together, apply a dab under each eyelid, massage and let sit for 30 minutes. Wash your face with cool water, pat dry and you're ready to go!

You'll often find this antioxidant-packed oil in sunscreens and moisturizers, but to maximize its full potential, use it in its purest form! Combine virgin coconut oil with a few drops of vitamin E oil and apply before you go to bed. Your skin will actually regenerate overnight!

If you have some extra pineapple in your fridge, use it on your face! This tropical fruit contains powerful enzymes that moisturize the skin and kill dead skin cells! Chop up a couple of slices, lay back and let that powerful juice seep into your skin for 10 –15 minutes.

The strong exfoliating properties in the acidic juice help fade wrinkles by killing off dead cells from the skin’s outer layers. Apply a small amount of juice (the size of a quarter), and watch your skin instantly soften! Lemon juice is also a great remedy for drying up pimples!

Pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) are not only a yummy treat to snack on, the vitamin E in them encourages the formation of collagen and protects against free radicals, restoring the health of your skin cells. Try crushing up a handful, mixed with a teaspoon of olive oil, for a moisturizing and soothing facial!

An apple a day keeps the wrinkles away! Green apple juice is loaded with an array of vitamins and contains acids that help gently exfoliate your skin. Blend a few green apple slices with two tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon of plain yogurt (a great skin cleanser) and leave on for about 20 minutes. Your skin will feel refreshed and you’ll smell good too!

Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, has been used for centuries by the Chinese and Indians to help heal wounds and prevent disease, but it’s also a great wrinkle reducer! Turmeric contains a powerful source of antioxidants that can actually make lines fade! Mix 100 milligrams of turmeric powder with 10-15 drops of sugar cane juice and apply as a paste on affected areas. Once dry, rinse off with warm water and moisturize. You’ll see a difference almost instantly!

It's no secret avocado is rich in vitamin E! These creamy fruits contain at least 14 minerals essential for skin care, and pack a hydrating, healing and nourishing punch! Combine 1 egg yolk, half of an avocado and 1 tablespoon of honey for a healing mask -- leave on your skin for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. For an extra deep cleanse, first wash and exfoliate your skin with an egg white or green apple juice!

Papaya is another tropical fruit that fights the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes! Its plentiful supply of potassium, fiber, folate and magnesium promotes smooth, radiant skin that helps reduce signs of aging! Blend 2 tablespoons of papaya pulp with a spoonful of dry oatmeal to make a wrinkle-reducing mask, apply and leave on for about 10 minutes to watch this superfood work its magic on your skin!

Via Yahoo! Health

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How To Hide Your Problem Area

Problem: Large bust
Solution: Many women think they're hiding their ample chest by covering it up with a turtleneck but they're actually making their breasts appear larger. The slimming solution is a top with a scoop neck, which balances the proportion and directs the gaze to your collarbone area and face.

Problem: Untoned arms
Solution: Instead of covering up flabby arms, go for a top with a three-quarter-length sleeve. Because it ends at the thinnest point of your arm (your elbow), the sleeve creates a slimming illusion.

Problem: Big butt
Solution: Stay away from pants that taper at the ankle and tops that are too short. A more flattering combo is a pair of flared jeans and a patterned top that hits at hip-length.

Problem: Muffin top
Solution: Do not buy pants that are too tight or shirts that are made of thin or sheer material. Go for pants with a higher waist-- to keep the lower belly covered-- and add a loose top with a pattern that attracts the eye.

Problem: Thick thighs
Solution: Skinny pants only emphasize the issue. Wide-leg trousers-- which happen to be a big fall trend-- give the illusion of a long thin leg. Avoid tight skirts that hit at midcalf and opt for A-line looks instead.

Problem: Sizable tummy
Solution: New moms know this problem well. A great go-to combo is a tunic and leggings. The tight leggings draw attention to slender stems and the drapey, loose top camouflages belly fat. If you're looking for an evening option, dresses with ruching are ideal.

Via The Thread

Celebrity-inspired tips for dressing your body

Sofia Vergara
Body type: Curvy
You’ll never see Sofia in a chunky sweater or shapeless pants. She is all about wearing fabrics with stretch that hug her curves in the right places. She also knows how to work with proportions so she can show off her assets without looking trashy. If something’s cut low, she balances it with a longer hemline.

Kate Middleton
Body type: Tall and thin
If you have a straight-up-and-down shape like Kate's, create the illusion of curves with flirty, feminine A-line dresses. The suggestion of an hourglass shape can be made very successfully by choosing a dress with strong shoulders and a belt or ribbon detailing at the waist.

Body type: Bigger on the bottom
At the moment, Queen B’s shape is in flux -- she’s expecting a baby in February. But the mom-to-be is naturally a bit larger on the bottom than the top. If you check out her pre-baby wardrobe, you can see that she deftly chooses pieces with a lot going on up top; embellishment or a deep v-neck will help draw the eye upwards.

Melissa McCarthy
Body type: Plus-size
Melissa is so attuned to what looks best for her shape that she’s designing her own line of plus-size clothing. Most often she chooses monochromatic pieces with flattering ¾ or full-length sleeves in classic cuts, adding a standout accessory or hairstyle for punctuation.

Carrie Underwood
Body type: Petite
You might have the impression that Carrie’s legs are a mile long but the songstress is barely 5’3.” She smartly chooses mini-dresses to show off her toned gams and if she does go for a dramatic gown, she’ll make sure it’s in a solid color for maximum elongating.

Via Shine

Your stay-young meal plan

This mix-and-match menu will slow down your body's clock.

Here's an easy-to-follow meal plan that combines all the laws of eating to stave off the aging process: colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, red wine and green tea, and whole grains. And because research shows that reducing calories by 25 percent has impressive anti-aging benefits, this diet contains around 1,700 calories a day—about a quarter fewer calories than the average requirement for an active 30-year-old woman. Each day, simply choose a meal or snack from each category, and you're done!


>8 oz fat-free plain yogurt mixed with 1/2 c raspberries; 8 oz green tea

>1 slice toasted whole-grain bread with 2 Tbsp peanut butter (or other nut butter, like almond); 3/4 c strawberries

> 3/4 c high-fiber cereal with 1 c fat-free milk and 1/2 banana Snacks (two a day)

>6 oz (or a 100-calorie pack) low-fat popcorn sprinkled with 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

>A mini-sandwich: 1 slice whole-grain bread with 1 oz low-fat cheese and 1 tsp mustard; 3/4 c blueberries

>3 graham crackers with 2 Tbsp low-fat whipped cream cheese and 1/4 c berries of your choice

>1 Tbsp peanut butter on 2 whole-grain crackers; 8 oz raspberry iced tea


>A salad of 2 c mixed greens, 1/4 c tomatoes, 1/4 c carrots, 1/4 c red cabbage, 1/3 c chickpeas, 1/3 c red beans, 1/3 c edamame, and 1 oz slivered almonds, tossed with 1 Tbsp olive oil and as much red-wine or balsamic vinegar as you'd like; 1 plum; 8 oz sparkling water mixed with 1/4 c pomegranate juice and a twist of lime

>A sandwich made with 2 oz white turkey, 3 spinach leaves, 2 slices tomato, and 1 Tbsp mustard on 2 slices whole-grain bread; 1 c red grapes; 8 oz green tea

>4-egg-white omelet made with 5 spinach leaves, 1/2 c diced red peppers, and 1 slice low-fat cheese; a small whole-wheat pita; 3/4 c grape tomatoes mixed with 1/4 c diced avocado; 3/4 c blackberries


>3 oz grilled wild Alaskan salmon; 1 c brussels sprouts and 1/2 c sliced beets sauteed in 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil; 1 small baked sweet potato; 1 glass red wine

>5 oz grilled albacore tuna; 1/2 c whole-wheat pasta tossed with 1/2 c broccoli and garlic to taste sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil; salad of 1 c red-leaf lettuce and 1/4 c shredded fresh beets topped with 1 Tbsp chopped pecans and 1 Tbsp dried cranberries and tossed with 1 tsp olive oil; 1/2 pink grapefruit; 1 glass red wine

>Veggie burger on a whole-wheat bun; 1/3 c brown rice; 1/3 c beans; 1 c sauteed yellow and green squash; a salad of 1 c mesclun, 1/4 c shredded carrots, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts, and 1/2 c diced apple; 1 glass red wine

Via Women's Health

What Your Skin Reveals About Your Health

Chin Acne
The cause: Hormonal imbalance

There's a reason many women have breakouts on their chin right before their period: That part of the face is particularly sensitive to rises in progesterone and testosterone. Many women simply experience mild acne, but if your breakouts tend to be more severe or painful and are no match for OTC treatments, it's time to see your ob-gyn.

"Deep, cystic acne on the chin or along the jaw line can be a sign of underlying polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS] and other types of hormonal abnormalities," says Chapas. Left untreated, the condition can increase your risk for diabetes and infertility.

Get healthy: For certain patients, going on birth control pills is an effective way to balance hormone levels and clear up skin. (The pill is also very effective for treating symptoms of PCOS.) If you prefer a nonhormonal option, ask your M.D. about spironolactone, a prescription med that blocks testosterone receptors, thus preventing the skin's oil glands from going into overdrive in some patients. Skipping dessert can help too, since extra insulin stimulates the hormone production linked to breakouts. "Some studies show that eliminating processed sugars and sticking to whole grains, fruits, and vegetables may also mitigate the hormonal stimuli that can lead to acne," adds Chapas.

Dark, Under-Eye Circles and Puffiness
The cause: Allergies

Chronic allergies dilate blood vessels and can cause them to leak, which creates puffiness and that telltale dark purple-blue hue. "Many people don't even realize they're suffering from allergies. They come in wanting a professional dermatologic fix because they think it's too early or late in the season for pollen, or they've never had a problem before," explains Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a Boston dermatologist and past president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery.

And because allergens also trigger the release of histamine, a chemical that contributes to the puffiness and can make eyes itchy and runny, you rub your eyes. A lot. Which only makes the swelling and discoloration worse. "By irritating the thin skin around your eyes, you may even create more leaky capillaries," says Hirsch.

Get healthy: If the symptoms are new and you haven't been keeping unusually late nights, try an over-the-counter antihistamine like Allegra or Zyrtec. Taking the medicine as directed should lessen the irritation in a few weeks. If that doesn't give you any relief and you're unsure of the culprit, see your doctor so she can pinpoint the cause and zero in on the best treatment.

Redness and Blotchiness
The cause: Stress, a digestive disorder, or lupus

Red blotches that come and go on the face and neck can be stress-related; they can be triggered by fluctuations in stress hormones, says Hirsch. Rosacea, clusters of tiny pimple-like red bumps, can be a sign of digestive ailments.

"The skin and gastrointestinal tract are both designed to protect the body by keeping things out. That may be why digestive problems can show up on the skin," explains Chapas. When rosacea sufferers took antibiotics to clear high levels of bacteria in their small bowels, their skin improved, according to a 2008 study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Most serious is a malar rash, a symmetrical butterfly-shaped red rash that usually covers the top and middle of both cheeks. "It's a classic symptom of lupus, a disease that attacks the immune system," explains Hirsch. If you feel more tired than usual, are bruising easily, and are losing or gaining weight, see your doctor pronto.

Get healthy: Stay away from the sun and spicy foods--both can exacerbate redness. Engaging in stress-relieving activities (like yoga or meditation) may help. Also, try to up your intake of probiotics, the healthy bacteria that helps regulate digestion and calm inflammation. Yogurt with live cultures, kefir (a yogurt-like drink), and miso are all good sources. You can also consider taking a supplement such as Phillips' Colon Health, which contains three probiotic strains.

Via Women Health

Monday, November 7, 2011

9 "diet" foods that make you hungrier

1. Light yogurt

The blast of sweet (often artificial) flavor causes the stomach to start producing gastric juices. With only four to six ounces of yogurt and no fat in a typical container, the body doesn’t have enough food to digest leaving the tummy rumbling for more.

Better choice: Nolan likes the creaminess and high protein content of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt. Add fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavor. If you choose the non-fat variety, add a tablespoon of sunflower seeds for crunch and satisfaction—the fat in nuts and seeds is slow to digest so a small serving keeps you feeling full.

2. Puffed cereal with skim milk

The combo of skim milk and puffed cereal has too few calories to keep you energized for long. Many dieters reach for puffed cereal because it looks filling in a big bowl. However, the low fiber content leaves you wanting more soon after breakfast. Puffed cereal also has a high glycemic index, which causes blood sugar to drop after an initial boost of energy.

Better choice: Rolled or steel cut oats. Oatmeal is high in fiber, which makes it a satisfying breakfast. Add a spoonful of maple brown sugar if you need something sweet. Cooking your own plain oatmeal and adding a small amount of sweetener is much more nutritious than using pre-sweetened packets. Nolan likes to cook oats with low fat milk or stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter for even more stick-to-your-ribs goodness.

3. Big green salad with low fat or fat free dressing

The typical dieters’ lunch of a salad with low fat dressing can have a boomerang effect on the appetite. It’s full of fiber and visually filling but the low protein and fat content won’t satisfy for long. Stay away from fat-free dressings, which are loaded with sugar.

Better choice. Add three to six ounces of lean protein such as lean beef, chicken, or beans (the leaner the choice, the more you should eat) to your salad bowl.

4. Rice cakes

One rice cake=good, four rice cakes=overindulgence. And that’s about how many it will take to feel truly satisfied. Low in fiber with a high glycemic index, these classic diet snacks won’t leave your tank full for long.

Better choice: Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter or cream cheese onto a rice cake for a more balanced nosh. Or choose whole grain crackers with a spread or small portion of cheese for fiber and carbs plus protein.

5. Chewing gum

A little stick of gum is a stealth saboteur. While some chewing gum advocates say that it can stave off snacking, Nolan disagrees. She explains that the burst of flavor gets the gastric juices flowing. The act of chewing revs the digestive system even more, preparing it for a meal. If you want an express ticket to the all-you-can-eat buffet, chomp on some gum.

Better choice: We all have our munchy days, so if you are just looking for something to keep your mouth busy, air-popped corn or raw veggies are a safer bet.

6. Diet soda

Like gum, the sweet flavor wakes up the digestive process with no nutritional pay off which stimulates the appetite. Caffeine and carbonation may dampen your hunger pangs for a short time only to have them come roaring back along with an energy slump. If that’s not enough to make you rethink your daily fix, a study carried out by the University of Texas Health Center in San Antonio showed that people who consumed diet soda had a 70-500% increase of abdominal fat over ten years compared to those who didn’t drink diet soda.

Better choice: Drinking a hot beverage can slow down the appetite and allow you to think through your craving. Also, sometimes thirst signals are confused with hunger, so you may just need hydration. Non-caffeinated herbal teas won’t cause an energy crash.

7. Apple

Yes, apples are great for you—they contain lots of vitamins and fiber, but a single apple is not a balanced snack. If you don’t eat anything else with your afternoon apple, you may overeat at dinner.

Better choice: Apple with 5-10 almonds or a cheese stick. Spend a few more calories on your snack so you won’t be ravenous later

8. Low-calorie frozen entrees

Light frozen entrees contain little fiber and only about half the calories you will need to feel satiated. They are also loaded with salt. If you don’t have another option, look for a frozen dinner that contains 400-500 calories, 20-30 grams of protein, around 5 grams of fat, and 5-10 grams of fiber.

Better choice: If you are too busy to cook, Nolan suggests an “assembly based meal.” Roast chicken from the deli, a slice of whole grain bread, some salad bar vegetables, and a piece of fruit add up to a quick, healthy dinner.

9. Fat-free graham crackers or other baked goods

Nolan says people who are watching their weight tend to automatically reach for food labeled “fat free” on the package assuming it is more diet-friendly than the regular version. However, when manufacturers make fat-free foods, they often up the sugar content. Check the nutritional information on the back--the light versions sometimes contain more calories.

Better choice: Regular graham cracker. A small indulgence such as a graham cracker or square of quality chocolate keeps things interesting and won’t break the bank calorie-wise. Nolan points out that boredom is the enemy of dieters and causes people to fall of the wagon. “You are better off eating real food and more calories and feeling physically and emotionally satisfied than eating ‘diet food’ and being hungry in an hour.”

Via Shine
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