Archive for April, 2011

Alternative Energy

April 27, 2011

Looking for healthy ways to boost your energy without consuming loads of caffeine?

Here are a few alternatives that will give you the pick me up, without the jitters.

 

An apple a day keeps the sluggishness away

The natural sugars in the fruit will give you a quick burst of energy, without the crash later.

Hydrate

Dehydration can sap your energy.  A glass of cold water, or a cup of low caffeine green tea can perk you up fast.

 

Get down and give me five:

A few pushups will get your blood circulating, making you more alert.

Holding a downward dog pose can also have the same effect.

Get some air

A short brisk stroll will clear your head and give you a dose of vitamin D, courtesy of the sun. The walk gets the blood flowing again, and stepping away from the task at hand for a few minutes can be reinvigorating.

Before you drop $5 bucks for a sugary snack or a 300-calorie Frappacino, try one of these natural and healthy alternatives!

photo: Glasshouse Images

The Seaweed Is Always Greener On The Other Side

April 25, 2011

Seaweed is a healthy component of the Japanese diet.  It is delicious as a salad, and in it’s dried form, it is a major ingredient in sushi.

It is also a power food that can help guard against the radiation risk that is currently a health hazard in Asia.

  • When the body is fully saturated with iodine from sources such as ingesting seaweed, it will more readily expel radioactive iodine taken in from air, water or food.
  • Seaweed is high in protein and low in fat.
  • Seaweed is higher in calcium than milk.
  • Consuming seaweed is thought to lower blood pressure, and combat tumors.

Here in America, where our radiation risk is minimal, there is some concern over eating seaweed, which is often imported from Asia.

Surprisingly, China is the biggest producer of seaweed, with France and England coming in second and third.  Japan actually ranks 4th on the list of seaweed producing countries. The US is ranked 11th.

Before buying or ordering seaweed dishes in a restaurant, find out where it comes from. This uber healthy super food could ultimately post a greater health risk than we think. Hopefully, the government is monitoring the importing of foodstuffs from Japan. In the meantime, as chefs are waving Geiger counters over the daily catch, we should be conscious of where our specialty food items are coming from as well.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Back to Black

April 11, 2011

Black is the new green, at least when it comes to healthy foods. Research has shown that the darker the vegetable or fruit, the better it is for you. It seems that the same holds true for other foods as well.

We’re all aware of the antioxidant effects of blueberries, but blackberries are even better. The polyphenols founds in them may help reduce cognitive decline as we age. They are also rich in fiber and low in calories, packing only about 60 calories per cup.

Brown rice has become a staple in many American’s diets, but black rice, has significantly higher levels of vitamin E, which boosts the immune system and protects our cells from free radical damage.

We constantly hear about the virtues of drinking green tea, but traditional black tea has its merits as well. It contains an antioxidant called theaflavins, which help us recover from soreness after exercise, and lower the risk of heart attacks.

Beans are a great way to get “non-animal” protein. While all of them are good for you, black beans are packed with a nutrient called bioflavonoids, which research has shown could protect us from cancer.

If you are looking to up the antioxidant quota in your diet, try adding darker hued foods to the menu.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Too School for Cool

April 4, 2011

It’s prom season and girls around the country have been eagerly planning their attire for the festivities.  For most, that entails some type of evening gown.

In my day, they were either fluffy pastel colored confections, or Quiana halter dresses (a nasty synthetic fabric that gave polyester it’s bad rap). The boys tended to match their ruffled shirts to the girl’s dress, or in some cases, (horror of all horrors), they selected a coordinating colored tux.

Even then, this went against my fashion instincts. As a high school senior, and a fashionista in training, I knew I would rather skip the party than dress like that. The eternally chic Bianca Jagger was photographed wearing a tuxedo to Studio 54, the disco in New York City where all of the fabulous fashion crowd partied the nights away. An inspiration was born…

I was headed to New York in September to seek my fame and fortune, and attend the Fashion Institute of Technology to study design. What better statement to make in my last days of oblivion in a midwestern high school than to wear “Le Smoking” as Yves St. Laurent called his iconic version of the tuxedo for women.

I set out to rent a suit, but my 5’4” and 95 pound frame did not quite work in a boy’s tuxedo.  Being a budding young designer, I found a women’s black suit, tailored it to fit, and added the satin touches to make it work. Accented with some fierce Lucite wedges, I think I created quite the desired stir on prom night.

Today, as I was trolling the Internet, I was shocked to discover that many young women are being banned from attending their proms if they choose to wear a tuxedo.

Many of the cases featured were lesbians, challenging their rights to equality by choosing to wear what is considered “gender inappropriate” formal wear to the prom. As appalling as this is on a human rights level, it is also abhorrent on a fashion level. Who are these people to dictate sexuality or personal style?

The recent runway shows featured many iterations of women’s tuxedos for the coming fall season. Illustrious designers, from Ralph Lauren to Jason Wu, showed new takes on the look, ranging from the more classic to modern variations of the white dinner jacket. In my opinion, any of these might be a better look than forcing a self conscious young women to stuff into a dress that does not flatter her body, or make her feel comfortable.

Thankfully, several of these cases were brought before the court, and deemed unconstitutional.  The girls will be going to the prom with their same sex dates, and rocking their tuxedos. For the time being, the United States legal system, and the fashion police have prevailed.


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