Archive for January, 2015

Fitness Falsehoods

January 28, 2015

 

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You are almost one month into the new year. So, how are those resolutions coming?

Yeah, it’s been cold. Yeah, it snowed. We all need carbs to survive a natural disaster, right? (I know I do!)

Sometimes we talk ourselves into believing that things are going better than they really are. Here are a few of the fitness falsehoods that people use to justify how things really are.

Some of my favorites:

“I weigh more because muscle weighs more than fat.” Ah, sorry, but a pound of muscle weighs a pound and a pound of fat weighs…you guessed it, a pound. You can’t convert fat into muscle. It’s simply not possible. It’s like turning water into wine. You can, however, burn off fat and replace that space with muscle. You need a healthy diet and training program to do that.

“I can’t lift heavy weights or put too much resistance on my bike or I’ll bulk up.” Oh, if it was that easy! Most women generally don’t have enough testosterone to build gigantic muscles on their own. It takes a lot of heavy lifting to build any muscle. Tossing around those 2 pounders aren’t doing much for you, and using cardio equiptment with out any resistance isn’t going to get you results either. I bet your purse weighs more than those little dumbells you are curling with. If you want the rewards, do the work.

“I’ve been walking and I’m not seeing results.” Chances are, you aren’t walking fast enough to make a difference. Slow walking, or using cardio equiptment without speed and resisistance doesn’t burn enough calories to offset your latte. Assuming you are healthy, you need to ramp it up to see results.

“Lots of crunches will give me flat abs.” Lots of crunches, and other (better) abs exercises will build abdonminal muscles, but if they are hidden under a layer (or 2) of fat, you won’t see them. There is an old saying that 80% of great abs are made in the kitchen and 20% in the gym. Sadly, it’s true. Revamp your diet, and reap the benefits.

“This week is a bust. I’ll start my diet on Monday.” We’ve all been there. But why wait until Monday? You are just one meal away from getting back on track. Which do you want more? To have a six pack, or to consume one? Make a choice and move on.

Vintage photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Slicing Tomatoes

January 27, 2015

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We love tomatoes! In the summer, we can’t get enough of them, fresh from the farm stands. In the winter, the tomatoes we get tend to be a bit mealy at best, and like styrofoam at their worst.

At this time of the year, we resort to cherry or grape tomatoes, or fancier types, such as the kumato, or campari varieties. These little guys can easily be squashed under the blade of even a sharp chef’s knife.

Using a serrated knife, (aka a bread knife, or a steak knife) can make getting a clean slice from a soft tomato much easier. If you don’t have a serrated knife, use the tip of your regular knife to pierce the skin and get the slicing party started.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Lemon Basil Pasta

January 26, 2015

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This lemony pasta is perfect on its own, or as a side dish for fish or chicken. We served it last night with sauteed shrimp, and a tomato, arugula and burratta salad. It’s easy enough to whip up at a moment’s notice, and the sauce can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until needed.

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Lemon Basil Pasta:

Whisk together the juice of 3 lemons and about 2/3 cup of olive oil.

Cook pasta reserving a little of the cooking liquid. We prefer a short pasta like rigatoni or calamaretti but any shape will do.

Toss pasta with the lemon dressing, about 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese and a couple of handfuls of chopped basil leaves. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the pasta water to moisten.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

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Texture Play

January 23, 2015

Menswear designers have been showing their Fall 2015 collections for the past few weeks, across the European fashion capitals.
Among the emerging trends we love, is a richness of texture and pattern played out in shades of chocolatey brown.

Etro

Etro

Keane Etro showed an overscaled muted plaid coat with flannel pants and an ombre space dyed sweater.

Missoni

Missoni

Missoni mixed a tweed coat with slim windowpane checked pants and topped it with a chevon scarf with a rich autumnal hued pattern at the ends.

Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo

Ferragamo topped traditional grey trousers with a tumbled leather jacket and a long marled sweater coat that wrapped the neck with a fringed scarf.

Kolor

Kolor

Kolor mixed checks and bold stripes in for a new take on collegiate.

Turning a New Leaf

January 21, 2015

This year, kale has been touted as a superfood that is nutritionally superior to all others. It’s popularity has reached a fever pitch, to the point that it’s trendiness is starting to wear on us.

kale

kale

For those of your kale obsessed foodies, we have some big news.

The Center for Disease Control just released a ranking of 47 fruits and vegetables based on their nutritional value. The CDC took into consideration the amount of fiber, protein, potassium and vitamins.

I’m sorry to tell you that kale ranked 15th on the list. I know you’re devastated. But, alas, there are even healthier greens to explore. It’s ok. You might find one you like better, and you can start a new trend of your own.

watercress

watercress

Watercress took the #1 spot, with Chinese cabbage, chard, and beet greens coming in next. Spinach ranked #5 followed by chicory, leaf lettuce and parsley. Romaine lettuce is 9th and the #10 spot goes to collard greens. With leafy greens taking the top 16 spots, it seems you can’t go wrong if you go green.
Of the foods tested, 41 of the 47 were classified as “powerhouses”, which are strongly associated with reducing chronic disease.

chard

chard

Those that did not make the list are garlic, onion, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and tangerines. While still healthy choices, they failed to meet the team’s criteria for classification as a powerhouse fruit or vegetable.

See the complete report here.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Spatulas

January 20, 2015

 

imagesRubber and silicone spatulas are indispensible in the kitchen. Their flexibility allows you to get into nooks and crannies, and scrape every last drop out of the bowl.
You know what else has nooks and crannies? That spatula.

They are designed to come apart for a reason. It is important to detach the handle from the upper portion, and wash the inside thoroughly. Food tends to get into the head of the spatula and bacteria can form. Make sure it is completely dry before reassembling it to avoid growing mold.

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Male Polish

January 19, 2015

First there was guy liner, and now there’s male polish.

Man Glaze

Man Glaze

Yes, men are embracing grooming trends once traditionally considered women’s only territory, and they are loving it.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Not only are men getting mani-pedis at salons, but they are now skipping the buffing and going for full on nail color.

Celebrities are being seen around town sporting painted nails on hands and feet. Color choices tend to be darker and more drab than thier female counterparts with shades like black, olive green, grey and deep blue being popular. Names like “Fuggin Ugly,” and “Butt Taco,” help market the brand as anything but feminine or demure. The finishes are often matte, a trend gaining popularity for women as well.

David Beckham

David Beckham

It seems to be an important enough trend that cosmetic brands are creating lines just for guys.

seal

Seal

 

Niche brands are emerging, such as Man Glaze polish, and Uslu Airlines, but mainstream players such as Essie and Orly have introduced Man-e-cure and Nails for Males respectively.

Jared Leto

Jared Leto

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Relaxing the Red Carpet

January 16, 2015

Awards season is in full swing, and stars are relaxing the dress code and abandoning the screen siren gown for something a little more low key.Last week we showed you who wore the pants at the People’s Choice awards. Today, lets take a peek at the cocktail length dresses with a 50’s vibe that turned up on the Critic’s Choice red carpet.

Leslie Mann’s pale grey stunner with spliced panels and sheer and sparkle from Honor.

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Amy Adams stayed in neutral territory with her custom satin fit and flare dress by Max Mara.

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Sophie Nelisse kept the strapless look going in an age appropriate dress with a sheer black border from J. Mendel.

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Julianna Margulies and the red dress that started it all by Ulyana Sergeenko at the Golden Globes.

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Obesity and Cancer

January 14, 2015

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Look out tobacco, there is a new risk in town. Yes, something else is running so rampant in our society, that it is about to replace tobacco use as the leading cause of cancer.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as the number one modifiable factor in cancer risk.

While most everyone is aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer, very few know about the connection between cancer and being over wieght.

Tobacco use has dropped over the years, largely due to the restrictions on it’s use throughout the United States, and many other countries. The obesity rate, however continues to grow. According to Dr. Clifford Hudis, a physician at Memorial Sloane Kettering and a former president of the ASCO, current projections state that 60% of all  residents of southern states will be obese by 2030.

While more research needs to be done, cancer risk is just another reason to maintain a healthy weight. Adjusting one’s diet is a key factor in overall good health and may contribute to warding off cancer, in addition to hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

To help support life saving research and clinical trials, please consider contributing to our Cycle for Survival team. Every dollar raised goes to help fund this valuable work. This week, every donation will be matched, doubling your impact.

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?px=1218161&pg=personal&fr_id=2340

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Resolutioner’s Etiquette

January 12, 2015

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It is that time of year again, when everyone vows to workout, joins a gym and then….you know the rest.

Coming from someone who is there all year long, year after year, I am here to tell you that you are annoying. While us regulars applaud your new found commitment and wish you lots of luck sticking with it, most of you are in our way, doing things that inhibit our workout, and taking up valuable space on equipment and in classes.

In an effort to have us all live happily over the next few weeks when most of you will go away as quickly as you arrived, let’s go over the ground rules once again, okay?

Know which classes require pre-booking (cycling) and which you can just walk into. We don’t take kindly to you stealing the bike we got up at the crack of dawn to book, only to have you waltz out 10 minutes in when you’ve had enough.

If you are new, get to class a little early to get help setting up, so the instructor can get things started on time.

Don’t do your own thing in a group fitness situation. There is a group for a reason. It’s very distracting to watch you flailing away at your own speed when we are doing drills. In a class like spinning, reduce your resistance to make it easier, but keep up the pace.

Don’t just stand around fiddling with your phone, or chatting with friends. You are in the way. And as for that phone, don’t even THINK about talking on it. Most gyms have a policy against it, and most people really don’t want hear you talking on it. If you are in a class, leave it elsewhere.

Pick up your towel. Even in a full service gym with lots of staff to do it for you. It’s rude, and inevitably, someone else will have to move it or climb over it before they can get to it.

If you should actually break a sweat, wipe it up! I mean, yuck!

Don’t spread your stuff out on the locker room bench so that nobody can sit on it or put their stuff down. And speaking of sitting on it, please don’t do it bare back, if you get my drift.

If there is a row of cardio equiptment, don’t take the treadmill or elliptical right next to someone else if there are lots of open ones. It’s just creepy.

Don’t leave your stuff all over the weight area to stake your turf and then not use said turf. Also, don’t do few reps and then sit there and play with your phone and your hair while others are waiting for that equiptment.

If you wear something to workout in, please wash it. Even if it doesn’t seem to smell bad and you think you can wear it again, you can’t. Trust us. The new sweat reactivates the old sweat, and the stench is stinky squared.

Please put your bag, coat, and coffee cup in a locker. Your stuff laying all over the place when it’s crowded is a nuisence, and a hazard.

When your coffee inevitably spills, please wipe it up.

It’s great that you have a workout buddy. Can you actually work out?
We don’t want to know about your date, your friend, your boss, your new shoes or hear you recite your last 7 text messages. Like, ok? OMG,that’s awesome.

We were newbies once, and we pushed through, so if you do it right, you can too.

Here are a few suggestions for success.

Schedule your workouts like you would a haircut or a dental appointment, and show up.

Try to workout at a similar time of day to start creating a habit. It will make it easier to maintain.

Set realistic goals: start with twice a week for a couple of weeks, then add another day. If you commit to too much too soon, you won’t be able to handle it, and you will become a New Year’s Resolution statistic.

If you can afford a personal trainer for a few sessions, get one. They will help you learn proper form, create a well balanced workout for you and get you off to a good start, injury free.

You probably aren’t burning as many calories as you think. Don’t undue your good work by treating yourself to a fattening snack. If you don’t adjust your diet, you won’t see results, and you will get discouraged.

Missing a workout or eating something you shouldn’t doesn’t mean it’s all over. You are only one meal or one workout away from being back on track.

See you at the gym!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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