Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 2009 - It takes a village


Tonight my family and I are starting a new tradition.

Much like at Thanksgiving, when families sit around the table and state what they are thankful for, tonight we are going to write down our goals for 2010 and commit to supporting each other and reinforcing achieving those goals.

The mob mentality will help us actually follow through.

In fact, helping my family's goals come to fruition will be just as satisfying for me as achieving my own.

So, get some support and publicly declare what you want to strive for in 2010.

It takes a village sometimes ...

Salud!!

And a have a safe and Happy New Year!

(photo from: sxc.hu)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christina Cosmetics Aromatherapy Mineral Mist


We're almost into January, which inevitably brings even colder weather and with it even dryer, flakier skin.

Besides drinking more water, taking Omega 3's and adhering to a good skin care program, you can hydrate your face, neck and decollete throughout the day by spritzing on a topical mist like Christina Cosmetics Aromatherapy Mineral Mist.

Christina Cosmetics was kind enough to send me a bottle of the Mist to try and I am a convert. As you know from my previous post about their Perfect Pigment Mineral Make Up (http://damn-ilookgood.blogspot.com/2009/11/perfect-pigment-by-christina-cosmetics.html), I am bananans about their four color palette foundation that replaces an entire case of make up.

The Aromatherapy Mineral Mist comes in a 4oz spray bottle and contains comforting herbs like lavender, comfrey, calendula and sage in a light moisturizing base of aloe and water.

Gentle enough for sensitive skin and light enough for oily complexions, applying it immediately after getting out of the shower BEFORE your moisturizer adds an extra shot of moisture into your skin. Then, spritz over your make up after application and throughout the day to maintain gorgeous, hydrated, glowing skin.

This product is a MUST HAVE for those who wear powder based mineral make up formulations. The mist infuses the powder and "sets" it, transforming any brand from cakey and dull to luminous, natural-looking and "glowy."

I also love to spritz it on first thing in the morning, to remove any "pillow creases" from my face and refresh my skin before my workout without a heavy, greasy moisturizer.

You can purchase Christina Cosmetic products here: http://www.christinacosmetics.com/index.php

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Damn HE looks good - Robert Downey, Jr


Saw Guy Ritchie's epic "Sherlock Holmes" last night.

Fantastic film, quirky score, fabulous cast and holy shirtless Robert Downey, Jr!!

In a classic Guy Ritchie brawl, we are treated to a ripped Downey, Jr. bare knuckle boxing. Wow. Man looks fierce. He looks incredibly competent and believable in the action scenes. A lean, sinewy powerhouse.

According to an article on Men's Fitness UK, "To get Robert Downey Jr in shape to play Sherlock Holmes we did high-volume, low-intensity workouts to build his cardio levels and muscle endurance,' says Robert Downey Jr's legendary American trainer Brad Bose. 'I didn't want him to get huge, but he needed to be fit enough to do his own stunts. To achieve this we used a machine called the Vortex Perfect Storm, a free-standing multi-gym that has loads of attachments for cables and resistance.

'We'd do intervals on the Perfect Storm, hitting his major muscle groups from loads of different angles, then finish up with a climb on a Jacob's Ladder – an inclined climbing treadmill – to improve his cardio,' says Bose."
(http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercise/total_body/2728/robert_downey_jr_workout.html)

Clearly, it worked for him.

As for diet ... the internet has been circulating stories that Downey, Jr. got a "parasite" from a restaurant in Japan, causing him to lose weight. He was motivated by the sudden weight loss to keep it up. Translation - the man ate less and worked out smart.

Check out links for the equipment Downey's trainer uses:

www.vortexfitness.com
http://jacobsladderexercise.com

(picture from: http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercise/total_body/2728/robert_downey_jr_workout.html)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Recipe - Damn Good Veggie Soup


Soups are warm, comforting, filling meals chock full of vegetables and nutritional goodness to remind you how GOOD good food is for you!

Make this soup to start getting you on track for clean eating or to delishly supplement an already dazzling diet.

Ingredients - use organic whenever possible:
2 "boxes" vegetable broth
1- yellow sweet onion
1 lb celery hearts
1 lb carrots
4 small zuchini
2 large leeks
2 medium sweet potatos
salt and pepper
1 large can stewed tomatoes
1 cup raw cashews
1 head dinosaur kale

1. Emtpy both containers of vegetable stock into a large soup pot.
2. Add filtered water to double amount of liquid.
3. Chop onion, celery, carrots, zuchini, leeks and sweet potato. Add to water.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste
5. Bring to a rolling boil. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
6. Check to make sure all veggies are soft.
7. Laddle about 1/3 of vegetables plus some broth into a blender or vitamix.
Blend until smooth.
Add back to soup pot and stir.
8. Add about 4 laddles of broth to blender or vitamix. Add can of stewed tomatos.
Blend until smooth.
Add back into pot and stir.
9. Add about 4 laddles of broth into blender or vitamix.
Add cashews.
Blend until smooth.
Add back into pot and stir.
10. Bring back to a low boil.
11. Chop kale and add to pot.
Turn off pot completely.
12. Cover and let sit for at least an hour before serving. Better yet - let it
sit overnight and serve the next day.

Serve hot with GG crackers for an extra fiberlicious meal!

(photo from: istockphoto.com)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Be sure to make time for YOU today.
Even in the hustle of busy family activities, it is important to take a moment to check in with yourself, take care of yourself and gift yourself the gift of good self care.

Take just five minutes to do a quick power workout of burpees, squats and pushups.
Or sit quietly and breathe for a holiday meditation.
Maybe take some extra time to pamper yourself in the shower or bath while getting ready for holiday activities.

If you are in check, then you can extend your wellness to those around you.

Have a wonderful day!!

(picture from: american.edu)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas


Alright procrastinators ... here are some great last minute gift ideas for your fitness obsessed loved ones:

1. Anything from http://lucy.com. Free standard shipping (gift will be late - but, so what!!) plus the first 500 customers to order $150 or more will get a free travel hula hoop, DVD and carry strap!

2. Toiletries for the gym bag from http://bathandbodyworks.com
The online semi-anual sale starts today and on the 27th in stores!!

3. A fitness oriented magazine subscription from: http://mags4cheap.com

4. A fitness DVD from: http://collagevideo.com

5. A gift card to Whole Foods

6. A gift card to a local yoga studio or gym

7. A pair of sneakers from: http://zappos.com

8. Supplements from: http://bodybuilding.com

9. A container of Vega and a few of their Vibrance Bars from http://sequelnaturals.com or purchased in store and arranged a gift basket!!

10. A private session with a local personal trainer, yoga teacher or pilates instructor.

(picture from: dreamstime.com)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Natural Deodorant Option


Hold your noses ... I haven't used a commercial deoderant/antiperspirant in about seven years.

Good hygiene, diet and keeping the body hair free helps to control natural body odor. But, for those of you who must put something under your arms to be "sure..."

Try using a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with a few drops of lavender oil.

I drop both oils into the palms of my hands, rub together and apply under my arms.

The tea tree oil is antiseptic while the lavender is soothing for the skin (bye bye razor bumps!)

I like using Dessert Essence 100% Tea Tree Oil (http://www.desertessence.com/special-oils/organic-tea-tree-oil) and Aura Cacia Lavender Oil (http://www.auracacia.com/dspCmnPrd.php?p=t&cn=Lavender&ct=anpceoeo&i=y&br=Aura Cacia.

The combo of the oils creates a pleasing, comforting, clean scent that lasts all day.

Make up your own combination of scents and benefits that suits your needs.

Just try it!!

(picture from: ayushveda.com)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Victoria Beckham's Three Bite Rule


We are quickly approaching big holiday meal number two this weekend! (The first of which was Thanksgiving and the last will be New Year's Eve ...)

Hopefully, you've been staying fit and trim throughout the holiday season. This is always right around the time I start to lose my resolve a bit, indulging in Christmas cookies and too much champagne...

Well, fashionista, disciplined eater and devoted exerciser Victoria Beckham has a strategy to fend off holiday pounds without sacrificing your favorite foods or the social situations that go with them.

According to The Herald Sun (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/confidential/victoria-beckham-adopts-three-bites-rule-at-christmas-to-maintain-size-zero-figure/story-e6frf96o-1225811404157,) Ms. Beckham is going to indulge in holiday traditional meals, but will only take three bites of each item.

I love it. What a great way to exercise portion control while not missing out any of the fun!

And who really needs more than three bites of a single item when there are going to be endless dishes to sample?? The first bite is always the best, the second is almost as good and by the third bite ... you know it's not going to taste any different after that, so move on to the next food!

I'm going for it!

Will you??

(photo from: ppshop.co.uk)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yogaglo


The end of our European travels were met with almost a foot of snow piled up in our driveway. Yes, winter wonderland is pretty and appropriate for the time of year, but sometimes it makes you just want to hole up in the house and not go out!

That's how I was feeling yesterday morning ... but, I also wanted a change of pace from my usual solitary ashtanga yoga practice. I wanted a great yoga class without the hassle of leaving home.

So, I logged on to http://yogaglo.com, signed up and received a free, 15 day trial of the online yoga class service.

Yogaglo is actually a yoga studio in Santa Monica, CA that has a live web feed of their classes. If you take class there ... the whole Internet can witness it! The camera is positioned in the back of the classroom, so you see the front of the teacher and the back of the students.

I was immediately impressed with the range of classes they offer. From Ashtanga "improv" to Anusara to Vinyasa , there is truly a style for every yogi of every level. You can search classes by style, level, duration, teacher or category -making Yogaglo user friendly.

I chose a level 3 vinyasa class taught by Jo Tastula from October 27, 2009. The class was 90 minutes of innovative, challenging poses linked together in a beautiful flow. There is actually music playing during the class as well, which I was impressed did not distract me from Jo's instruction. The playlist is listed on the right side of the screen as a bonus for Muso yogis!!

I felt like I was right there in the class and got a great workout. My abs and shoulders are talkin' to me today! YEAH! I also really enjoyed watching the students in the class and got some great ideas for modifications by observing them.

Yogaglo is only $18 a month after the 15 day trial. How can you beat that? Live yoga classes - including workshops and lectures from premiere instructors out of a beautiful Santa Monica, CA yoga studio cost at least that PER class in person!!

Give Yogaglo a shot today! It's a wonderful way to enrich your current yoga practice or workout regime from the comfort of your own home without any travel time, wasted gas or worry about what outfit to wear to class.

Log on here to start now: http://yogaglo.com

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oldie but, look damn goodie Sunday

Since I discovered Caudelie grape based skin care this week ... here is a reminder of the benefits of consuming seeded grapes:
http://damn-ilookgood.blogspot.com/2009/11/seeded-grapes.html

Friday, December 18, 2009

Caudelie Premier Cru La Creme


After two weeks of traveling, including a final 48 hours of four flights ... my skin was dehydrated and looking way less than fabulous.

I stopped into the Scottsdale Fashion Square Sephora and was introduced to Caudelie Premier Cru La Creme.

I had been curious about Caudelie after reading an article about the brand.
Founded by a young couple and a Professor of Pharmacy, the line is based on the properties of grape seeds ... which, if you read this blog - you know I am obsessed with!

The line contains:
- no parabens
- a maximum of natural active ingredients
- NO animal testing or ingredients
- no mineral oils or colorings
- no sodium laureth sulfates

Check out their website for more info on their products:
http://caudalie-usa.com

I received a sample of their newest product, The Premier Cru La Creme from Sephora.
The gorgeous creme was explained to me as a fusion of their best products into one concentrated formula. The creme contains, "Caudalie's three signature patents: titrated Resveratrol and Viniferine from Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte grapevines, and grape-seed polyphenols." It claims, "It regenerates and redensifies skin, filling wrinkles, firming and lifting, and minimizing dark spots for an evenly luminous look." (Info from Sephora.com)

After one application, I can attest to the power of this product. My skin immediately felt smoother and softer and I awoke this morning to a clearer, firmer, more radiant complexion.

You can purchase Premier Cru La Creme from Sephora or the Caudelie website:
http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P246528&categoryId=C10479

Sephora and the Caudelie site also offer a limited edition cosmetic bag filled with must haves from the line, including a full size eye creme and lip conditioner:
http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml;jsessionid=3LWVDHPYYWDVECV0KQLQX0Q?id=P249307&categoryId=C10479

(picture from: sephora.com)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

20 min Multi Directional Treadmill Workout


Forget repetitive motion!

Try this routine on a treadmill for 360 degrees of fitness fun!

Warm up for 5 minutes with a fast walk

1. Jog 2 min 1% incline 6.0 - 8.0 mph

2. Turn right and side shuffle 1 min at 0% incline 4.0 - 4.5mph (slower if you need to at first)

3. Turn left and side shuffle 1 min at 0% incline 4.0 - 4.5 mph (slower if you need to at first)

4. Turn backwards and jog or walk back wards 1 min at 3.5 - 5.5 mph (hold onto rails if need be)

5. Turn forwards and begin jog interval (#1) again, then side shuffles and backwards.

Repeat the five intervals 4 times for a total of 20 min.

Cool down and stretch.

(picture from: missingtheislands.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yogurt


How I love thee, yogurt.
How do I count the ways?
For your probiotic content?
Your clean source of protein?
Your tangy, sour taste?

Yogurt is a power food if there ever was one.

Throughout my European travels ... that took me from the UK to Holland to Germany and finally to Sweden, yogurt was the star of every breakfast spread.

Served with muesli and fruit you've got a powerhouse meal complete with all of your macronutrients.

Try this combo for a sure fire positive start to your day:

1/4 to 1/2 cup of Familila No Sugar Muesli (buy here: http://www.vitacost.com/Familia-Swiss-No-Sugar-Muesli )

1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries

3/4 - 1 cup non fat plain greek yogurt

1 packet of Stevia

Mix or layer all ingredients and enjoy

(picture from: http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/yogurt.html)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Better Bodies - Swedish Active Wear



I'm in Vasteras, Sweden today ... last day of my European adventure.

While out shopping during a snow storm, I stumbled upon a boutique gym that sold Better Bodies Activewear.

Hip, sexy and body conscious - this is a line I would totally wear every day, both to the gym and around town.

I especially like the Cherry Hill Jazzpant pictured above.

Check out their website: http://betterbodies.se
Be sure to peruse their "athletes" page for some motivation to eat clean and workout.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nautilus TreadClimber


I'm in Gothenburg, Sweden today.

Went to an excellent gym this morning ... World Class.

To my delight, they had two commercial Nautilus TreadClimber TC916's in their cardio area.

I know these have been hocked on TV for a while, but this was my first chance to actually use one. I was seriously considering buying a home version for quite some time, but the price point kept me from taking the plunge. So, today I got my chance to a test run - as I have not seen the commercial version in any of the clubs I have visited in the states.

The TreadClimber is a hybrid of a stair stepper, a treadmill and an elliptical trainer. It looks like a treadmill with a split platform. The "treadles" move independently up and down while the belt moves at your selected speed.

I spent 30 minutes climbing the "treadles" and got a great workout.

I started with a moderate walk for 2 minutes with the treadles in their minimum position. Feeling comfortable, I increased the pace and bumped the incline of the treadles all the way up to their max.

I did 3:30 fast walk and then 90 second jog - keeping the treadles in the max position for the entire workout.

The jogging quickly raised my heart rate, was extremely taxing on the quads and a bit strenuous on the low back. I had to really focus on keeping my upper body upright and not slouching over to prevent low back strain. On the bright side, I felt virtuously no impact due to the up and down motion of the treadles.

The fast walking was comfortable and quite fun. It definitely felt like I was "walking through sand." The emphasis was centered on my glutes and calves.

I was a bit disappointed in the overall quality and sturdiness of the machine. The transitions between speed and treadle incline were jerky and felt a bit risky. I can only imagine how this is on the home version of the machine. I did expect a more solid product for the commercial version.

I also noticed that my workout varied whether I stepped toward the front, middle or back of the treadle. The further forward I positioned my stride, the tougher the workout.
Additionally, my stride was wider than normal to account for the separate treadles. Overall, this was a great change of pace for me. If I had access to a TreadClimber regularly, I would infuse it into my weekly cardio program for variety and most certainly use it with my clients.

Check out: http://treadclimber.com for more info.

(Picture from: www.treadclimber.com)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Travel Workout


As I confessed exercise addict - in a completely good and healthy way, traveling this week has certainly provided many challenges in maintaining my regular regime.

Here are some tips to keep your workout going while you are on the road.

1. Change your mindset. No - you are not going to do what you normally do. You may not have your yoga mat, the same gym equipment or even space to move, but this is no excuse to NOT workout. Adjust your mindset to be ok with whatever you get in - whether it be a structured workout, walking around sightseeing or participating in regional sports activities.

2. Bring along some goodies just in case. I always travel with toe sox (for yoga in the hotel room instead of a mat,) a jump rope and a medium resistance band. That and my body weight is all I need to rock it!

3. Get creative. So, the hotel gym has no dumbbells, an old treadmill and a ballet barre. PERFECT! Do a circuit of push ups, tread sprints, barre work and tread hills. Use the bar to do standing stretches and seated ab work you normally wouldn't do.

4. Bring your ipod. Then - even if you are stuck in a tiny hotel room ... you can dance your butt off, do plyometrics and body weight exercises. What a great excuse to spend some extra time stretching!

5. Check out local fitness trends. Go to a yoga class, a spin studio or a gym wherever you are. A new environment always inspires me and reinvigorates my program.

(picture from: wentyleagues.com.au)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saunas


My travels take me to Finland today ...

We landed to snow and and an icy chill ...

Now, I happen to love the heat, especially humid heat ... and so do the Finnish people!

Saunas have been utilized for ages in Finland. According to http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/26362/beauty_tips/a_look_at_saunas_in_finland.html, "saunas are so popular in Finland that there is approximately one sauna for every seven people in the country with most in private apartments and the balance found in summer homes, hotels, and public swimming facilities."

The same source touts that"doctors and physical fitness experts recommend the sauna as well for benefits that include relaxation, cardiovascular benefit, increased metabolic rate, improved circulation, enhanced immune system response, weight loss, and healthier clearer skin."

So, don't be shy. Try the sauna at your health club!! Go in before a yoga class to warm up, relax after a hard workout or use it on a day off to cleanse. Just be sure sip tons of water before you go in, bring water in the sauna to hydrate during and drink more after use as well.



(photo from: goscandinavia.about.com)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cod Liver Oil


My European adventure has me contemplating the health habits of the folks over here.
There is such a different climate with food and exercise here.
Tonight I am in Kerkrade, Netherlands.
Salmon and sardines are protein centerpieces here.
If you aren't consuming enough fresh fish in your diet or want to supplement and reap the benefits of Essential Fatty Acids, try adding Cod Liver Oil into your diet.

Cod Liver Oil is exactly what is sounds like - oil derrived from the liver of cod fish.
It is high in Essential Fatty Acids EPA and DHA and vitamins A and D.

I prefer Cod Liver Oil to regular fish oil because of the vitamins A and D in it. There has been a lot of chatter on Vitamin D deficiency lately and taking Cod Liver Oil is a great way to ensure you get your "sunshine vitamin."

Cod Liver Oil, according to Wikipedia, "is widely taken to ease the pain and joint stiffness associated with arthritis, but has also been clinically proven to have a positive effect on heart,bone, and brain,as well as helping to nourish skin, hair, and nails."

I can vouch for for the effects on joint pain and the positive influence on skin, hair and nails.

I am also a huge fan of mega doses of DHA for mood stabilization and elevation. Get your DHA and feel happy!

I love Carlson Brand Cod Liver Oil Lemon Flavored Liquid.
All you need is one teaspoon and it has no "burpy" or "fishy" aftertaste.

I add it to my yogurt or morning smoothie and it adds a nice lemony essence.

You can purchase Carlson Cod Liver Oil here: http://www.carlsonlabs.com/p-107-cod-liver-oil-lemon-flavor.aspx

(picture from: carlsonlabs.com)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

German Fussball - That's soccer to us


I find myself in Germany for the next couple of days.

First in Dusseldorf and then in Schwerin.

One things is abundantly clear.

These people love Fussball ... or soccer.

And who can blame them? Sheer athleticism, endurance, speed, agility and gorgeous legs on display??

Try incorporating some of the training that soccer players use into your routine.

Add stretching, plyometrics, speed and agility work to your normal routine.

Here is a great agility drill to try (from: http://www.soccerxpert.com/soccertips/id1207.aspx):
Super Shuttle
1.Set a series of cones out in a cross formation. (see diagram on link)
2.Run backwards to the center cone, side step to the right cone (or your left if you are performing the drill), side step back to the centre cone still facing the same way.
3.At the center cone turn and sprint forward to the end cone. Now run back to the center cone, side step to the left, side step back to the center, then turn and sprint back to the start.

Be sure to stretch like crazy afterwards!

(picture from: certifiedtravel.org)

Monday, December 7, 2009

English Breakfast


In honor of my visit to London, I must pay homage to the traditional English breakfast and give you some ideas for creating a healthy version at home.

According to Wiki, the breakfast consists of:
Scrambled eggs, sausage, black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns and half a tomato. And don't forget the toast.

While completely delicious and fervently decadent, the meal pictured above is diet suicide. That is like a fat laden calorie bomb.

Try your own version of an English breakfast and still look damn good after eating it by subbing a few items. You don't HAVE to eat ALL of the items ... but, hey - use your long run or cycle as an excuse to majorly fuel up with this smorgasbord or deliciousness.

The Damn, I Look Good English Breakfast:

- 1 whole egg plus two to three egg whites scrambled (use non-stick cooking spray)
- 1 piece Canadian bacon or veggie sausage
- sauteed mushrooms and spinach (use non-stick spray and can add to the scrambled eggs)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup canned beans of your choice - seasoned with salt and pepper or mixed with pico de gallo or salsa
- half to whole tomato sliced
- 1 slice Ezekiel toast - dry (optional)
- 1/4 to 1/2 sweet potato grated and cooked in non-stick spray seasoned with salt and pepper (optional)



(photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_breakfast)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oldie but look damn goodie Sunday-Alpha Maximum

Smoother, softer, clearer, more radiant skin NATURALLY. Locally (Reno, NV) and independently made Alpha Maximum: http://damn-ilookgood.blogspot.com/2009/11/alpha-maximum-maximum-strength-alpha.html

Friday, December 4, 2009

Uth Pluthi - arm and core strength



It is not impossible to do this pose - so don't even go there!!

Uth Pluthi is an amazing yoga pose to add into your fitness routine.

It simultaneously strengthens and tones the arms and core, while making the practioner stay calm and focused in a challenging position.

Pictured above, you fold your legs into lotus (or half lotus or just cross legged) and place your hands flat on the ground a little forward of your hips. Spread your fingers wide and press your entire palm into the ground.

Depress your shoulders, tighten your core, pull your navel into your spine and lift your thighs, shins and feet upwards. Try holding this for five breaths.

Then lower down and take five breaths.

Repeat five times, taking more rest in between lifts if needed.

Work up to holding uth pluthi for 10 full breaths.

Your abs and arms will be ripped and thank you for it.

(photo from: purpleyoga.com)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Better Botanicals


There are several beauty lines out there based on the ancient science of Ayurveda. I'm sure we can all think of the giant company that spawned eponymous salons and continues to grow.
Flying under the radar is a smaller line called Better Botanicals.
http://betterbotanicals.com

Better Botanicals is an HERBAL line and most products are manufactured under an "ayurvedic license." "Herbal" has become a beauty buzz word, but Better Botanicals actually IS. There products contain 15% - 100% herbal content for the highest efficacy possible. No smoke and mirrors here. These are all natural products that use the power of herbs to change your skin and hair.

My Better Botanical obsession right now is their Dandelion Moisturizer. Formulated for normal to dry skin, I use this as a winter moisturizer on my face, but use it all year long on my hands. It has a light, fresh dandelion scent and is rich and hydrating without being greasy. Adore!


Better Botanicals is having a Cyberweek special - BOGO 50% on body products. Shop here: http://www.betterbotanicals.com/default.asp?mn=1.275.272.331&f=bp&pcat=1

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Full Moon Rest Day


Today is a full moon day.

It is traditional in Ashtanga yoga to rest on new and full moons. I have always relished these opportunities as a day off to regenerate from my hard work outs and yoga practice.
If I have to teach class on full or new moon days, I often make it a restorative practice.
But, why do we take the full and new moons off??

There is a great explanation at http://www.ashtangayogacenter.com/moon.html which I have paraphrased below:

The human body is about 70% water and water is affected by the gravitational pull exerted by the relative position of the sun and moon.

During the full moon, our energy is at it's strongest point. Conversely, during new moon our energy is more mellow and not suited for vigorous activity.

Yoga practitioners are very tuned into to the energetic forces of the universe, making both full and new moons undesirable practice days.

So, indulge in the tradition of taking rest on these days. The regenerative effect on your body will be noticed immediately. Even just the discipline of being able to step back from routine and take rest is good practice of unattachment. Get a massage, take a hot bath and take the time to cook a nourishing meal.

Enjoy the full moon day today!

(photo from: freedigitalphotos.net)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shakti Activewear






I have a new obsession.

Shakti Activewear. http://shaktiactivewear.com

Finding comfortable, flattering yoga, cycling or workout clothes that look great and function well can be challenging.

How about the ultimate struggle of finding yoga shorts that don't ride up during a vigorous practice. Look no further than Shakti Activewear.

Their roll down and side tie shorts (pictured above) are where it's at if you are looking for a pair of shorts to add into your yoga wardrobe. Shorts are often necessary as advanced postures are added requiring bare legs and arms to achieve positions.

Be sure to check out their great collection of after yoga wear as well.
Loving the new "belt dress" pictured above.
How fabulous to throw on after a sweaty workout ... or to wear out for a casual evening. Pair it with jeans or leggings in cold weather.

(pictures from: shaktiactivewear.com)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dahl


Feeling bloated, heavy and overindulged from Thanksgiving?

Make a homemade batch of Ayurvedic Dahl to eat for the next few days.

Dahl is a lentil based stew that is extremely easy for our bodies to digest. It has all the nutritional components necessary for energy and health from simple, vegetable sources.

Eat the dahl for one to three of your meals per day for three to ten days. Chew each bite completely and drink extra water during the day.

Be sure to exercise 30 - 60 minutes per day to help flush toxins out.

The following recipe is from Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner, Shanalee Gallagher in Chicago, IL. You can contact her for wellness and dietary services at: 312.613.1099 or Email Shanalee

Shanalee's Dahl Recipe (in her words):
**There is ritual to making this recipe. So, follow instructions and add lots of love**

4 cups split yellow mung dahl
12 cups filtered water or 6 cups veggie stock and 6 cups water.
5 organic medium carrots
1 bunch organic kale, washed and destemmed, sliced into thin pieces
1 fresh jalapeno sliced thin
1 heaping tbsp cumin - whole seeds
1 heaping tbsp corriander - whole seeds
1 heaping tbsp fennel - whole seeds
1 tsp turmeric - ground
1 level tbsp celery seed - whole seed
1 -2 bay leaves
Coconut oil
Cilantro
lime

1. Rinse the dahl in warm to cold water. Put dahl in large bowl. Add water. Stir with right hand in clockwise direction. Drain water and repeat this step three times total. Dahl will "suds." Be sure to rinse until there are no "suds."

2. Put clean dahl in large soup pot and add 12 cups of filtered water. Place over low to medium heat. Lentils will start to slowly warm while you do the next steps.

3. In a separate pan, roast all seeds (not turmeric) in 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil. Cook until brown. Keep stirring so they do not burn to a lightly roasted state.

4. Transfer seeds and turmeric to mortar and pestle or a bowl and use a wooden spoon to crush.

5. Add crushed spices and bay leaves to lentil pot. Raise to a medium heat.

6. Chop carrots, jalapenos and kale.

7. When you see lentils start to break, add carrots and jalapenos. Maintain a covered soft boil about an hour or until lentils soften and break and thicken and turn into a "bean base." Soup will be thick and smooth.

8. If soup is too watery - add more lentils ... or too thick add more water.
You can't mess it up - it will either be a "soupy" bean base or it can be a thicker bean base with less cooked broken lentils. Experiment with the consistency you like.

9. Add Kale after right consistency is achieved. Simmer covered on low for an additional 15 - 20 minutes.

10. Serve immediately or to reheat ... add a bit of water.

11. Serve the dahl with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice or extra steamed greens if you wish. I like to spoon on 1/2 to 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil or ghee, squeeze the juice of 1/4 to 1/2 fresh lime and add a dash of sea salt on top.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.





(photo from: heartandstroke.sk.ca)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oldie, but look damn goodie Sunday - Holy Basil

Some things are so good they deserve a second look.
Holy Basil, the king of all herbs, is definitely one of them.
Try adding it to your supplement stack to get through the holidays rested, happy and stress free!
http://damn-ilookgood.blogspot.com/2009/11/holy-basil.html

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lucy Sale until November 30!


Lucy athletic clothing is offering an additional 30% of already marked down items plus free shipping!
Click here to shop away:
http://www.lucy.com/On%20Sale/On_Sale,default,sc.html?utm_content=Markdowns_30off_email+&utm_campaign=Nov+2009&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=email&imm_mid=050ce0&s_cid=Nov+2009&s_med=email&s_ven=iPost&s_ce=Markdowns_30off_email+

(Picture from: lucy email)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Cliche time! But, if you don't do this once a day already ... today is a great day to start the habit.
What are you grateful for?

I am thankful for my health, my mind and most of all my partner in life and love.

I am gracious that I have a forum to express my opinions about fun beauty products, fitness modalities, fashion, food and health and that I have found others that are interested in the very same things!

Enjoy the holiday!

Thanksgiving - Have a Plan of Attack


So, Dad is making his famous deep fried turkey. Mom has been slaving over her stuffing, so good it is barely short of miraculous. Grandma's rich, creamy mashed potatoes and famous pecan pie are a shoe in to be on the tempting line up as well.

How do you navigate this day, so thick with food and tradition without blowing your nutrition plan?

I say you do just that.

No rules. No limitations - except on quantity. There is no need to miss out on any of the delicious, ceremonies treats that are a part of this gluttonous holiday.

Enjoy your life, your food, your family. Life is just too short to make food restrictions a part of Thanksgiving.

Have a plan of attack.

Get up early.
Have a sensible breakfast and even a small snack.
Get an energizing work out in. Some cardio followed by yoga, a fun class you usually wouldn't have the chance to attend, a brisk November walk ...
And when the smorgasbord is laid out, you can be in control, sampling whatever treats you like.
Savor each bite and really ask yourself if you need more.
Stop when you are full.
Drink a glass of water and see where you are at.
Focus on the conversation and company instead of on gorging yourself silly.

Give leftovers to the needy if possible and maintain this healthy attitude toward food for the rest of the holiday season.
(photo from: gospel.com)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MBT's



A word on MBT's ... even though I know they have been around for a while.
In fact, long enough that now there are scores of copy cat versions from almost every althletic shoe company.

From the aesthetics of the shoe, one would never understand why any other company would even remotely desire to make the clunky, unattractive, high rise sneaker a part of their repetoire. (Although they are slightly reminiscent of Sketcher Platform Sneakers from back in the day -which I rocked with my MC Hammer pants.)

However, the results these shoes get on legs, derrieres and cores of dedicated wearers resolves the mystery. MBT's are more than just footwear. They are piece of fitness equipment you happen to wear on your feet.

I bought an original pair of the extra elevated MBT sneakers when they first came out, for full price.

That was around 2005 and they are still kickin'!

The first day I was sore from just walking in them. Within a week I noticed more tone and firmness in my lower body and a flatter stomach. Plus, I adore the bouncing, walking through sand-like feeling trapesing around in them gives me. MBT's are also excellent for relieving low back pain and strengthening a weak back.

After acclimating to the shoes, try jogging and doing lower body work with them on. MBT squats and lunges are sure to conform even the most unrully of rear ends.

Yes, these shoes are an investment, but well worth it.

What an amazing gift for the fitness fiend who has everything or the perfect item to add to your wish list.

You can purchase MBT's on their website at: us.mbt.com

(photo from: us.mbt.com)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Seeded Grapes


My man brought home seeded red globe grapes by accident.
Tempted by their robust shape and deep color,
I popped one in my mouth.
My teeth pierced through the taut skin, through the juicy flesh and crunched upon the seeds.
I was masticating my own grape seed extract.
This prompted me to research the benefits of eating seeded grapes.
Sure enough, eating grapes with seeds provides you with all of the antioxidant and phytochemical benefits of grape seed extract.
I'll take my grapes crunchy from now on.
(picture from: cesexport.com)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oldie, but look damn goodie - TRX

Gym in a bag - The TRX system.
Get one BEFORE the new year!!
The perfect holiday gift for yourself, a fellow fitness freak or someone who needs some inspiration!
Read more here: http://damn-ilookgood.blogspot.com/2009/10/trx.html

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vega


Living off protein powders and bars isn't exactly ideal, but if you had to choose one protein powder to sustain you for the rest of your life, Vega by Sequel Naturals would be the top pick. And since most of us active, fitness loving folks use some sort of protein supplementation, shouldn't it be one of the utmost quality, highest nutrient density and be packed with beneficial extras? Vega is just that.

I was fortunate to receive a complementary tub of Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer as a gift for attending a Vega product training when I worked at a health food store.

Learning about the product through a conference call with the creator, triathlete Brendan Brazier, made me super excited to sample the product.

Completely plant based, Vega is made from a a blend of organic hemp protein, yellow pea protein, organic rice protein and whole flax seed. If you haven't tried these alternatives to whey and casein - you must! They have a different flavor spectrum and can be easier on the digestive system.

But, Vega doesn't stop there. It's not JUST a plant based protein powder. It's chock full of servings of prebiotics, probiotics, MACA (a super food), Chlorella, Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids and digestive enzymes. It also contains a full serving of vitamins and minerals. So basically, if you consume one two scoop, 240 calorie serving of Vega a day, no other supplements are necessary. You are covered.

I tried the Vanilla Chai Flavor. Can we say, YUM??
Filling, easy on the stomach and delicious. A great way to start the day, a monster post workout shake or great as a light lunch or dinner.
I take Vega with me when I travel to be sure I get at least one healthy meal in per day and can ditch the rest of the pills and potions!

Plus, if you are into "going green" the Vega canister lists these "green" qualities of Vega:
"A Vega breakfast is an incredible 38 times better for the planet than a traditional bacon and egg breakfast, and 10 times better than a cereal based breakfast. In fact, switching to Vega for one year would be equal to turning off a 60 watt light bulb for 12,500 hours, or 521 consecutive days!"

Vega is "green" and makes you look and feel damn good!

Click here to learn more and purchase Vega: http://sequelnaturals.com/vega

You can also sign up for Brenden Brazier's Thrive in 30 program there, which sends a newsletter to your inbox each day with healthy tips.

Or purchase from one of my favorite supplement sites, BodyBuilding.com:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/sequelnaturals/vegacompletewholefoodhealthoptimizer.html
(photo from: sequelnatrals.com)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Perfect Pigment by Christina Cosmetics


Awake way past my bedtime and flipping through late night infomercials, I was mesmerized by yet another mineral make up.

But, this one was different... it wasn't your run of the mill, swirl, tap and blend version.

Perfect Pigment by Christina Cosmetics is a pressed mineral make up that comes in a compact containing four shades of foundation/color that you blend or use separately all over your face. The starter kit comes with the compact, a retractable brush for application, concealer, a coordinating lip gloss and an instructional DVD.

Of course, I ordered it. I chose the light palette for my skin tone.

I anticipated having to send the product back after I realized I bought foundation off of the television, in the middle of the night without actually swatching the product on my skin.

The product arrived, I watched the DVD for some great application tips and went to town on my mug.
I was pleasantly surprised at the way swirling the retractable brush in the fully extended position blended the four colors evenly and naturally onto my face creating a perfect match for my skin tone. The make up was smooth, non-cakey and without the mask like finish of many mineral formulations.
Following the application technique from the DVD, you then retract the brush to different depths to apply the palette's colors separately as contour, highlight, blush and eyeshadow.
A multi use make up that takes the place of entire bag full of make up?? I'm all over it!
The compact is perfect for travel, for your gym bag or to tote to work for touch ups.
Surprisingly, the concealer is a stand out product! Creamy, creaseless, long lasting and easy to apply!! Adore!
You can purchase Perfect Pigment by clicking here:
http://www.christinacosmetics.com/index.php
(photo from: christinacosmetics.com)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Victoria's Secret Yoga Pants


Victoria's Secret is not just for bras and panties, especially if you venture into their cyber store at: http://victoriassecret.com

One of the strongest collections they offer is their active/yoga/lounge wear line.
Complete with a wide range of clothing to support any sports or fitness endeavor with flattering, feminine, sexy - yet tasteful pieces.

My daily uniform for training clients and my own workout usually includes a pair of their Yoga Fold over Pants. I favor the black on black; simple, clean and ultra faboosh for the rear view. But, these great pants come in many new color combos including some super cute tie died versions that have matching tank tops (pictured above)!

Thankfully for my 5'2ness the pants are available in 30", 32", 34" and 36" inch inseam, a perfect fit is guaranteed with no tailoring necessary.

The pants are on sale now 2/$50!!
Click here to purchase:
http://www2.victoriassecret.com/commerce/onlineProductDisplay.vs?namespace=productDisplay&origin=onlineProductDisplay.jsp&event=display&prnbr=EF-247535&page=1&cgname=OSCLOSPTYGA&rfnbr=4628
(photo from: victoriassecret.com)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Physique 57


The best $57 dollars and the most effective 57 minutes you will spend this year. The Physique 57 Technique is a fantastic alternative or addition to your current exercise regime that gets noticeable results in a short amount of time.

The Physique 57 three DVD series is worth every penny and will add a jolt of new movements into your exercise regime, waking up muscles you probably never knew existed.

Based on the Lotte Berk method (www.lotteberkmethod.net), Physique 57 creator Tanya Becker focuses on toning the accessory muscles using dance like movements. Using mostly your own body weight and minimal equipment; a chair, a playground ball, a mat and light weights, the method hits the entire body from unique, inventive angles with noticeable results.

The DVD set comes with a 57 minute full body workout, a 30 minute express full body workout and a 30 minute arm and ab booster. The method recommends performing the 57 minute workout three non-consecutive days per week and each of the 30 min workouts once per week.

Performed correctly, these incomparable movements will have your whole body shaking and sore. Ultimately, you will notice a leaner, tighter, smaller shape.

The arm and ab booster DVD starring the motivating and charismatic Shelley Knight is worth buying the set alone!

You can purchase the DVDs for $49.95 (plus S&H for a total of about $57)here:
http://physique57.com/shop/products/

Additionally you can experience the method in NYC at their studios:
http://physique57.com/studio-locations/

Give Physique 57 a try and share your results!!

(photo from: physique57.com)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Avoid the Inevitable Holiday Pudge


It seems unavoidable.

The inevitable holiday weight gain.

My strategy this year? It's twofold - literally.

First, I'm going to split my work outs to get at least two bouts of activity per day instead of one extended session. That will be twice the reminder not to sabotage my hard work by mindlessly eating and drinking too many calories. It will also shake up my muscles causing them to adapt to a new regime.

Yes - even in the time strapped chaos until January 1 - I am pledging to either split my workout into two parts performed morning and evening or add in an extra workout each day.

Second - I am going to repeat the mantra, "Taste everything - eat nothing" to be extra sure my calorie consumption stays in check while not feeling deprived. After all, what are the holidays without treats? But, one bite will have to suffice this year!

I refuse to let this amazing time of year expand my waistline!

How about you?

Are you up for the challenge?

(photo from: istockphoto.com)

The F Factor Diet



If you haven't jumped on the fiber train yet, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist to the NYC and Miami elite, Tanya Zuckerbrot's book, "The F Factor Diet" will make you get on board. And I don't mean cardboard. Get ready for your perception of fiber to shift! Her plan's fiberlicious recipes will make you a fan and ultimately give you strategies to look damn good!

After I posted on GG Crackers, the company was kind enough to send me a copy of "The F Factor Diet" - as their crackers are a huge part of "The F Factor Diet" plan. Read the original post here: http://damn-ilookgood.blogspot.com/2009/10/gg-crackers.html

I am so glad they did - because EVERYONE should read this sensible, educational, easy to follow program that gets results. The great thing is nothing is off limits on this plan - even alcohol is allowed!

The gist of the program is to eat fiber and protein at four meals throughout the day. The fiber is mainly consumed through GG Crackers (5g each),Fiber One Cereal (14g per serving)and high fiber foods for a total of 30 - 40 g per day. The diet is divided into three phases, easily followed by xeroxing and filling out copies of food diary pages that the book provides.

As with all diets, the amount of calories consumed is going to be the determinate of weight lost, but the combination of fiber and protein leads to a satiety that makes it easy to control how much you eat.

This is a fantastic program to start now - before the holidays. The program is easily maintained through parties, eating out and social events, so why not get a slender leg up before January?

After you read the book, be sure to join the social communities for support at:
www.skinnyandthecity.com
www.twitter.com/skinnycity
And check out:
www.ffactordiet.com

You can buy "The F Factor Diet" ON SALE for $5.47 at www.Amazon.com and the GG Crackers here: www.brancrispbread.com

(photo from: ffactordiet.com)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oldie, but look damn Goodie Sunday

Fiber equals fullness equals eating less equals achieving your look damn good goal!!

GG Crackers are an easy, tasty way to get fiber into your diet.

Check out the original post here: http://damn-ilookgood.blogspot.com/2009/10/gg-crackers.html

More to come on Fiber tomorrow!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Alpha Maximum - Maximum Strength Alpha Hydrox Intensely Hydrating Face Cream


I love me some Glycolic Acid. I've found the most incredible all- natural Glycolic creme that actually improves the condition and look of your skin:
Alpha-Maximum Maximum Strength Alpha Hydrox Intensely Hydrating Face Cream by MicroNaturals.

Alpha-Maximum was created by Wendy Avansino and is 100% natural. It contains NO parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrance, synthetic dye, petro-chemicals or phthalates. Ms. Avansino created the cream in conjunction with a cosmetic chemist out of her frustration of not being able to find anything that really worked well without having to go to a salon and paying their high prices.

It contains 10% AHA in the form of Glycolic acid. This is the maximum amount allowed in over the counter products; you can actually feel it tingle!

The unique and amazing thing Ms. Avansino has achieved with this formulation is that Alpha-Maximum is as strong as it is with out over drying the skin. How many times have you used an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) product, only to be left with red, irritated flaking skin?
Not with Alpha-Maximum. It is intensely hydrating as well as being effective at exfoliating the skin.

I received a sample of Alpha-Maximum and have been using it as a night time moisturizer/treatment for a little over three months. Within the first four weeks, my super oily, acne prone skin cleared up. Then, I noticed a smoother, more even skin tone, diminished wrinkles and minimized pores - all without the common side effects of a chemical exfoliating product. Let me assure you, I've tried them all - over the counter and RX, nothing else I've tried has had the dual power of hydration and exfoliation. I especially recommend this product for those suffering with adult onset acne who have worn out every three step kit on the market.

If you are looking to simplify your night time regime with a truly effective, affordable product, I highly recommend giving Alpha-Maximum a go.
Just be sure to:
1. Cleanse only with a gentle, creme cleanser
2. Use NO other over the counter or RX chemical exfoliants.
3. Wear at least 30 spf during the day to protect your newly refreshed skin.
4. Give the product at least six and up to twelve weeks before you switch or commit - you need to let your skin go through an entire renewal cycle to REALLY see the fruits of the acid's labor.

You can also use the cream on any part of the body that has unwanted pigmenatation like freckles or age spots to help minimize their appearance. It's also a fabulous hand and foot cream that achieves the ultimate softness.

Alpha-Maximum is only distributed locally in Reno, NV right now, but you can order a 2oz. jar of Alpha-Maximum for $19.99 (includes shipping and handling) by emailing micronaturals@charter.net or click the link below:
Order by clicking here

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Damn - SHE looks good! Lady GaGa



Am I the only one who has noticed the newly toned fierceness of Lady GaGa's body lately??

Not only is she having a MAYJAH fashion moment in her new video, "Bad Romance," but, girl is looking lean!

It was her appearance on SNL two weeks ago that first tipped my radar on this. She appeared in a skit with the Queen of Pop and Mother of All Hard Bodies - Madonna. GaGa totally held her own in a two piece latex number. Brave woman to appear mostly undressed next to Madge and girl looked damn good.

Her two performances took it to the next level in revealing costumes that showed off a ripped physique with a poppin' boodie. Not an easy feat, as when body fat is lost, the rear end tends to deflate. Not GaGa's though!

Then her "Bad Romance" video came out. Donning mostly Alexander McQueen, diva is tearin' it up with her bad self.

GaGa has been working out lately - running on the treadmill while singing to get in shape for her tour and training with celeb trainer, Harley Pasternak.

Pasternak revealed the method to GaGa's ab madness on The Today Show, “It’s not just about doing abs exercises,” Harley said on the show. “It’s mainly about eating the right foods, doing the cardio and burning the fat on top of the abs.”

Uh, huh. See!! Once again ... it's not just about working out!! You've got to have all of the pieces of the puzzle!!!

If GaGa's bod motivates you, purchase the re-release of her debut album The Fame - it comes with eight new tracks to infuse your work out!!

(photo from: accesshollywood.com)

Mascara Wars - Round 1






Mascara is a beauty item that women are fiercely loyal to. We are constantly being wooed by new brushes, formulations and brands. Once you find your go to brand - you stick with it. Every beauty addict wants the mascara that is going to make their eyes pop with thicker, longer lashes.

Hence, the inspiration for MASCARA WARS.

Each installment of MASCARA WARS will feature a face off of two mascara formulations. The winner of each match will advance to the next bout.

This week we are starting with my all time favorite mascara - L'Oreal Voluminous in Black. This formula has a thick, substantial brush that creates a dramatically, lush lashline. Plus it has a great price point and you can often find it in twin packs for even more recessionista value.

Voluminous is going up against a new member of the L'Oreal mascara dynasty - Telescopic Explosion mascara in black. Telescopic features a unique, ball shaped, spikey wand designed to separate and coat every lash.

The model for this smack down is Alisha, a fourteen year old with amazing natural lashes and a fetish for a pronounced fringe.

The before picture on top has NO make up on either eye.

The after shot below shows Voluminous on HER right eye and Telescopic on HER left eye. OK - neurosurgeons, that's opposite for you when you are looking at the picture.

As you can clearly see, the Telescopic mascara has a chunkier, clumpier, thicker look, while the Voluminous lashes are long, separated and boldly thick - like false lashes in a tube.

The winner of the premier installment of MASCARA WARS??

Clearly - round 1 goes to L'Oreal Voluminous!

Send your suggestions for the Round 2 competitor ... is there a mascara that can take down Voluminous??

Paint on sisters!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dancing with Yourself - Oh, Uh,Oh, Oh


I admit it. I am addicted to dance reality shows. Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance are thoroughly entertaining, physically inspiring and dare I insinuate that they actually bring a form of high art into our living rooms?

I am always intrigued by the body transformations that occur on these shows - especially on Dancing with the Stars. Each week we literally see body fat drop off the stars, showcased by increasingly revealing costumes. The more skin and sequins the better!!

Dance obviously provides the catalyst for these body re-engineerings. Dance based classes are an ever growing trend in fitness. But, group classes can be intimidating, the choreography can often be so challenging that you never really get your heart rate up and sometimes it's just tough to find the time to commute to the class.

Why not create a dance mix on your Ipod of your favorite jams, crank it up and do your best Tom Cruise in "Risky Business." That's right. Dance with yourself. By yourself. Set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes and shake your money maker. It doesn't matter what you look like or what you do. Just do what the music tells your body to do and keep doing it until that timer goes off. If your dance style rivals Napoleon Dynamite, so be it. That's between you and your bootie.

You'll be working your body in multiple planes of movement, so this is a great way to avoid injury from repetitive motions and to coax your body into the lean lines of a dancer.

Confession - I do this whenever I have the excuse to. Especially when I'm traveling and trapped in a hotel room. Headphones, my Ipod and me equals a sweaty, fun workout.

You can do this form of cardio three to six times per week. Be sure to stretch when you are finished, hydrate before and after and check the room for hidden cameras before you begin. This is cardio for folks who hate cardio, but you probably don't want it showing up on YouTube.

(photo from: blade-dance.com)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recipe; Make Your Own Lite Coconut Milk Drink


I am pretty hard core about my smoothies. Smoothie calories can tabulate quickly so, the only ingredients that make my cut are typically for nutrition purposes, not taste.

To minimize an additional calorie bomb, I usually just use filtered water as a base.
But, sometimes my taste buds call for a tropical treat and a shake more on the creamy side. That's where my homemade lite coconut milk drink comes in. You can also use it to infuse a coconutty burst into your cereal or oatmeal. It does add a serving of fat to whatever you are pouring it in though - so be sure to account for that!

The fat in coconut is a unique lipid called a medium chain fatty acid. Studies recently have shown that the body metabolizes this type of fat differently, and may be beneficial for the heart, weight loss and cholesterol levels. You can learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_oil

It's easy to prepare your own lite coconut milk drink. It's easy, delicious, about one fifth of the cost of prepackaged, refrigerated versions and lighter on the fat. Plus, there is no tree climbing, machete wielding or shell pummeling involved.

Lite Coconut Milk Drink:

1 - clean, preferably reused glass container - I like using glass, organic milk gallons, but a plastic pitcher is fine too
1- can of Lite coconut milk (Trader Joe's)
Filtered water

Open the can of lite coconut milk and pour into glass container.
Using the empty can, add four to five cans of filtered water to the glass container
Shake well and refrigerate
Be sure to shake before each use

That's it - now you have a tasty liquid that will remind you of the beach all winter!

Here is an easy, beachy smoothie recipe:

1 cup lite homemade coconut milk drink
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder ( I like using brown rice or pea protein)

Blend all ingredients - enjoy!

(photo from: comfytummy.com)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Girls on Campus; Trend Prediction - Yellow Eyeshadow




There is always THAT girl. The one who seems to be aware of the trends before the magazines report them. She's brave enough to make seemingly unwearable fads her own and rock them in the fiercest of fashions. After she starts wearing it, all of the girls on campus follow suit.

I want YOU to be that chick.

I foresee gorgeous washes of yellow eyeshadow for Spring and Summer 2010.
From soft, daffodil pastels to bright, saturated neons to gold infused shimmers - yellow eyes will be where it's at.

To get a head start on the trend try:

1. MAC Crest the Wave - a shimmery, soft yellow
2. Make Up Forever Yellow Gold - an iridescent yellow
3. Urban Decay Honey 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil - a 24 k gold yellow

(photo from: fotosa.ru)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holy Basil



Holy Basil!!

It sounds like an exclamatory remark fit for the pages of a comic book; Wham! Slam! Rats! Holy Basil!!

Far more than an interjection, Holy Basil is an herb regarded as the "Mother Medicine of Nature."

Holy Basil is called "Tulsi" in Ayurveda, which translates to "incomparable one."

Holy Basil is one of those herbs that if you Google it, returns a search peppered with curing every ailment that plagues man.

The reason it is making an appearance in this blog is it's unique properties pertaining to mood and stress - both of which can either positively or adversely affect looking damn good.

Holy Basil has been used by other cultures for centuries on end as a remedy and also as a means to elevate spirituality.

Holy Basil is considered an "adaptogen" by herbalists - a compound that can increase the body's resistance to stress.

According to the description of Holy Basil provided by my favorite brand, New Chapter they asked the leader of Ayurvedic medicine why Holy Basil was so highly regarded and he replied , "Holy Basil is “anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory.” It is, he said, a “rasayana,” or an herb that, on its own, nourishes a person’s growth to perfect health and enlightenment. They asked why people in the West find that Holy Basil promotes a positive stress response and elevates their spirit, and he replied that “Holy Basil delivers nutrients to the mind necessary for the experience of enlightenment.”

Enlightenment sure sounds good to me.

Give Holy Basil a try as a natural aid your body's stress response system; to assist your body in dealing with anxiety and insomnia and to promote a general feeling of calm and well being.

You can try supplementing your diet with fresh Holy Basil or you can buy New Chapter Holy Basil here:
http://www.vitacost.com/New-Chapter-Supercritical-Holy-Basil-120-Hexane-Free-Softgel-Capsules

Share your experience with me!!

(photo from: herbal099.wordpress.com)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Loudmouth Outstanding Golf Pants



Sometimes putting on a garment just makes you smile. Maybe it's the supreme fit that hides every flaw, the color or print of the fabric, or just the transformative effect of donning your "costume" for the day.

Loudmouth Outstanding Golf Pants check off each credential and I'll be darned if you aren't grinning from ear to ear once you pull one of their "outstanding" bottoms over yours. Loudmouth offers a range of activewear that is tongue in cheek, witty and extremely practical.

You must first click here to get the full range of fabulousness they offer:
http://www.loudmouthgolf.com/top.html

***GIFT IDEA ALERT****

Loudmouth offers men's and youth pants in a variety of fits and patterns. These pants are the ultimate in Golf and leisure wear for the man or teen with confidence, self assurance and a killer putt. But, seriously whose golf game matters when you look this damn good???

Loudmouth was kind enough to send me a pair of the Bubblegum skorts and the Tarzan shorts.
They both run a bit large, so be sure to order the size accordingly. I love this, because I wear a smaller size in Loudmouth clothes!!
The fit on both of these items is divine. The clothes are made impeccably and tastefully hug every curve. We are talking form and function here. Both are short and snug enough to be sexy and yet cover all the right places when you bend down to pick up your hole in one.
I will not be limiting these adorable items to the golf course. They are also perfect for tennis, hiking, shopping, casual get togethers and general hanging out. Love them.

Loudmouth also makes coordinating belts, hats, "apres golf" sport jackets (wish they made those for ladies,) neckware and ball markers.

Additionally - and get ready for it - ***ANOTHER GIFT ALERT!!***

Loudmouth makes custom "baseball cards" with a photo of your favorite sportsman or woman in action. Click here to see: http://estore.websitepros.com/1957025/-strse-1391/Baseball-Card/Detail.bok

Loudmouth definitely puts the "fun" into active fashion with a generous sense of humor and attention to detail. Check em out to inject some excitement into your wardrobe!!

(photo from: loudmouth.com)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Exercise and Weight Loss


The fitness profession has been on the defensive with all of the recent press on exercise NOT having an affect on weight loss. I'm here to give you some tough, straight talk about the matter. If you are need of some motivation to get your diet in gear, read on ...

Time Magazine recently printed a cover story on the "exercise myth"(http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html) and now the New York Times has blogged about the subject as well:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/04/phys-ed-why-doesnt-exercise-lead-to-weight-loss/

Right after the Time Magazine article, The American Council on Exercise (the entity I am certified by) responded almost immediately in their publication ACE Fitness Matters. ACE had the gloves up - hoping the bad press wouldn't further impact the already suffering fitness industry.

As a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, I say THANK YOU for these stories finally being brought to the forefront of our fitness consciousness.
It's about time the delusion of "If I exercise, I can eat whatever I want" was permanantly destroyed.

It is the most challenging and often frustrating message to get across to clients - that working out DOES NOT give you free reign to eat whatever you want.

Losing weight is about math. Period. Bottom line. You must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. You must create a caloric deficit of 500 calories a day from your basal metabolic rate to lose one pound of body fat a week - end of story.

General health and fitness is about working out. Exercise is great for the cardiovascular system - and should be practiced 3 - 6 days a week to maintain and improve cardiovascular fitness. This leads to a better quality of life, increased efficiency in every day activities and a stronger, more fit heart.
Exercise - particularly strength training and calisthenics can sculpt a body, much like shaping a piece of clay. Strength training also improves bone density. Flexibility training contributes to the shape of a body as well as to it's function.
But, even if you do these activities for hours on end a day, they will not necessarily contribute to weight loss. Especially, if you are using the expenditure of calories from your workout as an excuse to eat ungodly amounts of food.

To lose weight, to lose body mass - it's about the food. Noone wants to hear this or believe it is true. We are constantly looking for the magic pill to fix our body image. There isn't one. It's been proven time and again and now has been revealed in the press, that weight loss really is all about gaining control of your food intake.

If you are trying to lose weight, I challenge you to really examine your eating habits - even before starting an exercise program. Enlist a nutrition professional or a motivating personal trainer to guide you through the process of proper nutrition education, portion sizes and healthy eating.

If you get the nutrition solid, results from an exercise program will not only be maximized, but guaranteed.

Achieving a weight loss goal takes discipline, hard work and resolve. Honestly confirm to yourself that you are willing to undertake a huge project in order to attain your objective.
Think of working out as a bonus calorie burn in the day that you tuck away in your calorie savings account rather than impulsively spending it right away.

Results are worth the sacrifice and nothing feels better than being in control of your own destiny!

(photo from: homebathroomscales.com)

Larenim Radiant Glo


For those days when you look in the mirror and go, "I need a miracle," reach no further than your make up stash for Larenim Mineral Make Up's Radiant Glo.

Larenim (mineral spelled backwards) is an amazing all natural cosmetics company developed by a health food store owner! Their mineral make up line is 100% mineral content - no fillers, no talc, no oils, no chemicals and no dyes, yet the line manages to have an almost "MAC" range of colors, deep pigmentation and a beautiful finish.

My favorite product in the line is a member of their blush family. Radiant Glo is a loose mineral powder product that can be used all over the face. The cool, pink shade complements any skin tone. Swirl your blush brush in the product and tap out the excess, then dust Radiant Glo over your regular blush or alone on the apples up to your cheek bones. Dust a tiny bit down the center of your nose, dot a bit above the center of your lip and kiss the curve of your chin with the product.

The powder creates a sheer halo of color that seems to radiate from within your skin giving your complexion a luminous, youthful glow. YAY! Love that! It's an instant beauty reviver, even in the most most desperate of paint job situations.

Because Larenim is so pure, it is safe for multiple uses:

1. Mix it with your favorite lip balm for a shimmery, pink pout.
2. Blend with clear nail polish for a sheer, pink manicure.
3. Dust all over eyelids, leaving the brow bone bare for an ethereal eye look.

You can buy Radiant Glo along with the rest of the Larenim line at:
www.larenim.com

(photo from: larenim.com)