Monday, November 30, 2009


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

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:

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!

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:,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:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


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:

(photo from:

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:

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:

Friday, November 20, 2009


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:

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,
(photo from:

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:
(photo from:

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:

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:
(photo from:

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 (, 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:

Additionally you can experience the method in NYC at their studios:

Give Physique 57 a try and share your results!!

(photo from:

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:

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:

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:
And check out:

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

(photo from:

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:

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 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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Share your experience with me!!

(photo from:

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:


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:

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:

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"(,8599,1914857,00.html) and now the New York Times has blogged about the subject as well:

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:

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:

(photo from:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I promise you this is not a tyrade on the expulsion of dairy from your diet. There may be some details that you wished you didn't know revealed - but, I say ignorance is not bliss!! Education is power and power lets you choose the right path for YOU and your health.

This is a beautiful story of the reuniting of a nutritional power house and a former vegan. Yes - vegan - the kind who shuns ALL animal products, including animal flesh, dairy and eggs. And oui, that person was me - for over three years.
Vegan propaganda had understandably turned me off from all dairy products. Between the hormones and the fact that humans are the only species who consume another species mother's milk, I thought I was done forever.

A trip to Australia made me appreciate the wonders of a varied, natural, omnivorous diet. On Aussie soil, fresh, whole foods are prominent everywhere you go - from street food to high end restaraunt fare. The singular reason I was wooed back to the milk products was the gorgeous, untampered, thick, unsweetened yogurt that was the snack and dessert of choice from the East to the West coast.
The use of synthetic growth hormone in dairy cows is actually prohibited in Australia. Nothing is labeled organic or "hormone free" because it just IS. What a concept!!
So, I felt great about giving dairy a go and indulged in the most amazing, flavorful yogurt I've ever tasted.
It was thick, creamy, tart and naturally sweet. It was especially delicious served with a freshly split passion fruit spooned on top.
My love affair with dairy had been reignited. I now enjoy all of the probiotic benefits and a generous dose of protein. I am experiencing faster recovery from my workouts, better digestion, an increase in lean muscle mass and clearer skin.
Here in the states, I now only buy organic dairy products labeled "from cows not treated with hormones." My favorites are non fat plain greek yogurt and low fat cottage cheese. Trader Joe's has great prices on these consciously raised products.
Yes, it costs a bit more, but I believe dairy is one of the foods we cannot settle for conventional on - especially for our children.
Like everything else, be sure to eat dairy in moderation and be conscious of serving sizes.
Your body and what you put in it should be as sacred as they hold the cow in India!!

(photo from:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Brass Knuckles

Before Alexander McQueen got his hands on them, brass knuckles weren't so much a fashion statement as they were an insight into the type of "sandwich" you might receive if you messed with the brass wearer ...
However, this totally tough, chic and hip version makes a great accessory for the man or woman who wants a knock out gangster vibe.
You can find a non designer el cheapo version here:

(photo from:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Toe Sox

This blog aims to show you how to look your best from head to toe and this post takes that quite literally.
Your feet are the root of all stability for your body. If you aren't plugged into your soles, chances are your balance is questionable, you may suffer from back pain and are missing out on a key area of your body to work on.
Toe Sox address these issues by gently spreading the toes, hence the separate sheath for each individual "piggy."
Finding the articulation of the toes stretches and strengthens the muscles of the feet and starts to make you aware of the movement in each foot phalange. I couldn't resist ... say it ... FA LAN GEEEEEEEEEEE!!

Additionally these socks are a great yoga/pilates/workout tool in many ways:

1. Wear them to classes that use communal mats ... no more risk of toe rot!! YAY!

2. Use them to facilitate sliding movements where your feet need to drag through a pose or movement, such as learning the jump through/back used in Ashtanga yoga. Or to work your legs with sliding lunges; instead of picking up the foot to lunge, slide the moving foot along the floor to move from standing to lunge position.

3. Relax in them after a long day strutting the streets in the ridiculously high, yet fabuolous heels I know you were rocking at the office today. Seriously, Toe Sox are like a martini for your tootsies - and they will probably inspire you to roll out your yoga mat and practice!

4. You can hide your unpedicured feet from the hottie in your Thursday night class.

You can buy Toe Sox at
They come in full coverage and half toe versions, with or without grip.
I have the full coverage version with grip, but my next purchase will be the half toe sox.
And ... I know we're a bit early on this ... but, since the music and decorations are reering their FA LA LA heads earlier each year ...
Check out the Holiday Collection - you can pre-order now!! The Holiday Toe Sox make a unique, affordable gift for your yogi, work out junkie and general "on their feet all the time" giftee.

(photo from:

Make Up Removal

If you are like me, you have a full face beat down to scrape off at the end of the day.
Make up removal is especially important for problematic skin and it is vital to use products that won't contribute to clogging pores, but are effective at emulsifying today's long wearing and water proof make up formulations.
I've tried every make up removal technique and I'd like to share my favorite method.

1. Use JoJoba Oil to emulsify eye make up. JoJoba Oil is very close to our skin's own natural sebum (oil), so it is non comedogenic - it won't clog your pores!! Squeeze a dime size amount onto fingertips and gently work onto eyelids. I like Desert Essence 100% pure JoJoba Oil. You can find this product at for $4.26.
A 4 oz. bottle should last you three to six months. JoJoba Oil is also great as a moisturizer for extremely dry skin, as a deep conditioner for hair and as a cuticle hydrator.

2. Use a disposable baby wipe such as Target's Up and Up Brand for sensitive skin to wipe away emulsified eye make up and to clean off the rest of the face.

3. Follow with a gentle creme cleanser such as Cetaphil or a generic version (both Target and Walmart make great versions) no matter what your skin type. YES - that means YOU oily/acne prone people!! As a fellow greaseball I understand the urge to strip your skin squeaky clean with a gel cleanser, but washing away the skin's natural protective barrier can leave it even more vulnerable to bacteria that causes break outs.

4. Finish with your nightly moisturizing regime.

(photo from:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vintage Me

Had to post this hilarious picture of the cast of GREASE! from the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera in 1999.
Check out the blond with the leopard shoes on the left - that's Frenchy. May I repeat, check out those shoes!!

Ashtanga Yoga

I figured since I mentioned my daily Ashtanga habit, I better expound on that a bit.
It was back around 2000 that Madonna brought this athletic style of yoga to the forefront. Naturally, anything Madonna is doing physically, I have an interest in. She is the grand mama jama of unbelievably athletic, sinewy bodies.
I started researching yoga in general, as this former total gym rat who couldn't touch her toes had never even considered a mat as a piece of exercise equipment.
I bought several DVD's and books on Ashtanga yoga.
Some great ones to start with are:
Yoga Mala by Sri K Patthabi Jois (This is the Ashtanga "bible" by the recently deceased "father" of Ashtanga who brought it to the West)
Ashtanga Yoga A Practice Manual by David Swenson
Melanie Fawer's Mysore Ashtanga Yoga DVD
I started learning the Primary Series on my own and haven't stopped since.
Ashtanga is a set series of poses divided into six series. (If you click on and expand the image above you can see the postures.) The primary series keeps most students occupied for quite a while.
Ashtanga is traditionally practiced six days a week Sunday - Friday with days off on Full and New moons and during the first one to three days of a woman's menstrual cycle.
It is traditionally imparted to the student pose by pose by an authorized or certified teacher in "Mysore" style class. A few notes about this:

1. Authorized and Certified teachers do not pay for a teacher training and then walk away with a certificate. They must travel to Mysore, India to the Ashtanga Yoga Reasearch Institute at least three times to study under the Jois family and be given the authorization or certification.

2. You can find authorized/certified teachers listed here:

3. "Mysore" style class consists of students practicing the Ashtanga yoga series of postures that they have been given on their own - there is no teacher leading class. Instead, the teacher goes student to student assisting and adjusting.

4. If you cannot learn from an authorized/certified teacher - learn from books and
videos and if you decide to stick with it, eventually seek out a teacher.
My day cannot truly begin until I've done my Ashtanga yoga. The breathing, the systematic repetition of postures and the physical challenge have kept me challenged for over eight years. I am still working on 1/2 primary series - up to boat pose and then the finishing sequence. Even though I repeat the same series of poses, I find something new each day.
My wonderful teacher - PJ Heffernan ( told me this:
"The key is do a little something everyday 5 or 6 days a week but don't push too hard. Only push hard like once or twice a week. Sometimes my practice is light, sometimes its heavy. Sometimes it hurts sometimes it feels better than good sex. Most of the time I feel tired and lazy in the morning ,but no matter what I am going through, sadness, pain, injury, anger, frustration or contentment.......I practice. That is what it's all about. Exercise daily control and influence over yourself. Do this for 5 years and you will be a new human without many vulnerabilities and most definitely without much fear. This practice ultimately is about destroying your fear and making you clear."

Wow, right?
Post your questions or email me on how to get started in this wonderful style of yoga.

(photo from: