Wednesday, March 31, 2010


My sister is getting married this June in NYC at The Botanical Gardens.
She isn't doing a formal "wedding party" with bridesmaids all dressed alike.
She is letting us wear what we want - as long as it's a bright, jewel tone.

As I've browsed for appropriate attire, I found AngelRox.

AngelRox is a line of "wrap" style garments with true conscience. The "wraps" are convertible, able to be manipulated into different styles - making one garment into an entire wardrobe of options.

"Crafted with joy in Brooklyn, NY from stretch jersey in three fiber variations depending on color. all fabrics are cellulose (plant based) fibers made from reconstituted wood pulp thus sharing the natural comfort properties of cotton but with superior drape, flow and suitability for special occasions. these fibers include bamboo (made from the pulp of bamboo trees), rayon (made from other trees) or modal (derived from beechwood). we source all fabrics within the US and as locally as we possibly can to save on fuel consumption in production." (from

There is an entire post on styling the bride and wedding party in AngelRox wraps.
This is so brilliant and beautiful. What a gift to give the bride and wedding party a garment option with such flexibility and a meaningful cause! You must click here to see the post, some ideas for an AngelRox wedding and to purchase:

AngelRox also offers great "wrap" tops that would be the perfect apres yoga garment, soft tee shirts adorned with wings, comfy cotton briefs and more!

Or click here to see the entire collection on their flash site:

(image from:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

John Masters Organics

On my quest to find products that are organic, natural and created without the use of SLS, Parabens and Petroleum products, I couldn't forget about hair styling products. Remember that what you place on your hair migrates onto your skin and can therefore be absorbed systemically.

This is a tricky product arena, as many of us are used to high performance products loaded with synthetic ingredients.
Add to that a mane of curly hair and we have a challenge!

Well, challenge met and expectations exceeded by John Masters Organics.

John Masters is a visionary East Coast hair stylist who opened the first "clean air" salon in the world in 1994. John Masters Organics is the accompanying paraben-free, organic hair care and skin care line.

I inquired with the company about hair styling products that would be safe to use on my sensitized skin, but that would perform exceptionally and tame my curls.

John Masters Organics responded with a package that included the first product John Masters created - The Dry Hair Nourishment and Defrizzer along with a bevy of other samples.

The Dry Hair Nourishment and Defrizzer comes in a glass dropper bottle. Only two or three drops are needed for an entire head of hair. A vibrant marigold color, this ""100% certified organic plant and essential oil blend" has an exquisite aroma and light texture.
Amazingly, this oil based product leaves no greasy residue - just shiny, moisturized, controlled hair.
I have been using two drops after towel drying my hair and then applying my new addiction, the Sweet Orange and Silk Protein Styling gel.

I simply put a nickel sized amount of the gel into my palms and apply to my curls in a scrunching motion. My curls dry silky and separated with modern texture.
Notice, I mentioned nothing about crunchy.

I actually hesitated to use this product at first because it brought up memorizes of crispy, shellacked ringlets. Not with this product!! Not at all!
I mean, who ever heard of a non-crunchy gel? Well, you have now! Plus, there are none of the crackly by products like flaky white chunks.
I don't know how they did it, but I want John Masters to keep on doing it. I will keep the Sweet Orange and Silk Protein Styling gel on hand by the gallon.
Oh - and it smells divine as well.

Learn more about the entire John Masters Hair and Skin Care line and purchase here:

(image from

Monday, March 29, 2010

Smart Bran Cereal

Always looking for my fiber fix, I noticed two boxes of Nature's Path Organic Smart Bran Cereal on the front table at my local food coop.

The words, "organic" and "bran" caught my eye.

Upon examining the label I was tickled to find that a 2/3 cup serving has 90 calories, 1 g of fat, 3 g of protein and a fiberlicious 13 g of fiber!

I have found the perfect replacement for a very popular high fiber cereal I was eating that was nowhere near organic and to my horror - contains aspartame! Ewwww. For real - I thought that ended with Tab!

Back to Smart Bran ... it is delicious and wonderfully textured. The cereal is shaped in tiny little, crunchy nuggets perfect for topping yogurt, salads or straight out of the box.

Learn more and purchase Smart Bran here:

(image from:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oldie Sunday - Cod Liver Oil

As Spring comes into full effect, you are sure to be getting more serious about your fitness regime. Be sure to support you body with Essential Fatty Acids like those in Cod Liver Oil:

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Law of Impermanence

My dear friend and Ayurvedic Practitioner, Shanalee Gallagher recently completed a ten day Vipassana Meditation course.

It consisted of ten days of silence, meditation, two vegan, gluten free meals a day and a ton of self realization.

One of the huge themes and lessons she took from this retreat was how The Law of Impermanence applies to life.

The Law of Impermanence is one of the three Universal Laws that the Buddha taught and states that all phenomena are subject to constant change, to rise and fall, and no permanent states, either physical or animate, exists.


This law can be applied in so many ways, giving so many lessons, ultimately bringing a peace that definitely influences feeling and looking damn good!

For me, this law is a reminder to not constantly try to manipulate my circumstances and rather to let things be so that things can just change naturally.

It is also thematic of non-attachment whether to the physical or emotional.

So what if you can't do headstand in yoga class yet ... that will eventually change.
Who cares if you are developing crows feet around your eyes, that is a beautiful marker of time passage, wisdom and your body changing.
Why worry if you didn't get that job you thought you really wanted; know that things are constantly changing and something else will come your way.

I am finding great comfort, resolve and perseverance within this Law.

Apply The Law of Impermanence to your life and watch the damn goodness follow.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yes - you can jog!

I have encountered so many personal training clients over the years who tell me they "could never run" or "don't like to run" or "my lungs hurt when I run."

Nonsense! As long as there is no true physical contraindication to jogging, anyone can shuffle along. Perhaps you don't look like a marathoner or a track star while you are doing it, but there is a systematic way to find your running groove.

Embrace your personal running style!

1.If you are serious about starting to jog, invest in a good pair of shoes that are specifically engineered for running. Preferably, go to a running specialty store and get fitted for a pair that is perfect for you.

2. Load up your Ipod with your favorite tunes to keep you going.

3. Make sure you have comfortable, breathable clothing that won't chafe or irritate you.

4. Formulate a plan. Don't just go out there and try to run 6 miles your first day.
Build slowly and sensibly. Here is my favorite way:

- Dedicate 30 minutes to your "jogging" adventure (This is considering you have some sort of cardiovascular base - if not, you start with FIVE minutes and build to 30 minutes week by week - adding five additional minutes each week)

- Try to find a soft surface like a trail or blacktop rather than concrete

- Think of the run in 5 minute segments

- Segment 1 - Try to shuffle/jog for up to one minute
Then walk for four minutes

- Segment 2 - repeat Segment 1 and so on for six segments until 30 minutes is up.


- REPEAT this workout twice more on non-consecutive days for one to two weeks

- After one to two weeks, if the one minute is easily attainable during all six segments, add up to another minute in each segment. So, you are jogging for two minutes, walking for three minutes ... repeating for 30 minutes.

- Keep progressing every one to two weeks, adding another minute until ... VOILA!! You are shuffling along for thirty minutes!!

Be sure to fuel up before your runs and afterwards, stretch, ice and take Epsom salt baths as needed and treat yourself to a massage when you achieve whatever time you have set for your running goal.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kehinde Wiley for Puma

This has got to be one the hippest, coolest, esthetically pleasing art and sport collaborations of all time.

Contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley has teamed up with Puma to create a collection of athletic apparel just as worthy to hang on your walls as on your body.

Born in Los Angeles to an African American mother and a Nigerian father, "Wiley is best known for using contemporary African American men in poses taken from the annals of art history and for his distinctive use of elaborate, graphic and colorful wallpaper-like backgrounds." (

The resulting collection is colorful, a cultural tribute, innovative and totally wearable both in the gym and on the street.

I had a hard time choosing just one image for this post! I am crazy about the color block legging, the track jackets and all of women's tops!

Check out the entire collection and shop here:,en,sc.html?source=marketing_pumacom_US_en_kehinde10_homepage_mainpanel

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Griffin Remedy

Have you ever leered at the labels on your personal care items and pondered whether knowing an alien language was a requirement for understanding exactly WHAT is in the products we put on our bodies?

I've become extremely conscious of this recently and even as a person who strives to buy mostly natural items, has been shocked at what gets sneaked into some of our products.

On a trip to South Lake Tahoe, CA I stopped into the lovely Grass Roots Natural Foods, where I not only got some great deals on healthy groceries, but discovered Griffin Remedy Products.

"GRIFFIN REMEDY offers Body Lotions, Shower Gels and Foaming Hand Soaps formulated to be pure and clean, NO parabens, NO sodium lauryl sulfates and NO petro-chemical derived ingredients." (

I'll say YES to that!

Made in San Francisco, CA - they are almost local to me as well!

I bought their shampoo and conditioner enticed by the totally sensible price point, sensible packaging, attractive labeling and their discriminating ingredients.

My test drive of these products has generated pleasantly scented, shiny, soft, healthy hair with no residue or compromise of my color!

Learn more and purchase here:

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Yerba Mate

I have a love affair with java. I luuuuuurrrrvve the smell of fresh joe in the morning. The sound of it percolating. The deep, rich, earthy liquid pouring into my oversized mug. Aaaaahhhhhh....

Fantasy over. Back to reality.

It's easy to OD on coffee in our Starbucks driven society. I was recently to told to cut back on my very minimal 1 - 2 cup a day habit.

So, I've switched to Yerba Mate for the last two weeks and I definitely notice a difference.

The best part of waking up? Yerba Mate in your cup!

Prepared like a tea and often sold in convenient tea bags, Mate is a species of holly native to South America (wikipedia.)

More reminiscent of green tea, Yerba Mate has a substance called Mateine that gives you pep instead of caffeine and therefore none of the jittery, edgy side effects of a strong brew of coffee.

You can drink Yerba Mate hot, iced or in any of the fancy, barista inspired versions you can think of like a Mate Latte!

I buy Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate bags at Trader Joes and am enjoying the "clean" stream of energy from this beverage.

Learn more about Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate here:

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oldie Sunday - Spring Cleanse Recipe

It's almost Spring!

Cleansing is often prescribed at the change of every season.

Here is a recipe for Ayurvedic Dahl perfect to support intestinal cleansing:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Thought

I've been on a pretty strict whole foods only diet lately due to a skin condition.

As I downed a smoothie made from Kale, carrots, 1/2 banana, 1/4 cup raspberries and flax oil, I thought to myself, "I wonder if anyone has ever gained weight to the point of obesity eating just fruits and veggies?"

(I assure you my diet consists of much more than that right now - but, I had to remove any all common allergens...)

I mean, if we're talking calories in, calories out ... would it be possible to GAIN weight eating only fruits and veggies nuts, no grains ... so way more restricting than even a raw vegan diet. Perhaps if you ate 3000 calories a day of fruits and veggies and were sedentary?

I realize eating that much produce would probably be physically impossible and cause much gastrointestinal distress .... but,...

What do you think?

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hanae Mori

My "latest and greatest" email from Sephora just popped into my inbox.
Can we say, "Dangerous!"
Every time those emails hit my screen, I am in serious peril of mega retail therapy.

The latest temptation is the Hanae Mori Butterfly Solid Perfume Ring.

Combining a heavenly scent with a super cute accessory kinda has me over the edge. Yes ... it's been done before with many a perfume, but Hanae Mori is one of those gorgeous, addictive scents that elicits compliments from strangers.

The Sephora website describes the scent as "a rare blend of berries and flowers, with a distinctive tone of strawberries and almond, giving an impression of vanilla."
Mmmmmmmmmm. The notes are: Strawberries, Bilberries, Black Currant, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Sandalwood, Almond, Praline - YUMMY OVERLOAD.

You can purchase the Hanae Mori Butterfly Solid Perfume Ring here:


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ruah Mind Body Movement

I stumbled upon Ruah Mind Body Movement while researching LucyPro Ambassador Suzanne Bowen.

After admiring her phenomenal assets in the new Lucy Perfect Core ads, I discovered Suzanne owns a "barre" studio and co-created Ruah Mind Body Movement with Leah Sarago. Leah has her own set of admirable curves and resume credits.

Ruah Mind Body Movement fuses the best of pilates, Lotte Berk, yoga, cardio and body sculpting into a fluid, creative, fun workout. If you want a long, lean, firm, sculpted physique - Ruah is for you.

I was drawn to the method because my grandmother used to tell me I was full of "Ruach." (She said it with the Yiddish ccchhhhhhuuuhhhhh.) Ruah means "spirit" in Hebrew and what a perfect moniker for a fitness modality created by two women obviously full of excellent mojo.

Ruah generously sent me both DVDs in the series: "Release" and "Warrior"

I experienced "Release" first. There is an adorable introduction by the two ladies, explaining Suzanne being pregnant in the video - apparently she found out she was expecting during pre-production, so she is showing in the video. They give an excellent disclaimer stating that this is not a pre-natal workout, but because Suzanne was in such great shape before her pregancy, it is ok for her to demonstrate modifications. I found this absolutely endearing and motivating to women who are either pregnant or want to get pregnant ... STAY ACTIVE whether with child or not!

The "Release" workout is a great balance of 15 minutes of Lower Body/Cardio movements like chair pose and lunge variations, but that are dynamic and flow with breath and movement.
The next segment is a 25 minute two part floor workout that consists of upper body work - again using moves like planks and push ups that flow and an ab section that uses pilates "c" curve movements.
The final segment is a 10 minute stretch and relaxation.

The "Release" DVD is great place to start for beginners, to learn the movements and to enjoy a lovely, mellow - yet energizing addition to your current fitness regime to add new rotations and movments that will surprise your muscles.

I then tackled, "Warrior." "Warrior" definitely takes Ruah up a notch.
The DVD begins with a 25 minute standing lower body sequence that is sure to have you sore in places you may not have realized even existed. Variations on squats, lunges and plies are fused with upper body movements and done at a quick pace, providing both cardiovascular and muscular work. The leg sequence is repeated twice, so you have double the chance to work hard and change your body!
Next is a 13 minute upper body and core floor series. Planks and push ups work your entire body, but emphasize a strong, flat tummy and supportive lower back.
The DVD concludes with an excellent stretch and relaxation segment that mainly focuses on the hips. This segment alone is a standout and would be beneficial to practice daily.

Give Ruah a try if you are looking for a fresh, creative, energizing addition to your fitness program. The instruction is top notch with Suzanne and Leah performing the workout to a comforting voice over detailing the movements. Do the workout three to four times a week combined with a good nutrition program for optimal results or add it in once or twice a week to your current program to shake things up.

You can learn more and purchase Ruah Mind Body Movement DVDs here:

(image from:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Foods Alive Flax Oil Dressing and "C" Salad Recipe

Double doozy post coming 'atcha today!

I am trying to incorporate more raw fruits and veggies into my diet, so I created the recipe below for my "C" salad.

It was kismet that Foods Alive ( me three varieties of their Flax Oil Dressing. It is the perfect compliment to this crunchy, cruciferous salad!

Foods Alive Organic Gourmet Gold Flax Oil dressing is a great way to get a dose of all the benefits of flax oil in a mega flavorful salad topping, dip, sandwich spread or however you choose to use it.

Foods Alive sent me the Sweet Mustard, Meg's Sweet & Sassy and Mike's Special flavors. Foods Alive dressings are made with 100% organic ingredients.
They are all stand out, yummy compliments to whatever you pour them over.

My favorite is the Mike's Special, a russet colored, richly flavored blend of garlic, paprika, mustard, cider vinegar, raw agave, celtic sea salt and of course, their signature, raw gold flaxseed oil.

Drizzle a tablespoon or two over the "C" salad (recipe below) and you are going to shine with health, vitality and energy!

Purchase Foods Alive products here:

"C" Salad recipe
4 - organic carrots
2 - organic cucumbers
1 - organic purple cabbage
1 bunch - organic "dinosaur" kale
(Ok - so, kale starts with a "k", but it sounds like a "c")

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long strips - use the outer peel too!

Dice the cucumbers.
Chop the cabbage.
Remove the hard center of the kale leaves. Slice the leaves into thin strips.

Toss all veggies in a large bowl, top with Foods Alive Flax Dressing or the topping of your choice.


(dressing image from: foods
(salad image from: me)

Monday, March 15, 2010

From Nature With Love

From Nature With Love ( is a website, web store, informational powerhouse and resource so vast and valuable, I almost considered keeping it my little secret.

But, alas I cannot keep my mouth shut or my fingers quiet enough NOT to share this wonderful site with you!

From Nature with Love is a web store that retails all natural ingredients for skin care, aromatherapy, spa and craft industries.

The beautiful site is incredibly user friendly and inspires the creation of an all natural skin care regimen after browsing the site.

After all, the skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs whatever products we place externally on it. From Nature with Love is about chemical free, "green," all natural ingredients that are safe, therapeutic and non-toxic.

In addition to retail, the site offers a resource center that includes a recipe database, an information library, a soap making calculator and more!

My favorite feature is their blog, "The Natural Beauty Workshop."

Here you can find almost daily, detailed recipes for natural skin care.

I would love to get my hands on their warehouse and learn from the author of the blog Emmy Gabriel.

Click here to be inspired, learn and shop From Nature with Love:
And read the daily blog here:

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oldie, but look damn goodie

I love turnnig the clocks forward!
The weather is getting more Spring like ...
Here's a workout you can do anywhere:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lucy Perfect Core Pant

The Lucy Perfect Core Pant is the anti-low rider. The rebellious, yet classy older sister to butt-cleavage inducing spandex. This is a pant that knows better. This is a pant that knows how to maximize a body's potential and literally reminds you to engage your core! A smart pant! Who knew?

Released to the public with a flurry of press promoting Lucy's new xBAR Technology, the ads focus on LucyPro Suzanne Bowen and her awesome rear view in the full length Perfect Core Pant. See above for photographic evidence.

Naturally, I was thrilled when Lucy offered to send me a pair of these revolutionary pants "for extreme Body Alignment and Reforming."

I received my pair of Perfect Core Knee Pants and immediately took them for a test run teaching a yoga class.

The Perfect Core pants had me at hello. Instantly, my abs were flattened, my bootie was lifted, my thighs were smooth and seemed to have more space in between them than usual. Did I just get lipo or slide on a pair of pants?

After class, I peered down at my normally, unfortunately sweaty front side ... and not a drop of moisture!

The pants provide a comfortable amount of compression and support with strategically placed abdominal and back panels - this is the xBAR technology. They remind me of CWX running tights, but much less extreme. The support enhances whatever fitness modality is your fancy, enforces body awareness, promotes core strength and good posture.

Shop the entire Perfect Core collection here:,default,sc.html

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Egyptian Magic

I love me an all purpose balm.

I especially adore one made from all natural ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, bee propolis and divine love.

That's it. That is all that makes up Egyptian Magic.

Endorsed by celebrities ranging from Madonna to Brooke Shields to Rachel Zoe, I gave in and finally bought a jar of the "magical cream." By the way, they had me at Madonna; I'll try anything she does!

According to the website ( the cream can be used as a, "natural anti-wrinkle skin cream, and for treatment of rashes, scars, burns, eczema, abrasions and other problems." One testimonial on the website even touts it's use for frizzy hair!

Egyptian Magic retails for around $30, so it's not an el-cheapola drugstore product.

I have been using it for everything from dry cuticles and cracked hands to a rich under eye cream and let me tell ya - it's worth every penny. Plus, you just feel great putting something so natural and simple on your body.

You can find out more, search retailers and buy Egyptian Magic here: The website even offers a money back guarantee!

(image from:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


An ad for Almased caught my eye while paging through Cosmo magazine.

Almased is a meal replacement shake that is made from yogurt, honey and soy.

Simply packaged and endorsed by a pharmacist (because they are known for their nutritional prowess and weight loss expertise?) The two page spread details a "Bikini Emergency" diet plan that consists of three days consumption of just three Almased shakes and as much vegetable broth as you can consume.

With only 180 calories (1g of fiber, but 25g protein) per shake, The Almased plan comes in at a grand total of 540 calories per day.

Last time I checked - that qualifies for a starvation diet.

The diet then graduates you to two shakes and one meal per day and eventually two meals and one shake per day. Sound familiar? This is the second coming of Slim Fast packaged as "health" food.

If you read this blog daily, you know this is a positive place. I rarely write about products I don't like, but I have to speak out when I feel unhealthy and dangerous eating habits are being directly targeted at women.

I am constantly shocked at people's misconceptions around food and nutrition in general. Even the most educated folks sometimes don't really think about what they are putting in their mouths. A product like Almased further distorts the issue of dieting and health food by promoting a product to sustain a starvation diet.

Please consider what you consume carefully. If you want to change your body, eat whole, fresh, unprocessed foods in sensible portions. Keep track of your calories in Fitday, undertake an exercise program and watch your body and life transform - the healthy way!

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I can't begin to tell you how many clients I've had who tell me, "I don't understand why I'm not losing weight! I'm working out and I eat healthy."

I then ask them to keep a food diary, preferably on ( we can get some concrete information on exactly how many calories are being consumed daily.

Now ... the success of this depends on how honest the person is about how much and what they eat. I always urge people to hold themselves accountable and be honest with themselves if they truly want to accomplish their goal

Fitday is a free web application that allows you to enter in amount and type of food you eat and it records the nutritional information. The result is a fairly accurate calorie and macronutrient count that often reveals why or why not someone is successful at losing weight.

Most often, Fitday reveals that we eat far more total calories per day then we mentally account for.

This is a great tool for getting caloric intake under control - after all, you gotta take in less than you burn in order to get results! Fitday provides hard data you can plug into a daily equation to guarantee your success.

Want an eye opener?
Calculate your basal metabolic needs - how many calories you need per day to maintain your weight here:
Remember it takes a deficit of 3500 calories a week to lose one pound of fat. So, if you are trying to lose weight, you need to subtract 500 calories from that number.
Record all your daily food and drink in Fitday for a week and see how you are doing.

Use the information to help you achieve your goals!

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Foods Alive Flax Crackers

Often a sturdy, crunchy, flavorful vehicle is required to transport yummy cargo like tuna salad, peanut butter or guacamole into a hungry mouth.

Foods Alive ( created a flax based, organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free and kosher answer to the ordinary "cracker."

Mahatma Gandhi said, "Wherever Flaxseed becomes a regular food item among the people there will be better health."

Simply called, "Flax Crackers," Foods Alive makes eight flavors of these delicious, crispy, wonderfully textured treats.

At my request, the company sent me the Original, Onion Garlic, Hemp and Mustard flavors.

My eye always goes to the label before anything goes into my mouth.

I started with the Originals ... three ingredients. I like that. Simple. Five crackers contain 150 calories, 9 grams of fat (Omega 3's,)a whopping 11 grams of fiber and 6g of protein! Impressive ... stellar protein and fiber numbers ... for a cracker!

I tore open the resealable package to find an artisan product that I could immediately see was made in small batches with love.

I took my crackers straight, as a side to a lovely bowl of vegetable soup. The Original Flax Crackers have a hearty, nutty flavor that complements any meal or contends strongly on it's own.

The other flavors we delish as well - lightly seasoned with the labeled variety, but their nutritional content varies from the Original crackers a bit. The Original version has the most fiber and protein.

Foods Alive Flax Crackers are a great option for gluten sensitive individuals, those trying to avoid processed foods or anyone who just wants a savory snack or side dish option.

Foods Alive makes a variety of flax based and super food items.

Shop the entire Foods Alive line here:

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oldie Sunday - Resolution Reminder

Uh, hem ... (clearing throat sounds)
Just a friendly reminder that you most likely made a resolution three months ago!
How is it going?
Here is a post to remind you to get support from your family, friends and peers to achieve your goals:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tarina Tarantinto Cosmetics

If you know anything about Tarina Tarantino's jewelery collection, then you will be drooling over her first cosmetics collection for Sephora.

Tarina Tarantino has a hugely popular, quirky, hip, nostalgic jewelery line that is filled with sparkly, girly pieces.

Before her success as jewelery designer, Ms. Tarantino was a professional make up artist.

She fuses the two worlds together in her first collection of cosmetics available exclusively at Sephora.

According to her "Behind the Brand" interview on, "Being different, being unique, being an individual and creating your own style is what TARINA TARANTINO is all about."

Now that sounds damn good.

I am anxious to try all of the products in the line, but especially the Magic Hour Creme Shadow, the Eye Dream Hypershadow and the Sparklecity Shimmer Dust.

Shop the entire Tarina Tarantino collection here:

(image from:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cheerleading Fitness

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Nevada State Cheerleading Competition in Carson City, NV.

I was super impressed with the athleticism of these often overlooked jocks positioned on the sidelines instead of center stage.

First of all, I must applaud these young women for performing feats of unimaginable strength, flexibility and power in a pair of spanx and mini skirt, with only the spring mat floor and their fellow athletes beneath them for safety.

Seriously... isn't it time we rethink what our cheerleaders are forced to wear? Perhaps if they wore spandex tights and protected themselves with pads, they would garner the respect they deserve? But, I digress ...

As I watched these fit, lean, sinewy, powerful bodies I started to think that they might be on to something with their training regimen.

So I started researching Cheerleading workout programs and was blown away by what is demanded of these athletes.

Below is an exerpt from a complete workout I found at Click on the link below to see the program in full.
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Malone College Cheerleading Workout Plan ( )
PHASE 3: “GAME- SEASON” (September 1, 2008 – January 1, 2009)
OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of the “game-season” phase is to “strengthen the
foundation” that was established during the “off-season” phase. Athletes will focus on
increasing their strength and stamina through cardio and weight training work outs with
their team. Cheerleaders will continue their cardio workouts 3-4 times a week either at
practices or independently. The mile run will be timed intermittently throughout this
phase. Strength training will focus on the major muscle groups used in stunting, jumping,
and tumbling. Athletes will continue with their “core” strengthening workouts and focus
on areas that need to be rehabilitated or that may be prone to injury. Flexibility exercises
will be added as a final component.
1. Increase challenge of your cardio workouts by running timed mile & doing interval
2. Gain strength in areas specific to the sport by using medium-heavier weights.
3. Incorporate Plyometric Exercises (November/December)
4. Maintain Core Muscle Fitness by exercising abdominal muscles 3-4 per week.
5. Rehabilitate existing injuries or weaker injury prone areas
6. INCREASE Flexibility by stretching EVERY DAY!
NOTE: by the end of this phase flyers should have a perfect heel stretch on both sides and
both bases and flyers should have the splits on both sides, and have a flexible straddle sit.
Phase 3 uses exercises that require using “medium to heavy” weights in order to build
strength. Athletes will be introduced to all exercises before being asked to perform them.
It is recommended that athletes use a spotter when attempting to lift heavier weights. It is
also strongly recommended that athletes spend 1-2 weeks performing these exercises
with “light to medium” weights to make sure their body is responding to the positions
without causing joint or tendon pain.
Once you have introduced your muscles to weight training using light to medium weights
you may change to medium/heavier weights. Use your judgment and challenge yourself
but do not lift weights that are “too heavy”. A gradual increase of weight is the safest way
to learn your bodies’ response to weight training.
PHASE 3: “GAME SEASON” WORK OUT PLAN: Cheerleaders should print a copy to keep as part of their personal
journal. Use the check sheet to mark off your accomplishments each day and note any questions, suggestions, issues at
the end of the week.
ATHLETES NAME: ________________________ _ BUDDY: ___________________________WEEK OF: ___________
Activity Repetitions Sets/Frequency Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Other
Cardio: ex. Jog, Run, Elliptical, etc. 1 mile < 12 minutes 3-4x per week N/A N/A N/A
Squats (free weights or leg press) 10-15 3x
Leg Extensions (Machine) 10-15 3x
Calf Raises (Dumbbells or leg press) 25 3x
Walking Lunges 25-30 3x
Plyometrics 20 3x
Hip Flexors 15 each leg & both 3x
Abs – choice of 3-5 different exercises 30 3x
Activity Repetitions Sets/Frequency Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Other
Cardio: ex. Jog, Run, Elliptical, etc. 30 minutes 3-4x per week N/A N/A N/A
Bench Press 10-15 3x
Overhead Press (free weights) 10-15 3x
Triceps (free weights) 10-15 3x
Front Raises (free weights) 10-15 3x
Biceps (free weights) 10-15 3x
Arm Circles (forward and back) 50 each way 3x
Push Ups 30 3x
Crunches, bicycles, v-ups, R/L planks 30, 30, 15, 30 seconds 3x
Activity Repetitions Sets/Frequency Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Other
Cardio: ex. Jog, Run, Elliptical, etc. 1 mile < 12 minutes 3-4x per week N/A N/A N/A
Squat and Overhead Press Combo 15 3x
Calf Raise and Front Raise Combo 15 3x
Lunges and Bicep Combo 15 3x
Squat, Thrust, Push-up, Jump 15 1x
Handstand Pushups (wall) 15 3x
Push Ups 30 3x
Crunches, bicycles, v-ups, R/L planks 30, 30, 15, 30 seconds 3x

(photo from:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love Your Flawz

Now here is a website with a message that coincides with looking and feeling damn good!

Check out is a "place to share all of your amazing unique flaws... Imperfect is the new perfect."

YES! YES! YES! is sending a message to women everywhere that it not only our strengths, but our weaknesses that set us apart and make us special.

You can post video, pictures, add to the blog or read inspiring quotes on the site.

I especially "heart" the photo section where readers post a photo of themselves with a sign confessing their "flaw."

Adorably constructed, is a way to get a daily dose of self affirmation, positive fuel for your self esteem and get inspiration from others.

Check out and join the community!

(image from:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trader Joe's Chile Relleno

Mmmmmmmm... Mexican food ... definitely one of my weaknesses when it comes to eating clean.
I am always tempted by fresh fried tortilla chips, copious amount of guacamole, oozing, oodles of cheese and margaritas.
Who isn't?
Indulging is good for the soul however, and done in moderation can be the key to sticking to a clean eating lifestyle.
Trader Joe's has come up with the answer to my Mexican Cravings.
Their frozen Chile Relleno is portion controlled and comes with no chips.
The 350 calorie entree consists of a "Fire Roasted Poblano Pepper filled with Cheese and topped with salsa."
Pop the tray in the microwave or oven and you have an authentic, truly decadent meal.
Yes, it's a bit high in fat - 18 grams, but imagine if this ONE serving has that much fat, how much lardaliciousness you take in a single sitting at a Mexican restaurant.
On the plus side, it's got an impressive 22 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.
For a few more calories and added protein and fiber, add half a cup of vegetarian refried beans or if you want to be really "good", a serving of broccoli.
Eating this meal makes me feel as if I was eating the leftovers from a really authentic, Delius restaurant - without the excess calories or guilt.
Find the Chile Relleno in the freezer section of Trader Joe's.
(photo from:

Monday, March 1, 2010

LifeBoard Portable Yoga Floor

Developing a home practice is an important part of the yoga experience.

Finding the time, space and discipline to practice on your own is an integral step in the journey.

But, let's face it, we're not all lucky enough to have a dedicated room in our house with hard wood floors to accommodate a safe, productive practice.

I know this challenge first hand, as someone who has had a home yoga practice since 2001 and now lives in a mostly carpeted home.

Once you find the space to lay out your mat, the surface beneath you often becomes problematic.

A yoga mat on top of carpeted floors is an unstable surface, making standing and balancing poses more challenging. The softness of the carpet becomes a further hassle if practicing a vinyasa, power or ashtanga type of yoga with many chaturanga push ups and arm balances. The carpet beneath your mat takes a toll on the wrists, compressing the joint.

I started researching alternatives for a surface to place underneath my mat.

Thankfully, an innovative company has come up with an economical, space efficient, environmentally friendly solution.

Welcome the LifeBoard ( into your home and under your yoga mat, for a yoga studio - like experience wherever you practice.

The LifeBoard comes in two pieces that you slide together to create a solid surface just a bit larger than a standard yoga mat (yes - the Manduka Black Mat fits perfectly on top of the LifeBoard.) The LifeBoard can be used on top of any soft, unstable surface like carpet or outdoors on grass or sand for a rigid, secure floor beneath your mat.

Thoughtfully constructed of "recyclable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and shipped in boxes made of 100% recycled material," this is a yoga product that fits in with the Yogic lifestyle. In addition, "several dollars from each purchase goes to a nonprofit organization called Skyline Center in Clinton, IA. They provide rehabilitation services and work programs for disabled adults. They do the shipping and handling for (LifeBoard.)" Attention to details like these makes LifeBoard a stand out in yoga product commerce.

LifeBoard was extremely generous in sending me a Green (UV protected for use outdoors) LifeBoard to give a go.
In the week I've been using it, my practice has transformed. My poses are more deeply rooted and I am able to focus further on my breath, bandhas and drishti without worrying about instability or wrist pain.

I feel like I am assembling my own private yoga studio when I snap the panels together.

The LifeBoard has also made me more conscious of engaging my core in the transition between upward and downward facing dog and during jump throughs and jump backs because if I get lazy, my heavy movements slide my mat forward or backward on the LifeBoard. By making the conscious effort to engage my energy thereby strengthening and lightening my more powerful movements, my mat stays squarely on the LifeBoard. It's almost like getting silent feedback on the quality of your movements.

The LifeBoard is a must have addition to any yoga lover's collection. The value of this prop is undeniable and can be used for more than just yoga.
The LifeBoard is a solid surface that can be used for any type of workout you engage in at home or outside like P90X, Insanity, The Firm or whatever your fitness poison.

Plus - there is no risk. LifeBoard offers a 30 day money back guarantee.

Learn more and purchase the LifeBoard here: