Monday, 23 September 2013 02:16

Health | The Truth About Waxing

Health // September 23, 2013

Your best friend does it. Your little sister does it. Your next door neighbor probably does it, too.

We're talking bikini waxing -- arguably the second most painful thing to happen to our lady parts next to childbirth. Once considered taboo, pubic hair removal is now something we don’t need to "beat around the bush" about; women from all backgrounds are pouring into salons across the country to get their hair down there bikini-ready. However popular the service may be, some of us still have our doubts and haven't yet tried it out. Esthetician Heather Nelson, owner of WAX by Heather Nelson and creator of "The 7 Minute Brazilian Wax," has seen her fair share of inquisitive first-time waxers and answered their questions. In order to debunk the myths and help us to physically (and mentally) prepare for our debut wax, Heather breaks down the top 5 things we need to do before receiving the signature service:

1. EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE!

Before you step foot into any waxing parlour, make sure you've taken a nice hot shower and exfoliated the area. "Get down there and scrub all the dead skin away," Nelson says. Warm water opens up pores and regular exfoliating can lessen the likelihood of ingrown hairs and promotes silky, smooth skin.

2. How long is TOO long?

Been a while since your last "haircut"? Don't be embarrassed ladies -- that's actually a good thing! "I get this all the time!” the wax guru says. "Ideally, hair should be between 1/4 of an inch to 3/8 of an inch long. The longer the hair, the easier it is to pull from the root -- as opposed to just ripping at the skin." Don't want to estimate what 3/8 of an inch looks like? Waxing generally lasts anywhere from three to five weeks, so schedule appointments anywhere from four to six weeks apart. Extra incentive: the longer the hair, the less tearing it out hurts!

3. AHA! So it does hurt! Anything I can do to make it less painful?

"Yes, waxing hurts. It's not the most comfortable feeling in the world, but like anything the more you do it, the more accustomed to the sensation you become," Heather states. Think taking a shot will help loosen you up and make the wax easier to deal with? Think again. Alcohol is dehydrating and makes skin more sensitive to pain. Nelson suggests avoiding caffeinated drinks and steering clear of direct sunlight for 48 hours pre wax appointment. She also recommends taking a pain reliever 30 minutes before your service to ease the discomfort of waxing.

4. Brazilian vs. Bikini - What's the Difference?

Brazil has birthed some pretty remarkable exports; supermodel Giselle Bundchen, the Brazilian butt lift workouts and of course, the Brazilian wax. In short, a bikini wax is removing all the hair that could potentially be seen whilst wearing a bikini and a Brazilian wax is umm....all the hair you can and can't see whilst in a bikini. Heather has perfected her waxing technique to accommodate a comprehensive Brazilian wax in seven minutes, so if you are bold enough to go completely bare down there, at least you aren't on the table for too long.

5. Don't DIY

Think you can do a little shaving or home waxing kit touch ups between appointments? It's best to leave the hair removal to the pros. Certified estheticians are well versed in the ways of what works for skin and the most effective ways to maintain it. Likewise, if you have any skin allergies, health conditions or are on any type of topical medications (Accutane, Retin - A, AHA's), let your waxologist know before you book your appointment; certain meds don’t go well with waxing services.

Now you should feel completely at ease about bikini waxing and know what to expect when you do decide to get your first wax. For more information about hair removal by waxing and more expert insight from Heather, click here.

Published in Health
Monday, 09 September 2013 05:24

Lifestyle | Quick & Dirty Guide To Football

Lifestyle // September 9, 2013

It happens on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights all across America. A typical scene of men staring at the TV, and only coming up for air to grab another plate of hot wings or high-five someone. Expletives get thrown across the room about a bad call from the referee, while you sit quietly pretending you knew that when the the commentator mentioned the “tight end” he wasn’t talking about #54 in those cute little pants. I’ve been in this position before, but fear not, ladies, we don’t have to fake it anymore. For those of us who need a little help, here’s a basic course in football lingo and understanding the game, so maybe next time we can actually join the conversation.

First things first, we have to “tackle” exactly what football is.  The game is played on a 120-yard field divided into 10-yard increments: 100 yards of playing field, and ten yards for each end zone that the players cross into in order to score points.  Football is broken into two sides - offense and defense. OK, class dismissed...yea right, there's more.

How To Score

The way to get the most points at one time is to score a touchdown. Touchdowns are worth six points and happen when the offensive team runs the ball or catches a pass into the defensive team’s end zone. After a touchdown is scored, the team gets to choose if they want to attempt a short kick between two goal posts from the two-yard line for one point (this is called a PAT, or point after conversion) or line up at the two-yard line to run or catch the ball in the end zone, again for two points. This is called a two-point conversion. A team can also score three points by kicking a field goal. This is similar to a “PAT”, but it can be attempted from anywhere on the field. This option is often chosen when it is fourth down and scoring a touchdown is unlikely.

4th & 10, come again? What’s a “down”?

Simply put, a down is a play. The team with the ball has four chances to move the ball ten yards. Sounds easy, but apparently it’s SUPER hard. Each time an attempt to run the ball ends, it’s called a down.  If they get ten yards, they start over with a first down and get another four chances to move the ball another ten yards. Occasionally, you’ll hear phrases like “2nd and 8” or “3rd and 1”.  The first number symbolizes what down they’re on and the second number indicates the number of yards they have left to go. If the team doesn't move ten yards in four downs, the other team gets the ball. If it’s starting to look tricky on the 4th down, the team then decides to either kick a field goal (if they’re close enough) or punt the ball down the field (so it’s farther from their own end zone when the other team gets it).




The Players

Although it looks like a small village, there are only 11 guys from each team allowed on the field at a time. Here are some of them and what their position means:

Offensive Players:

Center: the guy literally in the center of the offensive line. He starts the play by “hiking” (that little squat thing where they pass the ball between their legs) to the quarterback. The passing of the ball is called a “hike” or a “snap”.
Quarterback: If nothing else, we know who this guy is. He’s the one who receives the ball from the Center. Once he has it, he decides if he wants to hand off the ball to a running back, run the ball himself, throw it to another player further down the field or pass it off to someone closer. He’s also the ringleader of the team – he interprets the coach’s plays and can even call “audibles”; a verbal on-field edit to one of the coach’s plays.
Offensive guard: The two guys on either side of the Center.
Offensive tackle: The two guys on either side of the Guards.
Tight end: Plays next to the tackle. (The guards, tackles and tight ends make up    the “Offensive Line.”) Depending on the play called, they will block/protect the QB, block on a running play, or go out for a pass.
Wide receivers: Their job is to get open to receive a pass down the field; they also block on running plays.
Fullback: Primary role is to “lead” block for the running back or protect the QB on pass plays, will occasionally run or catch passes.
Running Back: They run, they block, they receive; they do it all.

Defensive Players

Nose guard: Parallel to the other team’s Center; his job is to rush, tackle the passer or QB and stop or tackle the ball carrier.
Defensive tackle: Linemen that rush the passer or tackle the ball carrier.
Defensive ends: Stops or contains plays that go outside of the defensive line.
Linebacker: Rush the passers, cover receivers, stop the runner, basically they do whatever needs to be done to stop a play.
Cornerback: Defend the wide receivers, tackle the ball carrier.
Safety: Safety position is divided into two categories. There’s the “strong safety” that lines up according to the offensive alignment (i.e. opposite the s tight end), and then there is the “free safety” that defends running and passing plays, generally “roaming” the field, going to where he is most needed (also called “playing center field”).

So there you have it; a girl’s guide to understanding the ins and outs (or x's and o's) of football. There’s always more to learn about the game, like statistics, penalties and play strategies, but that knowledge comes with years of following the game. For our basic understanding for the 2013-2014 football season, just know that the quarterback is the one most girls fawn over and nobody likes The Dallas Cowboys.

Published in Lifestyle
Friday, 09 August 2013 03:38

Style | Should You Hire A Stylist?

Style // August 12, 2013

Having a personal stylist isn’t just for celebrities. Any woman who wants to improve her quality of life personally and professionally should try working with a stylist.

Why? Let’s break it down.

Learning how to dress your body type -- and knowing what’s appropriate for different settings -- will help you dress to impress at any event. This will give you the kind of confidence that turns heads and allow you to be more visible both personally and professionally.

Think about it: if you’re in line for coffee behind a hottie but you feel frumpy in your outfit, would you have the confidence to start a little small talk conversation? Not likely. And who knows where that conversation could potentially lead…

It’s you, only better. If you’re working with the right stylist, they will bring out your inner style;  tweaking what you’ve already got so that it’s still authentic, but much more polished and pulled together.

Why does it matter if you’re more polished and pulled together? Because you lead with your look. Communication is 55% physical and, when you meet someone, you’re making a first impression before you even have a chance to speak your brilliant thoughts. You better take advantage of that 55% and comb your hair, define your waist, add some mascara and shine your shoes!

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Need more convincing? You can actually save time and money when you work with a stylist. Of course, you have to invest in the service. But what you spend on the service saves you time getting ready every morning and makes shopping a more streamlined and fun experience.

If you have a little extra money to invest in yourself, having a stylist shop for you is a transformative experience. Items selected just for you and your personal style are brought to you in the comfort of your own home.

In the long run, you save thousands by working with a stylist since you’ll have clothes you love, that fit better and allow you to create new outfits. Compare this to the clothes you have still sitting in your closet with the price tags on them and it’s a bargain!

To get the most out of working with a stylist, you need to keep in mind that you’re making an investment in your sanity as much as in your style and career (and love life!). Book an appointment or a “style session” first to purge and take stock of your wardrobe. Since many women are overwhelmed by the information they get in the first session, opt for 3 or more sessions over the course of the year. This way, you’re updating your looks seasonally and further integrating all the tools your genius stylist is giving you. Under the tutelage of your stylist, you’ll soon be able to create killer outfits on your own.

The bottom line: once you work with a stylist, you’ll be able to open your closet each morning and decide exactly what you want to wear in five minutes instead of twenty. And you’ll always have something ready for that last-minute special event. If you have the resources, investing in a stylist will take your wardrobe -- and your personal brand -- to the next level. Plus, it’s FUN!

Published in Fashion

Business // July 15, 2013

We are surrounded by managers. Managers are responsible for organizing and maintaining our organizations, teams, families and more. Managers are great, but there are important differences between managers and leaders -- and they should not be confused. The biggest difference lies in the fact that managers will never change the world.

Every once in awhile, you run into a leader. You can spot them because leaders always see the silver lining.  They’re the people who always see the glass as “half full,” not because they’re delusional, but because of how they seem to know where the water is. They don’t just see problems. They also see the opportunities and then they seize them. Instead of waiting for a big break, they create their own luck. Leaders are the ones with the power to change the world, and they are in high demand in every segment of our society.  

On the inside, many of us hear an inner voice telling us that it’s time to start making an impact -- to move to the front and lead. But how do you become a leader? Below are some principles of authentic leadership. Transforming yourself into a leader takes work. But if you start to take on the mindset of a leader, you will see your families, workplaces, and communities change.

Managers focus on systems and structure. Leaders focus on people.

Both managers and leaders can be identified by what they focus on. Managers obsess over protocol and rules, while leaders are more concerned with the individuals that make up the team. Leaders know that the potential of any organization lies within the individual.

The manager relies on control. The leader inspires action.

Some people try to “lead” by using manipulation or guilt to get things done. This type of control is not true leadership. It may be effective for a time, but soon burnout or resentment will set in. On the other hand, leaders inspire others to find motivation within themselves. The result is a person who has become a self-starter and no longer has to rely on the overbearing superior to spur them into productivity.

The manager always has his or her eye on the bottom line. The leader’s eye is on the horizon.

Managers are always focused on, and, in many cases, worried about money. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But if you are always focused on the bills or the overhead, you cannot look forward to new ideas and opportunities.  I believe that money should never be the goal of your efforts. The goal should be to contribute your best. Money is the result and product of your work.  

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The manager asks how and when. The leader asks what and why.

Managers are interested in fulfilling their duties and completing their objectives, and oftentimes they do this mindlessly. But leaders are interested in the purpose of their work and what they can bring to the table.  They’re after significance, and they want their work to matter.

Managers accept the status quo. Leaders challenge it.

Some people are afraid of change, and they get uncomfortable with anything that looks or feels different than the norm. These people can be good managers, but at this stage they are not leaders. Leaders embrace change, especially when change is needed. They push the boundaries of status quo, and because of their slightly rebellious nature, they are often the ones that find the new ideas first. These are the type of people who are sought after by companies like Apple and Google, because companies like that know that this mindset is the difference between stagnation and innovation.

As a word of warning, while you will find much success from following these principles, you may also experience criticism, obstacles, and all kinds of “player hating.”  It’s lonely at the top, and some people will take pleasure in sabotaging your progress. But you are too important to let them discourage you. We need leaders, and you might be the one destined to bring new life to your family, company, or the world.




Published in Business

Lifestyle // June 17, 2013

Each month this summer Lindsay Jones of Foodflirt.com will pick one ingredient that is usually overlooked and share her tips on how to use it. Spice up your dishes and your life by trying something new! Read the other entries here.

What exactly is that white and green, bulbous thing sitting on the produce shelf with celeryesque stalks decorated by fine, feathery fronds? Why, it’s FENNEL my friend—a refreshing and delicious vegetable. The flavor is slightly sweet, with notes of mellow black licorice and crisp texture.

I had my first “fennel flirtation” at a cozy little cafe in Laguna Beach. I was sitting at a tiny table in front of an open window facing the ocean, breathing in the damp sea and feeling the cool, salty breeze. I wanted a light snack with bright flavors. Always one to try something new, I ordered the shaved fennel salad with blood orange supremes, cracked black pepper and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. The subtle hints of black licorice from the fennel danced beautifully with the sour lemon, spicy pepper and sweet, juicy orange pieces. I became a fennel fan right then and there. Now I pass along to you some fun fennel facts as well as my three favorite ways to enjoy fennel.

What is Fennel?

Fennel is used frequently in Mediterranean and Italian cooking, but there are endless ways to create edible delights with this member of the Umbelliferae family. Carrots, parsley, dill and coriander are all relatives of this versatile veggie. Some will tell you fennel is also called anise, but it’s not. They are two different plants (though related), and if you need proof, click here.

Eat This With That...

Fennel pairs well with the following: butter, celery root, cheese, chestnuts, citrus, coriander, cream, fruit, garlic, hearts of palm, lemon, mushrooms, olive oil, olives, onions, oranges, pancetta, peppers, Pernod, potatoes, sherry, thyme, tomatoes, truffles, and vinaigrette. The best part? Experimenting with these combinations may produce magical results! Fennel can be served raw, roasted, braised, grilled, deep fried, pureed, sautéed and in soups.

Fennel Facts

The bulb, stalks, and fronds are all edible parts of the fennel plant, but the bulb is the section most commonly used in cooking, while the stalks and fronds are generally used for garnish. To prepare fennel, cut off the stalks and fronds (perhaps save for garnish or stock). If the bulb is large, you might want to peel off the thicker outer layer. Next slice off the root end and shave it, slice it, dice it, cut it into wedges or roast it whole!

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3 Fabulous Fennel Recipes

Shaved Fennel Grapefruit Salad with Pea Shoots and Vodka Citrus Vinaigrette My favorite way to eat fennel is shaved-thin and raw in salads with a perfect amount of sea salt and citrus. This is when I can really taste the licorice flavor that I love!

Scallop Fennel Chowder {By Coconut & Lime} Fennel is delicious is many soups, but this chowder, made with sweet scallops, shallots, and bacon won my heart recently.

Pecorino-Roasted Fennel and Carrots {By Buff Chickpea} Roasting fennel is one rockin’ way to enjoy this unique vegetable. It brings out the sweetness and is an easy side dish to make that still brings a fair amount of flare to the table.

So, the next time you’re shopping, toss a few fennel bulbs in the basket and have fun flirting with this healthy, fabulous food.

Published in Lifestyle

Business // May 6, 2013 

Being an ambitious entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. On the one hand you get things done. You have a vision, you started a business and you’re making a difference in this world (and some money). On the other hand, your schedule is overflowing with client work, networking events and business opportunities. There is always something more you could be doing. The questions becomes: How do you fit it all in?

Here are some tips for managing your schedule as a busy entrepreneur:

Focus on the Big Rocks. Stephen Covey famously spoke about putting your “Big Rocks” first. Look at the mission of your business. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your purpose? Each day, think about the three most important things that will help you move forward on your business – your Big Rocks – and create a schedule to get them finished first. Once you’ve completed your Big Rocks for the day, you can move on to less important activities. And on those days that you’re only able to get one or two things accomplished – it happens to the best of us – at least you know you’ve tackled the most important things on your list.

Bucket Your Tasks. Set your schedule up so that you’re working on similar tasks all day. For example, I schedule all client meetings and coaching calls for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Mondays are reserved for writing and planning. Fridays are my admin day. Creating a solid schedule helps in two ways: 1) you’re not constantly bouncing from task to task and 2) you know exactly what you’ll be working on each day.

Get Rid of the Fluff. Let’s be honest. There are going to be things that just never get done. If you take an honest look at your day’s activities, you’ll see that there are some activities that you’ve picked up along the way that are no longer serving you. Maybe you had a problem saying “no” or maybe it’s something that seemed exciting when you first took it on. Either way, if it is not serving your bottom line, it needs to go. Does this activity align with your purpose and move you forward? If not, then it is time to place it on the back burner.

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Figure out Your Energy Zones. Take a look at your energy levels throughout the day and schedule high energy activities when you feel the most alive. Are you a morning person? Crank through your to-do list early on. Do you find your stride after lunch? Schedule your tough mental tasks then.

Take It Easy. Part of the fun of being an entrepreneur is making your own schedule. Make sure to schedule breaks and down time so that you can refresh. That might mean hitting up the gym during lunch or simply setting a timer so that you take periodic breaks throughout the day. Don’t get too down on yourself for having an off day – we all need a break sometimes.

Keep it Professional. Full time entrepreneurs can find themselves slacking on the rigid scheduling. Early morning meetings are replaced with nooners. Business professional clothes are replaced with PJ’s... all day long. It’s fine to make your own rules if you are running the show, but try not to let all of your professionalism go out the window. Keep a clear, daily schedule even if you don’t go into the office everyday.

Once you are able to lock in a solid schedule, you’ll be able to focus on your revenue generating activities and really grow your business. Get laser focused on the activities that will move you forward and let the rest fall to the wayside. And when in doubt, take a little break!


Published in Entrepreneurship
Monday, 25 February 2013 04:30

Entrepreneurship | Checklist for Start-Ups

Entrepreneurship // February 24, 2013

If you’ve decided to try your hand at running a start-up, you’re brave. It takes a lot of guts to make a go of it on your own. But you’re not alone. Over seven million people make the leap and start their own business each year. That’s a lot of new businesses!

One of the fastest growing sectors of new companies are tech start-ups, where we’re seeing more and more women in charge. While the numbers right now aren‘t great – currently fewer than five percent of tech start-ups are run by women – that number is climbing rapidly.

If you’re a woman thinking of becoming one of these pioneering tech bosses, kudos to you! But that doesn’t mean you can go out there without knowing what needs to be done. Once you decide to get into entrepreneurship, you need to assemble a Start-Up Checklist.

What’s the Start-up Checklist?

It’s every minor thing a woman must do if she is thinking of starting her own company. It’s easy to remember the Big Stuff: get an idea, get an office, get a loan. (Well, maybe not so easy. )

But what about the intangibles that aren’t required by law? Those are the ones  that entrepreneurs sadly overlook quite often. And it’s easy to do because you don’t often read about them.

Unless they’re on your checklist!

So what are these things that need to go on this list?

1. Decide what entity is best for you.

One of the most important decisions an entity can make is deciding how their company will be structured. Will you be an LLC? A corporation? Perhaps a partnership? Whichever one you pick, it will have serious consequences, both for how your business runs and how it is taxed.

Once it’s decided, then you need to draw up your governing document. For an LLC, this is called an OA. For a corporation, it’s called your bylaws. They’re essentially the laws of your company. And they are a necessity if you want to protect yourself.

Picking the best structure for your needs can be the difference between glory and ignominy. Once you organize, you need to get everything down in writing. Especially from your employees.

2. Get an NDA.

A non-disclosure agreement, colloquially known as an NDA, is possibly the most overlooked document that every start-up needs and so few have. It can save your company from losing what is often its most important aspects: that is, its ideas.

An NDA assures that employees can’t spill the beans concerning trade secrets and other sensitive information. But more than just making sure everyone keeps their trap shut, NDAs ensure that in the event that your intellectual property does get out there, you can be compensated for the damages. Otherwise, you might be left with a super unique, money making idea that everyone else has now too.

3. Draw up and employee handbook.

Employee handbooks don’t just tell employees what the policy  is for replacing the yogurt in the company fridge. Employee handbooks act as a way of ensuring there is zero confusion over what employees are allowed to do and what they are not. It clears the air concerning the rules and regulations in the business. And this can be invaluable if an employee ever sues you.

4. Draft an agreement for independent contractors.

The shift to using independent contractors is a trend that’s been sweeping the tech world for some time now. But the line between an employee and an independent contractor is often a thin one indeed. It’s not uncommon for workers classified as independent contractors to sue for the rights normally given to employees. If you haven’t had a worker sign something detailing what the arrangement is, you could be on the hook for providing all the perks to a contractor that an employee gets.

If you haven’t noticed, a lot of these tasks are in place to protect an entrepreneur from going into the courtroom. It’s because that’s the one thing start-ups never dream could happen but often does: legal trouble. Protecting yourself starts with getting it in writing. Of course there are a million things that a new entrepreneur needs to do before they reach success. But this checklist should help you have a smoother ride on the way there.

Published in Entrepreneurship
Monday, 25 February 2013 03:36

Weddings | How To Be A Great Maid of Honor

Weddings // February 24, 2013

One of the biggest compliments a woman can ever receive is being asked to be someone’s maid of honor. It means that you are the one they trust to make sure their wedding day is the happiest day of their lives. It means that (minus the groom of course!) you are the one they want standing beside them during all of the festivities.  It also may mean that you will need to roll up your sleeves and help out your best friend for the next few months. I recently had the pleasure of being my sister’s maid of honor and a couple months later she was mine. Here are some of the things we feel makes a “MOH” truly exceptional.


Being The Biggest Help

Weddings don’t magically come together. It takes a lot of time, money and DIY projects to get everything how the bride envisions it. As a maid of honor you should be the one offering to help to get things done. Trust me, helping out with the 500 paper cranes needed for wedding favors will take a load off of a busy bride and make her feel like she doesn’t have to do everything alone.

Have a Good Attitude

Bridesmaids dresses can be good, bad or just plain ugly. I have never met a bridesmaid who absolutely loved her dress. I have heard numerous stories about people throwing fits because they hated the color or fit. It’s fine to voice your opinion but it’s really not up to anyone besides the bride and groom what the bridal party wears. As maid of honor its your job to encourage an accepting attitude among the rest of the wedding party. When it’s your turn you can make everyone wear lime green taffeta. It’s only right.

Throw A Thoughtful Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette parties don’t have to equate to a Vegas trips. You are the one who knows the bride the best so you should know how this party should be thrown. If the bride is more conservative, a stripper and jello shots probably won’t be her idea of fun. It’s up to you to plan a night that’s all about her and get everyone involved. Ask for a list of her friends and their contact info and plan something special!

Be The “Go To” Girl

In a perfect wedding the bride should never know if something is going wrong. This means no vendor should talk to the bride or groom on their wedding day. If questions need to be asked or checks handed out it’s up to you to take care of it. Make sure all the vendors have your phone number so they can call you with any problems. It’s also helpful for a MOH to call these people a week before the wedding to confirm all plans. It may be a lot of work but your best friend/blushing bride will thank you.

Make A Meaningful Speech

A bride looks forward to hearing the toasts at her wedding. It’s a time for her to hear the people she loves wish her well as she starts her new life and family. Please don’t get on the mic and bring up embarrassing stories. Make it something for her to remember. Something that shows thought and adds personal touches is a given tearjerker. She will always remember what you said and how you made her feel, make sure you put in the effort! 

Published in Weddings
Monday, 28 January 2013 03:27

Fitness | Best Free Work Outs

Fitness // January 27, 2013

We’ve reached 2013 and I’m sure the one common resolution on most people’s list is to get in better shape. Having been a NCAA Division I athlete, I promised myself that I’d never pay to workout. Why pay to workout when Cal was footing the bill? However, when I graduated, I finally saw what everyone else was doing. They were signing up for Yoga ($35/class), Barre Method ($25/session), and Equinox memberships ($225/mo). I couldn’t believe that people were paying to kick their own butts. $35 for a class isn’t too expensive if you’re just taking the class once. But like anything, to really get results, you’ll need to stick to a routine. That means that you should be following your regimen at least 3 times a week. 3 times a week x $35/class x 4 weeks, rounds out to a cool $420/mo!  If you’re like me, you’re not-so- keen on paying big bucks to stay in shape.  Free is where it’s at, so here are a few free workout routines.

Hill Work

I do my best to stay long and lean. That means I do a fair amount of cardio work, combined with short explosive movements. Hill work is perfect for this. Usually I run/warm-up for 30-40 min before starting my hill routine. Once warmed up, I do the following:  2 sets of five, 40 second hills (run as far as you can for 40 seconds, jog back to the bottom, and repeat. Adjust your rest and intensity as your fitness increases. Beginners should walk down and rest at least 90 sec in between each rep. Take 5-8 minutes in between sets.) 2 sets of five 30 second hills and a cool down. I keep my heart rate up, and my tush in shape.

Hit The Beach

The beach is amazing if you’re prone to impact injuries or if you just want a little extra resistance. If you’re near the sand dunes, I highly suggest putting in an hour of work on them.  No sand around? Go to a park and run on grass or dirt. There’s not a ton of resistance, but they are both easier on the joints than concrete.

Circuits


Find a bench that’s about 2 feet off the ground and start some circuit work. Rotate between dips, step-ups, burpees, box jumps, push-ups, wall sits, and core. Keep moving for at least 30 min.

Hiking

Grab a pair of sneakers and head to a local trail. There are many great things about hiking. 1. You can control the intensity of your workout based on your trail, 2. You get the added benefit of enjoying the scenery, and 3. It’s easy to convince friends to come along. Everyone loves a beautiful hike.

Stairs

If you’re in L.A., you can go to the Santa Monica or Culver City Stairs. If not, head to your local high school. Beginners should walk the first few times, but as soon as you’re ready, start running. I do 3 sets of 10 continuous up/downs. Fill your rest in between with core work.

Trial Classes

Ok, so you really want to take a class, but you aren’t sure that you want to invest the money? Many classes offer free trials. Dirty little secret: Right out of college, a friend and I class hopped, just taking the trial class of each fitness routine. I don’t necessarily suggest doing that, but remember that you can always try a class before you buy.


No matter how you choose to get your workout in, the most important thing is that you have fun and safely test your limits.  Keeping your workouts fun will ensure that you stick to your plan. Be sure to keep track of your heart rate. If you're aware of your resting heart rate, and heart rate during workouts, you'll be able to appropriately manage your intensity. Once you’ve gotten into your routine, don’t be afraid to bump up the intensity every once in awhile (with your doctor’s blessing of course). Your workout will get easier over time, but don’t just settle in your comfort zone. Mix it up!

Published in Health
Monday, 19 November 2012 01:47

Lifestyle | How To Keep Food Fridge Fresh

Lifestyle // November 19, 2012

Are you tired of spending money on food only to have it spoil before you eat it? Me too! Every year, American households throw away an average of 470 lbs. of food because of spoiling and poor storage. I don’t know about you, but 470 lbs. of food could feed me for a LONG time! Here are some ways to save yourself some cash when it comes to groceries!

Produce

Fruits and veggies should be stored separately in the crispers because the gases given off by different types could cause others to rot prematurely. To absorb moisture, lay a paper towel on the bottom of the drawer and replace when wet.

It is best to wrap leafy greens in a dry paper towel and then put in a perforated plastic bag and replace paper towel when it becomes moist. Tip: if you are looking for a lettuce that lasts longer, buy Romaine!

This great site I found lists fruits and vegetables and where they should be stored to last the longest. Check it out!

Dairy

DO NOT store dairy on the door of your fridge. The temperature from opening and closing the door is too warm for the very perishable items. Instead keep things like milk, butter and cheese in the body of the fridge where the temperature stays more consistent. Always keep cheese in the original container until opened, and then wrap in plastic and store in a plastic bag or airtight container.

Meat

Meat is something you should be very careful with since it can spoil easily and can cause illness when not handled properly. Always store meat in its original packaging and never place on top of where produce or other foods are kept.  If the package didn’t come with a tray, place a pan underneath to catch any drippings.
Tip: Freezing is a great way to keep meat fresh until you want to use it! Just make sure it’s in its original packaging or wrapped tightly.

Eggs

You know those little egg trays most refrigerators have on their door?? Or the cute ceramic trays you can buy at Sur La Table? DON’T use them. Eggs need to be stored in their original container as they are built with holes to keep air flowing. Also, like dairy, eggs can spoil quickly when in warm temperatures so it’s best to keep them off of the door and inside the fridge.

Fresh Herbs

Herbs are very similar to fresh flowers because they both need to be kept in water.   Trim the stems and place in a cup of cold water and put in the door of your fridge (since this is the warmest area). Change the water and re-trim every 1 or 2 days. Basil or mint store best when in water on the countertop. Always cover the tops of herbs with a loose plastic bag.

Leftovers

Store all leftovers in airtight, clear containers  (preferably glass!) and always refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking. It is best to divide food into small flat containers so that they cool faster, but waiting for the food to cool down before storing is unnecessary since most modern refrigerators can handle the heat! Also never store anything in an opened can. Once the can is open, metal on the rim can leech into the food.

Since I started researching how to keep foods fresh longer I have had to throw away WAY less food, which is much better for the environment and my pocket! I have also found that my fruits and vegetables taste better and I eat them more often. So it’s a win for my waistline too!



Published in Lifestyle
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