Health

Summertime Safety Alert: Applying Sunscreen may increase cancer risk

June 2, 2010 Health, Other 1 Comment

If you’re a skin care junky, then you’ll love a peak at what’s on my beauty dresser. I have collected so many beauty products in the last few years while attending Esthetic conferences and trade shows. If you’re looking for a tingly, feel good cleanser, then I got it! How about a refreshing toner? Want to try the closest thing to botox moisturizer? Oooo, how about a vegetabl e-based exfoliating scrub! Got acne? I have just the stuff to make that inflamed pimple disappear by the time you wake up!

Yes, I have it all except one thing…. sunscreen.

ghadafaceI am constantly being yelled out by fellow skin care professionals for not owning and/or applying sun screen regularly. Before you jump to judging me, let me plead my case :)

Sun damage is one of the key factors to premature aging and may increase the risk for skin cancer. Note… I said sun “damage”.

I am a big believer of moderate daily sun exposure to boost my Vitamin D and enhance my mood. I am however against frequent visits to the tanning beds and laying hours on the beach under a cloudless sky. I’m not saying that you’ll never find me relaxing on the beach, but it’s only a few times a year. In addition to my moderate sun exposure, I always apply mineral makeup which naturally contains an SPF 15 or higher depending on the powder.

According to a new study, the number of skin cancer incidents continue to increase even though sun screen use remains popular. The study revealed that people who apply sun screen, tend to sun bathe much longer than individuals who don’t.

Another study conducted by a British Biochemist also revealed that ingredients in sun screen may actually be causing more damage than protecting your skin. The study showed that some ingredients found in sun care products were reacting on the skin and causing free radical damage that could lead to cancer.

Soon after the release of this information, the Health Education Authority jumped to the accusation that the study was spreading confusing messages and stood by the importance of sunscreen.

So what’s the answer?

Health Experts are still advocating that individuals cover up, use sunscreen and avoid excess sun exposure.

What’s my answer….. be moderate, cover up, and get spray tanned! Make sure it’s a good spray tan though, because an orange, Jersey shore skin tone is not that cute..

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SUMMER SLIM DOWN: Healthy menu choices no matter where you eat

May 8, 2010 Diet, Health, Other 3 Comments

Go ahead!

Pick a restaurant, any restaurant! I double dare you that I can find something figure friendly and delicious to eat.

In today’s post, I’m going to list a few types of commonly eaten cuisines, some of the not so figure friendly choices that are popular, then give you a few healthier options to order instead.

On a cheat day, the less healthier items sure are delicioso, but eating like this everyday will surely pack on the pounds.

Ready to chow down with me?

Let’s do Mexican!

NOT SO FIGURE FRIENDLY FOOD ITEMS: When dining Mexican, most people might order a Quesadilla with lots of cheese, fried chamichangas, overly stuffed burritos with guac and chips, or even a side of refried beans. Oh, and let’s not forget a bottle of Mexican DOS EQUIS XX.

FIGURE FRIENDLY ITEMS: When dining mexican, I love ordering healthier items like a refreshing seafood ceviche dressed in lime with low fat crackers (see image), chicken tortilla soup minus the fried tortilla strips and sour cream, a side of black beans and rice, fresh tomato salsa to mix with a little guac since avocados are calorie dense, and some grilled chicken, fish or shrimp fajitas with corn tortillas (less fat than flour tortillas).

Let’s do Chinese!

NOT SO FIGURE FRIENDLY FOOD ITEMS: Before I learned about “calories”, my favorite item was …. yup…. General Tso’s Chicken! OMG… did you know that one serving of that stuff is over 1000 calories! Other calorie loaded items include fried egg rolls, fried rice, and sweet & sour chicken.

FIGURE FRIENDLY ITEMS: Believe it or not, I get Chinese take out all the time. I always order steamed chicken and vegetables with garlic sauce on the side. Other figure friendly items include steamed dumplings, wonton soup (see image), vegetable soup, steamed rice and even some chicken on a stick.

Let’s do Italian!

NOT SO FIGURE FRIENDLY FOOD ITEMS: Some of the most popular ordered items are fried calamari, linguine with creamy alfredo, fried chicken parmesan with carb-loaded pasta, garlic bread and even a decadent ricotta-filled canolli.

FIGURE FRIENDLY ITEMS. I love Italian! You’ll always find something healthy on my plate when I’m dining Italian. Instead of fried, I ask for grilled calamari sauteed in some olive oil and garlic with a side of broccoli rabe or steamed mussels in light white wine sauce (see image). If I’m craving pasta, then I’ll order a light pasta primavera (tomatoes and veggies). Chicken or veal marsala with mushrooms are always great light choices, and for dessert, I love me some cappuccino with skim milk and zero calorie sweetener.

Let’s do late night Diners!

NOT SO FIGURE FRIENDLY FOOD ITEMS: After a long fun night at a concert or club, you and your friends decide to head to a diner to keep the party going. Diners are known to serve huge portions and lots of grease if you order the wrong item. Popular late night choices range from breakfast foods like scrambled eggs, greasy sausage, homefries and buttered toast, to fast and easy fried foods like chicken wings, cheese burgers and loaded fries, and let’s not forget that thick milkshake…….

FIGURE FRIENDLY ITEMS: Diners offer hundreds of items on their giant 10 page menu. When I find myself sitting at a diner at 2 am, I usually order  a veggie omelette minus the homefries and meat. I also ask my waiter to use very little or no oil (dry). Other healthy options include grilled chicken salads, cottage cheese and fruits, oatmeal and raisins, or even a turkey burger minus half the bun. Soups are also great if they’re broth-based like chicken soup or hearty vegetable.

Regardless of where you dine, I promise there are more than a few healthy and delicious items to choose from.

If you’re still stumped on what to order at your regular eating spots, then email me and I’ll try to help you out!

Click here for more great tips on making better dining choices.

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SUMMER SLIM DOWN: Stay on track while dining out

April 27, 2010 Diet, fitness, Health, Other 1 Comment

Yay for Spring!

The winter clothes are packed away, the cute sweaters and flip flops are out, and meeting friends for a quick bite after work just seems like the most appropriate thing to do under the peaceful sunny sky.

Breaking up the work week with a fun-filled evening is extremely therapeutic to the mind, but can also cause damage to your summer slim down plan if you’re not prepared.

“Dining out” and “dieting”  sounds like an oxy moron but no worries! I’m goint to share some tips and tricks to make your eating experience fun, satisfying while staying on track.

Let’s paint a likely scenario and walk through it together!

Ok… so you’re sitting at your cubicle and you get a facebook alert. It’s a message from Jenny! She’s inviting you to a last minute get together after work.

Hey chicas! It’s gorgeous out and you’re all invited to the Irish Pub on Main Street for dinner and drinks! See you at 5:30

After hours at your desk and tanning under those florescent lights, of course you’re up for a good time so you message back “Yay! See you then!”

Rewind…. Jenny wrote: “Irish Pub”

When someone mentions “Irish Pub”, I automatically think specialty beers and lots of fried bar food, two menu items that can definitely pack on the pounds if you’re not careful!

Step 1: GOOGLE the restaurant! Most restaurants have web sites so this is usually not an issue.

Step 2: Download the menu and get your high lighter pen ready!

Step 3: Mark a few healthy items that you find appetizing but healthy. Most Irish pubs offer beef stews, salads and burgers in addition to the fish and chips, mashers and other fried yumminess :)

Personally, I usually order a bowl of hearty chilli minus the cheese and sour cream. Other options I might choose are turkey burgers without bread and a side salad, or something of the “kid’s menu” like a peanut butter sandwich :)

Step 4:  Eat before eating out! Before heading to dinner, I like to bite into an apple or half a protein bar to prevent overeating and diverting from my plan.

Step 5: Limit sugary drinks and alcohol consumption. Depending on the beverage and how much you chug down, you might be adding hundreds of calories to your day. There’s nothing wrong with a feel-good drink as long as you’re moderate and aware of the calories.

If you’re craving a beer, then go for it! But only go for one if you’re watching you’re weight. There are plenty of light and low carb beers like Michelob Ultra and Bud light that are less than 100 calories each. If you do choose a heavier beer (150-200 calories), then make sure to order a healthy appetizer like grilled chicken or non-cream based soup like vegetable or chicken noodle.

If you’re not into beer, then go for a glass of red wine or clear liquor like vodka. If you’re not into alcohol, then lucky you! Your options are H2O, seltzer water, unsweetened iced tea or diet soda.  NO PINA COLADAS! (Unless you’ve already calculated the calories in your day)

Step 6: Limit dessert after dinner and drinks. After your waitress clears your table, be ready for that final temptation…. DESSERT!

On my cheat day, I would totally ask my waitress to run down my dessert options, but on weekdays… I prefer to be good :) It’s only habitual that my taste buds crave sweets, so I’m always prepared for these moments.

First saving tip, always keep sugar free candy in your bag to pop in your mouth after dinner. 2nd tip/trick: Order a cappuccino with skim milk and add a packet of zero calorie sweetener. A few sips of this warm fake dessert will cut sugar cravings in seconds!

Step 7: LEAVE the bar or scene. Lingering around a bar longer than you should will more than likely tempt you to say “AH WHY NOT! BRING ON MORE BEER!” lol.. Once again, if this is your cheat day then drink up Charlie! But…. it’s not! If you have awesome will power, then you can stay as long as you want :)

Step 8: Drive home safely and unwind. You had a great night and hopefully, you kept your promise of staying good. If you did, then go you! If you didn’t, then no worries. Tomorrow is another day!

Trust me, I have my shares of going overboard when dining out! Instead of being hard on myself, I just appreciate and acknowledge the delicious calories that went into my mouth and make up for it the next day. The morning after a binge night usually consists of a low fat, low calorie meal plan to counteract any damage that I did lol…  (Example: Breakfast: egg white veggie omelette no toast, snack: low carb protein bar, lunch: grilled chicken salad with fat free dressing, snack: cut veggies and dinner: poached fish and veggies)

At the end of the day, enjoy life but remember that health is priceless.

xoxo

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SUMMER SLIM DOWN: Snack ideas

April 16, 2010 coconut coco cream protein bars (sugar & gluten fre, Diet, Health, Other 2 Comments

Don’t make losing weight torturous for yourself. There are endless options of delicious, low calorie snacks that you can bite into and still reach your goal.

The caloric amount of a “snack” can vary from person to person depending on how their meals are planned. Individuals who eat 5-6 mini meals might consider a snack to have 2-300 calories, and a person who eats 3 main meals and two snacks throughout the day might eat snacks that are only 100 calories.

Below, I have showcased some of my favorite snacks that I like to incorporate into my summer slim down months.

Let’s start snacking!

Rice Cakes!

Whole grain rice cakes are crunchy and hearty. Depending on the brand, each rice may only have 35 calories.

My favorite way of eating this complex carb is to top it with some peanut butter and sugar free raspberry jelly.

Sugar Free Jello

When I’m craving something sweet without adding more sugar into my day, I love me some jello.

Check out this Sugar free, 10 calorie cup of jell-o! After a long day, I deserve a sweet guilt-free treat!

EDAMAME!!!

What did you say about my momma!

ha ha.. ok that was a stupid attempt of a joke… anyway, I love these Asian treasures. A handful of these soybean pods are only a 100 calories,  packed with protein and so much fun to eat. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, sprinkle a little salt on these and munch away.

Pickles

Snooky from the Jersey Shore loves these!

Dill pickles are low in calories and contain fiber and anti-oxidants. Don’t forget, that these guys used to be cucumbers.

For a snack, I like to have a few slices of deli turkey cuts with few crisp dill pickles.

Eggs

I like to boil a few of these little guys and have 1 or two as my snack with a few slices of cucumbers or even with a toasted whole grain bread. Eggs are excellent sources of protein and studies have shown that eating two eggs for breakfast everyday can help you eat less throughout the day and lose up to  20 pounds in a year! Plus…. they’re just yummy! If you’re looking to cut more calories, you can try one egg or just egg whites. For best savings, buy a chicken (they’ll hook you up with 2-3 eggs a day).

LOW CARB PROTEIN SHAKES/ BARS

Protein shakes and bars can boost weight loss efforts, suppress your appetite and sugar cravings and help stabilize your glucose levels. When choosing a protein supplement, I like to make sure that it’s low in sugar, moderate in protein and excellent in taste!

One of my top favorite shakes is EAS AdvantEDGE “carb control” vanilla that has 17g of protein and only 2 g of Net Impact carbs. For a delicious sugar free, low carb protein bar, try Coconut Coco Cream that has 18g of Protein and 2 g of Net Impact carbs. A few bites will leave you satisfied for hours!

COOL WHIP

If a piece of fruit bores you, then get some of this sugar free Cool Whip and spunk it up!

1 tablespoon of these creamy fluff is only 10 calories! Try it with some wild berries, juicy peach chunks or even some ripe mango slices.

BEANS!

My mom makes a mean three-bean salad that’s packed with fiber, protein and anti-oxidants. I could eat this refreshing, tangy cup of bean salad everyday!

If you’re a bean lover, try a few tablespoons of hummus with your veggie cuts or a bowl of black bean soup.

Speaking of Soup…. LOW CALORIE SOUP!

This whole can is only 200 calories and full of yumminess!

Select Harvest offers so many varieties of “light” soups that incorporate lean protein, healthy veggies and whole grains.

I like to make my own homemade chicken soup, but if you’re pressed on time, this is the perfect can to pick up. The easy peel off top makes life so much easier too!

Other snack ideas are:

  • sliced cucumbers
  • non fat yogurt
  • 1 serving of fruit
  • 1 serving of plain oatmeal w/ sweetener
  • Low fat string cheese
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Low calorie Pop corn
  • Celery & peanut butter
  • whole grain crackers

What’s your favorite snack?

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SUMMER SLIM DOWN: Sample Meal Plan

April 11, 2010 Diet, fitness, Health, Other Leave a comment

A few days ago, I gave you a few pointers on how to kick start your slim down for the coming Summer months, so today I wanted to give you an example of a simple meal plan that anyone can follow.

This sweet and simple meal plan includes well-balanced mini meals, healthy snacks and nutrient dense veggies that will help boost your weight loss efforts while keeping your cravings at bay.

Follow this eating style for a few weeks and watch your body transform!

Breakfast: Egg white, spinach, tomato and cheese sandwich.

If you haven’t tried Arnold’s multi-grain 100 calorie thins, then you better get on it!

I love this comforting delicious sandwich in the morning. cook up a 1/2 cup of egg whites, top it with a bunch of spinach, a few pieces of sun dried tomatoes and a slice of low fat cheese (or not).

To cut my sweet cravings after this, I sip on some green tea or coffee.

Snack: CARB-CONSCIOUS Coconut Coco Cream Protein bars.

This snack is actually my early afternoon dessert. I like to pair this delicious sugar free protein bar with a cup of hot coffee dressed with non-dairy creamer and a packet of sweetener like Equal or Stevia. This is a perfect snack for individuals looking to cut calories, carbs or just craving a guilt-free sweet snack. Click here to buy

Late lunch: Thai grilled chicken wrap

Stuff a low carb whole wheat tortilla, with grilled chicken, cucumbers, bean sprouts, cabbage and any other low calorie veggie.

Dress it up with a tangy balsamic or ginger dressing.

If you’re still hungry, try drinking a cup of low sodium V8 juice or drink an unsweetened flavored ice tea.

Dinner: Grilled Tilapia and steamed asparagus, topped with cherry tomatoes and pine nuts.

A great slim down technique is to cut down on carbs after 5 pm. For dinner, I like to combine lean protein with plenty of veggies!

Try a lean, low-fat piece of fish like tilapia and nutrient-dense veggies like asparagus.

Late night snack (if you’re starving)

Depending on how active your day was, you might find yourself hungry a few hours after your lean dinner.  I also try to keep my late night snacks low in calories and carbs to minimize fat storage while sleeping.

Try a non-fat plain FAGE yogurt that’s packed with protein to help build lean sexy muscles. If you don’t like the plain taste, try a little sweetener or 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder give it  a pudding-like taste.

Mixing a scoop of low carb, sugar free protein into your yogurt will give it a creamy, pudding-like texture and delicious dessert-like taste.

Other late night snack examples are: sweet red pepper slices w/ hummus, protein shake, protein bar, steamed veggies, 1 oz low fat string cheese.

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SUMMER SLIM DOWN TIME! let’s do it together!

April 11, 2010 Diet, fitness, Health, Other Leave a comment

The summer time can be a fun-filled time with friends, family and sun, but if you’re feeling self conscience about the way you look and how your clothes are fitting, then this time of year can be just the opposite.

All the stores have already launched their Summer collections of cute sun dresses, short shorts and colorful swim wear, making you even more anxious about the upcoming season.

This time of the year used to make me so anxious! I would pray that mother nature would send us an unexpected snow storm to buy me more time to fit into that sun dress.

In the last few weeks, I have received quite a few emails from readers requesting quick slim down tips before heading out to a scheduled vacation, summer getaway and even a friend’s wedding, so I thought this was a good time to post some helpful tips on how to boost your weight loss and confidence for the Summer months.

Breathe and relax. Stress will only cause cortisol levels to increase and lead to not-so-cute belly fat. If you need to sip some wine, get a massage or even do some yoga poses, do it! Time is precious and should not be wasted over meaningless stress.

Example of how I relax: During my work day, I take 30 minutes to sit alone, preferably near a sunny window to slowly eat my healthy lunch which is usually grilled chicken, green veggies and some nutty brown rice. Working out with my trainer Lisa after also diverts any stress in my life and converts it into heart pumping time.

Be Realistic. Stop comparing yourself to the airbrushed, size 0 models on the TV commercials. Your goal should be looking and feeling better. Beauty comes in different colors and sizes, so make the best of what you have.

Example of my realistic goal: Since I’m a curvy girl, I concentrate on more squats, lunges and butt work to make my jiggly curves more lean and tone.

Commit and take action. Stop blaming the diets, it’s you! Acknowledging that you are in control is a key step to achieving a better self and body. You are amazing and capable of anything if you put your mind to it, so pull out that note pad and start setting your goals.

Example of how I commit and take action: I love making promises to myself. “I promise that I won’t order dessert after dinner!” “I promise to add 15 more minutes of cardio this week” “I promise to eat more veggies!”

Nutrition. Whenever people hear the words “diet” and “nutrition” it always sparks a torturous way of life. Why!!!! Food is amazing!  There are so many options that are both figure friendly and oh so yummy. When losing weight, my biggest weight loss tip is CALORIES IN… CALORIES OUT.

If you monitor your calories and eat well-balanced meals  full of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats, I promise your body will naturally respond to your efforts.

Example of my eating habits: I always prep my meals for the work week and stay within my calorie needs. My favorite protein sources are grilled chicken, protein bars (coconut coco cream :) ) and greek yogurt. My favorite fibrous veggies are cauliflower and zucchinis because they’re so easy to cook or steam. My favorite complex carbs are brown rice, sweet potatoes and oats.

Exercise. Unless you are on bed rest, there is no excuse for a healthy individual not to get 20-30 minutes worth of physical activity during the day. You have so many options from taking a fast, brisk walk before dinner, walking up and down the stairs a few times in your work building, or even jumping rope in your living room. Mark out a time slot during your day and force yourself to start. Sometimes, it’s all about routine and once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll find yourself looking forward to it.

Example of my favorite exercises: I love weight training! Resistance training is an amazing way to sculpt lean, sexy muscles while boosting metabolism. If you’re a women who’s scared to bulk up then I just want you to trust me when I say it’s not that easy to. In order to bulk up, you must consume more calories and up your protein.

When it comes to losing weight, it’s easy to get caught up in the vanity so bring it back down to earth and love life. Enjoy the people that mean the world to you and don’t let life pass you by. Lose the weight to be healthier. Looking good and feeling better will be a guaranteed side effect.


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MY NEW YORK RAW EXPERIENCE Mmmmm

March 22, 2010 About me, Diet, Health, Other Leave a comment

Whenever I’m traveling with others, I always consider their eating preferences before choosing a restaurant. Since my palette is accepting to most flavors and textures, I’m down to eat anywhere as long as the eatery offers fresh, delicious, quality-controlled meals.

One of my coworkers highly favors “raw” and “vegan” cuisine, so I searched for restaurants in NYC that offered just that. A few places came up online, but one stood out from the rest!

caravanpicRated 4 out of 5 stars, Caravan of Dreams won my restaurant pick of the weekend!

Before I start raving about my dining experience, let’s briefly explain what “raw” food really means.

The Raw Food diet consists of raw foods that are whole and live, nutrient-dense, uncooked and unprocessed. Raw Food followers believe that the body operates at its optimum by eating this way. Cooking foods and altering their state can cause toxicity in the body.

The Vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, and is free of animal products like meat, eggs and sometimes even dairy depending on the type of vegetarian diet (octo, lacto..etc).

Personally, this foodie prefers to have it all! Whether it’s raw veggie slices or a piece of deep fried chicken. Moderation is key! Plus, I can’t imagine giving up my Mommy’s mouth watering lamb dinners, complimented with a side of stuffed grape leaves.

Ok… Let’s start drooling over the meals I ordered at Caravan of Dreams!
raw7The restaurant was located on 405 6th Street in New York City, on a quaint block surrounded by other similar unique eateries. The cute earthy looking waitress walked us through a romantically dim room to our corner table in the back. Another thing that attracted me to this spot was that they featured live music. That night, Mr. Piano man rocked out some tunes that set a fun mood while I munched away.

The menu was quite extensive and offered appetizing tapa-like dishes, soups, entrees and even fresh mouth watering juice blends.

It was hard making a decision, but I think my ladies and I picked some excellent choices to share!

raw1Here’s what we ordered :)

Warm Quinoa soup with sprouted bread

I’m usually good at pinpointing flavors and ingredients in dishes, but this was a bit tricky. Visually, I thought that it would taste like lentil soup but I was way off. It was almost like a light fine barley potato soup with very little lingering flavors. Unlike most soups that fill you up before your main meal, this one put just enough in your belly to hold you over until the dish was served.

For our Main Courses, we decided to order three vegan entrees and share the yumminess :)

raw6CARAVAN FEAST: Grilled carrot polenta, ali-oli, grilled tempeh, tahini, blanched vegetables

OMG! This one was out of this world… Laid on top of sauteed kale greens, this triangular hot piece of carrot polenta was so moist and flavorful. What made it even more delicious was the glop of cool garlic tahini that resembled the texture of whip cream that offset the warmth of the polenta.

Can I say it one more time… OMG!!!!

raw2

SHIITAKE STIR FRY Kombu noodles, vegetables, sesame, tamari, balsamic vinegar

Mushrooms are not only delicious, but they’re anti-cancerous and immunity boosters so I try to order them when I can.

The shiitake mushrooms were lightly tossed in balsamic and served among these weird looking “Kombu” noodles which I found out were made of seaweed. Similar to tofu, they sucked the flavors around it and added a different texture to the meal. It almost tasted like tougher linguine. This dish also had chopped broccoli and red cabbage making it even more nutrient dense.

If you’re on a low carb diet, this dish is perfect!

Last but not least…..

raw3GINGER CURRY STIR FRY with sautéed vegetables and seitan

Ginger and curry are amazing anti-inflammatory spices that also boost immunity. The pungent spices have also been shown to aid in weight loss so of course they’re on my favorites list :)

The ginger, curry glazed seitan (wheat rubbery fake meat) is topped on a bed of soba wheat noodles and veggies.

Even though this dish was yummy, I would suggest ordering something more exotic since you can find this combo at most vegetarian Asian spots.

After every bite was devoured, my belly still felt light, yet satisfied. I highly recommend this Vegan/Raw eatery to everyone even if you’re a carnivore like myself :) Just because it’s vegan, doesn’t meant that you’re not getting your recommended daily allowance of protein. In fact, I got more than enough. The Quinoa, Seitan and wheat noodles all contained enough protein to help with building and recovering my muscles.

When it comes to food or life, I prefer to open my eyes and taste buds to all it has to offer. I want a bite of it all! (in moderation of course)

Bon appetite!

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First Stop: NEW YORK CITY. Check out my NEW skin care favorites!

March 14, 2010 Beauty, Diet, fitness, Health, Other Leave a comment

It’s travel time again for me!

Last week, I spent a few days in New York City, and in the next few months I will be flying to Chicago, Las Vegas, California and just added to my itenerary…. Nebraska!! While visiting each of these cities, I’ll try my best to seek out unique attractions and dining experiences to share with you.

First stop: New York City

Last week, I attended the International Esthetics Conference at the Jacob Javits Center where businesses showcased the lastest in skin care technology. The Esthetics Show attracted thousands of skin care professionals and business owners looking to gain new knowledge on skin care services and innovative technology to boost business and sales.

After three days of walking the show aisles and collecting information, I narrowed down my favorite findings to share with you!

PURE INVENTIONS: White Tea & Blueberry

Beautify your skin from the inside with Pure Invention’s tea extracts. This little bottle fits perfectly into my purse and provides 60 servings of anti-oxidants (White Tea, Blueberry & Elderberry Extract).

If you missed my post on the recent weight loss and health benefits linked to White tea then click here to read more.

A recent study published in the journal of Nutrition and Metabolism revealed exciting results regarding white tea and weight loss. White tea showed to “inhibit adipogenesis and stimulate lipolysis-activity”, meaning that it stops the development of fat cells leading to a decrease in fat storage.

LING’S Moisture Plenish (Cell repare)

This hydrating serum was formulated by the 50 year old Asian Beauty Queen and celebrity facialist LING Chan. From Hong Kong to New York, LING has transformed many faces and lives. Not only does she continue to produce amazing products, but also donates to charities worldwide. I love LING! Read more on her inspiring story by clicking here.

Oh! A drop of this Hyaluronic infused serum is the perfect moisture boost before applying your moisturizer. Love it!!!

BODI PURE: BODY POLISH

This next product is manufactured and sold by a lovable husband and wife team. Yin Yoo and his wife have created a great line of body line products targeted to spas and nail salons. My favorite product of theirs is the “Body Polish”, a blend of hydrating baking soda particles that exfoliate my skin while infusing a moisture to my skin. I always feel baby smooth and soft after every bath. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

MEG 21 BRIGHT & FIRM Eye Treatment

This silky soothing eye treatment was unexpectedly discovered through diabetes research at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. MEG 21 contains a patented ingredient called Supplamine that targets the harmful effects caused by Glycation (when sugar binds with proteins and leads to inflammation, wrinkles, sagging and more).

This little cute jar lasts me around two months and helps give my eye area an energizing boost, reducing puffiness and dark circles while adding moisture.

CIRCADIA’s PHERADORE

I’ve read and watched so many educational programs on the role of pheromones and attracting the opposite sex. Pheromones are also responsible for feeling calm and cool, something I’m all about. This next product was created by skin expert Dr. Pugliese of Circadia. PherAdore is a yling-ylang scented roll on scent that contains four genetically engineered pheramones that should be applied twice a day on areas like the upper lip, around your nose, neck or even the wrists. The gentle scent can easily be combined with your favorite fragrance.

Whether this product truly works, I still love the ying-ylang smell. Roll it on, and instantly feel attractive :)

Like I mentioned earlier, I have a few stops in the next few months and I’ll do my best to seek out new findings for you. If you stumble upon any interesting products, please feel free to leave a comment and share with the rest of us skin junkies.

xoxo

.



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from my mommy’s kitchen to yours! You have to try these dishes!

February 15, 2010 About me, Diet, Health, Other 1 Comment

Food is one of the most amazing wonders of this world! I love it all! Every culture somehow perfected their own style of cooking, flavors, herbs and spice blends.

I try to surround myself with worldly people to get the most variety in my dishes.

My Japanese friends make the best Sushi Boat filled with various lean raw and cooked seafood rolled or topped on sticky rice. My Ethiopian friends introduced me to the Injera crepe-like bread that provides fiber and nutrients with a hint of sour dough taste. My spicy latina girls hooked me up with the tastiest rice and beans and fried plantains. Oooo, let’s not forget about my Italianos and Jersey Shore crew! Mmmm.. the taste of homemade pasta and meatballs! My Indian friends throw in extra curry and spices into my vegetable stew and freshly serve me that delicious garlic N’aan. My Americans! I love you! On cheat days, I love nothing more than a Philly chicken cheese steak with fried mushrooms and onions! Mmmm… I can go on forever if you let me, but I’ll spare you :)

One of my favorite cooks in the world after Chef Ramsey, is my Mommy! Every bite into her food sparks “I love you” and memories of growing up in the Middle East. The Arabs definitely deserve props for their culinary skills. The food concoctions are not only infused with unique flavors and delicious taste, but also with immune boosting herbs and spices.

Most people might think that my Middle Eastern diet consists of Hummus, Falafel and Tabouleh. Yes, I have these dishes from time to time, but  they’re not on top of my list when it comes to Middle Eastern Cuisine. Depending on the region, food preparation can be quite different.

Since my mommy is Palestinian, her touch in cooking tastes different from Lebanese, Egyptian or even Moroccan Cuisine. She uses different spice blends like nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin and fenugreek. Her favorite herbs are dill, cilantro, parsley and mint.

It would be a shame to keep my Mommy’s dishes a secret, so below I have listed a few of my favorites!

KOOSA!

Koosa in arabic translates to Zucchini. Koosa is also the name of this dish. My mommy stuffs small to medium zucchini with rice, lamb and spices, then lays them in a deep pot to simmer and stew with lamb and tomato paste. If you like grape leaves, you’ll fall in love with Koosa bites!

Click on the image for a similar recipe.

MA’ALOUBEH! In arabic, this translates to “turn over or upside down”. This delicious rice, chicken and vegetable concoction is popular during family gatherings.  In a large pot, vegetables like eggplants, cauliflower and green peppers are laid on layered on the bottom, followed by chicken and rice. The meal is then cooked on low heat until complete. When it’s time to eat, the pot is “turned over” and served “upside down”. Toasted pine nuts and almonds are usually sprinkled on top and garnished with parsley. Ma’aloubeh can be eaten plain or with a side of Laban (greek yogurt) and salad.

MLOUKHIEH!

Seriously, I can eat this dish everyday if I could! Mloukhieh, or Jews Mallow is a spinach like plant that is popular in the middle east. It is usually simmered in onions, garlic and chicken. When the soup is complete, it’s usually topped on basmatic rice. At our house, my mommy would sprinkle toasted or fried pita bits then finish the dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This dish is perfectly well-balanced

M’SAKHAN! If you’re looking for a delicious cheat meal, this one should be on top of your list!

This dish consists of oven baked bread topped with olive oil, sauteed onions in spices like nutmeg, sumac and cinnamon, then finished with spiced chicken and toasted nuts. This dish is also served with a side of fresh Laban (greek yogurt) to compliment the flavors.

FATAYER! This pastry is usually served as an appetizer along with the main course. This doughy triangle is usually filled with nutmeg spiced spinach and onions, different cheeses or even pomegranate infused ground meat.  Fatayer are usually served fresh out of the oven and into your mouth…

Mmmmm… they’re delicious!!! My favorite ones are the spinach :)

There are endless recipes that I know you’ll love, but unfortunately I can’t fit them all on this page. My suggestion is to make friends with an Arabic family and crash one of their gatherings! Arabs are very hospitable and will be more than happy to have you as their guest. Be prepared to pack on a few pounds if you become a regular lol…

Here are a few more of my favorite dishes that you can Google :)

  • MAFTOOL (Couscous, chickpeas & Chicken in tomato and onions)
  • KOFTA (ground meat in tomato or tahini sauce)
  • BAMIEH (stewed okra and lamb on basmati rice)
  • M’JADARA (Rice & lentils, topped with sweet onions and served with Laban)

If you’ve experienced these dishes already, I would love to hear your thoughts!!!



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Could your sneakers be causing your joints more damage?

January 28, 2010 Diet, fitness, Health, Other Leave a comment

runner-3

If you’re a gym goer, especially a runner, I know that you consider your sneakers vital to your workout. You have special running shoes, weight lifting shoes and even ones for that intense spinning class.

Companies are constantly marketing new technologies in shoes that will give you better comfort, support and even build you a better butt! ree

Mentally, when I put on my Nike Zooms, I feel like a butterfly on that treadmill and feel that my joints and bones are prone to less pressure and damage.

Apparently, the next study is negating what I just said, in fact it suggests that sneakers are bad for you!!!

What?

The following study was published in the Dec. 2009 issue of the PM&R, the journal of American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

According to Dr. Casey Kerrigan and fellow researchers at the University of Virginia, running barefoot puts less torque/ pressure on your cartilage and joints.

The study involved 37 women and 31 men who average 15 miles per week in recreational running. They were all asked to run on “scale-like” treadmill as their torque and twists were evaluated by some device.

The researchers found an increase in this torque for the knees, hips and ankles when the participants were wearing running shoes as compared with when they were running barefoot

The study showed that wearing sneakers caused a 38% increase in torque which was surprisingly more than walking in heels which was only 20-26%

So what’s the solution? Do we take our sneakers off and walk and run barefoot everywhere? Won’t I get cracked heels and constantly need a pedi egg to scruff them? what if I step on glass!! Not cute…

Dr. Kerrigan is not promoting running barefoot, but the simplest shoe may be fine as long as it supports the foot from other injuries like shin splints.

Dr. Kerrigan also went on tell interviewers that she believes she has the answer to a better shoe and that she’s already in the process of designing them through a manufacturing company.

Hmmm…. what do I think?

nikeairzoomWell, I was started to believe Dr. Kerrigan for a few seconds until I read the part about her “new shoe”… Now I think it’s just an advertisement ploy to put money in her pocket..

I think I’ll continue to rock my Nike Zooms!!!

If you’re concerned with the breakdown of your joints caused by running, then try lower impact cardio like the elliptical or even swimming. In addition to low impact exercise, make sure you’re well nourished and that your diet is rich in Vitamin D and Calcium to help with stronger bones :)

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Click here to read how Kale is King of greens and how its Packed with Calcium.

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