CVS BH117 Reinventing Beauty Magazine 3rd Quarter, 2010

Page 1

MEDITATION: The Stress-free Zone page 72



EYE CARE: The ABC’s of G ood E ye C are page 75


DIAGNOSIS: How to H ave a H appy and Healthy Baby page 78

CELLPHONES: The Best Plans and Phones page 92


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Your Way


on love, work and what makes her happy


Steps to


Your Own


at home


Your Guide to


FASHION Kristen Stewart

Twilight Saga


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contents style



Fashion Guide Fall Fashion Guide . .............................................. From monotones to bright colors, the season has style secrets for everyone


Celeb view Sequins and Sparkles .............................................. Shake up the red carpet with some sparkle


Beauty Be a Professional Hair Colorist at Home Coloring your hair yourself is much easier than you think

....................... 34

Beauty Transcending Makeup: Minerals, Minerals Makeup fanatics love loose powder foundations and blushes

Everywhere ..... 42

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©2010 P&G

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D-I-Y Project Knitting a Scarf is as Easy steps to create a perfect winter scarf

Easy as 1-2-3 . .................... 46

Cooking Crock-Pots and the ABC's of Slow Cooking Serious gourmet chefs delve into the world of slow cooking Cover image\


. ............... 54

Crunch Your Way to Health:The Truth about Nuts..... 58

The healthy benefits of nuts

Kitchen In the Kitchen: Tips on Organizing and Maintaining your Kitchen...................................................................... 60 Culinary perfection is just a matter of organization


Recession-Proof Your Mood: 5 Simple Steps............ 64

Steady-on toward understanding how to stay connected and happy


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Fitness Outdoor Fitness: Hike, Bike and Walk Your Way Thin . ............................ 66



Travel Family

Journeys: Cruising the Blue Seas.............................................. 86

Surprisingly affordable way to take the family on vacation

Hike and bike your way into shape Meditation Stress-free Zone . ....................... Daily meditation is key to creating inner strength


The ABC's of Good Eye Care ........ 75

Celeb close-up Katherine More than just a pretty face

Heigl . .................... 88

Eating well is central to having healthy eyes

Vampires The Golden Age of Vampires America has always had a thing for horror movies

Workout The Elusive Six-Pack How to get the abs you want

.................... 84

Bio Kristen Stewart ................................. At 20, she's the heroine of the Twilight saga!


to Have a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy................................... 78

Finance Smart Shopping: Smartphones....... The skinny on the best phone and plan


Eye Care

Diagnosis How

Our guide to keeping you and your baby healthy Jennifer Cassetty Freshman 15:Fact Jen gets to the bottom of the myths


or Fiction?... 82

........ 90

Should Your Medical Records Go Digital?............................................ 96

Last Word

Efficacy versus privacy: which will win out?

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editorial EDITOR Charu Suri ASSOCIATE EDITOR Hawley Hilton McAuliffe CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jesse Parris Graphics Designer Aneta Skrzela Fitness Coach Hilton J. McAuliffe PHOTOGRAPHER Conrad Hilton, III GENERAL OFFICES 346 N. Main St., Port Chester, NY 10573 TEL (914) 935-1000 FAX (914) 935-1054 FLORIDA OFFICE John “Jack” McAuliffe, Manager 5605 South Flagler Drive W. Palm Beach, FL 33405-3332 TEL (561) 540-4400 FAX (561) 586-2111 NEW YORK OFFICE 88 Leonard Street #1102 New York, NY 10013

Member, NACDS

National Association of Chain Drug Stores Direct all inquiries to the publisher, John McAuliffe, Beauty Handbook/CSC. ©2009 Compendium Systems Corporation. The entire contents of this publication are copyrighted in the United States and countries signatory to the Berne Convention and to the Pan American Convention. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. Comments? Email us at Some of the items advertised in this issue may not be available in this store. If this is the case, the store personnel will be happy to suggest a similar item.

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advisory board Alan Adler HAIR STYLE Alan Adler has been a New York City stylist/perm specialist for more than 20 years. His roster of celebrity clientele includes Mary Steenburgen, Teri Garr and Maureen McGovern. Working exclusively out of New York City’s Gerard Bollei Salon, Adler’s focus is on total image updating. In this capacity, he has taught many classes and has been cited in numerous publications.

Dr. Dennis Evangelatos MEDICINE Dennis Evangelatos received his doctorate of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles Medical School. He has a private practice in Beverly Hills, California, and also serves as assistant clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA Medical School.

Dr. Lenora Felderman DERMATOLOGY Lenora Felderman practices adult and pediatric dermatology in New York City, where she is also a clinical instructor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Carole Jackson COLOR Carole Jackson, founder of Color Me Beautiful Inc., is a nationally recognized image consultant and author of Color Me Beautiful, Color For Men and the Color Me Beautiful Makeup Book. Visit

Dr. Richard Lumière GYNECOLOGY/OBSTETRICS Richard Lumière is in private practice in New York City. He is a graduate of the Cornell University Medical College and a diplomat of the American College of Obstretrics and Gynecology and an attending gynecologist/obstetrician at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Dr. Andy Mauer FITNESS Andy Mauer helped pioneer the home-fitness movement in Los Angeles, setting up home gyms and exercise programs for numerous celebrities as well as major Los Angeles hotels. Mauer is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and received his doctorate of chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College. He practices in Beverly Hills, California.

Lia Schorr SKINCARE An internationally recognized skin care expert with more than 35 years experience, Lia Schorr is the founder of the Lia Schorr Institute of Cosmetic Skincare and Lia Schorr Skin Care Inc. Besides offering services in her New York City salon, Lia writes for many publications, has won numerous awards for her contributions to the industry and is a sought-after guest speaker in the skin care industry. Visit

Eugenia Weston MAKEUP Eugenia Weston is a makeup artist to such celebrities as Elizebeth Berkley, Alfrie Woodard, Bette Midler and Lisa Marie Presley. She is the founder of Senna Cosmetics in Valencia, Ca. Visit 10 For more information and money saving coupons go to

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editor’s letter Charu Suri, Editor

Editor’s Letter



Winter Spring Summer

In the beauty department, the options for at-home color treatments continue to grow like cumulous clouds: we’ve done some of the dirty work for you so you can dazzle your strands (and your admirers) with the perfect glossy shade.

In these precarious financial times and post-recession consumerism, stress is as rampant as city pollution: we’ve shown you some meditation techniques that will help calm your mind, remain focused and get a good night’s rest. If you’re a Kitchen Diva, we’ve given you the 411 on how to create an organized culinary nest, and how to store everything beautifully and perfectly – except the kitchen sink of course. Everyone loves a gleaming and spotless kitchen!

Whatever the season, you’ll find great articles here

As you turn over the pages in this issue, I invite you to discover what you love the most about the season. Whether it is watching the leaves turn various shades of brown and gold, shopping for fall coats or taking up a hobby such as painting or knitting, find out which activities you most love and cherish and take the time to really do them. Investing time in yourself is a priceless form of investment and there’s no better time to do it than now because this truly is a season of change.

Charu Suri

Have some feedback? E-mail me at

on Style, Home, Health and Life.

We hope you enjoy


In the pages of fall fashion, you’ll see that the tones are mostly dark solids, with shades of cocoa, caramel, and navy blue taking the spotlight: these pay homage to consumer’s desire for practical, wearable shades while creating looks that you can layer with your favorite accessories.

Why not knit? It is such a therapeutic way to spend your free hours. Our crafts expert Jann Johnson shows you how you can create your own scarf, using chunky yarn that is dyed in several fall colors such as gold and berry. Our version of the scarf even has cute pompons attached for a fun and young look!


2010 is whizzing by us like an Olympic speed skater. This is the fall issue, and as you can imagine, it contains the cozy and comforting images associated with the season. Do we have a treat in store for you with this issue!

Contributing Writers

Contributing Photographers

this issue. Also, please visit us at

Porter Hovey 12

Jennifer Cassetty

Michelle Goodman

Megan Sarah Johnson

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If you were a fly on the wall during New York Fashion Week’s preview of its Fall collections, you would have been hard pressed not to notice that some of the most prevalent trends were a little bit more masculine than feminine. We’re talking aviator jackets, big graceful trousers, and clothing with a lot more texture and bite. Belts are a pretty big deal for fall as well. So, if you like cinched waists, with that Betty Boop style (but a lot more modern than that), then stay tuned for a great wardrobe treat. Leggings and jeans are basic layering pieces so you can wear tunics, blouses and general fall weather GEAR over them.

In keeping with the “masculine” theme that seems to be dominating the fall trends, wear blouses with pointed collars, and carry large bags that scream style. In fact, one of our most favorite looks of the season is that oversized “boyfriend” shirt with a tunic that’s layered over it and a large, sleek bag that serves more as a jewelry accessory than a pocketbook. We also love the fact that the season is embracing yet another trend: that of the sleek, uncluttered look. The look of Lauren Conrad in the following pages, for example, is so sleek and almost minimalist. The tones of fall are gold, navy, gun metal gray and chocolate brown – mix and match these shades to get a color block effect, or wear them on a patchwork cape (another big trend of the season), layer them in conservative fashion to build upon the color, or use the colors as accents


Fashion Guide

2010 when you wear accessories like scarves, hats and gloves. If you’re feeling in a patchwork kind of mood, you’re in luck: that trend didn’t exactly die with the Raggedy Ann doll or the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. This season is all about how much you can mix and match textures and prints and patterns in order to make you look completely and totally unique. So what’s the trick to wearing a beautiful fall wardrobe? Why, style and confidence of course! It really doesn’t matter what you choose to wear – a dress, jeggings (jean leggings,) jeans or a poncho. You have to really believe that you own the outfit, and everything else will naturally fall into place. Accessories are often an afterthought to an outfit, but for fall, why not make the accessories a conscious choice or decision? There’s nothing wrong with going monochromatic for the season as well, and you’ll see that several of the outfits we’ve showcased in the following pages are pretty much monochromatic in nature; but see how beautifully and confidently the models pull them off. Now, isn’t that something to inspire you?

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All images courtesy of Kohl’s

Layers of chocolate, beige and burnt sienna make this outfit a nuanced variation of the monochromatic theme. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in wearing a color to death: you just have to know how to pull it off tastefully. Sleeved Pleated Dress, Zipper Wallet, Windom Heels, Multi-chain necklace, Stretch Ring All by Dana Buchman Available at

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FASHION A hint of a lace sleeve makes this jacket a tad more wicked than A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The side-swept jersey dress is definitely a party outfit, but also will work beautifully at an office setting as well. Lace Jacket and Side-Swept Dress - LC Lauren Conrad Collection Available at


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If looks could kill, they’d do it with these shades of gray. This quintessential fall outfit works because it does a lot with very little color: you end up actually noticing the scarf and the shade of the turtleneck. Ruffle Scarf with stripes, Leather Jacket- Apt. 9Ž Available at


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We’re as much into minimalism as we are into our Little Black Dress. Lauren Conrad shows you how to pull of this sophisticated outfit beautifully. See how less is more? If you wear jeggings, just remember to amplify the high heel. Chiffon-trimmed Sweater, Chiffon Flowers and Beads Tee, Zipper JeggingsLC Lauren Conrad Collection Available at


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FASHION No amount of rehearsal can make this outfit more confident than it already is. It combines classic, casual pieces (jeans), with luxurious accessories: the handbag, shoes and jewelry. Pairing the comfortable with the modern, the classic with the chic is what makes this outfit work. Jeans, Long-sleeved zip-front jacket, Beaded Boat neck top, Morgan Hobo, Stretch Bracelet, Windom Heelsall by Dana Buchman Available at

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Fashion This is an example of the more masculine, boyfriend style of fall fashion we had discussed previously. The amplified collar stands out and the bag and belt cinch the deal in style. Angie Belt- Elle™ Sweater Vest, Tab-Sleeved tunic, Equestrian Ponte Leggings, Leather Bib Necklace, Bleeker SatchelDaisy FuentesŽ Available at


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©2010 L’Oréal USA, Inc.


Because you’re worth it™



This is a very simple but highly effective outfit that one can wear around the house to entertain guests, but also outside to clubs and parties. Talk about an easy ensemble to pull off. All you’ll need is five minutes to accomplish this chic look. Tunic with belt, Leggings, Robin shoes, Studded-Framed WalletApt. 9Ž Available at


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Š2010 Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. All Rights Reserved. 5, React, Stimulate Your Senses and all affiliated designs are registered trademarks of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company or its subsidiaries.

Everyone Experiences It Differently.

Stimulate Your Senses



Plaid and ponchos are the jeans of the season: they are must haves. This is a truly jet-set outfit because it has layers (think cold airports and airplanes) and is extremely comfortable. Crewneck Cape, Drawstring tunic, Skinny jeans, Drop earrings, Bangles, Ring, Chelsa Foldover HoboDaisy Fuentes速 Sienna Shoes- Elle速 Available at


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Imago/Zuma Press


Celeb View

Sequins and Sparkles Celebrities are dazzling us on the red carpet not simply because of the strobe lights and glowing makeup. They set the tone of the couture… and it’s all styles of sparkle. Predominant shades we’ve noticed include tones of gray, black (of course) and metallic from gold to silver. While floor-length sequin dresses are pretty prom-like and formal, sequined sheaths are far from stuffy. They have absolutely no age group associated with them. That doesn’t mean you should simply stick with sheath dresses during this season: in fact, take the opportunity to improvise and add a touch of sparkle to just about any outfit. Bustiers, cowl-neck tops and halter-style dresses, all with a sprinkle of sparkle, are all the rage this season. Stretch fabrics have been in vogue since the mini-skirt came on the scene and chances are you’ll find several ways to jazz up a plain outfit or even a pair of jeans by wearing something with a little sparkle. If you’re headed out somewhere really fancy, like a cocktail party or a wedding, you’ll be hard-pressed to trump a sequined-sheath dress outfit. One-shoulder dresses, strapless and spaghetti strap outfits are all perfectly safe and flirty choices to experiment with. Choose quality over flash and wear your sequins in style.


Naomi Watts

Angelina Jolie

Naomi Watts wears a simple strapless metallic Gucci mini-dress accessorized with Neil Lane jewelry. Her only accent, a wide cuff with black and white diamonds, serves as a beautiful and tasteful accent to her already perfectly-fitting outfit.

At the Los Angeles premier of her thriller Salt, Jolie wears a sleeveless, beaded black Emporio Armani dress. She keeps it professional and plain-jane. The look is sleek with a minimal amount of jewelry. Sometimes basic black is simply perfect.

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Celeb View

Kate Beckinsale

Megan Fox

Helen Mirren

Kate Beckinsale ups the ante of the elegance quotient wearing an Armani Prive gown at the amFAR Cinema Against Aids Gala during the Cannes Film Festival. The one-shouldered white gown has crystals and sequins which create a jewel-like tone to her outfit.

Megan Fox pairs a black Dolce & Gabbana gold strapless brocade cocktail dress with a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps at the MTV Movie Awards. Her undeniably good taste and scaled-down accessories make this a killer outfit.

Helen Mirren’s Badgley Mischka dress at the 2010 Oscars was straight silver, covered with a layer of organza for added elegance. The beaded sheer sleeves add a dash of modesty to the outfit. Mirren shows how sparkles, sequins and beading are suitable for every age.


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Chances are, when you get that lonely strand of gray hair, you’re not going to be as happy as you were on your sweet sixteenth birthday. For many people, having a thick, healthy and solid mane of hair means feeling more beautiful and much more youthful. As salon prices soar, many women are turning to coloring their hair at home, especially in these tough economic times. But they don’t always produce impressive results, no matter how easy the box promises the process is. Let’s face it, not every one can get hair that looks like Marcia Cross’ in Desperate Housewives or come close to the brilliant russet mane of Joan Hendrickson in Mad Men without help from a stylist. However, you can remove those grays; even lighten a hair shade or two at home – with the help of these tried and true guidelines.

Choose the right hair shade, and ask an expert if all else fails. One of the most common and unfortunate mistakes women make when coloring their hair at home is picking the wrong shade. If you have doubts about what shade you are, ask your


stylist and have him or her pick out the color for you. They know what they are doing, so trust them to make that decision for you. If it’s just a case of picking a color, several loyal hair colorists will be happy to give you their opinion, gratis. After all, they’re committed to making your hair look great, so why not ask them for advice?

Read the instructions on the box. Seriously! Jason Backe, celebrity hair colorist of Ted Gibson Salon in New York and Creative Consultant to TouchBack says that consumers should really take the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions on the box. “The science and art of applying hair color – especially at home - have to be taken very seriously,” he says. “The manufacturer has done literally thousands of tests and run-throughs to know exactly what the best way to apply and process their individual products is. If you read the

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Be a Professional Hair Colorist at Home: Tips, Tricks & Fail-proof Guidelines

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directions, all of them! You will have more consistent, more natural looking and more enviable hair color and who doesn’t want that?” Indeed! So, instead of being distracted by your favorite television program, take the time to read and understand the instructions before you begin your coloring journey.

Color your hair from the roots and don’t be in a rush to get to the tip. All parts of your hair are not created equal, especially when it comes to coloring. Jeffrey Pearce, Senior Colorist at the Patrick Melville Salon in New York City recommends that you apply the color on your roots for a longer time and only for a few seconds on your ends. “The box will say that the hair color should stay on for ten minutes, but you can’t leave the color that long on the ends,” he says. “Hair that is already processed is much more porous and tends to grab color; so if you leave it that long on the ends they will be darker than the roots.” It’s a smart idea to get a friend to help you because they will see the areas (especially the roots) where you need help the most. Larry Sims, celebrity Hairstylist for Smooth ‘N Shine concurs. “I advise women to have a friend apply the color on their hair. Another person can see the back of their head and can also avoid overlapping.” You can also stand in front of a three


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part mirror that allows you to get an almost 360 degree view of your head of hair to assist you with coloring. Backe advises that you don’t pull the hair color through the mid lengths and ends every time you color -- only address the new growth. “If the middle and ends of your strands look like they have begun to fade, then perform the following after your processing time is complete: wet your hair and emulsify the color through the ends – this will freshen the color without making it opaque or heavy,” he says.


... set a timer when you color your hair because most women tend to drift off and do chores...


He also recommends that you set a timer when you color your hair because most women tend to drift off and do chores, watch TV and attend to various other matters before discovering that a half hour has passed by and their hair has now attained the color of murky petrol instead of a glossy black. If you are alone in your coloring efforts, the most important part of your hair to pay attention to is the front hairline, says Pearce. That’s the part every one is going to see. “Part your hair in three places before you color. If you are organized before you start, chances are you’ll have a better shot at great color.”

Stay within a few shades of your natural hair color. It’s a good idea not to go around wildly experimenting with hair color at home. If you must change from a blonde to a brunette (or more importantly, vice versa, because bleaching your hair at home without proper supervision and knowledge can lead to permanent hair damage), then we recommend you visit a salon the first time around. Backe says, “When you are coloring your hair at home you only want to go two shades lighter or two shades darker than your starting color – the more closely you follow this rule, the more predictable your results.”

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Sulfate-free shampoos, like L’Oreal’s Everstong®, are a good bet in between salon visits and at home hair coloring regimens. Sulfates are salts of sulfuric acid, they are water soluble in shampoos and tend to deplete hair color. Everstrong does not contain harsh sulfates, salts and surfactants and therefore is a color-preserving formula. This is just one example of a shampoo that is pro color; find one that’s best for you. Pearce also advises colorists to never shampoo the day you color the hair because you’ll wash the color out. Let it sit for a day or two, and be tempted not to put dry shampoo on it because that still has sulfates in it. Colored hair is thirsty hair so “condition it well and use a mask at least once a week,” advises Pearce. “The healthier your hair is, the longer your color will last.” Sims suggests using any color enhancing shampoo and conditioner that matches your hair tone to keep color vibrant and prevent color-stripping. The idea for preserving color is allowing the hair cuticle to shut down over the color. If the cuticle is broken, then you’ll see fading, and this is where a good shampoo comes in. A good shampoo will keep the cuticle from breaking, and the essential oils will help. Try to find hair masks that use essential oils to use once a week.

Hair Color Recommendations L’Oreal is one of the most recommended at home hair coloring brands. The new Healthy Look Crème Gloss Color has no-ammonia and studies have shown that it lasts through 28 shampoos while keeping the same, true, glossy color. If you’re also thirsty for touching up your highlights at home (and remember, we’re not advocating that you get your first set of highlights at home – just maintaining them!), L’Oreal’s new Touch-On Highlights system has a new fine-toothed plastic brush that fits on your fingertip like a thimble to allow you to apply the creamy mixture exactly where you want to see your highlights. Clairol’s Nice‘n Easy at home color line has several lines that are – well – easy to use. The Perfect 10 system delivers high gloss color in ten minutes and is one of the quickest yet most reliable at home hair color methods we’ve seen. Revlon’s Colorsilk has a deep conditioning color technology that hydrates your hair; furthermore, it’s ammonia-free. We love the true “Black” color that covers grays without compromise.


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Wash hair in between salon visits with colorenhancing shampoos.


Product Technology Transcending Makeup: Minerals, Minerals Everywhere Minerals today are found in just about everything thing, from key makeup staples like foundation and powder to everyday items like body wash and soap. Before we delve into products we know and love, let’s first get to know the power of mineral makeup. Products made from finely ground, all-natural minerals on the earth are made without any chemicals, dyes or preservatives that usually are the province of traditional makeup. In this era of organic consumerism and extreme eco-consciousness, there is a movement on the part of both women and men to apply only careful and vetted choices on their faces and skin. Loose powder foundations and blushes have become increasingly popular, especially among makeup fanatics. In fact, companies like Maybelline and L’Oreal (the latter’s Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation with SPF® was one of their 2009 blockbuster product launches) started offering the mineral variations from their more traditional, liquid foundations as the trend started to catch on like wildfire. The Benefits of Mineral Makeup While mineral makeup does sound as appealing as wearing organic clothing or linen skirts during the summer, we delve further into this trend to determine if the mineral fever really has some merit: 1. Many consumers, especially women who wear mineral makeup, say that it gives them a radiant, soft glow that lasts all day…. at least, well into the evening. Now, while this statement may be considered an overzealous claim on the part of marketing companies, it has been validated by several women. The facts speak for themselves: to know mineral makeup is to glow. 2. The main ingredients of mineral makeup include mica, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and these have been the province of makeup for decades. However, the added benefits of “non irritants” like fragrances, binders and synthetic dyes cause less irritation on the skin and are considered purer and less harsh – especially when it comes to sensitive skins. 3. Minerals can be anti inflammatory in nature: if you have skin that is prone to rosacea or acne, then minerals are likely a safe bet for your skin (however, when in doubt, always check with your dermatologist or doctor).


4. Minerals generally do not clog pores or stick to your skin. This is good news for those women who generally suffer from the plague of acne, in part because much of liquid makeup tends to sit on your skin and seep into your pores, thereby stimulating skin irritation. 5. The SPF factor: much of mineral makeup has a natural SPF component to it, which is an added boon and thoroughly advantageous to the population that is trying to prevent and cure the effects of skin cancer and melanoma. This doesn’t mean that you should rely only on the thin veil of SPF protection that mineral makeup normally gives you (in the neighborhood of SPF 19 or so), but do the responsible thing and layer your face with a strong moisturizer (at least the strength of an SPF 30 or so) before you proceed to brush your face with mineral makeup. 6. Minerals are not only found in the makeup aisles. Now companies are starting to bottle minerals in hair care body washes. One such pioneering effort comes from the Softsoap® brand, which now has introduced a luxuriously nourishing body wash, called Nutri Serums Illuminating with Mineral Extracts. Not only is this a fine example when minerals layer your body and give you that soft glow that is described by many as “positively angelic,” it will moisturize your skin just as deeply as cocoa butter and shea will but without that slick, sheen and greasy residue. Softsoap® has also introduced a deep cleansing hand soap that is enriched with mineral sea salt. Many housewives will be singing praises for these mineral-enriched products for years to come since they moisturize hands and take the dryness out during household chores. Can we say that minerals, in the end, have much more benefit than synthetic compounds that have chemicals or dyes or preservatives? Yes, we definitely can, but we need to remember that there is a place for both beauty trends. Some skins just do not respond to minerals (those with sensitive skin tend to absolutely love it), and some skins respond beautifully to synthetic creams, makeup and gels. But it is hard to escape the fact that the natural glow and radiance that comes with the province of minerals is indeed both beneficial and healthy at the same time. We should raise a glass to toast this incredible trend that should have the lasting power as the organic movement.

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Nutri Serums body wash with mineral extracts for radiant skin!

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D-I-Y Project

Knit Your Own Scarf Tips, Tricks and a Fail-proof Guideline If you’re a beginner knitter, then you’ll take a real delight in knitting this extremely easy scarf in beautiful autumn colors. Knitting is a very satisfying craft with highly practical results. We used a super bulky yarn that’s machinewashable for easy care and worked with large knitting needles to make this project straight forward. You can even complete the scarf in an afternoon! And since you’re ahead, why not make multiples for yourself — to freshen up your wardrobe — and make some for gifts? Here you’ll learn how to cast on, knit and cast off. We also show you how to make the pompoms, too, to embellish your scarf for a lovely finishing touch. Our crafts expert, Jann Johnson, shows you how knitting is a breeze. Every knitting project starts with a gauge swatch, so check the package label for directions (it’s a good habit to follow for perfect results). There are several ways to cast on stitches and we’ll show you our favorite method here. For more detailed knitting instructions and stitch variations, both written and video, go to


For inspiration we recommend reading the book Just Scarves by Nancy J. Thomas and Adina Klein (2005 Potter Craft) and 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant (2007 Storey Publishing). Putter around your favorite yarn store, too, to let the yarn motivate a new project that’s your creation alone! What is Knitting Gauge? Gauge is simply a measurement of the number of stitches and rows per inch of knitting. Many yarn labels will say something like “US 9 needle, 3.5 stitches per inch” or show a graphical illustration of a grid with numbers around the outside and a drawing of needles with a number beside them. For instance you might see a grid with a 31 on the side, a 22 on the bottom, and an 8 next to the needles. It also says 4 inches at the top. This gives you a lot of information about the yarn. It tells you that the “average knitter” using size 8 needles will get 22 stitches and 31 rows across over four inches of knitting, usually garter stitch. Likewise, most patterns will give you a measurement of gauge, such as 10 sts (a common abbreviation for stitches) and 16 rows equals four inches. That means that four inches of knitting in the pattern stitch would give you 16 rows and 10 stitches.

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Photography: Porter Hovey, NYC, NY

Jann Johnson, our crafts expert extraordinaire is a member of the Craft & Hobby Association and loves arts and crafts. Her projects have graced the covers and spreads of several major magazines worldwide. Visit her at

Materials Do-It-Yourself Crafts

What You’ll Need 2 skeins Lion Brand™ Jiffy Thick & Quick Yarn®, in 212 Adirondacks 1 pair #17 (10”) knitting needles (we used Lion Brand) 1 large (#13) tapestry needle Scotch® Precision Scissors® 1 ½” x6” piece of scrap cardboard

Slip Knot The very first step in your journey to knitting a scarf begins with the slip knot. Once you do one of these, the remaining slip knots are easy.





Calculate 20” from the end of the yarn (this is called a “tail”). This will be your working length used to cast on your stitches. First create a slip knot. Then form a circle of yarn and pull a loop of yarn through the circle and then slide the loop onto the needle. Pull both ends of yarn to gently tighten the slip knot. This is the first stitch! You’ll need to cast on 14 stitches to begin this scarf.


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Cast On Do-It-Yourself Crafts

The most basic casting on stitch is known as the knitted cast on.









Some people use two needles to do a casting on once the first stitch is cast, but you can also use your left finger and thumb to make the yarn taut while bringing the needle under the loop of the yarn and bringing it up for the second stitch. Pull the stitch in tight (not too tight!) on the needle and repeat until you’ve got 14 cast on stitches.

Knit Stitches Once you have laid your scarf’s 14-stitch foundation, then continue knitting and layering row upon row using the same basic knitted cast on technique: only this time, instead of using your fingers on the left side to hold the yarn tight, you’ll be using a needle with the first row of casting on the left side. With the cast-on stitches in your left hand, insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch from front to back. Loop yarn (from skein) over the needle and pull through the stitch to make a new stitch on the right-hand needle. This is the first knit stitch. Repeat across the remaining 13 stitches to form your first “row”. Turn your work around and knit another row. Continue in this manner until scarf is desired length (ours is 45”).


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Binding Off and Ending A.




Do-It-Yourself Crafts

Once you’ve achieved the length of the scarf that you desire, then it is time to bind off the stitching. Once your cast stitches are in place, knit the first two stitches and do a slip, slip knit. This means knitting two stitches first, then inserting the tip of the left-hand needle into the first stitch on the right-hand needle, pulling it over the second stitch and off the right-hand needle. Knit the next stitch and repeat the sequence until all stitches are off the needles. Leave a 10” tail of yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

Finishing and Weaving in the Threads Now you will have a gorgeous scarf that is bound off, but with a loose end of yarn dangling at the end. There’s an easy way to fix this: thread a loose end of yarn (at beginning or end of scarf) on tapestry needle and darn in to hide it. Repeat the same procedure with the other loose end of the scarf. If there is a little bit of yarn that sticks out, take a scissors and snip it off.





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Do-It-Yourself Crafts

Winding the Yarn for Pom Poms These pompoms make a delightful flourish to the scarf, and are a little more whimsical than the typical fringe.









Wrap about 76� of yarn around cardboard. Gently pull off and tie at center with an 18� piece of yarn; knot tightly.

Making the Pom Poms Clip top of loops with scissors and fluff out pompom. Trim ends, except tie, into a ball. Thread needle onto one tie end to pull through corner of scarf. Remove needle and tie securely. Cut tie ends flush with pompom. Repeat with remaining five pompoms.


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Completed Scarf Do-It-Yourself Crafts

Once you have attached the pompoms on the scarf, your masterpiece is complete! The entire process is extremely easy to master for even the beginner, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can conceptualize and finish your fall-weather accessory. Scarves make brilliant companions on nippy days: if you’re the kind of person who likes to give homemade gifts, then why not plan on knitting scarves for holiday gifts? It’s never too early to get a head start. Whatever you do with your new accessory, don’t forget to flaunt it! Some great links we recommend:

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home Cooking

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: Crock-pots and the ABC’s of Slow Cooking By Megan Johnson

With Fall only a hop, skip and a jump away, our cravings tend to slowly migrate away from icy, summer treats towards healthy stews packed with nutrient-dense vegetables and steaming hot broths. Getting your daily soup fix at the local gourmet café means dropping major dollars that could be better spent on other, more urgent neccessities. Canned varieties like Campbell’s or Progresso soups are great once in a while, but they’re often jam-packed with sodium that can send your blood pressure skyrocketing through the ceiling. That’s why many cooks, whether they’re professional gourmets or moms on-the-run, turn to crock-pots for healthy meals that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Crock-pots have seen quite the renaissance lately, especially for a cooking trend that used to be generally associated with 1970’s housewives. They aren’t just vessels for making pot roasts, either. Crock pots are a universal tool that can be used to make soups, stews, meats, drinks, and even desserts! While these


appliances are technically called slow cookers, “crock-pots” managed to take over the American kitchen in 1971. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the appliance, a ceramic crock is placed inside a metal, oval shell and then the crock is heated slowly on an electric stove or the crock-pot has its own electric heating element. By operating at a relatively low temperature (often only 200 degrees), the food is cooked slower for a longer amount of time than frying, baking, or steaming, which utilize higher temperatures to cook at a faster speed. This slow cooking concept creates more flavorful food. While crock-pot use skyrocketed to fame in the 1970’s and eventually died out, they’ve had quite the resurgence in more recent years. Stephanie O’Dea is a San Francisco blogger whose site,, promoted the method of slow cooking by using the pot every day for a year. Her cooking challenge resulted in a best-selling cookbook, Make it Fast, Cook it Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking. Published authors aren’t the only ones embracing the craze.

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Stephanie Esposito, who chronicles her pregnancy on the blog Ecstatically Pregnant, is a law student who loves to use her slow cooker to prepare meals for family and friends. Her most popular recipe is chili, which she has generously volunteered to share with us here. “I love it so much because we literally have most of these ingredients at all times in my pantry, and I can feed A LOT of people with it,” she tells us. “And well, it was my grandmother’s recipe, so I grew up with it. You can also add things to it to make it your own. Dave (her husband) likes to add corn.” To make Stephanie’s Chili, follow the recipe below:

Beef and Bean Chili 2lbs ground beef (or your choice of how much meat you want, already cooked and drained) 2 cans of Pinto beans (washed and dried before you put them in to avoid slimy texture) 2 can of kidney beans (washed and dried before you put them in to avoid slimy texture) 1 can of black beans (again washed and dried) 1 onion, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced Half of 1 chili pepper (make sure to cut with gloves on) Note: You don’t need this if you don’t want it to be too spicy. You can just use 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, or less depending on how spicy you like your chili to be). 1 cup beef broth 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon dried basil 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 LARGE cans of Crushed Tomatoes 1 small can of Tomato Paste Mix well. Cover and cook on HIGH 2 1/2 to 4 hours or until the chili is mixed well, and the peppers/onions are soft. I always stir while I am cooking. Just before serving, stir well. Make sure to garnish with shredded cheese, more onions, or sour cream if desired. We always dip fresh Italian Scali Bread in it!

The Ever Popular Pot Roast One of the most popular crock-pot recipes ever created, the pot roast, is a family favorite that you can turn to when attempting to please a diverse group of eaters. If you’re looking to save money and feed the troops without losing your entire paycheck to the supermarket or butcher, pot roasts are the best bet. Because the slow cooker takes such a long time to cook the meat, you can save significant money by using a lower quality of beef. Check out my family’s extremely easy pot roast recipe below. 1 cut of beef, either shoulder cut or chuck 1 can of beef vegetable soup 2 fresh carrots, sliced 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 cup green peas 2 potatoes cut into cubes

Crock pots are a universal tool that can be used to make soups, stews, meats, drinks, and even desserts! With the economy in disrepair and unemployment at an all time high, people aren’t really splurging on high-end kitchen appliances. But the upside of crock pots is that they are relatively cheap compared to other household appliances. A 1.5-quart pot, like the Rival Red Crock Pot, costs around $8.99 and includes a free cookbook so you can explore the endless world of using your slow cooker. Many other varieties of the crock pot retail for less than $20. But if you’re a serious gourmet looking to delve into the world of slow cooking, there are many options for you as well. While using your slow cooker is generally an extremely safe process, it’s important to keep some facts in mind before you hit the switch on. It’s not always the best idea to cook frozen food or to reheat food in your crock pot. Because the food is cooked so slowly, the temperature does not always reach a certain height at a quick enough pace to prevent bacteria from growing on it. This means bacteria can gather on the food, and lead to an upset stomach. To avoid food poisoning, reheat your meals by using the microwave, stove, or oven. When it comes to having a delicious meal, it’s sometimes the safest methods that are the best bets. But don’t let the fear of food poisoning deter you from trying out the world of crock pot cuisine. Slow cooking is a safe and delicious method that can often save you a lot of money and precious time. If you throw your chosen ingredients in the pot in the morning, you can have all the work done for you by the time you arrive home from work in the evening. Now that’s low maintenance! All Clad 99009

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Add whole basil leaves, oregano, salt, pepper to your liking. Cook on high all day long.


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Crunch Your Way to Health: The Truth about Nuts By Megan Sarah Johnson

Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks out there for modern people on the run. While many people enjoy the healthy fats and proteins from nuts, there are many who simply detest these treats, or fear that they’re unhealthy. Nuts are actually the hard-shelled fruit of certain plants, which provide worthwhile nutrition to people and wildlife. Eating nuts isn’t limited to snacking on tasteless, hard-shelled peanuts at a baseball game. In fact, peanuts are pretty low on the nut nutritional scale. There are many more varieties of nuts that can be used in larger recipes, or simply grabbed for an on the go treat. Here’s our low-down of the best nuts for snacking, cooking, and everything in between. As rich sources of vitamin E, almonds are some of the most popular nuts out there. While plain almonds are great additions to salads and desserts, lightly salted almonds are ideal when you’re craving a salty crunch. You’ve probably seen the small packets of salted almonds in your local convenience store. Did you know that in Iran, almonds dipped in sea salt are sold as snacks in the open markets? In addition to almonds, pecans are also a powerhouse nut and member of the Drupe family, which means they come from within a fruit. Because they possess over 19 vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamins E and A, potassium, and calcium, which are particularly necessary for women who at the risk of osteoporosis, eating pecans is encouraged by doctors for female patients looking to curb bone density loss. The last member of the drupe family is the walnut, which reigns supreme at the top of the nutrition world. The world-famous walnut, known for its miraculous nutritional content and versatility, is often referred to as the healthiest nut out there by licensed dieticians. Don’t allow nuts in disguise to let you think that they’re healthy. Sure, they’re


nutritious in their original form, or added in as part of a meal, but a chocolate, yogurt, or salty coating can be rather deceiving when you’re hungry. You know that feeling you get when you realize you’ve inhaled an entire row of Oreo cookies? That same thing happens with a canister of chocolate-covered almonds. Always beware of hidden calories lurking around every corner! When measuring cholesterol, your blood is taken to measure the low and high density lipoproteins, often referred to as LDLs and HDL’s. High levels of LDLs can mean an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and ultimately, death. This is why they are commonly referred to as “bad cholesterols.” HDL’s are generally referred to as “good cholesterols” because of their power to lessen the bad cholesterol that has built up throughout time. Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are particularly recognized by doctors for their ability to lower LDLs and to clear arteries. In fact, a study from New Mexico State University claims that eating ¾ of a cup of pecans every day can significantly lower your LDLs. However, it’s important to remember that like many things in life, consuming nuts is all about moderation. While they are absolutely jam-packed with healthy nutrients, many varieties of nuts also have high amounts of calories and fats. That’s why they’re great as part of a larger meal, where you can mix healthy proteins with less heavy items like fruits and veggies. While nuts are great for a quick snack, you can also use them within larger recipes to pack in nutrients. For a delicious summer meals that will please everyone at your backyard pool party, follow this recipe for pesto shrimp salad stuffed avocados, generously provided to us by Meghan Malloy, author of the popular lifestyle blog Travel Eat Love ( A great summer meal that utilizes nuts and vegetables, your guests will love these easy snacks on hot summer days.

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Ingredients: Pesto: 3 packed cups of baby spinach 3-6 garlic cloves 3 TSP olive oil Small handful walnuts 1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and chop until desired consistency. Depending on your preference, the pesto can be chunky or as smooth as you like it. 2. Cook, peel, and clean 12 large shrimp. Set aside until completely cool, leaving the shrimp in the freezer for a few minutes if necessary. Once shrimp are cool, chop shrimp into small chunks. 3. In a large bowl, toss the chopped shrimp and pesto until completely coated. Then add 3 TBSP of 0% Greek yogurt. Toss the shrimp, pesto, and yogurt until well combined. 4. To serve, cut an avocado in half, remove the pit, and fill the center/cover the top with the shrimp salad. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and freshly ground black pepper. For more information, check out Meghan’s site at

Eating nuts doesn’t have to be strictly for snacks as you run out the door. In fact, nuts can be a vital part of your main dinner course. Nuts are ideal as breading for meats and fish because they pack a protein punch. Michelle Kim-Lee, author of the popular Boston website Fun and Fearless in Beantown (www. has generously offered to share her popular recipe for Spicy Peanut Encrusted Chicken Tenders with us.

Spicy Peanut Encrusted Chicken Tenders Ingredients: 1.5 to 2 pounds of chicken tenders Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste) 1.5 cups of unsalted, shelled peanuts Garlic powder (to taste) Crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) 1 to 1.5 cup of spicy or flavored mustard White rice wine vinegar (1-2 tablespoons) Vegetable oil (1-2 tablespoons) Cooking spray 1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet. 2. Trim fat off of chicken tenders and pat dry. 3. Combine peanuts, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic powder in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped to bread crumb texture. Place peanut mixture in shallow baking dish.

(total baking time: twenty minutes). For more information, check out Michelle’s site at www.

When we think of nuts, we don’t often consider that peanut butter is a nut product. However, general store brands of peanut butter are packed with trans fats and sugar, often stealing away their nutritional value. And while almond and cashew butter are healthier alternatives, they tend to cost around $10 per jar. With the help of Tina from popular lifestyle blog Carrots n’Cake (, here’s a healthy and reasonably priced method for making your own nut butter. “I find that a lot of nut butters, besides peanut butter, are typically pretty expensive, so I save money by making my own “hippy” butter at home,” she tells her readers. “I use peanut butter as the base, but then add various other nuts and seeds to increase its nutritional profile and make it a little more fun.”

Tina’s “Hippy” Butter Start with a jar of peanut butter as well as your choice of nuts and/or seeds. You can pretty much use whatever is in the pantry. This week, I had a bag of walnuts, the remnants of a bag of sliced almonds, golden flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Add your nuts, seeds, and a big scoop of peanut butter to a food processor. I don’t measure anything, but the key is to find a peanut butter that is a little oily on top when you first open the jar. The peanut butter and oil help to smooth out and blend with the nuts and seeds to make it a nice, course nut butter. Then grind/blend until you get your desired nut butter consistency. I typically end up adding another scoop of peanut butter to get it just right. Store in an old jar and enjoy your “hippy” butter! For more information, visit Tina’s site at

When it comes to snacking on nuts, the best method of portion control is to use your hands. A handful is really the maximum amount of nuts you should consume in one sitting, due to their relatively high levels of fats and calories. Don’t get me wrong; nuts are nutritional powerhouses with potential to lower cholesterol and stave of cardiovascular disease. However they do possess rather high quantities of fat. While they may be healthy fats, too much of a good thing isn’t a great idea. Think of nuts as a smarter substitute for unhealthy proteins, like red meat. So don’t relegate your nuts to the back shelf of the kitchen cabinet with the leftover jar of peanut butter. There’s a whole lot of potential in those tiny things; it just sometimes some creativity to bring it out.

cybernesco/ CanStockPhoto

Pesto Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocados

4. Add white rice wine vinegar and vegetable oil to mustard by the tablespoon until the mustard reaches an egg-like consistency for dredging. 5. Coat the chicken tenders in the mustard mixture and then dredge in peanut mixture. 6. Place breaded chicken tenders on a sprayed baking sheet . 7. Bake the chicken for about ten minutes and then turn the chicken tenders over to bake for an additional ten minutes

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In the Kitchen:

Tips on Organizing and Maintaining your Kitchen By Megan Sarah Johnson

You know you’ve been there: the clock’s creeping towards the time you curl up under the covers, but you’re stuck wrapping up the leftovers from the evening’s dinner. Is it Murphy’s Law that we can never find the correct Tupperware top for each container? It’s almost guaranteed that somewhere in your kitchen, there’s a stash of containers, along with a pile of mismatched tops to go along with it. Kitchen organization is definitely a tricky situation, especially if you live in a tiny apartment like mine. But there’s hope for all of you out there who don’t treat Martha Stewart Living as your Bible. After pouring over kitchen stores, friends’ cabinets, and endless copies of Real Simple Magazine, here’s our research that offers you the best ways to maintain your kitchen, whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling mansion.


Thinking Out of the Box Carrie Bradshaw wasn’t the only person to use her oven for storage. I’ve definitely considered the idea myself, except I realized I’d probably end up with a pre-heated oven stuffed full of cashmere sweaters and leather boots. Carrie’s thinking was right; sometimes it’s the untraditional places that work the best for storage. Certain items can be kept on the stove, if you feel like you use them frequently enough to leave out. Tea kettles look very pretty on the corner burner, while high end cast iron brands like Le Creuset® are regarded as art by many kitchen connoisseurs. Their brightly colored exteriors really jazz up a kitchen. If you use your wrought iron skillet almost every day, give it a permanent home on the front burner of your stove. For less attractive items like reusable totes, garbage bags, and kitchen tools, consider investing in a butcher’s block. Not only is it an extra cabinet’s worth of storage space, but the surface is

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Pots, Pans and Skillets

Kitchen Organizing

A clear kitchen counter is a happy kitchen counter. Nobody likes to see them clogged up with dishes, junk, and appliances. big enough to house larger items, like a microwave. Do you have bottles and packets of spices strewn about? It’s a shame to relegate such attractive items to dark, dingy shelves, but sometimes we just don’t have a better choice. Many people line their spice bottles up on the top ledge of the stove, but that’s not always feasible, especially if you have one of those tiny gas stoves frequently found in studio apartments. If you have an exposed shelf, lining up your spice bottles is an aesthetically pleasing and useful way to utilize your kitchen space. For large spice quantities, think about purchasing small jars at your local grocery store. Their clear glass means your spices are easily identifiable and pleasant to look at. Metal tins are also attractive, but this would require the use of a label maker or permanent marker in order to identify them. A rotating turntable is a cheap and useful way to organize small bottles, so you can find your spice of choice without knocking everything over. A clear kitchen counter is a happy kitchen counter. Nobody likes to see them clogged up with dishes, junk, and appliances. If there are foods you use every day and frequently leave on the counter, think about storing them in clear plastic containers. Instead of leaving a 3 pound cardboard canister of oatmeal on top of the fridge, replace it with a plastic one. Not only does it look better, but pesky rodents and bugs won’t be able to burrow themselves in. As for appliances like a microwave, toaster, and coffee pot, they are simply used so much of the time that it’s best to keep them out in the open. “I try to organize it by functionality,” Darcy Hopkins, an account manager for a marketing company in Connecticut tells us. “It’s all about ease of navigation, rather than where things typically go.” For example, instead of keeping the coffee in the pantry and the coffee liners in a plastic bag, keep the coffee, tea, liners, sugar, and coffee cups together in the cabinet above the coffee maker. That way, you don’t have to move all around the kitchen in order to make coffee in the morning. But don’t leave all your appliances out for everyone to see. Nobody wants to be mistaken for a hoarder! Keep rarely used items, like a standing mixer, food processor, and electric skillet in the cabinet.


Everyone needs pots and pans, but you know what we don’t need? A bunch of pots and pans strewn around in the cabinets under the counter. While it’s easy to just open up a cabinet and throw your pots in, the low cabinets aren’t ideal storage spaces for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s rather dark under there, so finding the specific pot you need is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Second, warm, cozy, and dark corners of low cabinets are the fantasy homes of legions of rodents. I’ve recently dealt with an outbreak of mice in my studio apartment, who found a lovely home in the cabinets under my sink because of their close proximity to the pipes under the stove, which was their entry point. When it comes to the storage areas under your sink, keep this rule of thumb in mind: Anything that you may eat out of or cook with is best placed elsewhere. Any sort of plastic container is like a five star hotel for a mouse. Chances are they’re going to drop anchor, and won’t leave until you discover them. If you have the wall space to hang pots and pans, consider installing a variety of hooks up and down the wall. Not only will it give you a kitchen that looks like it came straight out of a Julia Child cookbook, you also won’t have to worry about cramped cabinets and potential visitors of the rodent variety. If you’re building your own home or remodeling your kitchen, definitely consider the elbow grease you’re willing to put in when doing chores. Having cabinets that run very deep is a real pain when you’re trying to find something specific. But if can’t change the measurements of your cabinets, you can change their functionality. The cabinets above your sink should be organized by order of use: Always keep coffee mugs, water glasses, and sippy cups (if you have children) in the closest cabinet to the sink. Chances are that’s the first type of dish you’re going to reach for every day when you wake up, and you want them to be near the refrigerator or water faucet. Also, by placing frequently used dishes in the cabinet on top of the dishwasher, you can easily empty the dishwasher and replace the items in the cabinet without having to switch positions. Bending and craning your neck repeatedly is pretty much begging for a sore back. Also, consider the idea of installing Lazy Susans, which are rotating shelves that can be spun around to find the item you’re looking for. By pulling the cabinet out or rotating in a circle, you don’t have to stick your head into the dark space to hunt for that certain something. If your mind isn’t exactly made for organization, don’t feel overwhelmed. There are stores specifically created to make this process easier on you. One highly valuable resource is The Container Store, which has a section specialized in kitchen organization. By utilizing pull-out shelves, easy glider racks, and turntables, you can turn your kitchen into a well-oiled machine in no time. You don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars at specialty stores, either. Check out the websites of popular home magazines like Martha Stewart Living™ and Real Simple™, along with TV channels like Home and Garden TV™, which has a section designated for kitchen organization. With a little help from the domestic gods and goddesses in the world, you can have your culinary enclave looking like Martha Stewart’s in no time.

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Life Goals: Happiness


Recession-Proof Your Mood:

Simple Steps

Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

Just because you’re cutting back on spending doesn’t mean you need to cut back on happiness. When you don’t

have money to throw at the parts of your life that aren’t making you happy (as in retail therapy), you may actually find real-deal satisfaction and true happiness. According to the latest Nielsen Happiness Survey, women’s happiness is more likely to be recession-proof than men’s because women are more apt to say that friendships and family – not money – make them really happy. Men? They put their happiness where their dollars are. But when it comes right down to it, also know that both men and women could use a little satisfaction boost. That’s why we advocate taking 2 minutes each morning – even in the bathroom – to remember what your purpose and goals for the day are. Doing so not only makes your day-to-day life more fun but also helps you live longer and better while increasing your inner beauty. Here are some other tips on how to be happiness rich while being financially frugal: 1. Diversions are good. When making your to-do list, don’t forget the good stuff. Do you look forward to reading in bed, going out to breakfast, taking long walks, listening to music, or just sitting quietly outside? We both enjoy long walks with our spouses and with our kids. While you do need to be more frugal and productive right now, you won’t be able to push yourself to do that unless you also rest and recover. That means making sure some of your favorite diversions happen every day. Don’t believe you can fit them in? Cross something off your list that’s consuming your time but isn’t enhancing your life. TV, for example. 2. Stay in motion. Resist the urge to skip your daily physical activity plan, even on low-energy days. Spending some energy will help you have more in the long run. Sticking with a fitness routine helps you feel good about yourself, strengthens your immune system, and enhances your body’s production of mood-boosting hormones. Keep a notebook with short summaries of how you feel after really good workouts, and look back at them when you need inspiration.

on your belly and another on your chest. The hand on your belly should be the one moving in and out when you breathe. Imagine your lungs filling with air; it should take about 5 seconds to inhale deeply. Then, slowly exhale, taking about 7 seconds to let all the air out. If you can leave your desk, walk around. A brisk 10-minute walk will do far more to dissipate stress and lift your spirits than knee-jerk reactions to tension, such as inhaling sugary or salty snacks. 4. Share what you love. Help kids with math. Lend a hand in building a house. Volunteer at a food pantry. Sure, you need to do things for money, but spending a little time helping others may reduce your healthcare bills: Volunteering can improve your well-being. It can inspire gratitude for the skills life has given you, reconnecting you with your purpose in life. And it gets you involved in your community, which creates health-strengthening emotional bonds. You might even learn new skills, which will keep your mind sharp, or get to network with the person holding the other end of the beam. 5. Appreciate the people around you. We need other people . . . love and crave other people. Without a singular bond on a romantic level, and/or multiple ones at the family and friend level, it’s hard for most of us to be happy. Good relationships with others – and having a real buddy you can talk with anytime -- can help stave off depression and add years to your life, especially if you’re trying to weather stress storms. Laugh with friends and family and you’ll do yourself even more good: Laughing lowers blood pressure and releases endorphins that can ease pain. TiVo Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, or David Letterman and watch while you and your spouse do sit-ups and push-ups or walk on a treadmill. While the health benefits of a safe monogamous sexual relationship are extremely important, research also indicates that strong social ties, such as having a best buddy, are super good for you, too. In tough times, happiness isn’t an extra. It’s an essential way to build resilience and good health. Give yourself a dose every day.

3. Take a break. Little breaks for deep breathing and 10-minute walks can dissolve satisfaction-busting stress. Here’s the right way to breathe (yes, most adults need to be told this): Put one hand


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Fi tness

Outdoor Fitness:

Hike, Bike and Walk Your Way Thin There’s nothing more relaxing and therapeutic as a leisurely hike through the woods. If you have the proper shoes, socks and clothing (a bit of bug spray doesn’t hurt, either), then you’ll be hard-pressed to find any exercise quite like your body’s most natural form of exercise. Did you know that it is certainly possible to walk your way thin? We’re not suggesting that you should leave home, pet, family and belongings to hit the open road permenently, we’re just saying that once you’ve established a routine, walking and hiking through nature is a natural weight-loss exercise you’ll benifit from immediately. Losing weight while hiking is easier than you would think. Just like running or walking where you let the body do the work while your mind enjoys other, more pleasurable thoughts, hiking is an exercise where you can can get out and take a break from the incessant ups and downs of daily living.


Burn Those Calories Here are some tips to increase your calorie burn and hiking enjoyment: 1. Invest in good gear. Ensure that you have firm and stable hiking boots, and that the rubber soles give you good grip. There are some sneakers that will give you fairly solid support when you attempt basic hikes, but longer and steeper hikes will require much more investment in the proper shoe. 2. For starters, ensure that the slope is fairly gentle, almost like the incline level of a bunny slope in a ski resort. You’ll want to ensure that your limbs and muscles are completely accustomed to that level of incline (if you’ve been used to walking or jogging on a treadmill, then consider increasing the elevation of the machine to practice for your first hike; that way, your muscles will gradually get accustomed to the idea of walking on an incline). 3. Once you have explored a few gentle trails, then consider looking at the map for a steeper, deeper trail… one that has

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more hills and gullys. You could look for different terrain as well: sand, rock and dirt, to increase your agility and calorie burn.


4. Wear a backpack, ideally with some delicious and useful items in it to add to the weight and contribute to your calorie burn (ideally you’ll want to take lots of water, a flashlight, some eats like trailmix, etc.). 5. Actively seek to hike up hills and come down steeper inclines, to the best of your ability. When you climb up hills, you exercise your gluteal muscles and quadriceps, and over time you’ll develop the agility to navigate steeper and steeper inclines. Now, we’re not telling you to emulate the move of The Man Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain, but there’s a distinct correlation between elevation and calorie burn. 6. Remember to cross train. A good hike is best paired with other activities during the week, including running or swimming. We’ll be addressing how you can burn calories when you bike, as well, so read below for more details on that subject.

How many calories can you expect to burn hiking? The number of calories burned depends on your weight, but The Mayo Clinic estimates you will shed around 438 calories per hour if you weigh around 160 pounds, and 654 calories if you weigh around 240 pounds. That’s a decent number of calories to shed (remember it takes 3,500 calories to burn 1 pound of fat).


with hiking (...) you will shed around 438 calories per hour if you weigh around 160 pounds, and 654 calories if you weigh around 240 pounds. 68

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Biking Your Way Slender There’s more than one way to lose calories with your workouts. If you really enjoy being out in Mother Nature, running, jogging, hiking, swimming and biking are all equal contenders to the “burn.” When it comes to calorie burning though, biking is one of the easiest ways to shed pounds, and we’re not talking serious elevation or inclines although if you’re biking way up in the mountains, prepare to use up some serious oxygen. The Mayo Clinic estimates that you’ll spend around 436 calories per hour (if you weigh 240 pounds) if you simply do some leisurely biking – so this means flat roads, with hardly any bumps or elevation that would make even a dog sweat. One of the best parts about biking is reduced emissions: you are not riding a motorcycle that spouts carbon monoxide into the air, nor are you running and pounding the pavement and potentially injuring your muscles and shins. Biking is very benign and offers your muscles smooth movement. You may have done a spinning class or two in the gym. Remember how strong your quads and gluteal muscles felt after this class? Well, when you take your bike on the road, you’ll not only feel the burn, but also take in some fine views – from countryside sights or metropolitan cafes – depending which part of the world you live in. You may have heard that you cannot exercise your way to skinny thighs, and yes, that’s true. There is no such thing as spot training. But the League of American Bicyclists who designed National Bike Month (May) really knew what they were talking about and many continue to reap the power of bike riding. Here are a few tips to optimize your calorie burn and your good health:

FUEL Hiking and biking are calorie-burning, challenging activities. Like any well-prepared traveler, you’re going to need some sustenance, of course, and here are some fuel aids that we recommend to take along: 1. Water: this seems like a no brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many people forget to take water with them when they hike. If you want to add a little bit of energy to water, consider taking Vitamin Water® or Propel® to give you a little bit more energy. 2. Celsius® is a drink that helps you burn calories while providing hydration. It is packed with healthy ingredients for you, including green tea,



When it comes to calories, biking is one of the easiest ways to shed pounds...

1. Find a cycling partner! If you are a first time biker or if you don’t like to exercise alone, it always helps to find a cycling partner who will motivate you and make you stick to your schedule. It could also be your dog! 2. Start with some flat roads, and gradually work your way up! As with hiking, it is beneficial if you start with long, flat roads so that you can improve your stamina. Once you’ve biked your way through five or six miles, consider looking at undulating routes for more a more challenging workout. 3. Take the chance to bike everywhere you go. Why not bike instead of taking the morning commute? Evaluate if your office is near enough to bike and then invest in a bicycle that is allseason friendly and equipped with the proper tires to withstand the terrain. You can definitely pair hiking with biking. When you head towards the mountains in your car, remember to take your bike with you. This is especially sage advice if you are spending more than a few days in the mountains. Make exercising fun and alternate your routine daily. Go biking one day, hiking the next or if you’re even more ambitious, pair the two! Whatever activities you finally choose, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and remember to enjoy the fresh, outdoor air. ginger and vitamins. Since it doesn’t contain artificial colors or flavors (and no sugar), you can feel good about chugging down bottles of these – and see your calorie-burning efforts get compounded. It is best consumed before exercise but there’s nothing to prevent you from quenching your thirst while on the go. 3. Snacks: trailmixes that are full of nuts, raisins, oats and even coconut and chocolate flakes, are definitely great energy-rich carbs for your body when you’re hiking, biking or walking. Grab a few bags at your favorite drugstore or even make it yourself with ingredients from your local healthfood store. Throw some apples and bananas in the backpack and you’re all set to go!

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The Stress-Free Zone: Powerful Meditation Techniques We’ve all had our days when the daily challenges we face – the stress-filled commute, the demands of the job or the familial chores that greet us at home – distract us from enjoying our day. The monks knew how important meditation was to inner peace and happiness and they spent hours in contemplation, carefully honing their powers of concentration. Daily meditation is key to creating inner strength and quieting the mindless banter that accompanies scattered thinking and a stressed mind. These meditation techniques and tips are recommended for those seeking a calm and focused mind. They are intended to allow you to achieve a Zen state of mind that will provide clarity to your thoughts even when the world around you seems to be in utter chaos. Evaluate whether you approach the day with a Zen state of mind by answering the questions below. See any opportunities to improve your focus? 1. Do you get stressed thinking about work? 2. Are you always worried about other people’s opinions of you? 3. Is your stress affecting your productivity? 4. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your concentration? 5. Does your mind easily get distracted and flit from one thing to another? 6. Are you able to focus and go in depth into a particular subject matter?


All of us can benefit from creating a stress-free zone. The meditation techniques below are useful practices to help you enhance your focus.

Yoga We’ve heard time and again that yoga is definitely the way to get your focal powers into shape. Whether you want to practice Hatha Yoga (the gentle variety), Vinyasa Yoga (which stresses posture), or the more cardiovascular Bikram-style yoga, know that the focal point of the exercise is indeed the mental focus and calmness of demeanor. The practice of yoga is more than 5,000 years old, and more than 11 million Americans currently benefit from it. Initially, yoga may seem very difficult to accomplish, but practice here really makes perfect. Yoga has also demonstrated that it can stretch your muscles and remove lactic buildup, as well as decrease stiffness and fatigue. It may seem almost impossible to demand thirty minutes of your time to do yoga each day, but why not start your practice in the morning?

Pure Meditation Pure meditation is an age-old art form that aims to silence the mind. When the mind is silent, the concentration upon a particular object or form grows, and you can achieve inner peace. Some people feel the happiest when sitting in perfect silence, and meditating on various aspects of their inner selves and world events.

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†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Meditation in and of itself does not require a lot of time investment. It really is a question of practice, and like everything else, it makes use of the mantra, repetition is the mother of learning. The first step to meditation is to stop our ability to become distracted and achieve a clear and lucid focus. If you are into meditation, here are a few tips that will help you achieve better peace of mind and true poise: 1. Sit with a straight back. Posture is very important because it will prevent you from falling asleep, and will help improve your breathing. 2. Speaking or chanting a mantra is optional, and will not automatically help your focus, but it can help.


3. Meditate in a place that has absolute silence because you do not want to be distracted. 4. Remember to inhale and exhale regularly since breath control is an integral part of meditation.

If you live in a stressful city, whether it is New York or Los Angeles, remember that cultivating your inner mental focus and agility is really what will set you apart from the rest of the world. Success depends on attention to detail, mental agility, focus and inner calmness.

Mental Focus Techniques Here are a few exercises that you can perform to increase the powers of your concentration and your mind, and ones you can perform anywhere even in the midst of chaos. 1. Breathe deeply. Inhalation and exhalation really clears up the mental cobwebs and helps you think lucidly. 2. Slow down and allow yourself to be mindful of all activities around you: even the amazingly banal. You’ll be initially surprised at how hard it can be to observe mundane things like potholes, lamp posts and traffic, but this technique takes you to a heightened sense of awareness. 3. The “Flow” or “Zone” technique encourages you to mentally picture what it is that you can achieve and then visualize the hindrances and obstacles that would impede you from realizing this goal. This technique is all about picturing mental images while you remain steadfast and calm. 4. Try focusing on a ball of light: in a calm, quiet room, light a candle and close your eyes. See if your mind’s eye can simply concentrate on that glow of light for minutes on end, without interruption. The flame will waver and glow but you should not let your concentration fade for even a second: that’s the object of the game.


Sleep helps you focus and helps you calm the mind. There is no replacement for sleep, and several studies have shown how important it is to get a full eight hours each day. If you’re having trouble quieting your mind and falling asleep try a natural sleep aid like new Nature Made Sleep®. Nature Made Sleep is made with a unique combination of L-theanine and Melatonin. L-theanine is a relaxant found in green tea that has been clinically shown to help you relax your mind. It helps to calm a “racing mind” at bedtime, so that the Melatonin can help put your body to sleep.

If you need a gentle nudge or a jump start, why not enroll in a yoga class to help you get started? Once your engine’s running, you can practice all your techniques at home on a regular basis. Plus, you’ll have formed good posture in your classes and profited from experienced instruction. All you need to do is take a few minutes for yourself each day, take a deep breath and say Om.

When the mind is silent, the concentration upon a particular object or form grows, and you can achieve inner peace.

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Eye Care

The ABCs of Good Eye Care We live in a visual age. Most Americans would say that sight is their most powerful sense. From looking at billboards, watching movies, reading magazines, perusing internet sites to visiting the theatre, we use our eyes for pretty much everything. So, isn’t it prudent to take good care of such valuable organs? Your Eyes and Overall Health If you’re a romantic or like to read fiction and poetry, you’ll have memorized and appreciated the saying, “the eyes are the windows to your soul.” But your eyes are also a good barometer of your overall health. We’re not just talking about the state of your eyes predicting cataracts and glaucoma; we’re talking about them being harbingers of diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Doctors say that ocular manifestations of health are really best interpreted by experts, which means that you should get an eye examination as regularly as you get a physical: at least once a year. If you have bloodshot eyes, or suspect that not everything

looks normal or standard, then it’s time to consult your eye doctor and schedule an appointment. Regardless, everyone should have a comprehensive eye exam by the time they are 40 years of age to ensure that their eyes and overall health are in good order. Problems such as Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye), bloodshot eyes, bulging eyes or droopy eyelids suggest much deeper, bigger issues. For instance, a bloody eye could not only mean harmless hemorrhaging of the tiny bloodshot vessels that are on the outer layer of the eye, but also severe blood pressure. A droopy eyelid may mean a brain tumor. Yellow discoloration in the eyes may indicate that some malfunction in the liversuch as hepatitis and cirrhosis.

How to Nourish Your Eyes If You Wear Contact Lenses Eating well and taking regular vitamins are central to your having healthy eyesight. It is not enough to nourish your body alone: your eyes are delicate organs that need constant nutrients, blood flow and hydration in order to function optimally. If you are a contact lens wearer, then opt for the Daily Acuvue™ variety that allow your eyes to breathe; the daily lenses provide superior hydration as well. There is now a breakthrough Acuvue contact lens technology called Hydraclear® that moisturizes your

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Another way to keep your eyes healthy if you are a contact lens wearer is to use the best possible solution to clean and store your lenses. One such solution that we recommend is Bausch & Lomb’s new Biotrue® multipurpose solution, the aim of which is to go many steps above and beyond cleaning. Biotrue has a lubricant that is found naturally in the human eye (hyaluronan), matches the PH of healthy tears, and keeps certain beneficial tear proteins active as they are naturally in the eye. The solution comes in a handy travel size as well. The best part? Your level of eye hydration is dramatically increased by using this solution.

General Nutrition for Your Eyes The eyes, just like your body, need adequate amounts of proper nutrients and vitamins in order to perform optimally. If you have dry eyes, you may want to increase your consumption of flaxseed and fish oil that contain dietary fatty acids. You can also increase the use of lubricating eye drops, (we recommend the Rohto brand). Fish oil and cod liver oil are popular supplements and you can pretty much find them everywhere. In general, good nutrition for the body will translate into good nutrition for the eyes. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk will help your eyesight. In particular, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts are definitely linked to good vision.

In the vitamin department, studies have shown that Vitamins C, E and A, and zinc and copper are excellent for eye health. Chances are that you’ve heard about the connection between eating a lot of carrots and good eyesight. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, and this is also necessary for night vision and bolstering the immune system. Carotenoids give this vegetable their characteristic orange pigment, and in addition to providing color to vegetables and fruit, they act as antioxidants. Your body naturally converts certain carotenoids into Vitamin A. Carrots are not the only vegetable to contain essential Vitamin A: other supplements like lutein and zeaxanthin contain Vitamin A that is beneficial for sight as well. Omega-3 essential fatty acids give excellent nutrition to the eyes and also reduce the risk of dry eyes. If you want to purchase vision supplements, look for popular and effective choices such as Icaps®, Ocuvite PreserVision® (from Bausch and Lomb), Oculaire® and MacuTriton®.

Why Vitamin A? Vitamin A plays such an important role in your eye health that it may make sense to understand why. The vitamin prevents night blindness and also dryness of the eyes, corneal ulcers and swollen eyelids. Vitamin A is also thought to be a good prevention to cataracts and acts to prevent macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is thought to be the leading cause of blindness.Men are encouraged to take 1,000 Retinol Equivalents and women are encouraged to consume at least 800 Retinol Equivalents (you can find the Vitamin A dosage on the “Nutritional Information” panel on the back of your vitamin box or bottle).

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk will help your eyesight. In particular, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts are definitely linked to good vision.


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Eye Care

eyes thoroughly and provides ample lubrication throughout the day. Dryness of the eye is a consistent complaint of contact lens wearers and Hydraclear may be the answer. Furthermore, this technology allows three times more oxygen to the corneal area.

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Harmful UV rays can significantly damage your eyes: when the light is too bright (and even when it isn’t), consider wearing sunglasses, and refrain from looking directly at the sun. In general, smoking is not a good idea if you want to maintain the health and integrity of your eyes. Smoking also prevents your body from absorbing vitamin A efficiently, and you’ll just need to take more Vitamin A if you plan on smoking. The best way to get your vitamin A is directly from food sources, and these include cod liver oil, beef, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, butternut squash, peppers, mango and cantaloupe.

Cataracts Cataracts are the foggy or cloudy areas in the lens inside the eye, and the lenses should typically be as clear as day. They can develop in both eyes, but are often found only in one eye. Unfortunately, cataracts are the leading cause of treatable blindness in the world. How are cataracts formed? A normal, healthy lens will permit light to pass through the back of the eye in order to render clear and healthy images. If a certain part of the lens becomes opaque, the light does not pass through easily, and this will create a foggy or hazy image. The ocular lens becomes completely or partially opaque.

How do you prevent cataracts? For one thing, you may do well to eliminate smoking. Studies have shown that smokers, more than non smokers, are likely to experience cataract symptoms. Make sure you eat well, and this means a diet of leafy greens, vegetables, whole grains and healthy oils. Women are advised to eat lutein and zeaxanthin-rich foods, and take supplements that contain sufficient amounts of Vitamin E. Another factor to take into account is direct sunlight. Harmful UV rays can significantly damage your eyes: when the light is too bright (and even when it isn’t), consider wearing sunglasses, and refrain from looking directly at the sun. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to cataracts, so ensure you get your eight hours a day of snooze time. Obesity and diabetes are factors as well, so if you suffer from these two issues, then definitely make sure your ophthalmologist visit is on your calendar every six months. You can never be too careful with your vision.

General Eye Care

The most common form of cataracts comes with the aging process: as you grow older, the lens often becomes cloudy and opaque, and millions of Americans will have cataract operations. Congenital cataracts are typically present when a baby is born. There are also incidents of developmental cataracts, which are diagnosed in older babies and children.

As we have seen, getting some decent shut-eye, avoiding smoking, wearing eye protection (particularly during the summer) and eating responsibly will give you a much healthier pair of eyes. If you wear contact lenses make sure that your prescription is always up to date. Outdated prescriptions can give you headaches and migraines, and can even ruin your sight. Make sure you keep your annual eye appointment and hydrate your eyes accordingly with the proper drops or saline solution.

Cataract surgery is very common these days, but statistics show that developing nations are more affected by cataracts than are developed nations. Studies have also shown that Hispanics, especially those who are older, tend to suffer more from cataracts than others.

Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to your sight. A lot of prevalent eye diseases can be held at bay through common sense and healthy habits. Treat your “windows to the soul” well and they will reward you with good sight for many years to come.

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How to have a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy By Michelle Goodman Congratulations, your home pregnancy test is positive! Now you need to begin planning your pregnancy. Understanding your pregnancy week to week can help you make good decisions throughout the 40 or so weeks. Learn nutrition dos and don’ts and getting the basics about other healthy pregnancy issues from exercising to back pain to sex. The more you know week to week the more manageable your pregnancy may seem. In the first few months or the first trimester, your body and your baby go through rapid changes. Physical changes in your body may include breast tenderness, fatigue and nausea. Your emotions may be all over the place. During the first trimester your baby’s brain, spinal cord and other organs begin to form and its heart begins to beat. Your baby’s fingers and toes even begin to take shape. During the second trimester, from months four to six, you may feel better than you did the first. During this time pregnancy signs and symptoms include larger breasts, a growing belly and skin changes. The baby starts to kick, make facial expressions and hear. By week 20, you will be halfway into your pregnancy and your baby may weigh about nine ounces. Remember, regular visits to your doctor are important during this time.

Eating Right Good nutrition and getting enough of it during your pregnancy are very important for your baby to grow and develop. You should consume about 300 more calories a day more when you are pregnant. Try and eat a well-balanced diet and take prenatal vitamins. Here are some recommendations to keep you and your baby healthy: • Eat a variety of foods to get all the necessary nutrients. Recommended daily servings include six to eleven servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products and three serv-


ings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Eat fats and sweets sparingly. • Choose foods high in fiber that are enriched such as wholegrain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet while you are pregnant. Your doctor can recommend an over-the-counter brand or prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you. • Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and ingest calcium-rich foods a day to ensure that you are getting 1000 to 1300 mg of calcium daily during your pregnancy. You need to eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron per day. • Choose at least one source of vitamin C, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, brussel sprouts and tomatoes. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C daily. • Eat at least one good source of folic acid such as dark green leafy vegetables, veal, legumes (lima beans, black beans, blackeyed peas and chickpeas). Pregnant women need at least 0.4 mg of folic acid daily to help prevent neural tube defects such as spinal bifida. • Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, turnip greens, apricots and cantaloupe. But know that excessive vitamin A, greater than 10,000 IU per day) may be associated with fetal malformations.

Foods to Avoid When Pregnant • Avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol has been linked to premature delivery, mental retardation, birth defects and low birth-weight babies. • Limit caffeine to no more than 300 mg a day. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 150 mg of caffeine while black tea has

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typically 80 mg. A 12 ounce can of caffeinated soda contains between 30 to 60 mg of caffeine. Also, chocolate contains caffeine. The amount in a chocolate bar equals a quarter cup of coffee. • Avoid soft cheeses like feta, brie, camembert and blue-veined. These cheeses are often unpasteurized and may cause Listeria infection. There is no need to avoid hard cheese, processed cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese or yogurt. • Avoid raw fish, especially shellfish like oysters and clams.

Exercise During Pregnancy Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel good. Exercising throughout your pregnancy can decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (see below), relieve stress and build more stamina necessary for labor and delivery. If you were physically active before your pregnancy, you should be able to continue your activity in moderation. If you have never exercised regularly before, you can safely begin an exercise program during your pregnancy after consulting with your doctor. Walking is one activity that is considered safe to initiate during your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day on most days or not all, unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication.

Who Should Not Exercise During Pregnancy If you have a medical problem such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes exercise may not be advisable. Also, it could be harmful if you have a pregnancy-related condition such as: • bleeding or spotting • low placenta

• threatened or recurrent miscarriage • Previous premature births or history of early labor • Weak cervix

Gestational Diabetes Gestational diabetes occurs when your body is unable to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood to high levels and doesn’t get used by your body for fuel. About 2 to 4 % of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. You may be at risk if you are over age 30, are obese, have a family history of diabetes or previously gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds or was stillborn. This type of diabetes occurs when pregnancy hormones interfere with the ability to use insulin – the hormone that turns blood sugar into energy – resulting in high blood sugar levels. If you have gestational diabetes you will probably be able to control your blood sugar levels with diet and exercise. But you will need to get 10 to 20 % of your calories from protein (meat, poultry, fish, and legumes), less than 30 % from fats and the remainder from carbohydrates (bread, cereal, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables). You also may need to limit sweets. At least once a week you will need to see your doctor and have your blood sugar levels checked. If the prescribed diet does not stabilize your blood sugar after about two weeks, you will probably have to give yourself daily insulin injections throughout the rest of your pregnancy and monitor your blood sugar levels at home. During your third trimester your doctor will track the baby’s health with ultrasound and fetal heart-rate tests. If your baby reaches nine pounds or more your doctor will most likely recommend a caesarian delivery. But if the baby seems healthy and a normal weight and size and your blood sugar levels are well-controlled you will probably be able to deliver the baby vaginally.

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Understanding your pregnancy week to week can help you make good decisions throughout the 40 or so weeks. Pregnancy Stretch Marks Stretch marks, the lines that develop on your abdomen as well as other areas of your body are a common concern during pregnancy. They do not cause any risk to you or your baby. But they may create discomfort if they lead to itching. And their cosmetic appearance can cause a lot of distress. What Causes Stretch Marks? The cause of pregnancy stretch marks is due to two factors, one of which is unique to pregnancy. First of all, there is the physical stretch of the skin that occurs in pregnancy. While the skin adapts to continuous movement by expanding and contracting, it does not have enough time to adjust. Your body expands, faster than the skin covering it, and the skin tears. The resulting scar that forms from this is the tear that we know as a stretch mark. The second factor, which is still a subject of debate among experts, involves the priming of the skin by increased hormone levels during pregnancy. Together these hormones attract more water into the skin, which relaxes the bonds between collagen fibers. This makes it easier for the skin to tear when it is stretched and for stretch marks to form. When and Where do they form? Stretch marks generally become visible during the later trimesters of pregnancy although some women will start to see them forming as soon as their bellies start growing. Most women develop stretch marks on their abdomen during pregnancy, but it is also common to get them on the breasts, thighs, hips, lower back and buttocks; usually where large amounts of fat are stored. In order to prevent them from forming in the first place, a topically applied product like Bio-Oil is specifically formulated to maximize the skin’s elasticity and ensure that it is supple and well-hydrated. Applying it twice a day at the beginning of your first trimester will help your body to better withstand the expansion of your belly. Sources: American Pregnancy, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Web MD, Mayo Clinic,


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Your Health

Freshman 15:

Fact or Fiction? By Jen Cassetty

What is the Freshman fifteen? Freshman fifteen is the recognized phenomenon of weight gained by college students in their first year of study at college or university. Undergraduate students typically gain up to fifteen pounds during the freshman (first) year. Due to the erratic schedules, whether social or academic, students’ diets can be quite irregular and meals often skipped.1 When students are in college away from the parents thay adapt to their new surroundings and their eating habits change Contrary to this common belief, most freshman college students do not gain 15 pounds. Recent studies show that on average, most freshmen gain 5 pounds. 2

information were misconceptions that didn’t contribute to their overall betterment. Below are some “myths” that circulated at NYU that can be helpful to learn from. I also provided my own remedies based on more than 13 years of fitness and personal training experience: MYTH: The late night munchies after frat parties and late night cram sessions causes weight gain. FACT: This isn’t entirely true. Weight gain and late night eating depends on your daily schedule. Sometimes your schedule is 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., rather than 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., so you have to adjust your eating habits to fuel your metabolism and energy levels to wrap around your waking hours, not how “the rest of the world” operates. And in addition, it depends on what you’re eating. It never hurts to eat an apple at 1 a.m. MYTH: I can spot reduce certain body parts like lower belly and thighs.

For many graduating students, fall will be the beginning of their college life. High school is over, and summer is just a distant memory. From esteemed professors to older students showing you the “ins” and “outs” of campus life, college is a social environment that will change your perspective.

FACT: You will be able trim and tone the total body, but you CAN NOT just lose lower belly fat and trim outer thighs as most gadgets and pills have you think. Focus on health and changing total body and there are exercises to help shape you better overall, but these just give you the overall result you want anyway.

However, not every impact will be positive. Aside from tough quizzes and professors who you’ll dislike, weight gain may occur as well, resulting in the “Freshman 15.”

MYTH: College is a time to try new diets and lifestyles, and in several instances, many freshman believe if they become vegetarian, they’ll be healthier

Since I train clients in a gym located in Union Square in NYC, I get the opportunity to work with New York University students from time to time. Over the last five years, I have observed what they do that causes their weight gain and realized that they just needed to make a few healthier choices to better maintain their weight in college. These students had all this information they perceived as a health fact, when in reality, these nuggets of

FACT: Veggies are good for you, but becoming a vegetarian does not necessarily mean you’ll be healthier. Unless you’re working with a nutritionist, it’s a challenge to balance the natural minerals and vitamins that certain animal proteins give you naturally. Do it the healthy way and you will achieve personal and health goals at the same time.


MYTH: Machines are safer and easier to use than free weights.

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FACT: It doesn’t matter if you’re using machines or free weights at your college gym, if you’re not taught proper form, injury can occur on either method. MYTH: Whether you’re a high school senior, college freshman, or even a mature lady in your 30’s, yoga is a popular exercise to do to lose weight. However, many believe that hot yoga is the way to get lean muscle. FACT: Hot yoga can get your heart rate unusually high so consult a physician before participating. Hot yoga is good for flexibility and balance, but definitely won’t build muscle. For students looking for tips on exercises to accompany their education, here are some workouts from my Femme Freshman workout I created for several of my NYU clients. These exercises can conveniently be done in the bedroom or dorm room: Butterfly Abs - This will flatten your tummy and strengthen your core! • Lie down and keep your lower back pressed into the floor with your feet pressed against each other so your legs make a butterfly shape. • Crunch your chin up to ceiling, pulling lower abs in. • Your goal (for fastest results!) is to do four sets of 25 reps, three times a week.

value of walking around campus. Wall Angels - This exercise strengthens your upper back and shoulders—so you can carry all those heavy books. • Strike a “chair pose” against the wall (spine touching wall from shoulders to your hips) and extend your arms above your head. This is your starting position. • While your back is against the wall, bring your arms down to shoulder level. Hold it for one second and then bring your arms back over your head. Repeat like you are making a snow angel on the wall. • Your legs should remain still in the chair pose. To work your core, suck in your abs. • Your goal (for fastest results!) is to do three sets of 25 repetitions, three times a week. Whether it’s the “Freshman 15,” “Sophomore Slump,” or just plain weight gain, being informed about the foods you eat and remaining active will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. The students I was training just have to be educated on the facts and avoid the myths of living healthy, whether as a freshman in college or senior in life. 1. From The Freshman 15: Is it Real, published by the Journal of American College Health. 2. This is an average, indicating there are students who gain much more weight than that, and some students loose weight.

Leg Crossover Plank - This tightens and tones your hips, abs and lower back. • Start in the plank position with your forearms propelling your body a few inches off the ground. You should also be on your toes to help you keep your back straight. • Cross your right foot over your opposite leg and tap floor with your toes, then return to the starting position. Repeat with your left foot. • Do it three sets of 20 reps on each leg, three times per week, then 15 minutes of cardio — and never overestimate the


&Your Health Twitter: @jencassetty Jennifer Cassetty is a sports, fitness and nutrition expert in NYC.

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health Workout

The Elusive Six-Pack:

How to get the Abdominals You Want Fitness coach Hilton McAuliffe, one of New York’s most popular fitness, wellness and weight loss trainers, shows you how to quickly and easily trim and transform your tummy. These exercises are pretty painless, and are more productive than crunches. All you need is 20 minutes, 5 times a week. Feel the burn!

Exercise 3

Seated Leg Raises

Exercise 1

Curve Leg Lifts To stimulate your abdominal muscles, stand with your feet hip-width apart, and turn your feet away slightly. Extend your arms forward and make sure that your back is arched. Hold that position for about ten seconds, and then return to the starting position. You’ll need about ten repetitions to make your abs feel the burn. Exercise 2


Lie on the ground with the chest pointed upward, and put your feet together and place them on the wall. Now raise your shoulders and grab your outer thighs with your hands, and flex your abdominal muscles for 30 seconds. At this point you should start to feel as though you are really doing some serious work.


Now, let go of your legs, hold them for another thirty seconds and continue to repeat the muscle flexing. Now, repeat this sequence twice. It is not necessary to let go of your thighs if you feel a little unstable, but the key here is making sure you’re feeling the burn.

These exercises are for the lower abdominals, and you can use a balance ball or sit on a steady surface. Balance your body on the ball (you can even sit on the floor if you like), and raise your legs off the floor. Make sure your body is balanced at all times. See if you can do around 10 sets of repetitions and then increase them. Exercise 4

Easy Pretzels Lie flat on your back, and bring your knees into your chest. Now bend your elbows and put your arms behind your head. Now, pretend you are cycling and pedal hard and fast into the air. Try to make your elbows touch the knees as you alternate pedal. You are now doing pretzel positions. Try to really make each movement count and do as many repetitions as you can. For more information go to

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Family Journeys: Cruising the Blue Seas The very thought of going on a cruise with your family members may be enough to shell-shock your wallet. In this day and age, every household understands the value of a hard-earned dollar. Vacation planners also know that if the trip is not properly worked out and budgeted, chances are that they will come home even more stressed than when they left. Cruises are surprisingly an extremely affordable way to take the family on a vacation – especially if you’re going away for an entire week. Put it this way: the entrance fees at Disney World alone range in the realm of $1,000 for a family of four but you can get four nights on a cruise for as little as $300 (meals included). Let’s see which is the more appealing option? Families love cruises also because they have everything under the sun: a daycare center, unlimited meals, highchairs, ice cream parties to satisfy the pickiest sweet-tooths and nightclubs to satisfy the party-oriented mom when the kids are fast asleep. Even if you were to find the best city in the entire world, chances are that all these establishments would not be within such a small radius as they are on a cruise ship. There are so many cruise lines that sail the sea today how do you know which ones are inexpensive and which are truly family friendly? We pare down the choices so you don’t have to: Carnival Cruise Lines ( This selection has long since been thought of as the “fun ship” and the perfect selection for couples, teenagers and those seeking a little bit more adventure than a tame ride. Their motto, Fun for All, All for Fun essentially tells the message. You’ll get the typical cruise luxuries like Karaoke, night clubs, swimming pool and fine dining, but the emphasis of this cruise line is definitely inexpensive fun, ranging from $300 per person for three nights.


Founded in 1972 and headquartered in Miami, Carnival now has increased the quality of their culinary offerings, invested in a top-notch children’s program and offers a completely smoke-free cruise ship. What is particularly attractive about the cruise line is that they really specialize in three-day cruises and visit several sought after and affordable destinations. Disney Cruise Line ( This cruise line is a more luxurious experience that has the emphasis on the family and kids. There are three different restaurants that offer a “Rotational Dining” experience (meaning, you can dine from one restaurant to another), see original Disney musicals, and a stop at Castaway Cay (which is a Disney island paradise specifically reserved for cruise vacationers). While this cruise line offers several gold-plated services, especially for families and kids, this is definitely a pricey cruise line, with three night cruises ranging around $1,200 per person. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ( The largest cruise operator also may well be the best value for money. The cruise lines are extremely affordable (in the $200-$400 per person for three to four nights) and the amenities are top notch. Plus, the destinations are impressive, ranging from the Bahamas to the Caribbean. Princess Cruises ( These cruise lines offer you several choices, from ports of call to ships (you can choose from larger vessels to more intimate cruises). You can even travel in a vessel that only hosts around 680 passengers, which is half the number of people you’d expect to find in a small Ivy League school or around the size of a small American town. Princess cruises are quite affordable and have 120 itineraries to over 330 destinations.

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Crystal Cruises ( This cruise line is more synonymous with luxury than it is with economy, and parents who want to splurge a little more than the norm will like the options aboard. Crystal ships are large, and carry north of 900 passengers. The upside to traveling in a Montana-sized vessel? A lot more leg room and real estate in your cabin. The cruise line is very empathetic to women who are traveling solo, with its Ambassador Host Program that brings cultured gentlemen to wine and dine with the ladies. Holland America Line ( These cruises are designed for class and comfort and even though there are a lot of youngsters on board, the cruise line offers real world-class entertainment for excellent prices. The entertainment on board the ship is one of the highlights; if you’re into Broadway style performances and cabaret dances, including seeing comedians, jugglers and magicians, you will enjoy this cruise line. As for prices, they are as competitive as those of Carnival or Royal Caribbean, so you’re in good hands when it comes to real value for money. Whichever cruise line you choose to gravitate toward, keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always be the best option for your family. You’ll want to take into consideration the size of the ship, the dining options and the activities; also look at the privacy options as well because if you want to really get away from it all, you’ll want total peace and quiet. The best part of any cruise is the value for your dollar. For most vacations, you can end up spending north of $500 for the airfare alone: with cruises, you’ll get the complete value – from lodging to meals for three days – for that same price, or less. So what’s not to love about cruises?

Tips on Having the Best Cruise 1.

Given the unlimited supply of food, you and the family may feel tempted to indulge. If you’re prone to motion sickness, this may not be the best idea. Instead of going to the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets with an empty stomach, consider snacking on healthy fruit and nuts prior to going to dinner, and you’ll be more apt to eat smaller portions.


Keep some TUMS® handy at all times. Most people do not experience any significant motion sickness while on a cruise, you want something handy if you do.


Take advantage of all the activities on board. Refrain from spending too much time in “trap” activities like watching the Shopping Show, or spending all your evening hours in the casino. The advantage clearly belongs to the house and just because you are in a no-zip code zone with free alcoholic beverages does not mean that the laws of probability will change. Instead, try visiting and enjoying several venues, including the night club, the gym, the shopping area etc. and truly appreciate the cruising creature comforts.


Get a full night’s rest, and set your alarm or request a wakeup call. If you happen to have cabins without a porthole, then anticipate your space to be extremely dark. Chances are that you will have no idea what day or time it is when you wake up. So do the responsible thing and request a wakeup call, and make sure you clock a decent eight hours of sleep.

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Celeb Close-Up



More Than Just a Pretty Face 88

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 There is this one scene in Grey’s Anatomy, Season Two that is hard to forget because of Katherine Heigl’s superb acting: When Izzie Stevens (Heigl), meets the love of her life, she gets all dressed up in a prom-style ball gown and descends the elevator in the episode that is aptly titled, Losing My Religion. Heigl is consumed with love and affection for Denny Duquette, a millionaire who needs a heart transplant that seems harder to get than a raise these days. She fights tooth and nail to ensure that Denny gets that heart transplant and does so with such conviction that garnered this season’s episode with one of the highest ratings ever. What is impressive about Heigl is the absolute conversion of her emotions to something raw, beautiful and real – a transformation that heightens her acting ability. For a television series actress to portray that kind of charm and seriousness and touch millions of viewers with such sincerity is not easy and certainly substantiates her ability to act. It is not surprising that Heigl, with her good looks and that kind of youthful, strawberries-and-cream complexion that would make even Taylor Swift jealous, started her career as a model. She garnered the traits of confidence, posture, gait and catwalk experience at the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency before she turned her attention to acting. Her first experience was when she was only thirteen years old, starring in the comingof-age film, That Night.

 Comes Softly. In 2007 she won a Golden Globe award for her role in playing Izzie Stevens in the medical television drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Television helped propel Katharine Heigl to a celebrity status she had not quite managed to attain when playing characters on the silver screen. In Grey’s Anatomy, dealing with Denny Duquette, she was emotional yet grounded, determined to be single yet falling in love with a tragic figure. Viewers, while they certainly were captivated by the charm and good looks of Heigl, also concurred that she could certainly play the part of Izzie. For Heigl to have landed a core role in this television series in an age when drama series were becoming as popular as reality television, meant big bucks for the actress and also incredible recognition. Heigl flew high in the aftermath of her Golden Globe but it was becoming increasingly clear that she wanted to break free from her later cameo appearances on Grey’s to landing more key, core roles in films like Knocked Up and most recently, The Killers. She ended up departing from Grey’s Anatomy in March, 2010. Her reason for the departure was more family oriented than it was to focus on her movie career. Heigl’s character in Grey’s was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and leaves Seattle after a failed relationship with Alex Karev, her co-star Justin Chambers.

(On Hollywood stereotyping)

Her first leading role was in the 1994 comedy, My Father the Hero, and her acting career still continued while she balanced her high school life and her academic studies. In 1995, she was cast as a 16 year old in the Steven Seagal action thriller, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, where her charactor is held hostage as the train is hijacked by mercenaries. Even in this film, Heigl showed the world that although she was young actor, she could still act well.

“You`re the blonde. Or the cheerleader. Or the girlfriend. It would have been really easy to fall back on the blonde and the bra size and just do that for the rest of my career.

She continued to model and appeared in several magazines, including Seventeen, and eventually moved to Hollywood with her mother as her manager in 1997. She honed her theatrical acting skills when she costarred with Peter Fonda during a re-working of the classic Shakespeare play, The Tempest, that was set during the American Civil War.

After a series of further successes including being featured in photo essays in magazines such as Life, Teen and FHM, Heigl appeared in several television movies that utilized a range of her acting skills from the feeling of horror, Evil Never Dies, to Love

Since 2009, Katherine Heigl is making more of a name for herself on the Silver Screen starring in lead roles in films such as 27 Dresses and Knocked Up. She describes Knocked U p as a movie that was essentially anti-feminist and demoralizing to women. Whatever Heigl does, she takes a stance, and there’s no question that her loyalty and feminist nature will help her find her “voice” as she explores various film roles. One of her famous quotes was, “Guys are kind of retarded until they’re about 30.” Although her films have primarily been of the chick-flick variety, Heigl is solid when it comes to acting, a role that is the province today of serious actresses like Scarlett Johansson and Angelina Jolie. She doesn’t fool around with the party scene, and while that may make for bland tabloids, it certainly shows that she is extremely focused on acheiving her goals. Heigl grew up Mormon, but admits that she no longer practices the religion but hopes to come back to the faith some day when she becomes “a little less selfish.”

There is no doubt that the world is waiting for Heigl’s Oscarworthy performance which may come sooner than people think. Her fine talents on the screen, her charm and her fine wit make her extremely well positioned to take flight as a seasoned and highly-respected actress.

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The Golden Age of

Vampires We live in a time where the media has become enamored with fangs. From the Twilight Saga to True Blood, the audience is clamoring for pale skin and lots of blood drinking. We take a closer look at how America has become so obsessed with vampire stories. It’s Almost Like the Zombie Craze Remember how zombies were so popular? In certain circles, they still are. The Michael Jackson Thriller video was only one page out of zombie obsession; but now it seems that the current decade has plucked away zombies and replaced them with vampires. America has always had a thing for blood and horror movies. From earlier masterpieces like The Exorcist, Poltergeist and The Ring to current films like Twilight and New Moon, the movie-going audience has always welcomed the sensation of fear. Fear is a very powerful psychological sensation: it stimulates the flow of adrenaline and gives audiences a “rush” that they typically experience during dare-devil activities like bungee jumping or crazy roller coaster rides. Fear is the cash cow that has led to the breeding ground of horror movies, from the latest Scorsese thriller, Shutter Island to Wes Craven’s Nighmare on Elm Street series. Fear is the very emotion producers are banking on when it comes to series like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.


It All Started with Dracula One could argue that the latest vampire craze started with the Twilight quartet of books. When writer Stephanie Meyer introduced the world to the romance between a vulnerable human, Bella Swan, and a blood-thirsty vampire, Edward Cullen, it created a reaction that teenagers flocked to. The books Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn ended up producing a nation clamouring for werewolves, immortality and blood-thirsty vampires feasting on humans. The original seed of thought began when the movie Dracula was released in the early 1900s. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was written in 1897 and provided a blueprint for most all the vampire fiction that has since poured from writers’ pens. Remember Anne Rice? She was the first to delve deep into the psyche of the vampires with her novel Interview With the Vampire (Rice’s work later on fueled the series Buffy The Vampire Slayer). So what is so different about Meyer’s vampires? In her version, they cannot be killed by sunlight or stakes. Part of the reason why young America fell in love with the characters may be attributed to the teenage theme: Bella Swan is just a teenager in school who is attracted to vampire Edward Cullen. The theme of forbidden love in a high school setting sounds quite delicious to the average kid who may be is a bit of an inner rebel; so it’s not terribly far-fetched to see how the younger crowd would respond so well to these books.

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The Vampire Diaries and True Blood Developed by Kevin Williamson, The Vampire Diaries is a mix of teen drama and the supernatural. The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert who falls in love with the vampire Stefan Salvatore. The setting is in a small town, similar to that of Forks in Twilight. What makes The Vampire Diaries so special is the psyche of the small town. The series brings to life the unsettling nature of the romance and it is precisely the strangeness and eerie setting that made the TV series so memorable for Channel CW. True Blood, an HBO series that was created and produced by Alan Ball, is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries set of novels by Charlaine Harris. Much like Forks, the small, fictional Louisiana town of Bon Temps acts as a breeding ground for vampires and humans alike. The star of the series is a telepathic waitress called Sookie Stackhouse who falls in love with a vampire called Bill Compton. The unifying theme that runs through all of these television and large screen obsessions True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and Twilight Saga is a love story between two unlikely characters (vampire and human) and a certain, erotic tension that exists in small, almost forgotten towns. America must love its horror movies, for sure, but it loves its unlikely heroes even more. This is the reason why the world loves Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling’s series of novels: the vulnerable underdog (Harry) ends up defeating the powerful menace,

America has always had a thing for blood and horror movies (...) the movie-going audience has always welcomed the sensation of fear. Voldemort. But in the series of books by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter’s greatness was predestined. The scar on his face foreshadowed greatness, so from the very onset, the reader knows that the hero is someone completely special. Bella Swan is a character who is the complete opposite to someone like Harry Potter: she has a secure and loving family (Potter’s family is dead: he is raised by his aunt and uncle), and she has nothing special going for her. She’s not an exceptional student, nor does she possess any unique powers. It is essentially her normalcy and vulnerability that has made her into such a memorable character. Unlike Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Bella Swan is not Wonder Woman. The innocence and charm of her nature juxtaposed against her strange sense of calm and an almost inner fearlessness is the glue that held Meyer’s plot together. One could argue that the vampire trend is gradually waning. Indeed, there is a movie that is a spoof on all the vampire rage scheduled to hit theatres soon. Called Vampires Suck , it is a comedy about contemporary teen and romance movies, directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. The hilarious poster’s tag line reads, “From the guys who couldn’t sit through another vampire movie.” Will the saga continue? It is likely that the vampire craze will last until Part 2 of Breaking Dawn, at any rate but the proof will be in box office sales. The latest installment of the Twilight saga shows that New Moon was widely anticipated and heralded, but what will happen after the Meyer effect begins to wane? Unlike vampires, this trend may not be as immortal.

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Smart Shopping: Smartphones and Plans

This is the golden age of unlimited data This is the golden age of unlimited data use, use. If you are in the market to purchase smartphones and cell phones. If you are in the a smartphone orone, cellhere phone, here is a list market to purchase is a list of options for of options for you to consider. We did the you to consider (we did the homework so you did not have to). so you don’t have to! homework Do Your Homework before you Buy As tempted as you may be to immediately order the iPhone from AT&T, or if you’re really adventurous, brave a visit to the Apple store, it is better to do your homework and really find out the phone that gives you the best possible bang for your buck. In this day and age, where your cell phone carriers are competing fiercely for your business, you will be surprised at how many options your carrier or cell phone service provider will have for you. But you have to be willing to let go of your traditional notions of what a smartphone is and really investigate the options in the market. For instance, Boost Mobile just launched their first smart phone ever, the BlackBerry Curve 8330, and with it, comes its unlimited, prepaid voice and data plan for only $60 per month. Now, if you compare this to the data plan of the Verizon Droid (which comes in the neighborhood of around $80 per month), you’ll clearly see that it is a much better deal. Of course the catch here is that it is prepaid. People use cell phones now for various reasons: for


downloading data, for uploading pictures and YouTube videos, for checking email and e-books and for general web surfing. The amount of data that an average person consumes per month is the equivalent of going to a bookstore and reading an entire shelf of books. In general, national carriers are pretty pricey with their phones and their plan options. AT&T used to have an $80 per month plan for the iPhone for unlimited data (not roaming), but they recently changed this to a plan that lets you pay for the data that you use. While consumers initially may balk at this, the charges are not as steep as one would think. If you simply use the data plan for emails and texts, with an occasional dash of surfing the web, then you will probably have a less expensive bill than you did initially. The smaller brands, like Sprint, Boost and T-Mobile are cheaper than the larger national carriers like AT&T and Verizon when it comes to the monthly plans. But other factors to consider when buying a phone (apart from the carrier) is network connectivity, availability of service and data streaming. Pricing If you’re looking for a true value-added option, you may want to pick up a phone and use T-Mobile’s “Even More Plus” plans. These plans are contract-free and are typically much less expensive than the other offerings but the trick here is to bring

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Unlimited Voice/Messaging/Data • Boost Mobile: $60 (Requires $249.99 BlackBerry Curve 8330) • T-Mobile Even More Plus: $69.99 (No Contract, Bring Your Own Device) • Sprint & T-Mobile: $99.99 (Two-Year Contract) • AT&T & Verizon: $119.99 (Two-Year Contract) (Source: The pricing above shows several things: the first is that national carriers are expensive; however, they have the best service because their network is pretty extensive. That said, several people have complained because of the poor cell phone service given by AT&T in the metropolitan area. Most of the contracts are indeed only two years, and you can save a bundle by going to smaller carriers like Sprint, Boost Mobile, Metro PCS and T-Mobile instead of to an AT&T or a Verizon. The reason for the smaller carriers undercutting the pricing is clear: they want your business. If you calculate your yearly savings, you’ll find that by opting for the underdog, you would have saved hundreds of dollars. Now, the question is to find out what you want: a sexy phone that everyone is talking about (the iPhone does have the largest marketshare of apps, I will wager. If you don’t really want an overly sexy, app-sucking machine then why not opt for value and get a Blackberry Curve 8330 from Boost? You’ll end up saving $1,440 over two years by choosing Boost instead of AT&T or Verizon. If you are a customer who is dying to buy that iPhone or Droid, but still has a few months of your contract left, then you would do well to wait it out. No one wants to fork over $200 or $300 of fees in order to terminate a contract.

your own phone because the new smartphones on this plan don’t have the subsidizing option. As a result you will get low monthly rates and zero commitments to a contract. How does that sound for value? The carriers that offer the best value for your money options include Sprint and T-Mobile, but if you really want a smartphone carrier that blows the competitor out of the water in terms of pricing, then go with Boost Mobile. Here is the run down on pricing: Unlimited Messaging & Data Use 450 Minutes + Unlimited Messaging/Data • T-Mobile Even More Plus: $59.99 (500 Minutes, No Contract, Bring Your Own Device) • Sprint: $69.99 (Two-Year Contract) • T-Mobile: $79.99 (Two-Year Contract) • AT&T & Verizon: $89.99 (Two-Year Contract) 900 Minutes + Unlimited Messaging/Data • T-Mobile Even More Plus: $69.99 (1,000 Minutes, No Contract, Bring Your Own Device) • Sprint & T-Mobile: $89.99 (Two-Year Contract) • AT&T & Verizon: $109.99 (Two-Year Contract)

Here are some handy dandy rules of thumb to keep in mind: • If you have a family, go with a family plan. It’s cheaper to spread one contract over several people (plus phone to phone calls are free) In order to qualify for this option, you need to demonstrate that your monthly housing payment needs to exceeds more than 31% of your gross monthly income. • If you want the iPhone, you need to marry the AT&T plan: there’s really no way around that in the foreseeable future, because Verizon has not officially cemented plans to carry the iPhone, at least for now. • If you do get an iPhone, remember to ensure you don’t download too much data – or at the very least, not regularly. You’ll now enjoy a $10 or $25 per month data plan that offers a lot more content than the typically more expensive $80 per month plan. Sprint PCS offers a terrific deal when it comes to a prepaid cell phone service, with $40 unlimited a month for voice, texting and web access. You’ll be really hard pressed to find a deal this good – and because it’s prepaid, it comes with no strings attached. There is also an unlimited $50 per month plan for smartphone users, which includes unlimited HTML browsing. There is definitely a phone out there for you… enjoy the shopping process and purchase wisely (if you opt for a carrier with a contract), because you’ll be married to it for at least several years.

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All Images courtesey Summit Entertainment



Stewart The Twilight Series Star Shines On and Off Screen

You don’t have to

be a teenager to have heard of Kristen Stewart. She’s just about everywhere now, from her latest flick Eclipse, red carpet events and on T-shirts. Born Kristen Jaymes Stewart in Los Angeles, the young actress is barely twenty years old, and already the stuff of legend. Born into the film business certainly comes with perks (her father, John Stewart is a stage manager and television producer) and she quickly soaked up a lot of what her natural environment gave her. Her career began in almost Shirley Temple fashion, at the age of eight when her performance in an elementary school’s Christmas play caught the attention of an agent. Like several budding stars, her formative years led to small roles until she landed a major part in the movie Panic Room where she played the role of a diabetic mother’s daughter. After the release of Twilight, Stewart was awarded the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance for her portrayal of Bella Swan, an honor which cemented her status as a star truly worthy of note. After the Twilight movie made its debut at the box office, rumors about her connection with Rob Pattinson, the movie’s sexy “vampire” co-star, began to surface.

Kristen and Rob “The Kiss,” as it is now termed in MTV Movie Award history, was an event that most of America (at least teenage America) did not want to forget. The Awards Show held in 2009, gave the couple the Golden Popcorn prize for the “Best Onscreen Kiss” the second year in a row. Pattinson and Stewart may have had the most romantic kiss on screen, but their skit at the MTV Movie Awards showed them awkward on stage and almost uncomfortable – all hands and elbows, as it were. In the end, they did not even end up kissing, much to the disappointment of their fans. But Kristen and Rob were considered an item even during the first movie of the Twilight saga, even though their publicists vehemently denied it. But, as we have all seen from the aftermath of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (the set where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt met, fell in love and later, vehemently denied), this is Hollywood and this is how it rolls.


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Pattinson has denied it on various interviews including one on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but America loves to speculate, especially about its silver screen sweethearts. In truly gossipy fashion, news about this couple’s romantic link spread faster than a California wildfire, and before long, magazines had stories that talked about their wedding. In September, 2009, tabloids hinted at a wedding on the Vancouver set of the movie Eclipse. But that rumor was short lived when the supposed “wedding” turned out to be the wedding on the set of the movie itself (if you’re a Twilight fan, you’ll have already figured this one out). Is romance currently in the cards for Ms. Stewart? Very possibly, but the actress is keeping as quiet as a mouse when it comes to this topic, and in that, she is as impressive as Scarlett Johansson’s coyness and shyness when it comes to dealing with the paparazzi.

The Great Vulnerability of Bella Swan To play the role of Bella Swan, Stewart needed to be both sentimental, demure, yet have a stubborn bullheadedness about her. The nature of Swan in both the book and the movie is a heroine who is tortured and tormented over her love for a vampire and although many people fear the nature of a vampire, Swan never compromises her love or gives way to her fear. She really understands the vulnerability of a serious first crush. “Everybody says the first cut is the deepest. It’s so true. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the best love, but it’s the first that you remember. There is one boy that I will remember for the rest of my life, and I wouldn’t go as far as to say, ‘Oh I was in love with him and he broke my heart’. You hold on to that, just that first experience, it’s good to have and you should appreciate it, even if it hurts.”

Part of her success stems from the fact that she really does understand the nature of the character she plays and more than anything, she is smart enough to understand the nature of a vampire. For instance, in a scene from New Moon when she first confronts Edward that he is a vampire: Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan): How old are you? Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen): ... 17 ... Kristen Stewart: ... How long have you been 17? Robert Pattinson: ... A while ... Stewart plays this moment with great depth but she does not show any fear. She’s said before that her parents really did not need to have “the talk” with her about sex, because she figured out many things without having to be schooled by them. Her maturity shines like a beacon in this scene when she realizes that Edward Cullen could easily bite her and turn her into a vampire, but she still doesn’t run away. The proof of the cast’s talent is in the box office numbers. Twilight garnered $70 million during the first weekend; New Moon had garnered $72.7 million on the opening day alone, while Eclipse churned out $68.5 million on the opening day. There was news recently that the final installment of the Twilight Series (Breaking Dawn) would be split into two movies, no doubt to cash in on the love story’s cash machine. Whatever the result of Breaking Dawn may be, Twilighters will be waiting with bated breath and dressing up in fangs and pale makeup to watch the movie on opening day, so the future of Stewart’s career seems secure. Until any future movies come to fruition, she has already left a fine body of work behind her with roles in Panic Room, Zathura, In the Land of Women, The Messengers, Adventureland and The Runaways where she plays rock star Joan Jett.

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Last Word

Should Your Medical Records Go Digital? by Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

When the pain drug Vioxx™ was pulled from the market in September of 2004 because of concerns about heart and stroke risks, every Cleveland Clinic patient taking the drug got an e-mail within an hour of the recall. So did their doctors. At a Memphis, Tennessee hospital, a red-alert system sends up warnings when medical professionals announce the earliest, easy-to-overlook signs of sepsis, a potentially deadly response to infection. And in Massachusetts, a third of the doctors in one survey said they’d rewritten prescriptions to avert dangerous drug interactions. Behind all of these quick saves: Electronic medical records. The YOU Docs ( love them. But whether you love’em or hate’em, we’re all debating the upsides and downsides of EMRs – as we physicians call them – in the boardroom and around the kitchen table and the water cooler. It’s a headline grabber: In the United States, $20 billion in taxpayer money has been set aside in President Obama’s economic stimulus package to create a national medical-record database over the next few years, and in Canada, government health officials are pushing to increase the number of doctors using EMRs. These computerized replacements for scads of paper files could – if you believe proponents like us – help you live healthier and longer while you save money (no more repeat tests because your new doc doesn’t know what the guy across town did, for example) and get more convenient care. Downsides? The biggest concerns are two you’ve probably already thought of: Privacy. Even the Institute of Medicine is worried about this one, and last year sternly recommended that the government step up its game when it comes to protecting patient records from prying eyes. Many hospital systems audit who’s looking at records -- and they will fire employees caught snooping. But if a national system is created, we’ll need stronger safeguards.

We think these are compelling reasons for a well-constructed security system, not for abandoning the idea of EMRs. Take a look at why we think going digital is still a great idea: Hospital stays get healthier. In a study of more than 167,000 patients in 41 Texas hospitals, researchers found that every 10% increase in the use of EMRs by a hospital reduced complications for conditions like heart attacks, bypass surgery, and pneumonia by 9% to 55% -- and decreased death rates by 15%. On a national scale, this could translate into 100,000 fewer hospital deaths per year. Drug interactions get caught before they happen. The more drugs you take, the more likely an interaction is; they kill more than 100,000 people per year in the United States alone. EMRs track what you’re taking and flash a warning if your doctor prescribes something that would cause trouble. In one survey of 184 doctors who use EMRs in Massachusetts, 83% said they prevented medical errors, and 35% said the EMRs had prompted them to change a prescription within the previous month. Test results can be downloaded to your home computer. No more waiting for the doc to call you back in the morning. Some hospitals with EMRs, like the Cleveland Clinic, let patients access test results directly, as soon as they’re available. Patients in the Kaiser Permanente health network, for example, checked more than 16 million lab tests online last year. Not a bad idea to always check the results yourself. At one Veterans Administration hospital, nearly 20% of electronic “alerts” for abnormal CT scans and other imaging tests were ignored by doctors for 2 weeks – even though they kept popping up on computer screens. Access can be had from anywhere. If you get hurt while bungee jumping at a resort thousands of miles from home, will the ER doc know about your drug allergies? With electronic records, your file is just a few keystrokes away.

Medical identity theft. Hard to imagine anyone would want your tennis elbow or kidney stones, but medical identity thieves are after something far more valuable: Your health insurance benefits. An estimated 249,000 people have been the victims of medical ID theft, and it’s tougher to fix than credit theft.


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