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table of contents |
November 2011 SHOP
Gifts for your gal pals ......................................................................... 5
Jody White, Dress for Success .........................................................11 Stacey Fox, Stacey’s ............................................................................14
I’M A DES MOINES WOMAN
Pam Nida, Weight Watchers specialist ......................................... 17
Keep your job, train for a new one ................................................18
Holiday looks for any party ..............................................................20
Are cleanses worth the fuss? ...........................................................28
True life: I got a body wrap .............................................................30 Editor Sarah Dose
Fashion Editor Sarah Dose
Presentation Editor Nathan Groepper
Photographers David Purdy Eric Rowley Rodney White
Staff Writers Patt Johnson Jennifer Miller Designer Amanda Holladay To place an ad call Kimm Miller (515) 284-8404 Des Moines Register Magazine Division Vice President, Content Rick Green President and Publisher Laura Hollingsworth
Above: Stacey Fox shows off prom dresses sold in her Urbandale store. On the cover: Tam Milligan wears a sequinned Velvet dress in mulberry ($196) from Siren. 4 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
Copy Editors Charles Flesher, Joe Hawkins, Kimberly Isburg, Darla Adair-Petroski Contact us: Des Moines Woman Fourth Floor P.O. Box 957 Des Moines, IA 50306 email: firstname.lastname@example.org To subscribe to Des Moines Woman, call (515) 284-8060. These materials are the sole and exclusive property of the Des Moines Register & Tribune Co. and are not to be used without its written permission. © 2011 Des Moines Register & Tribune Co.
Cover photo by ERIC ROWLEY • Photo at left by rodney white
GIFTS for your girls Your sister ... your bestie ... Whatever you call her, she’s who you
talk to when you’re sad (or happy). She joins you for serious films or rom-coms (and never complains either way). She’s easily talked into coffee (or a martini). Doesn’t she deserve a little something special for the holidays? We’ve done the work for you, with these ideas for every budget, every interest, and every best gal on your list. So get shopping! by Kelly Roberson Special to Des Moines Woman • photos by ERIC ROWlEY
Smells of Success For whole-house goodness, try the cold-weather scent in the new Votivo winter cranberry candle, in a giving-ready tin ($16), Eden
Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 5
shop Cloak It
Part shawl, part sweater, part super-cool uber-chic accessory, this wrap boasts a neutral-leaning pattern that makes it a perfect fit for jeans or a little black dress. Pashmina ($70), Aimee
Beautiful things are perfect to indulge in for others, especially when they’re both inspirational and handmade. “Let Yourself Be Free” print from Small Talk Studio ($22), Domestica
In a Clutch There’s always room for one more handbag in your closet. Give an oversized one with bold patterns and super-cool stitching. Navy clutch – also available in other colors and sizes ($45), Domestica
6 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
Pucker Up Lips bear the brunt of all things winter. Help your girlfriends keep theirs kiss-perfect with the Fresh sugar honey lip treatment ($22.50), Eden
Roll on Smelling good is almost as much fun as looking good. Get a scent that tucks neatly into a handbag and rolls on in luscious, natural-inspired scents like extract of blackberry. Royal Apothic perfumed fragrances ($16), Eden
Buy this stuff
Aimee 432 E. Locust St.; 243-0045
Curl up on a cold night with a good girlfriend, homemade manicure tools in hand. Start with the Butter series of polish, with no formaldehyde, no toluene, and no BFP ($14), Domestica
Domestica 321 E. Walnut St.; 283-2000 Eden 418 E. Sixth St.; 282-0669 Kitchen Collage 430 E. Locust St.; 270-8202
Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 7
Ring Around Arm candy is a delightful way to spruce up a holiday — or any day — outfit, particularly when the pieces are as charming as these two accents. Daisy ring ($14) and Bean and Sprout cuff made from ties ($20), Aimee
Polish Her Look If you’re going out for a celebratory holiday martini, your BFF needs a little ear candy. Isette East earrings, available in intricate patterns in black, white or wood ($19). Lovely jewelry that’s hip, colorful, and with enough indie cred to make it coveted from coast to coast. That’s the case with the Is Was + Will Be series, particularly the brass, glass and Irish linen combo here. Helsinki series necklace ($45), Domestica
8 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
shop Shelf Study Love your books? Artist Jane Mount translates your faves into a custom illustration — or you can pick a readymade theme and give this sweet gift, framed or unframed. Our favorites: the fashion collection and the Harry Potter series. What’s On Your Bookshelf prints ($20 each), Domestica
Coffee, or Tea, To Go Show the love — for both your bestie and her caffeine routine — with any one of these fantastic at-home Bodum essentials for brewing up coffee or tea. Start with the cherry red pop of the electric cordless water kettle ($29.95) and grind some beans in the matching grinder ($29.95). The size of the French press brews the perfect cup or two of coffee ($14.99) and the latte milk frother makes coffee just like a barista would ($29.95). For the finishing touch, add the to-go cup. (Secret: It has its own mini press, so you can just add coffee and hot water and go, all for only $29.99). Kitchen Collage
Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 9
10 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
Dressed for Success
Jody White has helped create a place for women to gain confidence and improve their lives. By Patt Johnson â€˘ Photos by DAVID PURDY
Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 11
ody White of Clive was settling into her new job as a stay-athome mom two years ago and decided to weed through the suits and professional clothes in her closet she wore in her former job as an investment sales associate.
“I thought I should donate them,” says White, whose blended brood includes children ages 1, 2, 13 and 20.
She considered the amount of work involved, but the payoff seemed to outweigh the sacrifice. After more research and paperwork the idea morphed into action.
She began researching organizations that would take her clothes and came across Dress for Success, a New York-based international not-for-profit organization that aids disadvantaged women by providing professional clothes
It was just what White was looking for: a chance to give back a little. Problem was, there wasn’t a branch locally. She sent the organization an email inquiring about locations. “They sent me an application I could fill out if I wanted to get one started here,” says White, 36.
“I thought, ‘I think I might be launching this,’” she says. White is quick to point out that it wasn’t a lone effort. Ironically, five other Des Moines women also had contacted Dress for
Success within weeks of each other inquiring about starting an affiliate here. “The officials in New York said ‘this is crazy; it’s meant to be,’” she says. The wheels were in motion. “It was Jody who took the bull by the horns. She was willing to step up and take the lead,” says Teresa Choi of West Des Moines. White’s unlimited positivity helped pull the group together and move the plan forward, Choi says. Along with White and Choi the other co-founders were Jill Niswander, Sheri Schulz, Maggie Ferguson, Jennifer Pavlovec, Jamie Christensen and Joy Wilhelm. Last spring, the shop opened in a boutique-like space in downtown Des Moines.
It’s filled with professional clothing – suits, blouses, slacks, purses, shoes, jewelry – that is used to outfit disadvantaged women who are going on job interviews or who are starting new jobs and do not have the wardrobe to get them off to a positive start, White says. Since June, the shop, which is stocked with donations and operated by volunteers, has outfitted 36 women. Some clients come from local shelters, where the clothes they are wearing constitute their entire wardrobe. Others are low-income women struggling to find work who don’t have the proper interview clothes. Many receive public assistance. Dress for Success provides each with an interview outfit and when a client gets a job, a
Jody White organizes handbags and shoes in her Dress for Success shop, which helps disadvantaged women get second-hand clothing to improve their chances of jump-starting their careers.
12 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
week’s worth of work outfits. One client landed a job and was hand-washing her single work outfit nightly before she came to the boutique, White says. Workers found her outfits for a week. Another had been through 60 job interviews but hadn’t been offered a job. The volunteers outfitted her with a pair of pants, a nice blouse and a sweater that not only gave her a more professional and polished look, but also boosted her self confidence, White says. “A lot of these women don’t have the support system to help them,” she says. “I was a single mom for seven years so I know the struggles. Deep down this struck a chord with me. But I was lucky because I had a lot of support from friends and family.” After graduating from East High School, White attended the University of Iowa and graduated from Simpson College with a business degree. She is married to Patrick White, a Des Moines attorney who
recently started his own law office. “About 40 percent of the women Dress for Success helps have a college education,” she says. “Those women are out there trying to find a job; they just need a little help.” White and the other committee members hope to launch phase two of the project by adding a career center where they will assist with writing resumes, cover letters and filling out online job applications. They also hope to create a networking group that will provide women support in dealing with the transition into the workforce and building a career. White’s job includes overseeing the operation, scheduling appointments and working in the boutique. She and the other committee members also solicit donations, both from individuals and corporations for goods, supplies and money. “The goal is making this sustainable” for the long haul, she says. The Des Moines
community has been extremely generous in its giving. Several local companies have given services and equipment to help create the boutique. Clothes donations have been pouring in, but the sizes don’t always fit the clients so at times they need to buy outfits to fill the racks. So far, all of the women seeking assistance have found what they need, she says. A personal shopper helps each client select outfits. Appointments are required and the women must come without friends, children or partners. “This is about them,” she says. “We want her to feel like she is shopping at a boutique and not just rummaging through clothes.” The shoppers start with a pair of slacks (or skirt) and build an outfit around that. At the end, the client picks out a purse. “It’s fun to see the transformation,” White says. Women come in unsure of what will happen and leave with confidence.
Dress for Success 319 Seventh St., Suite 320 (515) 321-1635 www.dressforsuccess.org Dress for Success has 114 affiliates in the United States and internationally and has served more than 550,000 women since it launched in 1997. The Des Moines branch was the first in Iowa. An affiliate in the Quad Cities opened this month.
Donations Currently, the Des Moines Dress for Success shop is accepting size 18 and larger suits, pants, skirts, blouses and dresses, shoes suitable for an interview, jewelry and handbags. The shop also is accepting new undergarments, hosiery and make-up. Clothing donations are accepted by appointment only. Monetary donations are welcomed and can be sent to Dress for Success Des Moines, 319 Seventh St., Suite 320, Des Moines, IA 50309 or made online at www.dressforsuccess.org.
Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 13
The business of helping Whether it’s a dream wedding or postmastectomy self esteem, Stacey Fox can provide it
By Jennifer Miller • Photos by Rodney White
t wouldn’t be surprising if Stacey Fox were haggard looking or shorttempered or loathe to sit down for a chat. The 42-yearold has six children for Pete’s sake. Well, make that seven – Fox definitely views her eponymous prom, wedding, mastectomy prosthesis and lingerie store as one of her children. But she is none of those things. Her face is smooth and pretty, her brown eyes are warm and friendly and as far as anyone can tell, she’s got all the time in the world – for running the biggest prom store in the Midwest, for managing a building of 15,000+ square feet and 40+ employees, for personally fitting hundreds of bras and wedding dresses and, of course, for kids’ baseball games and family dinners. There’s also always time for charitable causes, too, and Fox is one of the founders of Bras for the Cause, an annual fundraiser for mammograms and other reproductive health screenings. “It’s so important to give back,” Fox says. As for making time for it all: “Well, how do you not have time?” Fox asks. “You just do. You make the time to do what’s important. Yes, I’m exhausted; it’s just my permanent state. Of course, some days are hard, some days I think, ‘Oh, I just
14 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
can’t …’ But then I do. I can.” Although she makes it all sound so simple, underneath the vivacious, smiling and self-deprecating Energizer Bunny ticks the brain of a very shrewd businesswoman who seems to know just what her clients from giggly teens to traumatized cancer patients need. It all started with bras. Fox’s mother owns Ann’s, Missouri’s largest bra shop, where Fox worked starting at 13. “I was never going to be in the business. I was not going to fit bras.” Fox went to college, studied business and communications and got a swell, 77-hour-per-week corporate job. After realizing 77-hour weeks might actually be worth it if she were working for herself, she embraced her genetic destiny and in 1993 opened her first bra shop. “It was a little bitty 1,000 square feet with bras, lingerie and postmastectomy products. I got my first customer, a mastectomy patient, the night before I opened the doors for business. In fact, she just died recently; she was 98.” Sylvia Lenz of Clive was a couple of years postmastectomy and stopped in to the new shop’s grand opening; she decided to give it a try and has never looked back. “Stacey is very hands-on in her business. Every time I went into
Stacey Fox displays post-mastectomy bras, prom dresses and bridal gowns in her Urbandale shop, Stacey’s, at 11161 Plum Drive.
the shop, Stacey – or her sister – was there to help. Now, it’s like going home.”
to sell the next year.” And after a few years yup, a bigger store.
Eventually Fox started getting calls from stores asking her to help brides with undergarments for wedding dresses to make them fit better. “I would be up sewing and altering the night before a wedding to make the dresses fit better. And I thought, ‘Well, I could just sell the dresses and fit them myself in the first place. So I decided to sell wedding dresses.” She got a bigger store.
This time, with some prodding from her husband, she built it from scratch because she couldn’t find a space big enough. “It’s all his fault,” Fox jokes. The lower level houses all the merchandise and the upper level is a space she uses for events (like Bras for the Cause), loans to women’s charitable groups and rents out for little-girl fantasy birthday parties that involve makeovers and fashion shows.
Then came prom dresses. “I went to market in Chicago, bought a bunch of pretty things and then I hired some girls I ran into at B-Bop’s to model them; they still work for me. Other girls started asking to order dresses; my girls sold 125 dresses (that prom season) so I let them pick out 125 dresses
Fox says her prom, bridal and lingerie businesses are run like separate entities, but each accounts for about a third of her total business. She is never bored, she says, and gets satisfaction from the glamorous parts of her company. She makes sure a bride is both beautiful and comfortable,
guaranteeing that no two girls from the same school end up wearing the same dress. But working with mastectomy patients, she says, is her passion. “I love working with cancer survivors,” Fox says. “It’s very hands-on and personal, but we try to make the women as comfortable as possible and we are very discreet. It’s really 10 percent fitting and 90 percent counseling.” Lenz says Fox is always willing to do whatever it takes to get the job, any job, done. “She’s the type of person who if you ask for her help, she goes at it with all her effort. That’s just how she is; she’s very giving. When she gets involved, she jumps in feet first and never looks back.” To Fox, this is a big “duh,” a
Golden Rule sort of thing. “We’re the experts, and as experts, we should fill the need, whatever it is. Period. We treat every event like it’s our own. Everybody deserves that.” With a person like Fox, you just know there’s always something in the works. Not a bigger store, though, Fox insists. “Even if I had 50,000 square feet, I’d fill it up. But if I get much bigger I’m afraid we’ll lose that personal touch.” That’s not to say she’s doesn’t have a project up her sleeve. She recently designed and developed her own line of dresses and shot her own catalog, cutting out the middle man. Those savings will be passed on to customers she says. “I’m always willing to try something different,” she says. “We have a ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ philosophy, I guess,” Fox says. Tired? Sure. Really, really busy? Definitely. Losing interest? No way. “The store is like my child. The day I don’t feel like I want to nurture it, is the day I get out.” Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 15
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16 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
I’m a Des Moines Woman PAM NIDA By PATT JOHNSON • Photo by RODNEY WHITE
Pam Nida struggled with her weight much of her adult life. After joining Weight Watchers a second time, she lost 50 pounds and has maintained her weight for nine years. Along with portion control and making healthy food choices, Nida bikes, runs and walks, although a recent heel injury has sidelined strenuous workouts. Nida, 49, grew up in Hubbard and lived on a lake island in Minnesota with her first husband. She has worked in a pawn shop, managed properties and volunteered at an animal shelter. She has been working at Weight Watchers since 2002. “One of my goals for every person who walks into one of my meetings is that they leave feeling better than when they walked in the door,” she says. “If losing weight was easy, everybody would be doing it. I’m still here and I never thought I would do it.” Number of times you joined/rejoined Weight Watchers. Twice, but I have spent a lot on diet books in between. Favorite food? Cheesy pizza. Salty or sweet treat? Salty chips. Favorite exercise? Bicycling. I’m always RAGBRAI ready. Best motivation to maintain goal weight? Working for Weight Watchers. Another is not being that woman sitting on the edge of her bed crying about how she hates the way she feels being 50 pounds overweight. The Beatles or Bach? Beatles. Best story you’ve heard from a Weight Watchers member who struggled to stay on plan. Workplace potlucks are hard. One member put Vicks under her nose to drown out the aroma of foods at work. Cats or dogs? Both. I have three cats and one big dog right now. Best advice to help people get started on a weightloss plan? Just get started and do not quit. Keep at it. Change takes time and eventually you will make better choices. Never let yourself get too hungry or starve yourself before a big meal. What is one weight-loss story that has really inspired you? Grace, who is 90, joined my class four years or more ago and has gotten almost down to her goal. She is funny, witty but has shown me that it doesn›t matter what age we are, we all care about how we feel. How do you deal with saboteurs? Smile and do not react. Do what you need to do for you. No one can do it for you and no one can make you eat it, either. If you have to avoid a persistent saboteur you can always say you are allergic to something. Beach or mountain vacation? Beach, please. Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 17
Career change Do your homework when looking for a new career. by Patt Johnson
hen Gina Marie Bohler began pondering a career change, she wasn’t sure how to take the first step. The 51-year-old empty nester and medical equipment saleswoman was at a point in her life where she was considering a change. Bohler says she wanted a new challenge where she could grow, and increase her pay. It’s not uncommon for workers to switch it up. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics research shows on average, people change jobs about every five years. Changing careers is a different story. Because it often includes retraining or getting additional degrees, a complete switch of occupations is less frequent.
18 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
Bohler sought out assistance from career counselor Billie Sucher. Bohler wasn’t looking for a dramatic change, but instead wanted to see what was out there. “I wanted to branch out a little,” she says. Sucher’s company Career Transition Services in Urbandale, helps people determine what kind of job they want and how to get it. Bohler’s situation is not unusual, Sucher says. “I find far more clients who are unclear, uncertain and unsure about what they want to do in the future,” she says. “It’s not that job seekers don’t want to know what to do or don’t care about their future — they simply don’t know how to get from Point A to Point B, especially in today’s volatile market. Plus, there is much fear associated with change, which causes
some workers to stay put even though they may be disheartened in their current role.” People looking to make a career change need to be clear in their own mind that they are running toward a better opportunity and not away from something, says Linda Phillips, a career counselor and owner of Career and Life Transition Counseling in Des Moines. Career changes today are partly fueled by an ailing economy rampant with layoffs and wage reductions, but there are as many baby
H E A LT H Y L E G S M AT T E R . C O M
Some resources: O*Net OnLine — U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s online resource for information on occupations and exploring careers. www.onetcenter.org Iowa Workforce Development’s Iowa jobs website — A detailed resource guide for job seekers. www.iowaworkforce.org Billie Sucher, Career Transition Services — www.billiesucher.com Linda Phillips, Career and Life Transition Counseling — www. iowacareercounselor.com
VEIN CENTER VE boomers who want a last shot at doing something they’ve always dreamed of, Phillips says. “They have been working in a career their whole lives and now their needs are different,” she says. “They want to go after something with meaning or purpose.” Once they’ve determined a career they want, they need to craft a plan on how to get there. Sucher offers these tips on pursuing a career change: • Assess your current job, what you like, what you don’t like. • Assess your own knowledge, skills and abilities. • Identify and explore realistic options by exploring careers online and offline. • Gather a team of people who care about you and your career success and who will give honest advice. • Volunteer, job shadow, intern in areas of interest. • Become familiar with social media, which may be a requirement of a new career and help with networking. Bohler took a bold first step by revamping her resume, which probably hadn’t been
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Bohler is considering her options. But because of her efforts, she is sure another career will be possible if she decides to make a change. Sucher’s advice: “Do not get discouraged, do not give up and do not get derailed in your quest to figure out what’s next in your career path.” A PROUD PART OF IOWA HEART CENTER DM-9000308269
Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011 19
Velveteen dress with jewel detail ($135), Aimee
Fashion editor: Sarah Dose • Photographer: Eric Rowley • Art Director: Amanda Holladay 20 Des Moines WOMAN | October 2011
Jewel tones, simple black and white with a twist and splashes of sequins. Make an entrance at whatever holiday function you attend.
Elie Tahari “Liza” dress ($698), necklace ($262), K. Renee
Fashion editor: Sarah Dose • Photographer: Eric Rowley
Tracy Reese “Marabou” oneshoulder dress ($370), Sahar’s
22 Des Moines WOMAN | October 2011
High Fashion black patent leather clutch ($99), K.Renee; Cassandra “Tempest” clutch ($350), Sahar’s; Sonia Rykiel clutch with bow-shaped clasp ($315), Sahar’s; pearl bag ($60), Aimee; Moyna glittery swirl clutch ($174), K. Renee
Fashion Tracy Reese oneshoulder dress with lace liner ($380), Sahar’s
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Robert Rodriguez “Daisy” dress, ($425), Onyx faceted necklace ($182), Velvet Coat
Gray dress with yellow sash ($240), Aimee
24 Des Moines WOMAN | October 2011
Diane von Furstenberg “Kiandra” dress ($498), Velvet Coat Vince sequin dress ($495), and Suzi Roher belt ($363), K. Renee
Nanette Lepore “Sin Zin” skirt ($298) and “Stellina” top ($348), Sahar’s
Shop the looks Aimee
432 E. Locust St.; (515) 243-0045 Blond Genius 165 S. Jordan Creek Parkway No. 130, West Des Moines; (515) 2239907 K. Renee 2700 University Ave. No. 100, West Des Moines; (515) 453-8451 Saharâ€™s 4100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines; (515) 225-7559 Siren 5435 Mills Civic Parkway No. 105, West Des Moines; (515) 222-1840 Velvet Coat 500 E. Locust St. No. 100; (515) 244-6308 Hair and makeup by Melissa Schutt and Libby Switzer at The Sage Tree, 6110 N.W. 86th St. No. 4, Johnston; 334-3444
Splendid T-shirt in cranberry ($50), Adriano Goldschmied corduroys in dark gray ($172), Christopher Fischer fur vest ($378), cameo necklace ($174), Velvet Coat
26 Des Moines WOMAN | October 2011
Paige “Verdugo” legging jeans ($178), Velvet “Mikita” tank ($48), Velvet “Rhea” faux fur jacket ($231), Blond Genius
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Des Moines WOMAN | October 2011 27
Cleanses: Yes or no? What’s the skinny on juice fasts and detoxifying colon and body cleanses?
By JENNIFER MILLER • Photo special to Des Moines Woman
eyonce, Gwenyth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have all done them. Entire industries are devoted to them. Pop-up ads on Facebook tout them. But are body cleanses or “detoxifying” diets safe or effective? Can drinking only maple syrup mixed with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and water (known as the Master Cleanse) really rid your body of toxins and boost your health? It depends on whom you ask. We talked to three different people to get their takes on the subject of these myriad products and programs, generally known as “cleanses.”
Suzanne Hendrich, University of Iowa professor in the College of Food Science and Human Nutrition; specializes in toxicology.
On the value of cleanses: It seems to me that the idea is to clean out (toxins) from your gut, and I don’t see any reason to do that. We have really robust protective systems. And the government does do a really good job of minimizing human exposure to toxins. On the effectiveness of cleanses: Obviously, as a weight-loss strategy, it’s not something sustainable. There is some data that say that some things, such as capsaicin (found in cayenne pepper) or cranberries have antiparasitic or antibiotic properties, but it’s a stretch to say there is real evidence. Seeing something in a research paper or small study is a far cry from it being proven effective. Also, many environmental toxins are stored in fat cells, which would not be affected in a cleanse. On the dangers of cleanses: If you’re generally in good health, it’s probably not going to hurt you, but you should be cautious. It is definitely not a long-term weight-loss strategy. Messing with microbial gut stuff is very complicated. You could be altering the population of beneficial microorganisms or aggravating a not-yet diagnosed condition.
28 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
Anne Cundiff, registered dietician, Fleur Drive Hy-Vee On the value of cleanses: I don’t think fasts and cleanses are really necessary. Our bodies already have a pretty good cleaning process. If we need something like that, it’s because of our modern diet. But we can control what food we eat, and if we eat a whole-food diet – that is, things that aren’t bagged and boxed and packaged – there shouldn’t be a need for cleanses. On the effectiveness of cleanses: There are some good things about these – it can be a good kick-start or motivator for a lifestyle change. I sometimes recommend a one-day jumpstart of just apples and water to get into a more healthy eating mode. And yes, a cleanse can maybe make your skin clearer or help with allergies, but that’s because of what you’re not eating, not because you’re not eating at all. On the dangers of cleanses: They can lead to altered moods or lack of energy. You’re not getting the protein and all the vitamins and minerals you need, so long-term cleanses are not good. Also, underlying health issues might arise. And anything that uses laxatives and/or enemas can have serious long-term effects.
Sheree Clark, owner of Fork in the Road, a holistic health and nutrition
counseling business; certified raw culinary arts chef and instructor; and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. Clark has done a 92-day juice fast as well as other cleanses. On the value of cleanses: I don’t claim to be the world expert on this. I have just done a lot of research and have experience with myself and my clients. I think of it like, every day I make my bed and do the dishes all the day-to-day stuff. But I don’t clean out my attic or garage every day. That’s what a (cleanse) is for. It gives your digestive system a break. Digestion requires a lot energy. A fast frees the body up to do other things; it allows your body to catch up there’s nothing coming in, so it can get rid of the junk that’s there. Animals stop eating when they’re sick. They know when not to eat to give their bodies time to heal. On the effectiveness of cleanses: Not all cleanses or programs are safe and effective. I’m very particular and I never recommend a product unless I’ve tried it. And they are not a good weight-loss strategy. In her October e-newsletter “That’s Forkin’ Amazing,” Clark writes: “The conditions that can be improved by fasting are practically limitless. From acne to varicose veins, virtually all states of health can be helped by a deliberate abstinence from the standard modern diet for a period of time.” On the dangers of cleansing: Dangerous is the way we eat now, with our food full of fungicides and herbicides and pesticides; ‘-cide’ means death! People are scared to change or to commit, so their excuse is that fasting can’t be healthy. Anything can be dangerous if it’s not done right; there are wrong ways to do it. I don’t recommend water fasts unless they’re carefully monitored. The Master Cleanse, I would worry about people doing for more than 10 days and fruit juice fasts have too much sugar. And a mono-cleanse ( just eating one thing, like apples) is really only effective as a jump-start for a healthier eating pattern.
• www.webmd.com/ diet/fasting
• http://www.justcleansing. com/fatflush.htm
• www.weightloss resources.co.uk/diet/ detox.htm
• www.roadinthefork.com (Sheree Clark’s website)
• www.ama-assn.org/ amednews/2007/12/17/ hlsc1217.htm
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It’s a wrap Chances are you’ve heard of so-called miracle body wraps, where you can lose dozens of inches at a time. Do they work? We did some investigating. By Sarah Dose Photo by RODNEY WHITE
bout a month before my wedding, I got a Groupon-type notice for a Suddenly Slender body wrap. I don’t remember the exact price, but I remember thinking, “Eeek! That’s expensive. But I wonder if it works … ” I didn’t buy it, but later I again wondered if it would work. So a couple days later, I decided to buy a wrap and write about my experience. I was skeptical. To be honest, I still am. I mean, I lost 14.5 inches in about an hour. How is that possible? After a honeymoon packed with Mexican food and pina coladas,
30 Des Moines WOMAN | November 2011
Ashley Geneser demonstrates how she wraps customers with the Suddenly Slender body wrap at Visual Impact.
those inches have since come back. But the wrap was a good experience overall, and my skin never felt softer. Here’s what you should know about the Suddenly Slender wrap, which is only available at Visual Impact in Clive. This isn’t a relaxing day at the spa where you get your body wrapped, then lie around while somebody feeds you grapes. Ashley Geneser, the wrap technician at Visual Impact, warns you of that right away. This is an active body wrap. It doesn’t dehydrate you; it isn’t meant to relax you. Instead, you strip down to your (wireless) bra
and undies. Ashley measures every part of your body she can, and writes down the measurements. Then, she takes Ace bandages soaked in minerals and distilled water and wraps your entire body. Then you get on a Gazelle exercise machine and work out for 55 minutes – pausing twice to “baste” the bandages. You will feel weird. And since I’ve had the wrap, any time I describe this process to somebody, she looks at me, wide-eyed, and says I must be making it up. Nope; I’m not that creative. A woman named Victoria Morton invented this wrap, and by all
Shop DES MOINES Get the wrap Visual Impact Hair & Tanning and Spa 1985 N.W. 94th St., Clive (515) 331-8910 indications on the Suddenly Slender website she looks pretty great at her advanced age. After the initial shock of being measured in every possible area of my body, Ashley asked me where I’d like to lose the most inches, and then concentrated wrapping me very tightly around my waist, chest and upper arms (for the strapless dress I’d be wearing soon). By the time I was all wrapped up, I looked like a mummy. Even my neck and face were wrapped. To catch the liquid that was dripping off my body constantly, my hands and feet were put inside plastic bags. A few minutes later I was pounding away at the Gazelle and watching TV. It was the oddest experience of my life. Fifteen minutes or so later, Ashley got me off the machine to empty the bags, which were full of water, and to “baste” me. My bandages had slightly dried, and Ashley dumped some more mineral-water mix over my whole body. Then back to the Gazelle. Twenty minutes later, another baste. And 20 or so minutes after that, I was done. Then, Ashley remeasured me. I’d lost 14.5 inches. An inch is an inch, kind of. Let’s say Ashley measures a part of your arm and it’s a half inch smaller than it was before the wrap. It’s a full inch, because you count both arms. It sounds obvious, but understand that before you go. Ashley is very tactful. I was in my underwear for a lot
of the time around Ashley. And she was a) totally used to it and b) not in any way judgy. As a fairly modest person, I was very appreciative of this. If you have an important event where you need some confidence, this is a good option for you.
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My jeans felt looser that day and the day after my wrap. Even if it wasn’t a huge noticeable difference, it definitely gave me confidence when I had to wear something so special. Also, my skin felt incredible. The softness lasted for a few weeks, even. Based on how my skin felt alone, getting another wrap would totally be worth it because of how the winter weather treats my skin. Suddenly Slender wraps don’t dehydrate you. You’re told to drink water afterward. Not a crazy amount, but a normal amount. I was also told that as long as I didn’t gain weight, the inches would not come back. I honestly can’t answer that because a few days later I was in Mexico, eating and drinking to my heart’s content on my honeymoon. Be open-minded. If you decide to get a wrap, don’t expect it to not work. You’re paying way too much for that ($125 for a basic power wrap, what I got). Instead, listen to what Ashley tells you and ask questions. This is also a good time to laugh at yourself. You will feel ridiculous in the bandages. You will feel even more ridiculous on the Gazelle. After my appointment, Ashley had two women coming in to do a wrap together – a bride and one of her bridesmaids. That would have been a fun bonding time, and something they’d be able to tell stories about for years.
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