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MODERN WOMAN 2019
Idina Menzel Frozen star puts family first
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MODERN WOMAN 2019
24 31 46 54 LETTING IT GO
OM FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Idina Menzel is learning to live in the moment
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MODERN WOMAN 2019
MEET OUR MODERN WOMEN
DIANA GREGORY Outreach program delivers healthy food to seniors
RUE MAPP Organization encourages outdoor recreation
JENNIFER WILLARD JWill Pink Village creates pillows for breast cancer patients ELYSE SAUGSTAD Freestyle skier educates women on avalanche safety
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DÃ&#x2030;COR Deck the halls with these festive picks
TRENDS Advice for picking the perfect tree
FASHION Shimmer and shine in seasonal styles
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PHOTOGRAPHER: Ricky Middlesworth
BEAUTY Gift the perfect mix of products with these subscription boxes
Festive and frosty winter activities
HEALTH Cheers to healthier holiday drinking
FITNESS Find your perfect fitness franchise
TRAVEL Fill your sleigh at holiday shopping destinations
New tech makes it easier to work out at home Cancer survivor shares her inspirational story
SELF-CARE Journal your way to a healthier new year
Expert tips to declutter your life
ADVICE Is the buddy system the secret to keeping your resolutions?
FAVORITE THINGS USA TODAY staff shares holiday items that spark joy
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NANCY MILLS In this issue, Nancy Mills, who lives in Los Angeles, interviews Frozen star Idina Menzel (page 24). Internationally famous and a role model for girls of all ages, Menzel tells readers how she puts family first but still has time to do what she loves. Watch for her films Frozen II and Uncut Gems, opening soon. Mills, who also writes the food blog Mom’s Cooking Help, is co-author of HELP! My Apartment Has a Kitchen Cookbook.
MARY HELEN BERG Freelance journalist Mary Helen Berg writes from the West Coast, where meditation classes are popular, but while exploring a variety of retreats that last several days or more for this issue (page 54), she’s inspired to try one. “I’m really intrigued by the positive effects meditation can have on our physical health, from easing anxiety and depression to improving blood pressure,” she says.
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ROBIN ROENKER Robin Roenker is a Kentuckybased freelance writer who covers travel, sustainability, and business and lifestyle trends. She writes about Christmas trees in this issue (page 17), having enjoyed both real and artificial ones in holidays past. Growing up, her family had an artificial tree — the more tinsel, the better — but now she cherishes annual holiday trips to the tree farm with her husband and three sons.
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DECK THE HALLS
Whether live or artificial, retro or modern, find your picture-perfect holiday tree. PAGE 17
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UP FRONT | DÉCOR
Home for the Holidays
Set the mood for merrymaking BY JACQUELINE KLECAK
hether you go all out with festive embellishments or prefer to add just a few seasonal touches, these décor ideas will help you spread some cheer:
1. The 24-inch red berry magnolia wreath includes a rustic ribbon. $55.99, kirklands.com 2. Curl up on the couch with this cozy watercolor holiday pillow. $49, ballarddesigns.com 3. Create an indoor evergreen forest with these unscented tree candles. $9.95 to $34.95, crateandbarrel.com 4. This prelit moose figurine by The Holiday Aisle brightens indoor and outdoor spaces. $113.39, wayfair.com 5. Let it snow with the stamped snowflake personalized Christmas stocking. $26.99, bedbathandbeyond.com 6. Kids and adults alike will love sipping hot chocolate from these handpainted character mugs. $9.50 each, Pottery Barn 7. The Katherine’s Collection Aspen Santa stands 3 feet tall and is ready for a day of sledding. $799, grandinroad.com 8. Add charm with the twinkling grapevine star Christmas tree topper by Wondershop. $25, target.com
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
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9. Prepare for the Festival of Lights with the colorful Hanukkah Medallion dinnerware. $48 to $69, potterybarn.com 10. Counting down to Christmas is even more fun with the Woodland Advent calendar. $59.95, llbean.com 11. This Hanukkah menorah pillow by Sudha Pennathur is velvet with bead embroidery. $75, neimanmarcus.com 12. Everyone will know how many days are left until Santaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arrival with this charming 30-inch Countdown to Christmas clock. $129, grandinroad.com 13. These galvanized trees hang five to 10 ornaments. $29.50 to $34.50, potterybarn.com 14. Welcome everyone to your abode with this plaid Merry Everything doormat. $12.99, worldmarket.com 15. This Modern Christmas Succulent Arrangement blends succulents, pine cones and greenery in a rustic crate. $59.99, 1800flowers.com 16. The Ho Ho Ho framed plaque with wreath joins two decorations to create a distinct piece. $25.99, Kirklands 17. The Reindeer Sherpa-Back throw is perfect for curling up by the fire. $109, Pottery Barn 18. Add a touch of whimsy to your Christmas party with this ornament serving bowl from the Very Merry Entertaining Collection. $169, grandinroad.com
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HOLIDAY RECIPES AND MORE
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TRENDS | UP FRONT
Tree Time There’s no wrong choice when it comes to picking a Christmas tree BY ROBIN ROENKER
t’s a timeless holiday question — real tree or artificial? Turns out, there are advantages to both. Opting for artificial offers the freedom to start decorating as early as you please — no worries about drying needles — and to set up several trees throughout your house, thanks to the >
UP FRONT | TRENDS
many sizes available on the market, from miniature table-toppers to 10-foot-plus centerpieces. “I put my trees up so early, I could never have a real one,” explains Jodi Pirkl, a realtor in Bismarck, N.D., who starts decorating her three large trees and dozen or more small trees that fill all the rooms of her home every year on Nov. 1. “The best compliment someone could give me is to walk in my house and say, ‘It looks like Christmas threw up in here,’” Pirkl jokes. Some love the magic of their artificial trees so much, they keep them up nearly year-round. In Biloxi, Miss., Amy Rosonet LeBert’s tree stays up well past Christmas so she can switch out ornaments and use the tree as a centerpiece in her décor for other holidays. “My favorite thing is the lights. Being in a room with the Christmas tree — or Mardi Gras or Easter tree — just brings a warmth to my house that just doesn’t feel the same when the tree is down,” she says. Artificial trees also lend themselves to fun trends: dressing an all-white tree as a snowman or having themed mini trees that kids can adopt as their own. Plus, there are artificial trees to fit every style — whether you’re looking for a hot pink showstopper, modern minimalist design or one so lifelike your guests will swear SOURCE: National Christmas Tree Association it’s real. “Mimicking nature is what people love us for, and it’s why we exist as a brand,” says Balsam Hill CEO Thomas Harman. “Making our trees more and more realistic is something we obsess over, and it’s my passion.” For natural tree devotees, though, no artificial branches, no matter how realistic, can ever replace the experience of picking out the real thing. Real trees spread that classic, natural evergreen smell throughout the home, often for the whole holiday season. They can also be sustainably mulched or recycled for firewood — or even repurposed as fish habitats in local lakes (check with your city) after the holidays are done. For many families, the annual trip to a tree farm is one of the key traditions that help make the holidays so special. Alicen Limestoll of Andover, Ohio, and her four children — ranging in age from 12 to their 20s — make time to gather for a family trek to the same northern Ohio tree farm they’ve
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
been visiting since the kids were small. Now that her oldest son is stationed at an Army base in Anchorage, Alaska, and her daughter has started college, the chance to reconnect this winter while enjoying hot cocoa among the evergreens will be even more special. “It’s always been such a nice outing for our family,” says Limestoll, who makes her tree last well into January by watering it overnight in the bathtub before decorating.
“There’s a completely different Christmas experience a family has if they go to get a real tree, as opposed to dragging a box out of the basement or attic or garage,” says Tim O’Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, a trade group that promotes the benefits of farm-grown trees. Perhaps so. But whether you opt for real or artificial, there’s no debating one holiday truth: Christmas trees are magical. l
If you opt for a real tree, to delay the needles drying out, choose lights that produce low heat, such as LEDs.
TRENDING TREES Who says trees have to be green — or even reserved for Christmas? These artificial options just might be for you:
A MODERN TWIST
RATCHET UP THE REAL
For those looking for something different — or the perfect way to showcase ornaments — ModernChristmas Trees.com uses minimalistic designs, such as a series of rings for the branches, to create the tree shape. The company offers freestanding trees as well as wall-hanging and tabletop varieties.
Treetopia offers artificial trees in an array of colors, from black or white to purple and hot pink — and beyond — suitable for a variety of personal styles, and adaptable to match any holiday. Particularly hot this year: metallic trees that evoke the look of aluminum trees of the 1950s and 1960s, but in safer, modern styles that incorporate LED lights, says company spokesperson Tami Kelly.
If you want the convenience of an artificial tree that looks as if it’s freshly cut, Balsam Hill CEO Thomas Harman suggests the company’s Yukon Spruce — it’s the one he has in his own home. “It looks like it just came from a forest, and it’s so on trend,” he says.
— Robin Roenker
JC BUCK; TREETOPIA; BALSAM HILL; GETTY IMAGES
CARING FOR A REAL TREE Prefer a real tree? Follow these tips from the National Christmas Tree Association to keep it looking green and fresh throughout the holiday season:
uBefore putting the tree in the stand, make
a fresh cut to remove a ½-inch-thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk to help ensure the tree intakes water. uBe sure to display the tree in a stand that provides at least 1 quart of water per inch of
stem diameter. uWater the tree thoroughly when you first bring it home, and keep the water level above the base of the tree at all times. uKeep the tree away from fireplaces, heaters and other direct sources of heat.
UP FRONT | FASHION
Delicate and bold, the Alessia collar necklace makes a statement with brass hardware and crystal stones. u$240, wedreamincolour. com
The sequin maxi dress by Anna Sui is a glamorous take on kaftan style that will make a statement. u$495, Free People
Season of Sparkle Glam up your holiday attire BY MARISSA CASS
himmer and shine this holiday season. Gold and silver tones spruce up your holiday wardrobe for a look thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s festive and sophisticated.
Swarovskiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baron 2-inchlong pierced earrings come in rose gold or blue. u$169, zappos.com
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The sparkling Ununi bag with magnetic snap closure and chain strap holds your essentials in style. u$55, aldoshoes.com
PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES
All that glitters is gold in the Night Moves Sequin Harem pants by Free People. u$148, Free People
Offering padded shoulders, a melody of silver sequins and long lapels, the Glowing Steady black and silver blazer dress is a bold choice for your holiday party. u$87, lulus.com
Featuring a 4.3-inch heel, the Danna pointed-toe stiletto by Sam Edelman is the perfect pump to accent your holiday look. u$130, samedelman. com
Dazzle in BHLDNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s-inspired Jelena jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and wide-leg style. u$280, Anthropologie
UP FRONT | BEAUTY
Boxed Beauty Gift the perfect product assortment with these subscriptions BY JESSICA TEICH
beauty subscription box is a hand-picked collection of popular products that’s delivered to your doorstep on schedule. They’re wonderful for everyone from beauty junkies looking to add to their bursting-at-the-seams collections to newbies who want to learn how to apply eyeliner. If you’re considering gifting one to yourself or a friend, Reviewed.com offers these insights:
PLAY! BY SEPHORA The bottom line: Five sample-size luxury products at a great price with in-store perks and helpful tutorials. Cost: $10/month Customization: A 19-question survey inquires about coloring, concerns and makeup familiarity. You can’t choose anything specific for your boxes, but you can plug in a Sephora Color IQ for perfect color matches.
Cost: $21/month Customization: A 16-question survey that starts with five Boxycharm-centric questions, such as whether you follow them on social media and on which platforms, and then preferred makeup and hair care products as well as hair, eye and skin colors. You can’t pick any specific items in your box. The review: The phrase “good things come to those who wait” is frustratingly true here. The value and quality of the products is excellent, but you may sit on a waitlist for a long time after submitting payment. The brands aren’t always recognizable, but the products are large, good quality and hit every step of a beauty routine, from brushes to full eyeshadow palettes. It feels like a great value.
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
GETTY IMAGES; JACKSON RUCKAR
BOXYCHARM The bottom line: Five high-quality, full-size items at a great value, but a long waitlist and frustrating customer service.
The review: This box is very much worth it for you or any Sephora lover on your gift list. Each box is filled with high-quality samples of the store’s cult-favorite brands that match your preferences and interests. The website is easy to navigate with helpful information on products and orders and it’s easy to cancel. While some beauty box subscriptions put you on a lengthy waitlist, the Sephora Play! box is reliably delivered between the 13th and 24th of every month. It’s a slam dunk for consistent, luxury products at a great price.
GLOSSYBOX The bottom line: Five decent products (three of which are full-size) at a reasonable price, but the site is extremely confusing. Cost: $21/month Customization: A 14-question beauty profile asks about your style, skin, hair and beauty concerns. You cannot individually select products.
The details: Glossybox’s website is difficult to navigate. The customer service experience was frustrating, and the receipt doesn’t accurately reflect what comes in each box. This was a shame, because the box’s display was beautiful — opening it felt like a luxurious gift, and the products were decent and varied across all steps of a makeup routine.
IPSY GLAM BAG The bottom line: Five sample-size products that come in a reusable cosmetics bag; a mix of luxury and dud products, and a frustrating cancellation process. Cost: $10/month Customization: A 16-question survey about preferred brands and products, level of expertise, coloring, skin care and hair concerns. You cannot cherry-pick items you want in your bag.
BIRCHBOX The bottom line: Five sample-size items in a pretty box with a decent array of products and an easy-to-navigate site. Cost: $15/month plus tax Customization: A 15-question survey asks about coloring, hair, skin, makeup preferences and routine, preferred style and favorite products. You can’t specifically choose which items go into the box.
The details: Ipsy products didn’t match denoted preferences, and there were a few duds. There were some high-end products, like Smashbox and First Aid Beauty, but by and large the brands were unimpressive. However, the quality of products did seem to increase as the subscription continued. Bags arrive like clockwork each month, and the site is easy to navigate, with helpful tutorials for each product — but canceling the subscription is involved and irritating.
The review: Birchbox is synonymous with beauty subscription services, and this market veteran is a solid benchmark. The included brands might not be ones you recognize, which is OK if you’re looking to find new favorites. On the flip side, the quality of the samples seemed markedly below Sephora’s. Your box will arrive shortly after you order with reliable delivery (between the 13th and 23rd of each month). However, as the subscription continued, the quality of the products declined.
ONY AWARD WINNER IDINA Menzel’s professional career is busier than ever. She reprises her role as the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen II (in theaters Nov. 22), and stars in Uncut Gems, a drama/comedy, which opens Christmas Day. “Adam Sandler plays a jeweler who gets rappers and athletes all this crazy bling,” she says. “He’s a gambler and an adrenaline junkie, and he makes a lot of bad decisions. I play his wife, but he also has a girlfriend. It’s a two-hour crazy rollercoaster ride.” But in Los Angeles, where she lives with second husband, Aaron Lohr, and her 10-year-old son, Walker, she’s often more focused on the busy, everyday details of family life. “I’m the basketball mom, and I need to get the jerseys made for our first game,” Menzel says. “Our coach left, and the new one wants a new team name. Then I have to make sure someone is picking up my son
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from school because I’m at a photo shoot and he has practice at 3 p.m. His father (Menzel’s ex-husband, actor Taye Diggs) is flying in, and I have to see if his plane is delayed. Walker is supposed to hang with Dad tonight. If not, I have to make sure someone is home to get him.” Menzel should probably be exhausted, but she sounds energized. She’s embracing her hectic life and knows the importance of being true to herself. “I’m not afraid to make mistakes because I found that mistakes endear us to other people,” she says. “They make us seem human. So I try to lay it all out there and not edit myself too much and aim to be as authentic as I can.” The singer/songwriter/actress also wants her days to be jampacked because she knows what it’s like not to be busy. “I’ve had lots of ups and downs,” she says. “I have to keep working hard.” >
RAMONA ROSALES; LETTERING: HAYLEIGH CORKEY
BY NANCY MILLS
Now 48, Menzel got her professional start in Rent, a 1996 Broadway rock musical that won a Tony Award and earned Menzel her first Tony Award nomination. Her successful Broadway career has also included a 2004 Tony Award for playing Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in Wicked. But she really got her start at age 6. “My parents entered me in a talent show when we were staying at a resort,” she says. “I sang The Way We Were, and people said, ‘She needs to get lessons.’ I always knew in my heart that I wanted to sing and perform.” Her parents, a salesman and a therapist, arranged for her to have the lessons but refused to let her be a child star. “My mom didn’t believe in running me to auditions and exposing me to that kind of rejection as a little girl,” she says. “She wanted me to have a regular childhood and be in school plays. I remember fighting with her and saying, ‘I’m missing out on Annie. I’m getting too tall. They’re not going to let me be in it.’ My mom stuck to her guns.” In 1993, she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and she remembers how passionate she was about succeeding in her career: “The 20-year-old in me was so ambitious and worked so hard and pounded the pavement and struggled to pay the rent and wanted to get an acting job and a record deal.” From 2010 to 2013, she appeared in 12 episodes of the TV show Glee as Shelby Corcoran, Lea Michele’s character’s biological mother. But what truly changed Menzel’s life was voicing Elsa, the young queen who accidentally turns her kingdom into nonstop winter, in Disney’s 2013 smash hit Frozen. She became an icon for millions of fans. Singing the Oscar-winning song Let It Go at the 2014 Academy Awards supercharged her career. (Ironically, her name recognition was bolstered by John Travolta fumbling her introduction, calling
her Adele Dazeem.) Menzel is nothing but grateful for the movie’s success. “Frozen has only been a gift in my life,” she says. “It allows me to be a role model, but it also reminds me of what I want to be in my own life. When you’re a role model, you have to practice what you preach. I can stand up onstage and somehow personify confidence or self-esteem. But if I’m not feeling it, if I’m having a bad day myself, I need to listen to the music and the words of the character I play and remind myself, ‘Don’t be afraid to find that feeling, that thing inside, that makes me so special.’ We all feel it, whether we’re 12 or 48. We still need to be reminded. Every time I get onstage and sing these songs, I’m connected to young people. As agonizing as it probably is for many parents because they’ve heard Let It Go so many times, I’m really grateful for it.” What can we expect in Frozen II? “These sisters, Elsa and Anna, have unconditional love for each other and their family,” Menzel says. “Elsa is going on this journey to find out who she is and what her purpose is. Her sister will come with her friends to help Elsa figure that out.” It’s a journey Menzel herself has taken. “My identity was always wrapped in who I was as a singer,” she says. She remembers times when she was sick with laryngitis or other conditions that prevented her from singing and, “All of a sudden I had no confidence in who I was. What could I offer the world if I’m not singing?” She now realizes that, “I’m a great mom, friend, wife and daughter. I’m a good actress. I don’t always have to sing. We as women are so many things. We don’t need to label ourselves.”
I’m not afraid to make mistakes because I found that mistakes endear us to other people. They make us seem human.
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
FAMILY FIRST Motherhood changed Menzel’s perspective. “That’s when I learned to put my family first,” she says. “It’s actually a relief not to be the center of attention. You get to focus on this little boy who needs you. If >
GIVING BACK In 2010, Menzel and Taye Diggs founded A BroaderWay Foundation (abroaderway.org), with the goal of “offering girls from urban communities an outlet for self-expression and creativity through artscentered programs. The emphasis is on building self-esteem, developing leadership qualities and striving for personal and social achievement,” according to the website. “It started as a summer camp for girls from cities who spend 10 days in the Massachusetts countryside learning to find their voices through the arts,” Menzel says..
A BROADERWAY FOUNDATION
DRIVEN TO SUCCEED
Menzel is reprising her role as Queen Elsa of Arendelle in Disneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s animated Frozen II. Elsa, along with sister Anna and friends Kristoff, Olaf and Sven embark on a new series of adventures.
“I found a little video recording of my son and myself, made when he was 3. We were lighting the candles on the menorah, and I tried to teach him Hebrew.”
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
FAVORITE HOLIDAY MEMORY
my son is sick the night before I have to perform and I want to snuggle next to him when he has a fever, I might get sick. I might not be able to hit the high note that day. That’s a compromise I’m willing to make. Then I get onstage, lower my expectations and actually hit that note even better because I took the pressure off. In this business you can be so self-absorbed. That’s why you’ve got to have real friends and family around you, telling you you’re being a pain in the ass. For me, being a parent really helped me get outside myself and see what was important in the world.” Since becoming a parent, Menzel’s views about celebrating the holidays have changed, too. “Thanksgiving was always a complicated time for me,” she explains. “My parents announced on Thanksgiving morning they were separating. What were they thinking? I was 15 years old. After that, the holidays were weird for me. Which parent was I going to be with? It caused a lot of stress. It wasn’t until I had my son that I could really create my own joyful time. My husband, Aaron, has this huge extended family. It really helps me keep in touch with everyone and bring them together over the holidays. Before then, I shied away from the memories from my past. Now I’m the one who does the Christmas tree. I collect ornaments throughout the year on my travels. It’s a very eclectic tree that really embodies what we are as a family. Even though I’m a Jewish girl, I grew up being envious of Christmas. My husband celebrates Christmas, so now I get to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.” Menzel recently passed a holiday milestone. “Two days ago, Walker asked
me to look him in the eye and tell him the truth,” she says. “He wanted to know, ‘Is Santa real or not?’ Some kids were saying some stuff at school, and I had to come clean on that because I don’t lie to my kid. It was really a bittersweet moment.”
FIGURING IT OUT Menzel shares parenting responsibilities with ex-husband Diggs. They divorced in 2014 after 11 years of marriage. In 2017, Menzel married Lohr, a former actor and now a mental health therapist. They met while working together on the 2005 film version of Rent. “We’re still figuring it out,” Menzel says about co-parenting, “but I think we’re doing pretty well. We all get along. Someone has Christmas Eve and someone has Christmas Day. We’re all going to have some tumult. Parents divorcing is the one (Walker) has, and that’s what I had. I never wanted that for him. But I know it’s more important that our children see us as strong, happy, satisfied, fulfilled women. That’s more of a gift to show him the kind of woman he’ll want to be with when he’s older.” It’s still a challenging road for Menzel personally and professionally, but she’s learning to embrace it all. “As an actor, you’re always pushing yourself to keep trying things that challenge you,” she says. “Deep down I feel good about where I am. I have my family and people around me that love and support me. That little 12-year-old who went to see Annie and Dreamgirls with her parents at Christmastime had a dream of being on Broadway and using her voice to connect with people. That came true. I need to take that in and enjoy it.” l
I’m a great mom, friend, wife and daughter. I’m a good actress. I don’t always have to sing. We as women are so many things. We don’t need to label ourselves.
CHRISTMAS: A SEASON OF LOVE Menzel recently recorded her second holiday album, titled Christmas: A Season of Love. Released Oct. 18, she says, “The album has a lot of big band, nostalgic, jazzy influences. It’s music I cut my teeth on, and it encapsulates all the joy and the celebration of the holiday season. I get to show a lot of my personality on this album.” Songs include Sleigh Ride, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Winter Wonderland, We Need a Little Christmas and O Holy Night. “Ariana Grande is dueting with me on A Hand for Mrs. Claus. It’s our feminist Christmas song,” Menzel says.
CELEBRATE THE SEASON OF SHARING
Visit HarryandDavid.com or call 800-547-3033 and save 15% with code HOLIDAY2019, or present this ad at any Harry & David retail store. Share with us online using #ShareMore
*Save 15% on your Harry & David product purchase when you place your order either online at HarryandDavid.com or by phone at 800-547-3033 and enter or mention coupon code HOLIDAY2019, or by presenting this ad at any Harry & David retail store. Product purchase is exclusive of taxes and shipping and processing charges, and excludes sale, discounted, and clearance-priced items as well as the purchase of gift cards and products containing alcohol. Shipping and processing charges are based on the regular price of merchandise. Not valid with other offers or coupons and cannot be applied to previous purchases. Not valid on orders of $2,500 or more; for orders of $2,500 or more, contact the corporate sales division at 800-248-5567 for any applicable discounts or promotions. Void where prohibited by law. Not valid if transferred, copied, purchased, sold, or bartered. No cash value. Offer valid through January 15, 2020. Store Code: 338165 Harry & David is a registered trademark and DBA of Harry and David, LLC.
TRAVEL, PAGE 45
BEAUTY, PAGE 34
KIDS’ ELECTRONICS, PAGE 41
KIDS’ TOYS, PAGE 40
ALL THE GIFTS
SPIRITS, PAGE 39
BY AMY SINATRA AYRES
TECH, PAGE 36
We’ve found the perfect presents for everyone on your list — you, included. Discover this year’s great finds for kids, tech lovers, holiday hosts and more. Happy shopping!
GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES
GUYS, PAGE 38
HOSTESS, PAGE 32 FITNESS, PAGE 35
PETS, PAGE 43
Vahdam Teaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bloom gift set includes 12 blends. u$59.99, vahdamteas.com
The Godiva Christmas tin includes three flavors of chocolate truffles. u$14.95, godiva.com
As an alternative to wine, bring this beautiful bottle of Revel Avila Reposado, a cousin to tequila. u$69.99, oldtowntequila. com
The bamboo lotus serving board provides ample space for snacks. u$48, uncommongoods.com
This reed diffuser wafts a soothing, subtle fragrance. u$24, pfcandleco.com
Foodies will love the Bee Raw varietal honey flight, which includes nine sweet samples. u$78, shopterrain.com
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
Gift a bottle of wine in one of these festive bags. u$16.50 to $24.50 each, Pottery Barn
GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES
Festive messages decorate Mud Pieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ceramic salad bowl and wood servers. u$56.99, bedbathandbeyond.com
Y T T E R P S T N E S PRE The BioSilk Silk Therapy Trio with smoothing cream and hair spray will be the “mane” attraction under the tree for those who use styling tools. u$50, jcp.com
The Glow Stick, encrusted with 20 germanium stones, is a facial roller that lifts and contours while delivering negative ions to zap free radicals. u$88, skinowl.com
The Luma Skin Therapy Wand by Pure Daily Care uses LED light therapy and ionic massage. u$79.99, puredailycare.com
C’est Moi’s 3-step gentle skin care pack includes cleanser, moisture lotion and sunscreen. Just add a bow. u$26, cestmoi.com
My Pampered Feet’s Essentials set contains a foot towel designed to dry between the toes, organic tea tree oil castile soap and a foot brush with a pumice stone. u$39.97, mypamperedfeet.com
For an eye-catching gift, the RevitaBrow set includes RevitaBrow Advanced serum, tinted brow gel and micellar water lash wash. u$110, revitalash.com
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Mileo New York’s limitededition gift set includes facial oils made with a rare plant to fight inflammation. u$125, mileonewyork.com
Busy Beauty’s Showerless gift set includes dry shampoo and conditioner, body wipes and shaving gel. u$34, busybeauty.com
Why give a simple sports watch when you can give the Suunto 3 Fitness, which provides 24/7 tracking and can create an adaptable personal training plan. u$199 to $229, suunto.com
WORKOUT WONDERLAND The truly wireless JBL Reflect Flow sport headphones are waterproof, have amazing battery life and make managing music, taking calls or tuning in to an audio workout as easy as touching a button. u$149.95, jbl.com Delivering metrics like split times, distance and more, FORM goggles have a smart display to give swimmers the stats they want without missing a stroke. u$199, formswim.com
Lululemon’s T.H.E. men’s shorts come in three lengths and feature a built-in media pocket on the liner, making it easy to carry a phone. u$68, lululemon.com
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Outfit your workout buddy with a YogaClub box, which provides up to three pieces of customized clothing. Order one box or make it a subscription. uStarting at $45, yogaclub.com
For the friend who lives the yoga lifestyle, Corc Yoga’s sustainable, durable and naturally antimicrobial Cork yoga mat is the perfect gift. u$175, corcyoga.com
Nintendo Switch users can heat up their fitness with the new Zumba Burn It Up fitness and rhythm video game. u$39.99, bestbuy.com
Recovery is an important part of training, and the Hyperice Hypersphere Mini makes it easy to loosen muscles and increase flexibility using three levels of high-intensity vibration. u$99, hyperice.com
HIGH-TECH HOLIDAY Keep long-distance family members in the loop with the Nixplay Seed 10.1inch, Wi-Fi-connected digital photo frame. u$168, amazon.com
If they’re attached to their phones, give them an upgrade with the iPhone 11 Pro, complete with a triple camera system. uStarting at $1,099, apple.com
Binge-watching is made easier with the Roku streaming device. u$99.99, kohls.com
Sound quality and comfort aren’t sacrificed for style with HyperX’s new MIX rose gold-edition headset, which works as well for movies and music as it does for video games. u$199.99, hyperxgaming.com Available in red, white or blue, Canon’s Ivy Cliq+ instant camera and printer fits easily into a pocket or bag. u$159, amazon.com
Make it easy for your friends and family to charge all their devices — without the mess of cables — with this Monoprice Qi certified fast wireless charging pad bundle. u$27.79, monoprice.com
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
The JBL PartyBox 100 boasts an epic light show and up to 12 hours of battery life. Stream music via Bluetooth or USB, or even plug in a guitar or mic with special inputs. u$349.95, jbl.com
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The Grillbot automatic grill cleaning robot is a perfect present for the grillmaster in your group. u$89.95, grillbots.com
Unbelievably Thin, Undisputably Powerful Swift 7 At just 1.96 pounds and only 0.39 inches thin, the Swift 7 is so unbelievably light you’ll forget you’re carrying it. Yet, it's durable enough for today’s on-the-go lifestyles. The virtually borderless, 14” FHD IPS display engulfs your senses and interacts smoothly with the tough Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6 touchscreen, while the 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor inside delivers all the power and performance you need. The Swift 7 is the ticket to a first-class user experience.
• Windows 10 Home • Up to 13 hours of battery life*
• 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 Processor • 14" Full HD Multi-touch display Windows Hello. Password Goodbye.
* Battery life varies depending on product specifications, computer settings and applications or features. © 2019 Acer America Corporation. All rights reserved. Acer and the Acer logo are registered trademarks of Acer Inc. Other trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or service marks, indicated or otherwise, are the property of their respective owners. Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core, and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
GIFTS FOR GUYS Le Labo’s aftershave balm contains ingredients such as avocado, sunflower and rosemary to nourish, protect and cool skin. u$45, mrporter.com
The electric car cooler and warmer by Wagan is perfect for long road trips or tailgating and can hold up to 24 liters. u$61.99, amazon.com
The Power Brush gently exfoliates and massages, leaving you with smooth and fresh skin. u$40, theartofshaving.com
A true camping essential, REI’s Grand Hut 6 tent offers near-vertical walls, bugproof mesh wall panels and a heavy-duty carry bag. u$349, REI For the fashion forward, the wool blend bomber jacket by Schott NYC features a faux fur collar and nylon flight satin lining. u$250, schottnyc.com
He won’t have to sacrifice his favorite podcast or playlist on chilly commutes or outdoor workouts with the 180s Gen4 Bluetooth ear warmers, featuring a Siri and Google Now activation feature. u$74.95, paragonsports.com
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
This classic wool-cashmere blend Ludlow topcoat, with flap pockets and a notched collar, is a wardrobe must-have. u$450, jcrew.com
The Bro Mask is formulated with advanced hydrogel technology and packed with vitamins, collagen and plant extracts. u$28, jaxonlane.com
With bourbon-flavored candies and a copper flask, the Vice 2.0 collection gift set by Sugarfina is a perfectly sweet package for an imbiber. u$42, bergdorfgoodman.com
HOLIDAY CHEERS Recipients can craft beer at home using a smartphoneaccessible Wi-Fi app with the BeerDroid brewing system by BrewArt. u$499.99, Best Buy
David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald and Alex Day provide the definitive guide to the contemporary craft cocktail movement in Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails. u$32, Barnes & Noble
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The elegant art deco Lawton bar cart is available in aluminum or copper finishes. u$389 to $409, potterybarn.com
This homeade gin kit includes everything you need to transform a bottle of vodka into a delicious small-batch blend. u$54.95, Williams Sonoma
This gleaming W&P gold pineapple tumbler comes with a straw, a lid that doubles as a stand and can hold up to 16 ounces. u$99, Sur la Table
The Coravin Model Eleven uses Bluetooth technology and a fully automatic preservation system to pour wine without ever removing the cork. u$649.95, coravin.com
PLAY ALL DAY
The Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak works with an app to make you disappear. u$59, walmart.com
Move the mouth on the Singing Baby Shark puppet by WowWee Pinkfong to change the tempo of the song. u$19.99, amazon.com Schleichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s detailed figures will delight dinosaur lovers. u$24.99, amazon.com
Draw in the air and see your creation on the screen with Pictionary Air. u$19.99, Target
Collectible Blume dolls sprout before your eyes. u$9.89, Target
The Barbie Dreamplane comes with 15 accessories. u$67.49, Walmart Made with solid wood, the Catalina Allin-One Kitchen comes in four colors. u$249, potterybarnkids.com
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
Mark the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street with this extrasoft, plush 20-inch Elmo by Gund. u$38.32, amazon.com
Kids can relive a video-game classic with this Mortal Kombat mini arcade game. u$19.87, Walmart
Preloaded with video games, LeapFrog RockIt Twist! features buttons, spinners and sliders on all four sides. u$49.99, Target
The FireBot kit gives kids what they need to create and build a codable robot. u$129.99, ubtrobot.com
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The Nintendo Switch video game console instantly transitions to handheld mode for playing on the go. u$299.99, Target
The Kurio Watch Glow comes with more than 20 apps and games. u$49.98, Walmart
Loogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pro electric guitar comes with a mini amp and cable. u$199, loogguitars.com
KidiGo Walkie Talkies let kids have secure conversations or use preset animated messages. u$34.99, Target
Turbo Bot can be controlled by voice or with a remote. u$49.99, Target
Inspire little readers to have big dreams with books by bestselling author
Eva Chen “Kids need
more books like this.” —HelloGiggles
“Those who are 3, 13, or 30 can all enjoy the book.”
“A fresh take on a fairy tale.” —Forbes
for the fashionista in your life!
Feiwel & Friends
Kitties will love these colorful Hauspanther Collection by Primetime Petz Taffy Rolls. u$7.99, shop.hauspanther.com
He’ll be dapper and ready for the winter in Blueberry Pet’s Christmas Snowman collar, with a detachable bowtie. u$19, chewy.com
Treat her like the royalty she is with this Nandog crown bed, available in four colors. u$49, chewy.com
Keep tabs on Fluffy and Fido — and make sure they’re getting their kibble right on time — with the DOGNESS Automatic Wi-Fi Dog & Cat Smart Feeder with HD Camera. u$179, chewy.com
Don’t let rain stop you from taking your four-legged friend for a walk with this Choose Your Dog Breed umbrella. u$28, uncommongoods.com
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Swipe the sequins on this Naughty & Nice bandana to make it clear which list your little furry friend belongs on. u$9.99, petsmart.com Sweet and seasonal, West Paw’s Merry Moose plush dog toy is 100 percent handcrafted in the United States and also made with ecofriendly, certified-safe recycled plastic fill. u$15.95, westpaw.com
This sweet Holiday Black Lab area rug is ideal for an entryway or kitchen. u$89, grandinroad.com Learn more about your mixed breed’s makeup with the Embark Dog DNA Test. u$189, chewy.com
MAKE YOUR MARK FOR DECADES, WOMEN HAVE WORKED HARD TO ACHIEVE EQUALITY. WE’VE FOUGHT TO MAKE OUR MARK, TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR THE VALUE OF OUR CONTRIBUTIONS. IN MANY WAYS, WE’VE COME A LONG WAY TOWARD THOSE GOALS. HOWEVER, IF YOU FIND YOURSELF LOOKING UP THAT CORPORATE LADDER
INSTEAD OF ACTUALLY REACHING YOUR CAREER GOALS AND TRUE POTENTIAL,
IT MIGHT FINALLY BE TIME FOR YOU TO DITCH THE LADDER AND TAKE CONTROL.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT WWW.PRIMERICABUSINESSOPPORTUNITY.COM
The Title Nine Dream Dress makes it easy to look polished en route (and once you’ve arrived) with wrinkleresistant fabric. u$85, titlenine.com This custom snowflake ornament comes filled with sand or shells from the recipient’s favorite vacation destination. u$36, dunejewelry.com
Make it easier for someone on your list to take the road less traveled with the BPA-free, stainless steel Mizu 360 V7 everyday kit, which comes with a built-in water filter. u$59.95, mizulife.com
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Passports, cards, currency and more can be stored safely, securely and with style in this Royce identity theft-proof genuine leather travel wallet, available in multiple colors. u$62.99, overstock.com We can’t always control the temperature while we’re out and about, but with this Kikkerland Super phone fan, it’s all cool — no batteries required. u$15, kohls.com
Give the gift of in-flight organization with this travel media pouch 2.0 inflight organizer, which not only holds the tech essentials, but is designed to hang on the back of airplane seats. u$25, greatusefulstuff.com
There’s more than meets the eye with this convertible travel pillow infinity scarf. A zippered pocket holds an inflatable pillow to make that midflight nap comfy cozy. u$38, uncommongoods. com
How about a sweet-smelling, germ-busting stocking stuffer? Kosmatology’s hand sanitizers pack easily, use organic ingredients and come in scents like Goody-Goody Grapefruit and Spritz-trus. u$5, kosmatology.com
MAKE YOUR PARTY INCLUSIVE WITH THESE TIPS AND SWAPS T WON’T SURPRISE FOOD LOVERS TO HEAR that healthier fare is having a moment. In fact, a report from food delivery service Grubhub showed that plant-based eating is a top trend in America; even fast food chains are jumping on the meat-free train, with Carl’s Jr. partnering with Beyond Meat and Burger King adding a Whopper version of the Impossible Burger to the fast-food giant’s menu (currently at select U.S. locations). And there are plenty of good reasons
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
to veer toward veggies. A plant-based diet (which emphasizes minimally processed foods made from plants, sometimes including small amounts of seafood, poultry and dairy, but usually little or no red meat) has loads of benefits: reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer, along with increased brain health. It’s also a solid choice for those who want to score points with Mother Nature, since cutting back on our meat consumption reduces our environmental footprint and helps combat climate change.
GETTY IMAGES; ILLUSTRATION: LISA M. ZILKA
BY KRISTEN SEYMOUR
COMMON PLANT-BASED EATING STYLES
TIPS FOR A FUN & VEG-FRIENDLY FETE If you find yourself hosting a holiday gathering with some vegetarian or vegan guests and have never cooked a vegan dish in your life, don’t worry — plenty of other people have, like Whitney English Tabaie, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian, nutritionist and founder of WhitneyERD. com, as well as the pediatric nutrition platform Plant-Based Juniors. She’s made her vegan lentil loaf for the past three Thanksgivings. “Everyone, meat eaters included, loved it!” she says. But if that’s not quite what you’re looking for, the world is your (vegan) oyster, says Tabaie. “If you’re stumped on what to make, just Google ‘vegan’ before any classic holiday dish, and you’ll find tons of animal-friendly options.” And even if you have an absolutely incredible vegan dish as your main dish, she suggests having more than just that one veg-friendly item on your table. Kathryne Taylor, author of the vegetarian cookbook Love Real Food and creator of the popular vegetarian cooking blog Cookie + Kate (cookieandkate.com), agrees. “To be honest, I’m content eating side dishes at holiday dinners,” she says. “Turkey is boring, and I don’t have any interest in a vegan meatloaf, since I didn’t like meatloaf to begin with.” However, Taylor has plenty of crowd-pleasing suggestions. “You could make a hearty vegetable lasagna with vegetarians in mind, for
example, and everyone could enjoy it. I also love layered platters with whole grains and beans, roasted vegetables and a fresh sauce or herbs,” like the roasted carrots with farro, chickpeas and herbed crème fraiche recipe on her website. “Technically, they’re composed of a couple of side dishes, but the combination looks purposeful and beautiful,” she says. Once you’ve gone to the effort to offer a veg-friendly dish, Tabaie has one more recommendation. “Make sure to let your plant-based guests know which dishes contain animal products, so they don’t have to ask you about every dish before they take a bite. That can get annoying for everyone.” If you find yourself feeling a little veg-curious this holiday season, go ahead and get creative in your kitchen. “Vegetarian cooking can be completely satisfying,” says Taylor. “They can also be more exciting (and colorful) than conventional diets. Eating a variety of whole foods is key, and you can get plenty of protein from beans, eggs, tofu and dairy.” And even though it may seem exciting to go all in on plant-based eating once you realize just how good it can be, Tabaie urges people to take it slow. “Try easing in with a Meatless Monday or even a one-meal-a-day option where you go plant-based for a specific period of time,” she says. “Good health is not all or nothing.”
Whether you’ve personally embraced a plant-based lifestyle or simply want to host a holiday gathering in a way that supports your guests who have, you’ll be happy to know that keeping your meals vegetable-focused is easier than being able to tell the difference between kale and kohlrabi. But first, if you’re planning a menu designed to accommodate guests with dietary requirements, it’s important to know what it is that they do (and don’t) eat.
VEGETARIAN Generally no meat, including poultry and fish; may also avoid eggs or dairy
VEGAN No animal products at all, including eggs, dairy or honey
PESCATARIAN Vegetarian with the exception of seafood
FLEXITARIAN Somewhat open to individual interpretation, which means that the person mostly follows a meatless diet, but occasionally eats meat
AVOID: CHICKEN STOCK
AVOID: MEAT USE: “Lentils and walnuts combined in a food processor can be a great substitute for ground beef,” says dietician Whitney English Tabaie. “And mushrooms have a meaty texture, so they’re an awesome replacement for beef in many recipes.” You may also find that beans work well as a substitute, adds cookbook author Kathryne Taylor, who likes to use black or pinto beans in recipes with a Mexican flair, opting for chickpeas in Mediterranean recipes.
USE: “Substituting vegetable stock for chicken or beef is a great option in soups, stews and risottos,” says cookbook author Kathryne Taylor. AVOID: BUTTER USE: Applesauce or mashed banana in baked goods, or a vegan butter substitute for spreading on rolls and such.
AVOID: EGGS USE: Vegan “eggs” can be made using a tablespoon of ground flax seeds or chia seeds with 2-3 tablespoons of warm water, suggests dietician Whitney English Tabaie.
AVOID: HONEY USE: Agave nectar or maple syrup.
RECIPE RUINERS & SIMPLE SWAPS There’s little more frustrating than making a dish specifically to accommodate a guest, only to learn that you’ve used an ingredient they don’t eat. So, before you say, “Soup’s on!” make sure you know some of the common ingredients that make dishes nonveg-friendly — and get the scoop on some swaps you can make instead. Just be sure to read up on how to adjust measurements when swapping out one ingredient for another, as it’s not always a 1:1 ratio.
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
AVOID: DAIRY USE: It depends on what type of dairy you’re trying to replace, but there are countless vegan milks, plantbased yogurts and dairy-free cheese options on the market. Just make sure to pay attention to whether it’s flavored or not.
VEG-FRIENDLY GIFTS & DÉCOR Giving thoughtful gifts and filling your home with festive decorations are surefire ways to get into the holiday spirit. Fortunately, it’s easy to take an eco-minded approach to these activities to ensure you’re spreading cheer to everyone on your list. Here are a few tips for what to look for — and what you might want to avoid: FOOD: Think you need to hit up some specialty stores in order to find a plantbased foodie gift? Not so, says Kreg Sterns, founder of the @bigboxvegan Instagram account. He notes that Trader Joe’s, in particular, offers lots of tasty treats that are both vegan and festive, such as their Peppermint Joe Joes and Chocolate Passport gift sets. And for a gift that keeps on giving year-round, Sterns recommends the Louisville Vegan Jerky of the Month Club. Plenty of other traditional purveyors of holiday consumables have vegan options available, too; Harry & David, for example, offers an entire vegan gift basket selection with fruit, nuts, spreads and more. CANDLES: As with wine, you might assume that candles are vegan, but often they’re made with animalderived or animal-tested products (like beeswax and tallow), so be sure to read the label and seek out soy or vegetable-based candles.
More retailers are expanding their selection of vegan products, making it easier than ever to find plant-based food, décor and gifts this holiday season.
WINE: While a nice bottle is a classic hostess gift, it’s important to note that not all wine is considered vegan due to a process used in clarifying wine, which may use fining agents that aren’t veg-friendly (like casein or gelatin). There are a number of wineries, like Lumos Wine Company, that use vegan-friendly fining agents (such as activated charcoal), so you can show your love with a great bottle (like their 2017 Five Blocks Pinot Noir or the 2015 Wren Chardonnay) that’s perfect for the plant-based crowd.
GREENERY: What could be more plant-based than plants? However, to fully embrace the plant-based, eco-friendly lifestyle, try something that doesn’t require chopping down a tree or cutting off bunches of branches. Consider bringing in small, potted, living trees — which can then be planted outdoors. Rosemary makes a striking decoration (and smells amazing). Or you could adopt a modern, minimalist aesthetic and fill your home with streamlined aluminum or recycled cardboard trees decorated with ribbons and lights.
These delicious plant-based dishes from Grateful will spice up any holiday gathering. To find more recipes, as well as other tips on how to live fuller, happier and healthier, visit MakeItGrateful.com.
SHAVED-ASPARAGUS SALAD INGREDIENTS Garlicky breadcrumbs: 4-6 slices good-quality bread ½ cup toasted walnuts 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast 2 large cloves garlic, minced Zest from 1 lemon (reserve lemon for dressing) Note: You can substitute ½ cup Parmesan cheese to replace the walnuts and nutritional yeast for a non-vegan option. Lemon mint vinaigrette: ½ cup olive oil 1 bunch (about ½ cup) fresh mint leaves 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1 garlic clove Juice from 1 lemon (left over from breadcrumb prep, above) Salt and pepper to taste Salad: 1 bunch asparagus ½ cup garlicky breadcrumbs ½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced Assortment of edible flowers
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Chop bread into relatively even-sized cubes and bake until fully dried but not browned (about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how moist the bread is). Pulse dried bread in food processor until large crumbs form. Avoid overprocessing, or you will end up with bread dust. Add remaining garlicky breadcrumb ingredients to food processor and pulse until evenly mixed. Blend all vinaigrette ingredients in blender until smooth. Remove lower portions of asparagus stalks. Shave asparagus from top to bottom using potato peeler, starting from just below the base of the flower. Set tips aside. Thinly chop remainders once they’re too difficult to shave. Slice asparagus tips down the middle lengthwise. Toss prepped asparagus with strawberries, dressing and half of breadcrumb mixture in serving dish. Pile remaining breadcrumbs on top of salad and decorate with edible flowers.
GETTY IMAGES; JAIS TOLLETTE
BY JAIS TOLLETTE
Feed your inner child MakeItGrateful.com
Eat. Make. Celebrate. Discover a bold, colorful and grateful life.
SUPERFOOD WALNUT BUTTER BY JAIS TOLLETTE
WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY BARS BY CHARISSA KENNEDY
INGREDIENTS (yields 24 bars) Fruit: 24 ounces fresh raspberries 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons Chambord Liqueur 2 tablespoons cornstarch Shortbread: 2 cups butter, softened 1 Âš/Âł cups sugar 4 cups flour 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt 1 tablespoon vanilla Glaze: 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil 1 cup powdered sugar 3 tablespoons Chambord Liqueur
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and drain raspberries. In bowl, toss fresh berries, lemon juice, Chambord and cornstarch. Set aside. Cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until soft and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add flour and mix until just combined. Mixture should be crumbly. Reserve 1/4 cup dough to top berries. Press remaining dough into greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Stir raspberry mixture gently, smashing a few berries. Spread evenly on top of dough. Crumble remaining dough on top. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Let cool. Melt remaining white chocolate chips and coconut oil in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk powdered sugar, Chambord and white chocolate. Drizzle over bars.
INSTRUCTIONS Roast walnuts and pumpkin seeds at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. (Skip this step if you
purchased roasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds.) Add roasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds to highpowered blender or food processor. If using highspeed blender, blend nuts on highest setting for 3-5 minutes, or until butter is completely smooth. If using food processor, process nuts on high for 10-15 minutes until butter is completely smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Transfer blended nut butter to small bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
CHARISSA KENNEDY; JAIS TOLLETTE
INGREDIENTS (yields 4-6 servings) 2 cups walnuts, roasted 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 dried dates, chopped 3 dried figs, chopped 1 tablespoon hemp hearts 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Healthy Snacking Can Fight Holiday Weight Gain and Fatigue The holidays are an exciting – and busy – time of year for many Americans. From family gatherings to school concerts and company Christmas parties, Americans are on-the-go and often more sleep deprived, which can lead to unwanted weight gain. Research shows Americans gain an average of 0.7 percent of their body weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Increased activities, travel, and stress during this time means less sleep, and growing research indicates that sleep deprivation can be a contributing factor to weight gain. A recent study by Stanford Medicine showed that sleep deprivation significantly impaired brain function – such as willpower and decision-making —leading participants to choose snacks higher in added sugars, sodium, fat and saturated fat to try and boost energy. However, improved nutrition can help mitigate fatigue by bettering both cognitive function and sleep quality.
“The single most important diet-related decision we will make during the holidays and every day - is to eat more fruits and vegetables,” said Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, registered dietitian and President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health Foundation. While fruits and vegetables are filling on their own, Reinhardt Kapsak recommends pairing sweet fruit with savory proteins for a tasty and satisfying snack. Convenient, ready-to-eat options like Naturipe Snacks™ make it easy to get this balanced snack in one of their carefully curated, flavorful combinations. “Naturipe Snacks™ present the perfect power couple— fresh blueberries, strawberries or grapes paired with savory, protein-packed cheese and nuts— for sustained energy during the hectic holiday season or any time of year,” Reinhardt Kapsak said.
OM FOR THE HOLIDAYS REFRESH AND DESTRESS WITH A T R A N Q U I L M E D I TAT I O N R E T R E AT
SUZANNE CHRISTINE PHOTOGRAPHY
BY MARY HELEN BERG
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
mid the holiday chaos, it’s difficult to imagine you’ll ever have a minute of peace. So, when the relatives leave, the kids are back in school and the decorations packed away, consider a meditation retreat as a post-holiday gift to yourself. Whether you use it to recharge now, or to reflect later, a retreat can help you find your moment of Zen. More women than ever are practicing meditation, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. In fact, about 14 percent of all U.S. adults now meditate, three times as many as previously documented. Meditation relieves stress and also helps depression, chronic pain, immune function, substance abuse and other health concerns, says Dr. Britta Hölzel, a neuroscientist whose research shows that mindfulness meditation changes the brain. “A state of relaxation, calm and peacefulness is often reported after a single session,” Hölzel says. Worried about getting older? One recent study shows that loving-kindness meditation slowed biological aging among new practitioners in just 12 weeks. Whatever your concerns, a meditation retreat of any length helps shut out the stress, noise and distraction of everyday life. Retreat students experience changes others will notice, says Chas DiCapua, resident teacher for the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass. “When their retreat is over, they are much more in contact with their feelings; they tend to be softer and more loving,” says DiCapua. “They tend to be more connected to their lives and more interested in other people’s lives. They tend to be kind of amazed and excited about life more.” Think of a meditation retreat not as a typical gals’ getaway, but as intense me-time. Often located in peaceful landscapes >
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WHAT TO BRING
uIndoor shoes, slippers or socks uWater bottle uLoose-fitting clothing uLight blanket or shawl uSome centers request that guests bring towels and linens
S O U T H E R N D H A R M A R E T R E AT C E N T E R HOT SPRINGS, N.C. Intimate silent retreats for 30 or fewer students are held in this woodsy, 140-acre setting in the Appalachian Mountains. Programs run three days to two weeks, follow diverse traditions and may include sitting, walking and mindful movement meditation and dharma talks. Open March through December.
uYoga mats, zabuton and zafu meditation pillows are typically provided but you can bring your favorite uAn open mind
WHAT NOT TO BRING
Dormitory and double rooms with shared bathroom, heated and unheated cabins, and camping. Approximately $85 to $110 per night.
Tuition is included with accommodations. Scholarships available.
Hiking, nature walks and stream wading. Hot springs and spa treatments can be scheduled before or after at nearby Hot Springs Resort and Spa.
uElectronic devices uScented soap, shampoo, lotion, perfume, hairspray or gel, essential oils or incense uAlcohol or drugs
SOUTHERN DHARMA RETREAT CENTER; GETTY IMAGES
surrounded by stunning natural beauty, retreat centers provide programs for all learning levels and many are conducted mostly in silence. Teachers give instruction but attendees do not interact with each other in an effort to limit distractions and encourage reflection. Erica Steinweg, 42, first tried meditation about nine years ago and has attended at least 15 retreats at centers around the country. “It’s a wonderful way to recover and refresh and renew,” says Steinweg, who teaches yoga in Cleveland. “It’s a gift to yourself, and it becomes a gift to your family as well, not because you go and turn everyone into a meditator, but because of the possibility that those shifts that we make in ourselves are ripple effects out into the world.” You can find meditation retreats at a range of price points across the country, including at more than a dozen Vipassana Meditation Centers, which offer 10-day introductory retreats at no cost. Other centers offer scholarships or a sliding scale for tuition and lodging. A “dana” or donation, is often requested to support teachers. Here are a few other centers to consider:
STACY EVETT-MILLER; JESSIE THOMAS; GETTY IMAGES
S H A M B H A L A M O U N TA I N C E N T E R
RED FEATHER LAKES, COLO.
Set on 411 acres of rolling hills in Northern California, Spirit Rock has seen a 31 percent increase in students attending silent retreats over the past decade, according to staff. Retreats range from three days to two months and may include yoga, movement meditation and mandala drawing in addition to sitting, walking, eating and working meditation.
Here, scores of courses from two to 10 days offer instruction in meditation and mindfulness, yoga, creativity, relationships and more in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. Self-guided getaways provide a tranquil respite without enrolling in structured programming. Meditation and yoga instruction available upon request.
Single and double rooms with shared bathroom. Average cost is $99 to $150 per night on a sliding scale. Vegetarian meals included.
Tents, cabins, dorms and private rooms. Some subsidized lodging. Meals included. Cost is $90 to $299 per person.
Rates vary according to program but fees are included with accommodations. Scholarships available.
Hiking, yoga and qigong.
Tuition varies widely according to each program. Some courses have three levels of tuition. Other tuition rates are fixed.
Hiking, massage, body treatments.
OMEGA INSTITUTE FOR HOLISTIC STUDIES
Two venues at this rural Massachusetts center offer programs year-round in the Buddhist traditions of vipassana (insight) and loving kindness (metta) meditation. The retreat has programs lasting from two days to three months. More experienced meditators can retreat at The Forest Refuge for a week to a year or longer.
Located on 250 acres in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, the Omega Institute hosts more than 350 workshops on topics including mindfulness meditation and leadership. R&R Retreats (up to $38 in addition to accommodations) offer a do-it-yourself format with daily classes including meditation, yoga and tai chi. Open May through October.
Simple single rooms with shared bathrooms in a dormitory setting. Sliding scale from $90 to $250 per night for up to 30 days. Meals included.
Campsites, dorms, shared rooms and private cabins. Meals included. Weekend rates range from $246 to $702.
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Sliding scale. For example, rates for one weekend retreat typically cost $300 to $750. Scholarships available.
Hiking, walking, gardens, gentle yoga and tai chi.
Workshop tuition is separate from accommodation fees and varies according to length and type of program.
Hiking, tennis, basketball, gardens, sauna. Wellness Center with acupuncture, massage and other services.
INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY; OMEGA INSTITUTE; GETTY IMAGES
I N S I G H T M E D I TAT I O N SOCIETY
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MODERN WOMAN | 2019
Holiday Haul Fill Santa’s sleigh at these shopping destinations BY ANA PELAYO CONNERY
MAKING A LIST? Checking it twice? Before you go any further, take a look at our picks for the best places to go in search of the perfect gifts of the season — and perhaps even bump into Santa — in these great American cities:
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MIAMI Miami’s ample sunshine makes outdoor shopping a breeze. From bookstores to boutiques, home décor shops and more, the pedestrian-friendly promenade known as Miracle Mile in the heart of tony Coral Gables is flanked on both sides by a slew of shops. Modeled after Europe’s grand estates, the historical, Mediterranean-inspired architecture and sidewalk cafés of this upscale neighborhood dress up for the holidays, making this a favorite place for locals to shop and stroll. For books and special gifts, visit Books & Books, a longtime local bookshop and café with live music and light bites in a courtyard setting. On the west side of the city, a bevy of boutiques make CityPlace in Doral another great spot for outdoor holiday shopping. During November and December, enjoy a faux snowfall on the center plaza, do some ice skating and watch the fountain show synchronized to holiday music. Nearby at the always-bustling Dolphin Mall, kids are handed wands at the start of each nightly “snowfall” so they can help conjure an evening blizzard. Ugly sweater parties, Santa workshops
and free gift wrapping — that’s what you’ll get when shopping at downtown’s Brickell City Centre, Miami’s newest outdoor shopping pavilion. Anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, the four-story mall spans three city blocks.
NEW YORK CITY Holiday shopping in New York City deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list. More like art installations than simple window displays, the storefront scenes at Macy’s have been wowing visitors with spectacular productions since the 1870s. Today they’re joined by Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s and Lord & Taylor, all of which have eye-catching displays that have people lining up for blocks for a glimpse. Beat the rush at the sixstory Nike NYC store, dubbed House of Innovation 000, with mobile checkout services and a convenient Speed Shop. The latter allows you to reserve shoes online then arrive through a dedicated entrance where you’ll find a locker with your name on it that can be unlocked via your smartphone. If artisanal shopping is more your thing, take the train or ferry across the East River to the
Astoria Market in Queens. Held inside the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, it takes place the first three Sundays of December and features handmade wares created mostly by local artisans. Brooklyn Flea, one of the city’s most popular vintage flea markets, hosts Winter Flea + Holiday Market every weekend from the end of November through the New Year. More gifts can be found at similar holiday markets in Manhattan at Union Square and Columbus Circle. “Home to New York City’s only free ice skating rink, the Holiday Shops and The Lodge — a rinkside pop-up bar and food hall — Bryant Park creates a festival atmosphere in its annual Winter Village,” says Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln, a New York-based fashion and style editor. For indoor holiday >
Lord & Taylor, New York City
shopping, the Grand Central Holiday Fair at Grand Central Station fills the iconic Vanderbilt Hall with toys, jewelry and crafty goods for everyone on your list.
LOS ANGELES Like Miami, many of Los Angeles’ top shopping malls and villages are outdoors, but when it comes to holiday shopping, there’s no place like the City of Angels. This is home to Rodeo Drive and some of the world’s most stylish celebrities, after all. With a tree lighting ceremony that attracts star talent, a holiday trolley just for kids and one of the country’s largest Christmas trees, The Grove is Los Angeles’ premier outdoor shopping mall. Along with its nearby sister shopping destinations the Americana at Brand and Palisades Village, The Grove also features carolers and a twicenightly “snowfall” throughout the season. Check out the giant tree at the corner of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard as you peruse the baubles at Cartier and the latest runway fashions at Prada. For a peek at a fully lit 110-foot tree that spans the width of a basketball court and the world’s biggest bow (36 feet), explore Citadel Outlets and discover
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
bargains from 130 retailers. At Westfield Century City and Topanga & The Village shopping malls, take a spin on an ice rink and stroll through a special pop-up holiday market featuring retailers tucked into charming cottages.
CHICAGO With its winter wonderland backdrop, the Windy City is the perfect place to do some serious holiday shopping. Whether you’re a label lover or a bargain
RENEE CASCIA PHOTOGRAPHY; JIM PRISCHING
Westfield Century City, Los Angeles
hunter, Chicago has it all. One of the largest celebrations of its kind in the world, the Lights Festival along the Magnificent Mile — the eight-block stretch of Michigan Avenue that also serves as the city’s main thoroughfare — kicks off the weekend before Thanksgiving as an estimated 1 million twinkling lights on 200 trees brighten the famous street. The world’s top designers have a spot on the Mile, but don’t be fooled by the storefronts. Tucked inside many of the mammoth buildings are sprawling indoor shopping malls, including the 100-store Water Tower Place, home to the flagship American Girl Place, and the six-block Shops at North Bridge. On State Street in an area dubbed The Loop sits one of the largest department stores in the world (Macy’s) and the 25-acre Millennium Park with its stunning architecture, including the city’s famous Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as “the bean”), a giant ice rink and a one-of-a-kind art market. The latter features handmade jewelry, art and fashion by students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and other local schools. For trendy boutiques, upscale pet stores and home décor finds, visit Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park. While there, check out the Holiday Market at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Also worthy of a spot on your list is Christkindlmarket. This annual outdoor market is more of a German Christmas village with 60-plus vendors selling everything from handblown glass ornaments to charming cuckoo clocks. A roaming Alpine brass band and a children’s lantern festival round out the monthlong celebration. l
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Chill Out Discover winter weather fun at these icy destinations BY LISA DAVIS
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WHETHER ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WATCHING ICE carving demonstrations in Ohio, viewing outdoor movies on screens made of ice in Minnesota or attending a colorful kite festival on a frozen lake in Iowa, there are many ways to find adventure in the snow this winter.
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
MINNESOTA If there’s one place that celebrates winter, it’s Minnesota. This is especially true during The Great Northern Festival in the Twin Cities, which showcases plenty of winter-related talent from ice carving to curling and pond ice hockey. Held Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, 2020, this annual winter megafestival also rewards those who brave the cold with movies on screens made of ice, outdoor restaurants and a community sauna for warming up. Minnesota’s Art Shanty Project is another reason to venture outside this winter. It includes a village of artistdesigned shanties (ice-fishing cabininspired structures) on Lake Harriet that visitors can explore, as well as an after-dark party in a heated tent with bingo, raffles and s’mores.
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HOCKING HILLS, OHIO
Art Shanty Project in Minnesota
Frozen waterfalls are the big draw to this scenic area, about an hour outside of Columbus. The annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike, which takes place Jan. 18, 2020, is one way to see these icy formations. The 6-mile journey from Old Man’s Cave to Ash Cave passes by snow-covered rock formations and gorges as well as waterfalls that freeze into crystalized sculptures. Continue the fun at the annual Frozen Festival, featuring ice carving demonstrations and a giant ice photo frame and throne for selfies. Afterward, warm up with a spa treatment at the Inn at Cedar Falls and then stay overnight in one of the inn’s heated, dome-shaped yurts.
CANADA In Quebec, stay overnight at the only ice hotel in North America, the Hôtel de Glace. Made entirely of snow and ice, this architectural marvel, open January through March 2020, includes themed guest suites, a chapel, an ice slide and an ice bar for cocktails served in frozen glasses. In Vancouver, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia
transforms its outdoor patio into a winter pop-up bar with festive lights and holiday décor and a menu of shareable plates like cheese fondue and desserts including walnut cake and a blood orange pot-de-crème. Outside of Vancouver, visitors to the Powell River region can hike in the snow along the higher elevations of British Columbia’s Sun-
shine Coast Trail including Tin Hat Mountain or the Knuckleheads recreation area. Both areas have winterized sleeping huts for hut-tohut hikes. On the southern Sunshine Coast, snow aficionados can visit the Dakota Ridge winter recreation area, which boasts miles of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. In Whistler, fly in a
helicopter over Canada’s southernmost ice fields and then spend time exploring caves where natural ice formations flow. Dine in the caves’ aqua blue cathedrallike “grand halls” or hike the trails through the old-growth forests at Cougar Mountain. Vallea Lumina offers trails illuminated by emotive lights during winter nights, theatrical scenery and holograms.
Walk, snowshoe or ski across a completely frozen Lake Superior to the Apostle Sea Caves in northern Bayfield County. To ensure waters are chilled enough for cave-seekers to trek the 1 mile over ice from Meyers Beach Road to the caves, the National Park Service monitors conditions. (Meyers Beach Road is 18 miles west of Bayfield and 4 miles east of Cornucopia along Highway 13.) Expect to see giant needlelike icicles hanging from cave ceilings and a transparent ice floor. Large ice crystals are also formed from waves splashing against the caves’ rocks and by seeping between sandstone rock layers. The icy formations vary from cave to cave and from day to day. There are no authorized tours, so explorations are self-guided. Check online for up-to-date reports on conditions.
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
MARC DIONNE; MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
APOSTLE ISLANDS, WIS.
CLEAR LAKE, IOWA On the third Saturday in February each year, the gray winter skies in the village of Clear Lake become brighter when colorful kites fly high above the horizon, a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade of sorts in the clouds. Dubbed as serious kite fliers, participants in the Color the Wind Kite Festival come from several states to fly their kaleidoscopes on strings, helping Clear Lake residents and visitors escape cabin fever.
COLOR THE WIND KITE FESTIVAL; MONTAGE DEER VALLEY
UTAH At Solitude Mountain, enjoy a four-course dinner in a Mongolian yurt — the reward after a moonlit half-mile snowshoe hike. At Montage Deer Valley’s apres-ski yurt, sip on Veuve Clicquot champagne and relax near a fireplace on cozy couches while tasting a menu of local cheeses and charcuterie, caviar and gourmet popcorn that pairs surprisingly well with the bubbly. Park City Mountain resort host its annual Snowfest Dec. 22 through Jan. 6, 2020, featuring live music and activities like ice sculpting and s’mores roasting. If you’re a dog lover, there’s a meet and greet with avalanche dogs that help patrol nearby ski resorts.
| M E E T A M O D E R N WO M A N
DIANA’S WORDS OF WISDOM
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? The gift of life. Gifts are meaningless if you don’t have life.
How did you get interested in healthy eating? My father, at the age of 59, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and several years later with colon cancer. He changed his diet to a plant-based diet, and today he’s 83 years old and very healthy. So I saw firsthand the benefits of healthy eating — that food is medicine, and medicine food.
Do you have a go-to holiday dessert? My favorite holiday treat is sweet potato pie. Yummy! I don’t count calories when eating sweet potato pie. What is your favorite holiday tradition? What I look forward to is just getting together with the family. With me living in Phoenix, being able to go home and be with family during the holidays is really special. We gather as a family at my uncle’s home in St. Louis every December on Christmas Day. Our family is very close, and we all really look forward to that time of the year.
Favorite holiday decoration? My favorite Christmas decoration is the poinsettia, the flower of the holy night. For me, nothing symbolizes “Christmas is here” better. I place them ... on the stairs and around the Christmas trees and fireplaces.
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Diana Gregory Outreach Services
iana Gregory has been helping seniors since she was 8 years old. Now 63, she still recalls the hot July afternoon when she was playing outside and noticed her 85-year-old neighbor, Ms. Fannie, struggling with groceries. When none of her playmates so much as flinched, she leapt to Ms. Fannie’s assistance, helping her carry her shopping bags up eight flights of stairs to her apartment. In that moment, she realized how marginalized seniors felt and vowed to continue helping them. Decades later, in 2009, the St. Louis native made good on her promise. Newly retired from Anheuser-Busch, where she’d spent 30 years as a successful sales executive, she moved to Phoenix and established Diana Gregory Outreach Services, a nonprofit that helps seniors eat healthy with cooking classes and a mobile farmers market, Gregory’s Fresh Market, that brings produce directly to residents at senior-living facilities. Today, the organization has more than 90 volunteers who deliver fruits and vegetables to more than 7,800 seniors every year. — Matt Alderton
How does having fresh produce help seniors? One out of 7 seniors in Arizona goes to bed hungry because they have to choose between food and medication, and they choose medication. Plus, many of the health challenges our seniors face ... can be helped just by eating the right foods. ... But it’s not enough just to make nutritious food available ... we also provide healthy cooking classes to make sure they know what to do with fresh fruits and vegetables once they receive them. How has volunteer work enriched your life? Being a volunteer has given me a sense of purpose ... everyone needs a worthwhile cause they can support because ... knowing that you’re making a difference in someone else’s life is just so intrinsically rewarding.
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Cheers to the Holidays! Toast to healthier drinking options BY RASHA ALI
LET’S BE REAL HERE for a minute — most “Consuming straight spirits or spirits of us are willing to forgo carbs, give up fried mixed with club soda and citrus are the way foods and possibly even say no to a slice of to go,” says Fox. “Don’t be fooled by tonic cake, but that glass of wine or cocktail? That’s though! Tonic water is full of sugar, so a gin another story, especially during the holidays. and tonic will completely throw off your While it’s been noted that light to moderweight-loss program.” ate alcohol intake can reduce the risk of Rifkin also advises staying away from heart disease, alcohol isn’t exactly a healthy beverages mixed with sweetened fruit juices substance, according to experts. But because and opt for calorie-free mixers like seltzer or most of us who imbibe probsip your spirit simply on ice. ably aren’t going to give up You should definitely steer drinking as we plan our New clear of holiday drinks like Year’s Eve celebrations, you’ll eggnog or a Long Island iced be happy to know that there tea as they tend to be high in are healthier ways to drink. sugar, fat and calories. These approximate TV show Hell’s Kitchen Rifkin recommends clear calorie counts are winner Ariel Fox, the concept liquors like vodka and gin according to the executive chef at Dos Caminos as those tend to be lower in serving-size standards in New York City, says that calorie content. However, if set by the National she’s had success with losing you’re just craving a mixed Institutes of Health: weight and maintaining a cocktail, the chef has tips to Margarita: healthy lifestyle without givsatisfy your needs without 168 calories ing up the booze. Her secret: packing on the sugar. “If I’m moderation. in the mood for a mixed drink Red wine: Melissa Rifkin, a New York while out for the evening, I opt 125 calories registered dietitian, agrees for a margarita,” says Fox. “The Martini: that balance and moderation trick is asking the bartender 124 calories are the way to go when it for a margarita that is not a Light beer: comes to alcohol consumpmix and has fresh lime with 103 calories tion, and that some red wine simple syrup — then having here and there can hold the bartender use half of the Shot of brandy: health benefits. simple syrup.” 98 calories “Red wine contains Sugar isn’t the only thing Shot of tequila: polyphenols and antioxidants, that you should be thinking 97 calories which can be protective for about when it comes to heart health and is even alcohol, though. “Alcohol is included in the Mediterranean also an enabler, making food diet,” says Rifkin. “Part of living a healthy taste better and can often let our guard lifestyle also includes mental and social down, opening up for the allowance of more well-being, which alcohol can definitely be a food,” Rifkin says. “If you feel like you’ve been part of.” eating healthfully and exercising and still Fox limits herself to no more than two aren’t seeing changes on the scale, perhaps cocktails per week, but she will pour herself evaluating your drinking habits is necessary.” as many glasses per week of straight spirits If counting calories and worrying about the as she wants. Why? Sugar. That’s the big sugar content in your margarita when you’re ingredient hiding in alcoholic drinks that just trying to have a good time sounds like can derail your weight-loss goals or quest to too much of a fuss, just remember one thing: build muscle. moderation.
MODERN WOMAN | 2019
VEGAN SPICED APPLE MARGARITA This festive drink is only 50 calories per serving. Ingredients: AGAVE SIMPLE SYRUP 1/4 cup agave nectar 1/4 cup water RIM BLEND 1 teaspoon coconut sugar 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground Vietnamese cinnamon Lime wedge MARGARITA 2 ounces reposado tequila 1 1/2 to 2 ounces apple juice or apple cider 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice 3/4 teaspoon agave simple syrup Dash ground cinnamon GARNISH 1 star of anise Thin slice of apple
Instructions: AGAVE SIMPLE SYRUP In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and agave nectar. Warm, stirring
frequently, until the water and agave are completely combined. Remove the saucepan from heat and set it aside to cool. RIM BLEND On a small plate, use a fork to blend the sugar, salt and cinnamon together. Run a wedge of lime around the top of a glass, then turn the glass down at a 45-degree angle and roll the top of the glass through the sugar, salt and cinnamon blend to coat the rim. Fill the glass with ice and set aside. MARGARITA Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in tequila, apple juice or cider, lime juice, agave simple syrup and cinnamon. Put the lid on the shaker and shake the cocktail vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass. Garnish with a star of anise and a fresh apple slice.
â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Recipe provided by Grateful, a USA TODAY content partner. Visit MakeitGrateful.com for holiday recipes, decorating ideas, hosting tips and more.
| M E E T A M O D E R N WO M A N
RUE’S WORDS OF WISDOM When do you feel most connected to nature? When I’m in the redwoods. Being from Oakland and Northern California, I love the redwoods, which are a native species.
What is the best gift you’ve ever received at Christmas? About eight years ago, my family pooled their money to buy me a beautiful watch that I never would have bought for myself. It was touching. They wanted me to have a nice piece of jewelry “just because.” This is actually a really great example of how my family works. We pool together in times of joy and in times of need.
What do the holidays mean to you? Family. And good food. Lots of it. Every year I host a big Christmas brunch with about 30 family members. I recently moved into a new home and am remodeling the kitchen, so I’m excited to celebrate the holidays. It brings me so much happiness to have a place to gather and enjoy one another. Hospitality is one of the core values that my parents instilled in me from a very young age. There was always room for more at our table.
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en years ago, Rue Mapp was inspired to tell a new narrative about who recreates outdoors. Specifically, she felt African American women who embrace an outdoor lifestyle weren’t being represented in mainstream culture. Mapp started a blog, Outdoor Afro, to connect with like-minded enthusiasts. Now a nonprofit organization, the group encourages families to spend time together participating in outdoor activities. The core of her love of the outdoors, says Mapp, comes from her parents. As a child, her family spent weekends, summers and holidays at their ranch in Northern California where they would go hunting and fishing and harvest walnuts from their orchard. “That’s what gave me the foundation for connecting to nature and sharing it with others,” she says. Outdoor Afro seeks to spotlight “nature as a place that African Americans have always turned to for healing, recreation and community,” says Mapp. “And while we’re focused on the African American community, we’re not exclusive.” — Jennifer E. Mabry
How has connecting with nature changed your life? It helps me better understand resilience. It gives me a break from the “isms” of life. You go to nature and you truly have a break. The trees don’t know what race you are; the birds don’t know how much money you have in your account. ... It’s the ultimate open-source platform that enables people to be all of themselves, and that gives us a chance to find connection with other people. What’s your favorite outdoor activity and why? Whitewater rafting along the American River in California’s gold country. The Lower Fork is a wonderful, gentle river. It’s a living river, teeming with wildlife.
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COMMIT TO A SOLID exercise routine this holiday season, and you’ll gift yourself stronger muscles, a healthier heart and a clearer mind. And thanks to a growing number of fitness franchises, you don’t have to live in a big city to sweat through studio-type workouts. Compared with larger traditional gyms, franchises are typically smaller, more personal and offer coaching and instruction through a specific series of movements, says Holly Roser, a certified personal trainer in San Francisco and New York City. They’re often more affordable than working one-on-one with a trainer — plus, they offer a sense of community and camaraderie. So if you’re bored by the same old treadmill or elliptical sessions or aren’t sure what you’d do on your own in a weight room, one of these spots might be a good choice for you, Roser says. Each brand has its own principles and personality, as well as a distinct take on what makes a good workout, says Jeanette DePatie, a certified fitness instructor/ trainer and the creator of
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BY CINDY KUZMA
EveryBODYcanExercise.com. One perk of franchises is that, if you travel, your workout can go with you. You’ll have a similar experience whether you’re sweating in Kansas City, Seattle or Chicago. That’s good news for your fitness goals. “When we feel comfortable somewhere, we want to return,” Roser says. And that consistency is what gets you results. To find the franchise that might work best for you, consider these factors: Location. Scout out facilities near where you live, work and travel. “If it’s not convenient, you probably won’t go,” DePatie says. “There is no bigger waste of money than an unused gym membership.”
HEAD OF THE CLASS One of these national chains just might be your perfect fitness fit:
x [SOLIDCORE] This newer, fast-growing chain offers Pilates-inspired workouts in which you’ll do planks, lunges and squats on a machine called “sweatlana.” Adjusting the springs changes the resistance to scale the session to your level. x PURE BARRE
Small movements deliver big results in balletbased classes where you’ll hold poses until they burn. It’s low-impact, but high-intensity.
v COREPOWER YOGA
PURE BARRE; [SOLIDCORE]; GETTY IMAGES; CYCLEBAR; COREPOWER YOGA
Culture. While some franchises pride themselves on being open and welcoming, others cater toward more hardcore or expert exercisers, DePatie notes. Choose a vibe that makes you feel at ease.
Blend the mindfulness of yoga with physically intense exercise. Choose from multiple levels and styles, including hot yoga, yoga sculpt with weights and regenerating CoreRestore.
y ORANGETHEORY FITNESS
Science-backed high-intensity interval training means you’ll work hard, then rest, then work hard again on equipment that includes treadmills, bikes, rowers and weights.
Commitment. Understand whether you’re buying a month-to-month membership or joining for a year or for life, DePatie says. Many franchises offer a free class or trial period, so you can sample before you sign the dotted line. Fun factor. The best workout for you is one you enjoy, Roser says. But don’t pigeonhole yourself as someone who can’t run or hates yoga. Instead, step out of what she calls your “fitness comfort zone” and try new things — you just might come to love them.
It’s spin class meets strengthening — you’ll work your upper body with 4- to 6-pound bars while cycling to the beat. Each studio provides cycling shoes, though many regulars eventually buy their own.
HIGH-TECH SWEAT More companies are offering smart gym technology for remote workouts.
Virtual Personal Trainers Companies push remote fitness forward
IN A WORLD WHERE $36-per-session spinning classes have become commonplace and boutique fitness gyms curate specialized experiences for millennials, a new wave of technology is penetrating the deluxe workout market so you don’t have to leave your home — let alone your bedroom. Connected fitness, which began with apps and leveled up with wearables, is pedaling toward a new phase with smart home-workout equipment and membership packages that bridge the gap between attending instructor-led classes and flying completely solo. “There’s this massive innovation happening. You’re no longer just watching a Jane Fonda workout through a TV or a trainer on an app. You’re interacting and engaging with devices,” says tech
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entrepreneur Ian McCaig, who is a co-founder of Fiit, a mobile app that connects to your TV. “Whether you’re seeing your metrics or interacting with the instructors, you’re gamifying the experience. You’re getting the real-time feedback and having social experiences, working out with your friends even if you’re not in the same room with each other.” With ubiquitous 4G connectivity and the mass adoption of 5G on the horizon, experts say manufacturers of smart gym
equipment will soon have the bandwidth to take immersive workouts to the next level. “We’re seeing how wearable technology can disrupt the home fitness experience, and there’s no reason why VR and AR (alternative reality) won’t take things even further,” McCaig says. “You’ll have the processing power to be able to create super-immersive experiences in the home.” As time progresses, smart gyms could become an extension of smart homes and apps might one day be able to make >
BY DALVIN BROWN
Both the motor and the motivator. Let world-class personal trainers interactively guide your workouts from the comfort of your home. Your ďŹ tness equipment is now miles from mundane.
fitness workout suggestions based on how tired your body feels, thanks to data gathered from wearables, McCaig says. In a blog post on LinkedIn, the investor and former personal trainer writes that connected home fitness is poised to overtake the recreational gym market within the next 10 years. To work out at a neighborhood gym, “you have to pack your bag, get in your car or take the train, change clothes, feel like you have to work out for an hour then travel back,” McCaig says. “The reality is, the one thing we’re all running out of is time. That’s what makes being able to log on to a hyperinteractive class with other people from home appealing.” Here’s a look at some of the hottest virtual fitness programs on the market:
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connected boxing system is designed for people who want boxing-oriented videos at a more affordable rate than most in-person kickboxing classes over time.
PELOTON Peloton, which is perhaps best known for combining its premium stationary bikes and treadmills with a screen that shows fitness courses, has a million users and has sold more than 400,000 bikes, according to CNBC. The company’s internetconnected exercise devices sell for around $2,500. Peloton offers two membership options: an inclusive membership (accessible through a bike, treadmill or the app) for $39 per month or an
app-only digital membership for $19.49 per month.
MIRROR Last year, Mirror, an interactive monitor that is disguised as a typical mirror when not in use, completely disrupted the home fitness space. Similar to Peloton, Mirror’s subscription service and on-demand content come at an additional cost to members. According to The New York Times, Mirror is selling $1 million worth of the digital screens per month. “We’re vying to be the next screen in your life, not the next treadmill in your home,” Mirror founder and CEO Brynn Jinnett Putnam said in a statement. “You have your phone for communication, your computer for information, your TV for entertainment and now the Mirror for experiences.” In-home delivery of the system, which includes resistance bands and a heart-rate monitor, costs $250. You’ll have to pay $39 a month to access live and prerecorded workouts like resistance training, yoga, cardio and Pilates. The actual mirror is around $1,500. l
FIGHT CAMP; MIRROR; USA TODAY
FightCamp began taking orders for its interactive boxing system in 2018. The $1,995 home gym comes with a freestanding bag, gloves, quick wraps, a workout mat and access to on-demand instructional classes. The system is elevated by punch-tracking technology housed in the wraps. The tech provides on-demand strike data and real-time performance stats. The two motion trackers sync with your smartphone through the FightCamp app to capture how many punches are thrown, and you can watch counters go up on your phone or television as you throw punch combinations. The company says it recently developed motion-recognition algorithms that track other training motions, including kicks, pushups and jumping rope. FightCamp offers a library of boxing workouts via subscriptions for $39 a month, and since launching, several thousand users have signed up across the U.S., the company says. The
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Faith and Fitness Breast cancer survivor shares her inspirational story BY AMY SINATRA AYRES
DONNA HOPKINS HAS SURVIVED breast cancer twice and lost part of her left leg due to an unrelated blood clot. But none of those trials has slowed her down. In fact, this lifelong athlete went on to become a competitive rower — and now she’s even thinking about trying ice hockey. “I tell people I’m a miracle walking,” Hopkins says. “(Fitness) is the key thing through my breast cancer — two bouts with that — and my leg amputation: If I hadn’t been physically fit and in good health, I wouldn’t have made it. My body was strong to go through all of that.”
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Hopkins was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, after she found a lump while she was sitting at work one day. “I always say that God allowed that lump to pop up, because otherwise, I was only 36 years old, not even at the age to get mammograms,” she says. “I immediately called my primary doctor and scheduled an appointment. You can’t wait around because if you act immediately when you find things, the chances of you living are greater.” She had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment, but two years later the cancer returned. This time, the aggres-
sive form of the disease was in the lower quadrant of her breast, closer to the chest wall. She had a mastectomy and has been cancer-free since, and counsels others to make sure they are as informed of their diagnosis as possible. “It is important for you to really educate yourself, dig deeper, find out all the information, ask questions, because in order to make the right decisions for your situation, you need to know all the facts,” Hopkins says. In 2010, after having surgery to remove uterine fibroid tumors, a reaction to a blood thinner actually caused her blood to clot. As a result, the lower portion of her left leg had to be amputated. “I was cancer-free, still am,” she says. “The amputation wasn’t the result of cancer. I call it a hospital disaster, misfortune.” The Washington, D.C.-based sports broadcaster, who attended college on basketball and track scholarships, turned to exercise to get through her illness, and again to get through the unexpected loss of her limb. Her physical therapist suggested she take up rowing, even though she didn’t know how to swim. “Rowing became the medicine that I needed to get me through a dark time,” she says. Her faith and her competitive nature also helped her get through those difficult times. “I don’t like to lose at anything,” she laughs. In addition to her career in media, Hopkins works part time in a gym, runs Hopkins Breast Cancer Inc., a foundation that helps meet the immediate financial needs of patients in the D.C. area, and recently published a book about her journey and triumphs, Getting to the Other Side of Victory. “You have one life to live. You’ve got to live it to the utmost. Whatever makes you happy, what makes your spirit soar, that is the thing that will get you to the other side of whatever you’ve gone through,” she says. “I always tell people that I may have gone through some unforeseeable hard times, but I think I’m a better person today because of what I’ve gone through.”
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| M E E T A M O D E R N WO M A N
JENNIFER’S WORDS OF WISDOM
Favorite holiday tradition? Attending church on Christmas Eve and watching the movie The Polar Express, later in the evening with my two boys. Even now, as teenagers, they’re adamant that we watch it together. I also give my husband and boys a themed Christmas box with items from their favorite sports team or vacation spot with pajamas, snacks, an ornament or keepsake with a picture marking the trip or other special event we engaged in during the year. It’s a fun tradition that my boys get excited about and that can evolve as they grow up. The boys and I make sugar cookies, frost them and still put them out for Santa, even though they know there’s no Santa. Holding fast to family traditions is important to all of us. Where is home for the holidays? I’m a native Hawaiian and daughter of a retired U.S. naval officer. My family and I call Colorado home. I like to keep it simple and stay at home.
JWill Pink Village volunteers
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JENNIFER WILLARD JWill Pink Village
n Christmas Eve 2015, Jennifer Willard, then 41, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, and when she was discharged from the hospital, her nurse navigator gifted her a pillow to lessen the friction between her seatbelt and the incision during car rides. “It really made an impression on my heart,” says Willard, that “hospital volunteers — people I didn’t know — were making something for me before I realized it was something I would need.” In August 2017, Willard, now cancerfree, made 75 pillows to gift to others in her breast cancer community as a token of appreciation. The word-of-mouth and social media response to her project was so immense it led Willard to create the nonprofit JWill Pink Village. Since its inception, the group has crafted 2,500 pillows for breast cancer survivors in 35 states and Australia. Willard’s goal is to have coordinators in every state working with hospitals to provide pillows to all who need them. — Jennifer E. Mabry
How did breast cancer change your outlook on life? I used to be a “to do” kind of girl, planning out every minute. Going through cancer made me realize how little control I had — except for faith and attitude. I was at the mercy of (my circumstance). That was hard for the person I used to be — Type A — to accept. Coming out on the other side has taught me to live in the moment. I know that might sound cliché, but when I was diagnosed I wondered, ‘Is this going to be my last Christmas? Is this going to be the last time I’m driving my kids to school?’ My oldest son was an eighth-grader at the time of my diagnosis, and I wondered, ‘Will I get to see him graduate?’ He’s a senior this year and will graduate in 2020. Suddenly, those ‘have to’s’ become ‘get to’s’ in life. I get to drive my kids to school or listen to them complain about a teacher they don’t like. I get to go on a walk. Having cancer made me realize life is so much more than a to-do list. And if you’re always worried about what you’re checking off, then what are you missing out on in between? Because sometimes it’s the smallest moments that take up the biggest space of your heart. ... like receiving a pillow.
GETTY IMAGES; ELLEN JASKOL; HEIDI HOWARD/HOWARD PHOTOGRAPHY
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Dear Diary Journal your way to a happier new year in just minutes a day BY KRISTEN SEYMOUR
THERE ARE COUNTLESS THINGS we know are good for us, but still struggle to make a habit — eating well, sleeping eight hours a night and journaling, for example. But we’re approaching the time of year when we focus on how we can become the best versions of ourselves, and, when it comes to journaling, the benefits are simply too numerous to ignore. Studies have shown that writing as therapy doesn’t only help to reduce stress and anxiety, but can even boost our immune systems, decreasing the likelihood of sickness and helping us fight off illness and disease. “The physical act of writing something down is a powerful way to process information and experiences, notice patterns and cultivate creativity,” says Julia Dellitt, author of Get Your Life Together(ish) and Self-Care for College Students. “Journaling helps you harness your emotions, whether you’re trying to release anxiety, find clarity or practice gratitude. When you do this regularly, you’re better equipped to build resilience and be more present in your life.”
START AT THE BEGINNING Intrigued, but unsure where to begin? The best thing to do is to just start, says Dellitt. “Remember, there’s no ‘right’ way to do it,” she says. She recommends setting a timer for five minutes and writing — about anything in the world; it truly doesn’t matter — until it goes off. “Do this a couple times a week, as soon as you wake up in the morning, before you grab your phone or before you go to sleep,” she says. “Think of it as a way to offload whatever’s on your mind.” Dellitt finds giving yourself a specific, short period of time makes it easier to turn occasional journaling into a regular habit.
PROMPTS TO GET YOUR PEN FLOWING A blank page can feel intimidating at first, but don’t panic. “Nobody is handing out grades or gold stars for your journal entry,” Dellitt says.
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That’s the beauty of keeping a journal that’s just for you — you can simply write down any thoughts or feelings that cross your mind, even if those thoughts start out along the lines of, “I have nothing to say.” Any notebook can serve as a journal, although you might find you prefer a hard or soft cover, or perhaps one that lays flat. And you may be more inspired by one that you enjoy looking at. The important thing to remember is there are really no rules. If you struggle with expressive writing, try keeping a gratitude journal or recording your dreams. You could journal about a specific goal and the progress you’re making, or write about travel — either past or planned. Draw, doodle, collect, express. You can’t do it wrong, just so long as you keep on doing it.
You can find journals with all kinds of prompts and themes, but if you’d prefer to pave your own way, come up with your own prompts. Here are some ideas: Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for. Identify the things that are making you feel overwhelmed. What’s something you wish more people knew about you? Write about a cherished moment with a childhood pet. Create a list of what inspires you — music, people, books, websites, etc.
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SIMON AND SCHUSTER; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES; GETTY IMAGES
The No Worries Workbook by Molly Burford With 124 lists, activities and prompts designed to get you out of your head and on with your life, this workbook is a great option for those who struggle with leaving their worries behind long enough to be truly present. u$16.99, indiebound.com
Sharpie plastic point stick water-resistant pen Author Julie Dellitt recommends these pens because they offer dark, consistent ink but don’t bleed through the page, so you can easily jot your thoughts on front and back pages. u$5.97, walmart.com
My Life Story — So Far Your memoir doesn’t have to be bestseller material to be worth writing, and this highly rated journal encourages you to look back at all kinds of big life moments, like first dates, history-making events, favorite hobbies and more. u$30, uncommongoods.com
Affirmators! journal Want to help yourself, but are turned off by what you think of as traditional “self-helpy-ness?” This supportive journal is full of good vibes and just enough snark to keep you inspired — and smiling — on your journaling journey. u$16, knockknockstuff.com
Rough Draft Mini Notebook: Look Forward Not Back This is Dellitt’s go-to journal. “I like that I can lay the notebooks flat to write (instead of holding one side down). They’re sturdy enough to be carried everywhere without getting bent, and they’re also super colorful and fun,” she says. u$12, bando.com
Clear the Clutter How owning less can give you more BY MIRA JUDD
AS A MINIMALISM AND simplicity coach, Rose Lounsbury helps people find freedom and clarity by clearing the clutter from their lives. The busy mother of young triplets started her business seven years ago after a friend introduced her to minimalism. After slowly removing all of the extra mess from her life, Lounsbury realized how rewarding it was to not have to manage so many extra, unnecessary items. She shares her knowledge with clients to help them organize and declutter their lives. Lounsbury offers this advice so you, too, can start your minimalist journey:
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you could Q: Ifchoose five things everyone should throw away right now, what are they and why? LOUNSBURY: First, VHS tapes. I really can’t think of a reason anybody would need those. If they’re old home movies, get those converted to digital and then throw away the VHS tapes. Second, user manuals. For products like your coffee maker, DVD player, iPhone … you can just throw those away because all of them are online. Third, things related to projects or hobbies that you’re no longer interested in. A lot of people get into something like scrapbooking, and they buy all the paper, cutters, stamps … and then make one and a half scrapbooks. They’re hanging on to all this stuff, and there’s tons. They spent a lot of money on it. The thing is, an adult can outgrow a project the same way a kid can outgrow a pair of pants. You’re not going to get the child back in the pants. The same thing with the project. Now that you’ve outgrown it, you look at these scrapbooks, and you feel guilty. It’s actually adding negativity to your life. Move on to a project you’re actually excited about. Fourth, clothing that no longer fits. The only exception being if you are a woman who has had a baby within the last year: You’ve got to give your body time
to return to (its original) state. A lot of people hang onto clothes for when they lose weight. We’ve all done that, and so I tell (people) that, when you lose the weight, you owe it to yourself to go buy yourself new clothes that you love. That’s a huge reward for having done the hard work. And last, stuff in kitchens that (people) never use: china, serving platters, etc. (If) you don’t ever use those … let them go, because they’re just taking up space. They probably make you feel guilty because, a lot of time, (they) were given as gifts or from someone who passed away. That’s not what the person who loves you wants you to feel. They want you to feel happy. They want you to feel joyful. So, let go of those dishes. How do you practice minimalism with children, who need so much stuff? My first rule is, always start with your own stuff. Pare down your clothing, books and hobby materials. The people you live with will start to notice, and they’ll get on board. My kids have donation boxes in their rooms. When they get something new, they just automatically put something old in the donation box. It’s very normal and natural for them, but that’s because it’s been modeled so much and talked about in their life. You have to be living the lifestyle to do this with kids.
What are some stereotypes and myths about being a minimalist? People think (it) means you don’t have any stuff at all, or that you’re living in deprivation and have nothing … just the bare walls with one couch. Minimalism is actually living the opposite of that. It’s living a life of abundance, because you have what you really love and what really matters, and you have time, freedom and the ability to do the things you want to do. What emotional reactions do people feel as they transition to this lifestyle? There’s an initial fear of letting go, and that’s why a lot of people avoid dealing with their stuff. It feels kind of wrong at first. I experienced this myself. Like, can I really let go of my grandma’s dishes? It’s just because we’re not used to doing it. Initially, there’s a discomfort, but people get over that really quickly. People I’ve worked with one-on-one almost always say, “I feel so much better, so much lighter. It feels awesome. I feel amazing.” (That’s) because they’ve created open space in their home. (More importantly, they’ve created) an open space in their minds, right in their hearts. — Mira Judd writes for MakeItGrateful.com, a USA TODAY content partner.
| M E E T A M O D E R N WO M A N
ELYSE’S WORDS OF WISDOM
Best gift you ever received? The best Christmases are always the ones when you get a powder ski.
How did the accident change your outlook on life? In my line of work there are times when you have to evaluate whether your gut is saying ‘no’ because you’re just nervous and you have a lot of fear, or because it’s valid. I learned an ability to feel comfortable about saying ‘no’ and backing away from things.
Favorite part of the holidays? I love it all! I love making Christmas cookies. My dad’s side of the family is Norwegian and so we would go over to my grandma’s and make lefse and krumkake and Christmas cookies. I love decorating the Christmas tree. I love skiing. I love Christmas music. I’m kind of cheesy like that! But I think it maybe all originated with all those Norwegian traditions at a young age.
I Lefse Where’s home for the holidays? Girdwood, Alaska, and Tahoe City, Calif. What is the reason for the season? Being with family and friends — 100 percent. Favorite holiday treat? Lefse has always been my ultimate favorite. But another tradition my parents started later in life, and that I absolutely love, is on Christmas Eve we have Alaskan king crab.
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n 2012, professional freeskier Elyse Saugstad survived an avalanche that killed three of her friends in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle. The third-generation Alaskan grew up on skis, but says that swiftly deploying an avalanche airbag saved her. Later that year, she and other professional female skiers created SAFE AS (Skiers Advocating and Fostering Education for Avalanche and Snow Safety), a nonprofit that teaches snow safety to female skiers and snowboarders and raises money for avalanche awareness, research, education and safety groups. Despite the harrowing ordeal, Saugstad, 41, is at the top of her game. In 2018, she won best female performance at the Powder Video Awards and the International Freesport Film Festival and Freeskier Magazine named her Female Skier of the Year. She admits there may come a time where she can no longer jump the same size cliffs, but for now, Saugstad shows no signs of slowing down. “I still love doing what I do and chasing powder,” she says. — Mary Helen Berg
How did you conquer your fears and return to skiing? Literally just putting on a pair of skis and stepping out into the backcountry was part of the process, and that’s immediately what I did. What advice do you give others who are battling back from a setback? You need to ... break it down into steps. If you look at a situation and there’s a lot of fear involved, it can seem overwhelming and insurmountable. ... Also, this sounds so easy but it’s really hard to do, and that’s trying to stay positive. It’s good to acknowledge the negative, you can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, because that will get you into trouble, but you acknowledge it and then focus your energy on the positive things that you need to do to accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish. Believe in yourself.
GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY ELYSE SAUGSTAD
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Good Buddy Is an accountability partner the key to keeping your New Year’s resolutions? BY RINA RAPUANO
KIMBERLY WILSON ADMITS SHE started working on her 2020 New Year’s resolutions back in September. Since the Washington, D.C.-based author and therapist has several lists of personal and professional resolutions simmering at any given time, it’s fair to say she’s a fan of the time-honored tradition of holding herself accountable when the calendar flips to a new year. But this veteran resolution-maker also knows the value of having a buddy to help keep you on track when resolutions are challenging to keep. For instance, one of her 2019 pledges was to attend three to five yoga and ballet classes each week. She enlisted a ballet buddy, and Wilson remembers a certain Sunday morning when she decided to stay in bed, but the friend texted that she was on the
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way to class. That text was just the inspiration Wilson needed to get up and go. “I was so glad to make the class even though I had made the decision to skip it,” says Wilson. “It’s not like it’s social hour, but you get to see someone regularly, check in and spend time together in a way that’s healthy and fun.” For Lena Katz, founder of the digital and print media consulting firm Variable Content in Miami, having one buddy was never as effective as belonging to a group that holds her accountable. “It’s very hard to get two people to sync up and be productive at the same time,” she says. “Once one person falls out, then the whole thing does.” She’s had better success maintaining her career resolutions by joining a Facebook group
GETTY IMAGES; RHONDA CAVENDER
of professionals from around there can be shame involved, the world who also have jobs and they might not want to that rely heavily on pitching share that with a buddy. That’s to clients. The group uses a where an app or a group friendly, honor-system tournamight come into play.” ment model to make sure That’s also where hiring a members stay on task. Points professional, such as a career are given for various actions or life coach, to hold you such as pitching, following up accountable can help. Because or finding information about a it’s a professional relationship, new client. It also serves as a he or she won’t bail on you support group, with members or tell you what you want to posting successes that are hear — and will offer honest cheered on by the group, as well counsel, including what as questions about pitching friends and loved ones may and follow-up. Each month, not want to say. — LENA KATZ the moderator asks for status In McGuire’s case, clients updates, and participants looking to improve their submit their point tallies so they can see health or spending habits, which she cites how they stack up. as the most common goals, use software “I find that really fun,” says Katz. “You she provides to track their success. That feel like you’re playing a video game. Oh, I way, she can monitor their actions and got points! The hard thing about pitching check in with them regularly on their is you might not get anything tangible out progress — or lack thereof. “I can say, ‘Hey, of it. This feels like something.” looks like you haven’t gotten that done. Kelley McGuire, an accountability coach How is your day?’ It’s very hands on.” based in Oklahoma City, says the buddy No matter which system you use, system is something she’s found useful McGuire stresses that the single greatest in her own pursuits, but adds that it’s not success factor can only really come from for everyone. “I think it depends on the the person who makes the resolution: “To person and the emotional baggage that do all of the things necessary to make that goes along with whatever they’re trying to change, no matter how small, nothing will accomplish,” she says. “For some people, work for them until they’re truly ready.”
GETTY IMAGES; CHRISTIE CONNELL/AZURE PHOTOGRAPHY
It’s very hard to get two people to sync up and be productive at the same time.”
To improve your chances of success before making any New Year’s resolutions, accountability coach Kelley McGuire recommends getting to know more about yourself. “Figure out what makes you tick, then you can figure out the best route to change a habit or lose a habit,” she says. McGuire uses a technique outlined by Gretchen Rubin in her book The Four Tendencies, which uses a quiz to break people into four categories: obligers, questioners, upholders and rebels. “Obligers work really well with the buddy system,” McGuire says. But when it comes to rebels, “if you say you’re going to be at their house to work out, they’re going to find a way out of it because deep down they don’t want someone to tell them what to do.” Take the online quiz at quiz.gretchenrubin. com to find your tendency. — Rina Rapuano
Sparking Joy For USA TODAY team members, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without these sentimental favorites: The scents, sounds and seasonal décor add to the giving, grace and gratitude of the holidays.
Each year when we’ve attended The Nutcracker ballet, my daughters have picked out a figurine to add to their diverse collection. It now numbers about 20, including a pink breast cancer awareness nutcracker, a blue sequined version and this latest addition from the Washington Ballet’s production set in historic Georgetown, Va., with George Washington as the heroic nutcracker.
My late grandmother knitted stockings for each grandchild, then later their spouses, and then for each greatgrandchild. She’ll be gone 16 years this December, but the stockings still are hung in a place of prominence at my parents’ home each Christmas.
— Amy Sinatra Ayres, editor
— Harry Lister, editor
— Jeanette Barrett-Stokes, director
— Gina Toole Saunders, designer
— Debbie Williams, editor
This Is Christmas, the 2004 album from Luther Vandross, brings back fond memories of my three sons opening their gifts around the tree on Christmas morning. — Jerald Council, creative director
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The diminutive tree that Charlie Brown selects for his local holiday pageant reminds me of A Charlie Brown Christmas all through the season. It signifies that this time of year isn’t just about showering loved ones with gifts; it’s also about paying special attention to those who might otherwise be forgotten. — Tracy Scott Forson, editor
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My favorite holiday decoration is Elfie, aka Elf on the Shelf. I love that she appears in different places, positions and poses each morning throughout the holiday season. My son and social media followers have come to expect seeing her antics every holiday.
My husband built Snoopy’s dog house years ago as part of our yard display, and recorded my daughter reading the Bible verse Linus recited to Charlie Brown explaining, “That’s what Christmas is all about.” We still assemble and display it every year as a reminder of the true meaning of the season.
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