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Shapee S your life lf




quick hair ideas for the gym


FAVOURITE carbs, cravings and quickie workouts


but which type is BEST for YOU? KURANG MANIS


Decadent and healthy recipes without the added sugar

fit girl WE’RE BACK! Are you cover ready? Will it be you this time? We’re looking for our next SHAPE Fit Girl. Winner of SHAPE Fit Girl 2017, Gillian Benjamin She’s someone who’s active, eats healthily, is inspirational, loves social media and is definitely #SHAPEPROUD! How to join: 1. Upload a picture of yourself on Instagram. Remember to set your profile to public 2. Hashtag #SHAPEMYFITGIRL and #SHAPEPROUD 3. Tell us why you should be the next SHAPE Malaysia Fit Girl *The last day of submission is 30th January.

Stay tuned! The winner will be on SHAPE Malaysia’s June 2018 cover and will walk home with amazing prizes! Official Partners



This page: Moeva Judy bikini top (moeva .com). Michi Psyloque Swimsuit (michiny .com). Reebok Crossfit Nano 7 Weave sneakers . Opposite page: Ultracor Inertia Silk Zeta Pixelate Bra ( 925Fit I Saw That bottoms (

p72 Sculpt and tone serious muscles.





Find out which type of yoga works best for you.


Eat Right


54 What’s your

34 38 39 40

60 Kristen Bell on food,

yoga style? 58 Yoga poses to increase metabolism

Get Fit 16 Stairs workout 18 Mombod: Strong,

sexy back 19 Ask Jeremy 22 Crank up your afterburn 2


Purple foods Celery goodness Get sauced Sweet, healthy recipes

Look Great 24 Brow tips 28 Beauty primers 31 Pony-tail styles


workout and family 66 What diet hop does to your body 68 Sculpting muscles

And More... 9 76 78 80

You Right Now Scoop Contest Fit & Famous: Anna Camp

Advisory Board SPORTS MEDICINE William Chan, MB., BS. (QLD), FRACGP (Australia), Dip. Acupuncture (Beky Park), Dip.Musculoskeletal Medicine (Flinders), Master of Sports Medicine (Canberra), Consultant Sports Physician




PHYSIOTHERAPY Lydia Claire Lim, BSc (Hons.) Physiotheraphy (UK), MCSP (UK), Chartered Physiotherapist Low Yun Ting, BSc (Hons) Physio, MCSP (UK), MMPA (Mal), Chartered Physiotherapist Chua Seu Mooi, Dip (PT), MMPA (Mal), Senior Physiotherapist PSYCHOLOGY Kelvin Lee, PsychD. (Australia), B. Psych (Australia), MAPS, MSPS, MAIM, IRCA, Organizational Psychologist Lee Kuan Shin, B.A. Psych. (Syr. NY), M.A. Clin. Psych. (UKM), Clinical Psychologist Geraldine Tan, B.A. Psych (Singapore), M.A. App. Psych. (NTU), Clinical Psychologist Yam Keng Mun, M.A. Clin. Psych. (USA), Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Executive Director







CARDIOLOGY Suren Thuraisingham, MBBS (Lon), FRCP (Lon), A.M., Consultant Cardiologist GENERAL SURGERY Patricia Alison Gomez, BSc, MBBS, M. Med. General Surgery, Consultant Breast Surgeon NEUROLOGY Julia Shahnaz Merican, MB. Bch BaO LRCPSI (Ire), MRCP (Ire), MRCP (UK), Consultant Neurologist NUTRITION Farah DiBa Khan, BSc (Hons) Nutrition & Dietetics (USA), Consultant Dietitian Hong Ya Chee, B.Sc. (Hons) Food Science & Nutrition, ILife Nutrition Chief Nutritionist, Member of Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM), Member of Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity (MASO) ORTHOPEDICS Suntharalingam, MBCHB (Dundee), FRCS (Glasg), A.M. (Mal), Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon DERMATOLOGY Pemmi Dhillon, Skin & Hair Specialist, MBBS, Dip in Derm (London), MJCS (Japan), Dip in Aesthetic Medicine (Los Angeles, California), Member of American College of Dermatological Surgeons Ramamurthy S., MBBS (India); Dip Dermatology (Cardiff, Wales), Consultant Lee Yin Yin., MD (Canada), MRCP (UK), M Med (Mal), Adv M Derm (Mal), AM (Mal), Consultant Dermatologist HYPNOTHERAPY Sheila Menon, Bsc (Hons) D. Hyp (Dist) PG Dip ISCP, MBSCH, MSCH, Principal, LCCH Malaysia GYNAECOLOGY Premitha Damodaran, MBBS (Ind), M. MED (O&G), Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist AYURVEDIC MEDICINE C. D. Siby, B.A.M.S., Senior Ayurvedic Physician ANTI-AGEING MEDICINE Alice Prethima, MBBS (Madras), LFOM and MFOM (Royal College of Physician Ireland), MFM (Australia), Dip. Reproductive Medicine (UPM, Malaysia), Consultant Occupational Physician, Reproductive Health Physician, Family Physician

Membership on the Editorial Advisory Board does not imply endorsement of any product or service advertised in this magazine. The information in Shape is intended to educate. Do not substitute it for the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner.




Coming Up!















What’s up in March?






E. T. MEREDITH III ( 1933–2003 )

SHAPE IS PUBLISHED BY BLU INC MEDIA SDN BHD (7408-K) Lot 7, Jalan Bersatu 13/4, Section 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel 03-7952 7000. Printed In Malaysia By Percetakan Lai Sdn Bhd, No.1, Persiaran 2/118C Kawasan Perindustrian Desa Tun Razak, 56000 Cheras Kuala Lumpur.. Colour Separation: Color & Print Gallery Sdn Bhd. 81, Jalan ss21/1A, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

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All Rights Reserved. No Part Of This Publication May Be Reproduced In Any Form Or By Any Means, Including Photocopying And Recording Without The Written Permission Of The Publisher. Manuscripts And Photographs Should Be Accompanied By Self-Addressed Envelopes And Return Postage. While Every Reasonable Care Will Be Taken By The Editor, No Responsibility Is Assumed For The Return Of Materials. Opinions Expressed Or Implied In Shape Are Solely Those Of The Writer And Are Not Necessarily Endorsed By The Publisher. Distributed By MMS-Media Marketing Services Sdn Bhd In Malaysia



• All about health and fitness trends of 2018 • Tips on low impact, HIIT workouts

• Why you need fibre in your diet • How to manage curly hair • Get flavours of Philippines • Healthy, easy and timesaving food tips!

Check in daily for motivating fitspos, live-healthy tips, and giveaways. And get even mo inspiration by joining more ng us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @shapemalaysia.

Trending now on Your strong-ab bounce back plan

Whether you’re newly post-baby or it’s been a while since you exercised, you can bounce back to a strong ab again. Check out the moves that will help you rebound with a core that’s as strong and flat as you need it to be. Here’s your bounce-back plan.

Get creative with passionfruit

The pulp and seed of passionfruit can be eaten plain, but don’t miss out on adding them to smoothies, yoghurt, or other dishes for a great punch of flavour. With every bite, you get vitamins C and A, and polyphenols, and those plant compounds may inhibit skin cancer growth, and help with collagen synthesis. Check out the three ways you can have this fruit.

Healthy, hearty, happy brownies!

It’s okay to entertain that sweet craving, and while at it, you can still keep it clean. We worked with bakers from the Brownie Bar in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur for this special, vegan and gluten-free recipes. Find the recipes on our website, and make yourself a batch of delicious, healthy chocolatey goodness!

Are cancer marker tests any good?

It’s a lot to think about and stressful for you, your family and loved ones when a cancer marker test turns out positive. But do you really have to be worried about it? Head over to the website to learn more about cancer or tumour marker tests.





Get excited On Dec 31 last year, I heard someone complain about the new year buzz, as in “What’s the big fuss about it? It’s going to be just another new day like every

other day”. In many ways, this thinking is true. We don’t need to wait for it to be

Jan 1 to start taking action of anything (I started boot camp nearly 6 years ago in September!) Good intentions and actions can be executed on any day of the

year. But, for many, the first (or second) day of a new year is a symbolic date on which to start new things. That date does goad many people to advance their

intentions, such as finally signing up at a gym, learning to say ‘No’ to junk food,

quitting refined sugar, buying protein powder to put in their smoothies (me!),

and more. I’m for anything that lends encouragement. If a new diary could get you to do something you should have done six months ago, go ahead and get it. If a new year makes you excited, then use it to do what you’ve always wanted.

“I have stamina because I’m being thoughtful about what I put into my body.” page 60

Perhaps 50% of people will end up not sticking to their ‘new rules for 2018’ but at least they gave it a go (you’ll learn from it), and the other half did manage to. By the time this January/February edition of SHAPE (our first double issue!) hits the news stands, I hope you’re into two weeks of well-established new habits. Don’t stop, at least make it go into February. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit stick (I should know: I did a 21-day, no-sugar diet and now I’m a convert for life!) so hang in there. Even if a few of your resolutions are left unticked on your to-do list by the end of February, it’s ok. Find out why, and try again in March. If you’re one of those who moaned about the big fuss over the new year, perhaps you should start your own 2018 to-do list and write down: “Stop being a wet blanket” as the first item.

P.S. Don’t feel like you’re missing out because this is a double-issue. Head over to for more good reads!

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Seema Viswanathan, Editor-in-Chief

Follow @shapemalaysia on Instagram GOING DIGITAL Here’s a tip: it’s cheaper (and less of a hassle) to get a digital subscription of SHAPE on the Apple App Store and Android app on Google Play than risk missing out on your monthly fix.

Visit SHAPE Malaysia at




Socialise! Post, tag, and follow us! YOU’VE TAGGED US IN THESE!



As someone who is into running, and weight-training at the gym, I’ve been thinking about adding a new workout to my routine. Not that I was bored with my usual workouts, but I was looking into trying out a new form of exercise just to have a variety. The article ‘Catch Some Air’ in the December 2017 issue gave me some fun options with different types of acrobaticinspired workouts. The Kangoo rebound workout particularly appealed to me. It sounded fun, and easy on the knee and joints – just about the right option for me as I’ve just recovered from a knee injury. Thanks for the article, SHAPE Malaysia. I think I’ve found just what I needed. Janice Leong, Petaling Jaya


Follow Us On Fb

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU Send us your thoughts on SHAPE — bouquets, brickbats, and anything in between. Email us at shape@ Please include your name (and a pseudonym if you wish), address and contact number. Letters published may be edited for length and clarity. Jan/ Feb’s winning letter will receive two pairs of Polaroid Eyewear worth RM500!

Get everyday fitness and health tips on SHAPEMalaysia. We also share our top go-tivational quotes each morning to rally you out of your sheets and into your sneaks.



Beproudofyourshape Actress Sonequa Martin-Green learned how to throw a proper punch at the not-so-tender age of 5. Her fierce discipline hasn’t slowed down, and it’s helped her slay physically, emotionally, and professionally.

STAY THE COURSE “I have always had a close relationship with fitness. My dad was very into martial arts, so my sister and I were throwing proper punches and doing push-ups before bedtime when we were 4 and 5. I played sports my entire childhood. In college for acting, I got certified in stage fighting by the Society of American Fight Directors. I had grown up watching Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. What they did really fascinated me. Of course, this all translates to what I do now.” THINK OUTSIDE THE GYM “I’m a big proponent of home fitness, especially for people with crazy schedules like mine. I do online workouts with Zuzka Light and Heidi Somers— their routines keep me strong and agile.” xx 8

SHOW YOURSELF THE LOVE “My son is 21/2 now. Having a baby made me appreciate my body more. You gain awareness of yourself as a vessel of life, and you come to value that over your body’s aesthetics.” I’M THE BOSS OF MY BODY BECAUSE… “…I am accepting of it and give it what it needs to thrive. I eat mainly from the perimeter of the grocery store [where the fresh food is], I breathe deeply, I exercise, and I stand up straight. As a friend once said, ‘If you are successful in your life but your body is not in peak condition, then you have failed, because it’s the most valuable thing you have.’ƒ” TREAT, BUT DON’T CHEAT “I don’t want to define treating myself as putting unhealthy foods in my body. So I cheat with healthier versions of my favorite sweets, like brownies made with stevia.”

TOUGH MOTHER Sonequa, 32, known for her role as Sasha Williams in The Walking Dead, can also be seen in Star Trek: Discovery.



you rightnow

BETTER TOGETHER Book that buddy road trip or play date. Bonding is not only fun but also helps make you fitter.

Hug your social network


ANOTHER REASON TO RACK UP QUALITY TIME with your pals: Scientists say it will keep you going strong. Having close friends is linked to better health and increased overall happiness, especially as we get older, according to a new review of studies by Michigan State University involving almost 280,000 people. “Investing in the most meaningful and important friends and keeping them close reduces stress and anxiety and makes us feel good,” lead researcher William Chopik says. “Through this, we become more joyful and healthier over time.” Who doesn’t heart that? SHAPE.COM.MY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


Suede with a purpose

PUMA’s all-new Suede Platform Trace (RM499) does not only serve its purpose, but it’s also trendy. Continuing on from the successful PUMA Platform, the Trace features a stacked midsole placed atop an allnew rugged gum outsole, elevating the style to new heights. Drawing inspiration from the PUMA Suede, the new silhouette shares DNA with one of PUMA’s most iconic sneakers of all time. Designed for extreme cold weathers, the range offers three seasonal colourways: Olive Green, Safari and PUMA Black.

y style rightnow PRINT up! Print is back in a big way, and ASICS’ newest collection styled with two well-known prints from Liberty Fabrics will make your most basic leggings feel refined. For this collection, Liberty Fabrics is used on the Woven Hooded Jacket (RM579), the Woven Short Pant (RM229), the Knit Tight (RM259), the Short-Sleeve Top (RM289), the Knit Headband (RM109), and GEL-FIT SANA SE Shoe (RM396). Mix and match, and style them with what you already have in your wardrobe! 10




We just can’t get enough of the sleek pattern of interlocking geometric shapes on the ADIDAS Originals 3D Gym Sack (RM209). The sophisticated bag with a drawstring closure adds a homey feeling to the mod design. There are zip pockets inside and out for extra gear storage options, and yes; it’s athleisure-proof so you can go from gym to gin!

SCIENCE SAYS: Put a pin in it

All the talk of meridians and chakras may make you wonder, Is acupuncture for real? It is, according to a new study from LA BioMed, a non-profit research organisation. When you get pricked, the skin releases nitric oxide, a gas that improves circulation. “This allows a flush of analgesic or sensitizing substances, which contribute to benefits like pain relief,” says Dr. Sheng-Xing Ma, the lead author. Use a heating pad after—it further increases the release of nitric oxide.

health right now Photograp Photographs by CLAIRE BENOIST; ENOIST; Styling by Alma Melendez/Halley Resources. Reso Top left: Yasu su + Junko/Trunk Archive

FEND OFF GYM GERMS An ordinary terry cloth gym towel may not be the best way to protect yourself from unwanted hitchhikers like methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of bacteria that can cause serious skin infections. Cotton just moves MRSA from one piece of equipment to the next— or worse, to your skin. But research shows microfiber is less likely to do that, thanks to its grippy synthetic fibers and tight weave, which trap the bugs.

3 minutes to happy

This is the picture of joy. Doodling, drawing, and colouring increase blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, a brain region linked to reward perception,, Drexel University reports. The result: You feel a sense of pleasure within minutes. For the biggest lift, doodle. “Colouring in shapes or drawing a picture may calm you, but it also has the expectation of a finished product,” researcher Girija Kaimal says. “Doodling is a form of personalised selfexpression and is perceived as more enjoyable.”

beaut y right now Spray & go

Do a skin tea-tox

Matcha—it’s not just for sipping anymore. The new Odacité Green Ceremony Cleanser ( is packed with the antioxidant powerhouse— as well as hydrating spirulina and aloe vera—to detoxify and clear your complexion. Just add a few drops of water to the naturally antibacterial powder, massage it into your skin to work its magic, and rinse.




Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils (RM99, are plant-based lubes that provide the comfort and hydration of a balm with the sheen of a gloss. Sport the nonsticky oils solo for a touch of moistur or over any lipstick to intensify its shade. SHAPE.COM.MY

Top and bottom: Claire Benoist. Styling by Alma Melendez/Halley Resources. Left: Ondrea Barbe/August Image

Your favourite heal-all salve now comes in an easy-to-apply aerosol. A gift for those who shower at the gym, the Aquaphor Ointment Body Spray (RM104, is perfect for hard-to-reach spots like your back and shoulders, and the rich blend of ingredients, which includes mineral oil, glycerin, and panthenol, leaves your skin soft for hours.

nutrition right now

Photographs by Ted cavanaugh; Food styling by Jamie Kimm; prop styling by Sarah Cave/EH Management

ARTERYCLEANSING PLANT STEROLS Sterols are compounds that compete with the cholesterol in your food for absorption within your digestive tract, says registered dietitian, Megan Madden. "Sterols have been shown to lower both total and LDL cholesterol and can be found in certain brands of fortified orange juice, margarine spreads, and milk." Just be sure to check the label—make sure the margarine is trans fat-free and that "partially hydrogenated oil" does NOT appear on the ingredient list.


Smash hit

Baby avocados aren’t just Instagram stars—the minis make big sense, says nutritionist and Shape advisory board member Keri Gans. While it’s easy to overdo it with a full-size avocado (or get stuck with browning leftovers), the little version is like a portioncontrol gift to guac,, Gans says. She also likes to use them in a spin on avo toast: Mash half a baby avocado with two hardboiled eggs and a teaspoon of mayo. Divide between two pieces of wheat toast and grind black pepper on top.

That’s ideally the latest you’d ever eat dinner, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania. When people noshed past this cutoff time (eating all meals and snacks between noon and 11 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.), they gained weight and had higher cholesterol levels. It’s possible hormones were the key: When people ate earlier in the day, their levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin peaked sooner and those of the satiety hormone leptin rose later, so they felt fuller at night and less likely to splurge. SHAPE.COM.MY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


A new way to HIIT reset More and more fitness pros are designing recovery classes because they want your muscles to get deeper TLC on your rest days. “By adding more recovery to your routine, you are extending your workout life—you’ll reduce your risk of injury, enhance flexibility, improve muscle imbalances, and increase circulation, which helps you rebound faster,” says trainer Charlee Atkins, who leads a myofascial release class online (grab a lacrosse ball and check it out at

Get in sync

The latest Apple Watch software (watchOS 4) lets you tap your watch to the NFC reader on any GymKit-enabled treadmill, indoor bike, elliptical, or stair-stepper to sync their brains during your workout. workout The watch keeps track of info like your calorie burn (since it knows the all-important variables, including your height, weight, gender, and heart rate) while the machine precisely nails your distance, pace, and incline. Voilà—the most accurate data from each gets banked in the Apple Watch Activity app. The tech-enabled machines are just starting to appear in gyms.




“The work doesn’t begin until you get tired. When you’re exhausted midworkout, dig deep, because that’s when you’re primed to make a great leap forward.” —Master motivator Shaun T— the creator of the Insanity workout and a Shape advisory board member—aims to train you above the neck too with his new book, T Is for Transformation. “It’s a lot about mental fitness,” he says. “Whatever you want to achieve, you have to utilize strength to get through the tough stuff.” (


3 reasons you should go for dance-cardio classes

The new wave of dance cardio classes don’t require complex choreography and pack loads of fun, so much that you’ll forget you’re working out. After our dance party last November, when PEAK Fitness instructors squeezed buckets of sweat out of us, we got hooked on dancing! Here’s why: NON-DANCERS CAN DO IT Most dance classes are less about nailing precise choreography and more about moving your body in ways it’s not used to, such as twerking, booty popping, and hip swinging. “Participants who come into class worried about perfecting the choreography actually lose out on the real experience, which is letting go and losing yourself to music and dance,” says Janet Jones, the founder of Vixen Workout in New York. Her only rule is to own your mistakes. If you go left when the instructor goes right, make it a big, bold, confident move to the left and don’t sweat it. And if you feel totally lost? Just keep moving! Jumping jacks or high knees will keep your heart rate up while you get back on the beat. (FYI, Dance cardio is perfect for anyone who hates high-intensity workouts, but still wants to get their heart pumping.)

IT CAN BE RESISTANCE TRAINING Yes, it’s called dance cardio, but that doesn’t mean you won’t build muscle. “Classes now are more serious about the sculpting aspect,” says Mahri Relin, the founder of Body Conceptions in New York. Many studios will feature at least one strength-training portion between dance intervals. And unlike your typical repetitive-motion cardio— running, biking, swimming, any cardio-machine routine— you’ll move your body in new ways, working muscles you didn’t know you had, says Katherine Greiner, the founder of KGBody in New York. Dance calls

on your body to move laterally and forward and backward, change levels constantly, rotate and shift in balance-challenging ways—all those actions mean just about no muscle is left napping. MOTIVATION SOARS, TIME FLIES Dance cardio is so much more immersive and captivating than counting reps and sets or keeping track of how much time you have left on the treadmill, Jones says. The high-energy party feeling of many classes makes it easy to forget everything else that’s going on in your life and just sweat. Sadie Kurzban, the founder of 305 Fitness i nNew York says, “You never give up, because every time you feel tired, that next hot song comes on and you can’t help but keep going.” (Not only is it a great way to pass the time, studies show dancing can help improve your memory.)

Peak Fitness, which is located at two locations – SOGO KL and Cittamall, offers two dance cardio based classes; Zumba and Dance. • If you don’t already know, Zumba is a worldwide phenomenon and counts Jennifer Lopez and Madonna as fans. Did you know? Former American Idol contestant Jordin Sparks is a devoted Zumba class attendee. She credits her recent weight loss (rumored to be around 14kg) on becoming more active, including taking Zumba classes with her mom. • Peak Fitness’s Dance class combines moves Hip-Hop, belly-dancing, Latino, cardio, Power, Funk, K-Pop and more to turn you into a super-fit dancer! It gives you both a cardio workout and tones your muscles. Did you know? You can burn 450 calories in just one class! Head to for more details. SHAPE.COM.MY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


LEVEL UP Add another plane to your workout to dip deeper and work harder.

The steps workout Re-energise and take your exercise alfresco.

We’ve laid out a kick-butt routine right on your doorstep. By ALYSSA SPARACINO

get fit Bean Outsider

Photographs by chris fanning; Hair by Adam Maclay for Oribe; makeup by Michelle Coursey/Next Artists for Chanel


IT’S NO WONDER WHY stair workouts are a coach fave—they make for exceptional conditioning. And the beauty is that you don’t need sky-high flights or bleachers to net their magic. “You’d be surprised by the high-intensity training you can get right on your front porch,” says Hannah Davis, a strength and conditioning coach and the creator of Body by Hannah online fitness programs. “You can add a challenge to almost any move you do on flat ground, improving your power, cardio capacity, and agility,” she says. Simply bounding up steps is a hit of plyometrics—which burns an unreal 484 calories in half an hour—while the tiered levels let you go superlow for things like single-leg squats (since your raised leg can go down below your platform). And switching things up from your usual gym drill to see some sky can make this recharge all the more potent. A recent study published in the journal PLOS One found that taking a brisk walk outside instead of on the treadmill was more effective at decreasing anxiety and fatigue and boosting happiness and calm. Davis created an all-in-one cardio and strength workout for Shape using just your average staircase with three steps. You’ll get that burst of plyometrics, plus the built-in core tightening that comes from taking total-body exercises to a whole new level.


Find a set of stairs with at least three steps. Repeat each minicircuit three times before moving to the next.

“This workout is perfect for condo staircases!” CIRCUIT 1



A Hopscotch jump

A Bulgarian lunge

A Uneven curtsy depth lunge

Standing on ground facing steps, jump onto first step, landing with right foot. Then jump both feet out, landing in a squat on same step. Repeat, jumping to second step, landing with left foot. Continue to top, alternating sides. Walk back to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

B Dips and reach

Sit on bottom step with knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Place hands on edge of step with fingertips pointed forward, then lift butt so it hovers just above and in front of step. Bend elbows to lower butt toward ground. Push back up. Straighten left leg as you reach right hand to tap left foot. Return to start. Repeat left. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Repeat circuit 1 three times.

Facing away from steps, place top of right foot on first step. Bend both knees until back knee almost touches the ground. Return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

B Traveling plank

Start on ground in plank on palms with steps in front of you. Walk one hand at a time up to the first step, then the second, maintaining plank position. Reverse the movement back down to ground, one hand and one step at a time. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Repeat circuit 2 three times.

Stand on first step, facing right. Step left foot onto third step, coming into an uneven squat. Push through right heel and lift left leg, landing left foot on ground behind and diagonal to right foot, coming into a curtsy lunge. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

B Step jump with dead lift balance

Balancing on right leg, hop up to first step. Hinge at hip, extending left leg behind you and reaching down to second step with left hand. Return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps, continuing up steps. Turn so right side is facing stairs and do high knees laterally down steps to ground. Switch sides; repeat. Repeat circuit 3 three times.

SMART SETS Each circuit targets a different muscle group, so one part recovers while the other pushes.


own Scale D

p Scale U

Check out the SCALE DOWN and SCALE UP cues ffor customizing tomizing these exercises to your fitness level.

Six moves to stand tall 1 HIP BRIDGE

Lie faceup on floor with knees bent and feet flat, arms on floor by sides. Lift hips, squeezing glutes, so that body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then lower for 2 to 3 seconds. Do 12 to 15 reps. SCALE UP

Lift 1 leg as you’re in the bridge position.


CHIN UP! As you push, resist leaning your head forward—keep that neck in neutral.

Build a strong, sexy back

Moms do heavy lifting and leaning every day. Here’s how to keep your posture on point to prevent imbalances and pain. By MARY ANDERSON

HAVING KIDS MEANS lots of repetitive moves (toting, lifting, pushing) that can tweak your alignment. But shoring up your postural muscles—the ones that get the most taxed doing all of the above—is actually pretty simple. You’ll want to do moves and stretches that counteract the imbalances you’ve created. Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates studios in New York City, suggests using a 2-to-1 ratio: “If you’re weak on your left side— maybe it’s the arm or hip you don’t use to carry your kid—do a side plank on your left arm, one on your right, and then left again to even things out.” (The same ratio goes for stretching, only the extra TLC is for your tight, overtaxed side.) And when you’ve got 10 minutes, do the drills at right from Shannon Crumpton, a postnatal fitness specialist in Montgomery, Alabama. She uses these posture- strengtheners with her mom clients because, she says, “the best defense is a good offense.” 18



Stand with feet wide, toes turned out slightly, arms crossed (fingertips on shoulders) or holding a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell with both hands in front of chest, elbows bent by sides. Keeping chest lifted, lower into a squat so hip crease is slightly below knees. Hold 1 count and return to start. Do 12 to 15 reps. SCALE UP

Hold a heavier dumbbell. 3


Start on floor in plank on palms, with body balanced between hands and feet. Keep abs tight so that your back is straight. Hold plank for 1 minute. SCALE DOWN

Hold for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat.



Start on all fours on floor. Simultaneously lift right arm forward and left leg behind you. Hold for 1 count, then lower to start position. Switch sides and repeat; that’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. SCALE UP

Do this move from plank position instead of on all fours. 5 HEELFLOOR TAP

Lie faceup on floor with arms by sides and knees bent with feet in the air (shins are parallel to floor). Lower left heel to tap floor, then return to start. Switch sides and repeat; that’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. SCALE UP

Extend legs straight up and alternately lower heels to floor with straight legs. 6 SEATED SPINE TWIST

Sit on floor with legs extended in front of you. Cross left leg over right, placing left foot on floor outside right knee. Rotate torso toward left, pressing right upper arm against left knee and reaching left arm slightly behind you, palm on floor. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Ask Jeremy

Jeremy Rolleston, two-time Olympian founder of

Should I work out under stress? Absolutely! Regular exercise reduces stress hormone levels, such as cortisol and adrenalin, and increases the amounts of ‘feel good’ hormones (endorphins, serotonin). Working out will help you to deal with stress – both physically and mentally. Whether this be by gaining some solitude and ‘me-time’, by distraction, or just by releasing the built-up tension in your body. Many studies have shown that consistent exercise can improve your cognitive function, particularly your self-discipline and your ability to make focused decisions (which can also be helpful to alleviate worry associated with stressful situations.


I’ve reducedy belly fat after months of hard work. Now, how do I make it flat?

Why should I consider the heel-to-toe drop specification when choosing a pair of running shoe?

Firstly, what is heel-to-toe drop? It is the difference between the height of your heel compared to the height of your toes, as they sit in the flat shoe. Heel-to-toe drop can range from 0mm (which is a flat shoe) to 12 mm (which is very padded). It is essentially a measurement for how fat or padded a running shoe’s heel feels. It is thought that the lower the heel-to-toe drop, the easier it will be to land on your midfoot (or forefoot) while running. The things to remember when considering this are: (1) There is no ‘right’ shoe that fits all runners. Most importantly, a running shoe should support a strong foot. And, a strong foot comes from getting your biomechanics right. (2) It can affect the way your foot strikes the ground while running, so avoid making sudden and dramatic changes to the heel-to-toe drop you currently use. Any running shoe should ‘feel’ like an extension of your foot when you run in it. (3) Consider having a proper shoe fit at a specialised store.

Firstly, it is important to understand that having a flat belly is dependent on your age, body type, genetics, your body fat and your underlying muscle. There are only two of those factors that you can work on; your body fat and your muscles! The reason many women never get toned is because they forget about the muscles that live under the fat. Remember tone = muscle + less fat. It sounds like you’ve done a good job on reducing your overall body fat (including your belly fat). Now you need to incorporate some resistance training to build lean muscles. To accentuate a ‘flat’ tummy, focus on building your abdominal muscles. Start off by using your own body weight and slowly add weights to your workout routine. And, don’t stop at your abs, incorporate resistance training for your whole body. Don’t worry, I promise you’re not going to look like a buff body builder! By building lean muscle you will find that you achieve that flat tummy and toned body.



Shape-over S plan n

Crank Cr k up p your yo afterburn afte bu

When you y move at peak speed p d through this hi totall body routine, i you maximise m i i your fat f burn b during the h workout— work and for fo hours after. f By SARA ANGLE G E




Photographs by CHRIS FANNING; Hair by Adam Maclay for Oribe; makeup by Michelle Coursey/Next Artists for Chanel

F I T F A S H I O N I Nike Classic Swoosh Modern bra ($40, Nike Zonal Strength Tights ($150, Nike Flex 2017 RN sneakers ($85,


YOU KNOW THAT faster reps make for a hotter calorie burn, and that’s where an EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout like this can spark you to step up your intensity, says Kirsty Godso, a Nike Master Trainer who uses the formula for her classes at Project by Equinox in New York City. (That’s Godso demoing some of her signature moves on these pages.) In an EMOM, you have one minute to complete a certain number of reps of a move. At the end of the minute, you begin the next move. “You have two options,” Godso explains. “You can go slow and use the whole minute, or you can go fast and have the remainder of the minute to rest.” And the faster you go, the more of that recovery time you’ll need. Don’t overthink it, though: Even switching up your speed will work, since Godso created this EMOM circuit with enough reps per set to keep your metabolism revved however you pace yourself. But since it’s easy to measure your improvement from week to week or even set to set, you’ll be motivated to race the clock as you get into the rhythm. If it took you 30 seconds to do 10 burpees in round one, try to beat that in the next round, Godso says. “Even if you feel totally exhausted after the first round, your body is actually more warmed up and ready to move for the second.” Do this workout two to three times a week on nonconsecutive days. By the third week, make your goal to do three rounds of the EMOM circuit in a session. →


Dow Scale

Up Scale

Ch Check out ut the SCALE DOWN and nd SCALE UP cues for customizing omizing these exercises to your fitness level.




Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hips back, and chest up. A Shuffle right for a few steps, keeping feet low to floor. B Touch down with right hand. Switch sides; repeat. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

Do a dynamic warm-up: 45 seconds each of inchworms, knee hugs, walking lunges, slow l lateral shuffles, high knees, knee and planks to downward dogs. Then do the indicated reps of each move, starting a new move at a the h top of each minute. Rest for 2 minutes after completing all moves. Repeat circuit once or twice more.


SCALE DOWN SCALE UP Don’t reach all the way Shuffle in a semisquat to floor. position and increase pace.


YOU’LL NEED A stopwatch or a phone with timer




A Start on floor in plank on palms. B Shift Shif body weight forward into hands and kick feet up (knees bent) toward your butt, engaging core. That’s 1 rep. Land in crouch. Do 20 reps. SCALE DOWN Move slowly to work on form.

SCALE UP Get body as vertical verti as possible in kick and a go for speed.




A Start Sta t in a low lunge position, left f ward, with leg forward, b h knees bent both t 90 degrees. B to h through hrough balls Push f t to jump as of feet h h as s you can, high hing legs switching d so you land midair i lunge l ge position in h right ght leg with f d. That’s 1 forward. o 20 reps. rep. Do SC E DOWN SCALE egular jump Do 10 regular g on each side. lunges



Shape-over plan





Start on floor in plank on palms. palm A Push body weight forward into i t d hands while driving knees in toward le chest. Engage core to jump legs plank straight back, landing in plank. B Immediately jump feet to outside ou squa of hands to land in a low squat. C Jump straight up into a tuck jump, be driving knees up; land with bent Tha knees. Jump back to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. SCALE DOWN Jump both feet to outside of hands into a low squat, then jump back to plank. plan Instead of a tuck jump, do a regular jump..





A Start on floor in plank on palms. B Lower right forearm to floor, then left forearm. C Reverse movement to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 20 reps. SCALE DOWN Drop to knees.





Start on floor in plank on palms, left foot lifted slightly. A Keeping elbows close by ribs, do a triceps push-up. B Return to plank, keeping left foot off floor, then jump right foot between hands. Rise up into a low single-leg squat. C Jump up as high as you can, raising arms overhead. Land on right foot. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps. Switch sides, then repeat. SCALE DOWN Take out the push-up. A





Start on floor in plank on palms. A Draw bent right knee toward tow d chest. B Thread right leg under body and extend out to left, slightly bending right elbow to angle torso toward left and flexing right foot to create an L. Reverse movement back to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides, repeat. A




lookgreat Beauty&Style Playbook

Be brow proud

As little as they are, your arches have a big impact— bookending your features and lending proportion to your face. Here’s how to keep them in shape. By GENEVIEVE MONSMA


THE GOLDEN RULE OF GROOMING: Before you shape or shade your brows, find a length that flatters your face. “Brow aesthetics may change over the years, but what never changes is where an attractive brow begins and ends,” says Mally Roncal, a makeup artist and the founder of Mally Beauty. To find the start of your brow, “hold a pen vertically against one side of your nose,” says Kristie Streicher, a brow expert 24

and co-owner of Striiike in Los Angeles. “Where the pen intersects the brow is the start.” Tweeze any hair between your brows’ starting points. If your brows begin wider than their prescribed starting points, narrow the gap by shading in with a brow pencil, using hairlike strokes. To determine your brow’s tail, “angle the pen diagonally



from your nostril to your eye’s outer corner,” Streicher says. “Where the pen crosses your brow bone is the tail.” And if your brows peter out earlier than where the pen crosses your brow bone, stencil in a longer tail with a water-resistant product, such as Mally Beauty Evercolor Long Wear Brow Defining Gel ($31;

Beauty Playbook

Pick your silhouette

These are the most flattering shapes, the pros say:

Feathered “Keep your brows thick

by tweezing only strays no more than every six weeks,” says Sarah West, the owner of the Brow Bar in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (If your arches are anemic, consider using a growth-encouraging serum, such as GrandeBrow, RM341.40, my) Finally, sweep brows up with a clear setting gel, like Mary Kay Brow Gel (RM45,

Boy brow

“This is a cousin of the feathered brow but darker and thicker,” says Joey Healy, the owner of Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio in New York City. To get the look, let your brows grow in, then deepen their color with powder and play up their density with brow gel, such as Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel (RM125,

Instaglam “The look is crisp, sharp—

and very done,” says Roncal, who says that its hallmarks include clean edges around the brows, which are trimmed short with scissors to a smooth finish, an ombré effect (lighter at the head, darker at the tail), and an exaggerated arch. Keep maintenance in mind: You must touch up this shape every few days to keep it from looking and feeling “like uncut grass.”

Stick straight

A clean, modern look, this shape can take a bit of work to achieve if you weren’t born with it. Tweeze at the tail so it lines up with the head and goes no farther than the eyes’ outer corners—and use brow powder above and below the arch to downplay any natural curves.

From top: Rachel Weisz, Kiernan Shipka, Rihanna, Rooney Mara

Pop quiz! Who’s that celeb?



Beauty Playbook


Choose your hue

3 2



Once the length and shape are set, it’s time to pick a brow product in a suitable shade. Here are some tips to find what works for you, based on your hair colour. Jet-black hair: Chances are, your thick brows already work in your favour, so all you’ll need is a clear brow mascara to keep it neat. Dark-coloured hair: Dark brown hair fares well with a brow colour that’s a smidgen lighter. If you’re rocking vivid-hued tresses like purple, blue or turquoise, a gray-brown pencil gels your makeup together. Light-coloured hair: Is your hair bleached or blonde? Go for a beige-brown brow mascara which coats and lightens your natural brow hairs. Try to avoid reddish or dark brown shades. Red-toned hair: Match the warm tones in your hair with a reddish-brown brow pencil to create a more natural overall look. cool picks

SHAPE’S PICKS 1/ Shiseido Natural Eyebrow Pencil, RM80 2/ MAC Shape + Shade Brow Tint in Fling, RM99 3/ Esprique W Eyebrow Pencil and Powder in BR300, RM32 each 4/ The Face Shop Designing Browcara in 04, RM30.63 5/ Tarte Tarteist Brow Gel, RM95 6/ Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil in Deep, RM125





Text by Michelle Tan

BEST BROW TOOL Gently brush brows with a spoolie brush after filling them in to buff away any harsh outlines.


How to build a nice butt in a spin class

Text by Jay Jayaraj; Source: Pop Sugar

We love indoor cycling. It’s a great way to get a burst of cardio and, if done properly, can also give your booty a little boost. Use these tips from Avery Johnson, a spin instructor from San Francisco, on your next ride to start shaping up your bum. ADJUST YOUR BIKE. Arrive 10 minutes early in order to properly adjust your bike, especially if you’re new to cycling. You can’t give your butt a proper workout if you’re not set up properly! “Proper alignment will maximize your ride and prevent injury. Don’t be afraid to ask the instructor to help you with set-up,” says Avery. HAVE THE RIGHT FORM. “When you’re out of the saddle, be sure to keep your core tight and your hips back,” said Avery. “This stance protects your spine while giving your rear the lift you came for.” Keep in mind that a little bit of light tapping (of the booty) on the seat during jogs or runs is totally OK. SQUEEZE! Avery reminded us to “squeeze those cheeks during jumps and any other time you pop up out of the saddle during class.” This will help to activate your glutes and also helps with your form. USE RESISTANCE. This is crucial. “Don’t be afraid of resistance,” she said. “Crank it up for seated and standing climbs to really use those glutes.” FOCUS ON THE CLIMB. Avery says that

when you combine all of the above — proper form, squeezing, and resistance — the climbs, rather than the sprints, are the most crucial for booty sculpting. “When doing a heavy standing climb, once again, keep those hips back and squeeze your glutes. Concentrate on using those muscles to power you up your mountain. This [form] will give your booty a nice workout while preventing you from dumping into your hips, which can cause tightness and injury.” D O N’T S K I P T H E CO O L- D OW N.The cool-down is essential for muscle recovery. “Instead of being tempted to peace out after the final sprint, give yourself a few minutes to cool down with the rest of the class. This allows your muscles time to stretch out and recover.” TRAIN OFF THE BIKE, TOO. “Don’t forget, your time out of the saddle counts,” Avery says. “Squats, lunges, and weight-training classes will help further define and shape that booty.” And those exercises will make you stronger so you can get an even better cycling workout!

The RPM™ spin class at the Fitness First You can burn up to 900 calories per class. The biggest difference between RPM™ and other studio cycling classes is the safety factor. Riding without resistance to increasingly faster music has pushed a lot of people out of the cycling studio due to knee strain. RPM™ is ideal for all those returning to exercise to competing athletes alike. You can ride at your own pace while still capturing the emotion of a group fitness class. You can control your own workout intensity by adjusting to the resistance dial and speed as required. The instructors are welltrained and at Fitness First, workshops are held quarterly so instructors are equipped with the latest information.








Refining, illuminating, pore shrinking, tone evening— the latest formulas do a lot more than get your makeup to stay put all day (though they accomplish that beautifully too). By DIDI GLUCK

Perhaps your notion of a primer is limited to something you layer on before foundation so your makeup glides elegantly onto your skin and stays all day. And you’re not wrong. In fact, primers were created back when cosmetics were heavy and cakey and needed some extra slip. But these days, with moreadvanced technology and formulation, the primer has evolved into a beauty wunderkind, taking on allkindsofnewskin-boostingfunctions— and turning into the active woman’s best pregame beauty trick.

PRIMER GOALS The purpose of a primer has always been to smooth the texture of your complexion by filling in fine lines and pores so makeup goes on nicely and lasts, says Derek Selby, the global ambassador for Cover FX. “The molecules in a primer are large, so they sit on the skin’s surface, creating

a breathable veil,” Selby says. The color pigments in your foundation, in turn, are sitting atop this smooth surface rather than being absorbed or creasing, hence primer’s ability to give your foundation real staying power. But the newest primers actually double as skin care, says Neah Williams, the lead makeup artist at Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge in New York City. “They’re loaded with special ingredients that target everything from oiliness to dullness and uneven skin tone,” she says. In short, they’re your one-minute secret beautifier before you even put on makeup. SO HOW DO YOU USE THEM? Primer should be applied directly under your foundation. “If you use moisturizer, serums, or beauty oils, put them on first,” Selby says. For allover application, “I like to pat them

in with my fingers so I can really work them into the skin to fill in pores and lines,” he adds. Another option: Primers can be spot-applied with a makeup sponge to problem areas, like where you have large pores or dry patches, says Troy Surratt, a celebrity makeup artist and the creator of the eponymous line. There are also primers for particular parts. “Eye primers and lip primers are created to help with the way makeup wears in those areas,” Selby says. Your eyes move more than, say, your cheeks, so eye primers are designed to withstand repetitive motion and its creasing effects on your eye makeup. Similarly, the lips hold specific challenges for your makeup, namely speaking, drinking, and eating. “Lip primers can keep lipstick from migrating into lines around the mouth,” Selby says. Flip the page to find your best formula.



Shrink large pores

Prep eyes and lips

Shrink large pores The new blurring and filling formulas help minimise pores. Try Benefit the POREfessional Face Primer (RM165) or Becca Resurfacing Primer (RM193).

Products like NYX Professional Makeup Lip Primer (RM40, and Shu Uemura Stage Performer Eye Primer (RM105) cut down on creasing.

Smooth operators A primer with sebum-sopping properties keeps shine at bay. Try Urban Decay De-Slick Complexion Primer (RM135).

Control oil

Calm redness

Address aging

Extra SPF is a must for naturally weathered skin. Try Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF20 (RM199) or Dermalogica AGE Smart Skin Perfect Primer SPF 30 (RM286).



Look for a colourcorrecting formula that neutralises like Make Up Forever Redness Correcting Primer (RM180) or 3CE Back To Baby Make Up Base in Mint Green (RM67).

Boost radiance

Save dry skin


A three-in-one moisturisingg primer spray like Too Faced aced Hangover 3-in-1 Primer & Setting Spray (RM155) will cut a couple of steps from your regimen gimen while keeping you hydrated, ydrated, primed and refreshed freshed to boot.

For a more luminous look, choose a formula with reflective pigments or bit of iridescence, which give a healthy glow. Try Cover FX Illuminating Primer (RM180) and Dr.Brandt Skincare Pore No More Luminizer Primer (RM179, Kens Apothecary)

Vibrant Hair

Pony up! Give this gym style staple a little lift with these easy twists on the traditional tail.




For a really bouncy look, you’ll actually need to create two tails, one right under the other at the crown, says Kristan Serafino, a celebrity stylist in New York City. For extra fullness, spray dry shampoo, such as the Rahua Voluminuous Dry Shampoo (RM149,, into the ends of each tail.



Begin by pulling your hair back into either a high or low ponytail. Now take smaller elastics and secure the hair every two to three inches along the entire length of the tail. Gently pull the sides of each two- to three-inch section so it takes on a bubble-like shape. Optional: coloured elastics.



Gather just the hair in back of your head into an elastic, even with the ear line. Next, sweep the remaining hair to one side and French braid it, securing the ends of the braid with a clear elastic. Last, wrap the free portion of the braid around the first elastic and slide in bobby pins to hold the wrap in place.





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How to inject Parisian chic into your workout style

We know print and camo are everywhere, but sometimes you need the bold colours of the French flag to pump up your fashion cred at the gym or outside it!

French-girl-chic will always be admired, and there’s a world of women out there who are always trying to emulate the so-called ‘Parisienne’ look. The most famous ‘secrets’ to this look are A) Try to look like you’re not trying at all B) Look at the bigger picture, don’t just focus on an accessory and C) Don’t match, coordinate. OK, that sounds do-able. And, we think that ELLE Active’s Fall/Winter collection can help you work this look for the gym and post-gym, too! Here are a few key features of the sports-meet look that will put you firmly in Team Paris. ROMPERS. You can knock out a 40-minute weight session in these or burn some calories mall-walking in them. And the colour! The boldest one in the Tricolor and your best bet for nailing that big-picture technique to French chic.

T H E P O LO D R E S S . This look was ALL OVER ‘70s tennis and it’s an effortless, throw -it-on-and-immediately-look -smashing piece you can take on a holiday or run around doing errands in. That vertical stripe down the side? Super slimming.

V E LO U R . Google any Olympic meet in the 1970s and you’ll see velour, and we’re SO GLAD that it’s back! The fabric looks lush, is tactile and is the perfect cover-up whether you want to warm up in a cold gym or just wear it to the movies.



Purple reigns

Deeply hued foods are packed with nutrients and rich flavour, which is why the best chefs are all over them. Here’s how to eat the prettiest part of the rainbow. By MARNIE SOMAN SCHWARTZ




LIVING COLOUR Check the markets for purple versions of your favourite veggies.

Photographs by Ted cavanaugh; Food styling by Jamie Kimm; prop styling by Sarah Cave/EH Management


Purple Foods THE PURPLE bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes popping up at your farmers market might seem like crazy new food hybrids, but the colour is actually what you find in the wild, says Dr. Mary Ann Lila, the director of the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. And that wild factor is what makes these foods better for you than conventionally farm grown, she adds. To survive sans chemicals or human help, veggies naturally produce more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals for protection from the elements; when you eat them, you get a bigger dose of healthy compounds. The purple pigment packs nutrition power too. “The anthocyanins that give foods this brilliant hue are associated with cardiovascular benefits and cancer-fighting abilities,” Lila says. The payoffs are full body: The compounds in purple carrots and potatoes may prevent inflammation and increase antioxidant activity, a Canadian study in the Journal of Functional Foods found. These kaleidoscopic beauties can even affect your weight, Lila says, since their colour may help keep you full. Then there’s the optics. Purple veggies can really dress up a dish—another reason why chefs love finding new ways to play with the pops of color. You can swap purple foods into any recipe— start with the innovative dishes here.

Forbidden Rice Bowl With Beets and Goat Cheese–Dill Vinaigrette recipe adapted with permission from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing, 2017)


BLACK RICE BOWL WITH BEETS AND GOAT CHEESE–DILL VINAIGRETTE From Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel Serves: 4 Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour

3 medium beets, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning 1½ cups black rice 3 cups boiling water 2¼ cups thinly sliced red cabbage 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons chopped dill 2 teaspoons honey ½ teaspoon freshly ground

black pepper, plus more for seasoning 4 ounces goat cheese ¼ cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios 1. Place an oven rack in the middle

position and preheat oven to 177°C. Place beets and red onion on a rimmed sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Roast until they start to soften, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle rice over beet mixture. Pull out oven rack partway, place pan back on it, and carefully pour on boiling water. Quickly stir and cover sheet pan with foil, crimping tightly around edges to seal. Bake until rice is tender and water is absorbed, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, place cabbage in a

medium bowl and massage with 1 tablespoon oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together

remaining 3 tablespoons each olive oil and lemon juice, dill, honey, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Crumble in goat cheese and gently stir. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. 4. Divide rice among 4 bowls and top with cabbage and vinaigrette. Sprinkle bowls with pistachios before serving. facts per serving: *619Nutrition calories, 35 g fat (9.2 g saturated), 66 g carbs, 17 g protein, 8 g fiber, 740 mg sodium



Purple Foods


From How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition by Mark Bittman Serves: 4

Total time: 45 minutes

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1½ cups breadcrumbs Kosher salt Black pepper ½ cup chopped fresh parsley 1 large cauliflower (11/2 to 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets 1 cup water 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced ½ cup chopped pitted black olives

1. In a large skillet over

medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir in parsley, and transfer mixture to a small bowl. 2. Wipe out the skillet,

return it to medium-high heat, and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, add cauliflower, sprinkle with salt, add water, and cover the pan. Cook, shaking occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove cover, scatter onion over all,

and cook until the water evaporates and cauliflower starts to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Quickly stir and transfer to a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes to cool. 3. Add olives, vinegar, and

1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Toss, taste, and adjust seasoning, adding more olive oil if you’d like. Toss again and serve with remaining breadcrumbs. facts *perNutrition serving: 245 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 22 g carbs, 5 g protein, 5 g fiber, 330 mg sodium

Cauliflower Salad With Olives and Breadcrumbs recipe adapted with permission from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition by Mark Bittman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)

Active time: 25 minutes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

CRISPY BAKED PURPLE FRIES WITH BLUEBERRY AIOLI From Nathaniel Cayer, the executive chef at IO Godfrey at the Godfrey Hotel Chicago Serves: 4 Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 55 minutes

4 large purple potatoes or purple sweet potatoes, peeled ½ teaspoon kosher salt 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk 1 pint fresh blueberries ½ cup red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon agave

aioli: In a medium bowl, use a wire whisk to beat together the egg and yolk. 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil In a blender, puree blueberries, then strain ½ teaspoon truffle salt mixture with a sieve, reserving juice. Add juice 1. Preheat oven to 450°. to eggs, then add vinegar, Line a baking sheet with honey, agave,and maple parchment. Halve the syrup. Slowly stream in potatoes lengthwise and 1 cup oil, beating cut each half into 3 long constantly until light and spears. Sprinkle with creamy, then refrigerate. kosher salt and set potatoes aside for 12 to 3. Toss potatoes with 15 minutes. remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, then place on a 2. Meanwhile, make the baking sheet in one layer. 1½ teaspoons pure maple syrup

Bake for 25 minutes or until tender, then flip with a spatula. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle truffle salt to season; serve hot with aioli for dipping. Leftover aioli will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. facts *perNutrition serving: 511 calories, 39 g fat (5.6 g saturated), 40 g carbs, 5 g protein, 4 g fiber, 303 mg sodium


To make them crispy, slice potatoes thinly, don’t crowd the pan, and eat them hot and fresh from the oven.



Fresh & fast


loads of untapped talent in this stalk Get creative with. ..There’s that goes beyond sprucing up stuffing and adding crunch to tuna salad. For one, celery becomes complex and aromatic when cooked, and it’s also surprisingly good in dessert. The health benefits are legit too: Vitamins A and K in celery boost your brain and bones. Here, three new ways to work it.

Grill it for a twist on Caesar salad

Juice it for a savory granita

Blend it into a spicy salsa verde

Roast 450g celery sticks (cut into 1-inch pieces) and 1 medium jalapeño (stemmed and roughly chopped) at 203°C until charred. To a food processor, add ⅓ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro, 55g lime juice, and ½ teaspoon sea salt and pulse until roughly pureed. Add roasted celery and pepper and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve with tortilla chips or tacos. —Brandon Thordarson, executive chef at Moxie’s Grill & Bar in Dallas

Press 2 celery heads through a juicer and discard pulp. Chill juice for 30 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring 115g sugar, 28g lime juice, 58g water, and 2 sprigs spearmint to a boil until reduced by one-third. Strain, cool, and reserve syrup. In a stainless steel bowl set over ice, whisk together 1 part lime-mint syrup and 3 parts chilled celery juice. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan and freeze for about 4 hours, breaking up crystals every 20 minutes with a fork. Drizzle the granita with olive oil and sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt before serving. —Michael Vignola, chef/partner at Life Restaurant in New York City

Photograph by Ted Cavanaugh; Food styling by Jamie Kimm; prop styling by Sarah Cave/EH Management

Remove the outer stalks from 4 celery hearts. Drizzle the celery hearts with olive oil, then char them on a very hot grill or grill pan and set aside. To a food processor, add 1 egg yolk, 1 finely diced celery stalk, 1 smashed garlic clove, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 anchovy. Process while pouring in 2 cups olive oil, then season dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle some of the dressing (store extra in the fridge) over grilled celery hearts and garnish with Parmesan and celery leaves. —Todd Pulsinelli, executive chef at Restaurant August in New Orleans

At the Market

Get sauced

We still love tomato, but there’s a whole world of healthy, decadent toppers for your pasta-eating pleasure. Make your own or hit the store—either way, we have some great ideas.

Food styling by Jamie Kimm; prop styling by Sarah Cave/EH Management


YOUR FIRST step is to hunt down the highest-quality ingredients that you can, says Nathaniel Cayer, the executive chef at Dolce Italian in Chicago. “San Marzano canned tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, farm-fresh vegetables: These are the building blocks that make a great dish.” Then, just play around to invent new flavours—swap red wine for rosé or ground beef for lamb. That’s how Cayer creates sauces so good, you want to eat them right out of the pot. He shares some of his favorite creations below.

Be the cook Chef Cayer’s recipes are luxurious, hearty, fresh, and easy to whip up.






TRUFFLE PAN SAUCE Sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil, then shave truffles (fresh or canned) into the pan. When the smell is intense, add chicken stock, butter, chives, lemon juice, and salt and pepper; cook until it’s silky. Serve with a filled pasta like cappelletti or tortellini to add another dimension.

BEET PESTO Use a high-powered blender to puree raw beets, basil or parsley, walnuts, orange juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss it with fusilli; the twisted shape will grab onto the sauce.

LAMB RAGU Brown ground lamb and take it out of the pan, then sauté mirepoix (chopped celery, carrot, and onion) with garlic, sage, bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme in the juices. Add the meat back with a touch of tomato paste, then add wine, stock, oregano, and cinnamon; simmer for an hour, then season with salt and pepper. Serve with rigatoni.



Naturally sweet Healthy, delicious ingredients like dates, sweet vegetables, and maple syrup add layers of rich flavour to almost any dessert. The win: cakes, tarts, puddings, and doughnuts that are seriously decadent, without the extra sugar. By GENEVIEVE KO* Photographs by CHARLES MASTERS PREP TIP Use two non-stick skillets to make the crepes twice as fast.




*Genevieve Ko is the author of Better Baking

The new LAYER CAKE Crepes made with rye flour for extra flavour and texture are piled high and frosted, then topped with fresh figs to create a gorgeous good-for-you pastry.

A RICH FROSTING Mix jam with labneh, a Middle Eastern–style yoghurt that’s almost as thick as cream cheese. Buy it, or make your own by placing plain Greek yoghurt in a strainer set over a bowl and refrigerating for a day.

Mix and match Switch up the filling and toppings for a different dessert every time. Whatever fruit is in season works, or go for one of these delectable ideas. – Chocolate hazelnut butter as the filling, sliced banana on top

– Alternating – Chocolate mascarpone ganache for the and lemon curd filling, chocobetween the layers late glaze as the topper

– Apple butter between the layers, finished with apple slices

– Alternating almond butter and jam as the filling, topped with fresh raspberries



1/Rainbow 2/The dip glaze and drizzle


3/One final flourish Sprinkle doughnuts with one of the tasty toppings shown here before the glaze sets.



DOUGHNUTS to die for These beauties are baked

instead of fried and made with almond and whole wheat flour in place of white, so enjoy them for breakfast or dessert (or both!). Their sweetness comes from dates and bananas, and the multi-color toppings are tinted with fruit juice.

To evenly coat the doughnuts, mix the glaze in a small bowl. Place each doughnut in the bowl, smooth side down, spin it, then lift it out and set on a rack. To drizzle, place the doughnuts on a rack,


Food styling by Jamie Kimm; prop styling by Sarah Cave/EH Management

Start with ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (OK, it’s sugar, but barely any) and stir in ½ teaspoon fruit juice. Slowly add more juice until you get the color and consistency you want. You can experiment with different fruit and even veggie juices, but these three are a good place to start. Pink: pomegranate juice. Light orange: orange juice. Lavender: blueberry juice.

smooth side up, and pour the glaze into a resealable plastic bag. Snip a small hole in the corner, and squiggle lines on doughnuts.

RICE PUDDING reinvented Barley and carrots

combine for a sweet and complex flavour and a hearty, satisfying texture. Creative topping combos take it to the next level.

Add more love A mix of fruit, nuts, and seeds makes your dessert even dreamier. Anything goes, but here are some nice combinations to play with: ↑ Slivered almonds, pomegranate seeds, raspberries

– Cacao nibs, toasted chopped hazelnuts, sliced banana

← Sliced mango, toasted coconut, black sesame seeds

– Peanuts, dried cranberries, chopped strawberries

– Plum wedges, walnuts, dried cherries

– Diced pear, toasted pecans, chia seeds

Finish it off These toppers add just the right notes to tie all the flavors together

– A dusting of matcha – Torn mint or basil leaves – A drizzle of tahini – Grated citrus zest – A dollop of whipped cream

Tricked-out TART This extravagance is actually

simple to make. Just overlap glazed slices of fruit and sweet vegetables (like pears, beets, and sweet potatoes), chopped walnuts, and dried plums on a sheet of puff pastry, then pop it in the oven.

DELICIOUS SWAPS Use whatever produce looks— and sounds— especially tasty. Try apple in place of pear, parsnip for beet, and butternut squash instead of sweet potato.

Yes, vegetables make sense for dessert The right picks can transform puddings, pies, and cakes with their naturally rich, deep flavour. Veggies also add vitamins and minerals to baked goodies.

PUREED Blend roasted vegetables, then stir into cake, brownie, or muffin batter, add to cream or yoghurt for a panna cotta, or bake into a custard pie filling. CANNED When you’re short on time, canned pumpkin and sweet potatoes can’t be

LA MODE IT Vanilla is always a winner, but rum raisin, salted caramel, butter pecan, dulce de leche, and pistachio are sublime too.

beat. Use them in pie fillings, muffins, quick breads, cheesecake, blondies, and cookies. SIMMERED Cook cut-up root vegetables, sweet potatoes, celery root, or cherry tomatoes in water on the stove with a touch of raw honey, pure maple syrup, cider,

or no-sugar-added fruit juice to infuse them with sweetness. The veggies can then be folded into a cake or muffin batter; baked into a cobbler, a crisp, or a crumble; or spooned over ice cream. R OA S T E D Chunks or slices

of beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, winter squash, and fennel caramelize when coated with olive oil and roasted in a hot oven. Give them a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and you’ll really bring out their natural sweetness, or combine them with apples or pears as a pie or tart filling,

bake them into a bread pudding, or layer them to make a parfait. G R AT E D R AW Switch up your favourite carrot cake recipe by swapping in parsnips or rutabaga. Use yellow squash instead of zucchini in a quick bread. Or sub grated butternut squash for rice in a milky pudding.

Glazed Baked Doughnuts Makes: 6 Active Time: 20 mins Total Time: 45 mins plus cooling

1⁄2 cup pitted dates, sliced 1⁄3 cup water 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1⁄2 cup mashed ripe banana (from 1 medium) 1⁄2 cup almond flour 1⁄4 cup white whole wheat flour 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder 1⁄8 teaspoon salt 1 large egg, room temperature 1.Position a rack in the center

of the oven and preheat to 177ºC . Coat a 6-cavity doughnut pan with cooking spray. 2.In a medium saucepan over

medium heat, bring the dates and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and

Carrot, Apple, and Raisin Barley Pudding Makes: 8 Active Time: 20 mins Total Time: 1 hr

4 cups water 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1 cup pearled barley 1⁄4 cup golden raisins 1 cinnamon stick 1 carrot 1 sweet firm apple, such as Gala 1 cup unsweetened almond milk Pure maple syrup, to taste 1.Bring water and salt to a

boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the barley, raisins, and cinnamon. Return to a 46

simmer until the dates are very tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in baking soda. Transfer to a food processor and let cool for 5 minutes. 3.Add butter to the date

mixture and process until smooth. Add the banana and pulse until smooth. Add the flours, baking powder, and salt and pulse until incorporated, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the egg and pulse until smooth and creamy. 4T Transfer . ransfer the batter to a

large re-sealable plastic bag. Snip a hole in one corner and squeeze the batter into the prepared cavities, dividing evenly. 5.Bake until a toothpick

inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely. Nutrition facts per *serving: 175 kcal cal., 9 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 190 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 4 g pro.. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. 2.Meanwhile, dice the

carrot very finely, and core and cut the apple into 1⁄2inch cubes. Stir the carrot and apple into the barley mixture, cover, and simmer until the barley and carrot are just tender, about 30 minutes more. 3.Stir in the almond milk

and simmer, uncovered, until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add maple syrup to taste. Remove cinnamon stick, divide among serving bowls, and add toppings.


Nutrition facts per serving: 130 kcal cal., 1 g fat (0.1 g sat. fat), 29 g carb., 5 g fiber, 3 g pro.. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet



v Sunset Runway Tart Makes: 10 Active Time: 30 mins Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins plus cooling

1 sheet puff pastry (9 ounces), thawed if frozen 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter 1 small beet, peeled, halved, and cut into 1⁄8-inch slices 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure honey, plus more for serving 1 ripe but firm red pear, halved, cored, and cut into 1⁄8-inch slices 1 very small sweet potato, peeled, halved, and cut into 1⁄8-inch slices 1⁄4 cup walnuts 1⁄4 cup dried plums 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves 1. Set an oven rack in the

lowest position and preheat oven to 204ºC . 2.Put the puff pastry on a

large sheet of parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and roll into a 19-by-7-inch rectangle. Slide pastry onto a half-sheet pan and freeze until firm. 3.Meanwhile, melt

1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the beet and 1 tablespoon honey and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring gently to coat evenly, until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add the pear and gently turn to evenly coat. Remove from heat and cool completely. 4.Put the remaining teaspoon butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds or until melted. Stir in the remaining teaspoon honey, then stir in the sweet potato until evenly coated; set aside.

5.Pulse the walnuts in a

7.Bake for 30 minutes, then

food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the dried plums and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped.

reduce heat to 177ºC and continue to bake until pastry is golden brown and vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.

6Remove the pastry from

8.Cool tart on the pan on a

the freezer. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, score a 1-inch border around the edges without cutting through the pastry. Evenly spread the walnut mixture inside the border, then top with the beet, pear, and sweet potato, overlapping them in rows. Reserve any remaining honey mixture in the skillet. If the pastry has softened, refrigerate until firm again.

rack. Right before serving, drizzle with any remaining honey mixture. Drizzle more honey on top if needed to lightly coat the toppings. Scatter with tarragon and serve.


Nutrition facts per serving: 218 kcal cal., 13 g fat (3.6 g sat. fat), 23 g carb., 2 g fiber, 3 g pro.. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Rye Crêpe Cake With Figs and Labneh Makes: 12 Active Time: 1 hr Total Time: 2 hrs

1 3⁄4 cups whole milk 4 large eggs 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1 cup unbleached allpurpose flour 1⁄2 cup light rye flour 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan 450g labneh (soft cream cheese made from strained yoghurt) 1⁄3 cup no-sugar-added strawberry or raspberry jam

1 pint fresh figs, trimmed and quartered 1 Add milk, eggs, and salt to

a blender and process until smooth. Add the flours and blend until smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally. With the machine running, add the oil. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to overnight. 2 Bring the batter to room

temperature if cold. Stir well, then stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the batter is the consistency of heavy cream (you may need up to 6 tablespoons). 3 Heat a 9- to 10-inch

nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Drizzle with a little oil and rub with a paper towel to coat evenly. Lift the pan off the heat, pour in a scant 1⁄4 cup batter, and immediately tilt and rotate the pan to coat evenly in a very thin layer. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and the top is dry to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the crepe over and cook until the bottom is light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 20 crepes. 4 Mix the labneh and jam until smooth. Place a crepe on a flat serving plate and spread with a very thin layer of labneh mixture, leaving 1⁄4-inch rim. Top with another crepe and repeat the process with remaining crepes. 5 Spread the remaining labneh mixture on top of the cake, then arrange figs over it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes for the layers to set.


Nutrition facts per serving: 280 kcal cal., 13 g fat (5.7 g sat. fat), 170 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 8 g pro.. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet



livehealthy BIG GULP Shakes are bulking up, adding nutrients made from whole foods. It’s prompting us to rethink the way we drink.

Photograph by Claire Benoist; Styling by Renee Flugge/Halley Resources




Trend Report

Dinner in a glass

The hottest sips right now claim to deliver every vitamin and mineral your body needs, making them the ideal meal replacement. But there are issues. Before you pour, here’s what you should know.



First there were protein shakes— the answer to postworkout replenishment. Then those fruit and veggie powerhouses, smoothies. Now new earthy-tasting concoctions are moving in on the beverage lists of fit women. The healthiest of these drinks are packed with ingredients derived from whole foods, like grass-fed whey protein, organic brown rice protein, psyllium husks, flax, and chlorella. What makes them different from other good-for-you sips? Down one of these nutrient-rich shakes, and you’ll get a meal-size portion of protein, carbs, fat, and micronutrients. “These drinks are becoming a huge trend,” says Lauren Blake, R.D.N., of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Their popularity is being driven by those who prioritize healthy eating but don’t have the time to prep ideal meals, she says. “Because the drinks are nutritionally balanced and require no effort [they come premixed or as a powder you add water to], they’re fast becoming the solution for busy women.” But are they really such a savior? Well, nothing beats eating whole foods, period. The experts agree on that. While the sips

aren’t an all-in-one health fix, Blake says that if you occasionally skip meals or grab a granola bar for lunch, the drinks can be your better option. If you’re going to give the new shakes a shot, here’s what to watch for in order to pick the best one.

Number crunch As a stand-in for a meal, a shake that provides 350 to 400 calories, at least 20 grams of protein, and little to no added sugar is best, Blake says. That’s enough to keep you satisfied and provide steady energy for hours.

Be a minimalist “The fewer ingredients a shake contains, the better,” Blake says. Some drinks’ labels practically require a chemistry degree to decipher. Shakes with ingredients derived from whole foods will deliver more of the antioxidants and phytonutrients that less-natural ones miss out on.

And chew, too “No matter how many nutrients it has or what claims it makes, a drink can’t provide the same protective compounds that we get from actual food,” Blake notes. So when you sub a shake for a meal, make sure to eat healthy, high-quality food for the rest of the day. “Fill half your plate with nutrient-dense vegetables like broccoli, beets, and greens,” Blake says, “plus a serving each of whole grains and lean protein.”

JUST ADD WATER These three shakes are nutritionally solid and the best-tasting versions we tried. You can buy them online.

Ambronite. A scoop of this green powder, which includes algae, berries, spinach, and vanilla, is 160 calories; it’s also available in 165-calorie singleserve pouches. The smaller serving size makes this shake great as a snack; add a banana and nuts to make it a meal. When you need more fuel, like after a workout, portion out 2 to 2½ scoops instead.

Ample. The nutty, chocolaty powder comes in 400- or 600-calorie bottles, with whole-food ingredients like organic brown rice for protein, coconut for healthy fat, sweet potatoes for carbohydrates, green banana for prebiotics and fiber, and cacao for antioxidants.

Bertrand. One of the first completely organic mealreplacement drinks, this is available in three versions: classic, vegan, and active. It is made using oats, sea buckthorn berries, and nutritional yeast and even has chunks of almonds and walnuts for texture.



Health Report



Your body produces special chemicals that fight pain, research shows—all you have to do is turn them on. Learn the how-tos here. BY MIREL KETCHIFF

as an active woman, you’re no stranger to postworkout aches and pains. And yes, there are great tools for recovery to rely on, like foam rollers and a hot bath. But imagine if you could train your body to dull pain on its own and initiate (and fast-track) the healing process. According to the latest studies, you can. Whenever you’re injured—muscle soreness included—your system releases natural opioid peptides, says Bradley Taylor, Ph.D., a chronic pain researcher and a professor of physiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. These substances, which include feel-good endorphins, latch onto opioid receptors in the




brain, blunting your pain and making you feel focused and calm. If you’ve ever fallen during a run and been surprised that you felt little discomfort for the next couple of miles, for instance, that was an example of your natural healing powers at work; pain-protective chemicals flood your brain and your spinal cord, then buffer your body from the ache and hyperfocus your mind. Experts are discovering that we have more control over this reaction than we thought, meaning there are ways to tap into these natural painkillers and intensify their powers whenever you need them. Here’s what we know now.

Short, very intense bursts of exercise, like sprints or plyometrics, cause the body to release more pain-blunting endorphins. Drink coffee pre-workout

Caffeine reduces muscle pain, allowing you to push yourself harder at the gym, new research shows. People who consumed the amount in two to three cups of coffee before cycling hard for 30 minutes reported feeling less pain in their quad muscles than those who didn’t have caffeine, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Caffeine binds to adenosine receptors, which are located in the areas of the brain that control pain,” says Robert Motl, Ph.D., the lead researcher. He suggests drinking a cup or two an hour before exercise to take advantage.

Exercise in the light of day

UV rays increase your body’s production of neurotransmitters, some of which can help dull discomfort. Back pain was reduced after just three 30-minute sessions of bright light therapy, a study in the journal Pain Medicine found, and the authors say you could get the same effect from natural outdoor light too. Other research shows that people who recuperated from surgery in sunny rooms took 21 percent fewer pain meds per hour than people in darker rooms. Sunlight may bump up your body’s production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has been shown to block the pain pathways in the brain.

Sweat with friends

Bringing a buddy to Spin class can blunt aches enough to make your workout more effective. In one study conducted by Robin Dunbar, Ph.D., a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford, people who rowed with six teammates for 45 minutes were able to endure pain much longer than they could when rowing alone. We release more endorphins when we do synchronized activities, Dunbar says. Although scientists aren’t sure why, it means you can work out longer and harder. “Even just talking to pals triggers the release of endorphins,” Dunbar says.

“The resulting opiate effect increases your pain threshold overall, so you won’t be as sensitive to injuries, and makes you more resistant to illnesses too.”

Increase intensity

Exercise releases endorphins to relieve pain and boost mood—we know that. But the type of workout matters. “The best exercise for endorphin release is intense and/or prolonged activity,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of sport science at Huntingdon College in Alabama. “Do short, very intense bouts— sprints, plyos, running a one-mile PR—or fast cardio for longer than usual.” The exception: If you have achy legs or glutes, intense running or plyos make them hurt more. In that case, Olson recommends supermild exercise that targets the sore muscles. “Take a brisk walk or do light Spinning,” she says. “You’ll experience pain relief from the increased circulation, which brings oxygen and white blood cells to the areas to soothe them faster.”

Drink a glass of wine

If you like vino, we’ve got good news. Sip on some and you’ll start pumping out endorphins and other natural opioid peptides, research from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute finds. Keep it moderate—about one or two drinks a day—to get the benefit, experts say.

Sleep like a baby

Not getting enough sleep can make a tough workout seem torturous. That’s the verdict from researchers who asked people to submerge their hands in cold water for 106 seconds. Forty-two percent of those who identified themselves as problem sleepers took their hands out early, compared with 31 percent of the others. Scientists don’t know why lack of z’s increases pain sensitivity, but Taylor says it may have something to do with the fact that stress, anxiety, and depression rise when we’re sleep deprived, and all those things can interfere with the opioid system. SHAPE.COM.MY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018



Sure, it does. Over the years, this ancient practice has evolved into many variations even as unconventional as beer or sheep yoga! But what’s the best style for you and how can you use yoga to increase metabolism? Find out here.






What is the right style of yoga for you? Rev up your sex life, lose weight, build strength, or just plain zen out by practicing the right style of yoga for you. By V. DURGA




There is no question over the fact that yoga is great for relaxation and can help you work toward touching your toes, but the benefits of yoga don’t stop there. With so many different styles, this ancient practice can boost athleticism, relieve stress, and even lead to hotter sex! There are more than a dozen styles of yoga that have emerged over the years, but we looked at the five most popular offered in Malaysia. Decide on your goal, or goals, and reap the benefits of your chosen yoga style.

HATHA YOGA Hatha simply means the practice of physical yoga postures. Since this is a preparatory stage, instructors take students on a gentle class, moving slowly through each asana according to the ability of the student, with no flow between asanas. ORIGINS The original writings have been credited to Patanjali’s 196 yoga sutras written in Sanskrit around 400 AD. In his work, Patanjali describes hatha yoga as one of the eight limbs (third to be exact), or disciplines of yoga, to follow a moral or ethical code to help us live happier, more meaningful lives. BENEFITS For a newbie, it means awakening dormant muscles by doing simple stretches and some basic breathing exercises. While gradually building strength and flexibility, the class will

help you unwind, leave you relaxed and enable you to sleep better. It’s highly recommended for those who have insomnia, high or low blood pressure and heart problems. WHO IS IT FOR? It’s for all levels, though it’s best for someone who is new to exercise or anyone with a little bit of yoga knowledge. It’s especially great for people with stiff bodies and those who are constantly frazzled and need to calm the mind.

ASHTANGA YOGA OR POWER YOGA What sets this style apart from other forms of yoga is a technique called vinyasa or flow. It’s dynamic and physically demanding as students jump back and forward (the vinyasa) between postures, synchronising movements with their breathing in one long flow. If executed well, it can look

more like a dance or a martial art than a relaxation class. While several styles of yoga can help strengthen your body, ashtanga’s heavily repeated series of vinyasas— chatarunga (a yogi push-up), up dog, and down dog—between each pose (and on each side!) is guaranteed to make you strong and fierce, says Lauren Imparato, a certified yoga instructor. This rigorous style follows a sequence of asanas, and is performed in the same order in every class. It can either be a guided class (led-class) with an instructor or a non-guided one (Mysore style) where students are expected to know the proper pacing and sequencing of the practice. Some studios have also modified this style of yoga and call it power yoga, which does not follow the sequence but mixes other intensive movements like push-ups to add oomph to the workout. ORIGINS It was founded by K.Pattabhi Jois, who taught the practice as detailed in an ancient Sanskrit text called Yoga Kurunta, which was re-discovered by T. Krishnamacharya. Jois studied withKrishnamacharya in Mysore, India. “Ashtanga yoga is 99% practice; 1% theory”, Jois was quoted as saying. His mantra: “Practise, practise and all is coming.” After Jois’ death in 2009, his grandson, R. Sharath now leads the Shri K.Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Institute in Mysore. BENEFITS Practitioners build high endurance levels; develop toned and taut muscles, and a strong core. Some of the breathing techniques taught in this method help alleviate anxiety and soothes the nerves. WHO IS IT FOR? If you like intensive, strenuous movements, want to increase your endurance and build strength, this is for you. Celebrities like Madonna gravitate towards this style and that explains her sculpted body! It’s definitely not for beginners or those with pre-existing injuries.



BIKRAM YOGA OR HOT YOGA Holding any pose for a length of time burns calories, but bikram adds the bonus of helping you lose excess water weight. Named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury, this style consists of 26 asanas and two breathing exercises, which are practised in a 40ºC heated room. The postures are done in cycles within a 90-minute class consisting 45 minutes of standing asanas and 45 minutes of floor asanas. An off-shoot of Bikram Yoga is Hot Yoga, with different styles or sets of asana practices performed in heated rooms, varying from 35ºC to 40ºC. ORIGINS Choudury was teaching in Japan in the 1970s and noticed that his students loved going to the saunas during their lunch break. So, he experimented cranking up the temperature in his classes and students reportedly enjoyed the sessions and gave him positive feedback as their bodies grew more supple and their faces glowed with good health. A new style was born. BENEFITS According to Grace Sim, founder of Metta Studio in Subang Jaya, Selangor, a specialised

hot yoga centre, the increased temperature is believed to allow better blood flow, higher oxygen uptake and allows muscles to stretch deeper. To generate heat, most centres use heaters and blowers. Grace says, ”Both methods create a stuffy and extremely hot environment, which leads to difficulty in breathing, dry skin and hair. Utilising far infrared heaters gently warms you up from the inside out. Stepping into a far infrared heated environment is pleasant. You might feel it isn’t ‘hot’ enough to sweat, but after spending a few minutes in the room, you will begin to sweat.” Newer centers, like the Metta Studio, have started using using far infrared heaters, which are proven to help enhance blood circulation, modulate sleep, ease pain, protect against oxidative stress, and relieve inflammation. Some proponents also swear that weight loss is possible via hot yoga. “In a way, yes. We don’t really promote hot yoga as a weight loss programme as yoga is for the mind and body, but we have had members losing weight since they started practising hot yoga with us. First, they lose water weight, and then gradually over time with gaining flexibility and muscle strength,

combined with a healthy and balanced diet, they will feel lighter as they lose body fat,”Grace clarifies. WHO IS IT FOR? Bikram yoga is for anyone who is above the age of 18 with an acceptable fitness level, except expecting mums, people with heart ailments, high blood pressure and arthritis. As postures are performed in a room that is heated artificially, many complications can take place, most commonly, dehydration. For this reason, keeping yourself well hydrated is key to enjoying the class. If you like to sweat, sign up for this!

IYENGAR YOGA This style of yoga, devised by B.K.S. Iyengar, uses props such as blocks, chairs, straps, bolsters and other objects to help practitioners alleviate their ailments including backaches and insomnia. Only a few asanas are ussually covered in a session, to enable the exploration of subtle actions required to master proper alignment. Asanas, held a few minutes at a time, can be modified with props, making the practice accessible to all. “I don’t think that anyone would argue that Iyengar is the ‘original gangster’ of yoga,” says Sara Ivanhoe, a certified Yoga Works instructor. “His attention to detail and step-by-step instruction has been the basis of most current styles,” she adds. ORIGINS Yoga guru Iyengar pioneered the art of using props for the sickly, those who find it difficult to get on and off the floor, and people who want to improve or get deeper into asanas. Hailed as the “Michelangelo of Yoga”, Iyengar wrote Light on Yoga, which has been translated into 18 languages. He passed away in 2014 and his legacy lives on through his children who continue to impart their father’s method at the headquarters in Pune, India, and all over the world. This style is slowly picking up in Malaysia.




BENEFITS The objective is to understand body alignment and basic structure of the asanas to increase body awareness, strength and flexibility. “With the aid of props, everybody can do yoga – the young, old and sick. With the props, your body doesn’t need willpower. When you do yoga, you become more patient and your threshold to bear stress is higher,” says senior lyengar yoga teacher Birjoo Mehta. WHO IS IT FOR? If you like precision, opt for the Iyengar style. Also beneficial for those recovering from injuries and the elderly who want to embark on a yoga journey to experience its healing benefits. The focus on alignment ensures safer practice and helps minimise the possibility of repetitive stress injury.

FLY/AERIAL /FLOATING YOGA In these yoga styles, you’re using a ‘hammock’ or soft material to support your body weight in the asanas. This swath of soft fabric, suspended from the ceiling, allows your body to work against gravity, helping you to get deeper into stretches. It involves performing a series of exercises inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics. ORIGINS Believed to have been created in New York by aerial performer Christopher Harrison, a former gymnast and Broadway choreographer, it involves performing a series of exercises inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics in an apparatus, to achieve a total-body workout. BENEFITS Since you’re floating above the floor, you need to engage your core more to keep you steady against gravity and transition between asanas. The suspension also makes it easier to do inversions, lessens the compression on the joints and allows your spine to lengthen and be free of pressure.

The upside down motion is akin to lying on a traction bed at the chiropractor’s. Additionally, the arms get a fabulous workout as the constant pulling up motion forces the muscles to work harder. WHO IS IT FOR? This is for anyone who wants an artistic kind of yoga experience,

prefers the feeling of being weightless. It’s also great for someone who spends a long time sitting, or has back pain, because this style has a decompressing effect on the body. However, inversions and flips are not recommended for pregnant women, those who suffer from vertigo, retinal detachment, high or low blood pressure.

Rev up your sex life with Kundalini yoga! Awaken your spiritual energy or life force, moving it from the base of your spine up and through the chakras of your body, with kundalini yoga. The poses are practiced in series called “kriyas” and may be a combination of standing or seated postures with an emphasis on breath and “bandhas” (energetic locks in the body), says Amy Steiner, a certified yoga instructor from Miami. Breathing exercises, including the alternate nostril method, are also used to unleash your sexual energy, and don’t be surprised if the teachers have long beards and are wearing white. “This is to prevent the blocking of chakras,” Steiner explains.



Yoga poses that increase metabolism

Lose weight faster with these fat-burning poses from yoga expert, Kimberly Fowler. facing up. Lift your head, upper body, arms, and legs up off the floor. Keep your arms and legs active and look forward or slightly up depending on your flexibility. Hold for 45 seconds before releasing everything to the floor and turning your head to one side. Repeat three times

1. TWISTED CHAIR It helps to increase circulation by not only using every muscle in your body but also twisting, which wakes up your internal organs and aids in digestion. How to: Stand with your feet and legs together. Begin to bend your knees and sink your hips down and back as if you were sitting in a chair far behind you. Bring your palms together in front of your chest. Rotate your spine to bring your right elbow to your left knee. Try to keep your chest lifted the whole time. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

2. LOCUST This strengthens the muscles in your legs and lower back while opening up your chest and elongating your spinal column. Like all back bends, Locust pose boosts energy and revs you up. How to: Lie on your stomach with your arms alongside your body, palms 58


3. BOW The Bow pose is a back bend that helps boost energy and keep your metabolism burning strong. Bow also opens up and stretches the front of your body while strengthening your back muscles. How to: Lie face down on the floor and bring your hands alongside your body, palms facing up. Bend your knees and reach back with your hands to grab your ankles (Don’t grab your feet). Keeping your legs hip-distance apart, lift your heels up and away from your body, which will pull your chest up off the floor. Keep your shoulder blades down, away from your ears the entire time. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and then release, turning your head to the side.Repeat two more times.

4. EAGLE In addition to building strong, lean leg muscles, Eagle pose energises the entire body and helps with digestion.


How to: Start in a standing position and bend your knees slightly. Lift your right leg up and around your standing leg and hook your foot and ankle behind your left calf. Sink your hips down and back as if you were going to sit on a chair. Cross your arms at your elbows and wrists in front of your chest and hold for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Come out of the pose, shake out your legs, and switch sides

5. CRESCENT LUNGE Crescent Lunge gets your heart rate up, which helps speed up your metabolism. It also strengthens your legs and stretches your hips. How to: Begin in downward dog pose. Step your right foot between your hands. Lower your hips into lunge position and shift your weight onto the ball of your back foot, bringing your hands to your hips. Stay up on the ball of your back foot and

sure your fingers are spread wide. Slowly lift your legs to the ceiling one leg at a time. Try to get as straight as possible by walking your hands close to your shoulders. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes

lift your upper body so that you’re standing straight up. Keep your hips squared the entire time. Bring your arms above you and reach for the ceiling. Palms should be facing each other. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then switch sides.

adrenal, and pituitary glands. This helps send out feel-good endorphins and hormones throughout your body, balancing your metabolic system. How to: Lie on your back and bring your legs straight up in the air towards the ceiling. Bring your arms alongside your body with your palms down. Press into your hands and lift your legs over your head. If your legs do not touch the ground behind you, bring your hands to your back for support. If your feet do hit the ground, then do what you did in Bridge pose and clasp your hands together, trying to roll your shoulder blades towards one another.

6. BRIDGE Bridge pose is a gentle inversion that works with gravity to open your entire chest and shoulder area. Because the chest is lifted up towards the chin, the thyroid gland is being massaged. (Your thyroid makes the hormones that regulate your metabolism.) How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-distance apart and flat on the floor. Reach down with your fingertips to see if you can feel your heels. If not, walk your heels a little closer to your body. Press your weight into your feet to lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Keep your thighs parallel. Bring your arms underneath you and try to clasp your hands together (Don’t worry if you can’t do it at first). Roll your shoulders blades toward each other and hold this pose for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Release and roll slowly back to the floor. Repeat two more times.

7. PLOW Plow pose is an inversion so it increases circulation in your thyroid,

9. FISH Fish is a counter pose to Shoulder Stand that stretches the front of your neck. It has a calming effect on your body. (You can see why—most of us hold a lot of stress in our neck and shoulders.) How to: Lie down on your back. Bring your hands, palms down, under your butt. Bend your elbows and lean on them by pressing them into the floor. Lift your chest up toward the ceiling so your back is arched. Bring your elbows towards each other, as you did in Bridge and Shoulder stand. Finally, drop your head back towards the floor behind you.


8. SHOULDER STAND Shoulder Stand is another inversion so it has similar benefits to Plow pose. Plus, it’s a great stretch for your neck and upper back. How to: Lie on the floor on your back with your arms alongside your body, palms down. Bring your legs in the air towards the ceiling. Press into your hands to lift your legs over your head, coming to Plow pose. Clasp your hands together and try to roll your shoulder blades towards each other. Bring your hands to your lower back for support, make

Spinal Twist is a great pose to help stimulate you digestive system, which helps you lose weight. How to: Lie on your back and bring both knees in toward your chest. Holding your left knee into your chest, let your right leg straighten out on the floor. Bring your bent left knee across your body, keeping your shoulder blades on the floor. Turn your head to look over your left shoulder to complete your twist. Hold for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Bring both knees into your chest and repeat on the other side.




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In a “ very good place

Kristen Bell’s happy meter is shooting high—fueled by equal parts yoga, a thriving career, and a commitment to eating healthy in a fresh, creative way. Here’s what else keeps the actress amped up every day. By Pam O’Brien

Photographs by James Macari

Kristen Bell is a champion multitasker.

Health is a huge priority for Kristen, who cares deeply about the food she puts in her body and makes being active with her daughters one of her top goals. “To me, being healthy means feeling good about the choices I’m making,” she says. “And most important, it’s about keeping fit mentally and physically. I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s not about my thighs: It’s about my commitment and my happiness level.” Good thing, then, that Kristen is feeling really happy these days. There’s her thriving career—besides The Good Place, she is starring in the movie A Bad Moms Christmas, and reprising her role as the voice of 62



Anna in Frozen 2, which goes into production this year— her #couplegoals marriage to actor Dax Shepard; and her two adorable daughters, Lincoln, 4, and Delta, 21/2. She’s also committed to doing good and giving back: Kristen is the cofounder of This Bar Saves Lives, a company that donates a lifesaving nutritional packet to a child in need for every bar sold. Where does she find the hours, let alone the energy, for all that? Well, pasta and pizza definitely help. “Carbs—I love ’em!” she says. But a masterful game plan is also required. Here are Kristen’s secrets for maximizing time—and having a blast along the way.

Styling by Amy Berlin Dubin; hair by Lorenzo Martin/The Wall Group; makeup by Simone Siegl for Neutrogena; manicure by Emi Kudo/Opus Beauty for Dior Vernis

During this interview, for instance, the actress and mum of two is talking on the phone, eating granola, and driving home after a busy day of filming her NBC comedy, The Good Place. Simultaneously, Kristen is planning out the rest of the day in her head, including a WARDROBE FITTING, PICKING UP HER KIDS from school, and MAKING DINNER, among a thousand other things. She squeezes in exercise the same way: “At work, while I’m RUNNING THROUGH LINES with my fellow actors, I’ll be leaning backward on a chair doing TRICEPS DIPS,” says Kristen, 37. “At home, when my kids and I are on a walk, and they’re meandering and looking at leaves, I’ll do LUNGES. I get it in however and whenever I can.”


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Set your exercise intention

“I joined a yoga studio this year and bought a monthly pass, and I’ve been going every chance I can. I enjoy the physical and mental reset I get in yoga more than any other workout. Being in a meditative state while I’m challenging my body is ideal. I like the fact that you set an intention because there’s always something that I’m working through in a day, and it helps me do that. If I have a choice, I will always go to yoga rather than sit on the couch, because I feel so much better afterward.”

Embrace the microburst

“I need fast workouts. I don’t have an hour and a half—I have 25 minutes, max. So I incorporate sprints into my routine. I sprint up my driveway, walk back, repeat. I do it 10 or 15 times. The whole thing takes me maybe 15 minutes. It’s fantastic for your heart, brain, and body. And sprinting makes me feel really strong.”

I have the stamina

to walk a couple of miles or hold my kids for hours because I’m being thoughtful about what I put into my body.”

Teach your kids a good workout ethic

“It’s important to me to show my children that I care about my health and fitness enough to stay committed. So when I’m in their room with them, I’ll do some squats. When they ask what I’m doing, I’ll say I’m getting my physical fitness in. And because they copy everything I do, the next time they pick up a heavy bag they’ll say, ‘I’m getting my workout in.’ It’s a value I want to instill in my kids at an early age—that paying attention to your body is mandatory. Whether it’s putting my sunscreen on or doing push-ups, it’s not just me taking care of myself but also me helping shape my daughters.”

Eat your cravings

“I am obsessed with food! I start my day with matcha. And then, when my stomach wakes up, I order egg whites, spinach, extra feta, and hot sauce on set. I tell the caterer, ‘Once you’ve added so much feta that you think, Oh no, I’ve added too much feta, double that.’ As a snack at work, I’ll grab a Chobani yogurt. At home, I’ll pick things that are blooming in my garden—mulberries, nectar plums, blackberries. Lunch is almost always a big garbage disposal salad. I start with lettuce and add a scoop of rice, a scoop of beans, a handful of nuts, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and some sea salt. It’s delicious. My favorite food, though, is croutons. Any and all croutons. I don’t discriminate.” 64



Customise your carbs

“For dinner, I love pasta. Love it. But I’m a vegetarian, so I have to monitor my protein intake. There is a brand of pasta that I’ve been getting at Thrive Market called Banza that’s made from chickpeas and pea protein. It’s got a lot of protein in it—about 25 grams a serving— and it tastes like regular pasta. It’s so good. What I’ll do is cut up some cherry tomatoes, fry them in a pan with a little olive oil, throw the cooked noodles in, then add a little more olive oil, and maybe some ghee, and crack an egg in it for creaminess. The dish is like a carbonara, but with tomatoes and without meat, and it’s truly divine. I’m telling you, this pasta has changed my life.”

Level up your nutritional know-how

“My best healthy habit is knowing how to read a nutrition label. Some people look at what the carbs are and that’s all they think about. Others check to see what the sugar is. And some people just zero in on the protein. I try to balance everything. Does an avocado have a ton of fat in it? Yes, but it’s healthy fat, so have an avocado with sea salt. Same thing with fruit. I pay attention to a food’s nutritional value and then balance my diet really well. Like knowing, OK, I’ve had enough protein today, I’m going to eat carbs for dinner, or vice versa. I appreciate understanding what I’m putting into my body.”

Beauty is worth the effort

“I never go to bed with makeup on. I double-cleanse at night and use a wipe before I wash my face. I like the natural wipes from Neutrogena and their pore-clarifying cleanser, which I use with my Clarisonic. Then I put on the Neutrogena Hydro Boost with hyaluronic acid to moisturize. I also use a filter on my showerhead to pull some of the chlorine out of the water. It’s amazing how much more moisture my hair has now. Oh, here’s another good tip: I always thought that sleeping on a silk pillowcase was just a bill of goods. It is not. I have fewer flyaways and split ends. It’s awesome. Sleep on a silk pillowcase, and I guarantee you’ll notice the difference.” SHAPE.COM.MY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


What the DIET HOP

does to your body With so many hot new eating plans promising improved energy, more lean muscle, and mental clarity, it’s tempting to try them all to find the perfect fit. But jumping from one to the next has long-lasting effects, the latest science shows. What you need to know. By Mirel Ketchiff Photograph by Claire Benoist




KETO, WHOLE30, PALEO. Even if you haven’t tried them, you definitely know the names—these are the trending eating styles engineered to make us stronger, leaner, hyperfocused, and more energized. Each is founded on an element of science and boasts an enthusiastic fan club raving testimonials all over social media. As a result, these programs are pretty enticing. “People want more control over their health, and they know they have the ability to manipulate their well-being by eating certain kinds of foods,” says Dr. Robert Graham, the cofounder of an integrative health practice. The club aspect also makes modern dieting attractive: Friends embark on the plans together, swap tips and tailored recipes, and even bond over the discipline required of, say, the mono diet, in which you eat only one type of food. So it’s no wonder why fit women are diet hopping— experimenting with several, or all, of these eating routines in the quest for adventure, a challenge, and of course results. While individual diets may have real merit, experts like Dr. Graham say that constantly changing your food formulas can have serious consequences if you do it too much or too often. “Your body needs a consistent, well-designed eating plan to stay healthy and not wreak havoc on your gut and metabolism,” he says. Here’s what to watch out for on these diets—plus the

Health Report When you jump from diet to diet, your daily calorie intake can swing dramatically, which can lead to weight gain. smart, expert-backed strategies that will help you stay healthy, fueled, and fit on any eating plan.

There are gaping holes

Styling by Wendy Schelah/Halley Resources


STOP THE HOP Stay on an eating plan for at least three weeks to keep your metabolism high.

he main concern with a diet that calls for eliminating entire food groups is that you’re missing out on the key nutrients in those foods,” says registered dietitian and nutritionist, Dr. Kristine Clark, the director of sports nutrition at Penn State University. Take keto, a superlow-carb, high-fat diet: If you reduce your carb intake by skipping grains, fruits, and vegetables, you’ll fall short on fiber, antioxidants, and possibly vitamins like A and C, she explains. And even if you switch quickly between diets, you’re still not safe from shortfalls. “In just three days without certain nutrients like Vitamin C you can develop symptoms of deficiency diseases like scurvy,” Clark says. “So it’s essential to have a plan for filling in the gaps.” THE FIX: Before trying a diet, see which foods are off-limits, then find alternative sources for their nutrients. For low-dairy diets like Whole30, for example, swap in bone broth or leafy greens.

Your metabolism suffers


hen you jump from one diet to another, your daily intake can start to swing. Even if you stick with one diet for months, many of the most popular plans don’t call for calorie counting, so you could end up consuming 2,000 calories one week and 1,200 the next without realizing it. That fluctuation is a problem, Dr. Graham says: “If your energy consumption isn’t consistent, it can slow down your metabolism, so you end up gaining weight.” It can also mess with your hunger cues, leaving you irritable, exhausted, and hungry. THE FIX: Spend the first few days of a new diet tracking your calories to make sure you’re staying in a healthy range for you—for a 64kg, 5'4" woman, that’s 1,700 to 2,400 calories a day, depending on your activity level. If possible, eat four to six smaller meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism steady and your hunger in check, Dr. Graham says.

Transition becomes your constant body state


our gut and metabolism take about three weeks to adjust to new foods,” Dr. Graham says. If you’re trying a new diet every month, your body is constantly playing catch-up, and that can be hard on your system. THE FIX: Stay on a plan for at least three weeks, then evaluate how you feel. If you decide to quit, don’t switch right to a diet that’s the polar opposite (for example, meat-heavy keto to carby veganism). A sudden change in carb, protein, fat, or fiber intake can cause GI discomfort or energy-draining blood sugar swings. Reintroducing a food group also requires care. “After half a year without a food, the stomach’s production of digestive enzymes may change, making it difficult for you to process a food,” Clark says. Eat only small portions at first. If you experience GI symptoms or hives, see an allergist to find out if you have a food sensitivity.



SCULPT MEANINGFUL MUSCLE Carve gorgeous contours, and see a monumental shift in your strength. This is where you get started. By Sara Angle 68



Photographs by Dean Isidro


Tory Sport Seamless Engineered Unitard (torysport .com). Supra Skytop V sneakers ( Meet our model Megan Williams gets in her reps on the regular: She switches things up between weight lifting, jumping rope, and doing yoga and Pilates. Catch her on Instagram at @meganmayw.

We’re not talking doubling the size of your dumbbells but breaking any rut you’ve gotten into with your sets and reps. “In my experience, people typically select a weight about 25 percent under what they could safely do,” Sturm says. The signature Liftonic workout has exercises that work multiple muscle groups while you gradually increase poundage to push yourself to go harder—whether that’s leveraging your body weight for decline push-ups or adding dumbbell weight to a side plank. In the total-body routine Sturm created for Shape (head to for the moves), you’ll do supersets of dumbbell exercises alternating with active recovery moves.

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When it comes to lifting weights, you hear a lot about the merits of going big in CrossFit or using baby ’bells in barre class. But the middle ground—choosing which hand weights to hoist for your everyday sets—is where you can really determine how sculpted you get. “Grabbing a weight that’s a little heavier than you might normally go for is important because you need to stimulate the muscles to build— that’s how you get toned, strong, and lean,” says Radan Sturm, the founder of Liftonic, a group weight training studio in New York City.

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“It’s best to wait at least 45 seconds before targeting the same muscle again, but that doesn’t mean you should just stand there,” Sturm says. “Doing things like Supermans and oblique twists as active recoveries allows you to capitalize on that downtime.” The idea is to give you just enough rest so you can not only do a second set but actually increase your load. That means you may do your first set with 4.5kg dumbbells, perform the second with 5.5kg dumbbells, and finish with a third set using 7kg dumbbells. Why the mounting challenge when the natural instinct is to go lighter as your muscles are closer to crying uncle?

whether they could try for a heavier weight as they approach another set, most find that they actually can,” Sturm says. “The point is to get your muscles to really fatigue so they then firm up.” If you can perform the last four reps at the same speed as you did the first eight, it’s a sign that those muscles aren’t sufficiently fatigued— reps typically become slower as your muscles get tapped out, Sturm says—so reach for a heavier weight on the next set.

You’ll stay aware of how fast or slow your reps go because each move has a specific tempo built in. For some, like the kneeling side-plank snatch, you’ll lift on a count of one and lower for three counts; for others, like the reverse lunge press, you’ll steadily lift and lower on a count of two. “We do this to prolong a muscle’s time under tension and therefore squeeze more strengthening from each rep,” Sturm says. But don’t

worry if you fall slightly behind the beat on those last four reps—that just confirms that you’re holding the right amount of heavy metal. As you trade up for heavier weights over time, it’s easy to see that you’re making real strength gains, which is empowering. And all that newfound muscle you’ve added means you’re also revving up your metabolism: The more muscle you have, the more energy your body needs to


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operate day to day, so you’ll burn fat with greater efficiency. Do this workout twice a week, with three days between sessions to allow those muscles to repair and build. And stick with it—you’ll love the truly sleek, sculpted look you get by going out of your comfort zone, plus that priceless boost in body confidence. Says Sturm: “There’s just nothing quite like feeling strong and powerful.”


Try this workout!

Get your step-by-step how-to, including photos, or visit /fitness.

own Scale D

Scale Up


Check out the Scale Down and Scale Up cues online to customize these exercises to your fitness level.

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HOW TO ENTER 1. Log onto 2. To participate, you must first complete a registration form. This is a one-time registration process and your details will be kept for future contest entries. 3. After you have registered, you will only be required to enter your username and password for future contest submissions. 4. You are only allowed to submit one entry per contest (unless stated otherwise). 5. Promotion period: 1 January 2018 to 28 February 2018. Terms & conditions: This contest is open to all residents of Malaysia. Employees of Blu Inc Media Sdn Bhd, sponsors, their advertising agencies and immediate families are not eligible to enter the contest. Late, incomplete and unclear entries will not be entertained. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entertained. Prizes must be taken as provided and are neither transferable nor exchangeable for cash. Winners will be notified by email.



fit & famous

Find ind balance, but let yourself indulge. ndulge. ““I’ve ve been travelling a ton and trying to focus on eating a lot of vegetables, rinking tons of water, and getting drinking p enty of sleep. When I get to go home plenty to California, I indulge and relax and have some hot toddies.”

Only do workouts you love. ““I’m m not a yoga person—my brain won’t shut off and I have really bad rists. I like to keep moving, so I do a lot wrists. off cardio. If I have the right playlist and an rock out to some really awesome can usic, I can chill on an elliptical forever! music, m not into the classroom studio setting I’m as much, but I do enjoy SoulCycle.”

Put ut your phone down, and stop comparing omparing yourself to people on Instagram. ““I have a meditative morning ritual. For the first 30 minutes that I wake up, I don’t look at my phone. Otherwise, I’ll get sucked into the Twitter-sphere and go on Instagram and feel FOMO and like someone is already better than me before I even step out of bed.”

Embrace mbrace your curves. And quit working out to fit into a smaller dress size.

Anna Camp

She’s been busy to say the least. Anna Camp, who’s who s starred in True Blood, Mad Men, The Good Wife and The Mindy Project , is also known for her role in the Pitch Perfect musicals. And, she’s vocal about female empowerment. Here’s how the actress and singer, finds balance and keeps her stamina, and learned about body confidence and girl power in her 30s. 80



““I’ve ve got curves in certain places that back in the day in college I tried to get rid off by eating a lot less and working out an bsessive amount. But now I realize obsessive that that’s why I’m special. So, I’ve efinitely become happier and it’s given definitely e confidence that I didn’t have me necessarily when I was in my teens and y early 20s, that I’m very happy and my thankful that I have now. It’s not about squeezing into a size 0—that doesn’t g ve you any more self-worth.” give

Women supporting other women is s everything. “Doing press for the movie (Pitch Perfect 3), you get asked so many questions like, What’s it like working with so many women? Does it take you a long time to get ready with everybody? And I’m like, it’s so much fun! We’re super supportive; we lucked out that way for sure. I didn’t realize going into it that it would be so much girl power.


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