Archive Monthly Archives: September 2017

7 Tips to Avoid ‘Skin Pollution’

September 19, 2017

Skincare in the big city.

City life has its perks, but one downside can be the effects of pollution on your skin. Here are seven tips to deal with what I call ‘skin pollution.’

I’ve traveled to some wonderful cities around the world to areas where pollution is a huge problem. It’s astounding what you can find on a white washcloth after walking through a busy city at the end of the day. The effects of air pollution are many and can include skin texture, irritation and even skin aging, to name a few. Pollution can also zap your skin of its healthy glow and leave it looking dull in appearance.

Let’s take a good look at pollution, understand how it affects our skin, and learn what we can do to counter those effects.

What is Pollution?

Pollution comes in different forms. There’s visible pollution that you can literally wipe off of your skin and see on your washcloth. And there’s pollution that comes in gas form, such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur, carbon monoxide and so on. Bottom line, all forms of pollution can collect on your skin and create an unhealthy barrier.

Pollution can be responsible for skin dryness, dullness, clogged pores, some allergic reactions, skin irritations, inflammation and my least favorite—skin aging. Pollutants can really affect our face, neck and hands, the key areas that are most exposed on a regular basis.

Indoor pollutants can cause dry skin and irritation. So, what can you do? The first thing is to improve the overall air quality by allowing fresh air into your home as often as possible. By constantly refreshing the air, you can help dilute the levels of pollutants, which can be of great benefit to your skin. You can clean your home on a regular basis to get rid of things like pet dander and dust.

Outdoor pollutants are detrimental because they increase the number of free radicals in our environment, which studies have shown are damaging to the skin. Free radicals can damage cells over time by encouraging oxidation.

Here are a few quick tips to help counter pollution’s negative effects on the skin.

Double Cleanse

Your first step is to remove pollutants and dirt from your skin through proper cleansing. For those living in high-pollution areas, you may want to do a ‘double cleanse.’ Choose a cleanser for your skin type that has no added sulfates.

Give your skin a thorough cleansing, specifically to remove the surface residue such as your makeup, dirt, excess oils and any chemicals you may have come into contact with. Once you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to give it another quick cleansing. This way, you can be sure that you removed all the surface impurities and have thoroughly cleaned your skin.

Scrub the Pollution Away

Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis can help guard against pollution’s negative effects from building up and giving it that dull, drab appearance. A good scrubbing helps to deep clean your pores and remove the dirt, oil and debris.

Double Down on Antioxidants

Antioxidants help to fend off free radical damage and can support healthy-looking skin when taken internally. You can do this in the form of a healthy diet and by taking a multivitamin every day. Antioxidants to benefit the upper layers of the skin are also available in skin care products. Look for cleansers, moisturizers and serums that contain antioxidant vitamins C and E.

Use a Good Moisturizer

Moisturizers will provide your skin with antioxidant support and help hydrate your skin. Most importantly, a moisturizer will help to create a barrier between your skin and pollutants.

Avoid Rush Hour

For the sake of your skin, it’s always best to avoid being in pollution-heavy areas during rush hour. The more automobiles on the road, the more pollution you’ll be exposed to. It’s as easy as that.

Wear Sunscreen

There’s never a reason not to wear sunscreen when going outside. As a friendly reminder, it’s imperative to always protect your skin from damaging UV rays.

Stay Hydrated

Water is good for your body and great for your skin. By drinking more water, you can help keep your skin hydrated. You should also load up on fresh fruits with high water content. Look for antioxidant-rich citrus fruits, watermelon and apples for a delicious, hydrating snack.

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Tone Up Your Butt with These Lower-Body Moves

Lunges benefit the glutes.

A lower-body focused workout can burn calories and help you tone up.

Some magazines tend to focus on the aesthetics of glutes (aka your butt), but I prefer to look at the muscles of the posterior chain from an improved strength and sports performance mindset. The hamstrings, calves and glutes are the powerhouse muscles for running and many other sports. Whatever your personal reason for wanting to strengthen your rear, adding a lower-body focused routine to your schedule a few times a week will help you to get one step closer to accomplishing your goals.

Lower-Body Exercises to Improve Your Glutes

NOTE: For these exercises, you’ll need a step, a weighted bar and a set of dumbbells. If you don’t have these items, you can still do them using your own body weight as resistance. Perform 12 reps of each move and do 2-3 sets for a full workout. You can watch me as I show you how to do these toning exercises.

1. Multidirectional squat with bar
  • Challenges your coordination, engages your glutes and also works the inner thigh muscles.
2. Foot up on bench, split squat position with knee drive
  • Works the front quads, hamstrings and glutes while the knee drive gives your hip flexors a challenge.
3. Box jumps
  • Total lower-body move that engages your glutes while challenging your calves and core muscles.
4. Curtsey lunge, followed by a single leg dead lift
  • Focuses on the outside of the glute and the hamstrings.
5. Hands and knees position dumbbell, heel to glute raise (bootie lift)
  • Great for your core, hamstrings and glutes.
6. Hands and knees, heel to glute side lift
  • Focuses on the hips and glutes.

Choose to add some or all of these moves into your workout, two or three days a week.

If you want to add some running to your lower-body program, remember that running fast or running uphill promotes muscle strength and can help to build up glute muscles, too.

I recommend doing a fast running session once a week in an interval style, alternating at full speed for 15 seconds with a 30-second jog. Repeat this interval a total of 8 times, combined with a warm-up and cool-down for a balanced, glute-blasting workout. If your aim is to build muscle in this area, be sure to combine your workouts with good overall nutrition, paying special attention to your protein consumption.

We all feel better when we’re working toward achieving a body that looks and performs at its best. As you strive to accomplish your body composition and body shape goals, remember that we all have different body types and shape is created by a combination of genetics and lifestyle. Training and eating well can help you to manipulate your shape to some degree. But don’t get disappointed if your genetics prevent you from getting that magazine body. Chances are the image you’re striving for was manipulated, anyway.

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Achieve a Healthier Diet With These 6 Tips

Swap bad food choices with healthy food.

Making healthy food choices means taking a close look at your current eating habits, and making small changes that add up to new habits and better nutrition.

Why is it so hard to make healthy food choices? It’s not as if you don’t know which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t. But sometimes it’s difficult to make the right food choices when you’re constantly faced with temptation or don’t have a plan.

Not only do you have to make food choices every time you eat a meal or a snack, you’re actually making food choices all day long. Every time you see, smell or think about food—which happens a lot more than you might think—you’ve got choices to make.

The trick to making better food choices is learning how to “trade up”—nutritionally speaking. Look at the foods you’re currently eating and see if you can find some healthier choices to make instead. If your dietary patterns are generally good, and if you’re eating regular meals and snacks and including a variety of foods, then it’s just a matter of plugging in some healthier choices in place of those that aren’t doing you much good.

The first step in improving your diet is to take a good, hard look at your current eating habits. Write down everything you eat for a couple of days. You can’t make changes if you don’t realistically know what you’re working with or where your trouble spots are.

Once you’ve done that, look your food diary over without judging yourself. Just be objective. Look over your eating patterns and the food choices you’re making, and simply acknowledge that there are some things that you probably want to do differently. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for the things you’re doing right.

Cut Back on the Highest Calorie Foods

The next step is to work towards cutting back on the highest calorie foods that you usually eat. Start with the high fat and high sugar foods first. Once you’ve identified the biggest offenders, use the healthy food chart below to help you find healthier swaps. As these healthier food choices get incorporated into your routine, you’ll gradually improve the nutrient quality of your diet, cut calories, and probably find that your meals are more filling and satisfying.

Know What You’re Eating

Once you’ve kept your food diary for a while, you’ll have a good sense for what foods you’re eating. But you also want to learn what’s in the foods that you’re eating. When you shop, take time to read labels. Look at ingredients and the nutrition facts so you can evaluate calories, fat and sugar content in the foods that you buy.

Keep it Simple

One good strategy for making better food choices is to lean toward foods that haven’t had a lot done to them. The closer a food is to its natural state or the less processed it is, the more nutritional value it tends to have. You’ll also be getting less fat, sugar and salt.

Be Realistic

If you’re craving ice cream, trying to satisfy the craving with a handful of celery sticks probably isn’t going to work. Perhaps a carton of Greek-style yogurt with some berries would work for you, or a sliced up frozen banana.

Plan Ahead

It’s easier to make better choices when you plan ahead. When you have a plan for what you’re going to eat for meals and snacks, you’re more committed to eating the healthier choices.

Keep your focus on replacing bad habits with better ones and know that every little bit adds up. As you continue to make better choices, they’ll become new habits, and over time your better choices will be the foods you crave.

Healthy Swaps, Healthier Food Choices

Instead of… Try this…
Refined flour breads, cereals, flour tortillas 100% whole grain bread, cereal, corn tortillas
Sodas, fruit juices Plain or sparkling water with lemon, lime or a few pieces of fresh fruit
White rice, noodles, potatoes Brown rice, quinoa, millet, whole grain pasta, soba noodles, sweet potatoes—or omit altogether and double up on veggies
Cakes, cookies, pies, pastry, ice cream Fresh fruit, frozen fruit (cherries, bananas, mango have a satisfying, chewy texture), nonfat yogurt with fruit
Snack chips, crackers Edamame, raw vegetables with hummus, brown rice cakes, nuts or soy nuts
Mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces, gravies, sour cream Mustard, mashed avocado, low-fat salad dressings, salsa, lemon juice, plain nonfat yogurt
High calorie coffee drinks Nonfat latte or cappuccino, herbal tea, hot protein shake
Fatty meats, sausages, etc. Lean meats, poultry breast, seafood, soy meat substitutes


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Grilled Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Salad

Healthy green meal.

Fluffy and soft quinoa, juicy and tender slices of chicken, broccoli cooked to perfection, and a hint of lemon juice will transform this salad into a healthy green meal with 25 to 40 grams of protein and 600 calories.

Every ingredient in this salad works together to create a dish full of flavor and with LOTS of protein.


25 g/400

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

40 g/600

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

1 TBSP 1 TBSP Olive oil
2 tsp 2 tsp Lemon juice
½ tsp ½ tsp Dijon-style mustard
Any amount Any amount Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups 6 cups Mixed leafy greens
1 cup 2 cups Broccoli florets, cooked and chilled Cooked quinoa, chilled
½ cup 3 oz. 1 cup Cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced


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Tempeh and Noodle Salad

Complete meal in a bowl.

Spice up your salad with this simple but delicious vegan recipe.

It’s a salad, but it’s also a complete healthy entrée. Made with fresh vegetables and delicious noodles, tender and juicy tempeh has 25 to 40 grams of protein, 600 calories and a lot of flavor. What else can you ask for?

25 g/400

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

40 g/600

Protein (approx.)/calories (approx.)

1 tsp 1 tsp Sesame oil
2 tsp 2 tsp Canola oil
2 tsp 2 tsp Rice vinegar
1 tsp 1 tsp Low sodium soy sauce
Dash Dash Ground white pepper
½ cup 1 cup Cooked soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 1 Carrot, grated
2 2 Green onions, chopped
1 cup 2 cups Asparagus spears, cooked, chilled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 oz. 4 oz. Tempeh, crumbled
½ cup ½ cup Cooked edamame (green soybeans)

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Make Your Hair Color Last Longer

September 11, 2017

Ensure your hair is hydrated before coloring.

Make your hair color last longer with these tips.

Who doesn’t love the look and feel of freshly colored hair? The vibrancy, the shine, the silky softness—I know I do. Finding the perfect professional colorist for the job is very important, but our work doesn’t stop there. For that perfect hair color we love so much, there are several things we can all do, both pre- and post-coloring, to help keep hair color looking fresh, vibrant and long lasting. If you want your fresh-from-the-salon hair color to last longer, it helps to have an understanding of the overall condition of your hair and how it affects the color. Here are several things you can take into consideration to make your hair color last longer and maintain its vibrant look.

The first thing you need to take a look at when considering a new hair color is the condition of your tresses. Is your hair dry, oily, dull, damaged? Is this important? You bet it is. The overall condition of your pre-coloring hair will determine the overall effectiveness of the coloring, as well as how long it will last. So, what should you look out for?

Overall Condition of Hair Prior to Coloring

Oily Hair

If your hair is oily and greasy, it can affect the overall power of the color you will be applying. Think about what you’re putting on your hair as part of your daily hair care routine. Are you using a lot of styling aids? Are you slathering your hair with oils in the pursuit of silky hair? If you’re doing things like ironing oils into your hair, chances are your hair color won’t take the way you’d like it to.

The oils on the hair strands that get continually pressed or ironed into your hair can interfere with color application. They actually prevent the color from sticking. So, avoid applying oil-based products to your hair after your last wash before you color. You know it’s best to apply color to hair that’s not squeaky clean, so make special note of your appointment date and avoid using oily products on the days leading up to it.

Dry Hair

If your hair is dry, postpone your color appointment and start deep conditioning your locks right away to get them in better shape. It’s important that your hair is hydrated, because dry hair doesn’t hold pigment very well. So, keep your hair hydrated with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. And if your hair is really dry, give it a hydrating treatment a few days before your appointment.

Hair Texture


If you have fine hair, you probably won’t need as much time for the color to absorb, because hair dye works much faster on hair that’s thin. Is this a good thing? Not necessarily. Be careful. If you leave it on for too long, the color you choose may come out darker and a bit more extreme than you had imagined. The longer you leave it on, the greater chance you have of damaging your fine tresses.


Is your hair coarse? If so, then it may need a longer processing time for your new color to absorb. The coarser the hair, the larger the diameter of the individual strands. And these strands are definitely more resistant to receiving color. You may need to consider a darker color or a stronger dye to ensure that the pigment is absorbed fully.


The porosity of your hair is probably the most significant factor when it comes to determining just how effectively your new color will take to your hair. Your hair’s level of porosity will determine its ability to absorb not only color but moisture as well. The healthier and more conditioned your hair is, the longer your color should last. Keep in mind that if you have long hair, the ends are generally more porous than the rest of your hair. So, always apply color to the ends last.

Previous Hair Color Treatments

Inform your colorist of any previous hair treatments you may have had, especially within the last year. Also, tell them if you’ve undergone any kind of chemical treatments or special processing. A chemical straightening is a perfect example of what you should disclose. They tend to cause hair to pull color differently, which could drastically change the end result.

Water Type

It may seem crazy, but it’s true. Your water can affect the outcome of your new hair color. Water that contains a lot of chlorine and minerals can turn beautiful brunette-colored hair into not so beautiful muddy brown hair. Why? Because hair dye tends to stick to the minerals on the hair instead of the hair itself. When the minerals detach and wash away, your color washes away with them. If this is a common problem, you can invest in a water filter to change the hardness of your water, or invest in a clarifying shampoo to help remove buildup before coloring.

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A Roast with the Most: Fall Harvest Veggies

Roasting veggies brings out their sweetness.

The change of seasons brings with it a new group of fruits and vegetables. Apples, root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes and all the cabbage family foods, like broccoli and cauliflower, are at their peak now. And many are great for roasting—one of my favorite fall cooking methods.

With the grilling season over, I start giving a lot more foods the roasting treatment. The oven’s dry heat will caramelize the natural sugars in foods and brings a depth of flavor to fruits and vegetables that summer grilling can’t touch.

Root Veggie Roast

If you’ve never roasted root vegetables, you should give it a try. Roasted carrots are particularly delicious. Toss them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread out on a cookie sheet and roast at 425 degrees for about a half hour until they’re tender. The vinegar turns into a sticky, syrupy glaze that coats them irresistibly. You can give the same treatment to sweet potatoes or beets—tossing them with something tart before roasting, like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or even pomegranate juice to contrast with their natural sweetness.

Roasted veggies make a great side dish, but on the off chance there are any leftovers, they’re great added to soups and stews. Or you can slice them up cold and dress with vinaigrette, or add to mixed greens to give some fall flavor to your tossed salad.

Cauliflower Power

I was never much of a cauliflower lover until I started roasting it; now it’s become a fall staple at my house. Roasting softens the strong flavor. The cauliflower gets sweeter, and the texture becomes almost meaty. I coat the florets and a sliced onion with a dash of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and curry powder and then roast. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts—other veggies that are often a hard sell—are also delicious roasted with some oil and garlic.

You can roast fruits, too. Fall apples are fantastic when they’re prepared this way. Pretty much any variety will do, and you don’t need to peel them. Just cut in halves or quarters, remove the core and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray and roast like you would the veggies. You can toss them with a little lemon juice, apple juice or, if you want, spices first. But if you start with tasty fresh apples, they’re really good on their own.

Here’s another fall favorite recipe:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan

Even those who think they don’t like Brussels sprouts will admit that these are delicious. Roasting quickly with high heat mellows the flavor, and the Brussels sprouts end up tender and sweet. Tossed with a little fresh garlic and parmesan cheese, they make a fantastic side dish. If you have any left over, refrigerate and add to a tossed green salad the next day.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (large enough to hold sprouts in a single layer) with foil, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place baking sheet in the oven while you prepare the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place in a medium bowl and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat with olive oil mixture. When oven is hot, toss sprouts onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or so, shaking the pan every 5 minutes until some of the outer leaves are nicely browned and crispy and sprouts are tender. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl, add garlic and parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

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Fall Workout Tips for Every Fitness Level

Stay in shape throughout winter.

Follow these fall workout tips to build muscle while burning calories.

In many places the weather is cooling down, but that’s no reason to stop exercising. Instead, work on maintaining your summer body.

This fall workout is great for toning your arms, core and legs. It’ll also help you build strength and burn calories.

It should take you about 30 minutes to complete this workout. Aim to do each move 12 times and run through the routine at least three times. If you can’t get outside, you can complete the entire workout from the comfort of your home.

Read through the instructions below and click the links to watch videos demonstrating each move. It’s best to focus on form, even if that means you can only do a few reps. If you don’t have enough time to complete the entire workout, just do a few moves or one set.

Equipment You’ll Need

  • Sturdy chair
  • Set of hand weights
  • Mat or non-slip floor

Pre-workout warm-up

It’s important to prepare your body for exercise. Spend at least 10 minutes warming up your body with cardio exercise. For example, you can jog in place for five minutes, followed by jumping jacks or jump rope. Or, if it’s not too cold, head outside and walk around the block, followed by a light jog.

Arm and shoulder combination using weights

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the weights down by your sides. Curl them up to work your bicep muscles, then rotate your wrist so your palms are facing each other. Press the weights overhead at shoulder height to effectively work your shoulder muscles.

Plié squat with arm pull

This squat works the legs, glutes, inner thighs and trapezius muscles. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed out. Hold the weights with your palms facing your body. Slowly lower into a squat, as if you’re sliding down a wall keeping your back straight. As you come up to standing, pull the weights toward your chest, leading with your elbows and repeat.

Chair dip

It’s time to work the triceps—the muscles at the back of your arms. Sit in your chair and place your hands on the seat next to you. Now, place your feet out in front of you, keeping your thighs parallel to the floor. Lower out of the chair and, as you bend your arms, your elbows should go behind you, supporting your body weight. Finish this move by pushing back up to the starting position.

Hands and knees balance

This total-body move works your abdominal core muscles, arms and legs. Get down on your hands and knees. Position yourself so that your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders and your hips are over your knees. Try and keep your back flat. Then lift up one leg behind you and also lift the opposite arm out in front of you. You can either hold this pose or crunch by bringing your knee to chest and your elbow to knee. Once you’ve done one side, remember to repeat on the other side.

Curtsey lunge with leg lift

This lunge works your inner and outer thighs as well as your glutes. Stand tall and place your hands on a chair back for balance. Take a backward lunge step with your left leg, taking your back foot just past the mid-line of your body. The knee on your front leg (right leg) should not pass the line of your toe as you lower your body. Keep your core muscles tight and back straight. Return to standing. Keeping a flexed foot, take your leg out to side.

Bridge pose with chest press

This move will work your chest muscles, core and glutes. Start by lying on your back. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips up off the floor to make a straight line from the shoulder to the knees. Once you’re able to hold this position, you can add in the chest press. Hold your weights with your palms facing forward and in line with your chest. Press the weights up, hold for a second, then return to the starting position.

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