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Sweat Pants Blamed as Number 1 Cause for Divorce

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 by No Comments

Sweat pants are at the center of a new controversy. It all started when new mom Eva Mendes talked about her six-month-old daughter, Esmeralda, and her appreciation for motherhood in an interview with Extra’s AJ Calloway.

She talked about how much she appreciates her own mother now, that she understands so much more, but then she went on to reveal her secret rule for keeping Hollywood’s hottest leading man, Ryan Gosling happing at home.

She said, “You can’t do sweatpants… ladies, number one cause of divorce in America, sweatpants, no!”

Instead of focusing on her new appreciation for her own mother, the media ran with the sweatpants ball turning it into a controversy. Isn’t that what hooks viewers?

Boyfriend Gosling weighed in on Twitter letting people know Mendes was joking about sweatpants, but I bet that doesn’t get as much coverage.

I first heard about it on the Fox and Friends morning show when guest Dolly Parton was promoting the 30th anniversary of her theme park, Dollywood. They asked her about her stance on sweatpants.

Parton, who has been married to the same man for 48 years, said “I don’t think I’ll be getting a divorce anytime soon because I either wear tight pants or no pants.”

I about spit out my coffee. Yes, I’m sure she was kidding, and in my book it was a great come back to a rather silly question.

What do you think of sweatpants? I own a couple of pairs to wear when I work out in the winter months, but I don’t wear them like they are a pair of jeans.

My reasoning isn’t my marriage. It isn’t even style. It is my waistline.

Sweatpants allow a measure of comfort that permits the waistline to grow without any warning signs. I choose to wear pants with a waistband that warns me when they are getting too tight. The discomfort reminds me to skip seconds, to forego that dessert, and to exercise regularly.

A waistband works better for me than a scale because it’s with me wherever I go.

Photo credits: Amazon

New Secret Weapon Proven to Fight Belly Fat

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 by No Comments

When I see those advertisements for secret remedies that fight belly fat, for the most part I ignore them. But when Prevention came out with the Belly Fat diet, I paid attention and it transformed my diet-indoctrinated brain.

No longer would I avoid almost all fat, because it was the evil ingredient that made me fat. Instead, I learned about healthy fats called MUFAs (Monounsaturated fatty acids).

Learning to add healthy fats back into my diet brought with it all kinds of health benefits including diminishing belly fat.

Other health benefits include lowering your risk of heart disease because MUFAs may also lower your bad cholesterol levels while maintaining your good cholesterol levels.

Now there’s a study out of Pen State University shat shows you can make 20 percent of your belly fat disappear this year by adding one of these MUFAs to your diet in the form of avocado oil.

For this study, researchers compared two groups. One consumed avocado oil while the other group consumed a flax-safflower oil blend.

While I do like avocado, and it does contain healthy oils, I hadn’t heard of avocado oil as a product! Those in the study added just three tablespoons a day to their diet and saw almost 2 percent of their belly fat disappear in just one month.

Up until now, I’ve used olive oil on my salads, but I’ve decided to replace it with avocado oil for a change up. In my opinion, the flavor is a little milder.

Not only is it perfect for drizzling on my salad, it also works for sautéing, baking, blending, and everything else I was using olive oil for.

Plus, it costs a little less than quality olive oil, and I’m always looking way to save a little money. If I can get rid of belly fat at the same time that’s a bonus.

Photo credits: Amazon

What to Look For in a Swimsuit

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 by No Comments

Looking for a swimsuit is challenging. Not that I can’t find several cute styles I like. The challenge lies in finding a swimsuit that I like on me.

In years past, I’ve put it off and I end up not having a swimsuit. When we get together around a pool, I sit on the sidelines watching the fun. I have vowed not to do that again this year.

I was inspired by a plus-size model by the name of Tess Holliday.

On a recent swimwear photo shoot, the size-22 model said, “When I’m buying a swimsuit the thing that is most important to me is how I feel in it, if I feel good. It’s great to buy something that may look cute but I want to buy something that makes me feel sexy and I want to feel confident when I’m going out and I want people to stare so you know I want good support, I want fun prints.”

I’m with her on that, but admit she is more self-confident than me. She has found what she is looking for in the new plus-size swimwear collection “Sea” by Monif C which offers a variety of styles for curvy women.

My taste in swimwear in much more conservative than it used to be. While Tess Holiday is fine with showing off those curves in a two piece, I’m still looking for a suit that creates an illusion that I’m in better shape than I am in.

I’m happy to say I have found one suit in the Panache brand that offers everything I’m looking for on Zulily.

Along with the solid panels that provide the visual tapering my silhouette requires, it it comes in a color that looks good on me, and features adjustable straps to ensure both smooth fit and support.

Yes, I tend to be practical, but I still want to look as pretty as possible when I put on a swimsuit. I guess the bottom line is: what you should look for in a swimsuit is what will make you feel like putting it on.

Photo credits: Amazon

Choice of Afternoon Snack Can Make or Break Weight Loss Goals

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 by No Comments

I’m an afternoon snacker. As much as I try not to be, those efforts just don’t last. So instead of playing the “don’t eat a snack” mind games that only make me think about having something to eat even more, I’ve moved on to have a planned stack.

Planning a stack is different than impulsively going to the refrigerator because I’m stressing over meeting a deadline or having to clean house when I don’t feel like it. Now I’ve learned that what I choose as a snack can really make a difference, too.

When it comes to maintaining or losing weight, there’s more to planning an afternoon snack than how many calories it contains. A UCLA Center for Human Nutrition a study showed that snacking on pistachio nuts reduced triglycerides and body weight by comparison to a refined carbohydrate snack.

For this study, the researchers divided participants into two groups. Each group ate an almost identical low-calorie diet for 12 weeks. The only difference was what they ate for an afternoon snack.

One group consumed 220 calories of pretzels, while the other group enjoyed 240 calories worth of pistachios.

If you’ve ever counted calories you know how every single calorie counts, so it defies logic that the 240-calorie snackers would lose more weight than the 240-calorie snackers. But that’s exactly what happened.

Only four weeks into the study, the pistachio group had reduced their BMI by a point while the pretzel-eating group stayed the same.

This is significant. Plus their cholesterol and triglycerides levels showed improvement, too. This study adds fuel to the controversy that a calorie is a calorie, because the pistachio group was actually consuming more calories and showed better results.

The difference was only 20 calories a day, but by the end of the week that’s an extra 140 calories a week and 560 for the four weeks in which they showed these remarkable results.

The researchers conclude that “pistachios can be consumed as a portion-controlled snack for individuals restricting calories to lose weight without concern that pistachios will cause weight gain. By comparison to refined carbohydrate snacks such as pretzels, pistachios may have beneficial effects on triglycerides as well.”

For me another plus is that I like pistachios!

Photo credits: wikimedia

Actors Who Made the $20 Million Per Movie A List

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 by No Comments

Does it amaze you when you hear the about the amount of money Hollywood actors are paid?

Well you may be in for a surprise, once again as the Hollywood Reporter magazine has just released an updated list of how much stars make per movie and who has made the “A” list.

According to a survey of producers, agents, and executives it looks like at least six actors are still making as much as $20 million per film. That short list includes Robert Downey Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, and Matt Damon — depending on the movie.

For instance, Robert Downey Jr., gets that for an Iron Man movie, and Damon can pull that in for his next Bourne film, while neither drew close to that for their appearances in The Judge or The Monuments Men. So that big $20 million isn’t a given across the board.

Of this short list of $20 million actors, the one with the distinction for getting paid $25 million up front belongs to DiCaprio for his role in The Wolf of Wall street. However, this was really a bundle deal that included his producing fee and budget overruns.

While only a handful of actors can command that kind of pay, others are close on their heels already earning close to that pay.

For instance, after the success of American Sniper, actor Bradley Cooper is expected to charge $15 million to $20 million a picture, which would place him above the $15 million he earned for the third Hangover movie.

Other men in this bracket include Ben Affleck, Channing Tatum, and Dwayne Johnson, but again this is dependent on finding the right role.

Women joining Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie in the $15 million-plus range are Melissa McCarthy and Jennifer Lawrence, but of these, Bullock has the distinction as the highest earner after her deal for Gravity which garnered her about $70 million once profits were factored in to her pact.

That just astounds me, not just because of the dollar amount but because I didn’t think that move was worth the watch.

While all of these amounts astound me, the article talked about differences that have come about since the big-star era. Back in the 90s a lot of actors made this kind of money. It all still seems pretty big to me.

How long does it take to make a movie? What do you think?

Photo credits: wikipedia

Moment of Dread When You Realize the Your Child Is Quiet

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 by 1 Comment

Life is full of chaos for moms of toddlers. They are always on the move, except when they are napping. Or at least you think they are napping.

One time, when my daughter napped a little longer than usual, I peeked in on her to find that she had climbed up onto the changing table, painted the wall in Vaseline, and stuck tissues here and there in what I guessed to be an effort to clean it up, or maybe a work of art. Not sure. All I can tell you is that it was a big mess trying to clean Vaseline off the wall, my child, and everything else she had touched.

It’s funny how we can long for a little bit of quiet. We even enjoy it. Then suddenly we realize it’s too quiet! And why? They are doing something fascinating of course. Like when my daughter painted my bedspread and her outfit with my mascara. (Hairspray did get most of it out.)

During those times of “golden” silence, I’d often find my son had dumped the shampoo down the tub drain, or that he had unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper, his favorite activity.

The fact is, that most of the time when our tots are too quiet, it means they aren’t just being quiet. They are up to no good.

Looking back at those times, now, they are cute. Like when my son was just learning to walk, but knew how to climb. He pushed the kitchen chair to the counter, climbed up and taste-tested the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with his little fingers.

The thing that’s amazing is that it takes almost no time for them to create a mess or at least get into something they shouldn’t be.

At the time it was frustrating, but today, some of my favorite pics are from those times, when I grabbed the camera and snapped a picture.

How about your kids? What have you found them doing in those quiet moments? Remember to cherish even these times, because in the future you’ll be laughing together over them.

Photo credits: Personal photo used with permission

Can Grapefruit Really Help You Lose Weight?

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 by No Comments

Remember when the Grapefruit Diet was all the rage? Actually, that fad diet has been around since the 1930s making claims that grapefruit contains specific enzymes which, when eaten before other foods, can burn off fat.

Since its inception, there have been many variations of this diet, all claiming that you’ll lose up to 10 pounds in just 10-12 days. Claims which have not been backed up with facts. However, the grapefruit itself can help you shrink your waistline.

We don’t need to make any one food the center of our diet, but we also don’t have to dismiss grapefruit as a weight loss “aid” just because it is associated with a fad diet.

A study published in the journal Metabolism shows that eating a half a grapefruit before a meal can actually boost your body’s fat-burning function, however, it isn’t shown to actually help you lose weight.

According to the study, adding the half grapefruit to your before meal warm up can actually shrink your waistline by up to an inch in only six weeks. The scientists accredit these results to the grapefruits’ fat-zapping phytochemicals. Sounds like a great plan for those of us apple-shaped individuals who tend to gain around our middles.

Just eat a half of grapefruit before breakfast, add grapefruit sections to your salads, and according to this study, it will make a difference and help fight that mid-section girth.

However, it is important to talk to your doctor before you add the grapefruit to your diet, because it can interact negatively with certain medications.

Equipped with this new information, I can see that the “grapefruit diet” had some things right. It cut back on sugar and carbs like rice, potatoes, and pasta, increased protein intake, and it added grapefruit to every meal.

While it doesn’t need to be called the grapefruit diet, adding this fruit to your meals, might just help you trim that waistline before summer!

Photo credits: wikipedia

Angelina Elects to Have Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes Removed

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 by 2 Comments

Angelina Jolie has undergone preventive surgery for a second time. This time the Oscar-winning actress revealed the news in an op-ed published in The New York Times, letting her fans know she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in hopes of reducing her risk of cancer.

Two years ago she chose to have a preventive double mastectomy when a blood test revealed she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. That mutation upped her risk to an estimated 87 percent for breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer.

But for Jolie, it’s even more than that. She lost her mother, grandmother and an aunt to cancer. She hopes to sidestep cancer to live a long life with her husband and children.

Regarding the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes, she had decided to go ahead with this preventive surgery for the same reasons. However, even though she had discussed it with her doctor, she thought it was months out. She had time.

But two weeks ago that changed. She received a call from doctors with results of her most recent blood test. The test showed markers that could be a sign of early cancer.

“I went through what I imagine thousands of other women have felt. I told myself to stay calm, to be strong, and that I had no reason to think I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up and to meet my grandchildren,” Jolie said.

She called her husband, Brad Pitt, and he was at her side within hours. Together they worked through the news and found clarity. Jolie said, “You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarizing, and it is peaceful.”

She went to the same surgeon who treated her mother, who died of ovarian cancer at 56, for additional tests. Five days later, she learned the tumor test was negative, BUT “There was still a chance of early stage cancer.”

She said, “To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it.” While this surgery was a less complex procedure than her double mastectomy, Jolie says, the “effects are more severe” because it “puts a woman into forced menopause.”

However, with all that, the one thing she can be assured of is that her children will never have to be told they lost their mother to ovarian cancer.

Photo credits: wikipedia

The Changing Face of Modeling

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 by No Comments

I never dreamed of being a model. Perhaps it has to do with only being 5′ 1.” Back when I was young enough to even think of modeling, being short put me out of the running.

Height isn’t the only restrictive criteria. There’s the skinny as a rail look that most of us couldn’t pull off even when we were 16. For the most part, for decades, the high-end modeling industry has promoted white teenage girls who are very thin.

Some teen age girls are white and some are very thin. The problem with the high-end modeling industry has been that was just about all they were promoting. Not exclusively, but mostly. They just weren’t representing the diverse spectrum of beauty, high-end or otherwise, found in real life society.

The good news is that’s changing. New faces in the industry include black (Aya Jones), biracial (Binx Walton), Asian (Dylan Xue), and plus-size models (Ashley Graham) who was featured in the 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

In a recent interview with Katie Couric, Ashley Graham said, “I think we’re in the curvy girl era.” But when on to say that “curvy girls are here to stay.”

Not only are we seeing plus-size women breaking into the industry, we’re also seeing “in-between” size girls like Kate Upton, Myla Dalbesio, and Crystal Renn. You might say, “That’s in between?” But they are. They aren’t rail thin and they aren’t plus size. They have a little meat on their bones.

Granted, I wish my “meat” looked like that.

The changes have come slowly, but they are happening. Everyone walking down the runway doesn’t look exactly the same any more. I think it is good news for models, and for the rest of us on this side of the runway. What do you think?

Photo credits: Hot 97