Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Return of the Kitten Heel



As a self proclaimed "fashionista" and "high heel guru," I was devastated when I shattered my ankle in May 2009. "How am I ever going to wear my 4-inch heels again?" was my first question to my physical therapist on my first day of therapy . As I have come to find out, I won't EVER be wearing my amazing stilettos again. So I was pleased to see shorter fashionable heels in magazines and in stores this fall. I even bought a pair of red, patent leather, round toe-kitten heels.
I was so excited when I read the article, "The Return of the Kitten Heel" in Bazaar Magazine's September issue! I revere Bazaar Magazine as fashion's bible, and if Bazaar says Kitten heels are back "en vogue," THEY ARE!
I still get a little misty eyed when I run my fingers over my artfully displayed Dolce and Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, and BCBG 4.5-inchers but these shoes have a special place in my closet and in my heart. Until that day comes when I can cat-walk down the streets in my towering stilettos, I am pleased to wear my trendy kitten heels.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween: A Kid's Holiday

Halloween is an awesome holiday!! What makes it so special is that children have ONE day to dress up as anything they want...and get loads of candy, to boot! Childrens' imaginations are such wonderful gifts, and Halloween gives them a platform to run wild with costumes, stories, decorations, etc. that feed their little spirits.

On Wednesday, I had an appointment at Kaiser, Santa Clara. While I was waiting to be called in, I had the pleasure of seeing children dressed up in their Halloween best walking (or wheeling) to each of the departments to collect their tricks or treats. These little kids, (some of them bald from chemo and wearing surgical masks) were the cutest little babes I have ever seen. I was touched by the parade, and reminded of how precious children are. The kids I saw in the hospital were battling for their lives, a little imagination and candy might have helped to cheer their little spirits up!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Desert DANGER

I have been counting my calories strictly for the past 10 months. While I absolutely LOVE that I am tinier than I was at 15 years old...there are days when I just want to EAT something yummy! I have come to believe that when dieting the best way to stick to my plan is to create a list of foods that are just not options for me to eat. This helps me to stay clear of foods that will not only increase the number on the scale but will make me feel yucky (I have honestly eaten a piece of cake and woken up the following morning feeling hungover.)

My list of NO WAY deserts:
Ice cream
Pound Cake
"Real" hot chocolate with whipped cream
Anything with the word "mouse" in it
Cheese cake
Chocolate covered ANYTHING (I broke my rule a month ago and bought dark chocolate covered blueberries from costco- I ate about 6 handfuls the second day they were in my house, and finally had to throw the entire bag out....I WENT NUTS)

Having a list of the foods that I absolutely CAN'T eat is well and good, but finding options that let me enjoy an after meal desert is a necessity. Desert has never been a "must" for me after dinner, but it is nice to have it once in a while. Here are some great alternatives that I have begun to indulge in, on the occasion that I want a little treat.

1. Baked Apples
2. Angel Food cake with strawberries and a dab of light cool whip
3. Lady Fingers from Trader Joes
4. Strawberries with 2 teaspoons of honey
5. Frozen Yogurt with rainbow sprinkles from Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt (these days there are FroYo shops at every corner- stay away from toppings such as: snickers, m&m's, cookie dough, etc.)
6. Rasberries and blackberries with dark chocolate shavings (I get a small block of dark chocolate from Whole Foods and keep it in the fridge for this purpose)

Recipes:

Baked Apples is something that I have eaten since childhood. Its no wonder that I have a very thin family, for baked apples was the extent of desert in our home :)
(Serves 2-4 people)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cut 2 apples into fourths
Peel and core the apples
Place a small amount of water in an oven safe bowl (like a casserole dish)
Put a dab of butter on each apple slice (as thin and wide as your pinkie nail-also, you can skip the butter altogether)
Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over the apples in the baking dish
Sprinkle a teaspoon of Cinnamon over the apples in the baking dish
Let apples bake for about 15-18 minutes or until you can stick a fork in one with ease

Lady Fingers and Strawberry Puree
(serves 3-4 people)

I buy Lady Fingers from Trader Joes: 100 calories for 5
Puree about 8-10 strawberries
Mix together 1 cup of light cool whip and strawberry puree
Dip Lady fingers in the whipped strawberry puree for a yummy desert!

Happy Deserting!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Dirty Dozen: Food You Should Buy Organic


Today, American's have food options all around us. It seems that the "in-thing" is buying organic....people are buying everything from organic meat and fruits to organic cookies. Grocery stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Lunardi's, etc. are becoming a major part of middle class culture. The problem is this: not everyone can afford the all-organic life style. What are the MUSTS of organic foods, and what foods can we place less emphasis on buying pesticide free?

I have compiled a list (with the help of thedailygreen.com) of the most essential foods that you should buy organic. Every year The Environmental Working Group determines which foods have the highest amounts of chemicals and pesticides- and The Dirty Dozen list is updated to help consumers make safer food choices. Here is 2010's list with some explanations from me as to why these foods are on The Dirty Dozen.

The Dirty Dozen:
1. Strawberries- strawberries can have as many as 59 pesticides on them. The skin of strawberries naturally suck up these chemicals, so washing does very little to help.

2. Apples- apples are typically grown with the use of poisons to kill off bugs and fungi. These pesticides penetrate the thin apple skin and washing and peeling does very little to eliminate the consumption of these chemicals. Apples are often times sprayed after picking to create a shiny gloss that make them more appealing to consumers....YUCK. As many as 42 different pesticides and residue have been found during tests on apples.

3. Bell Peppers- bell peppers have extremely thin skins which offer little protection from chemicals, as many as 49 pesticides have been detected during testing on these veggies.

4. Celery- celery has NO protective skin, so chemicals are nearly impossible to wash off...64 different pesticides have been detected during testing on celery.

5. Blueberries- blueberries, (while full of antioxidants) are one of the dirtiest berries on the market. Tests have shown that they are treated with 52 pesticides!

6. Potatoes- these veggies have been determined to have nearly 37 pesticides, even domestically grown.

7. Grapes- imported grapes have a much larger risk of being more heavily contaminated than those grown domestically...with that said, grapes have very thin skins and offer little barrier to the pesticides that are sprayed during and after they are grown.

8. Cherries- locally grown or imported, cherries have a dangerously high number of pesticides sprayed on them (42) if they are not grown organically.

9. Kale- (I'm not a huge fan of this leafy green, BUT....) kale has been placed on the top 12 dirty dozen this year because it has seen a huge rise in pesticide spray.

10. Spinach- spinach has been treated with 48 pesticides, recent tests have shown.

11. Nectarines- nectarines have very fragile skin and offer little protection from chemical treatments. 2010 tests have detected up to 33 different pesticides on this fruit.

12. Peaches- like apples and nectarines, peaches are one of the dirtiest tree fruits. Tests have determined that 62 pesticides are sprayed on peaches.
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