Friday, September 2, 2011

Healthy Eating: Eat Drink and Be Healthy - Book Review

I have a special relationship with food as, unfortunately, many women do... For many years I have been dieting. So at some point of my life I ended up having an eating disorder. Then I more or less got it under controll, but I still would do yo-yo dieting. The only time I ate without giving too much thought to every piece I swallow was during my pregnancy. I was hoping I could retain normal eating habits after delivering the baby but desire to loose baby weight and fit into my normal pre-pregnancy clothes was too strong. Hence the dieting marathons started even though I felt I needed to focus on healthy eating and not on weight issues. I also felt responsibility of giving a good example of healthy eating to my son. In addition being a Mom of a toddler, so i don't have many opportunities for rest or relaxation which is a big challenge. I started to experience constant lack of energy and tiredness, moodiness and lack of concentration. I decided it was time I started doing something about it. I needed to fill my head with healthy eating ideas and concepts. I wanted to read a good book that will inspire me and help me to make a change. A relative mailed me a book called Eat, Drink and Be Healthy by Walter C. Willet and Patrick J. Skerrett. I am finishing it now and because I liked it very much I wanted to share with you my impressions.

What I liked about the book is that it is based on research data and doesn’t contain any diet speculations. The authors analyzed a huge volume of research data on nutrition and diet and quote only facts in their book. For example, if outcome of research on a certain subject is conflicting or insufficient, they clearly state so and make no assumptions. The book focuses a lot on the USDA healthy eating pyramid and offers its own slightly adjusted variant. A big focus of the book is diet’s role in preventing heart disease as well as cancer. I liked that the authors provide the basic ideas for nutrients our bodies need for healthy functions, they offer guidelines for choice of sources for these nutrients based on their nutritional value and benefits for the health. They also compare these sources. For example which is the best source for protein: meat, fish, legumes or dairy? No easy answer! You have to weigh all pros and cons of each food and the authors help you make informed decisions! The book is really a good guide to healthy nutrition choices!

I have some critical comments as well. I feel that the book lacks summaries, tables and lists of facts, foods etc. Those are really useful for organizing information or when you want to see information at a glance or for a quick reference. Half of the book offers recipes with summaries of nutritional value. I find those helpful but less useful than for example tables with nutritional information about various foods such as calories, protein/carbs/ fat content , glycemic index, vitamins/minerals. Recommendations on the best way to cook various foods to preserve their nutritional value would also be welcome. Also the book is not international reader friendly because it gives a lot of information about nutritional value of particular USA brands or fast-food dishes which I have not heard of and which have no informational value for me. Oh… and some illustrations look like a joke. It doesn’t bring down the value of information but doesn’t look serious.

I would recommend this book for those who want to get basic guidelines for healthy diet that would help thm prevent heart disease and cancers. The factual part of the book (excluding recipes) is 217 pages so you don’t have to invest much time and you will get clear facts without any creative writing from the authors.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beauty Review: Bed Head Dumb Blonde Conditioner

In my perpetual search for an effective treatment product for my damaged hair I decided to give Bed Head a try. Ignoring the insulting title I purchased Dumb Blonde Conditioner (what on earth was their marketting team thinking?!).

The first impression I want to share with you is about the way this product smells. It is so intense and overwhelming and sweet and again SO strong... The only thing you want is to get it out of your hair and out of your shower.

Result: It did produce an effect on my blonde damaged locks. They became softer and had more volume to them. What they remained is VERY dry.

Conclusion: Bed Head Dumb Blonde Conditioner is really not enough to revive color treated dry damaged hair. If your hair is in as critical condition as mine, you will need a more intensive treatment (e.g. a mask, serum) to moisturize and restore the hair and as a bonus give apply Bed Head Dumb Blonde Conditioner to add softness and volume.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beauty Shopping: YSL Powder, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Sunscreen, Jeanne Piaubert Ultra-Slimming Gel, Bed Head Conditioner, Shiseido Tanning Lotion

In my first post I’d like to make a quick overview of most interesting products I purchased after my last post. It is sort of hard to remember already.

My Estee Lauder Double Wear Powder that I absolutely love fell down and went into pieces. I tried to use it for a while anyway but would always end up messy :-D So I needed a new powder. At first I wanted to go for my usual choice but the sails girl attracted my attention to YSL Matt and Radience Enhancing Pressed Powder. I liked the idea of being matt and at the same time radiant!!! So I got it! Will write a review on this one..

For my trip to Greece I bought Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Sunscreen SPF 30 hoping that it will be better than the last year’s Clinique’s sunscreen of the same power. Unfortunately I was very disappointed - it was as oily and sticky as the Clinique's one.

I am always in search of a good restoring product for my damaged blonde hair. This time I tried Bed Head Conditioner with some color lock-in technology. I will review it later...

I was not happy with the way skin looked on my tummy and thighs so I decided to try out a new firming, anti-cellulite product... I was recommened to try Jeanne Piaubert's Supermince Slimming Gel. To tell you the truth, I so seldome see any result from such products... but I still buy stuff like this at least once a year!

And I again bought Shiseido tanning lotion. It gives the best natural looking glow to the skin without any lines.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I am back!

Hi Everyone! Thanks for still following my blog even though I have disappered for such a long time! I owe an explanation as to why I was absent for such a long time. I was busy with many projects, mostly volunteer work, family and business issues.

The main thing that kept me busy was a local breast cancer fundraising project which literally took over my life. In the end it was very successful and worth the terrible stress and all the work. I also got involved into other charity projects.

At the fundraising event. I am on the right.
Check out my hair :-) This is a new look for me.
I pulled it all up into a tight classical knot
Sorry, this is the best pic I have.

In addition, I was working intensely on setting up and editing local women’s association’s website, blog and other internet accounts. It is an amazing feeling to do volunteer work - I feel it is fulfilling and very rewarding even though no money is involved. It's been a very busy, often hectic time... I discovered how hard it is to balance motherhood with social life, business and volunteer work. I have to say I did not find a way to juggle all of these responsibilities and commitments without a huge toll on my health. This is another reason I was absent for such along time.

I am still involved into volunteer work but I am ready to return to blogging. However from now on you may notice that the style of my blogposts will change and I will expand the “repertoire”. I will still post about beauty, skin care and I will review products but maybe not in such scrupulous detail as before. I would also like to talk about beauty from another point of view – I have been thinking a lot lately about beauty as a concept in the society, all the various contradictions and issues associated with it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Beauty Shopping: Genifique by Lancome

I finally splurged on my spring skin care kick. This year it is concentrated treatment from Lancome Genifique, the Youth Activator. This is an expensive product so I actually tested it 3 times before I finally decided to part with some $$$. I loved the effect from the samples so let's see how impressed I will be with the results from a full size product.

For my incredible generosity I received a present Renergie Lift Volumetry moisturizer. The box promises firmer skin and defined contours.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beauty Digest: Illegal Beauty

With the growing pressure to look young the popularity of plastic surgery grows every day. Plastic surgery as we all know very well, is extremely pricey. That's why many women decide to turn to underground cosmetic procedures. In the recent story (featured on cnn here) a young woman died after she received injections of a substance, supposedly sillicone, into her buttocks. The procedure cost her 1800 $ and was performed at an airport hotel by a singer known as Black Madam whom police has identified as Padge Victoria Windslowe, 41.

The number of similar insidents is growing. Women are literally dying to change their bodies to "fit" a beauty image currently popular in the society. And it seems to me there is no solution to this problem. Because first it was the pressure to be extremely skinny and people would starve themselves into oblivion. An effort was made to change the "wrong" perception of a female body in the media and as a result we have now the other extreme. Being bootilicious is sexy now and women are having illegal sillicone injections to get volumptuous forms.

Why are we forcing it? Can't we just accept ourselves for what we are and be happy?

article about Black Madam on philly.dom
discussion about the crime on

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Top 5: Beauty Foods

photo by afraidtomerge at

1. Carrots are good for your skin too! Beta-carotene - found in carrots is a powerful antioxidant and will help your skin stay young longer. Some studies also show that beta-carotene can repair sun damage.

photo by infowidget at

2. Salmon is not only delicious and is my favorite fish, it is also good for your skin as it is rich in the precious Omega-3 fatty acids. They help maintain cell membranes keeping skin healthy, hydrated and supple. According to some studies Omega 3 helps to protect skin against sun damage.

photo by rightee at

3. Tomatoes contain high levels of Vitamin C and lycopene. Vitamin C is involved in collagen production and protects cells from free radical damage. Lycopene is an effective antioxidant which fights the free radicals that damage skin cells, interfere with cells growth and activity.

photo by fotoosvanrobin at

4. Spinach is one of my favorites! It contains luitein. Studies show that lutein increases skin hydration, elasticity and skin lipid content.

photo by xlynx at

5. Watermelon, be it a fruit or a plant, is not only the best treat on a hot summer day but the right way to hydrate your skin! Which is crusial to its beauty every day! Remember, hydration is absolutely necessary for the best healthiest function of the cells. According to Dr Murad eating water is much more effective than drinking water because this way fluid gets directly into the cells and is not waisted in our swollen ankles and puffy eyes! And listen to this, watermelons are 97% water!

The Water Secret by Dr.Murad

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beauty Shopping: More Gold!

Check out my recent acquiry for my collection of golden makeup!

Guerlain Golden Lash from the last year holiday collection purchased at a huge discount and Isa Dora Wonder Nail Polish that attracted me by promising quick dry and strong hold!

Friday, February 4, 2011

TGIF: Excited

This sets the mood for a party!

Janet has always been an inspiration! Talented, beautiful and sexy!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Beauty Buzz: Would You Buy Beauty Products From A Vending Machine

More and more companies turn to vending machines to retail cosmetic products. BodyShop recently joint the two beauty vending pioneers- beauty retail Sephora and fragrance company Coty. Now Body Shop products are available for purchase though 20 vending machines set up in varios locations in the us in airports and shopping centers as well as in grocery stores such as Kroger Marketplace and Stop & Shop.

More and more luxury high-end products are available for purchase through the vending machines. For example, a company called Chirp is selling bags from Michael Kors, U*tique dispatches cosmetics and fancy chocolates, Retro Sport offers tees with vintage NFL logos.

All of the machines accept credit cards and not cash.

So what do you think? Progress? Or would you prefer to touch, smell, hold a product and buy from a live person?

Marie Claire Jan 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Best of Beauty 2010

This year I have not been doing enough reviews - I admit... But I have tried and discovered for myself some outstanding products and I thought it would be a good idea to do each year a roundup of the products that I consider best in various categories. So here are my favorites for the year 2010!

Best Skincare Product 2010

This nomination is absoluteky won by Dr Denese’s Advanced Firming Facial Pads

These peeling pads with glycolic acid are absolutely amazing. They make your skin glow and look youthful even on your worst days i.e. you feel like sh** but look perfect!

Best Eye Product 2010

I still consider Guerlain's Happylogy Glowing Eye Care the best eye cream ever!

Best Hair Product 2010

Sheer Blonde: Blonde Hair Repair by John Frieda did miracles for my hair. It literally revived it, maid it look healthy, shiny and bouncy!

Best Makeup 2010

This year my heart belongs to Dior! I have been bewitched and drawn like a magnet to Dior's makeup. As a result I have now 2 gorgeous sets of eyeshadows by Dior which win Best Makeup 2010 title:

Dior's eye shadow from their summer 2010 collection Golden Spotlight 616 ads gold karats to your eyes. You can wear it alone or layer it ontop of other eyeshadow to get the effect of precious gold sparkles.

Dior All-In-One Artistry Palette 008 Smoky Design - everything you need for a vamp smoky eye is in this palette.

Best Quick Fix 2010

La Prairie Light Fantastic Cellular Concealing Brightening Eye Treatment has served me very well the whole year to conceal the tell-tale signs of sleepless nights...

Best At Home Treatment 2010

Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Instant Treatment Eye Mask
These eye pads contain retinol and moisturizing ingredients. They pamper and treat the skin around eyes. I love those!

Best Body Product 2010

Shiseido Daily Bronze Moisturizing Emulsion
This is the most naturally looking tan you can get from a jar. It gives your skin a subtle golden glow. It's a rule: I apply Shiseido Dai8ly Bronze before going to bed and get a ton of compliments in the morning from my hubby!

Best Perfume 2010

Nightshift by Harvey Prince
Magic of the night flowers captured into a bottle of perfume.

Best Natural Skin Care 2010

Last year I tried and was impressed by an amazing natural skin care line from the sunny California - Annmarie Skin Care.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beauty Shopping: Payot Emulsion Reconciliante Soothing Care

My jar of Estee Lauder Verite moisturizer is about to run out. So yeaterday I dropped by a local beauty store intedning to buy another one but a friendly salesguy trying to be helpful pointed out some discounted products which included Payot Emulsion Reconciliante Soothing Care. And so I got it instead of Verite! It's anyway advisable to change your skin care line from time to time. I already tried the emulsion and it feels really nice! Let's see how it compares to Estee Lauder's Verite...

Monday, January 3, 2011

My New Year Beauty Resolutions for 2011

Even though after the birth of my baby boy, beauty is not my first priority, I still need to set some goals and keep it up so to say! So I was thinking about my beauty resolutions!
I did not do so well with my resolutions this year… Ok! Let’s see...
1. Get regular facials: I got a couple facials but, I sadly admit, they never became regular. On the other hand, I did become a regular customer at a beauty salon down the street dying my hair at least every month and getting manicure or pedicure every month or every other month depending on how much time I have. Trust me it is not so easy to find time for beauty procedures when you have a baby. I think why I did not get regular facials is that they are more time consuming, pricey and I had an unpleasant experience once this year (long story)
2. Start using SPF regularly… again! Check! I think I did well on that one!!!
3. Eat less sweets. I am starting to think this resolution is hopeless! Why did I even put it on the list!
4. Drink more water. Not doing so well on this one… Probably I should try to “eat water” which according to the latest information could be even more beneficial.
5. Eat less meat. Check! I did great on this one. I very rarely eat meat now and I don’t even want meat. I prefer fish which I mostly eat in the form of sushi!
6. Learn something new about Beauty... No time for learning new skills… But I did discover that at home glycolic acid based light peeling products can do wonders for my skin!
7. Try something new in Beauty Blogging. Again a miss on this one because of lack of time!

So here we go: Beauty Resolutions 2011:

1. Do regular facials: maybe I could try to find some time to do them at least at home

2. Eat healthier.

3. Drink (or "eat") more water.

4. Learn a new Beauty skill: makeup application!

5. Try something new in Beauty Blogging: Video reviews or interviews with beauty experts?

6. Organize: I need to get better organized - my makeup is in complete chaos!
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