Photo: Matthew RolstonBy Amy Bloom
A few years ago, I was at a lunch for the launch of a TV show called How to Look Good Naked. (Do I need to say that the host was a slim gay man and the soon-to-be-almost-naked were all women? Can we even imagine a show in which men try to improve their appearance before the big reveal in the boudoir?) The middle-aged woman sitting next to me almost spat out her white wine. "How to look good naked?" she said. "Wear clothes!"
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I wish that helped. But after 58 years of being female, I've come to the conclusion that a healthy, positive body image is hard to find, and neither caftans nor liposuction nor Photoshopping is the answer.
This seems to be one of those puzzles you can tackle from any angle, a Rubik's cube of bad feelings, unhealthy attitudes, and unforeseen consequences. (It's great that we shifted away from the preceding centuries' proscription against women exercising and getting sweaty. But who knew
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Photo: Matthew RolstonBy Amy BloomRead More »from Dear Every Woman I know, Including Me
Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie PikulRead More »from 4 Ways to Strengthen Your Bones
You may have heard about popular bone-building medications like Fosamax, Boniva and Atelvia, and you may have figured that, because they're prescribed to many women with osteoporosis (your mom, your aunt, some of your coworkers), they'll be your back-up plan should you, too, have problems with your bones. But while these bisphosphonates have been shown to be effective in reducing fractures in women with osteoporosis, they've also been connected to abnormal fractures in the femur as well as a rare disease in the jaw bone. In response to concern of the long-term safety of bisphosphonates, the F.D.A. recently issued a staff report, and asked two panels to review the drugs and make recommendations. The takeaway is that because these oral medications can be stored in the bones, the F.D.A. said that women can safely stop taking them after five years--and in fact, it might not be a bad idea to do so.
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Strong, dense bones
Photo: ThinkstockMichelin-starred San Francisco chef Mourad Lahlou, author of the forthcoming cookbook Mourad: New Moroccan, adheres only slightly to tradition when making North African food, and that includes his baba ghanoush. Most recipes suggest baking the eggplant first, but Lahlou chars it instead-and, even more unorthodoxly, he chars the flesh, not the skin, which eliminates all bitterness and gives it a sweeter flavor.
It's a technique that works for leeks, fennel and beets too. Though bitterness isn't usually an issue with those vegetables, they still get a huge flavor boost. To do it, make sure you turn the fan over your stove to high; in this case, there isn't much distinction between charring and burning, so be prepared for a strong smell. Set a large, dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Let it warm up for about five minutes; then char the eggplantRead More »from How to Char Vegetables Like a Pro
Photo: ThinkstockBy Amy ShearnRead More »from How to Savor Your Day Like Your Kids Do
I used to work in Times Square, and I could always gauge how my day would go by my reaction to the swarms of tourists. Many mornings I stalked through the crowds like an ambulatory frown. Other mornings I'd emerge from the subway grinning, happy to help a lost tour group from Sheboygan, feeling as if just walking near a spunky pair of elderly travelers holding an upside map could make me see the city, the day, the world, with fresh eyes. Can you guess which days turned out better?
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I was reminded of this when I first saw the below video, which has been all over the Internet for the past few days. In it a little boy and his sister are watching "The Empire Strikes Back" for the first time. When they get to that famous, so-familiar-it's-hard-to-imagine-it-ever-seeming-new "Luke, I am your father" scene, the boy flips out. The look on his face is absolutely amazing. It's a throwback to the world before leaked spoiler alerts; a reminder
- Oprah.com | Work + Money – Wed, Oct 12, 2011 9:24 PM EDT
Photo: Getty ImagesBest MealRead More »from "Curb Your Enthusiam's" Cheryl Hines 7 Favorite Indulgences
Lobster, a margarita on the rocks, and red velvet cake. Preferably on the beach.
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I just learned how to scuba dive. I'd been scared to rely on one little air hose for oxygen, but swimming with all those fish is exhilarating.
Best Spontaneous Decision
While visiting Costa Rica, I was inspired to hear that someone had donated a playground to a local school. So when I returned to L.A., one day I just called the principal of a nearby elementary school and asked what I could do. Five years later, I've helped make over nine schools, repainting, renovating, and fixing up playgrounds.
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Best Recent Read
Nick Hornby's hilarious novel How to Be Good, which is about a woman whose angry husband tries to become a better person. I really admire Hornby's work, so when I was in London four years ago, I tracked him down and boldly asked if he'd like to get coffee-and he said yes. Now we're friends.
Photo: HovdingBy Corrie PikulRead More »from An Airbag for Cyclists
A few years ago, my husband rediscovered his old bike and started showing up at places looking tousled, flushed and exhilarated. His enthusiasm convinced me to import my own bike to our city, and soon I started showing up places looking tousled and flushed, period. I've dreamed of an invisible helmet that would protect my head without messing up my hair.
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Two Swedish industrial designers had the same dream, but theirs was way more radical. They conceived of a helmet like a car air bag that would be triggered by sensors to inflate during a crash. When not in use (which, if you're lucky, would be pretty much all the time), the helmet would zip into a stylish waterproof collar worn around the neck. (Check out collar styles, read more about how this works and see a crash-test video of the helmet in action by going to the designer's website.) After more than six years of planning and tweaking, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin have
Photo: ThinkstockBy Amy SheamRead More »from Love, Loss and G-chats
It is a strange side effect of today's constant streams of texts, tweets, and G-chats that we are now survived by our daily conversations. It's a phenomena Rebecca Armendariz understands all too well: as she wrote about inGood, she often searches her own Gmail account to reread her chats with Clark, her former boyfriend.
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This young couple hadn't even been together a year when Clark was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and given a bleak prognosis of 4-14 months to live. About a year later, he was dead at 33. As Armendariz writes, "My Gmail is a priceless hoard of us making plans, telling inside jokes... This is a history of our relationship that we didn't intend to write, one that runs parallel to the one authored by his uncontainable illness." (If you're not already misty, the last line of the essay is a total heart-breaker. )
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It's not the eloquence of the exchanges that
Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul
Let's disregard the fashion statement you're making by wearing an old, stretched-out shirt. The most important reason to leave this beloved tee at home is that cotton absorbs sweat and doesn't quickly release it through evaporation. Wearing heavy, wet cotton against your skin can give you the chills and cause irritation. Opt for technologically advanced fabrics that hold moisture away from the body, like CoolMax, Capilene or Dri-FIT. If you aren't comfortable in the clingy fit of these stretchy fabrics, this Reebok double-layer top offers two shirts in one. A supportive tank made of Play Dry wicking fabric is covered by a looser cotton tee with flattering ruching on the sleeves.Photo: ThinkstockUntested Tanks
Your tank top may look modest when you're standing up, but it becomes X-rated as soon as you bend over to do push-ups. To avoid flashing everyone at the gym, check your top view from a variety ofRead More »from 3 Things Not to Wear to the Gym
- Oprah.com | Work + Money – Mon, Oct 10, 2011 8:29 PM EDT
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio DBy Christa Martin
Design*Sponge, the charmingly quirky home decorating site launched in 2004 by Grace Bonney, attracts more than one million page views each month-and among its many step-by-step tutorials are projects simple enough for anyone to master. Now the blog's singular style inspiration can also be found in Design*Sponge at Home, a compendium of all-new homemaking hints-which Bonney has in droves ("To make a small space seem larger, getting things off the floor is key"; "Leftover fabric makes a great placemat!"). The book is also full of creative furnishing ideas-like this sweet, functional, and endlessly customizable storage bench (completed version pictured above).
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Rolling Storage Bench
Cost: Around $40
Time: One hour plus
What you need:
- Wooden box (similar styles can be found at flea markets and thrift stores)
- Four rolling casters
- Mounting screws
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Fabric (three inches larger
Photo: Courtesy of Steve CaseyBy Leslie GoldmanRead More »from A New Kind of Food Truck Hits The Streets
In 2006 a local study labeled Steve Casey's Chicago neighborhood a food desert-a term used to describe areas that lack affordable fresh produce (but are usually awash in burger wrappers and French-fry containers). "The scent of fried food is so thick here, you can smell it with the windows closed," Casey says. "There's not a vegetable in sight." Among other things, food desert residents-there are nearly 400,000 in Chicago alone-have a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
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But Casey, 45, a grant administrator and father of two young boys, had an idea. With a few other local activists, he raised $40,000 from investors and used it to gut an old municipal bus (purchased from the city for $1). He christened his new wheels Fresh Moves Mobile Produce Market. "My goal is to be like the ice cream man, but with fruits and vegetables," Casey says. "We want people to get as excited about grapes in January as they are about