by Diana Kelly for SHAPE.com
Nosh on one of these foods before a big date, and you'll be energized, confident, and anxiety-free!You want to look as fabulous as possible for every date, even if it's with your husband and especially on a first date. And all that time you focus on putting together the right outfit, doing your hair and makeup, and calling your friends for a second (or third…or fourth) opinion could leave you with little time to think about what you're eating.
Instead of reaching for anything-or worse, nothing-snack on foods that will help you shine tonight by flattening your stomach, boosting your energy, and eliminating every bit of anxiety. Go get him, girl.
RELATED: The Better-Sex Diet
1. Dark chocolate: While regular consumption of dark chocolate can reduce levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and catecholamines (amino acids that trigger the "fight-or-flight" reaction), having a treat also immediately slashes anxiety, according to a study in the journal Nutrients. Chocolate may increase serotonin, the feel-happy neurotransmitter in the brain, says Kristin
Blog Posts by SHAPE magazine
by Diana Kelly for SHAPE.comRead More »from 8 Foods to Eat Before a First Date
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from 3 Healthy Boozy Recipes
Forget happy hour and use your poison of choice to create a meal that will leave you feeling energized, not hungover!
Red wine oxtail ragu1. Red wine oxtail ragu with parpardalle
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds oxtail, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely diced
3 celery stalks, finely diced
3 bay leaves
5 thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) organic diced tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine (such as Las Rocas Garnacha)
1 package (16 ounces) pappardelle noodles
Fresh basil (optional)
1. Add olive oil to a large stockpot over medium heat. Season oxtail with sea salt and place in the pot. Cook about 15 minutes until browned. Remove and set aside.
2. Add onion to the pot, reduce heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic. Cook for another 15 minutes until vegetables are soft and fragrant. Add tomatoes and red wine and raise
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Apr 25, 2013 3:40 PM EDT
by Ashley Ross for SHAPE.comRead More »from Would Adding Exercise Times to Menus Make You Order Healthier?
Will this help you make better choices?Seeing that a quarter-pound double cheeseburger clocks in at 520 calories may make you stop and think before you order it, but seeing that it would take you about 2 hours to briskly walk off your lunch may make you switch to a lighter option, according to new research.
In a Texas Christian University study, 300 men and women looked at one of three menus. Each had the same items, but one group saw a basic menu, the second received a menu with calorie labels, and the last looked a menu with labels for how many minutes of brisk walking it would take to burn off each item.
While there was no difference in the number of calories ordered or consumed between the first two groups, those who saw the sweat times ordered 139 fewer calories and consumed 97 fewer calories, CNN reported.
RELATED: 12 Salads Worse Than a Big Mac
"This study suggests there are benefits to displaying exercise minutes to a group of young men and women," lead study author Meena Shah, Ph.D.
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from California Declares BPA a Reproductive Hazard
Will California require BPA-containing products to have warning labels?The state of California recently admitted what many consumers and health and nutrition experts have been speculating for years: Canned food chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is toxic and may cause health problems. After officially adding the chemical to its Prop 65 list-a list of substances that are known carcinogens or endocrine-disruptors-the state will now require warning labels to be posted on products that contain high levels of BPA sold in California.
"This decision is a step in the right direction," says SHAPE Diet Doctor Mike Roussell, Ph.D., author of The Six Pillars of Nutrition. "I think this is good validation that these endocrine-disrupting chemicals have real effects on our bodies. I hope this will be the first of several similar decisions."
What is bisphenol A?
BPA is what's known as an "everywhere chemical" because it shows up in seemingly innocent items you use every day, such as canned foods, plastic water bottles, pacifiers, and teethers. BPA
- SHAPE magazine | Healthy Living – Tue, Apr 23, 2013 9:45 AM EDT
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from JEAH! Ryan Lochte Got His Own Show, and It's Exactly What You're Thinking
Olympic swimmer Ryan LochteYou guys. YOU GUYS. The much-hyped premiere of 28-year-old Olympic swimmer extraordinaire and lovable labradoodle Ryan Lochte (a.k.a. Reezy)'s reality TV show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, was on Sunday, and it was basically everything you thought it'd be and more.
In case you were dying to know what Lochte does (WHAT DOES HE DO, YOU GUYS?), I can tell you because I watched the show: essentially, nothing. You probably think I'm joking. I am not. I watched the show for 30 minutes, and then I watched a recap online, and then for good measure I read two reviews, and I'm still not entirely sure what I saw or what it is that makes Lochte tick. Most importantly, I'm not entirely sure Lochte knows what it is that makes Lochte tick.
I'm serious: When asked by one of the crew members what makes up the "Lochte edge" that he's always blathering on about, Ryan stared at him in wide-eyed stunned silence for 10 seconds and then said, "You know...I honestly have no
by Valerie Berkowitz R.D., for SHAPE.comRead More »from Is This the Cause of All Your Health Woes?
Could this be causing all your health problems?Many women are unfortunately familiar with fatigue, recurring sinus infections, irritability, and a stuck scale. You may blame it on anxiety, allergies, stress, or bad genes-but it could be something else.
Candida albicans-tiny yeast organisms like fungi and mold-may seem harmless, but yeast overgrowth (YO) packs a powerful punch and is responsible for issues that affect almost every body system. While vaginal infections are readily ID'ed, when yeast is prevalent on the skin or in gut and mouth flora and the symptoms are more general, it is not as easily diagnosed. After all, how often do you feel moody or depressed, lack focus, or suffer from headaches, post-nasal drip, rashes, or eczema that won't seem to go away?
It's not totally your fault: The environment we live in creates a breeding ground for yeast overgrowth. A weakened immune system due to the overuse or misuse of antibiotics, steroids, and antibacterial soap; use of birth control
by Cristina Goyanes for SHAPE.comRead More »from How Much Plastic Are You Eating?
Are you eating too much plastic?You already know that microwaving your leftover chicken stir-fry in its plastic container is a major no-no, but that's not the only way to end up with a mouthful of chemicals.
An alarming new report from the University of Texas Health Science Center and the U.S. government suggests that most popular supermarket foods-including dairy, meats, condiments, drinks, and pizza-may be contaminated with a variety of plastic chemicals called phthalates. These chemicals are commonly used as plasticizers (what makes plastics soft, rubbery, and less breakable) in items such as fragranced shampoos, detergents, cleaners, lotions, and shower curtains. But now researchers are saying that some small amounts of the stuff may be traceable in your favorite packaged foods too.
"When phthalates get added to plastics, they don't fuse into a new atom, so they stay separated, which means they can leak out and get picked up through the air, skin, water; they're everywhere and
by Jay Cardiello for SHAPE.comRead More »from The 5-Minute, Get-Your-Body-Back Workout
This simple, effective workout will give your metabolism a boostIf you've been dreaming of a past body--you know, the one you had before you gained that college weight, got married, had a few kids, or discovered chili-spiked chocolate--wake up and face reality: You can reunite with your former physique. All you need is this simple, effective workout that will give your metabolism a kick in the butt and help firm up yours.
How It Works: For each exercise, perform as many repetitions as possible in 60 seconds. Do not rest between moves.
You'll Need: A 3- to 5-pound dumbbell (or you can alternate between using a towel or heavy shoe or boot).
1. Row Kickbacks: Holding the dumbbell in your right hand, come into a pushup position. Keeping abs and gluteus region tight, in one explosive movement, simultaneously row right arm up toward chest, driving elbow past your back, while raising left leg to parallel with the floor. Pause for 1 second, retract, and repeat. Perform for 30 seconds before repeating with left hand and right
by SHAPE editorsRead More »from 5 Natural Ways to Feel No Pain
Cure any exercise-related ill with these natural remediesHas an exercise-related affliction halted your sweat sessions? These remedies will have you on the mend...without meds!
The problem: Back pain
The Fix: Yoga
Activities like running, cycling, and golf put pressure on the spine, which can exacerbate backaches. For relief, hit the mat: In a recent study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, 60 percent of people who practiced yoga for 75 minutes weekly reported less lower-back pain after three months. Get the benefits at home with a DVD like Yoga Tune Up Quickfix Rx: Upper & Lower Body ($30; yogatuneup.com).
The problem: Muscle cramps
The Fix: A New Breakfast
Dehydration often causes charley horses and side stitches, but poor circulation and a slow digestive system are culprits too. To prevent spasms, top cereal with a teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, and half a cup of lowfat milk, advises Susan Kleiner, a SHAPE advisory board member.
"Cinnamon opens blood vessels, flaxseed moves food through
by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.comRead More »from Is PMS Bad for You?
Is PMS a bad sign?Cramping, cravings, and exhaustion tend to be expected by women before Aunt Flo's visit, but more and more experts agree that these symptoms aren't normal. In fact, some think that what passes for PMS may be a hint that something's off in your body.
"We often joke about it," says women's health specialist Alisa Vitti, author of WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Life, and Become a Power Source. "We chalk it up as part of 'being a woman,' but the reality is that PMS is really a sign of an imbalance between your levels of progesterone and estrogen."
Your Monthly Cycle, Explained
Your menstrual cycle is divided into phases: The first is your actual menstruation. On the first day of your period, your estrogen and progesterone start at rock-bottom levels and rise steadily, which can boost your brain's production of serotonin. Surprisingly, you may find yourself feeling more upbeat, productive, and social than you do