Blog Posts by SHAPE Magazine

  • Get-Fit Tricks from Winter Olympians

    By Marissa Stephenson,

    Tune in to the Winter Olympics and you'll see athletes performing triple salchows, doing backflips on the half-pipe, and charging down the mountain at mind-boggling speeds. Even if you have no plans to pull off such awe-inspiring feats yourself, these medal contenders still have a lot of helpful advice for achieving your personal best. Follow their strategies and you'll be golden.

    For more on these athletes, including video, photos, and a full schedule of their events, go to

    Lindsey VonnLindsey VonnThe "it" girl

    Last season Lindsey nabbed her second consecutive overall World Cup championship and became the winningest female American skier in history. The gold-medal favorite in four Alpine events, she credits her best friends with keeping her motivated; "They wear 'Vonntourage' sweatshirts at my races and work out with me to make training fun."

    ON STAYING COOL UNDER PRESSURE "Before a race, I play a

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  • Cooking with Fresh Pumpkin

    Pumpkins aren't just for pie--or decoration--this season. If you're still housing that pumpkin from Halloween and aren't sure what to do with it, consider cooking it--as long as it's still fresh (pumpkins stay fresh at room temperature for about a month). One caveat: Don't use a Jack O'Lantern that you've burned a candle in. This fruit (surprise, it's not a vegetable) is packed with vitamin A and fiber--not to mention, low in calories. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


    You can make rich seasonal pumpkin soup without buying a can of puree. You'll need to create your own though. Start by slicing the pumpkin in half and scraping out the seeds (save them for roasting). Lay the pieces on wax paper and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Once the pumpkin has cooled, scrap the pulp out and puree in a food processor or blender. Try our hearty curried pumpkin soup recipe. With only 120 calories and 2 grams of fat per cup, this dish will fill you up, not out.

    Roasted Seeds

    The seeds

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  • Giada De Laurentiis' Recipe for a Happy Life

    With her flawless skin, bright smile, and nonstop energy, Giada De Laurentiis looks and acts more like a woman in her mid-20s than someone just shy of 40. "I can't believe it myself," says the host of Giada at Home. "I think we all look in the mirror and see that 25-year-old. But as long as you're eating well and moving your body every day, age is just a state of mind.

    The TV chef has put together her recipe for a healthy body and balanced life--at any age.

    Start with a dash of passion

    Despite coming from a Hollywood dynasty (her grandfather is producer Dino De Laurentiis and her grandmother was an Italian film star), Giada never had the urge to follow in her family's footsteps. "The movie business isn't my thing," she says. "I knew when I was 12 that I wanted to do something with food-I just didn't know what." Giada credits her grandfather's love of food as inspiration, but it was her mother and Aunt Raffy who taught her how to cook. "I learned tradition from my grandfather, who

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  • Fall Fashion Trends

    Fashion trends change so quickly it's difficult to stay on top of what's in and what's out. Here's a roundup of fall's most popular (and wearable) styles, plus inexpensive ways you can replicate them at home.

    Fall Trend: Big Shoulders
    Jackets with full-bodied shoulders peaked on the Fall 2009 runways with French designer Balmain leading the way. Edgy blazers are a versatile item to have; you can wear them with anything from classic trousers to designer jeans or even a cocktail dress.

    Affordable alternative: Try sewing in shoulder pads to the inside of an existing blazer that you don't wear, or head to the craft store and pick up an appliqué that you can attach to the outside of the fabric.

    Fall Trend: Over-the-Knee Boots
    We all think of Pretty Woman when we see thigh-high boots, but these risqué shoes are a huge trend for the season. Are they practical for the everyday woman running around town? No way! The boot bears a hefty price tag--and an even higher

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  • What You Need to Know About the H1N1 (Swine) Flu Virus

    As if flu season weren't scary enough (spending two weeks in bed is hardly worth the sick days), this year, the H1N1 virus (otherwise known as swine flu) is back in full force. While vaccines are available, priority is being given to those groups most at risk, particularly pregnant women, young children and people with chronic illnesses. Try to live a healthy life while waiting for your shot? Unfortunately, there's no foolproof way to avoid coming in contact with the virus (a recent study out of Purdue University even predicted that 63 percent of the population would become infected), but you can up your chances of avoiding infection by following these health tips:

    Swine Flu Prevention Tip #1: Access your risk
    Anyone can get sick, but your chances are higher if you fall into one of the three previously mentioned categories, and/or if you work as a teacher or in medicine.

    You can catch H1N1 anywhere, but be extra careful in "hot zones" like the waiting room at your

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  • 4 Smart Eating Strategies

    A former champion bodybuilder, Rich Barretta has helped sculpt the bodies of celebs like Naomi Watts, Pierce Brosnan and Naomi Campbell. At Rich Barretta Private Training New York City, he offers personalized programs, including target-training methods and nutritional guidance. Barretta shares the four healthy-eating rules his clients swear by, which you can easily adopt.

    1. Cut back on booze
    If drinking is a big part of your social life, your waistline may suffer. Not only is alcohol loaded with carbs and empty calories, but people tend to make bad food choices when they're buzzed. A couple sugary cocktails can easily add up to a thousand calories (half of the average person's daily need), so Barretta advises avoiding alcohol altogether. If you are going to indulge, opt for a glass of wine or slim down your drink with smart swaps like trading tonic for club soda.

    2. Just say "no" to fried food
    "Grill it, bake it, broil it, steam it, just don't fry it," says

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  • Lose Weight Without Dieting!

    It may sound too good to be true, but you can trick yourself into eating less. Drop pounds effortlessly with these five stay-slim strategies.

    "The amount of food on a plate-whether it's one helping or four-is what most people consider a 'normal' serving," says Jim Painter, Ph.D., R.D., a food psychologist at Eastern Illinois University. His recommendation: Downsize your dishes. "If you have a visual cue that tells you to stop before you get stuffed, you'll eat less but feel just as satisfied."

    You may want to record the latest episode of CSI or 24 so you can watch it after you finish dinner. "TV shows that feature murders or medical emergencies tend to remind us of our own mortality," says Dirk Smeesters, Ph.D., an associate professor of marketing at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. "On a subconscious level, this can make some people feel a little depressed or upset-which can then trigger them to eat more food than

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  • Smooth, Sexy Arms

    Don't let keratosis pilaris (KP) keep you from feeling confident in your own skin. While this condition, marked by tiny bumps on the backs of your upper arms, can be tough to wipe out, there are several easy ways to reduce the appearance of flareups. For advice, we turned to Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a dermatologist in Boston.

    The Basic Facts
    KP is caused by a buildup of keratin (a protein that's also found in hair and nails) on the skin. Instead of sloughing off, the keratin collects in the openings of hair follicles. This creates patches of red or fleshcolored bumps that give your arms a sandpapery texture.

    What to Look For

    *A family history
    This condition is genetic, so if one of your parents has it, chances are, you'll get it too.

    *High stress levels
    If you're genetically predisposed to the condition, severe bouts of anxiety can trigger it.

    KP often occurs or worsens when you're expecting. (Doctors aren't 100 percent sure why, but it's

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  • Spice Up Your Workout

    S Factor Workout

    If you're looking for a fun, sexy workout that unleashes your inner vixen, S Factor is the class for you. The workout tones your entire body with a combination of ballet, yoga, Pilates and pole dancing. It's the brainchild of actress Sheila Kelley, who discovered the physical benefits of striptease and pole dancing while preparing for a role as an exotic dancer. Not only did the training change her body, but also made her feel more confident and sensual.

    "My inspiration was the S shape of the female body," says Sheila. "I wanted to give women the power of their sexuality and bodies back."

    I decided to give the workout a try and attended a 90-minute intro class taught by Sheila at her New York City studio. I must admit I didn't know what to expect and was a little apprehensive about getting in touch with my sensual side in a room full of strangers. However, Sheila made me feel comfortable with her infectious excitement and encouraging attitude.

    The intimate classroom is

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  • How Jenna Fischer Got Fit without a Trainer

    Jenna Fischer, the star of The Office reveals in the November issue of Shape, how she stays slim and healthy…and still maintains her sense of humor.

    She may be an Emmy-nominated actress for her role on The Office but talk to her for a few minutes and it's clear just how like the rest of us she really is.

    It was her can-do attitude that convinced Jenna to move to Los Angeles 12 years ago with nothing but her cat, Andy, and her 85-words-a-minute typing skills. For seven years, she worked various temp jobs while waiting for her big break. These days, despite her fame and bigger paycheck, Jenna works hard to stay grounded-and healthy. The actress talked with Shape about how she does it and offered our readers an inside look at exactly which gym-moves are her favorites.

    Take this job and love it!
    On The Office, Jenna plays Pam, the receptionist. It's a profession she got pretty familiar with while working as an executive assistant before landing her role on the show.

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