Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • 5 Wines for Every Summer Occasion

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Umbrella cocktails are fun, but nothing beats a great bottle of wine for a refreshing way to toast your health and all the fun you're having this summer!

    Wine educator and sommelier Paul Cappiali of VERO Restaurant & Wine Bar in NYC gave us his top wine picks to pair with scrumptious SELF recipes for every summer occasion. Cheers!

    1. A lazy Sunday afternoon picnic.
    Whip up a batch of Sheryl Crow's Roasted-Potato Salad With Sweet Corn and Cider Vinegar, grab a big blanket, and off you go!

    Related: Shed Pounds Without Starving!

    Pair it with ... Langlois-Chateau Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc), Loire Valley, France. Cappiali says: The freshness of this Sauvignon Blanc works beautifully with picnic food like roasted potato salad and the higher acidity and minerality of this wine will complement the cider vinegar dressing. Price: about $20.

    2. A HOT, HOT night.

    Can't bear to get near your stove or even the grill? Chill out with

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  • How to Pick the Healthiest Cereal

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Cereal is a great option for breakfast or even for a snack, but choosing the right one on crowded supermarket shelves can be confusing. One box could be a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals while the one next to it could be a sugar and calorie bomb.

    Whether you like your cereal hot, cold, sweetened or unsweetened, take my guidelines on your next grocery trip to ensure you make the best choice.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    Unsweetened cereal
    is a great healthy option because you avoid added sugars; however, some still rank better than others on the nutritional scale. SELF's Healthy Food Award guidelines make it easy to find your best bets. Look for an unsweetened cereal that meets these recommendations per 1/2 cup serving:

    - 130 calories or less
    - No sugar/sweeteners added (1 g or less sugar)
    - At least 3 g fiber
    - No more than 250 mg sodium per cup
    - Whole grain is the first ingredient.

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  • The Healthiest Dressing for Your Salad

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    You might think you're doing your body a favor by going for fat-free salad dressing, but according to a new study, your heart will thank you for a little fat with those veggies!

    The study, from Purdue University, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, compared the benefits of eating salads along with saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat-based dressings.

    Wait -- no fat-free dressing? That's right. Mario Ferruzzi, the study's lead author and a Purdue associate professor of food science, explains to HealthySELF that it's important to eat some fat along with your veggies so that your body can more efficiently absorb the carotenoids in the vegetables. Carotenoids are compounds such as lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene, which may help protect you from many chronic and degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

    This study, Ferruzzi explains, was designed to figure out which type of fat --

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  • Top 5 Workout Excuses (And How to Beat 'Em)

    Dana Meltzer Zepeda, SELF magazine

    Full disclosure: There's a very good reason why somebody coined the phrase "lazy days of summer." No matter how dedicated I am to working out the rest of the year, once the sun emerges, hitting the beach becomes infinitely more appealing than hitting the gym.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    So what's a girl to do? There's no reason to sacrifice beach BBQs or sunbathing (wearing SPF!) with your girlfriends, but lounging by the surf doesn't necessarily mean you need to ditch your fitness goals. We recently caught up with celebrity trainer Manning Sumner (that's him, above) to score his top tips to overcome summer's most common workout pitfalls.

    The Excuse:
    "I Sweat While I Tan-- That Counts, Right?"
    Trainer Tip:
    "A very bizarre but common excuse I hear all of the time is women aren't going to work out because they are going to the beach to work on their tan," says Sumner. "Tanning is not exercise! A lot of women think that, because they

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  • 5 Sexy Beach Reads Beyond 50 Shades of Grey

    Photo: Courtesy of amazon.comPhoto: Courtesy of amazon.comApril Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    Along with sunscreen and a cute cover-up, a saucy, sexy book is beach bag must-have! If you've already polished off the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, here are more sizzling reads to enjoy in the shade of your umbrella.

    First, we asked Jessica Donaghy, the features editor of Goodreads, a social networking site for readers and book recommendations, to give us some of her top beach read picks. She says the following juicy reads are the books that Goodreads members are giving the highest ratings and sharing the most on Facebook:

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    1. Bared to You, by Sylvia Day: Originally self-published in April of 2012, Bared to You was recently picked up by Penguin's Berkley Books and is one of the top rated books from Goodreads users on Facebook in 2012. "This erotic romance about a wealthy man and his young paramour is enjoying mainstream success, piggybacking on the 50 Shades of Grey juggernaut," says Donaghy, who adds that Goodreads

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  • Calorie-Blasting Beach Workouts

    Amanda MacMillan, SELF magazine

    Celebrate your independence from the gym tomorrow, and get outdoors for some fresh air! Headed to the beach? You're in luck, says Katie Riley, a San Diego-based personal trainer and Spin instructor at Evolve Health and Fitness: Many of the fun-in-the-sun activities you'd probably be doing anyway are excellent calorie burners, since they're use the natural resistance of the sand or the surf to make your body work harder. (But don't worry--you'll be having so much fun you won't even notice!)

    We asked Riley to give us her favorite beachside calorie blasters, and her tips for turning each into a stealth workout. Try any of these activities for just half an hour and you'll burn enough to enjoy tomorrow night's cookout guilt-free--with plenty of time left to kick back with a good book and relax.

    *Calorie estimates based on a 135-pound woman and 30 minutes of activity.

    Beach volleyball: 245 calories

    Just by playing on sand, you're already

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  • The High-Heel Workout

    Dana Meltzer Zepeda, SELF magazine

    She's got legs and she knows how to use them! High heels may go hand-in-hand with flirty sundresses but, if you aren't careful, your favorite stilettos could wind up weakening your lower back, knees and ankles.

    Related: Yoga Moves for Flat Abs

    "If you wear heels, the body is forced into a position that can shrink your calves and thicken your Achilles tendon," says L.A. Pilates instructor Thalia Thomas, who has trained Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie and Kylie Minogue at Studio Soma in West Hollywood. "It's important to strengthen your legs so your joints have support when being taxed by heels."

    But, rest assured, you don't have to retire your favorite pair of Jimmy Choos anytime soon. "Women should work on strengthening their quads and hamstrings since building muscle in your leg will strengthen the feet so one can support the pressure the heels have on the foot."

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Of course, there's also the

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  • Low-Fat Vs. Low-Carb Diets

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    As much as we tout healthy eating, many women still flock to the latest fad diet. But according to a new study, the best diet is neither low-fat nor low-carb...

    The study from Boston Children's Hospital, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared a low-fat diet, a very low-carb diet and a low-glycemic index diet (a diet that emphasizes complex carbs that are digested slowly), and found that a low-glycemic index diet may be your best bet.

    First, participants were fed a standard diet so they'd lose 10-15 percent of their initial body weight. Then, they were fed the three different diets in random order for four weeks each in order to measure how different diets affect metabolism following substantial weight loss.

    Related: Shed Pounds Without Starving!

    "Both the low-glycemic index diet and the very low carbohydrate diet were designed to prevent surges in blood glucose after a meal," Cara Ebbeling,

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  • 5 Slimming Smoothies

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    The word "smoothie" might sound healthier than "milkshake," but quite often, these seemingly good-for-you drinks are jam-packed with fat and calories. Here are five recipes for smoothies that will satisfy your summertime sweet tooth -- and get you back in your short shorts!

    "Think twice before choosing a smoothie from a juice bar or a smoothie shop," Laura Cipullo, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, tells HealthySELF. "Many smoothies contain multiple fruits, fruit 'juices' that are not 100 percent juice, sugar and some type of non-nutritious caloric base."

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Not all smoothies are created equal. "Adding sugar or frozen yogurt, straining seeds -- which eliminates fiber -- and super-sizing the portions all make for a slippery slope," Cipullo says, explaining that smoothies high in carbohydrates, especially in the form of simple sugars, are not truly filling and can cause reactive

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  • Why You're Not Too Young to Plan for Retirement

    April Daniels Hussar, SELF magazine

    With summer fun, beaches and pedicures to think about, saving for retirement is probably the last thing on your mind. Winter seems far away, let alone your 65th birthday, right? But no matter how young you are, it's never too soon to start planning ahead.

    According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 26 percent of workers are now "very confident" that they will have enough money to pay for basic expenses during retirement, and a recent ING study found that women -- especially those who are single, divorced, widowed or raising children -- are alarmingly less prepared for retirement than men.

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    Avani Ramnani, certified financial planner and Director of Financial Planning at Francis Financial, Inc. in NYC, tells HealthySELF that most young women are not thinking about retirement, but they should be. "A recent study by Oppenheimer Funds and Third Millennium found

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