Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • Is There Any Point in Dieting in December?

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Like most American women, we're planning to start our New Year's Resolutions on January 1. But there is a small part of us that likes the idea of getting a jump on it -- and beginning our diet ASAP, pre-2011.

    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    However, after talking to diet and nutrition experts, it's clear that we're better off spending the next few weeks trying not to gain weight rather than attempting to lose a few pounds. With temptation all around us (hello, holiday cookies!), we'd just be setting ourselves up for frustration, which makes us less likely to have the motivation to meet our goals.

    If you're on board with our holiday maintenance plan, check out these tips from a few very smart diet and nutrition gurus.
    "It's never a good idea to allow oneself to eat with abandon in this land of abundance," says registered dietician Mary Hartley, director of nutrition for Calorie Count. "In fact, people who maintain healthy weights

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  • The No. 1 Way You're Bringing Germs Into the House

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    You know those vacuums that let you see everything that gets sucked up? We recently tried one in our house, and we were totally disgusted! So much grime, most of which is tracked in on people's shoes.

    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    In some parts of the world -- mostly in Asia and the Middle East -- it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a home. In the United States, it is also becoming more commonplace, according to Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies.

    Turns out, from a healthy standpoint, this is a really smart move.

    According to a study by Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and professor at University of Arizona and The Rockport Company, shoes average 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside and 2,887 on the inside.

    Related: How to look younger in one month

    Some of the bacteria include E. coli, which can cause intestinal and urinary infections, meningitis and diarrhea; Kiebisiella pneumonia, a common source for

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  • Why Your Relationship May Be Doomed to End This Weekend

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Is your relationship destined to die this weekend? Facebook says yes!

    Related: See how to cook once and eat healthy all week

    Strange (but true?) news: The biggest peak in break-ups happens this Saturday, exactly two weeks before Christmas. That's according to a wacky new analysis by writer David McCandless, who examined 10,000 Facebook status updates for break-up trends (um, how can we get a job "analyzing" Facebook updates?).

    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    We're not sure we totally buy this stat, but it does make sense that the holidays are prime time for relationship strife. With all of the hectic gift-buying, party-going and family gatherings, we're all crazy stressed, and who has the time to nourish a relationship amid the frenzy?

    Luckily, we're here to help. Learn how to safeguard your love bond, during "break-up season" or anytime, with these smart tips:

    • Crank up your chemistry (get spicy tips here).
    • Bond through
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  • How to Have Fun -- and Keep Your Job -- at the Office Holiday Party

    By Jenny Everett, SELF Magazine

    Getting hammered at the office holiday party is clearly a bad idea since, technically, the bash is an extension of your job. That said, we've all known people who've had unprofessional moments at office shindigs -- and some of us have even been there ourselves (it involved Jagerbombs and a promotion plea).

    Related: How to look divine from behind

    So how do you relax and have fun without risking your rep, and maybe even make some valuable new connections along the way? We spoke to experts to find out.

    Start the Night With a Mocktail
    "The worst thing you can do is attend a party without a plan," says New York City personal trainer Jenny Skoog. "My advice is to have a healthy snack pre-party, order a sparkling water (add a splash of cranberry and a lime wedge and no one will know the difference!), and take in the scene." Then move on to the bar. Throughout the night, follow up each cocktail with a glass of sparkling water.

    Mingle, Mingle, Mingle
    Don't

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  • 5 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    The holidays are supposed to be more cheery than teary, but sometimes, we feel more blah than fa-la-la.

    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    We can blame some of the blues on stress. According to a survey by Sleepbetter.org, 26 percent of women say they expect to lose sleep over the coming weeks due to holiday stress, and 42 percent of women are worried about holiday expenses.

    But it's also a result of less natural sunlight (which can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder), family craziness (any issues are magnified around the holidays) and even poor eating and exercise habits, which can affect mood.

    Related: How to look younger in one month


    Follow these tips to kick your Bah Humbug attitude to the curb, and get in the holiday spirit.

    Get a massage
    A recent study from Cedars Sinai Medical Canter showed that just one massage session reduces heart rate and blood pressure and increases endorphins. For an affordable rub-down, check to see if

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  • Processed Foods: How Far Do We Need to go to Avoid Them?

    By Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, SELF magazine

    Q. I am trying to reduce the amount of processed foods in my diet, and I recently learned that soy milk is a processed food, which leads me to wonder whether cow's milk and other dairy products are also considered "processed"? Would I be better off taking a supplement to get my vitamin D and calcium?


    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    A. It's true that soybeans are cooked and pressed to make plain soy milk. Commercially available cow's milk is skimmed, homogenized, and pasteurized. So, both are "processed." However, either one would be considerably less processed than a vitamin supplement, don't you think?

    I think the movement away from processed foods is a great idea! But if avoiding "processed" foods means that you need to take a vitamin supplement to supply missing nutrients, I think we may have missed the point of the exercise!

    How do you define processing?


    Think of processing as a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum,

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  • Burn 150 Calories an Hour With Our Holiday Shopping Workout!

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    Holiday shopping is actually quite physical -- you're carrying heavy stuff, walking a lot, darting from store to store trying to get everything you need before closing time.

    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    In fact, you can burn more than 150 calories as you finish off your list! No wonder we find ourselves wiping sweat from our brow in J. Crew.

    According to New York City personal trainer Jenny Skoog, you can also strengthen and tone your muscles on your next shopping expedition. Here are some of her great tips for turning mall-walking into a total body workout:

    Related: 34 De-stressing Snacks for Weight Loss

    1. Park in the very last spot.
    Leave your coat in the car, and you'll sprint into the store because you're so cold!

    2. Get an ab workout while you pay.
    While the clerk is ringing you up, engage your abs as though someone is about to punch you in the stomach. Alternate lifting your left and right foot off the ground for 30

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  • Eat Like A Star: Fran Drescher

    By Ashley Mateo, SELF magazine

    Want to look like a star? Have what they're having! Every Tuesday, we'll tell you what healthy breakfast helps our favorite stars kick off their day. This week, we talked to Fran Drescher!


    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    On November 26th, Drescher premiered a brand-new weekday talk show that "cover[s] all of her passions, everything from pedicures to politics." Her three-week trial could turn into a national talk show on FOX in the fall. Something else she loves: making sure she eats a healthy breakfast before kicking off the show.


    "I have to get myself enough fuel to tape two shows a day, but can't get weighed down with heavy foods before I step on stage. I do my best to keep my breakfast simple and organic. I get the energy I need with a bagel and a spoonful of granola mixed with non-fat Greek yogurt. Fresh fruit is a must--cantaloupe is a favorite. Essential for my morning is a cup of hot tea--it warms me up and gets my blood

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  • Where's the Beef? The Healthiest (and Tastiest) Meat Substitutes

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine

    We're often tempted by faux-meat products at the grocery store -- veggie burgers, tofurky and the like -- because we assume they are healthy choices.

    Related: 5 Toning Moves Borrowed From the Boys

    But according to registered dieticians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, contributing editors at SELF and co-founders of C&J Nutrition, just like any category of food, some meat substitutes are far better than others.

    "It's important not to assume that just because a product is vegan or meat-free that it's a healthful choice," says Jarosh. "You still want to be aware of saturated fat and calories."

    And often, these faux meat products are jammed with sodium. "We recommend aiming for 1,500 mg a day," says Jarosh. "A good rule of thumb is that if each meal has 500 mg of sodium or less in it, then when you add snacks, you'll wind up around or just above the 1,500 mg mark for the day."

    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!

    So what should you look for

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  • The 5 Best Fitness Gifts Under $100

    By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine We have gifts for the yogi, workout rookie, thrill-seeker, runner and frequent flier on your list.

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