Blog Posts by Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine

  • Pro Surfer Karina Petroni's Top 4 Healthy Living Secrets

    By Samantha Levy, SELF magazine

    Given the opportunity to train with a professional surfer, most people would immediately say, "Where can I sign up???" My reaction, however, was more like, "Uh, maybe..." Let's just say I'm not exactly a fish-in-the-water type of gal.

    That all changed once I met Karina Petroni at Oakley Learn-to-Ride surf camp. Karina is the warm, down-to-earth--not to mention totally gorgeous--surfing pro who at 22 is the highest-ranked American East Coast female pro surfer.

    Karina gave me gentle and thorough instructions: The proper technique to paddle out, what to do when you see a wave approaching, how to "snap up," how to stay up once you've gotten there--it's all about staying low, my friends!

    Related: Step up to your best body now with SELF

    She hardly ever left my side--except of course when I was getting on my feet to ride a wave (yup, I did it!).

    So how does this world-class champ stay healthy and glowing when she's not ripping waves? Here are Karina's

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  • Eclipse Stunt Coordinator Takes SELF Behind the Scenes

    By Caitlin Berens, SELF magazine

    One look at the Eclipse trailer and you can tell this film is the most action-packed yet. We spoke with John Stoneham, the movie's stunt coordinator, to hear more about fight scenes, imaginary wolves and Taylor Lautner's abs.

    Related: Makeover your upper body with these simple moves!

    "As far as the stunt work, they did a lot of it themselves," Stoneham says. Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen), Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie) each did a lot of their own moves in the movie's big fight scenes. According to Stoneham, Lautner (Jacob) was the most natural on the set: "He could almost be his own stunt double."

    With Lautner being the shirtless wonder in New Moon, we had to ask: who's got the best six-pack on set? And Stoneham spills all: "I don't think they could really compare with Taylor [Lautner] around. Maybe Kellan [Lutz] would come close? But Taylor wins hands down." If only we could get more pictures!

    But when he transforms for the

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  • Twilight saga screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg shares her diet secrets

    Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg has her hands full--until recently, she's been juggling TV gigs and the Twilight saga. So what does she do when she's not engrossed in the world of Edward, Jacob and Bella? Eat. Workout. And sleep.

    Related: Step up to your best body now with SELF

    When you think of a screenwriter, we bet you aren't picturing someone tall, blonde and pretty like Rosenberg, a former dancer who wrote for TV shows like Party of Five, The O.C. and Dexter.

    "Dance and writing actually have a lot in common," she told us. "With both, you're staging, expressing something visually. And writing is surprisingly physical. You can't have any aches or pains distracting you. Working out keeps you present and sharp."

    When she started working on Twilight's final script for Breaking Dawn (which she said she's approaching as two separate movies), Rosenberg left TV writing to focus exclusively on features. Now, she works from home.
    After getting a degree in dance, Rosenberg dreamed of being

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  • Are You Cheating on Your Workout?

    Confession: I cheated on my body.

    OK, let me explain. Toward the end of a group fitness class a couple weeks ago, the instructor had us doing squats. I was exhausted, so even though he was telling us to pause at the bottom of the movement, I was bouncing up and down like a 'tween at a Miley Cyrus concert. I felt great in the moment, but guilty post-class because I knew I had cheated myself out of the final few minutes of what could have been an even more effective workout.

    Related: Try these 20 superfoods for weight loss

    This inspired me to poke around to find the most common ways women cut corners during a workout. Look around next time you're in the gym and I guarantee you'll see at least one person who's cheating their way through a sweat session (be especially suspicious of anyone smiling!). I won't be one of them.

    Below are three ways you might be cheating on your workout:

    Leaning into the
    treadmill rails. Holding onto the handrails for a split-second to steady yourself is

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  • Healthy Tips From Sarah McLachlan

    The Lilith founder is the only artist performing at every one of the 36 dates on the tour's schedule this summer. At 42, the mother of two knows how important is to stay healthy and fit in order to give each show her all.

    "When I turned 40, I thought, I've got to get myself in shape here, just to chase after these young kids!" the Canadian singer-songwriter tells SELF. "I really got into running, and I did a half marathon last June." To inspire herself while pounding the pavement, she listens to The Killers. "Hot Fuss rocks," she says. "It's such a great motivator!"

    Related: Step up to your best body with SELF

    In addition to running-she told us she's particularly fond of "trail running, which I usually do with someone else"-McLachlan hits the yoga studio. "I work out three days a week, but that's not enough!" she says.

    An avid supporter of animal welfare (you know you've seen her ASPCA ads featuring images of shelter animals and her song "Angel"), McLachlan was a vegetarian for

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  • Praying With the Office Chaplain? 6 Ways to Find Zen on the Job

    Yesterday, a former coworker forwarded me this Wall Street Journal article about the trend of companies offering chaplain services to their employees. Her subject: "We definitely could have used this!" Another friend forwarded the same piece and said, "What would Steve Carell think?"

    Thing is, this idea isn't as crazy as it first sounds: A bad day at the office can be mentally trying -- just ask Dwight (fans of "The Office" know what I mean!)

    Related: Beat the heat tonight with one of these tasty No-Cook Meals

    These on-the-job chaplains are more spiritual Zen masters than super religious (law permits voluntary expression of one's beliefs at work, but employers can't legally pressure employees to take part in prayer or religion-specific services).

    Assuming your boss doesn't offer an on-call chap, here are some (free) ways to find your Zen at the office:

    1. Get a potted plant. Office workers with a view of nature are more enthusiastic and patient than those without, according to a

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  • Got stinky feet? 3 questions you're too embarrassed to ask your doctor

    I was reading the July issue of SELF last night when I came across a reader question that struck a familiar chord -- Every time I jog, why do I need to make a restroom stop? It's one of those things I've always wondered, but didn't necessarily want to ask my doc.

    So, inspired by this bathroom-related Q, today we're tackling three of your most embarrassing body-related questions. If you've got Qs of your own, email them to me at, and I'll try to answer them in an upcoming post.
    For now -- this one is for all you girls with stinky feet.

    Q: Every time I jog, I have to make a restroom stop. How can I take care of business before a run?

    A: We asked our expert, Lisa Callahan, M.D., this question in our July issue. Her take: "Exercise can enhance activity in the colon, and intensive exercise like long-distance running may divert blood flow from the intestine causing irritation and poor absorption of fluid that leads to 'runner's diarrhea.' Luckily, there are ways to

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  • Movie Release Countdown: Life Lessons From 'Eat Pray Love'

    Like millions of women, I enjoyed "Eat Pray Love" -- and the movie trailer got me psyched to see the Julia Roberts film. (And, no, not just because Javier Bardem and James Franco are in it!)

    In honor of the movie's upcoming August release, I gathered some great advice from the book in its three categories: Eat, Pray, and Love.

    EAT: In the trailer, there is one scene where Julia is a sitting in front of a giant dish of perfectly plated spaghetti -- drooool. It's enough to make anyone want to dive in, face-first. And even though Gilbert gains weight in the book after eating so much pasta, it can be diet-friendly. Three cardinal rules of carbs:

    Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

    1. Keep portions in check. Dish out 1 cup (220 calories) of cooked pasta (about the size of your fist).

    2. Go whole grain. It's got more fiber, protein, and iron than white pasta. Some whole wheat pastas taste like cardboard, but good ones such as Hodgson Mill's are hearty and delicious. My husband, a

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  • 8 Life-Saving Questions Every Woman Should Ask Her Dad

    Friendly reminder to call pops and wish him a Happy Father's Day this Sunday! And while you've got him on the line -- after you get through hearing about his latest political beef or how disappointed he is that the Celtics lost -- take five minutes to quiz him about his health history.

    If you're anything like me, you've always paid more attention to your mom's medical history than dad's (this is partly because my dad is SO anti-doctor -- I'm constantly lecturing him). My dad taught me a lot about the New York Mets and hard work and sorting the nice guys from the jerks, but family health? Not so much. Thing is, because I'm a 50/50 split of my parents' genetic makeups, his health hiccups are just as likely to be passed on to me.

    Related: 20 superfoods for weight loss

    So, I asked a few great docs for a list of questions every daughter should ask her dad. Follow their talking points and jot down his answers. You'll be surprised how much you learn.

    1. Were any of your blood relatives

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  • Got a BFF? If Not, Your Health May Suffer

    As a young kid, Megan Hobbs and I were inseparable -- we even shared an oh-so-official best friend "heart" necklace.

    Eventually, she moved away, and after a few years of letter-writing, we drifted (though, naturally, we've since reconnected on Facebook), but she will always be my first BFF. Then came Liz, Shannon, Alanna, Ginny, and Lisa -- girls who have become my go-to besties for a good chunk of my life. Although we're scattered around the U.S., when I'm around these girls, I feel at my best.

    Related: Dine like a star

    So, I was disturbed to read a piece in today's New York Times in which psychologists question whether kids should actually have best friends. Mostly, this hesitation is out of fear that an inseparable two-some or three-some can lead to exclusivity, cliques, and bullying.

    Whether it's better to socialize in a pack or with a few close pals is up for debate, but what is clear is that friendships are a key component of good health. While Facebook and IM-ing make it easy

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