Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • Evolution of beauty: What have we come to?

    Although I might not be the biggest proponent of most Dove Beauty products, I am a huge proponent of Dove's ad campaigns. This one, in particular, is a wonderful demonstration of how the beauty industry can take an already beautiful woman, find her imperfections, and erase them, all for the sake of selling a product. If you thought photographs were simply air-brushed, you'll be amazed to learn how much manipulation can really happen.

    (If you can't see the video, click here)

    Today, women (and men too), constantly battle with the media's output of retouched, highly manipulated photographs, and struggle with what 'real beauty' really is. In a world where botox, plastic surgery, and fillers are the norm, fake beauty seems to be what people want. Personally, I don't get it and applaud Dove's attempt to battle the fake beauty movement. What do you think about the video? What do you think about fake beauty? Related Topics:

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  • Success stories: 5 Reasons we love them

    Give me a success story and I'll break out into a huge smile, get tingly and may even shed a tear. Seriously, I'm hooked.

    My friend Eric has Crohn's Disease...a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder that often results in a lack of absorption of proteins, calories, and vitamins. These deficiencies or malabsorption of nutrients means that diet is really important, because without the right amount and balance of nutrients, a person like Eric will find it difficult to gain weight and won't get the nutrients he needs for proper growth and bodily function.

    For years, Eric wouldn't pay much attention to what he ate. He would eat whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, never thinking about his caloric intake. For the most part, he would eat twice a day, mostly consuming fast food (Taco Bell is his favorite) and highly processed foods. Exercise wasn't in his vocabulary and he would often feel sluggish and tired. And when it came to his mental outlook, Eric suffered from depression, tended

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  • 6 Reasons to eat the same thing every day

    I admit it. I'm lazy in the kitchen. The idea of cooking something new every night for only one or two people seems like too much effort. Sure, if I'm cooking for a big dinner party I'll be motivated to cook up a storm, but for just me or me and my husband, the inspiration level isn't so high. As a result, we tend to eat the same thing five days a week or so. This may sound boring, but the more we do this, the more I like it. Here's why:

    1. It Makes Shopping Easier and More Cost Predictable: Eating the same foods every week allows you to budget properly for groceries and in the end, makes shopping faster and easier. Every Sunday when I food shop, it takes about 20 minutes, because at this point, it has become very systematic. I know what I want and I don't even need to make a list. I get in and get out and always spend within $5 - $10 from week to week.
    2. It Makes Weight Loss or Maintenance a Lot Easier: Whether you want to maintain weight or lose weight, eating
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  • Yoga in a cup?

    Whether you are a Yoga fanatic or not, Yogi Tea is sure to have something that will delight your taste buds. Not just meant for Yoga fanatics, Yogi Tea comes in a wide variety of flavors that are blended for both flavor and purpose.

    Based on Ayurvedic tradition and practice, many of the tea blends contain the five traditional spices of cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, clove bud, ginger root and black pepper. I've fallen hook line and sinker for a few different flavors, but all in all, Yogi Tea is a great supplement to your daily routine. Here are the things I love about Yogi Tea:

    1. Taste: There are 60 available blends of tea. Personally, I'm a huge fan of their DeTox, Egyptian Licorice and Bedtime Teas. They use creative combinations of spices that are unique, interesting and highly flavorful...definitely not your ordinary tea! Some flavors are not my favorite (Berry Detox), but overall, they have a wonderful product and the disliked flavors are few and far between.
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  • 8 Things you should know about caffeine

    When I worked at my last company, I bought a 12 ounce cup of coffee every morning. When I started working at home, however, I started making my own coffee. Not thinking about the caffeine intake, I'd make a pot of 3 to 4 cups (18 - 24 ounces). This seemed like a good amount...worthy of the coffee filter, but manageable for one person to finish. This logic, however, didn't account for the possibility of the physiological dependence that soon ensued.

    Without even thinking, my daily wake-me-up cup quickly became a daily fix. And what once was a 'nice to have' became a 'need to have.' And when I got to the bottom of the pot, I often wished there was more. My curiosity and dependence peaked, I decided to get to the bottom of the world's most popular drug:

    1. Color: Although most caffeinated beverages have a dark color, caffeine is actually a white, bitter-tasting, crystalline substance (much like the description of cocaine). Further, darkly roasted coffee has less caffeine than
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  • Anonymity of the Internet...good or bad?

    The Internet has done so many wonderful things: it has shrunk the globe, made information readily available and it has given companies and individuals a great way of marketing and communicating, in a much more efficient and effective manner. However, it has also given a lot of creeps an opportunity to come out from under their rocks.

    When I first started, my goal was to help help people find balance in their every day hectic lives. Nothing more, nothing less. When I started my blog, however, this changed the dynamic. I put myself out there, gave the brand a voice and started to provide opinions on things that I thought were either relevant or thought provoking. Not only did this increase traffic exponentially to the main site (which is obviously a good thing), but it also gave people a person with whom to identify. For the most part, I've been really fortunate. I've gotten great feedback, heard some interesting perspectives and have had thought

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  • Fiber: Get the amount you need every day

    Don't let the name fool you. This isn't a food from the Great Space Coaster! Founded in 2004, Gnu Foods is a small company that believes in maintaining an all natural philosophy, making foods that are targeted at addressing specific nutritional needs and health conditions.

    As you probably already know, I'm a huge fiber fanatic. I've made my case before about how important it is to a healthy diet, and to a healthy lifestyle. With the average American consuming only 5 of the recommended 25 - 35 grams a day, however, it is obvious that getting enough fiber in your diet is relatively challenging.

    Gnu Bar - Flavor and Fiber makes this challenge virtually nonexistent. Flavor & Fiber, Gnu Foods' first product, is a nutrition bar; and after having tried them recently, I'm addicted. On a scale of 5, they get a 5. Here's why:

    1. Nutrition Quality: At a mere 130 - 140 calories a bar (depending on the flavor), these flavorful snacks pack a whopping 12 grams of fiber (including both
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  • Do you have an addictive personality?

    Hello, my name is Brett and I have an addictive personality. Pretend Crowd Answers: "Hello Brett." Ok, so I am not a drug addict or a gambler. I am not a sex addict and no, even though I have a pretty high tolerance and can drink with the best of them, I am not an alcoholic. I have never ACTUALLY been addicted to anything. But, even though I might not be clinically diagnosed with this personality, I do have tendencies towards an addictive personality.

    Some of us fall into this category, and a lot of us don't. But, for those of us who do, the idea of "You can never have too much of a good thing" rings true. If I really love something, I want more of it. This pertains to chocolate of the deepest and darkest varieties, it pertains to a great performance at karaoke, it pertains to eating a good cheese, it pertains to fine champagne, and it even applies to time spent with people who make me feel great. Pure and simple, I can't get enough.

    I think there is a fine line between

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  • 10 Reasons to love working from home

    Growing up, I was lucky in that my parents owned their own business and worked out of our home. I always imagined myself doing the same. Sure, there were challenges, but all in all, it was a situation that proved to be very rewarding for them, and for me as well.

    For the better part of my career, my ability to work from home would only come once in awhile when I would finagle a reason to do so. I was lucky enough to have a work laptop, which made it easier for me than for most. But, I never really got the full-throttle 'work from home' experience until recently. And I'll tell you, now that I have, working from home is underrated...pure and simple. I've fallen in love with it and I hope that I can find a way to keep this gig going.

    Here are my favorite things about working from home:

    1. No more 9 to 5: I'm not restricted to the conventional work day. I get to set my own schedule. More often than not, I tend to work normal hours, but if I feel like working half a day, then
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  • 5 Things to do with alone time

    Not long ago, I wrote about how important 'alone time' is in life and all the benefits it provides. Most of us agree, that for those of us who really enjoy our alone time, we often don't get enough. And when we do get it, we are often left not knowing what to do with it.

    Every person, obviously, has different interests. But, regardless of what you personally like to do, here are some good ways to spend time with yourself:

    1. Go for a Walk: This isn't necessarily a workout type of walk. Walking alone, even at a leisurely pace, helps you clear your mind, clear your thoughts and think through problems, issues or concerns you may be facing.
    2. Go to the Beach/Park/Lake: Being in nature, gives you a multi-sensory way to decompress and relax. You smell the beautiful, fresh air. You are visually inspired by the natural beauty with which you surround yourself. And, you become hypnotized by sounds of the ocean waves crashing, seagulls squawking or a distant waterfall.
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