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  • When To Pay Full Price

    These 10 items are worth their original cost.

    Despite widespread consumer frugality--the U.S. retail industry in June posted a 6.7% month over month sales decline, according to the Goldman Sachs Retail Composite Index--it seems some shoppers aren't deterred from a quality buy.

    Take the well-heeled clients of New York, N.Y.-based personal shopper and stylist Jill Markiewicz, 38. She says the primarily female executives she works with still want what they want, when they want it. Even if that means paying full price.

    In Pictures: When To Pay Full Price

    "The best shoes, handbags and clothes are the first to go," says Markiewicz of the must-have seasonal merchandise she's paid to track down. Now in demand: sparkly Balmain jackets and Current Elliot's latest rendition of the boyfriend jean. And classics, such as a Chanel suit or an Hermès handbag, almost never see the sale rack.

    It seems these luxury shoppers are on to something. Markiewicz says that high-end retailers'

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  • America's Best Bargain Vacations

    This summer, these 10 getaway spots offer tight-budgeted travelers plenty to do.

    For a summer vacation in Hawaii, you can now find nightly hotel rates lower than the average daily temperature. Some travel Web sites are offering deals as slow as $69 per night, right in Waikiki. Thanks to the current state of the economy, it's a vacationer's market.

    "These places are hurting so much for tourism," says Anna Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel, an online travel resource. "There are packages and specials to be found everywhere. You just have to look."

    In Depth: America's Best Bargain Vacations

    From the beaches of San Diego to the skyscrapers of New York, there's a bargain to be found in just about every corner of the country--even for those wishing to steer clear of the coasts. Nature-loving and adventure-seeking families and couples alike can find great deals everywhere from the Grand Canyon to Aspen, Colo.

    Expert Opinion

    To find America's Best Bargain vacations of

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  • How To Get Fit On Vacation

    The best way to get healthy while on holiday is to book one that requires you to get in shape ahead of time.

    This summer the Berkeley, Calif., travel company Backroads will send about 100 cycling enthusiasts on a 260-mile trek through southern Oregon's wilderness. Over five days, they'll slowly climb high-desert mountains for a cumulative elevation gain of 19,000 feet.

    The participants aren't extreme or professional athletes; this is a vacation itinerary for the moderately to vigorously active, and the mileage and elevation gain can be adjusted for those who want a less ambitious trip. They'll pay more than $2,000 for the experience, meals and lodging included.

    In Depth: How To Get Fit On Vacation

    It may not sound like the ideal way to enjoy a hard-earned break from the office, but Rich Snodsmith, sales and guest services manager for Backroads, says that several different types of people--with a wide range of fitness and ability--seek out active vacations like this one

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  • The World's Diet Secrets

    Other countries and cultures have a lot to teach us about eating right.

    There is a universal wisdom to healthy eating. Pile on the fruits, vegetables and whole grains and skip the meat and saturated fat. Consume everything in moderation, especially alcohol.

    But certain cultures around the world offer further insight with traditional diets that are not just healthy, they also protect our bodies against scourges like cancer, depression, diabetes and heart disease. Researchers believe that following such diets can lead to excellent health; making the transition, however, requires more than just adopting an Americanized version of another culture's traditional diet.

    In Depth: The World's Diet Secrets

    The most well-known--and perhaps most studied--of these diets hails from the Mediterranean, with its staples of extra virgin olive oil, wild greens, whole grains and herbs. Since studies of the diet began in 1980, researches keep finding powerful associations with preventing

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  • The Healthiest Foods On Earth

    The most important consideration in constructing a healthy diet: Eat whole food with minimal processing. These 12 foods do the trick.

    What is the best diet for human beings?

    Vegetarian? Vegan? High-protein? Low-fat? Dairy-Free?

    Hold on to your shopping carts: There is no perfect diet for human beings. At least not one that's based on how much protein, fat or carbohydrates you eat.

    In Depth: The Healthiest Foods On Earth

    People have lived and thrived on high-protein, high-fat diets (the Inuit of Greenland); on low-protein, high-carb diets (the indigenous peoples of southern Africa); on diets high in raw milk and cream (the people of the Loetschental Valley in Switzerland); diets high in saturated fat (the Trobriand Islanders) and even on diets in which animal blood is considered a staple (the Massai of Kenya and Tanzania). And folks have thrived on these diets without the ravages of degenerative diseases that are so epidemic in modern life--heart disease,

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  • World's Most Expensive Fast Food

    In these 20 cities, hamburger lovers pay most for their fix.

    Dublin is home to Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse and St. Stephens Green. Here, you'll also find the world's most expensive fast food. In U.S. dollars, a hamburger meal at a medium-priced establishment, as defined by consulting firm Mercer, costs a whopping $9.16.

    That figure--the only to exceed $8.00 on a list of 20 geographically diverse cities selected for different cost comparisons--is $3.00 greater than the price of a hamburger meal in New York, where it's $5.99. But travelers in Europe will not find significant relief in many other cities on the continent, where the price of a fast-food meal hovers within the $7.00 range: In Amsterdam you'll pay $7.88, in Paris $7.43, and in Athens $6.66. For less pricey eats, grab a hamburger in Prague for $4.91, in Warsaw for $3.86, or in Johannesburg, which sells the cheapest burgers on the list at $2.50.

    In Pictures: World's Most Expensive Fast Food


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  • Why You Should Memorize Your Meals

    The secret to eating well at home is having a repertoire of easy-to-prepare meals.

    Dr. David A. Kessler has dedicated his career of late to thinking about what keeps Americans from eating healthy food. There is, he says, a frightening preponderance of fat, salt and sugar tempting us at every commercial break, street corner and in grocery store aisles. But in his recently released book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of The Insatiable American Appetite, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner lays out a battle plan against the seductive forces of highly processed food. Chief among his strategies: exercising control through thoughtfully planned eating.

    "If you know what you're going to eat," he says, "you're not susceptible to the constant barrage, and the cues don't have such power over you."

    In Depth: 10 Meals You Should Memorize

    Yet instituting such structure is intimidating when you don't have the proper tools, namely a repertoire of healthy,

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  • World's Most Stylish Cities

    At the forefront of fashion and design, these 10 spots beg to be visited.

    Its streets produced haute couture, New Wave cinema and art nouveau. It continues to innovate with concept boutiques like Colette, which is so well-known for its avant-garde inventory that it has the power to make a little-known label an in-demand brand. Even the country's first lady, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, is known for her sense of style and often photographed in Dior suits, pillbox hats and demure flats.

    Few would argue that Paris epitomizes chic. "It has a certain sense of natural style," says Michael Kazam, the business development director for Le Book, an international directory of creative professionals, founded in Paris in 1981. "It's a very [global] city with incredible charm and history worn on its shirtsleeve."

    In Pictures: World's Most Stylish Cities

    It comes as no surprise to Kazam that Paris was rated most stylish in the world in a recent survey that helped formulate the 2009

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  • How To Overcome Your Exercise Slump

    Puzzled about why your performance has plummeted? Try these eight ways to get your sports mojo back in action.
    Hit a slump in your sport or exercise routine lately? Mystified about why your performance has fallen? Take heart--you're not alone.

    Even professional athletes struggle with performance downturns. Andre Agassi slipped from No. 1 to No. 141 in world rankings in the late '90s before climbing his way back up to the top. Tiger Woods did not win a major in '03 or '04, only to win six since.

    Sports psychologist Jay Granat, Ph.D., voted one of the "Top 10 Mental Gurus" by Golf Digest, says he often treats patients suffering from performance slumps. Some descend so low, they want to quit their sport. "They've consulted pros and gotten new equipment, but nothing works," Granat says.

    In Depth: How To Overcome Your Exercise Slump

    Getting out of a slump is a matter of harnessing your mental game and working on your concentration. Step one: identify the problem.

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  • Eleven Ways To Boost Your Energy

    How to use nutrition, exercise, and stress relief to refuel your body and energize your mind.

    Fatigue is one of the biggest problems of modern life. But most of us deal with the problem in all the wrong ways. We want a magic bullet--an energy bar or supplement or tonic that will make us feel like a superhero.

    So is there an easy and quick solution to our energy crisis? Yes and no.

    In Depth: 11 Ways To Boost Your Energy

    Yes, in that there are simple strategies that you can put into effect immediately. They will make a huge difference to your well-being and sense of energy and vitality. The caveat is that energy loss can result from a complicated interplay of factors. No single nutrient or tactic will likely fill your energy deficit. If you have persistent low energy, you should consult your doctor. A thyroid problem can explain a prolonged lack of pep.

    Energy is the natural byproduct of certain lifestyle decisions. Consuming fewer calories is one of the easiest

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