Something I love ….

I guess for anyone who has read my blog – I talk a lot of FOOD!  Well, really being healthy and making smart choices about what you put in your body.  I honestly believe that being conscious of your BODY is a direct link to being conscious of your MIND and your HEART  (like the Erykah Badu song says) 360 degrees, all connected.  I realize that when I am least happy in my life, I abuse myself in lots of ways.  Indulging in things that my body, my mind and my heart physically and emotionally reject.  And when I’m “seizing the day” I’m light as a feather, ready to be a peaceful warrior, at ONE  … Shut your zen face, right? But come on, it’s the truth, only truth.

We tend be kinder to strangers than to ourselves. Why don’t we nurture ourselves and take the time to say that its okay to want to be better in all aspects of our life?  We’re all a work in progress — but we have to take ownership of the things we want to make better in order to continue to expand to our highest potential.  I love human beings, and I love women – I was shaped by insane, intimidating, ferocious women, who continue to challenge me. And by a mom who taught me to always moisturize, whether it was with Nivea, Vaseline or Cooking Oil (yes, crazy gypsy afghans.)  I’ve been slathering moisturizer on since I was little with no clue as to why? 

Now as a big girl, I’ve tried about everything on the market, and am lucky enough to get to try a lot of things first.  This product has become my new obsession, Lisa Hoffman Day & Night Serum.  I’ve been using this for the last 2 months, and on site people immediately compliment my skin. Coincidence? I think not.  

Skin care specialist recommend using a serum to sink in after washing your face and before your moisturizer. They are lightweight, so they easily absorb.  Good Serums provide a ton of anti-aging benefits, and also claim to help with skin cell renewal, reduce the appearance of fine lines, tighten saggy skin, repair sun damage and hydrate your skin, et. Ultimately making it super glowy.  yhst-82171457055258_2067_14633633

Adding this into your daily routine will easily upgrade it to star status.  Lisa Hoffman SkinCare (created by the lovely wife of Dustin Hoffman) is fantastic and boasts really reasonable prices, well except of course the serum that I love.  It is the priciest thing in line (again, of course). So, if its not within your price range check out a bunch of the fabulous ones at Target or your local drugstore (i.e, Loreal, Boots, & Olay all carry serums in there skin care lines).

Here’s a link to her products:


Good Food Facts For Good Skin

blueberriesIn honor of answering some of your questions via Twitter, I’m going to make a quick list of foods that you should Absolutely consume to help in your mission for gorgeous radiant skin. Regardless of what your specific skin concerns may be, there is a short list of power foods that are consistently on every dermatologist’s list.  These super good for you foods can help reduce inflammation, combat aging and even prevent skin cancer. 

1-ANTIOXIDANTS in the forms of Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries & Plums, these 4 specific fruits rate the highest in antioxidants, which protect your skin from being attacked by those nasty free radicals we are exposed to daily (sun, pollution, et).

2-OMEGA 3 in the form of SALMON, Walnuts & FlaxSeed.  Chock full of essential fatty acids, salmon, walnuts and flax seed are  powerful for both skin & BRAIN!  Omega 3’s are a major resource in keeping your skin supple & glowing.  

3-GREEN TEA is your skins best friend – its polyphenols combat damage from ultra violet rays and is brimming with Vitamin C & Zinc. Plus this little magnificent bonus; green tea is full of something called  ECGC, which is an antioxidant known for helping speed up your metabolism.

4-LOW FAT DAIRY – Full of Vitamin A.  The A in low fat dairy is easy for your body to absorb, allowing you to see results sooner.  In addition Low Fat Dairy also contains ACIDOPHILUS, aka healthy bacteria, that helps keep your digestive track normal.

5-Water/H2O/Agua – Clean, filtered, spring, distilled water – not water in sugary beverages.  Try and consume at least half your body weight in oz.  (i.e. 150lb female should try and consume 75oz a day) It may seem like a lot, but it has been know to help hair, skin, and nails stay hydrated. 

Obviously any foods that are NATURAL, WHOLE FOODS from the earth are full of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for overall well being.  But as we continue to learn about all of them, let’s start with these top rated choices. 

Try these tiny tricks:  Switch your afternoon or am coffee for green tea. Add blueberries to your morning cereal, oatmeal or Low Fat Yogurt.  Eat 2 servings of baked or raw salmon a week.  Sprinkle Walnuts in your dinner or lunch salad.  Since I don’t eat dairy, I personally take Power-Dophilus pills that I find in the refrigerator section at Whole Foods and get my Vitamin A from Spinach and Sweet Potatoes. 

Now Look at that.  Healthy body, healthy heart, healthy skin. Stress, poor diet, the sun, et take a terrible toll on our bodies. Let’s take control by adding small daily changes to keep ourselves in fighting form.  

For More Detailed Information on the items listed above:

So Fierce … Christian Siriano for Payless


cs_shoes_payless_FW_09Oh dear sweet shoes, how I love thee …. I’m a shoe gal and I love heels, what girl doesn’t? I will shop thrift and be the girl in a $12 dress from the bin at Squaresville or off the rack at H&M. And I will rock it like a queen. But with shoes I spend, and I spend big. Lanvin, YSL, Gucci, Chloe are a few of my staples, I like chunky, sleek, tall, wedge, knee high, ankle, strappy and on and on.  However, to my predicament my favorite Lanvin heels that were $500 3 seasons ago have crept up to $900 a season, I’m sorry What? $900 for a shoe is ridiculous, and designers should scale back and go with the flow of the market, but since people still buy them, they’ll still sell them that high.  

What’s a girl to do … well of course, sale, outlet, ebay .. but here’s a dandy little find.  As I was flipping through my September Elle (all 10,000 pages of it), I stopped at a blue ankle boot that looked FIERCE.  Lo and behold, according ElleChristian Siriano, the lovable winner from Project Runway has created a line of shoes for Payless that will debut in the FALL.  They look impeccable,  the structure, the carved heel, the colors … and all at a cost of $25-45, that is it?  $25 for some fabulous shoes for Fall.

A cost that affords some to play with styles they might not otherwise enjoy (ankle boots are not everyone’s favorite).  I say try and scoop them up as fast as you can, because they will sell out FAST. Christian Siriano for Payless available at select stores September 2009.

How Dare YOU Insomnia! & The Great Lemon

Day #7 –  Shut your face ….. really, already! I’m not even missing sugar, well, not as much as I was day 1-4.  Maybe because I’m eating so much real food, my sugar hasn’t dipped enough to send me into a sugar fit!!

Sweet.  I don’t think I’ll end the week tomorrow with some big sugar filled treat.  I actually would prefer not to.  I have to go to an opening night party of Inglorious Basterds and I may have a glass of champagne, it will after all be almost midnight then, right?  But honestly, I am going to quietly try and maintain the habits I’ve been building this week and see if it sticks.  
The one thing that has happened this week. My Insomnia has come back to visit …. as he so often does.  I am one of the millions that suffer from sleep disorders – I’ve never been a good sleeper – I wake up at the slightest sound and I don’t easily fall asleep.  My mind just won’t shut down at time and it has gotten so bad that I was hospitalized for it in 2003 .  (But that’s a whole other blog).  I don’t know if my Insomnia and my change in diet this week have anything to do with one another.  Hmmm, I’m use to putting myself in a tiny sugar coma before bed, which might help me crash?  Boo, sugar and your addictive qualities.  Here’s to hoping that it’s only a very temporary visit from my old friend while my body is adjusting to my newer, healthier lifestyle.  
Quick side note: (Things that do help when I can’t sleep, yoga, breathing, journaling before sleep, warm tea, melatonin spray under the tongue and per my doctor’s suggestion, a glass of red wine 😉  

Tip #6 — The really awesome benefit of a fresh squeezed lemon in 6oz of tepid water in the am. The healing properties of Lemon have been around forever.  Most cleanses incorporate the use of lemon, and most doctors will tell you to use lemon in your water to help battle any bacterial infections. It’s a powerful tool, that pretty little lemon, but did you know that some have claimed weight loss without changing there diets but by religiously starting the day with a glass of fresh squeezed lemon water.  Upon rising, squeeze a full lemon in to tepid water, and drink up at least a half hour before you eat.  This helps flush out toxins and eliminate any excess waste in the body.  It also makes skin glow, makes hair shiny, and purifies your blood. Lemons are also full of vitamin c and other helpful nutrients, and the best thing of all is that Lemons are inexpensive and available to everyone.  
Want more info: attached is a link on the benefits of lemon water in the am:

Why Anorexia Sucks …. and I decided to drink.

Day #6 — The final home stretch, well what can I say …. As I near the finish line of my no-sugar week – I have to admit, I drank WINE last night.   I had a date, and dates are boring without wine … my splenda is down, I’ve had zero starch, except for vegetables (that means no rice/bread/crackers/potatoes/pasta/quinoa et), and I’ve only allowed myself apples and blueberries for fruit —- a girls gotta live a little, right?  I say YES, I also say that all of this is about balance.

I live in a city where how often you work coincides with your shape — there’s a lot of pressure for actresses to be thin, and I’ve never met one without some sort of an eating issue.  A women in the spotlight puts on 5lbs and she has “baby bump” – a man in the spotlight puts on 25lbs and he’s “funnier?”  Are you kidding me? What kind of logic is that, and who is creating this pressure …. 

Little girls and teenagers are looking up to women with rail thin bodies and emulating them, does thin equate success – absolutely not!  Confidence, courage, kindness, hard work and intelligence will keep you ahead in life, NOT trying to look like a model.  I checked myself on a terrible need to eat sugar all day long, instead of real food, which causes my blood sugar to spike and lower throughout the day …. I knew I needed to figure out a way to eat more whole, natural foods, so that my mind and body were stable.  Most every adult in my family developed type 2 diabetes once they were in the United States, and my grandfather died as a result of it.  Coming over from Afghanistan the amount of available fast food, sugary cereals and coca-cola was all so new and exciting that it affected nearly all members of my family.  Instead of continuing on the diet always available to our culture (which is natural foods and meats that are farm raised) they began switching it out for easier, quicker options. It was about awareness for my family, and taking steps in the right direction to feel better and live cleaner. Type 2 diabetes has become a major epidemic in our society and we all need to take responsibility for it and share information on how to control it and prevent it from affecting our children and our grandchildren.


I see so many girls that go all day without eating, drinking coffee throughout the day, having a soda and chain smoking – and it breaks my heart. There weight will always fluctuate in extremes due to this behavior. It is absolutely unnecessary to live that way to have a healthy and happy body.  All that deprivation will lead to sadness. And that sadness will keep them from working, not the extra 5lbs.  I remember complaining about the ghastly few pounds I always gain over the holidays in the locker room at the gym, and a fabulous lady in her 50s looked at me and said: “Sweetheart, how sad you will be when you are 50, that you spent your 20s with this body, worrying about 5 extra lbs.”  Amen fabulous lady, amen ….. 

Statistics on eating disorders: Courtesy of

  • As many as 10 million women and girls suffer from anorexia and/or bulimia, in the United States alone.
  • Approximately one million men and boys suffer from anorexia and/or bulimia, in the United States alone.
  • An additional 25 million people in the U.S. struggle with binge eating disorder.
  • Eighty-six percent of people with eating disorders report the onset of the illness by the time they reach the age of 20 (by no means is an eating disorder “less severe” when the eating-disordered person is above the age of 20).
  • An estimated 85-95% of people with anorexia nervosa and bulimia and 65% of people with binge eating disorders are female.
  • A shocking 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.
  • Young women that have anorexia are 12 times more likely to die than other women their age


And for those interested in TIPS on preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes: 



Sugar = Dull, Wrinkled Skin! WTH

Day 5 …. last night was not easy, I wanted something sweet after my dinner, so I literally sucked on half a lemon after dinner …. Aha. Like a mad lunatic, I just wanted a little piece of chocolate but after that initial twenty minutes of wanting it, guess what? It disappeared … and when I got home I let myself have a cup of unsweetened natural applesauce with a sprinkle of good for you Omega-3 filled walnuts and blueberries.

I think most people have heard that Omega-3’s (fish oil/flaxseed oil) found in fish like Salmon, and walnuts and tofu are considered superfoods because they can decrease inflammation throughout the body and help regulate depression. So naturally we want to increase these types of foods and or supplements into our daily diet to keep us healthy.

BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT did you know that foods high in sugar and most sugars in general cause your to skin to AGE FASTER? You white, sweet, sugary little bastard, how dare you?

The more sugar you eat the more it damages your skins collagen. Of course we can’t completely eliminate all sugar from our diets to prevent this, but dermatologists and doctors alike say cutting back on ADDED sugars in our diet can help reverse this. Also starting on a regimen of healthy vitamins, and of course, keeping sunscreen on daily

So what is Added sugar? Again those packages that say Sugar Free or Low Fat, ingredients like Maltose, Dextrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup are preservatives that help the shelf life of certain foods last longer. Some examples would be, white breads, sugary cereal, sugary crackers, and mini desserts that are pre-packaged. SODAs and DIET SODAS, fruit flavored drinks, and fruit juices from concentrate.

TIP #5: I know its a lot to take in, but I think we can all start small like CHANGING out one thing in our daily diet: Is it a 4pm diet coke, the second of the day? Switch to an iced tea or a hot tea, that you can sweeten with a little honey. Are you having a sugary breakfast cereal with skim milk in the am, instead try a package of high fiber unsweetened oatmeal and add blueberries and walnuts to make it a more powerful way to start the day. And even if its only Every other Day, replace that after dinner cake/ice cream/cookie with a sliced apple and natural peanut butter or almond butter. Small steps like these help lead us to making the bigger changes in the long run.

Some additional tips Courtesy of on saving your skin and skipping the sugar:

1. Cut back on the sweet stuff in your diet. It’s not easy to eliminate sugar completely. Even whole grains, fruits, and vegetables turn to glucose— the type of sugar that fuels glycation—when digested. But limiting added sugar can help. Some guidelines:

a Keep added sugar to no more than 10% of total calories.If you’re a 45-year-old woman of average height (5-foot-4), that’s 160 calories (or 10 teaspoons)from added sugar—about the number in one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola or six Hershey’s Kisses. By comparison, the average American consumes 31 teaspoons per day of added sugar, or the equivalent of 465 calories. (To find out how many calories total you should eat every day, log on

b Watch for hidden sugar in food. Many prepared foods contain hefty amounts of sugar—but it’s hidden under aliases—including barley malt, corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, and turbinado—on ingredient panels. The key is determining how many teaspoons of sugar each serving contains. Doing this is easy: Check the nutrition label for sugars, which are listed in grams under total carbohydrates, and then divide that number by 4 (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 g) to convert it to teaspoons. For example, if sugars are listed as 12 g, you’re getting 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving.

c Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This type of sweetener, which is made by changing the sugar in cornstarch to fructose (another form of sugar), is believed to produce more AGEs than other types. Because HFCS extends the shelf life of foods and is sweeter and cheaper than other sugars, it’s a popular ingredient in soda, fruit- flavored drinks, and packaged foods such as breads, crackers, and other snacks. You can spot it in ingredient lists on nutrition labels.

2. Supplement Your Dietwith at least 1 mg of vitamins B1 and B6 a day. These vitamins proved to be potent AGE inhibitors in a number of published studies, says David J. Goldberg, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist and a clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. B1 and B6 are plentiful in food, but taking a multivitamin—most of which deliver at least 1 mg of both Bs—ensures you’re getting the daily value of 1.1 mg for B1 and 1.3 mg for B6 (1.5 mg after age 50).

3. Wear broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen every day. Significantly more AGEs occur in sun-exposed skin than in protected skin, according to the British Journal of Dermatology study. (See p. 122 for moisturizers that have the coverage you need.)

4. Employ an inside-outside approach to antioxidants. These free-radical fighters help keep sugar from attaching to proteins, so replenishing their supply—both by eating more antioxidant-rich fruits, nuts, and vegetables , such ascranberries, walnuts, and red bell peppers, and by applying topical antioxidantssuch as green tea and vitamins C and E—is a real skin saver. “It seems to be the best way to ensure that they reach the dermal layer of skin, where collagen and elastin are located,” says Goldberg.

Day 4 – Stressed out – cookies or sex?

 Day 4 –– well, I didn’t get a movie that I was up for, and I liked the project and felt a little deflated.  So what I kind of wanted to do was have “some” sugary decadent chocolate (and I’m using the word some as an adjective) and watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  But since I am trying to eliminate sugar for 7 days and I can’t …..  I went to Tai Box, and looked like a fool kicking, and jumping, and squatting and punching – but guess what, I didn’t want that “some” chocolate afterwards.  I came home and made a salad and had a kombucha and watched Tropic Thunder instead.  

I think like most people, my natural response to stress, sadness, frustration et, would be to break out the cookies, a bottle of wine, have some cake et.  Oddly enough, I find that this is the same reward when I’m celebrating. What the hell?   I’m celebrating and being miserable and commiserating all in the same way? “Oh no, he broke up with you let’s have some wine.”  “You got promoted, I’m bringing over cupcakes?” How does that make sense?    It’s never “Oh you guys broke up? Let’s train for a 10k?”   Did you know that the same hormone in your brain spikes when you are on a sugar high, then say when you are on an illegal high … well that can’t be good for you.  The first step is to recognize these triggers and to make attempts to not reward or suffer with food, alcohol and sugar.    

Stress is one of the main factors to drive our sugar cravings, so I thought I’d list a few ways to deal with stress without the sugar.   

Tip 4:  Have sex  — Yes, I said it!  Grab your hubby, your boyfriend, your lover and get it on!  Sex is one of the best stress management techniques out there.  And although the last thing a lot of people feel like when they feel crappy is turning it on …. it will enhance all those endorphins in your body and you will come out feeling much much better.  Sex will kick your sugar craving’s ass. 

Obviously if you don’t have a partner to share intimacy with there are other things you can do. My go to is Exercise, which I guarantee helps beat any sugar craving or clear your head of stress — and it can be as simple as a ten minute walk around the block, or ten minutes of yoga in your home.  In the famous words of Elle Woods “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t.”  

Attached is a link on stress management tips:
And also this excellent site debating the great splenda debate:  In short, splenda in minimal moderation is key – since we don’t know what it might do in the long run ….  but be cautious of buying Low Sugar/made with Splenda products in excess …. use Stevia, Agave sweetened products in its place.  I copied part of the site that lists 10 easy to read and follow tips below, take a look and try and add at least one into your life today.

Living the sweet life with better nutrition. At our practice, we encourage our patients to build their snacks and meals from whole food, which means food that has not been processed and manipulated. Your food should resemble its source as closely as possible (e.g., fresh fish, not fish sticks). And this includes sugar. Even if you don’t have a reaction or sensitivity to sugar, continue to use refined sugar rarely, if ever. Instead, sweeten sparingly with the more nutritionally complex natural sugars such as honey, rice syrup, molasses, and maple syrup.If you already suffer from weight gain, diabetes, inflammation, chronic pain, migraines, headaches, or depression, you may have sugar intolerance. Check with your healthcare practitioner and try the elimination diet, eliminating sugar entirely from your diet for a couple of weeks, then reintroducing it for a day to see how you feel. Many of our patients are amazed at how much better they feel after breaking the sugar habit.
Remember these healthy habits:

Take a daily multivitamin to support your body’s nutritional needs.Eat protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates for breakfast. Simple carbs and sugar fire up your insulin receptors and spark those sugar cravings. Starting your day with a sugary or high-carb breakfast dooms you to a day of up-and-down blood sugar levels — which will drive you to eat too much of the wrong things all day long.

Shop the perimeter of your grocery store — avoid the processed foods in the center aisles. Read all labels and be wary of food that contains aspartame, neotame, saccharin, acesulfame K, or sucralose. No studies have been done on the safety of mixing artificial sweeteners, and who wants to become a living, breathing test subject. So if you consume them, do so prudently.
Minimize or avoid products that have sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or corn syrup near the top of their ingredient list. Sugar can also be disguised as evaporated cane juice, cane sugar, beet sugar, glucose, sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, dextrose, sorbitol, fructose, corn sugar, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt, caramel, and carob syrup.Keep a bowl of fresh ripe fruit nearby to snack on, to relieve your sugar cravings. Think primitive and eat fruit that is in season. The fresher the fruit, the more succulent and satisfying it will be. You may find you don’t need anything sweeter!If you are craving something sweet, don’t feel guilty. We’re often made to feel that avoiding sugar is only matter of willpower, but it’s more complicated than that. Most of the time, uncontrollable or patterned cravings stem from a malfunctioning metabolism or low serotonin. Work on healthy nutrition and you’ll find your cravings will disappear.

Indulge yourself sometimes. Remember, we have sweet taste buds for a reason. Try a piece of fruit first — you may find your craving diminishes. If you still want a piece of chocolate or pie, go ahead! But savor it slowly like a rare treat you may not have again for a while. Once your brain is allowed to fully register the experience, you may find you’re sated after a few bites. And, to help balance out the accompanying insulin surge, eat a piece of protein with it. Just make it a treat, not a habit.Remember that wine and alcohol are sugar. When it comes to sugar, having a glass or two of wine every day is just like a daily dessert.

Take a short walk after eating and breathe in deeply. It’s likely you won’t want dessert after all! And if you do, you’ll appreciate it more.Focus more on what you’d like to cook and eat than what you shouldn’t. If you listen to your body, it may surprise you with a craving for eggs, not a diet soda.