Breakthrough Yoga Clothes for Women! (you don’t have to be a fitness model to look amazing in our yoga wear)

At StillSassySister.com we believe that worrying about what yoga clothes to wear to your next yoga class or to the gym should never happen. Other yoga apparel stores may have cute styles, and some may be well-made, but somehow those yoga clothes just don’t feel always right. They don’t always make us feel great about ourselves!

You want your yoga pants and yoga tops  (and other fitness wear)  to act like a BFF, but sometimes they are act more like a mean girl if you feel self conscious about how they fit.

The research we have put into our line has yielded some of the best-designed yoga clothes  and fitness wear you will ever find! We all have things about our body that we don’t like, real or imagined. Our line has been designed to work around those common concerns in the tummy, butt and thighs so that you feel awesome. Our designs look great on Real women of all shapes sizes and ages. We “fit test” every piece – on all sizes. This means that there are real woman trying on every piece in our line. And knowing that all bodies are not exactly the same, we use several women in the same size to make sure that it is great on every body type. This takes a lot of time effort (and cost!) for a young company, but to us it’s worth it. And we are not afraid to reject a piece – even at the end of the process -if its just not working for us!

We are dedicated to making women feel great in their fitness wear. We hope to add confidence to your day when you put us on, not the opposite effect that so many of us have experienced! Browse through our pics to discover the great styles we have designed just for you. And there are more yoga clothes on the way! Shop Now!

Trying To Be Skinny Is The Worst!

You are a perfectly wonderful person and you know it………….

So where do these horrible thoughts come from?

You know , the ones that make you hate your darling thin girlfriend with a red hot hate.  The ones that make you despise the precious child sitting next to you as they chow down their macaroni and cheese. The ones that encourage you to hide the last cookie from your husband with all the love of Gollum protecting his “precious.”

What happened to that lovely gal who went through life as though forest animals ran to her and birds tied ribbons in her hair? It’s just the transformation of a perfectly wonderful woman who went on a diet. A woman trying to be skinny.

That skinny goal turns a happy woman’s life into a grueling and punishing angry ordeal.

Let’s Make it easier!  Trade your “skinny”  goal for “healthy”!

 

 

Here’s another way to look at it. Think of it as trying to learn a song on the piano if you don’t play.  You could force yourself to memorize the exact notes without really understanding how to play, but it would be labored, confusing and pretty tortuous as your song probably never gets exactly to the level of perfection you wanted to reach. Your fingers would struggle to be where they were supposed to be.

But if learning and practicing to play piano became part of your daily life, at some point you could play ANY song. Your fingers would begin to fly over the keys. You eliminated the torture and confusion of learning just one song, by mastering musical skill for a lifetime. And even if you stop playing for a while, you can get back into it easily with a little practice.

Learning to live a healthy lifestyle is pretty similar actually. Yes, there is a learning curve, but once you’ve mastered the building blocks of healthy, it can’t be unlearned. Your healthy body memorizes what it is like to be there, and just like your fingers that jump to the correct note after a wrong one, your body will subconsciously crave the healthy life after choices that are less healthy. 

 

Ok, lets not oversimplify – you do have to put in some effort to be healthy!

But the effort is in learning the ways to do it, rather than deprivation and suffering like the pursuit of skinny is.

FOOD:

Search for the healthy foods you enjoy and then……..enjoy them!

If there are healthy foods you don’t enjoy- just don’t eat them! What’s so hard about that?

FITNESS:

If you think working out isn’t fun, then you haven’t found YOUR thing yet!  If you try an activity and you don’t like it -don’t do it !

Search out different activities until you find the one you like. You don’t have to be good at it when you start.  If you enjoy it you will continue to improve. You will suddenly look back with pride at how far you’ve come.

You might ask, “Where does she come off giving this advice?” And I understand. I am not a doctor or nutritionist. But LIFE is my credential. For about 25 years as an adult I spent my time trying to be thin through willpower and dieting. And for me it mostly worked because I have strong willpower! But it was not a fun way to live.  With the dawn of easy internet access and personal portals it became easier to find the latest in diet science and I learned the scientific way to eat correctly. The ratio of willpower needed shrunk considerably. Life is much more fun with some knowledge under my belt. (including the understanding that if I swerve off the path of “healthy” occasionally, everything will be fine!)  Who would have thought that during a time that is well known for gaining weight (menopause) I would find that keeping my weight at a comfortable level would be easier than it ever has been in my life?

So forget about “skinny”! Think “healthy” and you will probably find that you have lost weight easily and naturally.  By concentrating on the real goal of healthy, the secondary benefit of weight loss comes along without the frustration and punishment.

 

(There is a lot of diet science available but my favorite place to start if you haven’t read it  is “Foodist” by Darya Rose. Easy to understand info by a young scientist who loves to eat well. Or find her blog as a great place to start www.summertomato.com)

Is it More Dangerous to Work Out as We Get Older?

I was running down my favorite running route; a sidewalk  path with a gorgeous water view. I felt euphoric. I was feeling awesome about myself and was mentally patting myself on the back. “Ya, I’m doing this. “I feel strong.” But yes, pride goeth before a splat, and about 30 seconds later I was down on the ground on my hands and knees. I had tripped over the edge of the short metal footbridge over a creekbed. The metal grates were quite unpleasant to land on, I must say. Falling seems harsher than I remember– maybe just because it is an infrequent adult event.

Very shaken, I got up slowly and tried to figure out what I had twisted or broken. Blood was running down my knees in a Very Dramatic Way. I cautiously started moving and realized that shockingly, I was unhurt except for the outrageously skinned knees.

Are athletic endeavors more dangerous as we get older? Can we work out safely and get a good workout? When are we doing more harm than good?

Physicians and Researchers agree that there are multiple benefits to keeping fit as we age. Heart Disease and Diabetes are two of the biggies that are dramatically reduced in populations of fit adults. But how do you really know when its time to be cautious or when you are just using your age as an excuse, telling yourself and others that you can no longer working out like you did? And when is an ache or pain a red flag that you are injured vs. something that is a normal part of aging?

 

Talk to Your Doctor

Clearly the first of these questions is for your own doctor. Doctors agree as a group that we should be active, doing exercises that are weight bearing, flexibility, and cardio-vascular fitness level improving. But your own doc is your first stop in determining what is too much for you and yes, also what is too little.

My own doctor certainly surprised me a few years ago when I was about 50. Although I had been a fitness runner in my 30’s and early 40’s, I had gotten off that track and I was certain he would advise me now to find other types of fitness to pursue. I was SO wrong.

In my case, he felt that I was fit enough to be running, and strongly suggested that I needed much more cardio-type activity.  I was a bit offended, because I assumed he was going to tell me that I was quite fit for my age. It was NOT that type of conversation. Instead of praise I got lectured! He firmly told me that dog walking and leisurely bike rides didn’t cut it for cardio! I needed to stop making excuses and demand more of myself!

I told him about some concerns I had about running, he listened, noted and commented, but he never let me off the hook.  He advised me to start slow with a combination of walking and running at first, but he was pretty adamant about giving it a try. I had convinced myself I was too old, but luckily for me, he was convinced I could, and should, do it. And he was right.

So that conversation with your doctor is important both for what you should avoid, and what you should be doing. Your doctor knows your history. Don’t be surprised if he thinks you can do more than YOU think you can.

 

Better Fitness Can Eliminate Some Aches and Pains!

Clearly, there ARE aches and pains and issues that may be a red flag. But some of those will be diminished by a fitness regimen. In my case, I thought I was experiencing arthritis in my ankles because every morning when I got out of bed, they ached quite a bit for the first few minutes until they warmed up. But after my running and reintroduction to a weight-training regimen, that pain has disappeared! I no longer hobble to the coffee pot.

So back to my dramatic fall on the bridge.  Since I was well into my run the only options were to run or walk home….. Nothing was really hurting other than my ego, so I kept going, despite the blood on my knees and no way to clean up.

A few minutes later I crossed paths with another runner. A cute younger guy in his 30’s with an effortless gazelle-like stride.  My bloody knees were so humiliating!  But he smiled at me as he assessed what had happened and nodded and gave me a thumbs up!  I felt a rush of pride, the confidence of achievement, and a sense of camaraderie that ignored age.  Skinned knees went from an embarrassment, to a badge of honor.

Depending on our personal history, there may be some limitations as we age, but maybe not as many as we think! The rewards are great. Talk to your doctor (and maybe carry a few bandaids in your back pocket!)

The Tale of Two Yogic Women (or) Can We Evolve from Our Cave-Chick Ancestry?

Very recently I was taking a yoga class from my long time friend and yoga guru, Wendy.

I have practiced yoga on and off for 10 years with Wendy, and even during the times I take a break, she remains one of the voices in my head.  She is a fabulous teacher, and she is in great shape. Great enough to wear shorts and heels at a party this summer (at age 50), and totally get away with it looking amazing!

 

As she led me through the practice, I marveled at her form, her instruction, and definitely her body. I couldn’t help comparing myself to her. Next to her, I felt overweight and flabby. Whenever I bent over I tried to suck in my gut. I couldn’t totally shut out the voice in my head that kept saying “she looks great and I need work”.

 

As we continued we got to the floor part of the practice. Wendy stood above me, helping me stretch and she shook her head. She said, “I feel so fat next to you. The whole time I have been thinking how thin you look and after all, being fit is my business. I should be doing better!”

After a few seconds, giggles overtook my amazement at her words. But then I stopped giggling. What was going on here?

 

Our Noisy Inner-Cave-Chick Voice

We were both in pretty good shape, friends, and saw ourselves as evolved, confident women. We are passionate about yoga and its benefits. Yet both of us were a bit distracted comparing ourselves critically to the other.  But how could we even be Thinking about that when we were pursuing something we loved to do? How could we feel that way when the reality was that neither either of us was “fat”?

 

Most women spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about their looks in some way. Are we too fat, too flabby, etc? How does our hair look, do we need a makeover? The list is endless. We also know that men spend almost NO time on these thoughts, but think about sex-related thoughts constantly.

 

Maybe worrying about our looks is the female instinctual counterpart of the male side that thinks about sex all the time?

Rather than some deep-seated lack of confidence that we all share, instead are we genetically driven to worry about looking appealing? Is instinct (propagation of the human species) wearing down our confidence, Ladies? Is our inner-cave-chick working against us?

 

Can We Evolve?

Our current societal expectations of men demand that they see women as more than just sexual creatures. We constantly ask them (no – tell them!) to rise above sexual thoughts of women to see us as equals in work, home life decisions, political offices, etc. So if we demand it from them, don’t we have to demand the same from ourselves? Can we ask more of modern men than we do of our modern selves?

 

Comparisons are ok if they fuel healthy changes or inspire fun. But separating the positive from the negative voices in our heads takes work. Even if that voice evolved from a female ancestor of long ago who worried that she couldn’t get the cave-guy of her dreams!

 

For myself, the pursuit of fitness is positive and important, and looking my best has value when it brings confidence. But super critical comparisons are a waste of energy and time. Let’s try to remind the noisy inner-cave-chick in our heads to enjoy fitness and beauty pursuits and keep them in our modern girl perspective!

Beauty Rehab – Kicking Our Old Beauty Habits

Rehab means using Inner Strength to leave old habits behind. Tired, old beauty habits make us look tired and old, even if back in the day they totally worked to get us high on our look!
Girl, give up that comfortable old habit to discover your best look. Recovery is never easy! But here are a few tips for accomplishing Beauty Rehab.

Hair Rehab: 

That tried and true hairstyle isn’t as loyal to you as you think. If you are sporting the same look that you did in the 70’s or 80’s you are in an addiction spiral with your old look!  Take a deep breath and change it up! Times change and your hair has too!  Hair gets drier and thinner with age and graying.

The great news is that there is no one style that everyone should emulate. Flower children: remember that if you didn’t have long, straight hair parted in the middle, you were “un-groovy”? So difficult on the curly girls!

Even if your long term style still gets you buzzed, a few minor changes – a subtle change in cut and a little color rehab, can make a world of difference.  A deep conditioning treatment can add volume and shine and can be done at home. Find a deep conditioner you like. Appy to hair and wrap your hair in a hot towel, fresh out of the warm dryer. After 15 minutes, rinse with cool water for maximum results.

Makeup Rehab:

The rule of thumb for makeup rehab depends on if you are currently using.  If you never/rarely use makeup it’s a great time to start with some color correcting and a little lip definement to wake up your whole look. A CC crème can feel super light and can brighten your whole face. Choose one with an SPF to add sun protection.  CC crèmes and tinted moisturizers don’t typically feel “made up”. A light-colored lip liner adds just enough definition to blurring lip lines.

Conversely, if you can’t leave the house without that certain “sumpthin sumpthin” on your face, reassess that what you are using is the best for your skin today.  You don’t need to quit, but some moderation may be needed.

Your favorite shades looked good 15 years ago but your skin’s tone and color has changed. Go “cold turkey” and pick out some new products or use the skills of the professional – head to your department store for some color matching and new product info.

Even if you want to buy less expensive products, you can use the free services of the line experts at the mall stores. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples. Department stores and specialty stores such as Ulta and Sephora are more than happy to give you a small amount to take home and try, hoping to get you hooked on their product.

Also,  sales staffers who are a little older can be a great resource. For a couple of reasons….. Some of the younger makeup sales people have trouble relating to what older skin really needs. Its not their fault – we are all more likely to understand our own needs the best.  Asking the salesperson direct questions about “older” skin will tell you if they can really help you. And look at their personal makeup. While they may wear more than you are comfortable with (its their job, after all) you will still be able to tell if they “get” what strategies are working when we are not still 25.

Style Rehab:

Ok, most of us experience body changes as we get older.

So What! All ages and all body types need a strategy to find the best looks. There are so many different trends and styles that are “in.”  For example, Tops: give up the super tight tops if you have a bit more around the middle. It’s easy to find lots of great tops that will look amazing.  (or) Jeans: Low rise, mid rise, high waist, skinny, boyfriend, for example. It goes on and on and on in every fashion category. Every figure type has a fashion trend-friend* these days.

1.Decide what your favorite part of your body is, and accentuate! 2.And find things that fit! Go with a style that fits YOU – don’t just get a bigger top that swims on your chest and shoulders, for example.

3. Fabric Matters.  Shy away from thin fabrics that accentuate less flattering lines. Don’t forget to use a mirror to see the view from behind!

In-Your-Head Rehab (a little counselling):

Embracing new beauty strategies DOES NOT mean you can’t embrace your age. Check out the nominees for the Academy Awards to see women of all shapes and ages who are beautiful, fabulous and celebrated. Even Hollywood now acknowledges the beauty of a women who has left the ingénue stage behind, so don’t ever feel that just because you are changing strategies, that you aren’t still drop dead gorgeous!

 

The Absolutely, Positively Real, Anti-Aging Product that just Costs Pennies a Day!

The title to this article is a pretty strong boast and we have been taught that if it is too good to be true – it is. But there is an undisputed product that is generally very inexpensive compared to other skin care that will actually prevent aging!

If you could absolutely, positively, prevent some aging and skin damage over the next year wouldn’t you do it? Well you can!   And that product is…..wait for it (drum roll here!) SUNSCREEN!

Sorry if you feel let down by our big reveal, but it is Absolutely True. Using sunscreen every day will prevent a lot of big and small wrinkling, age spots, mottling and discoloration, and sagging skin. Sun exposure when we are young causes future damage to occur, and the older you are, the faster all of the above will occur as your skin is less resilient.

So why is it that we often forget or don’t bother? Why experience the damage to your skin that will occur over the next year of sun exposure. Why not eliminate the skin’s aging process where you can?

twallace

To help motivate us to remember the sunscreen, we asked advisory board member Dr. Kenneth Wallace (click to read his complete bio on our Advisory Board page) to give us some expert info about the sun and aging. As a dermatologist and Moh’s surgeon, (practicing in the sunny state of Florida) Dr. Ken has spent a lot of time dealing with the damage the sun has caused. We asked him to help us really understand why sunscreen is a MUST every day.

Dr. Ken breaks this down in some easy to understand science about our skin:

There are many visible signs of aging that we women hate. What is happening to the skin that we can’t see? 

Your body’s skin is held together by elastin and collagen. Think of them as akin to the lines of steel that are laid in preparation for cement on a highway. The steel lines act to stabilize the cement and hold the cement in place. Years of the abuse of trucks and cars riding over them breaks them down, allowing the cement to break up, causing pot holes. The sun has the same effect on your skin’s elastin and collagen as those trucks. Years of the sun’s rays break them down. When this happens, the elastin can no longer hold things in place and the effects of gravity become apparent in a sagging face. As the saying goes, “when the snow melts, sometimes we see the landscape has changed.” Gone is that youthful, voluminous look and the only ways to replace it are $1500 dollar fillers every 2 years at the dermatologist’s office, or that $15,000 dollar face lift you always wanted. Personally, I would stick with the sunscreen.

Why does sunscreen make a difference?

All humans, regardless of skin color, have the same numbers of melanocytes. They exist on the bottom layers of the epidermis. There is about 1 melanocyte to every 15-20 basal cells. So if you imagine our epidermis to be a brick wall, the bottom bricks being termed basal cells and all the upper ones termed squamous cells, there is one melanocyte every 15 bottom bricks. Darker skinned individuals simply make more melanin. The melanin forms a sort of umbrella over each of the bricks, or squamous cells in our epidermis. In fact under the microscope, it looks similar to just that, an umbrella. Melanin is our body’s sunscreen and protects us from the damaging effects of UV rays. So we can think of sunscreen as synthetic melanin as it adds a protective layer to our skin. Darkest skin typically has enough melanin which is why they rarely develop squamous or basal cell skin cancers (though they have the same risk for melanomas because they have the same number of melanocytes). However, light skin needs assistance if it is to be exposed to the sun for too long. 

Sunscreens block the harmful youth sucking effects of the sun’s rays, often delaying if not preventing what was once the inevitable.

What type of products (ingredients) should we look for?

What is your recommended SPF? 

SPF rating is a measure of “how long a sunscreen remains effective on the skin.” We multiplying the SPF factor by the length of time it takes a person to suffer a burn without sunscreen. So, if a person develops a sunburn in 10 minutes when not wearing a sunblock, the same person will prevent sunburn for 150 minutes if he/she wears a sunblock with a SPF of 15. This is of course, in imperfect measurement. Because an SPF of 150 would NOT prevent sunburn for 1500 minutes. The bottom line is that you only need an SPF of 30 provided you remember to apply it every 4 hours. Meaning applying an SPF of 100 would not do any more for you DURING those four hours than an SPF of 100. I recommend finding the cheapest, going out of business, 50% off for today only sunscreen, provided you like it. Because if two products both have and SPF of 30, the more expensive one will do nothing more than lighten your wallet.

Many manufacturers market sunscreen products that are recommended for face or body individually. Is there a difference in the type of sunscreen we should be using for our face?  

Your skin (or epidermis) is thickest on your hands and feet. That being said, the skin on you face is no different than the skin on your derriere.  The manufacturers of sunscreen do try to market them in various ways. For example, saying perhaps you should use sunscreens with a moisturizer on your face. Butt frankly (pun intended) (Oh, Dr. Ken!) you may as well use the ones with the moisturizers everywhere as well. In fact I recommend using sunscreens with moisturizers all the time, that way you get two advantages with one product.

We have been talking about the cosmetic affects of the sun on the skin, but we also know that there is a real health hazard to too much sun. Can you tell us a little about skin cancer and how/why the sun causes cancer. And is skin cancer as dangerous as other cancers? 

Think of UV rays as shrapnel, exploding through your body and it’s DNA. When that happens it literally rips through and tears the DNA. If that part of the DNA is the part that tells a cell to limit dividing to so many times a day, it may decide to divide without restraint forever. THAT is called cancer. The three major forms of skin cancer come from the cells I have already mentioned. Basal cells make basal cell cancer, squamous cells make squamous cell cancer, and melanocytes make malignant melanomas. Basal cell cancers are the most prevalent, but they can come from one terrible burn as a teenager. The cells DNA, now damaged, produced a cancer 30 years later. Squamous cell cancers have more to do with the length and cumulative effects of sun exposure, so the longer the years of exposure the greater the risk. Melanomas have primarily a genetic reason for development, but the sun can accelerate an already genetically defective melanocyte to produce its cancer earlier, or indeed, stimulate a malignant melanoma from a genetically undamaged melanocyte (de novo). While it is true that basal cell cancers rarely kill you, make no mistake regarding malignant melanomas, they are lethal.

Do you have any other advice for us when it comes to the sun and our skin? 

As with all things, less is more when it comes to sunexposure. The best you can do for your skin is sun avoidance. Use sunscreens,  use moisturizers, and drink water.

Let me end with this; never be more tan than your dermatologist!

The Motivation Trick – How to Stay Motivated to Do your Workout!

A personal friend, and friend of the site recently posted the above question to her facebook page.

Now, Christine is both beautiful and very fit. It’s hard to believe that she needs any motivation. But Christine is not the only one. Her very honest request for help from her friends illustrates that both the fit, and those beginning to work out, often really need that push to get going.

WHY IS IT SO HARD?

Getting motivated to start our workouts sometimes can be much harder than actually doing them!  It’s hard to say why exactly, but there are probably many factors that can be different for everyone. Habits, scheduling, weather, discomfort, yesterday’s party, the list goes on and on. So how can we get motivated? Try a little trick called “The Out”.

THE OUT

I have been giving myself The Out for years and I don’t know why, but it really works for me. It’s almost a little mind game I play on myself… but of course, I’m in on it. LOL!

Like Christine, I try to run for cardio fitness. But I really can’t say that I enjoy it that much, especially since I live in Florida and the humidity can really make it brutal. Some days it takes A LOT to get myself out there, so here is what I do: I give myself “THE OUT”.

I tell myself that if I really don’t feel like it, or feel up to it, I don’t have to do it. All I MUST to do is to get myself dressed in my workout gear and walk out the door. That’s it – that is the only thing that I HAVE to commit to. After that, it can go either way. I tell myself before every run that after I get out there, if I really don’t feel like it, I can give myself THE OUT and just NOT do it. I will walk instead, so at least I have done something.

ITS OK IF YOU DON’T “DO IT”

So I go outside and start adjusting my music, do some light warm-up stretching and then I decide to start. I almost NEVER decide not to go. But there have been rare times that for whatever reason, I have decided to walk a bit instead.  Maybe I wasn’t feeling that great, or the humidity was just too high. If  I really didn’t want to do the workout at that point, I tell myself that it is ok, at least I got myself outside. The truth is once I am there; almost all days, I just do it (thanks Nike). But I also know that if I am really hating it, I am allowed to stop. Somehow, just knowing that I have “permission” keeps me going and I complete the workout. 

THE OUT WORKS FOR ALL WORKOUTS 

If running is not your thing, try THE OUT with whatever it is you like to do.

If it’s a class that you take at the gym, get dressed and get in the car. Commit to that much, and then decide if you drive to the gym or the coffee shop.

If its swimming laps in the pool, commit to getting your suit on and jumping in the water. Then you can decide if it’s laps or a floaty!

If powerwalking is your fav, get your butt out the door in your sweats and then decide if its only a trip to the mailbox!

Chances are, you’ll do the whole workout most of the time.

JUST GET DRESSED GIRL!

Use THE OUT to get yourself started toward your workout. (Just remember that you DO have to commit to the easy part of getting dressed for the workout.) If you are like me, you won’t actually use it too often. And when you do, you know that you really needed an OUT, so take it without guilt and just make sure you go ahead and stick to the basic commitment of getting dressed the next day!

christinefitpic

Christine looking Fit and Fab

Losing Weight During Menopause -Impossible? Maybe Not!

I will tell you the conclusion right at the beginning of the story.  Over time – I lost weight during menopause! Now, full disclosure – I am not by any means saying that I didn’t experience changes and yes weight issues were one of them, but at the end of the day – I didn’t gain weight, I lost it! Here is what happened:

I am not a scientist or a nutritionist. I am just an average woman, who had mostly “healthy” habits.  Dieting and staying thin was a goal, and focusing on nutrition was a hobby.   Like most of us, I didn’t think about menopause until I entered it.  I thought I had my body and my health under control.

Menopausal Changes

Once menopause hit, I felt like I was gaining weight, but then realized it was mostly that my weight was changing location on my body. It landed on my midsection, (which I hated). I started reading about weight gain during menopause and found two divided schools of thought. Some thought it was inevitable and others maintained it was just weight that could be lost the same way any weight could be lost. And maybe its both, depending on the person. Confusing, but I decided it was possible to lose the weight on my tummy– yippee! But I had to diet – yuk! I was worried that since my lifestyle was already one that was (in my opinion)  “very healthy” it was going to be super hard to do this.

The problem was that the nutritional information I had used all my life was flawed. The 80’s and 90’s spawned a lot of fad diets that had no real scientific basis.  As luck would have it, real diet-science emerged in a big way about the time my menopause emerged. And the internet made it available. Now science that was based on how bodies really metabolized food, was accesible.  I discovered “Foodist“, by Darya Rose. (It’s still my favorite “go-to”)  Easy to read, and although she is a neuroscientist, I didn’t have to be one to understand the book.

I learned that the biggest obstacle to losing weight is eating processed foods and yet, it is the simplest one to remember! It reinforced my gut feelings that if nature made it, it probably made sense, and if it had ingredients that I couldn’t find individually on a shelf (what aisle do you go to for the monosodium glutamate, for example), I tried to avoid it.  It even simplified my compulsive reading of labels. If it had a label, I probably didn’t want to eat it regularly, so now I rarely had to read one!

Getting older also made me more mindful about how chemicals and non-food additives could cumulatively affect my health.  Trying to avoid processed foods  (and so the chemicals and additives in them) just made good sense to me.

The News About Fat

The next great news I learned was that it was OK to eat fat, and that I probably could lose weight if I did. The first time I read this in my trusted source, Foodist, I had trouble believing it.  Apparently if your body doesn’t have fat, it tries to keep the fat it has (to put it in oversimplified terms). Who knew? After all, my working knowledge of nutrition came from the 80’s and 90’s that vilified fat. But I decided to give it a try.  Now I cook with olive oil without remorse and eat other healthy fats in moderate quantities.

What About Complex Carbs and Sugar?

Most of the sugars we consume (and sugar substitutes) come in processed foods. I don’t have a tremoundous sweet tooth so that wasn’t my challenge.  But pasta is a different story! And so is bread for this Italian girl.  But when I remind myself that I will have it sometimes, like when I can get it fresh and not processed, cravings are manageable! That works for the sweet stuff too.

Mindful Balance

I admit that it is pretty hard to never have one processed item cross your lips, and never eat a complex carb if you are not a zealot. I am definitely not a zealot – but I am mindful. I think there is a huge difference. A zealot will never eat anything “bad” no matter what the circumstance. THAT’S NOT FOR ME! But mindful means I eat mostly healthy and splurge when I really want to.  Like fancy dinners on date nights with my husband.  I don’t hold back then, just get back to normal the next day!

What About Fitness?

Mindful eating is the number one key to weight loss and maintenance.  Fitness does help though, and of course we feel better if we are fit!  I started weight training again to build muscle mass, (lifting that booty again!). I try to balance weight training, cardio exercise (running or fast walking) and yoga throughout my week. I like the balance of doing different things so I don’t get in a rut or bored, and injury is less likely.  And I go through phases:  such as more yoga for a while and less running, then the opposite.  If I have to miss, I don’t stress, just go as soon as possible. I have to say, my workouts are even more fun than they used to be, because they are part of my overall healthy plan, rather than a grueling pursuit of my efforts to stay thin.

Yippee! I Lost Weight!

So here is what happened over the span of a couple years…. I started out menopause at the weight I had hovered around for years before. Today, I hover around about five pounds lighter. Weight still goes to my midsection but it is less than when I started.   I got through menopause losing a little weight by eating smarter – not dieting!  If I gain a couple of pounds on vacation (or too many splurge days), I get a little more diligent the week after I get back. It’s short term, then back to decisions that are about more about health than weight loss. And the tummy goes down again!

Although menopause brings changes, I found that good habits can definately minimize the effect.

Yoga Attire and Workout Wear Designed with the Real Woman In Mind!

It’s finally here! Still Sassy Sister has launched the line of yoga pants and yoga tops that is designed with the Real Woman in mind.
Around my 50th birthday I started experiencing the changes that most of us women do. I wasn’t thrilled to find out that along with other changes that menopause was bringing, I was making some changes in my wardrobe, right down to my workout wear. I bought yoga tops that were bigger to accommodate that my tops were tighter in the tummy. And I felt like my yoga pants just didn’t look as good as they used to! I heard other women around me of all ages complaining about how their workout wear fit too! After about a year of buying bigger tops that just didn’t fit right and yoga pants that I didn’t love, I decide to do something about it!

The idea for Still Sassy Sister was born. But it took another year of design strategy, drawing board re-visits and re-designs, before it finally paid off. They had to be cute! They had to feel good!
Yoga Apparel engineered to fit all of us Real Women was ready to launch. We are off to a great start and there are other styles in production coming soon. This line is for us, so let me know what you think and what you would like to see in the future. Thank you for all your support so far!

Always Looking Fabulous: How To Find The Best Yoga Clothing

In today’s normal everyday hustle and bustle, many people find relaxation in yoga. However with that hustle and bustle comes errands run to and from yoga class, putting yourself in the face of numerous strangers and the slim chance of running into someone you know. Bottom line: you want to be wearing the best yoga clothing: pants that flatter your behind and a top that persuades strangers to ask where you bought it. But other than looking good, yoga attire has a purpose; it needs to be functional and comfortable while moving through asanas.

Be sure to move into poses when trying on yoga clothing. Pants should allow for comfortable movement, not fall down, and not feature details that could irritate you like a super long drawstring or large grommets. Tops should also allow for movement, should not cut off circulation when you raise your arms or twist, especially in the arm hole area. Be sure a looser top doesn’t fall over your head during downward facing dog and if a shirt lifts up during mountain with arms raised, you’re comfortable with the revealed belly skin. Check seams for quality stitching and consider fabrics: cotton is comfortable but doesn’t wick moisture away, while synthetic fabrics like Lycra offer superior stretch capabilities and cooling technology, but often need to be line dried and even washed in a special sports fabric detergent.

Don’t forget to consider hoodies or looser tops and pants to cover up your yoga tanks and leggings during winter months, or if your yoga clothing is more on the revealing side and you’d like to be covered up after class when you meet a friend in the coffee shop.

Fashion Forward: Trendy Yoga Clothing

For the fashion forward yogis, trendy yoga clothing isn’t hard to come by, the question is finding the items that flatter your body and are made with quality. Just because something is trending, doesn’t necessarily mean you look good wearing it. Try on pieces and be honest with yourself, or take an honest confidant into the dressing room.

We believe we are a great company with an honest and admirable vision to make quality clothing while helping society and the environment.

 

 

“Real-Food” February!

What is Real-Food February?

(#realfoodfebruary) Real-Food February is a one month Commitment to Healthy Living… which leads to Happy Living, and Feeling Great Living, and Looking Great Living!

We believe that looking good and Sassy comes in great part from feeling fit and healthy and that’s why we hope that this is the year that everyone in our Sasster community really commits to learning about and eating healthy food. We want you to be around for a long, healthy, and good looking life! We want you to be around for all the fun the rest of our lives have to offer! Healthy diet habits are the surest way we have to get there.

One of the biggest challenges Americans have in terms of their health and constant efforts towards weight loss is the processed foods we eat. By now we all know that – not exactly news, right?

And yet, we still continue to eat foods loaded with chemicals, low quality fats, high sugars and sugar substitutes. These sabotage our efforts to lose weight, increasing cravings, keeping us fatter, sluggish and frustrated. Once we get past 40, our changing hormones can make it even more frustrating to keep our weight where we want it, and sometimes it just seems like an impossible task to lose weight and be healthy. When we feel overweight and sluggish it is almost impossible to feel Sassy and Energetic, and Great About Ourselves.

That is why Stillsassysister.com is challenging us all to adopt Real-Food February. Lets all commit to one month of eating just Real Food for just the shortest month of the year. Once we do it for just one short month, our palates will start changing and subscribing to a mostly Real Food diet will become much easier, and so will every other health related goal you have.

Weight loss will become easier, energy levels will rise, and we will have the confidence of knowing that we are in charge of our own bodies and can decide how to keep them healthier. When you accept the Real Food February Challenge don’t worry about dieting or losing weight. Some of us will lose weight without trying just by committing to real food. You can decide how to tweak your Real Food diet later if you want to lose weight (and it will be SOO much easier!!) But don’t worry about that now!

 

WHAT IS “NOT REAL” FOOD?

Put it this way, eat ANYTHING you want as long as it did not come in a box or in cellophane, or was put together in a factory, and does not have an ingredient list that is longer than just the food item and water. How freeing is that? For now, just concentrate on eating ONLY REAL FOOD. Just for One Month!

Generally,  if it had a stop in a factory before it got to you – don’t eat it! If it comes from a Fast Food Restaurant – don’t eat it!

Here’s what We Can eat: Things that will go bad if you don’t eat them while fresh!

 

Some Tips and Advice For REAL-FOOD FEBRUARY:

Baked Goods:

NO CHAIN GROCERY STORE BAKED GOODS! If you baked it yourself or it came from a real local bakery, go ahead if you are in the mood for a treat. However, don’t eat anything from your grocery chain store bakery! Even if they baked it on-site, usually the ingredients are mixed together and shipped to them with all the trans fats, preservatives, etc already in there. All they do is the final step of cooking or baking. Don’t believe me? After the grocery store person puts your choice in a bag, check the ingredient label. Shocking, right?! All the same crap is in there as if you went to buy it in a box off the shelf. This includes bread! For just this month, skip it or take the trip to your local bakery for a real fresh loaf!

CANNED GOODS:

You can use canned goods only if they have the following ingredients: “The Food Item You Want” and “WATER.” That’s it! Nothing Else in there IS ALLOWED!

CHEESE:

You can have cheese if it is 100!% real and NOT shredded, cubed, or some other process, and it has a RIND. If your cheese has a rind, you know it is real cheese and does not have anything else mixed in taking up space to extend its size, or preservatives to extend its life.

WHAT ABOUT CRACKERS FOR MY CHEESE? Make your own by slicing your fresh – real bakery bread into thin slices and bake until crispy. If you don’t want to do that – skip the crackers! Come on, its only for one month!

DAIRY AISLE:

Be very careful and REAL ALL LABELS. A lot of prepackaged dairy items have junk mixed in and tend to have lower grade ingredients. There aren’t many diary items that adults need in their diet but if you have to have yogurt, for example, read your label carefully, stay away from fruit-added yogurts and flavorings.

SNACKS:

Do we really have to say: NO STORE BOUGHT SNACKS. ????? Period. These are just about the worst food items on the planet and current research says the non food ingredients do something bad to just about every system in our bodies. And packed with fat calories! Have a healthier snack of fruit, veggies, raw nuts, cheese or popcorn (but see below first!!)

POPCORN:

No prepared microwave popcorn. However, throw popcorn kernals in a small brown lunch bag, fold it over, and they microwave just as well! You have eliminated all the crap in there and can season or not to your desire (salt, pepper, spices). (also, you can coat your kernels in a little olive oil before popping if you want)

PASTA & SAUCES:

Most communities in America have a shop or two that makes their own fresh pasta. If you can’t get it in yours, just skip it for the month. Don’t forget you have to make your own sauces anyway! Absolutely no jars of any type of sauce. (however, fresh cut up tomatoes, garlic, and parsley with a little salt and pepper in a pan is the most delicious freshest sauce for pasta and takes only about 15 minutes to cook down the tomatoes enough but still be chunky, fresh and amazing over anything)

RESTAURANTS:

This can be a challenge, but it can be done. But you will have to avoid almost all chain restaurants because they ship in or buy prepared products similar to the chain bakeries we talked about. Before going to a restaurant, let them know that you cannot eat any prepared foods. An easy way to get them to be honest is tell them that you are allergic to all preservatives and certain oils and you can only eat fresh goods. They may think you are a bit of a pain, but SO WHAT! Sadly, it is usually the more expensive, gourmet places that are dedicated to farm to table, freshest ingredients. So if budgeting is a concern, this might be a time to avoid the restaurant scene completely (again- its only for one month!)

FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS

HAHAHA – LOL ! Did anyone really ask about this? – !s there anyone on the planet who really thinks that fast food is good for you? Fast food has only one benefit and that is convenience. While convenience is important in this fast paced world, if it is bringing you and your family to an earlier grave with fats, preservatives, complex carbs and hormones, convenience doesn’t sound as important. Throwing some meat and some veggies in a pan with olive oil and spices does NOT take longer than the stop to the fast food joint. It is ready in minutes and fills you up with good, real food without all the extra crap that makes you fat or makes you crave sugar, or fills you up temporarily with excess carbohydrates and low grade fats! Fast Food is Forbidden (our new battle cry) and hopefully for life, not just for February!

OILS:

Trade out vegetable oils for Olive Oil. It is heart healthy and tastes great. Honestly, this is one the only areas where you might have to spend more money if you are used to buying the less desirable oils. But the health benefits of using Olive Oils are so worth it, we strongly urge you to make this substitution.

COLD CUTS – They are out for the month. They have lots of preservatives.

BEVERAGES:

Of course no soda! And drink manufacturers have plenty of ways to trick us into thinking that what is inside is good for us. The words “real Juice” and “natural” do not mean that all that is in there is real juice and real food ingredients. If you are drinking anything bottled – READ THE LABEL DILIGENTLY! Drink lots of water this month. If you don’t drink a lot of water, you will be amazed how addicting it becomes once you get in the habit! It helps just about every system in our bodies to work more efficiently. Cut up some fruit or veggies and throw into a pitcher of water to add refreshing flavor. A little real fruit in your water doesn’t add much sugar to speak of and it looks great too. Cucumber water is amazingly fresh and thirst quenching (even if you aren’t a big cucumber fan!).

FOOD LABELS:

Ignore the front of the label that is filled with marketing hype and legal ways to get around what is really in the package. Read the back ingredient label only and remember, in Real Food February, you shouldn’t have to read many labels. Real, fresh ingredients don’t have labels!. They are what they are!

Basic Lunch Tips:

Planning Ahead is the key to success. And getting support from friends and co-workers. Talk about it NOW and plan ahead together about support for bringing Real-Food lunches and trading ideas. Research if there are lunch places available nearby where you can stick to Real-Food. And bring some snacks. The quickest way to fail is feel so hungry that you just eat whatever you can get your hands on, even if it’s processed.

Basic Dinner Tips:

All veggies taste great cooked in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Its true! And in season most veggies are just delightful! Cut meat into chunks and throw them in too. Or throw meats under the broiler to cook quickly. Add a small amount of water to juice them up or a few tomatoes cut up ad a lot of natural juice. Go crazy with spices. Rosemary and Garlic adds a ton of flavor. Fresh parsley and cilantro is super cheap and adds milder, but awesome flavors. Don’t forget lemon and limes squeezed onto fish, pork etc. Did we say Onions yet? If you have more time rub veggies with some olive oil and roast for 45 minutes to an hr. Bake or broil meats, fish. All the fresh flavors will jump out at you!

Basic Household Tips: The best way to stick to this for the whole month is to get everyone in the house on board. Throw out all your left over packaged food and start fresh (literally!) Invite family members to choose their veggies or meats and to get them interested, encourage any recipe ideas they might have. If your housemates are a little lazy or creativity challenged when it comes to ideas, be the voice in their heads with encouragement! And help them prepare in advance for meals away from home! You can figure it out together!

#realfoodfebruary and lets help eachother to stick to just one month (the shortest month!) of only Real Food!

Hormones, Weight Loss, and Body Types – and Some Surprising News about Weight Gain

 Dr. Olivia Joseph is passionate about nutrition and healthy eating and this amazing video shows that passion. She loves teaching her patients about how diet and lifestyle can profoundly impact health, and in her words, she “loves hormonal women!”

With particular empathy for women starting peri-menopause or in menopause, one of the things she focuses on in her practice is optimal function of the adrenal and thyroid glands. She tests for imbalances, deficiencies and toxicities with a natural plan to restore proper levels.

Dr. Joseph does not believe that we have to accept the answer that “this is just the new you” when dealing with symptoms that make us gain weight, or feel less than ourselves based on these issues. She explains what our symptoms might be telling us.

In addition to being the founder and co-owner of The Chiropractic Wellness Connection, Dr. Olivia Joseph holds a Bachelor’s degree in HumanBiology, a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree, and is board certified in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Dr. Olivia is also a clinical nutritionist. For information and tips for a healthier life go to www.CookingWithDrOlivia.com

 

 

Don’t Tell Me What to Do! (or) Can We ever Really be Influenced by Another Person?

There is nothing worse than some health or fitness nut who does nothing but lecture us on why what we do is wrong, or how to lose weight, or what workout we should be doing.

I think that sometimes we enjoy doing the opposite just because it’s so annoying to be criticized.

So can anyone actually influence us to be healthy?

The answer is yes, but not because they want to.

How do they if it’s our choice?

For me it was my sister in law, Erin.  Erin has made huge impact on my life (besides marrying my darling brother!) It was Erin who really motivated me to get more serious about strength training and toning around age 50. But she never said a word!

I only saw her once or twice a year because we live across the county from each other. I went home for Thanksgiving and I couldn’t take my eyes off her.  She looked really strong and toned, with long lean muscles and great posture. She had been strength training with Crossfit and boy, did it show! She looked amazing!

So I had a talk with myself that went something like this: “Erin is younger than you are, Jude, but not THAT much younger! She has three kids and a full time job, so she is busy too. If she can do it, you should be able to!”

Let me reiterate that I had this talk with myself and not with Erin. Although she happily answered my questions, she never tried to influence me -but her success and enthusiasm surely did! I came home and found a way to start a toning and strength-training program and yes, it worked on me too. These days I am much stronger and I don’t hate the way my jeans fit anymore. I needed to see Erin’s success and energy to remind me that I could do it too. I had just gotten out of the habit.

And then I remembered something that had happened years before in my early 40’s. I went to the gym all the time then, and I had a younger “gym friend” there named Steve. Steve and I were often there at the same time, so we always said hi and chatted, sometimes grabbed a smoothie, etc. Once he wanted some help picking out some running shoes or something and I met him at the mall, but beyond that we really didn’t have much communication.   When schedules changed, I didn’t run into him anymore, and frankly didn’t think about him.  Until about 5 years later…. I ran into Steve. (yes, at the mall, go figure!) He looked great. We said a friendly hello and had the brief, pleasant exchange that you have with an acquaintance from the past.

I turned to go and he called me back. His next words shocked me. He said “I want you to know that I have thought of you many times over the last few years as a person who changed my life” I had no idea what he was talking about and started to worry: where this was going?

He continued, “When I used to see you all the time at the gym I was really unfit at the time” (this was true, he was overweight, especially for a youngish guy) ”but whenever I saw you, you were so enthusiastic about being there and making time for your workout, you were so nice and friendly to me when I asked advice, and I saw that you could always fit in your workout, even with your busy schedule. It really motivated me to try and be the same way! And then I got into the habit of making it part of my life. Thank you for that.”

I was floored! I had absolutely no idea about any of that. But it made me feel great! I never ran into Steve again, but now it was my turn to be motivated by him. He reinforced to me that kind words and positive actions make a difference, and sometimes a real difference. I was so happy to know that I had actually helped someone’s life for the better without ever knowing it or even really trying to do it!

I realized it happens all the time to all of us. Not just in the area of fitness and health, but other parts of Life too. A cute look on a friend inspires you to branch out in your your own wardrobe, or try a new lipstick color.  Or even more important, watching someone in service to others inspires us to consider what more we can do.

Maybe there is someone else out there that I helped? I hope so! And I know that there are MANY that have inspired me. Thanks to everyone who never knew that what they were doing would have a lasting effect on me!

Let’s realize that every day we are helping people by our example, and then let that be part of our own motivation! And open ourselves to being motivated by others.  As we try everyday to live a fit, healthy, fun and joyful life, we are inspiring others to do so. And if we fail sometimes, but then rejoin the effort, that in itself is inspiring too!

-Judy DiVincenzo

How to Live a Sassy Life!

The beginning of the year is always an easy time to assess where you’ve been and where you are going, and most importantly where you WANT to go.

If living a SASSY life is important, defining what that means feels appropriate this month.  There can be several components to a Sassy lifestyle but really what is it? Feeling Pretty, Sexy, Happy….

Overall, it means feeling good about YOURSELF!

Sassy manifests in all the categories of beauty, health and fitness.  I think it’s impossible to feel beautiful without the foundation of health and fitness. Health and fitness are the building blocks that beauty builds on.

It is my belief that unless we pay attention to our healthy lifestyle,  worrying about the beauty component is almost futile long term. The building blocks of any women’s beauty regimen are the confidence that fitness brings, coupled with an overall all radiance that a healthy lifestyle brings.  It’s pretty hard to feel beautiful if you don’t feel good. And while feeling beautiful because of a hairstyle or new outfit(for example) is fun, feeling beautiful because of a look alone is short lived. But feeling beautiful because you feel strong and fit follows you around all the time and never leaves you!

So my advice for all of us is to see ourselves as the fit woman we want to be. Let’s Live it!

Decide how Sassy you want to be this year. Let’s start right now to plan accordingly. Find a fitness Mentor or Guru. There are charismatic and dedicated trainers and teachers in every community. Find one if you want inspiration and support. Schedule your fitness pursuits.  Commit to healthier eating and PLAN how you are going to do it.

Find those other Sassy oriented people, because they are surely out there. Talk about it with friends and family. It is always more motivating to have a community of like minded people doing it with you.

I guarantee that no one ever said: “I’ve been eating healthier lately and I feel like crap!”   You’ll never hear, “now that I’ve lost weight and feel more fit, I’m less confident.”

A Sassy Life is a Fun Life. Let’s start this year with a commitment to our healthstyle and our Sassy!

The Invisibility Myth (or) Don’t Buy into the Hologram Syndrome….

At a birthday party for a wonderful woman I know, two women started talking about the current urban myth that if you are over 50, you are INVISIBLE! The gals at this party ranged in age from late 40’s to 60’s. As I sat there listening to examples of how they acknowledged this as truth, and how they felt ignored by the world (mostly men) I couldn’t help but feeling sad…… And I had to ask – is this really true? Does age make you a sassy-less hologram of your former self that people just see through as they stare at younger women? I started thinking about this a lot.

I’m sure that we have all experienced the fun and occasionally the chivalry that  being a woman brings. You walk into a room and eyes look up. Secretly, don’t we love it? Your car needs work and the guy gives you a discount. Internally, aren’t we thrilled when this happens? But how do you feel if you realize that this has pretty much stopped? And is it inevitable that it does stop?

Does Everybody Feel This Way ?

I brought this up to another friend and a little tentatively I told her that I just DON’T feel invisible. I didn’t want to sound like I felt like I was more attractive than other 50ish women. I don’t, and that was not what I was trying to say. Do I feel like I did when I was 30? Maybe Not. But I don’t feel invisible. My friend couldn’t wait to say almost exactly the same thing. We both agreed that we weren’t looking for all the young guys in town to cat-call us as we walked by, but the knowledge that we are still perceived as generally attractive is something we both appreciated.

We concluded that we don’t feel invisible, and deduced it was mostly because we both have a lifestyle that includes fitness and healthy eating as a regular component.  But why did that keep us from feeling see-through?

Your Perception is Your Reality

Staying fit keeps you toned, thus looking younger.  It expands the fashion options away from matronly. It increases your energy. Your posture improves (this is HUGE). Your skin and hair look better. And you FEEL confident. (not just because of the physical improvements- gaining strength, endurance and flexibility, but also because you made progress and achieved goals.) That stuff builds confidence!  That confidence makes it easy to smile, throw your head back and be yourself, instead of a hologram that can’t compete.

Now I have to say that we both laughingly agreed that if we are invisible, we didn’t feel that way and since perception is reality, we Just Are Not Invisible!  So there!

There are a very few people in the world who have a crazy amount of charisma that no matter what else they do, they couldn’t fade into the background if they tried. But for most of us with average charisma, keeping our visibility factor high is synonymous with a fit and healthy lifestyle and a fit and healthy personality. A toned strong body that hasn’t faded into an androgynous blob will keep you visible both to others and most importantly to yourself!  Throw in a cute, well fitting outfit, maybe a little makeup along with a confident smile, and invisibility isn’t an option.

How Not to Feel Invisible

If you feel invisible, start today and I promise that a year from now, instead of another year of being a see through hologram, you will feel tangible and sassy!

1.Find a fitness regimen that you enjoy and can stick with.

2.Eat mindfully for better health and then enjoy your occasional splurges.

3.Remind yourself that you notice men of all ages who are in better shape too, so don’t be a hater!

3.If you want help with makeup, go to your local department store and get a free makeover to find what trends you like.

4. Buy an outfit (or 2!) that you feel great in.

Finally, surround yourself with supportive, loving, friends and family. You will NEVER be invisible to them!

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I Forgot About Khaki!!!

This past winter has been pretty dreary and it felt like the cold, snowy weather across most of the country would never end. I was sitting at my computer, hoping I could find something that would remind us that there is a light, or in this case, a Ray (of sunshine) at the end of the tunnel!

I found this picture on Elle.com and it gave me the excitment I was looking for! I mean, how great are these KHAKI looks for the spring!? I couldn’t believe I forgot about KHAKI!!!

If you forgot about Khaki too, don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s easy to forget that khaki can be super cute and, super sassy. And Khaki pairs with almost every other color and so many prints too! With Black or White – super sophisticated! With Browns or Cremes – put together and rich! When paired with bold colors like pinks, turquiose or prints, the colors just pop! And don’t forget khaki with metalics!

Check out these looks I found below. Add your shoes, scarves, bags and jewelry and jump into these easy khaki ideas:

Urban Outfitters- Urban Renewal Safari Shirt  $29.99

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The Gap- Full Midi Skirt $59.95

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Macy’s -London Fog All-Weather Hooded Trenchcoat $129.99

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Belk- Calvin Klein Belted Sleeveless Sheath Dress $95.99

Belk

Erin DiVincenzo: Inspired By What We Can Do, Not How We Look!

How does a woman with three teenage daughters who is (almost) 50, regain (and exceed) the fitness level of her youth? Erin is truly an inspiration to those of us who want to find our “fit persona” once again. Read her story:

I am a Title IX kid *– born at the right time.  Even as a young girl, my mother would point out all of the athletic opportunities that were now available to women that had not been available to her.  I grew up with lots of boys in my neighborhood, and it was always a point of pride to compete with them in an attempt to outrun, out jump and out throw them.

I was blessed have female role models as I played sports in high school (soccer, basketball, track) and college (track and basketball). These were female coaches that literally put their jobs on the line by insisting that their players get whatever the boys teams got:  new uniforms, better gym time, access to weight rooms, prime time games on a Friday night, etc.   And you know what? We got them.

That kind of atmosphere was incredibly empowering. And humbling.  I always knew that I stood on the shoulders of generations of women before me. Women that wore skirts and turtlenecks playing basketball. Women that were told it was unhealthy for them to run further than a mile.  Women that were told it was not feminine to play sports – and play hard.

After college, I was at a bit of a loss regarding fitness.  It was the first time I didn’t have a team and didn’t have a coach telling me how, when and where to work out.  I tried a little of everything. I played some more soccer and basketball. I tried volleyball and softball. I ran road races. I sweated at aerobics and kick boxing.  It was all fun  — but it never came close to the college or high school team atmosphere.

That all changed five years ago, when I found Crossfit.  At the time I was 44, and the mother of three girls. I considered myself a “former athlete.”  Between working full time, raising the kids and a few nagging injuries, I figured my true athletic days were behind me.  I dreaded the thought of going to one more aerobics class, trudging on the elliptical machine, or spinning on a bike. Stick a fork in me – I was done.

But, I happened to read an article about a new type of workout call Crossfit.  I signed up – sight unseen – immediately.  I didn’t recognize it at the time, but Crossfit offered all of the things I’d been missing:  camaraderie, coaching, new mental and physical challenges, continual learning, competition, measurable progress, endless variety – and butterflies in my stomach.

And so, while I thought I joined Crossfit to “tone up” and lose the jiggle in my thighs, I got so much more – and lost more, too. I lost my concept of what a fit person looked like.  I now assess fitness based on what someone can do – not their body shape. Endurance, speed, power, agility, flexibility – all come in many packages.  I stopped caring about the scale. I learned how to eat to perform –rather than eating to look a certain way.  I gained respect for everyone that stepped into the gym, some battling their own private demons:  injuries, surgery, illness, addiction, divorce, job loss, etc.

I am now a part time Crossfit trainer. (I have a full time job, too.)  I love training people, but especially women.  It’s incredible to see their faces when they realize they just deadlifted #150 pounds. Or that they can jump 20 inches onto a box.  Or when they flip a tractor trailer tire. They stop seeing their bodies as “not looking good enough” and instead gain great respect for its ability.

As the mother of three teenage girls, I am super sensitive to body image issues.  I know my daughters can’t escape the media and cultural influences regarding what an ideal body type should look like. So, my message is always about what a body can do. Can it dance? Or run? Or jump? Is it strong? Flexible?  Is it growing?

Food, of course, is linked to this discussion. I’ve met too many women dealing with anorexia and bulimia.  I want my girls to know that food is great!  It’s not the enemy. It’s fuel, it’s energy. It’s family time and it’s pleasurable. They know about carbs, healthy fats and protein. They know that junk food is, well, junk food!  It’s all about making healthy choices most of the time.  I don’t get on their case when they eat a bag of potato chips or eat a pile of chocolate chip cookies.

The big 5-0

This upcoming year will be a milestone for me – I turn 50 in April. I do recognize that I’m not 24 anymore, so I train smart. My rest and recovery days are critical.  I pay attention to strains and pains by addressing them immediately.  I have a great chiropractor that has worked miracles.  This allows me to still compete against people half my age.

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My goal this year is to compete in the Crossfit Open and place in the top 100 in the world in my age category, 50 – 54. (I’ll be one of the youngest!)  If you think this is just a bunch of old ladies, check out the 2014 Crossfit Games. And, yes, they have age categories up to 60+. So, I plan on competing for a long time! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W97ChMgU3o8)

As for juggling kids, jobs, training, husband, etc. – Crossfit has made it easier, not harder.  I have more energy, endurance and mental toughness now than five years ago. I like sitting in a business meeting knowing that I could crush most of the men in a Crossfit competition. 

I get so much energy from training others and from working out.  I believe it’s so good for us, as adults, to continually try new things. Like we used to do as kids, remember?  So, if you’re hesitating to try a new sport or fitness activity, ask yourself the following:

  • When is the last time you did something that scared you?
  • When is the last time you learned a new physical skill?
  • When is the last time you pushed past what you thought was your limit?
  • When is the last time you defied the “you can’t do this” voice in your head?

The risk is so worth the rewards!

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Erin DiVincenzo

*Title IX is a portion of the US Education Amendment that basically said that girls had the same rights to play funded sports that boys did. “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”

Interview with a Yoga Goddess

How do we get your abs?

A huge part of our focus at S3! is staying fit to feel and look our best. It turns out that Yoga is a solution for many fitness related issues for both beginners as well as advanced athletes.

We spoke with Wendy O’Lenic, the owner of Wendy Fit Yoga and Pilates Studio, as well as our own fitness editor! Wendy has an amazingly fit body and an amazingly fit spirit to go along with it. We stopped by her studio to get her thoughts on the benefits of yoga and a fit life.

Wendy has an almost mystical quiet energy. We weren’t sure how her seemingly calm demeanor exudes so much powerful energy at the same time. Take one of her power yoga classes and you will see what we mean. She has a love of all things mind and body, and will talk excitedly about almost anything that has to do with a healthy lifestyle. She is an unending source of details about fitness, diet, healthy lifestyle and healthy attitudes.

Wendy has years of experience in front of her students both in person and on camera (years of personal and class training, numerous videos, On-Demand TV classes) but she took time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about how her beloved yoga can improve fitness for both our readers as well as pretty much anyone.

Our first question to Wendy summed it up:

What do you enjoy most about your profession?

Helping people! I love what I do and never dread coming to work and can’t imagine that I am getting paid. I am in an industry that people actually want to come to! And I know (what I teach) is going to work. Almost everybody can do yoga and Pilates and can start at no matter what age. They can start at any level of fitness.

When you say all levels, does that include those who are already in shape too?

Yes, all ages and backgrounds come in. Sometimes they are sick of the noise of their gym. Or want to compliment their gym time with a more serene workout. Coaches (in other sports) are starting to really promote the value of flexibility and core strength that yoga and Pilates can provide, but the gyms typically don’t have the amount of (Pilates) equipment or level of instruction that we do. You HAVE to mix flexibility training with your other training or you can’t improve to the level desired. And we can deliver quite a challenge that athletes don’t often expect with yoga!

Ok you’ve convinced us that advanced athletes need more flexibility, but how do you approach the rest of us?

If you have a tight core you look good, you feel good, and I’m talking about sides and your back too, not just your abs!

What if someone hasn’t really worked out, but at 40? 50? 60? wants to start.

If you have always worked out you have higher bone density and that creates strength. But that density can be increased at any age. Never is it too late, especially with yoga. Your muscles are designed to move and stretch and the synovial fluid that lubricates everything is only activated through movement. The bone marrow starts to come to life again when you move. Cells create new connective tissue and pain and tightness reduces. There is no impact with Yoga and it is perfect for someone just starting out. Start with only five minutes if you have to and increase slowly and if you miss a day that’s ok. Just remember to keep looking up and keep going!

What about the yoga instructor?

Talk to your instructor and make sure they are listening and that they know how to modify the movements. I wouldn’t recommend a yoga teacher who doesn’t know how to take a pose from beginner through advanced. Don’t be afraid to try a new teacher or new studio if you don’t get that feeling from the instructor.

When someone comes to you with specific problems and says they have lower back issues, for example, can they still do yoga?

Absolutely, however if someone has problems and/or injury concerns, they should talk to their doctor and they should try to take one personal class (so that we can talk about your individual issues and make sure you are trained on how to modify a movement if needed). Then we can send you to the best group class for you. We have restorative classes as well as teachers who have a medical background. I love it when anyone starts out with at least one personal class first, because we can help them analyze how to recognize the good hurt vs. the bad hurt.

Un-comfortableness may be ok if it is because your muscles need it. The bad hurt can propagate or even create problems.

What are the biggest complaints you hear from women as they get “older”?

Low abs can be a challenge for women as they get older. But this is NOT something women have to put up with if they work the lower core and Kegels!

Tight abs sounds wonderful, but do some people avoid yoga because of the meditation or religious overtones?

If someone doesn’t want the meditation they can avoid it but when I say meditate I am not speaking from a religious place. I am talking about a few minutes at the end of class to allow your body to recuperate from the reactions to your daily stresses and stimuli. Just because meditation started in other cultures doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have value in our daily life. But you can meditate in your own way. If that means “go to the beach” for you, then go to the beach!

Any other advise for S3!’s?

Find something you love at any age but especially at our age! If you don’t like something you are doing in your life its time to make a changes!

Wendy is the owner and founder of Wendy Fit Yoga and Pilates Studio in Tampa Florida since 2005. She is an eRYT200 Yoga Alliance certified instructor and a member of the Suncoast Yoga Teachers Association. Wendy has studied with yoga masters such as Dharma Mittra, Rodney Yee, Baron Baptiste, David Swensen, Bryan Kest, Beryl Bender Birch, Erich Schiffmann and Tias Little, inspiring her to continue her in-depth training in Ashtanga, Hatha and Iyengar’ Yoga techniques for healing and Meditation.

She is a STOTT PILATES ® Instructor in Reformer, Physical Mind certified in Cadillac, Chair & Barrels. She also completed six modules of Polstar Pilates Training. Wendy has completed many PEAK and STOTT PILATES ® Continuing Education courses specializing in Injuries and Special Populations.

Contact Wendy at: (813)-854-5400or email: studio@wendyfit.com

Sassy Sister, Veronica Cardinale Ellinger: Balancing Family, Food, Fitness, and Fun!

When we think about the qualities that make up a Sassy Sister, the following come to mind: a woman who is multifaceted, who recognizes the quality of life gained by a healthy lifestyle, who enjoys looking her best. She has passions and interests including the people in her life, and who is accomplished in some aspect of life.

These qualities all abound in our Profile of the Month, Veronica Cardinale Ellinger.

She is a successful businesswoman, a wife, and proud mother. She has a commitment to health and has a real knack for looking polished and super cute, with a great style that appears to just come together.

We asked Veronica a few questions about how she is able to “do it all”?

Veronica, lets start with your career. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do and your business philosophy? 

I am Director of Sales and Operations for a national direct marking facial plastic surgery company.  My job involves all aspect of running the country-wide surgery centers, from front of house operations to back of house (or clinical end of the business). I am a big part of creating a positive culture and vision in these centers so that the employees have ownership of their facilities. I am very involved with the sales teams and consistently empower them to be the best they can by utilizing integrity and ethics when presenting the beautiful gift of an improved look.

As a woman myself that has always prided her self on always looking my best, I love the fact that I can influence others to understand that is alright to do something special for yourself.  As we age, our hearts and insides continue to feel young and vibrant… but as we look in the mirror over the years, our look tires and no matter what we do, such as makeup, creams, and facials , we just can’t get that youthful outside look we need to match the vibrant inside us.  The answer may be to look into facial plastic surgery! I feel Blessed to give such a gift!  My personal motto about how to have a successful career: Love what you do and never work a day in your life… and I love what I do!

How have you managed to balance your success with raising a family?

I was a single mother for years and was blessed to have my own Personal Development company. I worked partly from home when my daughters were younger. As my career flourished, I started traveling more.  I wanted my daughters to be strong successful independent women. It was vital they understood what I did.  The girls helped me with projects, listened and critiqued my presentations, and traveled with me on occasion, this created respect that I was a working and successful career person and mom. I always balanced both career and family and when it was their time, they got 100% of my attention. I have learned that even though I could not be with them all the time, the time I did spend with them had to be an ultimate commitment to them… no phones, no lap top… Them!

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We know you love to cook and that you are a “foodie.”  What are your favorite types of food to make/try?

Growing up in a very Italian family my first experience with food was Sunday dinners at my Nana’s and Pop Pop’s.   My grandparents loved to cook and were amazing at it.  I remember hours of peeling tomatoes for the traditional spaghetti and gravy dinner, or fishing and crabbing with my grandfather for Christmas Eve so we could prepare fresh fish for the traditional “7 fishes” holiday.  As I became a woman with my own family I developed a love for gardening fresh vegetables and herbs…

I love to Chop! Cookbooks came next and with the combination of my natural genetic ability to put together flavors and the recipe books wha- la… I became a pretty darn good cook.  I don’t cook as much pasta as I did when I was younger (we have to watch those carbs as we age), yet I still love it.  Now I prefer lean meats with sauces and marinades, lots of fresh vegetables, and unique salads… Don’t forget the great bottle of wine or an occasional unique, blended cocktail. My favorite part of food is the people and conversation around the dinner table. Many of us now a day’s forget the importance of the connection that is created by sitting together at a table with beautiful place settings and center pieces… That’s my perfect evening!

Ok, then, how do you balance your adventures with food with a healthy lifestyle? (Please! We need to know!)

HMMM, this is a hard one (to pinpoint).   Adventure for me can involve so many things from exploring a new place on a vacation, going fishing, going out to eat at a fancy restaurant, or enjoying a great football game, chicken wings, and a pitcher of beer with my new husband. Adventures always include food so I don’t cheat myself.  Moderation is key. If vacationing, and I will be indulging is lots of yummy things…I just do it.  My overall health and fitness is important to me so when I am on my normal schedule I work out every day and eat right… so the occasional cheat is good for me… it makes me smile and keeps me sane.

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Tell us a little about your workout regimen and why it works for you.

I have done lots of things over the years.  I like to shake it up so I don’t get bored.  Most days I run/walk 3-5 miles interval style, using park benches along the way to do dips, and pushups.  On occasion I will find stairs to run. I’m not a big gym person, I love the outdoors, so often you may see me walking with weights doing an upper body workout or you may find me in the garage hitting the heavy bag working out the week’s frustrations.  Anything that keeps me moving and in shape I love!

You always look really great. (Do you mind if we ask your age?) And what is your philosophy when it comes to how women should see themselves as they age into their 40’s, 50’s,  and beyond?

I’m proud of my age! I turned 49 in April and have no issue turning 50… Looking great comes down to attitude, I refuse to get old!  I love fun and sexy clothing and I’m not bashful to wear something young and colorful. Dressing to me is part of my swagger – it gives me confidence not only in the work place when I have to be professional and appropriate, but as well when I out for a fun evening and want to stand out. My wardrobe is vast, I like all kinds of styles and I pick pieces that fit my mood… I know that if I look good I will feel good!  I believe with all my heart that any woman at any age can feel strong, sexy, and sophisticated.  This takes having the confidence to reach out ask for help, explore options that make us look good and feel younger. Do research and find things that make you be the best YOU can be!

Fitness Editor Wendy, Reveals How Yoga Practice Soothed her During a Time of Loss

I recently experienced a tragic loss in my life, which made me want to write these thoughts to all of you. You may have experienced a similar loss, or will go through one in the future.

I wanted to share how the gift of yoga helped me and I hope may help you as well.

Yoga helps us be aware of the miracle and beauty of life and love – here and now.

Ultimately, all Yoga techniques are designed to help release us from human suffering. One of the paths of suffering is fear of death and for some of us, our own death is what we fear. Hatha Yoga (physical practice, asanas) helps keep our body clean and healthy so that it lasts longer and stronger. It can also help us to refine our awareness, realizing that when our outer covering dies our Essence endures.

“The body is just a rented house” -Pattabi Jois

It is so easy to become attached to our Physical Self. Yoga helps soothes our physical self, but also teaches us detachment from our physical self. This allows us to face our fear of death.

Everything that we perceive through our mind, our senses, and every aspect of our daily lives including our physical body, is impermanent. All things must pass…. not just living things but experiences also. Yoga helps us be aware of the miracle and beauty of life and love-here and now.

Practicing Yoga teaches us to know our real nature, letting go of our obsession of individuality. We are more than our personality, we are more than our ego, and we are more than our possessions.

When we practice Yoga, our busy mind settles, the fluctuations of our consciousness cease, and we experience our soul (or our Essence).

If you are fortunate enough to experience this then you are able to realize that this awareness is unconditional and eternal…..

I do not believe that this is a sad OR bad, but one of enlightenment.  It allows us to discover and have a deeper understanding of our Self.

I have that heard the Chinese say “If you fear death how can you truly enjoy life?”

So live today; you will never have this moment back again. If you hurry and worry through your day it is like that unopened gift thrown away. So slow down and enjoy the holidays, take some extra yoga classes to help manage the stress. Above all, Live with Joy!

Love,

Wendy

A Special Letter From the Editor

A Special Letter from the Editor:

Enjoy the Holidays, My Dear Sassters!

We did it! We got through another year!

Every year brings it’s joys, its hardships, and certainly its annoyances. We struggle with balancing everything in our life! 

This year, I hope you take a minute with me to enjoy the ride! Getting another year older is a blessing, even with the extra wrinkles or the pound or two it may bring!

We are all lucky to have been on the planet this long.  And there is plenty of time for resolve to change what you want to change in the New Year! For now, lets relax, enjoy life and especially those around us.

Thanks for reading Still Sassy Sister. I really appreciate your support. I look forward to the New Year with lots of Fun, Info and Surprises.

Your Sasster,

Judy DiVincenzo-Alonzo

Some of the Blessings I Experienced This Year:

 

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is so popular these days, but what if you haven’t had the chance to give it a try. You may need a little info before you get started! There are several different styles of yoga which makes it much easier to find one that fits your physical capabilities and your interests. One way to fully enjoy Yoga is to find the best yoga clothing and enjoy the feeling of looking athletic. Some studies have shown that the act of just putting on your workout clothing can give you the extra motivation you need to get out of the house and head to the gym!

Yoga can relieve stress

One of the best reasons to take up Yoga is that it helps reduce stress. A major component of Yoga is controlled breathing. Learning to control your breathing will help lower your heart rate and relax your muscles. In addition, Yoga focuses on helping you quiet your mind. As you focus on your breathing and the moves you are doing, you can clear your mind of stresses. When participating in Yoga, clear your mind and focus entirely on your breathing and your inner self.

Most yoga settings include quiet music or complete silence. If complete silence is uncomfortable with you, choose a class that’s a little less intense to begin with.

Before you head out to your first class, check out some of our yoga pants and yoga tops made to fit women of every age, shape, and size.

One of the best parts about participating in Yoga is that the routines can be customized to fit your fitness level. When you first begin Yoga, it’s likely you won’t be able to fully extend or participate in some of the more complicated moves. The Yoga environment encourages you to focus on yourself and focus on what you can do. Over time your muscles will strengthen and you will gain more flexibility. It’s a great way to focus on improving your health without hopping on a scale.

Yoga relieves menopause symptoms

Fewer hot flashes and fewer mood swings may be enough motivation for many women to hit a Yoga class! There are many studies that give yoga credit for reducing menopause symptoms. When you are going through menopause your body has a hard time regulating your temperature which results in hot flashes. When practicing yoga remember to get clothing that is light-weight.  When you are trying to figure out where to get the best yoga fashion, remember to find clothing that is comfortable for your body and whisks moisture away from your body. This will help reduce the discomfort of any hot flashes. Additionally, you may want to stay away from Bikram Yoga which takes place in rooms of around 105 degrees; this could make your hot flashes feel significantly more uncomfortable.

Improves chronic health concerns

Whether you suffer from depression, anxiety, chronic pain or cancer, Yoga can have beneficial results. The gentle routine helps relieve pain associated with most chronic illnesses and allows your body to completely relax. Some studies have shown that Yoga can be particularly beneficial to individuals with diabetics. Researchers at the University College of Medical Science in New Delhi, had a group of diabetics perform yoga 40 minutes a day for 40 days. The study showed that blood sugar levels were significantly lower at the end of the 40 day period.

Yoga can help improve lung function, reduce blood pressure and eliminate joint pain. Yoga is also great workout for women during and after pregnancy as it can be adapted to different levels and uncomfortable moves can be completely avoided.

If you want to learn more about ways to stay in shape during your 40s and beyond head to Stillsassysister.com. We believe that growing up doesn’t mean getting old. When you participate in Yoga and other healthy activities, you can increase your energy and enjoy the rest of your life feeling and looking great.

A note on Yoga clothing

As you research where to find yoga pants, check out all of the different options that are available at StilSassySister.com.  Also choose a comfortable sports bra that offers stability. Our new sports bras have both the cutest form and the function that you needShoes are usually optional (if not completely tossed out) during yoga, so save yourself a little cash and get a good Yoga mat instead.

There are so many benefits to yoga. If you are looking for a new way to stay healthy and relax, Yoga may just be the perfect option for you!

Choosing the Right Yoga Tops for Comfort and Style

Yoga has become a popular exercise for women to increase their flexibility, strength and to clear their mind of stress and other daily activities. Yoga helps to focus on oneself, both physically and emotionally. When it comes starting yoga, it is important that your attire is not one of the things that may keep you from giving it a try.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind while searching out for yoga tops that will feel as though they were made just for you.

Select tops that are a little  longer and fitted may give you more confidence. They will keep your covered while you have to bend and move in different positions. The fabric is important. This fabric shows lumps and bulges, even on very thin people!

Avoid T-shirts or loose tanks as they can fall over your head while you are  bending over (or maybe trying a handstand when you are ready).

Fashionable Yoga Tops for Women

Yoga can be done by people of any age. Since yoga has become popular, there are many women from their early 20’s and older who enjoy these classes. As women get older, exercising helps them to regain some of the muscle strength and makes their body healthier. Sometimes it may feel like dread and torture if you think as yoga as just exercise and may not feel as though some of the workout clothing may be appropriate for you. To get pumped up for a great yoga session, you can look for fashionable yoga tops. When you have something fun on, then your yoga session will be fun, too.

Finding tops that have either a sprinkle of color or colors that pop, this can make you want to jump right off the couch get started. If you prefer the simple and clean style of monochromatic colors of black and white, you can coordinate your jogging bra to give a  fun shot of color when it peeks out from under your shirt.

Join us and become one of our “Sassters” to looking and feeling great. You can contact us with any questions or concerns that you have about or yoga clothing and we will be happy to answer them.

How Yoga Pants Changed My Life

Ever notice that the fashion and fitness news you see on the web and in the media caters to women in their 20s? When was the last time you saw a girl running errands wearing yoga bottoms and thought, “I wish…” We’re here to tell you that you still can.

Get Your Sexy Back With a Yoga Legging

We know there’s more to you, of course than your inherent “girliness,” and maybe in the next part of your life, that person will become even more refined, intelligent, and cultured. But we don’t want to lose that senses of spunk and pizazz, either. And sometimes, you just have to put on a pair of yoga leggings to channel it.

Most of life is spent adding parts to your persona as we go along in life. We add things along the way as we grow into women: friend, athlete, career person, lover, wife, mother, survivor of many of life’s lessons, and every other thing that we learn or dedicate our lives to. We add them to our internal definition of ourselves and there is value to every component. If we subtracted one of these titles, it should be by choice. Instead of feeling that the essence of the girls that we are could disappear, maybe we simply need to channel it and redefine it.

Inspiration was on the way, as it often is when we keep our eyes open. Everyone can rock yoga pants. We’re here to tell women that living a healthy lifestyle makes those things possible.

Exercise, healthy eating,  and positive attitudes are the secret ingredients in the fountain of youth. Once we do these things TOGETHER, we are unstoppable! second leg to our journey.)  We figured, if we could find yoga pants we felt awesome in, everything else fall into place. Sounds silly, right? But it’s about more than the yoga pants. It’s about what they represented to us.

Twenty-something  and elite athletes weren’t the only ones who could  feel young AND sexy in their yoga pants! So we designed our own collection yoga tights, yoga leggings and yoga bottoms for every figure and taste.

Our adventures reinforced that our bodies and hearts respond at any age to whatever we expose it to. We CAN maintain the physical tone of our youth or even regain it if it was lost! We can also maintain the tone in our minds and in our hearts! We can still be sassy at any age. Like any commitment we need to strategize on the plan to achieve it and that’s where stillsassysister.com comes in! We are here to help with the Sassy Strategy! It’s a great time of life to make that commitment to ourselves.

No matter what is going on in your life it is time to make sure that YOU keep that sassy in your heart. Bring it out however, and whenever it’s right for you. You don’t have to lose it. For some of us, that means yoga pants.

Our bodies and hearts respond at ANY age to whatever we expose them to. We can still look and feel beautiful and sassy at any age. We CAN maintain the physical and mental energy! That’s where stillsassysister.com comes in! Find the best yoga pants for you to start your healthy lifestyle journey.

Choosing The Right Yoga Clothing

We, as women, know that no matter how old we get we still want to stay in shape, look good while doing it and – most importantly – feel comfortable during the process. One of the popular things to do to keep in shape is participate in yoga, which is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that involves controlling breathing, meditating and adopting specific body poses and postures. This practice is used for health as well as relaxation.

Let’s get started by considering the different types of yoga pants: Our yoga pants have a wide waistband that cover the mid section that either cover the bulge or can be folded over to hit below. Your choice and your comfort!

When it comes to tops and tanks, you will want to pick tops that keep you cool but that also are the most flattering. Yoga tops that are made of thin material or are too tight arean’t flattering and tend to accentuate rolls or tummy trouble.

Your yoga clothes are stylish enough to wear to and from your yoga class or to make a quick stop at a local store, so when it’s chilly outside don’t throw on that old sweat jacket you have been wearing for the past decade. Choose a moisture wicking, tri-blend – polyester, cotton and rayon – hoodie or a full-zip hoodie that matches your stylish yoga wear. Throw on a matching cap and its super cute!

Consider purchasing some additional items to go with your yoga ensembles like cotton, non-slip or skid socks with grips on the bottom or full toe socks with grips. Both choices will help you achieve and hold poses where you may otherwise slip or lose your balance. Some of you may like toeless yoga socks that will still feel give you the barefoot feeling.

Your yoga outfit would not be complete without stylish headbands to keep your hair back particularly when you’re in downward facing dog or a collection of colorful hair bows to put your hair into a ponytail or bun. Another choice to consider are bandanas in the same colors as your yoga outfits; they are functional and fashionably timeless.

Whether you’re on the floor in child’s pose or standing in tree pose you will be ready for anything. Think of the different poses and stretches while you are choosing your yoga pieces – you’ll thank yourself later when you’re finished with a yoga class and realize you didn’t worry about your clothes. (Now that’s a true test of the perfect outfit.)

 

Find The Best Yoga Clothing On Still Sassy Sister

When it comes to yoga attire, you want something that you feel comfortable in and that is breathable, but still sexy. Your yoga clothing should be form-fitting, yet not so tight that you feel uncomfortable and smothered. We at Still Sassy Sister are looking to transform the idea of yoga outfits to be stunning and stylish, yet also affordable. When browsing the internet, you may find it hard to find affordable yoga clothing that also looks amazing on you. Some people spend upwards of $200 on just one pair of yoga pants, which is just insane. This should not be the case.

We at Still Sassy Sister believe that everyone should be able to look and feel good in their yoga pants, without spending hundreds of dollars on what they believe in the best, trendy yoga clothing. We have created our line of yoga clothing from scouring the most trendy and popular designs and styles and picking the best of the best from them. The pieces that we have selected are sure to match your style and body type. We at Still Sassy Sister have decided to focus on making women feel good about not only the clothing that goes on their body, but the pricetag that it comes with, as well. We do not believe that you have to pay a big price to look good in your workout attire.

On the contrary, you should be able to afford workout clothes that make you look incredible, because that is motivation workout and move forward in your health and fitness journey. Along with having an amazing selection of yoga attire on our site, we also want to complement those pieces with some amazing advice and tips of fitness and health for you. At Still Sassy Sister, we are all in this together and hope that you continue with us on your journey for health, happiness or whatever else it is that you are searching for.

Why you should feel good in your yoga attire

 

Although, as the name states, yoga attire is meant for doing yoga and other similar exercises in, it has become a common theme to wear yoga pants and their similar clothing pieces everywhere, in everyone’s day-to-day lives. This is because yoga pants are just so incredibly comfortable and easy to wear compared to jeans. They also look amazing with a long t-shirt and boots as a complete outfit. With so many different patterns and designs out there for yoga pants, you can really dress them up or down depending on what you want to use them for.

More importantly, your yoga clothing should make you feel incredible. Because of the material’s ability to cling to your body, it shows off natural curves fabulously and should make you feel like a million bucks even if it is extremely affordable clothing. We at Still Sassy Sister hope that our clothing does just that: make you feel confident, sexy and happy. The waistband of yoga pants is amazing because it is stretchy and can fit ladies with curvalicious hips fabulously. The bottom of yoga pants either comes flared out or is fitted to the ankle. If you will be taking yoga classes in these pants, it is recommended that the ends of your pants are fitted to prevent you from slipping on them if they are too long on you. However, if your purpose is just to have pants for day to day wear, flared will work fine.

Another benefit of yoga pants is that they are extremely breathable, which makes them excellent choices for working out. Breathability is an important factor that one should consider when purchasing workout clothes. This is because when you work out, you sweat (or you should sweat) tremendously and having breathable clothing prevents you from overheating and allows the sweat and heat to escape from your body, making you feel much more comfortable and cooler than you would be at the end of your workout, otherwise.

The great thing about yoga clothing is that you do not have to wear it to just yoga. Yoga clothing can be worn during any type of exercise. For example, yoga pants are amazing for runners as it offers that same breathability option that we were speaking about earlier, making runners remain cooler during their run than they would be denser material on them. Yoga clothing is also great for strength training. Many serious strength trainers only wear fitted yoga pants during their sessions as it offers compression for the legs, which can help promote muscle growth and stimulate a more active workout. Pilates is another workout similar to yoga that will work perfectly with this type of clothing. Like Yoga, it combines mindful movements with static holds and pulsing to get your heart rate pumping and calories burning.

Other than all of those great benefits, wearing yoga clothing can motivate you to be fit and workout. It can also make you feel great about yourself and more confident than you would in other clothing. Just putting on workout clothes in the morning will remind yourself throughout the day that you should take some time to work out later that day. Hopefully, with just a little push, you will find the time to workout, or at least take a walk, sometime throughout the day.

There is just something about a good yoga pant that makes the person wearing them feel better about themselves the instant they step into them. No matter what body shape you have or what issues you are having with your body at the moment, remember that at the end of the day, you are beautiful on the inside and out. Yoga clothing is just an extension of that confidence, a push to do more and be more than you are already doing and being. So, if yoga clothing is that push that you need to be more confident and feel more beautiful, why not wear a pair? There is nothing wrong with feeling and looking good at a low cost, right?

Rockin’ the One Piece Suit on Every Budget

Sassy Spender vs Sassy Saver
Rockin’ the One Piece Suit on Every Budget

Welcome to our monthly personal shopper! How much we spend on fashion can be different for each of us and can change on the item, or budget or mood. Whether you are a SassySpender or a SassySaver, you CAN look sassy all the time. S3! finds the trends you love at the prices you love!

Rockin’ the One Piece Suits

-whether you are a Sassy Spender or a Sassy Saver you can look hot without feeling the heat in these gorgeous one piece suits ……

Suits that will slim your tummy as well as flatter

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Sassy Spender: Miracle Suit – $114.00

Sassy Saver: Target, Assets by Sara Blakely, -$49.99

Awesome geometrics that flatter every figure type

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Sassy Spender: La Blanca, Diamond in the Rough, $95.00
Sassy Saver: Target, Merona, $34.99

Lace across the tummy- shows a little skin but provides coverage all at the same time!
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Sassy Spender: Robin Piccone, Penelope Suit -$138.00
Sassy Saver: Target, One piece Mossimo – $39.99

Sassy Spender vs Sassy Saver- Sweaters!

Fall is just around the corner and we are really excited about some cooler weather….because we get to pull out our sweaters!!!!

One of our favorite articles this month is our leggings article, so we decided to find some sweaters that would look great with leggings! Enjoy!

Sassy Saver:

Sheinside Black Lapel Sweater $24.50

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Sheinside Black Lapel Sweater $24.50

 

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Call It A Day Fringe Sweater $48.00

 

Sassy Spender:

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NIC and ZOE Slight Slant Pullover $128.00

 

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Joie Oversize V-neck Sweater $298.00

 

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Vince Snapneck Turtle Sweater $395.00

Need the Absolutely Perfect Little Christmas Gift for ANY Sassy Girlfriend?

Need the Absolutely Perfect Little Christmas Gift for ANY Sassy Girlfriend? The Wonderful, Easy, Inexpensive, Gift you can give Almost Anyone (Hint: see picture)!

Finding gifts for girlfriends can be much harder than it sounds. Yes, everyone wants a pair of boots, but that’s not always in the price range you are looking for!

I think everyone has at least one friend that you would love to get a gift for but just don’t know what to get. Gift giving gets complicated! How much should you spend? You don’t want to spend enough that they feel bad they didn’t get YOU anything, but you would love to remember them.

You may have several friends that you would like to put on your list but it starts to add up when you have a lot of purchases to make. And there is nothing worse that buying a lame gift that you know isn’t great, but since you have to get something…. you get it anyway. (As in: “Merry Christmas, here is some more bath gel!”)

This year when you have a friend that you would love to get a little something special for, head to the ITunes store and give the gift of a special song. Typically only a dollar or two, you can send everyone on your “You Are Special to Me List,” the song in your heart.

When you are at your computer, Apple actually gives you a tab for “gift” in the drop down that you can click on when you are purchasing a song.  Select gift and a little note option pops up and you have 200 characters to send your message of Friendship and Holiday Time Appreciation.

Some Great Song Ideas:

That little pop song that was on the radio EVERY TIME you turned it on during your girls weekend? You know it brings back memories every time you hear it!

A little Beyonce or Rihanna for a girlfriend who finally kicked that loser to the curb! You know it took strength, but she did it!

How about a little Taylor Swift, Shake it Off, for a friend with difficult co-workers.

Or Sara Bareilles, Brave, for someone going through a rough time.

How about some Three Dog Night, Jeremiah was a Bullfrog, or Going to the Celebrity Ball, for that friend that you have known since the days you listened to the radio on the boom box you got for your birthday in 7th grade?

Anything from the 80’s is fun and brings back great memories. Tears for Fears? Our girl, Cyndi Lauper?

Cute-boy music is always a hit. Justin Timberlake, Rick Springfield, Jon Secada?

Whatever your memories, whatever your thoughts, a little music from your heart tells the story of your friendship and love!

Holiday Hair In Minutes with Jim Duprey

Holiday Hair In Minutes!

This is the season for lots of holiday parties and events. We turned to Celebrity Stylist, Jim Duprey, for some ideas on quick and easy looks to do at home, when we want a little pizazz for that fun event!

Jim took some time out of his busy holiday schedule to instruct four of our girlfriends with different types of hair.  All styles took less than 10 minutes to accomplish. A light spray at the end or a little gel on the fingertips to style in place was the finishing touch of the holiday Hair Magic. Click on the Above.

Happy Holidays!

Bring a Warm Smile to a Cold Winter Day – Winter Sales!

Nothing beats the winter doldrums like finding some great stuff at amazing prices! We’ve put together just a few of the awesome things you can find on sale in January.

Perk up your mood and your look at the same time with some great finds. We’ve shown you some similar looks (for shoes, pants and tops) at various price point options available:

Kohls: Rock & Republic $69.99 to $51.99

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Macy’s: Nine West $109.00 to $59.99

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Nordstrom: Sam Edelman $169.95 to $114.90

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Black Pants: Can be worn all year round…dress up, dress down…. a must have in every sassters closet!

Kohls: Chaps Skinny Ponte Pants $59.00 to $23.60

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Macy’s: Calvin Klein Skinny Zip $79.50 to $37.49

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Nordstrom: Theory High Rise Skinny Pants $285.00 to $170.98

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Tops:

Kohls: Dana Buchman Batwing Top $54.00 to $16.20

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Macy’s: Style & Co.  Three Quarter Sleeve $49.50 to $19.99

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Nordstrom: Sejour Print Woll & Cashmere Sweater $138.00 to $82.80

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Surprise! See what we did!? We just created a look for you! Now mix and match and find your favorite look at the price you want!!!

In Search Of: The Best Yoga Pants

Yoga pants are not only functional during yoga stretches, they have become a go-to on lazy Sunday afternoons, quick runs to the supermarket, and days when you just can’t be bothered to wear anything restrictive. With this versatility, they need to be comfortable as well as flattering and quickly ascend to a top priority in the yoga clothing department. Keeping these in mind, rationalizing a steep price for the best yoga pants comes easily, but you don’t have to- there are plenty of mid range, top quality yoga pants on the market ( and S3! yoga pant certainly fit the bill). Keeping a few key traits in mind will help in your search for the best yoga pants your money can buy.

Getting To The Bottom Of Yoga Pants Shopping

Fit is foremost. Women tend to buy yoga pants without taking enough consideration of the movement required, thus when the pants fail in performance they are shunned to the back of the closet with all the other clothes they’ll ‘maybe wear one day.’ Take pride in your yoga-toned behind and veer towards fitted styles, however, yoga bottoms should be tight so they don’t fall down, but not too tight that they restrict movement.

When on a mission to buy yoga pants, feel free to lift your leg in a tree pose or in one of the Warrior poses. Feel for tightness in the abdomen and thigh area as discomfort in these two places will likely deem the pants uncomfortable and you’ll shy away from wearing them. Check the fabric covering your behind and ensure it doesn’t ride down while moving between froward bend and mountain poses, it’ll be frustrating to continuously adjust your pants during a yoga sequence. If it does, look for a higher waist cut. Avoid bulky or long drawstrings as you might get tied up, or find it irritating when lying down on the grommets. If the seams look like they’ll burst try a size higher.

Cuts, Patterns, and Fabrics, Oh My!

With the growing popularity of yoga, yoga pants come in countless patterns, textures, and cuts; these factors really come down to personal preference. If you like a flared out bottom of the pant leg, have at it. For those that want to eliminate the extra fabric associated with the flare cut look for yoga leggings all the way to your ankles, calves, or cropped just under your knee. If you’ve been wearing a particular style for many years, try on a pair in a different style- you might like it.

Shorts work great too, just keep in mind you’ll have more skin on mat contact so sweat could make for a slippery surface. You’ll also want to include a bend over test to ensure you’re not revealing too much of yourself in the forward bend pose.

If you’re into patterns and wild colors, keep in mind you’ll need an arsenal of semi-matching tops for those wild pants if you want to look somewhat put together for class.

We recommend treating yourself with matching tops when purchasing patterned pants, but for basics stick with black and neutral colored pants. Consider balancing a wild print on your pants with a neutral top. Another option is remaining in the same color family. The point is you’ll want to have go-to yoga outfits if you’re running late for class.

Yoga bottoms come in a variety of fabrics to choose from, each having their own pros and cons. A high cotton blend, think classic gym shirts or jersey knit fabrics, is typically a cheaper option in cost, but may not last as long as other fabrics. Clothing with a majority of cotton in its make-up is easier to wash, although it’ll likely fade with washes and tend to lose elasticity faster. Cotton also sops up moisture rather than wicking it away. This type of fabric should be reserved for yin style yoga where stretching and relaxation is in focus, with little movement and sweating or for tops versus pants.

Nylon or Lycra type blended fabrics are great for wicking away sweat and maintaining the clothing’s integrity over time. These synthetic fabrics were created specifically for stretch, lightness, and strength. Clothing companies are continuously playing with mixtures of synthetic fabrics to increase clothing’s athletic performance. If you practice yoga often these are the fabrics to look for, just keep in mind they may be more expensive. In the long run through, if you take proper care of your yoga pants (washing in cold water, line drying) your investment will last many years.

If you keep in mind these tips when picking out fit, color, and fabric, you’ll be able to find yoga pants that are fashionable, functional, and good quality. So toss your worn out pants in favor for an upgraded, quality pair because you deserve it!

Apply Foundation like a Pro

Make up tips from Brian Duprey
Brian Duprey is a NY based makeup artist who has applied makeup to some of the world’s most beautiful women. The list of celebrities that he has worked on is crazy impressive, and includes many women that are in the S3! category such as Donatella Versace, Andie McDowell, and Maya Angelou to name just a few!

Interview with Celebrity Hair Stylist Jim Duprey

The Long and the Short of It.
Celebrity stylist Jim Duprey Talks to us about our Hair!!
How does a stylist in Tampa Bay/St Pete become a Celebrity Stylist? For Jim Duprey, owner of Jim Duprey Salon it’s being the go-to stylist for celebrity guests who appear on HSN, (which is located in St Petersburg, Florida), as well as other celebs who come to town to perform in the various local venues. Strong ties to the NYC beauty scene and an amazingly quick wit with big blue eyes that constantly twinkle (at everything he says as well as everything YOU say) doesn’t hurt either.

NY Fashion Week Shoes

SassySpender vs SassySaver

Welcome to our monthly personal shopper! How much we spend on fashion can be different for each of us and can change on the item, or budget or mood. Whether you are a SassySpender or a SassySaver,  you CAN look sassy all the time.
S3! finds the trends you love at the prices you love too!

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Pointy Pumps: Fashion week, Narciso Rodriguez

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Sassy Spender, SJP  ‘Diana’ Pump $365
(OR) Sassy Saver, Halogen ‘Marissa’ Pump $99.95

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Pointy Flats: Fashion week, Dolce & Gabbana

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Sassy Spender, Isaac Mizrahi New York, ‘Evelyn’ Leather flat, $124.95
(OR) Sassy Saver, Chinese Laundry ‘Easy Does It’ Flat, $59.95

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Mules: Fashion week, Alexander Wang
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Sassy Spender, Rag & Bone ‘Wyatt’ Sandal, $550
(OR) Sassy Saver, UGG Australia ‘Karlee’ Sandal, $149.95

 

Letter from the Fitness Editor

How To Begin!

Let me Be Blunt! Stop the excuses! It is never to late to begin an exercise program!

Think about it……our health is really the only thing we have control over! There are always demands being put on us as women. It seems to be part of our DNA to try and make everyone happy and put ourselves on the back burner. Then as we age, we look at ourselves and wonder what happened? We tend to allow so many things get in our way instead of paying attention to our own lives and needs.

We know we should exercise, but I hear the excuses all the time…. I don’t have time, I don’t have the money to join a gym, I’m too tired, I have to go home and cook for the husband or the kids…. There will never be a good time unless you make it a priority in your life. And once you commit to begin exercising, all of the excuses seem to fade away.

But how do you start to do that? Lets put it in perspective! You would never say “I don’t have the time to pick up my child at the bus” or “I don’t have time to make dinner for my family!” You always make time for those tasks because they are critical to the health and well being of your family. But your health is more important to your family than you think about! Where would they be without you? By taking care of yourself, you are taking care of them too!

I say the technique is simple: All you need to do is:

Say it Out Loud! Say it out loud to yourself and to as many people as you can: “I’m going to start exercising”.

Once you tell everyone (including yourself), you create the obligation to follow through. Then everyone you told will be there to support you in your goals (and hopefully at least one of them may even become your workout buddy). Say something like “I will begin my fitness program tomorrow morning at 6:30 am.” Just be specific to yourself just like you would to your boss, your co worker, or your children.

You deserve it! You deserve to clear your head and de-stress, become stronger, more flexible, feel and look better, and meet new people who have the same goals and outlook on life as you do.

Which is part two of the simple technique. Keep Talking! But now talk to the gal you pass when you are out walking or the person next to you in Yoga class. Talk to the person on the machine next to you in the gym, and wave Hi! to the person biking past you on the trail. You will be amazed at how supportive they will be! Get away from the toxic personalities that drain you of your energy because they are so unhappy with their lives. Start to surround yourself with as many people who exercise as you can. And keep talking about it!

So that is step one: Think about it and then talk about it!

If it is important to you, you will do it.

Love,
Wendy

A Few Tips about Yoga (and Breakfast) -from Fitness Editor, Wendy O’Lenic

It’s No Secret That I LOVE Yoga and Pilates!

Yoga and/or Pilates is great for any age but is Perfect for older adults. This type of exercise is all about the individual person and their needs. There is no place for competition or comparing yourself to others. Both modalities have been around for centuries and have been proven to be two of the most effective exercises to maintain an overall healthy body.

 

“We Don’t Grow Old and Then Tighten Up,………….

We Tighten Up and Then We Feel Old”.

There is a lubricant called synovial fluid that is generated in our joints only when we move and stretch. It is like WD40 to the hinges on a squeaky door. There is no age to this limit to this; the great news is that if you begin stretching you will regain your mobility, your agility, your strength and your balance!

If you haven’t tried yoga yet, give it a try! And this time of year there are many outdoor yoga classes that combine all the health benefits of yoga with the additional pleasure of enjoying the earth around us at the same time!

 

Important Weight Loss Tip

And an important tip to help you maintain the weight you want…..

So many of my clients have told me that they began skipping breakfast and just having coffee because they are not hungry. They often feel they may as well save the calories for lunch. But until you ‘BREAK YOUR FAST” after not eating all night, your metabolism is at its lowest. If you don’t eat you are NOT burning fat, but storing it!

Your body thinks you are starving if it doesn’t get nutrition and your metabolism slows. Even if you find you are not hungry, force to yourself to eat a small protein rich breakfast, other wise you are actually working against your efforts to lose weight. Work with your body to lose weight by jump-starting your metabolism with breakfast!

DO YOGA!

EAT BREAKFAST!

LOVE, 

WENDY

August Fitness Tips from Fitness Editor, Wendy O’lenic

I hope you read the awesome interview this month about a woman, Sheila Hanna, who was an Olympic Team athlete for Great Britain and continues to stay fit years later, even after 50 years old.

So you may ask? Are you ever too old for fitness? The answer is an emphatic: Absolutely not! I once read about a study that was done in one of the medical colleges proving that if an older person was re-starting certain exercise programs (next to a teenager that has never exercised before), the older person will get in shape quicker because our muscles have memory! What great news! We actually have the “younger kids” beat in some ways! We cannot store fitness but we can regain it quickly back.

The one that gets me the most, is when I hear people say “I’m too old”. Yes, if you can believe it, there are some people out there that believe that exercising will actually hurt them. When done properly, almost everyone can start with some type of weight bearing exercise. You and your doctor and maybe a trainer, can determine where you can start (if you haven’t done it before).

In many ways the benefits are even greater when you get older! When you lift light weights or use your own body as the weight, the muscles begin pulling on the bones to sustain the thickening of the muscle which thickens the bones and this can slows down or stop the process of osteoporosis. And of course you become stronger! And your energy level begins to increase! The fat that seems to want to “stick” after age 40 doesn’t have to stay on us if we just keep moving and doing things that challenge our bodies.

One last tip this month: It is important to change your exercise regime if it has been stagnant or you are doing the same workout you have always done. Our bodies change as we get older and we may have to change from harder and faster, to slower and longer types of exercise. And at any age our bodies and minds can get into a rut if we don’t challenge them and change it up a bit. (Even young athletes must do the same thing.)

Love,

Wendy

Amazing Shape at age 50! Maintaining Fitness Throughout Your Life!

Sheila Hanna, Former Synchronized Swimmer for Great Britain gives us her thoughts on maintaining fitness through life.

Sheila Hanna was a Gold Medalist in Synchronized Swimming as a young woman, which is an amazing feat of determination, courage and strength. But in some ways, just as amazing, she has managed to stay lean and strong 30 years later. We asked Sheila to tell us how she maintains her fit and strong body all these years later!

Really Rid of Wrinkles!

Can you really get rid of wrinkles? The answer is a loud yes!

S3! went to Radiance Medspa in Belleair Bluffs, Florida to get some information and advice regarding the very popular wrinkle treatment Botox. S3!’s unscientific study seems to indicate that “everyone” is doing Botox. “I’m going for my Botox today!” seems to be heard as much as “I’m going to my stylist today!” these days. Why is it so popular? What are the risks? We spoke to Christy Marks, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner at Radiance Medspa, to get the wrinkle on less wrinkles:

By The Way, Christy Marks herself is the picture perfect poster woman for S3!. She is beautiful, fit and full of energy for her profession. Her demeanor of intellectual enthusiasm gives her a great bedside manner persona, and it is easy to see why this translates into a high level of patient trust.

Botox is a popular wrinkle treatment, but what is it? Christy explains that Botox is toxin called Botulinum that becomes a muscle relaxant when injected into the facial muscle. A miniscule amount of the toxin prevents the nerve from telling the muscle what to do. In other words the muscle is no longer told to contract and the previously existing wrinkle minimizes or disappears altogether. The word toxin sounds a little scary the first time you hear it, so is it really safe?

The answer is yes. It is very well tolerated and undetectable, with a very small percentage of patients having any adverse side effects. (your own practitioner will give you a medication guide and you can discuss all possible side affects during your appointment)

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The good results that Botox brings, along with minimal side effects experienced by users, has increased its popularity to millions of treatments in the USA each year. (There are a very few patients who are contra-indicated for botox such as pregnant women or certain rare neuromuscular conditions-again have this conversation with your individual medical practitioner).

Despite its very well tolerated appeal, Christy advises you to know your practitioner. Some physicians in unrelated fields add Botox injections to their practice because of its appeal as a popular procedure without the training and experience required for expert administration of this drug.

Knowledge, training and experience (when injecting botox,) maximize the potential for the desired wrinkle-eliminating result. There is a strategy as to where in the face the Botox is injected for the individual patient, and that strategy can be very different patient to patient. Each patient has different concerns and areas where they hope to diminish wrinkles. Knowing that more brow lift is needed for example, may change the site and amount of injection; Injecting in one spot may accentuate drooping in another, so a cookie cutter approach is not advised. Your practitioner should take time to get to know you and your face, and you should understand that it may take a few times to get the perfect “recipe” for the results you want to achieve.

Christy emphasizes that Radiance Medspa is dedicated to both excellent results and safety. They caution against, and will not do Botox parties that include alcohol. Like most medical treatments, informed consent is part of the process, so getting consent under the influence is a big No-No! And further, when you are drinking you have a more likely propensity for bleeding and bruising around the injection site. Christy admonishes that she wants to “optimize results and safety”. Makes sense to us! Christy tells us that she has treated patients from ages 20’s to 90’s (you go girl!) but most are in the 40 to 60’s range.

Christy cautions that when Botox is first injected you probably will not notice anything different immediately while in the office. Don’t Worry! It takes effect the days following the injection, with the full effect by approximately 2 weeks. Botox usually lasts an average of four months with some patients experiencing a longer or shorter effect. And in fact, continued use over time can greatly diminish the wrinkles and lines on a face as one ages (great news in our book!)

Christy explains why she loves her profession.

“I hear about many people thinking of esthetics (medicine) in general as “fluffy” but it gives people more confidence. Many of our patients come here when they are in transition- divorced, new job, a reunion, or a wedding.”

“What we do is very subtle, but it can be a huge confidence builder. “

S3! advises – It is YOUR decision if you decide to try Botox. Find a practice that makes you comfortable and a practitioner who gives you the feeling that they are interested in a truly good result.

But what if you want to add volume and/or get immediate results? We will discuss Juvederm and other fillers next issue!

Christy Marks is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with her masters degree from the University of South Florida. Christy has over 8 years experience in the practice of esthetics.

Radiance Medspa has locations in Belleair Bluffs and Clearwater, Florida. They have received the Diamond Award for being in the Top 200 Botox and Juvederm Businesses in the US and have been voted Business of the Year by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. They can be contacted at 727-518-7100 or radiancemedspa.com.

Hair You Go! GREAT Hair Tips for Water Fun and Sports!

Many of us migrate to water during summer and we engage in more outdoor activities and sports.

Jim Duprey, hairstylist to the stars (see his Advisory Board bio), is once again saving our hair with his tips on keeping our hair protected while we frolic!

He had some great advice along with product reccomendations that will keep our hair looking and feeling great while we play outside.

What should we know about salt water? What can we do about it?

My best recommendation for hair in any water (natural or pool) in the heat, is to fill it with tap water before entering! It fills the hair and helps to fight the absorption of salt or chlorine, which are both drying to the hair. When I first moved to Florida in the early 90’s those were the days of me wearing the Fabio/Michael Bolton hair (as my Mother like to call me, hoping I’d cut it). I was at the beach all the time. I also had very curly hair. I’d bring a spray bottle with water and if I was planning on making a day of it, there’d be a separate bottle of leave in conditioner that I’d use. Then immediately to the shower when I got home. I always used a moisturizing shampoo and a good moisturizing conditioner. What can I say. The hair was everything!

(S3!-we see why, looking at this pic, handsome!)

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We might be washing our hair more because of the heat and sweat that the summer brings. Do you have any comments about this or reccomendations? –

Of course! Sometimes it’s necessary. The key is to make sure you’re hydrating your hair enough to accommodate that.

Should you re-consider your cut during summer? Do you make changes in how you cut hair if you know your client has an active outdoor life?

For longer/thick/curly hair I always feel it’s best to give it a break during the summer. Leave it longer and don’t obsess over the styling. Let your hair be your hair! It’s a battle that you can end up doing more damage than good to trying to force your hair to perform for you. Have fun with it. Play with “beachy” styles and natural waves. This is currently a very desirable look anyway. Let your oils build up a bit by not washing it everyday. They’re good for your hair. Most women would agree that their hair looks better on day 2, or 3 even. Avoid over processing your hair or drying it out with hot tools. For straight and fine hair I would suggest having a shorter cut that eliminates weight and gives you the ability to create more volume. Also a little color or some highlights can add some volume.

How can we protect our color during the summer with sun, heat, sweat and humidity all working against us?

The sun and heat will always work against your color in the summer. Use a good shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. And perhaps try covering it up. There a great hats out there to protect your hair during extreme heat and sun. And fashionable too. Think Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Sarah Jessica Parker. Amazing style icons!

As a side note, I’m going to be 50 this year and I have to say that I was a hypocritical slacker. My long locks could’ve been preserved and I wouldn’t have had to cut them long before I was ready to. I did what I said with the tap water and leave in conditioners but at the time I thought that was enough. I also had a boat and didn’t like wearing hats. I let my hair whip around in the wind and left it unprotected in the sun and the results were constantly fading color, beat to crap hair and ends that had to be cut more often that I would’ve preferred. It was time to say goodbye. This could’ve all been avoided.

S3!:(We all slacked a little in our youth, Jimmy!)

Do you love any products that you like to recommend:

For Frizziness: – I LOVE this product line. Alterna Bamboo smooth works great on hair affected by frizziness and humidity. Anti Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner to start. Kendi Dry Oil or Kendi Treatment Oil (if needed) on wet hair before styling. The Anti-Breakage protectant spray is also good before blowdrying.

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For Flatness: –  Surface Awaken Shampoo and Conditioner is great for fine hair. And  Surface Purify if you’re feeling a buildup. Alterna Bamboo Cleanse Extend Dry Shampoo and Bamboo Texturizing Body Boost Volumizing Powder.

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For Protection from the Sun – Alterna Bamboo UV+ shampoo & conditioner.

For Styling in the Summer – Alterna Volumizing Spray Mousse and the Bamboo Anti-Humidity Hairspray for fine hair. For curly hair I like the Bamboo Super-Natural Curl Shaping Cream and the Bamboo Boho Waves Mist.

Celebrity Stylist, Jim Duprey is the owner of Jim Duprey Salon in St Petersburg,Co-Owner of New York based Duprey Cosmetics. In the industry for 30 years, he is also a Colorist and Hair Extension Specialist. Contact him at http://www.jimdupreysalon.com 

 

More on Really Rid of Wrinkles! Should You Consider Fillers?

More on Really Rid of Wrinkles! 

Should You Consider Fillers?

Our (unending) pursuit of a more youthful appearance and looking our best has led us back to Cristy Marks, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner of Radiance  Medspa in Bellair Bluffs, Florida. We wanted to get information on the newest injectable cosmetic services and products. Cristy typically recommends Juvederm Ultra Plus, and now there is another option in the Juvederm “family” to eliminate wrinkles and add volume. 

We asked her to tell us about Juvederm Ultra PLUS and VOLUMA.

First of all what exactly is Juvederm Ultra Plus? 

Juvederm Utra Plus is a Hyaluronic acid(HA) filler that is injected  to correct wrinkles and folds in the face.  It adds volume to the skin. HA is a naturally occurring sugar found in our bodies. It can be called “nature’s moisturizer” . Think of it as a sponge that absorbs water and creates volume giving the skin a smoother appearance!

Voluma is the newest product. What is VOLUMA and how does it differ from Juvederm Ultra Plus?

VOLUMA is the first and ONLY FDA approved HA (hyaluronic acid) made with lidocaine that is proven to correct age related volume loss in the mid face (cheeks).

They are both HA fillers, but VOLUMA was designed for its capacity to LIFT and last longer.  VOLUMA is injected deeper than Juvederm ULTRA PLUS.

Both fillers produce a more youthfull appearance. Isn’t that what we are all looking for….yes! yes! yes!, but NATURAL OF COURSE! You never want to appear like you are trying too hard!

By the way the XC on the package label indicates there is lidocaine in the product.  Both Juvederm Ultra Plus and Voluma have XC.

How long does it last?

Juvederm Ultra Plus lasts approximately one year. VOLUMA lasts approximately two years.

How do they differ from other injectable fillers?

They are both HA fillers (which can be reversed..always an added benefit), they are long lasting with low risk of nodules (like Radiesse), they can be injected in multiple areas on  the face (unlike Sculptra or Radiesse which should not be injected into the lips or tear troughs), and they are easy (for the experienced medical professional) to inject.

They are both my “go-to” choice for fillers!

Is there an ideal candidate for this service based on what results the patient is trying to achieve?

Anyone who has age-related volume loss in the mid face  is a potential candidate.

Honestly, most patients that I have seen can benefit from VOLUMA.

When we look at a youthful face  we usually  notice full cheeks . As we age, we lose that beautiful volume in the upper face and we start to SAG.  People come to me all the time and say “I feel my face is falling down. Can you help me?”

Another benefit of enhancing the cheeks is it changes the way light reflects on the skin and this results in a beautiful GLOW.

And wait, there is even more!  Volumizing the cheeks results in improvement in the tear troughs, nasolabial folds and those nasty jowls along the jawline. Think of it as a mini facelift!

Could you have a patient that you think could benefit from both VOLUMA and Juvederm Ultra PLUS?

Absolutely!!! Combining both fillers is one of my favorite treatments. I always begin injecting the cheeks first with VOLUMA and then use Juvederm Ultra Plus to improve the nasolabial folds, tear troughs, lips and marionette lines. I find utilizing both provides a very natural and beautiful treatment. And at the end of the day that is what I am striving for!

Getting injectibles has had both good and bad press. Are there any misconceptions about injectibles that we should clear up or additional information we should know about?

Safety, Expertise, and Experience are always the key! In the right hands, fillers have an excellent safety record.

Unnatural appearances get bad press.  Look at Hollywood and you know what I mean.  A little in the right areas goes a long way for a NATURAL appearance.

Are there any patients who should not consider VOLUMA?

Very few. The package labels states patients with severe allergies (may not be a candidate). Also patients with allergies to gram positive bacterial proteins or lidocaine. I would not treat anyone with an active infection until the infection clears up.

What happens if a patient truly does not like their results? Can the treatment be reversed?

YES!  Keep in mind that most patients are very pleased. But rest assured if for any reason the filler needs to be tweaked or removed, we use a product called hyalurondaise.  It is an enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid, usually within 24-48 hours.

This treatment can be expensive. I know every patient is different but can you estimate how much filler is required (on average) to get results in different areas of the face?

The average is 1-2  syringes of Voluma in the cheeks.    The cost at Radiance Medspa is  $850 per syringe  but  I have found that 1 syringe of VOLUMA goes a long way!

The average amount used of Juvederm Ultra Plus can range from 1-4 syringes.    The cost is  $550  per syringe.

Radiance Medspa often offers promotions for both new and returning patients, so check out their website for more information.

Christy Marks is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with her masters degree from the University of South Florida. Christy has over 8 years experience in the practice of aesthetics.

Radiance Medspa has locations in Belleair Bluffs and Clearwater, Florida. Radiance Medspa is the #1 injector of juvederm in Florida and holds the prestigious Black Diamond Award for Botox and Juvederm, given only to the top 200 facilities in the United States. They have also been voted Business of the Year by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. They can be contacted at 727-518-7100 or at radiancemedspa.com.

The Eyes Have It! Eye Makeup Strategies for the over 40 Eye!

Makeup by Brian Duprey

The Eyes Have It – Eye Makeup Strategies for the over 40 Eye!

We are back to Brian Duprey, sought after NYC based makeup artist who has applied makeup to many of the world’s most beautiful women. (read his full bio on our Advisory Board Page!) He is coming to our rescue when it comes to addressing eye makeup strategies for the over 40 eye.

Brian, Please help us! We have some “issues” when it comes to making up our eyes. We want drama but we don’t want droop! We want fashion forward but not wrinkles forward!  And for some of us, eye makeup can be downright scary and overpowering! How can we keep our eyes looking Sassy?

1.Some of us have wrinkles around our eyes, some of has have wrinkling eyelids. What is the best way to minimize wrinkles if we want eye drama?

The best way to minimize wrinkles for dramatic eye makeup is to keep your eye area exfoliated & moisturized. Exfoliate gently around the eye, but enough to remove dry skin. Choose a rich eye cream & use at night only, not under makeup.

While applying makeup keep checking with your eyes open. Avoid applying while pulling the eye or keeping it closed. It’s important to see where it is being applied so you know it will be where you want it when your eye is relaxed & open.

2.As we get older, Can we wear any color palette of shadow? Who can wear light colors, who can wear darks? 

Any woman of any age can wear any color, it just depends on the level of drama you want to achieve & how confidently you wear it.

3.Do you recommend Shimmers or Mattes or both for an over 40 eye?

I use both, it depends on the look I am going for, but I don’t believe the myth that shimmers are not for mature skin.

4.We have heard that highlighting the inner corner of the eye looks youthful. Do you agree? Any other highlighting tricks that can help?

I am a big fan of highlighting the inner corner of the eye. It does brighten & open the eye as well as add a youthful glow. A littler highlight applied in the center of the lid also adds a glow. I avoid using shimmer on the brow bone.

5.Can we put shadow alone on the eye, or should we have a base? 

I suggest using a base under eyeshadows for mature skin. It’s your best method of locking makeup in place & getting the longest wear from your shadows.

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Brian made Melora Hardin look stunning for this photoshoot!

6.Even young women seem to have varying degrees of success with liners. But they can make a big impact when done right. Can all ages wear liners successfully?  Are pencils or liquids or brush on easiest/ Please give us some tips on doing it correctly.

As a pro artist I have given up eyeliner pencils. Technology has come a long way & gel liners are my favorite way to go. They are incredibly versatile. They can be blended beautifully with an eyeshadow brush or applied as a line with a flat angle brush. I blend gel liners under eyeshadows as a base. This turns every eyeshadow into a long wear.

7. If you want a little punch but don’t want to be overly made up, what is the best way to achieve a natural eye?

Build your lashes to jazz up a natural eye. Curl well, mascara & comb. Try a waterproof mascara for top lashes to lock the curl in. Combing is essential here because clumpy mascara looks anything but natural. Well curled lashes add an instant eye opening effect.

8. Please give us some product recommendation for shadows and liners.

My favorite products to achieve these looks are:

Nars soft touch eyeshadow pencil in Goddess for highlighting the inner corner of the eye.

My favorite eyeshadow bases are Mac paints & Bobbi Brown gel liner.

Bobbi Brown gel liners in Espresso & Caviar are must haves in my makeup bag. Espresso is a coffee brown that sheers out when smudged & makes an excellent eyeshadow base for most neutral shadows. Caviar is a brown black that is great for when you want more drama. Both shades are perfectly neutral without red, something that is not easy to find.

Nars eyeshadow Duo  in Kalahari is my favorite go-to. Two shades that look natural when used alone & when applied over a blended eyeshadow base transform into a perfect dramatic shade.

Summer Lovin’… (our hair that is!) Beat the Frizz

Summer hair is a challenge at any age and 40+ hair can have its own set of problems! We went back to celebrity hair stylist, Jim Duprey, (please review his complete bio on our Advisory page) to get real solutions for great summer hair.

Although Jim’s work takes him to different locales across the country, his home base salon is in St. Petersburg FL, so he is especially familiar with all the problems that heat and humidity can bring! Jim had plenty of helpful advice for us.

What are the best ways to deal with frizz based on humidity?

When hair gets too dry and then moisture hits it, you will have frizz so its very important to avoid over drying and keep it hydrated. The summer elements wreak havoc on our hair and skin!

Mimimize tools in the summer

They essentially bake your hair (you might was well stick your head in an oven) and avoid products that can suck out all the moisture out of your hair.

When using a blowdryer for smoothing your hair I always demand using the nozzle that comes with your blowdryer. DO NOT throw that out or stick it in a drawer like many do! Keep the nozzle at a downward angle to lay the cuticle down during the styling. You will have much better results and shinier hair. When my nozzle breaks I get a new blowdryer! Without it the grill on the top of the blower gets too hot and will burn your hair. The only correction at that point is to cut the burnt ends off.

For Thicker and Curly Hair:

Use a little oil or serum and try to avoid touching your curls after you wash it. Also consider a keratin treatment or brazilian blowout. It will cut down the styling and blowdrying time and replace the keratin that gets lost over time, which will give you back that shine you had in the past.

For Fine Hair: 

Long or short fine hair, I’d recommend a volumizing shampoo and a volumizing conditioner (only if you think you need it. Fine hair doesn’t always need to be conditioned). Avoid using products like creams or oils. Volumizing products or root lifters are ok. I also wouldn’t recommend washing it every day unless necessary. Try a dry shampoo. They work great on fine limp hair but can also build up, so use only when you need that extra “umph”. When your fine hair feels like it’s coated and not responding use a clarifying shampoo but no more than once or twice a week since it can be drying and stripping (which can effect any color you might have put in your hair). Surface makes a great gentle clarifier called Purify. Its safe for twice a week and also good for face cleansing!

What can we do if the humidity flattens your hair?- Avoid applying conditioner to the roots and only use thickening/volumizing products or root lifters. Dry your hair immediately after washing Try not to let it dry on it’s own. It will be harder to style.

Check out Jim’s hair in his 20’s! He knows gorgeous hair from experience!!! 🙂

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Celebrity Stylist, Jim Duprey is the owner of Jim Duprey Salon in St Petersburg and Co-Owner of New York based Duprey Cosmetics. In the industry for 30 years, he is also a Colorist and Hair Extension Specialist. If you would like a personal appointment at the Jim Duprey Salon, call 727-823-4427.

Sassy Spender vs Sassy Saver- Tips on Handbags on Sale Now!

Fall is just around the corner and summer handbag prices are starting to drop. (Hurray!)

This month we decided to change it up a little bit and find some handbags from the spring/summer sales going on now, that you can also carry over (pun intended) to the fall and winter months. We decided to take a look at Nordstrom online, because they just have amazing sale prices!

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Elliot Luca           Was: $128.00  Now: 89.60

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Liebeskind          Was: $335.00   Now: 224.45

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Marc By Marc Jacobs         Was: $348.00  Now: $232.90

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Topshop         Was: $76.00 Now: 34.99

 

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Urban Originals           Was: 89.95  Now: $60.26

Don’t Be Misled By the Anti-Aging Hype! Facts You Need to Know About Skin Care Products before You Buy Another!

Women are certainly bombarded with marketing about skin care products. You can’t watch TV or open a magazine without promises of a more youthful appearance and fading wrinkles.

But what is hype and what is truth? Can women really expect results from today’s skin care products? What expectations are reasonable? Are there really any miracles in a bottle?

We went to Deborah Duffey, the president of Dermazone Solutions, a national/international life-science company that manufactures two cosmeceutical brands of skin care products, as well as products for private label pharmaceutical and cosmetic distribution, to get help with separating fact from hype.

Deborah herself is a very beautiful and smart woman, who exudes an air of integrity and passion for the products her company is creating. She has been named as a Business Woman of the Year in Iconic Women of St Petersburg. Walking through the facility is a fascinating experience. The administrative offices and laboratories for research and development, as well as manufacturing, are all in one big facility. Due to proprietary production, there were certain areas that were unavailable for a walk through, but we saw enough to understand that there is real science going on there! Dermazone sells skin care products both on a national and international level and is an FDA Registered Facility.

Getting right to the main question? Are there products available that can actually reverse the signs of aging? If yes, what are they and can you give us a brief description of what they do?  

Yes there are. Of course reversing the signs of age is a drug claim and therefore, language such as ‘reverses the appearance of the signs of age’ is most often used. Products that truly deliver on their promises must be formulated with the correct synergistic blends of natural ingredients, have the correct quality and potency levels, and the correct pH for the ingredients to actually perform to the benefit claim. Skin, our largest organ, is designed to disallow the penetration of most constituents. Therefore, without an effective delivery system, often ingredients just sit on top of the skin doing little to affect the signs of age. Glycolic acid, Magnesium Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Retinol, Peptides, Marine Extracts, Essential Oils and botanical extracts such as Green Tea deliver excellent results when formulated correctly.

What should women look out for when we hear about skin care results? Are there any things we should look for in packaging or marketing that tells us if we are actually getting a product that has proven ingredients? 

Women should be very cautious when reading product claims. The fact is the skin care industry does not have to disclose the percentages of the proven ingredients on the package. This leaves men and women at a complete loss to determine if a product is full of marketing hype or legitimately effective. Whenever I speak I talk about this very issue and that until this changes and the industry adopts regulation, or regulation is imposed on it by the FDA, the consumer can easily be misled. Why is it that our food industry is mandated to disclose the percent of sodium, and fats in a food product, so that consumers can compare brands and make educated decisions and yet, the skin care industry does not have to disclose the amount of an ingredient or ingredients that the benefits are associated with, such as a peptide(s) within the product? 

What type of testing generally goes into a new skin care product to determine if it does get the results hoped for? 

Many specialty ingredients today offer both In Vivo and In Vitro clinical studies over an 8 week trial that will support the various anti-aging claims when formulated at the tested percent within the formula.  I believe that the best testing is when the product can hold out ‘evidence based data’ through consumer testimony proving the benefits claimed on the product actually delivered results within the time stated.

Of course we all want to apply a product and see a much more youthful face staring us back in the mirror immediately. What is a reasonable expectation of time for seeing visible results?Most skin care products in the marketplace will claim results in 8-12 weeks. Two to three months can be a long-time to wait to see a long-lasting improvement in skin. Ingredients such a Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid will give short-term hydration and therefore have plumping affects to the skin.  Consumers can now find products that give results in two weeks, which is about as patient as anyone needs to be.

Some skin care is very expensive. And I believe that many women are willing to pay the price if they are getting a product that will actually do what it says, but it can seem risky to spend a lot when we don’t really know if it will work for us. Do you ever get what you pay for? In other words, do we need to spend more money for products that really get results? 

The quality of the ingredients, the amount used of the ingredients and the quality of the manufacturing process all add a substantial cost to the formula before the packaging is considered.  For example, it costs much more to make a tightening serum that contains 21 percent peptides and made in a manufacturing facility that adheres to the strictest quality regulations set by the FDA, than it does to make a similar product with 2-3 percent peptides in a facility that does not meet the highest quality standards. So yes, there is truth in that “you get what you pay for”. That said, without additional regulations in this industry requiring full disclosure on the packaging of the potency of the advertised effective ingredients within the product, the consumer will continue to be taken advantage of.

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Deborah Duffey is President and Chief Product Development Officer of Dermazone Solutions, Inc.  and Kara Vita, Inc

Dermazone Divisions are Celazome® Clinical Skin Care, dermaCM and Hyssop Health™. Dermazone’s products are formulated with patented Lyphazome® Technology.

They are located at 2440 30th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33713.

If you would like to try Celazome products, you can buy them directly by going to their website,http://www.celazomeskin.com

Yes, You CAN Wear Leggings and Tights!

I have recently heard some worries about wearing leggings/tights. By their very definition, they are “tight” and that seems to intimidate some people. But actually, they can be VERY slimming when worn correctly. And they are super versatile! They can work for daytime, evening, casual and dressy. Even business. And they are usually super comfortable. Now that Fall is here, they can keep you cooler on a warmer fall day instead of a heavier pant, OR they can keep you warm when that chill in the air makes you want more than just a skirt!

So, back to why they can be VERY slimming.  Lets face it – between our feet to just above our knees can be our slimmest, “bony-est” area. Extra weight is least likely to settle there and an ankle can be pretty sexy! The eye will automatically be drawn down to your skinny-ish legs and (awesome) shoes.  Plus, well fitting tights may work like Spanx if you find a tightly woven pair. Bonus!

So the strategy is to make sure your top hits anywhere below the point that you would prefer to cover.  This does not mean that you have to wear some sack-like top. A well fitting top, no matter what the design, looks great on most shapes and sizes.  Remember, it’s a pretty hard fast rule for most of us “of a certain age”  (to quote Wendy Williams), that your top should always cover your butt if you are wearing tights, even if you are very thin!

Tights Tips:

If you are very short, tights and a big top may overwhelm you, so stay away from the big bulky sweater over tights look. A more tailored top can still look great though. Throwing on some heels or wedges will give you some length from top to bottom.

  • Make sure that your tights have a fairly tight weave, with a lot of stretch. If the fabric thins out it some areas, this looks like they are too small for you, so steer clear.
  • In keeping with the above, don’t be afraid to buy a size larger than you might usually wear. Every manufacturer is different and your typical medium (for example) might be super tight on you.
  • Basic black looks good with almost everything and is very slimming, but prints can be fun too. A tight weave is most important here so that the design doesn’t stretch out once you put them one.
  • Tights with the right dress or skirt are trendy.  If you wear stockings, for example, you may be able to switch out to tights for an updated look.
  • Tights and heels are VERY sexy and can be causal or dressy depending on your top! Flats are fun too, and do not forget the boots and booties! Both heeled boots and flat boots look very fun with tights!

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The Ins and Outs of Tummy Troubles

First of all you should know where the writer of this article is coming from.  Most of us women have fixated on some body part that we are particularly critical of. In my case it was my stomach. I liked it FLAT.

I don’t know why I have fixated on this, but I have memories of kneeling on a church pew as a small girl in about 3rd grade, and being aghast as I looked down and saw my tummy jutting out, as any little girl’s would when kneeling through a long Catholic mass. But for some reason, it horrified me, and I would try to suck it in! No one ever told me that I should, or that I was fat (in fact I was a skinny little runt at that point) but at least now you know this tummy thing has been with me forever.

Once I got into my adult years, my fitness routines kept my abs tight. But now, many decades later, a new struggle with my tummy started when I got into my early 50’s.  In my case I did not gain a lot of weight when I hit menopause. In fact I didn’t really gain any discernable “scale” weight at all. Years of healthy eating and fitness pursuits were still with me at this stage of life so I didn’t experience any extra pounds that some of my less active friends started to see.

But what did happen totally frustrated me…. My weight shifted to a new part of my body. Yes, obvious at this point I guess… Off my hips and onto my stomach!  Which made me feel FAT. I had never looked down and seen extra flab.

Years of sit-ups and healthy eating had kept my tummy pretty flat and when it wasn’t, I took the steps to get there pretty quick. But this was different! Even though I was at a good overall weight, I HATED where that weight was on my body. Listen, I get that there are much harder things to deal with in life and at the end of the day, of course I am thankful for that, but lets also be honest as women. When we are critical or bothered by something about ourselves, its not so easy to just shake off.

Stomach Problems Too!

And yes, there is more! At about the same time my hormones were shifting things around outside, they were shifting things around inside too. Suddenly I had stomach problems. And they were very weird and frustrating problems. I noticed them get worse over about a two year period.  In the morning my stomach would be relatively flat. As soon as I ate something the bloat started. Some days a little, and some days a lot. Even with very “healthy” habits. And when it was a lot, it looked like I was 6 months pregnant!

It didn’t seem clear what was causing it; I just couldn’t pinpoint it. And it wasn’t always the same thing- at least it didn’t seem to be! And weirdly enough, I had no other real stomach issues – just bloating! But for me this was more than enough! It was uncomfortable, and I felt self conscious.  It was even uncomfortable to work out on the worst days. Every shirt or top I picked out in the morning had my tummy in mind as part of the choice.  I’m not one for super tight shirts, but I also didn’t want to wear mumus either just to accommodate my bloated belly. Mumu’s are rarely sassy!

Little by little, I ruled out IBS, gluten intolerance, and several other possibilities. I had two colonoscopies and other work-ups and lab tests. Everything came back negative. That was great news on one hand, but very frustrating on the other.  If there was nothing wrong with me, why was I having these symptoms? The only real advice from my doctor was to just accept that I would not have the flat stomach that I had when I was younger. Well, it was hard to accept when there was no tangible reason for it! I was looking for something more specific!

So here I was with a few pounds of extra weight in my least favorite place and then having it pushed out uncomfortably in front of me every day. Yuk, yuk, yuk!

So I started my research. First of all, I found that current studies show that the fat gained or shifting around during menopause, was just normal fat and would indeed react the same way to exercise and proper diet as any other fat. So I COULD lose it.  It might be a little challenging because I wasn’t way over weight, and those last couple of pounds can be difficult to get off. But I knew if it could be done, I could do it.

I decided that my goal would be to slowly do just that. Burn calories through my fitness pursuits and decrease my calorie intake.  I didn’t starve myself, but I became conscious that my typical regimen of mostly healthy during the week with some splurging and foodie pursuits on the weekends might have to get a little stricter. That was a good maintenance plan for me, but it was not really a plan to lose.  So here and there I would get tough and skip the weekend fun and stay in healthy mode. The biggest challenge for me was skipping the red wine that goes with the foodie mode! I naturally gravitate toward healthier choices when there is no wine along with it, but wine shot the calories up, and the willpower down, so it had to be a key element to losing a few pounds.  Frankly, it was the biggest test of willpower for me! (And continues to be…☺)

That part of the solution to my tummy troubles (losing a little weight)  proved to be the easiest to figure out.  I can’t tell you the countless hours I spent on the internet researching every key-word I could think of, searching and searching for the answer to my stomach bloating. What I did find was that there are a lot of people (mostly women) out there have very similar symptoms, with just as much mystery attached. We were all eliminating foods and types of foods to see if we could find the triggers to the problems we were having.  And there were not a lot of success stories. Why was this so mysterious?

Some Answers Found

It wasn’t easy to find, but to cut to the chase, I believe that I have something that is called carbohydrate mal-absorption.  Which means that my stomach is having trouble digesting carbs and sugars(which are carbs of course).  I found that I had no trouble digesting proteins – no bloating after a couple of poached eggs or a piece of fish for example, but add some carbs to the mix and my troubles started. With the worst symptoms being after eating complex carbs like bread or pasta. And yes, wine or beer.

Ok, so if that was the issue then how do I get them to digest? I turned to a stomach enzyme called alpha galactosidase, which is a naturally occurring enzyme in our digestive system. It turns out it is the same stuff in a product that is pretty well known called Beano, just in a little larger dose, and it is readily available at my local health food store. I take it during meals, especially dinner where I tend to eat my largest portions.

(Please be aware that I am not diagnosing anyone out there and I still feel that all these discussions should be with your doctor, as well as taking control by doing your own research to help the process along. I am telling you my story, but it is up to you and your doctor to decide what might help any symptoms or conditions you might have.)

I have found that adding this particular enzyme to my meals has REALLY helped. I also try to be aware of the things that give me problems such as the complex stuff like the pasta, and I keep that kind of eating to a minimum. And I also began to realize that for me, my beloved red wine proved to be irritating, and I have to pick and choose my moments to enjoy it (saddest part of story).

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Feeling Better (Mostly)

At the end of the day my stomach is flatter and I feel better. (except when I make a conscious decision to splurge, like during the vacation I was just on. Then I know it will take a few days for my tummy to get back to normal. But its ok, because now I know it will eventually improve!)

I found that there are a lot of people out there with gastro issues and for whatever reason, the answers aren’t immediately obvious, as they seem with some other systems in our bodies. Perhaps because a tummy ache is rarely life threatening, but a heart “ache” can be, the tummy troubles got back-burnered by both the doctors and the patients?

But because of all our questions, the answers are starting to come, so if you do have tummy troubles, take heart.  More and more physicians are looking at new science and research and answers are coming more frequently! And it seems that much like the other systems in our bodies, a healthy and mindful approach can be a very good tool in creating diminished symptoms.

September Tips From Fitness Editor, Wendy

The start of Fall season can be a wonderful time of year but it an also be a stressful time for some of us. Balancing work with busy family schedules, starting to prepare for holidays, and trying to be sure that we include time for fitness pursuits – its all a challenge for our stress control!

Once of my favorite tips for stress control is to remember that you cannot control what other people say or do, just how YOU react.

Sometimes the best thing to do is take that deep breath and ignore them. Letting go and refusing to try to change anything but your own actions, is very freeing.

You won’t go to bed worrying about how to change anyone, or wake up being disappointed that you couldn’t, because you have scratched that off your “to do” list. When we only concentrate on what we can do or change, life becomes less stressful and less complicated, and that is something we all can use!

Love,

Wendy

Is There a Solution for Thinning Lashes and Brows? (or) “What?? Now Even My Eyelashes are Going!! Does Latisse Work?”

I was shopping for makeup in a euphoric, yet naïve state – a combination of enjoying the moment, along with not knowing what would come next! I asked the salesgirl, “What type of mascara do you recommend?” I expected to hear about the latest new mascara and had visions of my bambi-like lashes it would bring.

She said “ Well your lashes are kind of thin, so I recommend a thickening mascara.” WHAAAAAT???!!??? I didn’t hear another word she said. My lashes are kind of thin? How could that be? I had always gotten compliments on my lashes. They were one of my “good” features! Once again this aging thing was hitting me between the eyes! Or directly on them this time!

Worst of all I couldn’t complain about this! It had to be kept in perspective. What could I say? ” I am really bothered by the lack of world peace and also finding out my eyelashes are thin?” I finally did tell my daughter and she said “oh Mom, they are not.” without even looking at me. Clearly even my daughter did not understand what its like to lose another of your “best” qualities, sigh……

Months later, a friend of mine said, out of the blue, ”Look at my eyelashes!” I did and it was shocking! They were so long and thick. Why hadn’t I noticed this before? What had she done? She confided that she was using Latisse!

As a public service to S3! readers I knew I must try it myself (ok, lying! – I just wanted to see if it would work for me..). And the answer is, YES IT DID! Thicker and Longer! So here is the info on Latisse:

An eyelash has a growth cycle of one to two months and then it falls out. Latisse lengthens its life and also encourages new growth in the follicles that are in a dormant stage. Latisse is the brand name for the medication, bimatoprost, and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat inadequate eyelashes (hypotrichosis).

Bimatoprost is also marketed under the brand name Lumigan, which was/is used in prescription eye-drops to treat glaucoma. It was discovered that Lumigan also caused hair growth during treatment and so eventually Latisse was born.

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Latisse is applied every day along the lash line of the upper eyelid, and gradually encourages growth of longer, thicker and darker eyelashes. Basically it increases the life cycle of the hair follicle and encourages lazy ones. This is a gradual process because you are dealing with hair growth. For full results, you must use it for 16 weeks but you will start to see improvements after just a few weeks. It is not permanent so when you stop using Latisse, your eyelashes will eventually return to their original appearance.

Although it is safe for most people, the side effects of Latisse may include: itchy, red eyes, dry eyes, darkened eyelids, darkened brown pigmentation in the iris, the colored part of the eye (although I have heard that this was a side affect of Lumigan that was applied directly into the eye and has not been experienced by Lattisse users. But we definitely want to know about it either way!) Although darkened eyelids might fade when the medication is stopped, any changes in iris color are likely to be permanent if they do occur. I, myself, experienced none of the possible side affects.

Get this product from your medical professional and please not just over the internet. Allergan, the manufacturer, is trying to crack down on physicians selling this product through the internet without an office visit. In my opinion your eyes are pretty important and it’s worth the visit to your doc or medical professional. And as with any prescription product, you want your questions fully answered before use.

The practical downside of Latisse, is that it needs to be remembered as part of your daily regimen for it to work, and then of course there is the expense. At somewhere between 75 and 120 bucks for a two months supply, it’s not cheap. You may find that you can get a special, or promotion, so keep on the lookout for that.

Also, I found that a couple of the lashes grew a bit longer than the others, kind of like that errant tree branch that is two feet taller than the rest of the tree. I trimmed these down to keep them at the same length. I have heard that some people actually shape them. Shorter on the inside with outside lashes longer, but this is way too much work for me!

One last thing, eyebrows seem to thin with age along with lashes, and Latisse can help with them too! Ask your medical professional if you want to discuss this. Christy Marks, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner at Radiance Medspa (in Bellair Beach, FL), tells us her patients are getting “excellent results”  by brushing the remaining liquid from the wet Latisse brush (after application to the lashes) along the eyebrows too, using every bit of liquid on the brush to the max! You will see your brows thicken back up after a month or two.

I hear there are trials taking place as a treatment for baldness. We’ll keep you posted!

The Three Biggest Reasons to Find the Fashion Gems in your Area

You need a super cute outfit, super fast. What to do??

We all know about the major fashion chains – who they are and what they stock. There are a wide range of prices and types of chain stores from budget to high end. But don’t make the mistakes of overlooking the little boutiques that can be found in every community.

Here are the biggest reasons to check out these little, locally owned stores, and then check them out again and again and again!

1. Be a Supportive Neighbor

First of all it’s really great when you can support your local economy and businesses, by using your fashion dollars at their stores. They are often owned by like-minded women (fashion lovers) and I love helping other women any way I can….. even if it’s just buying a cute scarf at their store!

2. Save Money

Many of these stores have great pricing! I don’t know how they compete so well with the buying power of national chains, but they often have great deals and even better sales. The local owner has the ability to set her pricing the way she wants to and doesn’t have to follow a corporate strategy.  They also have the ability to give big discounts and “throw ins” for good customers who they appreciate. This is impossible in a corporate store environment.

3. You Won’t See it on Your Girlfriend! 

(or girl-frenemy)

Corporate stores have buyers that negotiate large quantities with their vendors and often can’t bother with small designers or start- ups. Your local boutique can have flexibility when it comes to buying from the smaller vendors. For this reason, you find great pieces that are different than what you find in the department stores. When you buy a piece from your local boutique, the risk of seeing it on a friend is slim to none! For example if you buy a size six for a charity event, you probably won’t see the size four walk by (Horror!).

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Roma NYC

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In my area in Tampa Bay, Florida, we have a great little boutique in Clearwater called Roma NYC. Super cute trendy looks, in a very contemporary boutique environment. I just love it in there! If you live in Tampa Bay, you’ve got to make your way to downtown Clearwater (410 Cleveland St.) to check it out. You will be amazed! when you step inside. They do an awesome job of merchandising and with the way they splash color around the store, it can’t help but lift your spirits.

Their pieces come from Italy, and are very fashionable. Their leather handbags are incredible and I couldn’t believe how reasonably priced they were. They have many casual yet sophisticated looks at amazing prices, and I always see other “sasster” types in there when I visit. Check out a few of their super cute pieces above. And there is Much More!

Search out and find your local Boutique Gems and ENJOY!

How to Eliminate the Dress Stress of Holiday Parties This Year!

You have worked hard all year and you DESERVE to have FUN during the Holidays. With all the fun that Holiday Season brings, it also brings the annual question of: What do I wear at the holiday parties?

We want you to LOVE your Holiday Look this year. But how to do that?  The simple, yet obvious solution before you get crazy-busy, and the “perfect” dress in your size is long gone:

Last minute shopping when you have so many other things to do brings stress and regretted purchases!

That’s right Ladies, November is the best time to find your holiday party wardrobe. Before you say “What? It’s too early to even think about it”, consider how much more calm you would be if you weren’t rushing around a few days before the party, hoping to find something cute, and eventually settling on a dress you don’t love just to have “something.”  We’ve ALL been there! And the party goes from Feeling Fun! to Feeling Frump!

What if you started looking NOW whenever you had to go to the mall anyway, or you stopped at your favorite boutique when you were in the neighborhood, or jumped online while you watched “Dancing with the Stars?”

The stores have started to bring in their cute holiday looks and there is plenty of time to shop online and even return it if you don’t like it! Find a dress you love now, before stores are packed or your favorite online retailer tells you that your choice is “backordered”.

We’ve given you 20 (that’s right, 20!) AMAZING ideas to get you started thinking about it. We hope you find that perfect dress before December 1! Then all you have to worry about is what to do with your hair. (but don’t worry,  we’ll talk about that in the December issue!)

1. Talk about starting with a BANG! This gorgeous dress suits every figure and almost every holiday event. Flattering and slimming with a bit of see-thru whimsy at the bottom. Breathtaking!

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Macy’s-R&M Richards Sleeveless Beaded Tiered Gown $119.00

2. Sexy, sophisticated, clean lines and sparkle. Great Find!

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Dillards- Patra Chevron Beaded Shift Dress $210.00

3.Elegant, yet right on trend at the same time (hard to do!) with the metallic lace sheath!

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Dillards-Kay Unger Metallic Lace Sheath $520.00

4.Perfect when you need something “appropriate” but still want “sexy”.

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Nordstrom- Eliza J Illusion Yoke Lace Overlay Sheath $178.00

5. This color is so great and just screams holiday fun! It’s a little short, so it’s for the daring soul with great legs who wants to show that she’s still got it!

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Simply Dresses-Short Sleeveless V-Neck $39.00

6. Simple yet sooo sophisticated, this is great for an office party. Add a chunky short necklace, or a long sleek metallic one to give it that extra oompff!

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Macys-Alfani Sweater Dress $89.50

7. If you love that leather look, but not that leather price, check this little dress out! Figure flattering with the gathers just below waist.

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Macys-Jessica Simpson Lace Faux Leather Panel – $79.00

8. Black is ALWAYS slimming and this dress is perfect to hide a little extra in the hip or butt area. The tighter bodice is very flattering and the see through lace on top ads a little “sexy”, while still being appropraite for any setting!

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Bluefly-Hayden Black Stretch Lace Fit and Flare– $110.00

9. Royal Blue is so BIG this year and this dress is a gorgeous color that looks great on any complection. We love the little skirt – the eye jumps up and down to each hem, creating a sexy OR? sophisticated look all in one!

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Bluefly-Wyatt Royal Blue Lace Overlay $155.00

10. If you want one, super fun little dress that can go anywhere this holiday season, this it it! Spot on trend with metallics with a trim bodice but perfect pleats if you want just one more cookie (or glass of champagne!)

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Nordstrom- Eliza J Metallic Jacquard Fit & Flare – $158.00

11.Sweet-As-Can-Be Lace, but the bright green says “oh yes, I am here to have FUN!”

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Nordstrom – Taylor Dresses Embroidered Mesh Fit & Flare $168.00

12.Don’t mess with the sassy woman who shows up in this dress. She knows she looks amazing.

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Nordstrom- Adrianna Papell Baroque Faux Leather Applique Fit & Flare $158.00

13. Heartstopper! He will definately think that Santa is on his side when he sees this dress on you. The slinkly lines ruche at the waist for extra slimming power. On Fire!

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Dillards- Lauren Ralph Lauren Pleated Satin $194.00

14. If you are looking for full length, but also want true holiday dazzle, try this red mermaid lace gown.

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Nordstrom- Tadashi Shoji Textured Lace Mermaid Gown $298.00

15. Simple and sophisticated, when its the occasion calls for glamour and a Princess Grace confidence!

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Dillards- R&M Richards Lace Popover Chiffon $110.00

16. You’ve got to dance when you wear this one. Beautiful fabric and gorgeous motion. Jingle Bell Rock anyone?

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Macy’s- Xscape Metallic Print Halter Gown $198.99

17. This is one of those plain on the hangar, knockout on the body dresses. Looks great on almost anyone. Less is more with the jewelry on this one. A chunky choker or a metalic hair ornament would be awesome with this!

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Nordstrom- Donna Morgan Metallic Jacquard Midi Fit & Flare $198.00

18. We couldn’t leave this one out. It’s gorgous! The drop waist elongates the torso and the lace shimmer below gently flows around the ankles as you walk by. It’s a WOW!

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Nordstrom- Pisarro Nights Beaded Mesh Drop Waist $198.00

19. Funny how this siloutte looks great on both the slim AND the voluptuous. Perfect look for Ringing in the New Year!

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Saks Fifth Avenue- BCBG Maxazria Alena Peplum $298.00

20.Last but not least, a statement piece for sure. And the shoe choices are endless with it. Strappy sandals in black or metallic, or funk it up with a high heeled bootie! Stunning!

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Saks Fifth Avenue- Black Halo Plated Crepe Strapless $460.00

 

Are You Too Busy to Read This? Stress Free for the Holidays! Impossible?

Maybe it’s impossible but you CAN take it down a notch or two. Grab your choice of beverage, light a candle, take a deep breath, and sit back and relax.

I compiled some pretty good tips from the web just for you to help reduce stress during the Holiday Season.

Here are some simple steps to relax, let go and really enjoy the holiday season!

#1: Make Time to Exercise.

Of course we’d prefer a yoga class, but pick your exercise of choice, and schedule it just like you would anything else that must be done. After all, you wouldn’t blow off other obligations like buying the turkey or picking up your mother-in-law from the airport. Make exercising non-negotiable.

#2: Lighten Up and Avoid Family Fights

You’re looking forward to your grandmother’s fabulous fruitcake – but dreading the question she asks you every year: “Isn’t it time you get married again?”. Instead of wishing Grandma would get run over by a reindeer, adjust YOUR attitude.

As uncomfortable as her probing may be, remember that she’s not trying to annoy you – she’s just concerned about your happiness. When you answer, “acknowledge intent, not content,” Say something like, “Thanks for caring about me,” or “I appreciate your concern about my well-being.” You’ll get her off your back politely – and you won’t have to defend your love life.

#3: Simplify and Prioritize.

Choose activities that are meaningful to you and try to let go of those that you do only because you feel obligated.

#4: Shopping and  Procrastination.

The thing to remember here is that the longer gift shopping is procrastinated, the more crowded the stores will become and the longer the lines will get. Control the situation, and start shopping early. Shop online when possible -It saves money too, fewer impulse buys and gifts “just to get something”.

#5: Give Yourself Credit.

Others often don’t realize what an effort you’ve made (making cookies, decorating, cooking the holiday meal), so give yourself credit for doing the best you can with the body and time you have. Remember that not everything has to be perfect.

#6: Take Care of Yourself.

Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy meals, get daily exercise, practice relaxation techniques, and avoid too much alcohol. Everything in moderation! Avoid over indulging. After all, you’ll have to pay it back at some point.

#7: Show Empathy and Compassion.

Our internal perception is reality. Whenever you show kind -hearted compassion, your heart gets it back in return. Volunteer.  You can make a difference in the lives of others.

#8:Breathe. Really!

This sounds like a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget to take deep breaths and really give our bodies the oxygen we need. It’s great if you can take ten minutes by yourself to do a breathing meditation, but merely stopping to take a few deep, cleansing breaths can reduce your level of negative stress in a matter of minutes, too! If you visualize that you are breathing in serenity and breathing out stress, you will find the positive effects of this exercises to be even more pronounced.

With a little planning and a few minor but significant changes, this holiday season can bring the love and joy it was meant to bring, leaving you feeling fulfilled instead of drained!

Love,

Wendy

Of course, Wendy always recommends a yoga class at  Wendy Fit for Yoga & Pilates in Palm Harbor, FLorida for a class or private training!

Why Growing Older is NOT the Problem!

It seems that many of us approach getting older (even when we are not THAT old) with a bit of sadness, remorse, or even fear. Changes occur, aches and pains appear, and body systems start “acting up” in some way or the other.  We can’t deny the fact that time does a  “power walk” forward. But getting older is NOT really the problem.

Getting older without fitness as an integral part of life is the problem!

It’s not a new revelation to say that everyone should keep fit and maintain a healthful lifestyle. But I don’t think that enough of us truly think about what a real difference fitness make in slowing the processes of aging.

If we could embrace the benefits of aging (such as experience, accumulated knowledge and expertise, seeing your children grow, or grandchildren come along, to name a few) without experiencing all the potential physical disintegration, it would be awesome.  A fit life brings us as close to that scenario as possible.

If you haven’t really acknowledged this as your personal truth, it’s time to do it. Take it PERSONAL! VERY PERSONAL!

First of all, the hard question to determine if you are doing what you need to:  Look around at people your age. Does your body look younger or older than most of them? And don’t compare yourself to the least fit or heaviest person you know. There is always somebody who is worse! Look at the average people around you who are your age, 10 years older and ten years younger (yes, I said ten years younger!).

If you answered that your body looks older, less toned, and maybe heavier, then you need to face the facts that you a missing a tremendous advantage in your quality of life.

Yes, time has caught up with us and there is no longer time for delay or intentions for the future.  Being fit has gone from something you should do, to something you have to do. Otherwise you have just admitted that you are perfectly fine with more aches, more pains, more illness, and less energy every day. You have accepted that these will keep getting worse. Probably Much Worse. And I hate to say it out loud, but yes, probably a shorter life too!  Don’t settle for this! You are not less deserving of a good life! So please don’t accept that fate! But it something that no one can give you except yourself.

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How To Begin

Starting is the hardest part. I promise. Take 30 minutes and write down your plan to make it REAL. You need two parts. One is fitness, and the other is healthy eating.  If you need a doctor’s appointment to discuss your fitness future then stop reading right now and call your to doctor make that appointment. Seriously! Come back after you get off the phone!

Ok, now that you’ve got that appointment, consider what type of fitness program you will be starting with. The most important thing to consider is to decide what it is that you would LIKE to do and that it is CONVENIENT for you to do.  You need to start with something that you can stick to. Get online and search for different programs in your area. Yoga is a wonderful place to start if you haven’t worked out. And you will be amazed at how good you feel from the very first class! But there are plenty of other programs out there. If you want a more strenuous workout, investigate Orange Theory, Kick Boxing, maybe CrossFit. If you can afford a personal trainer, they can tailor a workout with your goals in mind.  Or start walking. Always free and flexible! Ask your girlfriends who workout. They will give some great feedback about what they like to do and where they do it.

Ok part two: get back online and start researching healthy eating. You might be surprised to find out it is much easier than you thought.  The most important rule is to stay away from processed foods. If it was packaged in a factory, try to avoid it! Keep researching – it will motivate you, I promise. Stay away from fad diets; read nutritional info that makes sense. I recommend Foodist, by Darya Pino Rose, but there are other good ones too. And so much info online! Don’t be surprised if you become addicted to wanting more and more information about food, recipes, and how your body will process them.

Finally, write down your motivation for your changes. Some good ones are: Six months from now I don’t want to breathe heavy when I go up the stairs. Or this time next year I will have less aches and pains instead of more! I plan on having enough energy to chase around my grandkids for the afternoon without feeling exhausted. I want to feel more toned and strong again.  I want to feel sexy again!

And here is a secret you don’t know unless you are doing it.  Even if you are a person who does not look forward to fitness, it becomes FUN! Yes, it really does! Once again, I promise! And that FUN is not just while you are doing the workout. It spills over into the rest of life.  Not only are you feeling good about yourself, but you feel like you are part of something special. And you get a sense of support and camaraderie from others doing it. You may have met new friends while working out, or exchanging healthy recipes, but even people you don’t know are supporting you!  You have become part of a special group. It’s like knowing a new secret! This is a guarantee!

(Ck your plan in 7 days. Are you on track? If not, it’s OK, start again!)

If You Are Already Doing It!

Now back to the original challenge of comparing yourself to others…..if you know that you are in the group who has already embraced fitness as a part of life, congratulations! It’s a great club to be in. And if you are in that group, you know that it’s not a miserable existence of deprivation that it may appear to be. Just the opposite!  A fit life is a joyous life.

It’s full of self confidence and yes, fun. Not only can you do what you want to do physically, not only have you slowed the aging process, but you also know that occasional lapses don’t mean failure or defeat. Its just part of your mostly healthy, mostly fit life. And you are the best motivation for your friends who really hope to get there. A small word of encouragement can be so helpful to someone struggling. And you will never know how many you motivate just by being around them when they see your success!

Growing older is not the problem! Life is filled with joy at every age, so don’t miss out. A fit life turns the “problem” into just a “process.” A process of continuing to learn about what we CAN do at any age!

Chasing Away The Winter Blues with Fun Lip Color!

There is nothing like color to chase away the winter doldrums.

S3! went shopping for some great lipstick colors to help chase the blahs away. Criteria for this search: 1. Pretty colors that tend to look great on sassters (and)

2. Economical brands that could be found inexpensively in your local drug store!

We took a look at some great shades in some of the  brands that can be found anywhere:

L’Oreal – we loved Julianne’s Nude in the Collection Prive by Julianne. This was a Better-than-Natural pinky nude that layered nicely for a fresh look. Breath of spring pretty.

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Maybelline:  Barely Bloomed – A Nude and creamy beige-y opaque color that adds a sexy lip to a day or night time look. (lining your lip is key to making your nude lips pop)  For a night time look, the nude lip with a darker eye  is quite stunning!

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NYX – has been getting some good press lately. We chose a  (blue based) pink  -Strawberry Milk – specifically to get away from wintery shades and it was  bright and fun and pretty creamy too.

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Covergirl: We grabbed this pretty coral from Covergirl. Caramel Kiss. Corals can look great on a lot of skin tones and the light ones are great if you want a soft pretty color.

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Revlon: We went to Revlon Ultra HD for the not so faint of heart- full on- color POP! Hydrangea was the one we pulled and it’s a bright (but also layer-able)  fun hue. It is sure to chase the winter clouds away from even the dreariest day. Start with a light layer and add more until you get the perfect bright for you.

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All tubes were under the ten bucks mark!  An inexpensive way to lift our spirits a little…… Have fun at the drugstore makeup counter!

My “Not” A Resolution

If you are anything like me, the holidays are a mix of the best and the worst. Somehow in a few short weeks we stuff in love, family, friends, parties, gifts and tons of yummy food and drink. But when January rolls around that hectic pace of overload on our hearts, schedule and stomachs comes to what is finally a very welcome end. I could never keep up that pace all year round.
I usually roll into January overtired, over stimulated, and a little overweight. I crave normal life, the same way I couldn’t wait for the holidays just a few months earlier.

January is Not the Time for MY Resolutions!

Which is why I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Instead of giving myself a list of new goals, when frankly, I am least the likely physically and mentally to be successful, I choose my “not a resolution”! My “not a resolution” is just to achieve normal again! I never set any new goals the first weeks of January. There are 11 more months available for goal setting and resolutions!
In January, I get back to mostly healthy meals. In fact, I crave them. And my workout schedule (a mixture of weight training, yoga, and running and walking) becomes an actual schedule again.

Excuses, Excuses!
Admittedly, sometimes the fitness portion can seem a little daunting if Christmas and New Year’s commitments, entertaining and travel have sidetracked me for a few weeks. I worry about dumb things like: Can I keep up after a few weeks off? Is it too cold/hot to work out today? Do I really have time for this today? Do I look fat in my yoga pants? Will everyone else at the gym think I’ve gained weight? (yes, I admit to you that my mind does go down that path, no matter how overly narcissistic it seems.)

Yoga Pants and Running Shoes are the Way Back
So I rely on my number one mind game I play with myself. If its yoga day, my yoga pants come on first thing. If it’s running day, I am wearing my running shoes almost as soon as I get out of bed. Somehow, if I am dressed for the event, I am less likely to be distracted by any excuses I might conjure up. And I always tell myself if I get there and I want to stop, that’s OK. But, I never do stop. Once I’m there, I keep going and my non resolution-ed life is back in full swing within a few days. And there are always those 11 more months for the new goals and resolutions!

Yoga- My Fountain of Youth

My first yoga class was a happy accident over 10 years ago. A friend had been strongly encouraging me to go to yoga. I didn’t have much interest in his suggestions. Coming of (fitness) age in the 80’s, I was proud of my tough, warrior attitude when it came to working out, and I didn’t see the point of standing around in poses. I was tougher than that!
I finally gave in to the nagging, almost to get him to shut up about it. I figured I would go to one class, and once I confirmed that I didn’t like it, I never had to go again.

When I put on my first pair of yoga pants that morning, I never could have predicted what would happen. I will never forget sitting in my car after that first class, in one of life’s rare euphoric moments. I couldn’t believe how good I felt. Something had happened. I felt like my normally tight body had somehow opened up. I felt like a 20-year-old girl again. Looser. Relaxed. How did I not know about this? I had stumbled onto something DIFFERENT.

I embraced yoga as part of my new fitness life and never looked back. I didn’t give up other workouts. I just realized that there was a key component to my overall fitness that I had missed.
In my opinion, we feel old when we have muscle weakness, joint stiffness and lack of flexibility. Yoga works against old age because it increases muscle strength, minimizes stiffness, and increases flexibility. It literally reverses the signs of aging. While these benefits occur at every age, they are particularity obvious for women over 40.

I love my varied fitness regimen. But in particular, Yoga makes me feel younger by the end of the class. It happens every time. As I go through class I am the most in touch and comfortable in my own body than any other moments in life. And the cumulative effect stays with me from class to class. Yoga is the real fountain of youth. If you haven’t tried it, just give it a chance. You may just find it to be life changing as you ask yourself: How did I not know about this?!

Recipes: Real-Food February

Real-Food February Recipe Ideas…. YUM!

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Sweets!

Can’t Lose Weight? It’s Not All Your Fault!

Can’t Lose Weight? It’s Not All Your Fault ! 

(first in a series of articles based on  a lecture by Dr. Cesar Lara regarding the causes for weight gain and the affect of hormones on weight gain)

Dr. Cesar Lara spends most of his time talking about wellness as it relates to weight loss. His passion for creating a better life for his patients is evident and it is clear he loves his work. From his perspective as a physician, a better life means a healthier one, accomplished through prevention rather than treating medical issues after they occur. And prevention of many medical issues comes down to living your life at a healthy weight with an active lifestyle.

But Dr. Lara says it is not always our fault if we are overweight! In a recent lecture, he emphasized many of the factors that work against us in American society when we try to lose weight.

 

Dr. Lara feels that much of the blame should go to our “Obesogenic Society.”  He explained some of the factors involved:

Food Quantity

The quantity of food Americans eat is has increased over the years. Plates and portions are bigger than ever before. In fact restaurants are often critiqued by how big their portions are, rather than the quality of the food. In addition, fast food portions are very large with many calories consumed during a fast food meal.

Misconceptions about Fat

Additionally, There has been a shift AWAY from fat consumption in our society that started back when Lyndon B. Johnson had a heart attack and he blamed it on dietary fat. But since we need some fat in our diet (even to lose weight!) the anti-fat movement that started in the 60’s has gone over-board. When the natural fats were eliminated from foods, manufacturers added sugar to make up for the flavor was eliminated with the fat. And more recently, as awareness about the dangers of too much sugar has started to surface, manufacturers often use misleading and confusing advertising. For example, cereal makers who tout “no added sugar” are not divulging that actually the carbohydrates that make up the item are technically mostly sugar to begin with!

Poor Food Quality

Dr. Lara also feels that the quality of our food has diminished. Pesticides, preservatives and hormones are added and these have been shown over time (as we ingest them) to upset human balances and levels. It seems almost impossible to assume that a chicken that has been injected with hormones (to add bulk as the chicken grows) does not leave traces in the human that ultimately consumes it.

The Effect of Stress in America

Daily American Life finds that stress levels are higher than ever, which increases the cortisol in our system. While cortisol is a very important hormone that gives us the “flight or fight response” it is not healthy to have it pumping through our bloodstreams constantly. We needed it back in the day as hunters (for example) but as modern Americans who wake up and begin their fast paced, stressed out day, cortisol is released too frequently and it is a fat maker in the body. When our serotonin levels decrease due to stress we crave carbohydrates to give us that temporary boost.

Exercise can be difficult to schedule into that fast paced, busy day. Working the fields is a thing of the past for most Americans who need to spend their day behind a desk.

What can we do about all those factors working against us? Dr. Lara feels that just knowing these facts can help each person strategize how they can adjust their life. He offers specific one on one help and encouragement in his weight loss practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida.

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Dr. Cesar Lara is a Certified Member of American Board of Obesity Medicine as well as American Society of Bariatric Physicians. He has received his advanced certification in Bioedentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. His practice was voted Number One in Tampa Bay Magazine in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Dr Lara also give numerous lectures and has been interviewed for many magazines and other periodicals. (please find his full bio on our Advisory Board Page)