Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week the always elegant Josephine of Chic At Any Age is hosting Fashion Flash. She is one of those rare women that  looks effortlessly chic  whether  she is relaxing in the sun or attending a concert at Albert Hall.   I tend to stare at these women trying to deconstruct what they  did to  look so good.  When I discovered  Chic At Any Age  it was like the Rosetta Stone for style.  She explains  the reasons behind her fashion choices in a way that I adapt her ideas to my style isues.  If you’re already a fan  you know what I mean.  If  Chic At Any Age is new to you, you will have  a lot of fun drilling down  into her archives for beautiful, wearable fashion ideas.

Fashion FLash Book Review; IconsFashion Flash Book Review:  Icons by Dodie Kazanjin

When I think of icons, I think of unique, famous people.  But this time, icons refer to those items of clothing that  carry  their own fame and legend.  Well known Vogue writer Dodie Kazanjian   does an up close and personl  experence  with  style icons  that include Manulo Blahnik shoes,  the Chanel suit, the Armani jacket and the Kelly  bag.  She braves the elite of the elite stores to try  on and select a legendary piece of fashion history.

As she chronicles  her journey to actually be able to acquire  each piece ( there are waiting lists for $3000 bags!), she spins  out the back story behind them.  For example,  she details the extraordinary features  that are in each Chanel jacket,   and that the big Hermes bag that Grace Kelly used to hide her pregnency from  photographers was there after known as  the Kelly. My favorite chapter chronicles her  search for the perfect  Little Black Dress.  Fashion editors are forever recommending  the LBD as a fashion staple,  but no one  has ever actually   described  how hard  it is to find the perfect one.  Most designers seem to create for that ubiquitous freakishly   tall blonde with 4% body fat. Ms Kaszanjian is 5 feet, 2 inches with a wonderful  mane of curly  dark hair.  Her journey through  one shouldered,  feather trimmed, ruffled and cut out black dresses is  so relatable that I was chuckling as  I read  the piece.  The fact that in the end  she walked away empty handed, made me  love this book even more.

 

 

 

 

 

Its Fashion FLash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week my favorite fashionista Diva Debbi  is hosting  Fashion Flash.  There  is  reason that she has more than 12,000 Polyvore followers.  Her eye  for color , shape and texture  comes through in her  amazing style posts.  With fall  hard upon us, I can’t  wait to see what she  has created for  colder weather.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  Dropping Acid– the Reflux Diet  Cookbook and Cure

My BFF from college never smoked, but when she turned 50, Annie  developed a chronic cough  that never  went away.  A non-smoker  she has tried the usual medications for asthma,  but nothing  really seemed to work.  When she asked my pulmonologist  husband  for help, he suggested she visit a ear, nose and throat specialist ( ENT)  to examine  her larynx.  He explained that  about 30% of his patients with  annoying, chronic  coughs had reflux rather than pulmonary problems.

Dropping Acid by Jamie Koufman, MD not only explains how this works  but offers  a full lifestyle program to control problems.  The list of “don’ts”  is long, but Dr Koufman  offers  extensive  science behind her recommendations.  For example,  she  explains   how  soda triggers symptoms and that the rise in the number of peope with reflux is prarallel to the rise  of  soda consumption. Other recommendations include no food three hours before going to sleep. The list of food triggers can be daunting  to  cooking and eating out but Dr Kaufman offers  dozens of  genuinely appealing recipes.

Garlic, onions, butter  and tomatoes are  well known reflux triggers  are also key ingredients  to  many  cooking styles and countries.  Dropping Acid  has managed  to coax  rich enjoyable flavors without  the usual  seasongs.  She uses ginger, coriander and prociutto to build taste and texture  for meals that are delicious  and reflux proof.

Dr Kaufman, a noted laryngologist   now has  a companion book – The Chronic Cough Enigma.  She  offers a clear differtial diagnosis of the different types of reflux and  the  best treatment options.   Keep in mind that  over 50,  reflux  is increasingly likely  and this pair of books is  a valuable tool for dealing with this  all too common problem.

As it turned out Annie , an attorney for Holocaust survivors, does not keep 9-5 hours ( more like 9 to 9). And as long as I have known her, she has had an open can of Tab on her desk. I gave her my copy of Dropping Acid and I am looking forward to hearing the results.

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This  week,Fashion-Flash-logo Positive Aging Expert  Barbara Hannah Grufferman is hosting Fashion Flash. In her blog Best of Everything After 50 and on her regular Today Show appearances, Barbara  has  a positive view of life that  is virtually contagious. While  we  certainly can’t  stop getting older  we can control  how  we approach  the  life and times after 50.   Online  there  can  be an overflow of  naysaying and negativity in blogs  about aging, but   Barbara  will  empower  you to  make each  day of  your life the best day of your life.  She interviews experts  on fashion, fitness and health to  pull out the best ideas and latest information.  And don’t miss  her entertaining and informative  video series with AARP!

Fashion Flash ReviewFashion Flash Review:  Dr Ellen Marmur in Self magazine

New York dermatologist  Dr Ellen Marmur has been  an unfailing friend and supporter of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog since it started four years ago.   Despite a packed waiting room, four children, a full research program, and  a regular guest  slot on Dr Oz, Dr Ellen  is never too busy  to answer our  questions and demonstrate new  tools and techniques.

Now you can read about another side of Dr Marmur in the August issue of Self magazine.  In addition  to being  a world class dermatologist,  Dr Marmur  is passionate about hiking.   Reading what  hiking  means to  her and how it makes her feel reminded me of the  importance of having  an activity in your life that  makes you feel calm and excited at the same time.

Most of  our time is spent getting to a specfic goal eg   meeting  a work deadline,  doing the laundry or  toilet training a two year old.  But  there are these activities in our lives where the process  is  as important as the conclusion and you feel  happy and engaged in every step of the process.  For example, my friend Kelly loves to knit.  From finding the pattern,  choosing the wool and selecting the right  needles, Kelly’s face  just glows  when she works on  a   knitting project.  Kelly runs a small  scientific  publishing company  and it can be hard to find time to knit during the week.  But every year she sets  time aside to go to knitters  camp  to learn and share with other crafters.

Cooking is my happy place.  I love each step of the process from planning the meal, shopping for ingredients, prepping the vegetables  and seasonings  and listening the  the sounds and smells that tell me a dish is coming along as planned.   Having an activity  where time  passes effortlessly and the process is  as pleasurable  as the final result, is  the ultimate  stress reducer. Having  this type of  interest is  so important to  a healthy  mind and body.  What is your “happy place”  and how do you make time to include it into your life?

Fashion FLash supports SCTAHCombining a Hobby with  Compassion

This summer Dr Marmur  combined  her love of hiking with her committment to skin cancer prevention.  She and her team climbed Mount Kilimanjaro  to raise money for  the American Academy of Dermatology  skin cancer campaign. You   can  go to Marmur Medical to donate to support  this important program.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week  is the first time that  Mary Lou and Carrie  of Second Lives Club is hosting Fashion Flash.  I love the premise of this site– that   our second fifty  years  could  be even better than the first  fifty.  Second Lives Club often profiles amazing women who have made  dramatic and successful  changes in  their lives.  Its  so empowering to read about  women who changed directions  after 50  to find new fulfillment. In addition Second Lives Club  has great features on fashions, books and travel. Subscribe to this site for intelligent  and entertaining information you won’t find on any where else.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I usually review non-fiction lifestyle books that  deal with fashion, beauty health and food, but The Signature of All Things is so extraordinary, so original that I had to share  it.  This novel deals with   the life and times of a unique heroine that spans   18th century  England, the  American revolution , the civil war and  the dawn of modern science with Darwin’s theory of evolution.   The central  character Alma, a brilliant self taught botonist  is  one of the most interesting women characters in literature.

In the 19th century the  exploration  and  cataloging  of the world’s  plants and animals captured attention much the way we  focus on tech today.   Arguments  about the details and links in the plant world  held   the imagaination much the way we view a new app or  changes in Facebook.  The ability to  draw  flowers and leaves  was  accorded the same  awe and admiration that we  today regard the ability to code.

Using the national passion for natural science as a background, Gilbert writes a novel that is both  original yet accessible.  She makes  me care about all the characters, even when they are  cruel, ignorant or weak.  Just when  I think  I see the direction of the story , Gilbert  changes direction– and it takes  the narrative to another level.  Her  simple direct  tone  allows her to  address complex ideas and subjects with singular clarity.   If you  read one book this sunny summer,  make it The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Its worth every  minute of your time.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Jackie of Aging Backwards is hosting  Fashion Flash.   She has a consistant curiosity for all things dealing with health and beauty.  From the best way to use  fake eyelashes to the best natural  way to avoid heart disease Jackie  drills down  into each topic and shares  her findings. She is just one of those people that always get  it right.

Fashion FLash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review: Everything Eyes by Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown needs no introduction.  She  is  a beauty rock star with a modern approach to  make-up  that   works  for every woman.  But wait there’s more. With her  own line of natural toned  make-up and a collection of  best selling books, Bobbi Brown is still  a down to  earth person who  understands what women want  and is determined to  give it to them. Among her numerous books, she has written  not  one, but two books  that address beauty issues of women over 40. Impressive!

In Everything Eyes she offers a primer on the tools and techniques for easy, beautiful  eye make-up.  The book starts with a terriffic explanation of the different eye make-up brushes, recommending a basic five and  the additional four  which  are  nice to have.  She explains the the benefits and drawbacks of gel, pencil and pen eyeliner– and when to use each one.  Her explanation  of the difference between a corrector and a concealer and how to use both  seemingly erased  my dark circles in less than 10 seconds.

My favorite part of the book  was  her simple daytime  eye make-up that just simply works.  I finally  saw how to quickly and effectively use  three tones of eye shadow without looking made-up. However  her smokey eye still did not get me where I wanted to go.  Brown clearly was using  her own products but she did not give names and colors.  While I usually cringe when an expert  promotes their own products in a book,  in this case it would have been very helpfull

About  30% of the book is devoted to  when  eye make-up meets eyeglasses.  Brown famously wears thick framed black glasses and  she knows first hand the challenges of combining  glasses and  eye make-up.   She clearly demonstrates   how to apply make-up that is flattering  when wearing glasses– use gel  liner that should be visible  when the eye is open.  She is apparently introducing her own line of eyeglasses and offers  the usual advice on matching facial  features to the size, shape and color of the frames.  Again there are  many  photos and drawings of eyeglasses   and it would actually been helpful  to get  more buying information.  Everything Eyes is a genuinely useful book and  I squeezed it into my already crowded beauty book shelf.

 

 

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoI am  so excited  to host Fashion Flash  in the first week of summer. I have   my summer lists of musts– mint iced tea, swimming at dusk,   planting herbs,  concerts in the park,  and  flowers, lots of  flowers in my home. Summer is  just 90 days and  the Fashion Flash bloggers  wants to  make every day count:

* Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai  demonsrates how interval training can jump start  your exercises  on  land and in water.

* Josephine of  Chic at any age suggests   that we do  as French women do and add a scarf.

* Pam of Over 50,Feeling 40 is really feeling summer.  As summer sales begin, Pam reminds readers of the power of a well fitted jacket. There will be so  many options  lets get out there and shop!

*Jackie of Aging Backwards has free summer beauty  tips compliments of mother nature.

* Debbi  of Diva Debbi has reached a milstone this week exceeding  1,000,000 pageviews.  As a RoC ambassador she is celebrating with a skin care giveaway.

*Jodell of Black Cat Plus shows how plus size women can  take advatage of  facial contouring tips to accent features.

* Positive Living advocate Barbara of Best of Everything After 50 thinks many of us over-process, over-color, over-dry, and over everything our hair.  But she has a solution that might  work  for you too!

*Kari at Fab Over Forty knows a nude  lipstick can be the key to a fresh   youthful look, especially in summer.  This week she shares a lovely nude lip palette with gorgeous  options at  a great  price.

*Melanie of Society Wellness has 10 amazing basic tips  to keep your trip to the grocery store healthy and on budget.   Add your tips to the list by posting  in the comments section of the post!

* Cindy of Prime Beauty may have  just found the Holy Grail foundation for women over 40– full coverage that doesn’t look or feel like a mask.

*Carrie of Second Lives Club interviews  green blogger Ronnie Citron- Fink   who offers advice for  those going to BlogHer.

Fashion FLash Book Review Fashion Flash Book Review:  Lets Just Say It  Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton

Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty  is  promoted as a book at deals with the  aging and beauty.  No really.  The book begins with a look at women like Diana Vreeland and Lena Dunham who are not classic beautities, but who still  thrived in an image concious world. Then  the book  turns into  a stream of conciousness memoir  as Diane Keaton shares  tales of past loves,  her parents, and  her two dopted children.   She  has had an amazing career and a list of equally amazing boyfriends including Warren beatty Sam Shephard, Al Pacino  and Woody Allen. Its not a boring story and  she tells it with vivid detail.

Diane Keaton has been a style icon since her Annie Hall days  so it was surprising  to read how insecure she was with  her appearance.   For example   at 15 she was so concerned  about a small bump on her nose that she slept with a clothes pin to flatte  it out.  She even took to eating dinner alone in her room  so that she had extra “clothespin time”  to work on the nose.   She is also so self concious about her hair that  she tries to wear a hat most of the time. I just  wish  she  knew that  her straight blonde  silky  hair  in movies like Annie Hall, Reds and Manhattan was  a yardstick for beauty  by which a generation  measured themselves.

 

Her rich memories tend to vear so rapidly from one idea to another that it can be hard to follow  her thoughts.   I also have to admit  that she certainly held my attention when discussing  her famous relationships.   I got the impression  that her breakup  with Warren Beatty and Al Pacino  were  painful but she is still close friends with Woody Allen.    However I felt uncomfortable to read that Allen’s pet name for  her was ‘worm”. Its not a term  that I would associate with  this  adventurous woman who persued  life on her own terms.

Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty  is packed  with visual  language.  For example  she describes  some of her current outfits, the 47 portraits of famous men that she has hung   on a wall of her home  and  mentions the 14 homes she has renovated in the past 15 years.   But there is not a single photo in  the entire book . Not one.  Even the  cover photo is an image of  a woman covering her face with a bowler hat.This is the third fashion book in three weeks I have seen  that  do not have a single photograph.  I really don’t understand  why publishers pack pointless  coffee table  books with  literally  hundreds of images and very little text and don’t see  to  toss in  a few photos  in books that actually have informtion to offer.

Its tough to drill down into beauty and aging and there are no easy answers. But Keaton entertains us as she nibbles around the edges of a difficut  and sometimes painful  topic.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Cindy of PrimeBeauty is hosting Fashion Flash!  She is an amazing  beauty expert who tries  out brands  in every category  to find the newest and best  personal care  products.  For example  this week you can  read about a new self tanner  from Ireland ( Ireland!!), a review of  the  new bareMinerals liquid foundation and  introduces   the bath and body line that has been  a favorite of British Royals since 1745. I especially love  her end of the week  feature– Frugal Fridays– where she uncovers  budget friendly beauty care   products.  Subscribe to  Prime Beauty for  product reviews that  you can count on.

Fashion FLash Book Review: Absolute BeautyFashion Flash Book Review:  Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur

Ayurvedic  medicine is a centuries old  Indian approach to a healthy balanced life.  It is an extremely complex philosophy and  over the years I have tried and failed to understand how  Ayurvedic  principles apply to life in New York City…until now.  Absolute Beauty is the first book I have  read on the subject  that not only  clearly explains the dynamic of Ayurvedic  philosophy, it shows how to  apply these principles to daily skin care.

Ayurvedic health care  starts by dividing  people into three  broad  types– vata, pitta and kapha. The book ofers extensive  characteristics for each profile and I was  definately  impressed  how  accuraely one of the types  actually decribed me. In addition to  describing  skin characteristcs, the profiles cover all aspects of  personality and health issues.

The foundation of Ayurvedic skin treatment is the use of specific  herb fortified oils.  I especailly liked that the book not only described these oils, it offered easy and afforable recipes to make them at home.   The ingredients and directions for  oils to stimulate, calm  or cool  explained how to make an herbal concentrate to mix  with oils. Usually such products can be  pricy, but Absolute Beauty alowed me to  make  enough for friends and family  at less than the price of a single commercial  product.  it was also very reassuring to know exactly what was in each  oil that I produced and to know  that was free of  additives and preservatives.

Ayurvedic medicine  also deals with nutrition, exercise and spirituality.  Absolute Beauty touches on  all these factors  and made me hungry to learn more.  I hope I can find other books on the subject that are  as helpful and well written.

One final thought:  The author, a certfied Ayurvedic physician, has  her own extensive line of  products called Bindi.  But rather than use her book to  promote her company , she offers dozens of simple effective  recipes  for  healing  oils that you can make at home. It is a level  of integrity I wish  other  doctors  would   follow.

Health Hazards of Kale?

KaleKale is the “it” food  of the year– and for good reason.  A single one cup serving of kale has just 36 calories yet delivers a payload of  5 grams of fiber, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, 45 different antioxidants and 10x the RDA of vitamin K. I think that kale can legitimately  call itself  the ‘beauty green ‘ since it offers so much fiber and vitamin C,   the two nutrients linked  to lower  levels of wrinkles in the landmark NHANES study.

But wait there is more.  Kale, a cruciferous veggie like  cauliflower and broccoli,  also contains sulfur compounds that are linked to reduced  risk of  lung, breast, colon, bladder  and prostate cancer.   There is even some evidence that these  sulfur componds,  called glucosinolates, inhibit the spread of cancer cells.  For  example  one study showed that non-smokers  who  ate cruciferous vegetables  have more than a 70% lower risk of bladder cancer.

The Dark Side of Kale

With all of these benefits, it is startling  to learn  of potetial  health problems of kale. Cruciferous vegetables including kale, brussels sprouts  and cabbage contain goitrogens  which  can interfere with thyroid gland activity.  If you have existing thyroid problems, kale can cause  an increase in symptoms.

Two other common medical problems can  pose probems to a kale  lover. If you take the blood thinner warfarin  it can alter vitamin K levels and kale is already high in  this blood thinning vitamin.  FInally kale also contains oxalates which can be a problem if you have a history of kidney stones. That’s the bad news.  The good news?   The potential problems  with kale  can be controlled if the kale is cooked such as sauted or steamed.  Rather than using  kale in salads and smoothies, get your nutrition packed kale  in stir -fry combos or filling   soups.  My new favorite way to eat to eat  kale is saute that can be  easily turned into an incredible soup or a  crostini topping. It even contains  protein packed chickpeas! I first  had it last year at a little tapas place in Old Town Madrid. In January  I was thrilled  to see a recipe for it in the New York  Times and it became my go-to  dish all winter.

Kale Saute with Chorizos and Chickpea ( adaped from New York Times)

Ingredients:  one can  of chickpeas,  large onion, chopped, 2 tablespoons Spanish olive oil,  4 ounces of chorizo, chopped, one clove of garlic, chopped, 1/4 teaspoon of smoked Spanish pimento,  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, one pound of Tuscan kale, slivered into thin strips, 1/2  cup chicken broth or water.

Directions:  Heat olive oil in  a large  skillet.   Add onions and cook until golden.  Add chorizos and cook for two minutes, then add  paprika, cumin and garlic.  Sitr ingredients together and then add  chickpeas ( Don’t let the garlic brown or it will turn bitter).   Add   broth and water, cover and cook for 5-10  minutes  until the greens are  tender.

You can serve it over brown rice or  quinona or turn it into a soup.  Just ladle the kale into a soup bowl and pour on rich homemade beef or chicken broth.  Now that its too hot for a steaming bow of soup, I  pile the kale and chorizos  on a crisp crostini for a quick lunch or  serve  these bits  with a cold  soup for a perfect hot weather dinner.