Ever flipped through the latest issue of any fashion magazine and wonder how those models look so perfect? Well, wonder no more. I always knew there was some touch up work that was done to images before they published those fashion photos. You know, editing out any obvious blemishes, etc., but an article making the rounds via social media and network television last week, took using Photoshop to edit models’ images to a whole, new level.
The story, “See Why We Have An Absolutely Ridiculous Standard of Beauty in Just 37 Seconds,” shows a lovely young woman transformed via digital manipulation into what results to nothing more than a living doll. (To view the full transformation, you must click the video link in the story.) Among the changes made to the woman–her skin color is lightened, her legs are lengthened and thinned, and her facial features are manipulated such as widening her eyes.
Here’s why I take issue with this marketing technique–it’s not real. It sends a terrible message to women everywhere. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t “Photoshop” out my own imperfections before I head out the door. No, instead I take care of my body–I focus on a well-balanced diet to keep my weight in-check and I exercise regularly. And, guess what, even with that hard work I still have an extra lump or bump here or there. That’s REAL, that’s natural. I’m not a robot or a doll–I’m a real woman who happens to be 46-years-old. We have to start embracing our bodies and stop trying to achieve this unrealistic version of what a magazine puts out there that’s pure manipulation. Even more importantly, let’s start teaching our daughters that they shouldn’t fit into some mold of what a fashion magazine has told us beautiful is supposed to look like.
For anyone out there who is trying to reach or maintain a healthy weight, please don’t be deterred by these silly images. Don’t think because no matter how hard you try you can’t get yourself to look like your favorite fashion model, you’ve failed in some way. The reality is that most of those models don’t really look like that either! Focus on how good you feel living a healthy lifestyle and all the good you’re doing for your body. And, really see yourself for how great you look. Here are some tips for staying on a healthy nutrition plan and ways to make exercise a regular part of your daily routine.
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It’s hard to believe in just three short weeks we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving–everyone’s favorite “food” holiday. One traditional recipe associated with Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie and it’s easy to see why–it’s the perfect dessert for autumn. The warm shade of orange goes perfectly with a harvest table and the spices of nutmeg, ginger and cloves are ideal flavors for this time of year. Yet, it’s easy to forget that pumpkin is a versatile veggie (yes, it is a vegetable!) that can be enjoyed in many recipes while it’s in season.
Santa Fe Pumpkin Soup
The first thing to know is that pumpkins are quite nutritious, they’re a good source of vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamin A. Like many winter squash, when stored in a cool dry place they will keep for up to two months. While it’s natural to think of using pumpkins in sweet dishes, they are terrific additions in savory dishes like Hearty Santa Fe Pumpkin Soup. Along with pumpkin, this recipe includes ingredients like black beans, garlic, cilantro, green chiles and cumin to really kick up the flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, definitely try this tasty recipe for Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce. While it will take you some extra time to make your own pasta, the end result will be worth it!
Pumpkin is a great way to start your day, like with this recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal. I personally love oatmeal during the cold weather months and adding canned pumpkin to it, along with some chopped nuts is wonderful. It makes for a delicious breakfast and keeps me feeling full until lunch! A great breakfast idea your kids will love are Best Ever Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes. Terrific for a Sunday morning, these tasty flapjacks contain whole wheat flour, pumpkin puree and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Top them with some sliced bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup.
If your tastes do run toward the dessert spectrum, there are options other than pie. Pumpkin Bars make a great dessert or lunchbox snack and this recipe uses reduced fat ingredients, which makes them 140 calories per serving. Finally, for those special occasions, try this recipe for Apple Pumpkin Bread Pudding. It’s a little more decadent than I usually serve, but every now and then I give myself a pass if it’s worth it. I think after you try this you’ll agree with me that this dessert falls into that category.
These suggestions are just a few pumpkin flavor ideas. I encourage you to search for more and take advantage of the many more options available while it’s at its peak of flavor.
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This week, we celebrate my favorite holiday with tricks and, most importantly, treats! In addition to, or in place of the traditional trick-or-treating, many parents and communities are holding Halloween parties. These fun events are a terrific way to introduce something other than the typical candy snacks to your little goblins and ghosts. Before you give this idea the “thumbs down,” I’ve provided a few sample treats to show you that healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or tasteless. Take a look at these selections and I think you’ll agree that they capture the Halloween spirit and will have your kids digging in (and you won’t mind if they go back for seconds!).
These “apple smiles” are made by combining two apple slices with peanut butter and mini marshmallows.
“Mummy” pizza are a great party entree and can be quickly prepared by using whole grain English muffins, low-fat mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and black olives for the eyes.
Ghosts and mini pumpkins are created out of bananas and clementines. Mini chocolate chips and raisins are used for the ghosts and a small piece of celery is used for the pumpkin stem.
Who doesn’t like chocolate dipped strawberries? These little ghosts are made from white chocolate and milk chocolate is then used for the eyes and mouth. They’re sure to disappear at your event!
Enjoy and for more fun Halloween party ideas, visit Pinterest and search for “Halloween foods.”
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The autumn season brings crisp days, chilly evenings and lots of football! In our house, a favorite dish we enjoy while watching the game is a hearty bowl of chili. I usually tend to make the traditional tomato-based blend, using ground turkey breast and kidney beans, but there are so many variations of this favorite worth exploring.
White Chicken Chili
Let’s start with what’s become a new hit–white chicken chili. While there are different takes of this version, the primary ingredients include shredded chicken breast, white beans (such as Great Northern beans), chicken broth and cumin. One interesting version I found on Pinterest adds a “special ingredient” of homemade tomatillo salsa verde. Aside from the salsa verde, there are only four other ingredients to making the perfect chili–thus the recipe name, “5-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili.”
You can substitute store-bought salsa if you don’t want to make your own, but the recipe is also available and I’m thinking it will make a big difference!
Going meatless doesn’t mean a less hearty chili. Vegetarian chilis options are filled with a variety of beans and veggies that are very satisfying. This recipe for Quick and Easy Veggie Chili includes two different kinds of beans, diced tomatoes, onions, corn and bell peppers. Add toppings like low-fat shredded cheese, sour cream and avocado and you’ll never miss the meat.
Do you want to spice it up? This recipe for Frank’s Red Hot Turkey Chili does exactly that! It’s also got some additional inclusions like mushrooms, carrots, celery and white kidney beans that you might not often see in chili recipes. It calls for 3/4 cup of the spicy sauce, which you can always increase if your tastes run bolder or lessen if you prefer a milder flavor. Lean ground beef can also be substituted for the turkey in this recipe.
October is National Chili Month and this is the best time of year to curl up on the couch with a steaming bowl of your favorite recipe. Make it a point to try one of these different combinations and you might have a new game day dish to love.
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