Archive for November, 2012

ChristmasWhen I lived in New Haven, the obesity research unit at Yale had a very simple diet for its in-patient program– boiled turkey and raw vegetables.   I tried it at  home to pare off post-baby weight and in  less than a week  I dropped more than 5 pounds.  Despite  the great results  I could not stay on it for long. It was the kind of diet that I think needs to be followed in a contolled, supervised setting.  But  I always wondered if there was something inherent in turkey that made it especially effective in weight control. 

Flash forward to  Thanksgiving this year and as I  prepped by the turkey for  dinner I wondered about turkeys nutritional profile.   Protein?  calories?  and how did it compare to chicken?  Was it healthier?  More fattening?  No difference?  A little research told me that the Yale  researchers had picked the right bird.

Turkey Nutritionl Profile

One serving of skinless   white meat  turkey has  116 calories, 14 grams of protein and just  ONE gram of fat.  For comparison, chicken breast clocks in at 165 calories, 26 grams of  protein and FIVE grams of  fat.  THe same size portion of of ground beef wrighs in a 230 calories and SIX grams of fat.  Lamb chops have 252 calories and almost 8 grams of fat.  Clearly  the low fat/low calorie package makes turkey  an anti-aging best bet.

But the low fat  profile almost  can  make turkey dry and stringy.  For that reason its sad but  true that too many  recipes for a holiday turkey add a stick of butter for basting– and another stick for the stuffing.  Over the years I’ve tried to find a healthy turkey recipe that would be succulent without adding butter.  I’ve served my share of turkeys that crumbled rather than sliced until I found a fat-free technique that delivered a perfect bird every time.

Bourbon Glazed Turkey

Ingredients:  10-12 pound turkey, 1/2 cup sugar-free maple syrup, 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce, 1 cup bourbon, 2 large onions cut into wedges, 3 large carrots cut in one inch chunks, 1 stalk celery cut into one inch chunks,  2 teaspoons dried rosemary,  a few sprigs parsley,  1 can low sodium chicken broth

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F.   Wash and dry the turkey and  place one onion, one carrot, all the celery, rosemary and parsley into the turkey cavity.  Toss the  rest of carrots and onions in the roasting pan and  place turkey on top of vegetables.   Combine the soy sauce and maple syrup  and spread the mixture  all over the turkey.   Pour the bourbon  and chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan  and cover tightly with tine foil.  Cook for 2- 2 1/2 hours without peeking.  Remove the tinfoil  and crank up the heat to  450 and roast another hour.   Use a meat thermometer to check that the bird is throughly cooked.  It should read 170 F in both  the thigh and in the stuffing.

Cooking under the tinfoil and bourbon  /chicken broth  allows the bird to gain rather than lose moisture.  Its the same principle that Yale researchers used when they boiled the turkey, but tastes much better– without added fat and calories.

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While I cover many anti-aging tools, I get so  many questions about Retin A,  I decided to do  a post  covering  the Five Top Questions.  This actually increased the number of questions  that I posted a free, four page  PDF  guide to Retin A.    Retin A Road Rules covers  the basic issues such as  how it works and  who should use it.  The  guide continues with  a step by step program  for  incororating  Retin A into a daily skin care.  For example  to avoid  irritation and flaking you need to wait at least 20 minutes between the time you wash your face and when you apply Retin A before bedtime.  Road Rules also includes a complete  review of the six different types of Retin A , including the pros and cons of each and  how to choose the right one for your type of skin.

Right now you can download the free guide by liking my Facebook Page.  At the start of 2013, I will replace  Retin A Road Rules with  The No-Nonsense Guide to Dark Spots and Splotches.  It  will  look at the causes of different types of hyperpigmentation, and explain  how to even  out skin tone.  The free four page PDF will explore different options including  lasers, IPL, hydroquinone,  Kojic Acid and licorice root.  And it will look at which popular  skin lighteners are  a waste of money  as well as those that can cause more discoloration and scarring.  

Questions  about hyperpigmentation are second only to interest in Retin A.  When I started my anti-aging  journey my first step was a date with a laser to remove larger age spots and freckles.  I’ve used IPL to erase small freckles and   Triluma to lighten under eye circles.  Next week I will be trying out a new type of low level  laser called Clear and Brilliant.  This  device   can be used on the body and is wonderful for dealing with hypigmentation  and sun damage on the chest.  It was featured on Dr Oz, but the show did not reveal before and after results.  I’ll be posting  photos of the entire process — the  good, the bad and hopefully the beautiful.

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This week  the  host of Fashion Flash is Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai.  From Aqua ballet to Wellness and Nutrition, Mirabai drills down  to explore exercise options.   Rather than a one size fits all solution, Mirabai  keeps  offering different types of exercise  to deal with  different needs and challenges.  This week  her site offers a wonderful short cardio video that gets that heart rate going without endangering 50 plus joints.  I’m a world exercise avoider and this video made me feel better, not exhausted and achy.

I just back from a two week  trip to France  and Lessons From Madame Chic  helped me extend the glow.  Like most women, I’m almost in awe of  the almost effortless chic Parisian women  seem to master from birth.   But how do they do it?  Jennifer Scott, author  of Lessons from Madame Chic spent a her year abroad with a stylish Parisian family that taught her the  secrets of French style.  From fashion (  a small edited wardrobe of perfect pieces) to make-up ( less is more) to mealtime  ( three course dinners and no weight gain)  Scott decodes the inherent style that seems to be part of the French DNA.

During her time in Paris, Scott  got up close and personal with the way French women care for their skin  and style their hair.  When I travel through France, I am always struck by the number of hair salons that dot even the smallest towns.  It never gets old to have my hair blown out  in a little salon that  makes its home in a 12 century stone building. 

Since my goal is to eat my way across France, I enjoyed  Scott’s insights into the french  meal plan.  Each night they eat a full three course dinner — appetizer, main course, salad, dessert AND chesse– yet do not gain wight.  Their secret?  No snacking.   


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Question:  Last year I bought a spendy   night cream that I only use when my skin is very dry.  How long can it be safe and effective?

Answer:  Great question! Researching this question certainly opened my eyes and resulted  in a major clean-out of my  beauty arsenal.  Turns out that  there are two different time frames to consider:

(1) How long will a product last unopened ?

(2) How long can you use a skin/hair care product  after it is opened?

Most experts feel  that, in general, an unopened product will stay usable up to three years ( 36 months)   after manufacture before it expires.  But once its opened, different types of beauty aids  have varying lifespans.   Where it used and  whats in the formula  have a big impact on longevity. Water based formulations  have a shorter shelf life that those that are oil based.  In addition, products used around the eyes like   eye creams and sunscreens, mascara, and eye shadows  have a significanly shortened lifespan.

Beauty Product Time Table ( after they are opened)

*Concealer- Up to 12 months

*Powder- 24 months

*Cleansers- 12 months

*Liquid Eyeliners- 3 months

*Cream eyeshadows- 6  months

*Pencil eyeliners-  6-8 months

*Powder eye shadows- 24 months

*Mascara – 3 months

*Water-based foundation – 6 months

*Oil-based foundation – 18 months

*Cake foundations- 24 months

*Lip liner -up to 3 years

*Lipstick- 1-2 years

*Nail Polish – up to 12 months

* Sunscreen- 12 months ( but not more than one season)

*Moisturizer- 6-24 months

* Serum- 6-24 months

* Body lotion- Up to 24 months

* Hand cream- Up to 24  months

* Treatment product- 24  months

* Perfumes – up to 36 months

* Skin toners- Up to 12 months

* Natural/Organic products without preservatives – 6 months

After opening,  the lifespan of most  products  can vary from 12-24 months.  Fortunately  many  products are  marked with the open jar symbol  with a number that indicates open jar  safety.  The logo at the left  shows a lifespan of 24 months.   If you want to be sure  a new product is fresh and safe when you buy it, you can use the batch code or lot number  on a package. Then go to Cosmetic Calculator and  and enter  the number as directed.  This will tell you the manufacture date.

To keep your products fresh and  effective you should:

 * Keep them in a cool dry place like a linen closet.  The warm moist  climate in a bathroom is the worst place to strore beauty products.

* Try not to stick fingers in a jar.  To avoid introducing  yeast and mold, use a cotton swab to take out what you need.

* If a product seems to smell funny, separate or change color, throw it out even if the calendar  says its still safe and effective.

* Stick a little label on each product with the date you opened it.  Others have suggeted keeping a cosmetic log  book.  Each time you buy a product, note the name, date of purchase and whenyou opened it.  That’s a little OCD to me, so I will stick to labels and a pen.

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This week Staness of Menopause Makeover is hosting Fashion Flash– and you don’t have to be  menopausal to love this site.  Packed with health and fitness info, Menopause Makeover  offers important advice and support for a wide range of medical and emotional issues.  For example,  Staness looks at heart disease risks, breast cancer  care and weight control changes  as we pass birthdays.  Her easy to do and delicious recipes make  staying healthy a lot more fun. 

 The December issue   of  New Beauty magazine has two comprehensive articles that make it a keeper.  I was thrilled  to see that my orthodentist Dr Jacquie was one of the featured experts for their comprehensive piece on new ways to get a beautiful smile.  Using celebrity smiles for examples, the eight page article  explores  tooth  whiteners orthodentic options and even gum surgery.  Dr Jacquie pointed out that Angelin Jolie often uses a red lipstick with blue undertones which tends to make  your teeth look whiter.  She also explains how laser surgery of the gums reveals more teeth to reduce a “gummy” smile.   The New Beauty article  includes recommendations for   several new  ( and affordable ) products including   Optic White from Colgate, a multi tasking toothpast that  reduces  bacterria   as it whitens teeth.  Another intriguing  product is  the Beam Toothbrush, sensor linked toothbrush that captures brushing habits  that can be downloaded into an app.   I was also intrigued by the  the pros and cons of braces that go behind the teeth and the new ten week express Invisalign program. 

New Beauty articles focus on a single topic and  always drill down for  comprehensive  information  on the   causes and treatment of a problem.  Also in the December issue  a terriffic  article on acne scars that  provides photos of different types of scars and  explains the best treatment options.  For example, for  so-called ice pick scars respond well to laser resurfacing while shallow saucer shaped scras can be reduced with Co2 lasers or chemical peels.   Discolored areas  that remain after a  big breakout  often respond well to Retin A or IPL. If you ever  get breakouts, run, don’t walk  to get this issue of New Beauty.  FYI  New Beauty provides  an excellent online video on the causes  and treatment of different types of acne.

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I’m so excited to  publish  the very first guest post on No-Nonsense Beauty Blog.  If you are already a fan of Diva Debbi, you know  her flawless style  and always  helpful advice.  If   this  will be your introduction to Diva Debbi, you’re in  for a real treat.

Like me, Diva Debbi tries out  different anti-aging tools and reports on their results.   I have been curious, but a little nervous, about Ultherapy, an FDA approved  ultrasound device that  tightens collagen.  When I learned that DD had tried it out, I  was thrilled when she agreed to repost her experiences on No-Nonsense Beauty Blog.  DD  had Ultherapy on her  eye area and  on her neck.  There are very few non-surgical options for the neck and it was wonderful to add a new option for  neck lines and wrinkles.  In her comprehensive article,  she  offers before and after pics and answers the four key questions:

* How it works

*Does it hurt?

* What changes can you expect?

* How much does it cost?

After reading her post, I’d love to hear  you reactions.  Do you think this is something that you would want to try?

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