Thursday, February 28, 2013

Christian Louboutins, Hermes & Prada for Less!

Rue La La's Christian Louboutin sale Thursday morning ignited a shopping bug across the sample sale world.  Not that I need another pair of red-soled beauties but any time these are discounted, it is worth inspection.  Most of the shoes in this sale were a sellout almost immediately.

I rarely buy shoes at full retail price and neither should you.  You can almost always get a great pair on sale.  I even found a pair of the uber-popular flaming Prada lovelies at the designer outlet in San Marcos for a few hundred dollars.  For more on my new favorite Texas store, read my previous review here.  


While I'm all for scoring designer merch on the cheap, I don't recommend buying shoes secondhand, unless they are brand spanking new.  You never know what kind of foot funk the previous owner had.


Perfect for giving your Sig O a swift kick

But when you find new shoes at the secondhand shops, go for it.  When I came across these gorgeous, never-worn Louboutins on Fashionphile, I had to share.

Full red-sole!

These are as ridiculous, fabulous and as "out there" as they come.  I think they are the perfect shoe for a prim and proper sheath dress.  What a way to add an unexpected surprise to an outfit.  They're "New Without Tags," size 39.5 and cost a steep $1195.

Anns Fabulous Finds wrap bracelet

I'm also loving this Hermes Rouge H Rivale wrap bracelet.  It's a great way to get that Hermes Collier de Chien look for less.  Those bracelets typically start around $1000 and go way north of that.  This one from Ann's Fabulous Finds is $500.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mediterranean Diet Recipe: Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes and Balsamic Glaze

Now that we know the Mediterranean diet is quite possibly the best, tastiest and healthiest diet  ever, how about a recipe that you can master in all of about 20 minutes?


One of my favorites is a halibut recipe from the Cooper Wellness Clinic that registered dietician Kathy Duran-Thal shared with me for a Get Healthy Texas story on CBS11.  It's a beautiful, fragrant dish that can be done in no time.

Serve this with a fresh salad, some cauliflower or broccoli and you have a perfect Mediterranean dinner.


Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes and Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients
2- 5oz. halibut filets, you can also use tilapia or any other white fish
1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Borsari seasoned salt (orange ginger) - you can totally eliminate, I do
1 tsp salt free seasoning - I like Mrs. Bragg's, Coopers recommends Paul Prudhomme's
1 tsp fresh or dried parsley
1 Tbsp balsamic glaze**
Fresh ground pepper to taste
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Basil leaves for garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Cover cookie sheet with heavy duty foil. Place halibut filets on one half of cookie sheet and the tomatoes on other half. Drizzle all ingredients with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Place in preheated oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Remove from oven add balsamic glaze and pepper. Mash tomatoes with potato masher or fork. Stir in basil. Place halibut on serving platter, top with tomato mixture. Garnish with basil.

Balsamic Glaze - this is a great make-ahead item to use over tomatoes, asparagus or salads.
** Place 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Store in airtight container until ready to use.

Cooper Wellness Nutritional Analysis
Calories            265            Cholesterol         10mg
Fat                    10g            Sodium               402 mg
Saturated Fat    1g              Carbohydrate      10g
Protein              31 g           Sugars                 7g

Exchange: 5 protein (P), 11/2 fat (F), 1 vegetable (V)

*photos courtesy of Shutterstock


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Mediterranean Diet: Possibly the Tastiest and Healthiest Diet Ever (Wine and Chocolate Included!)

mediterranean diet staples

This is a diet you have heard about time and again.  It's nothing new.  In fact, it's thousands of years old. 

IT is the Mediterranean diet.  A simple approach to eating that has been for millenia.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Spain's University of Barcelona examined the diet's effect on heart disease.  The New England Journal of Medicine published the findings on its website Monday morning and determined "the Mediterranean diet as the most likely dietary model to provide protection against coronary heart disease."  The study says eating this way reduces risk of cardiovascular disease up to 30%.


The results were so overwhelmingly positive that the study ended early because, according to the New York Times, "it was considered unethical to continue."

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

A FABULOUS Find: The Three Jane Map Bracelet

If you're a jewels and jets type (AKA a lover of jewelry and travel) then Three Jane has the perfect trinket for you: a bracelet or necklace you can customize with a map of just about any place in the world.


I first saw the piece in New York Magazine's The Cut blog and had to have one right away.  This is a great way to commemorate a magical moment, remind you of a special memory or simply provide an inspirational respite during a brutal work week.  A tiny crystal dots the map.  On the reverse of the 14k gold plate you can get anything you want inscribed for a $15 charge.


I ordered a bracelet with a map of Paris' Place des Vosges on it.  I had a few inspirational reminders printed on the back.   The ordering process was easy: you simply plug in physical street address.  I used novelist Victor Hugo's house at 6 Places des Vosges.  Three Jane's Katie Schloss emailed me a mock-up of my map for approval.  Once approved, it was on the way, arriving a little sooner than I expected.


When I opened the envelope containing it, I was thrilled.  The plate is much bigger than I anticipated.  The bracelet chain runs a smidge on the small-ish side at 6 1/4".  If you have a larger wrist, a necklace might be your best option.


I LOVE this piece.  It's a great girlfriend/sister/mom/aunt/daughter/whatever gift.  It's also a perfect every day bracelet that is great to wear with a watch.  I might add some of my favorite places like Barcelona, the beach in Mexico where we were married or simply Montecito to the mix.  

A necklace costs $175 and a bracelet $158 plus shipping.


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is Dieting Part-Time the Key to Successful Weight Loss?

Is dieting part-time the magic, quick weight loss formula?  Maybe.

Okay, so I'm not a fan of the concept of "dieting" in general.  It sets you up for failure because it is temporary.  For sustained weight loss and overall health, it's about a longterm commitment to eating the right way for you live a healthy lifestyle. 

I am in favor of a healthful diet that focus on consuming quality food regularly.  Eating outstanding, delicious food versus low-calorie, fake food crap helped me lose 50 pounds more than a decade ago and the baby weight in 2011.

Courtesy: Mi Cocina
You might have heard some buzz about intermittent fasting for weight loss.  There are two popular books on the market outlining the approach: "The FastDiet", which is popular in the UK, or "The 5:2 Diet".

The concept is easy: eat whatever you want five days a week and restrict your calories the remaining two days.  Think under 500 calories for women, under 600 for men.

A healthy food staple
In theory it works because people generally cannot eat enough on their "eat whatever you want days" to compensate for their lower calorie consumption days.   There is a lot of science to support calorie restriction, even part-time.  It reportedly improves cholesterol level and helps dieters develop a better sensitivity to insulin.

This theory has its critics: it can lead to yo-yo dieting, bingeing and digestive issues.

Here's my take: I've done this before, particularly after a "high calorie" weekend or day.  It kind of works.  It helps you achieve overall caloric balance during the course of the week.

Is it a smart idea as an overall diet approach for permanent weight loss?  Probably not because I don't think it addresses the root cause of why we're heavy.

It can be a solid way to keep the waistline in check, however, if you have had an indulgent day prior.  It's also easy to execute when you're working or super busy because, as many of us have experienced, you just don't have time to eat.  That was the case for me at Rangers spring training in February.

Additional bonus: it helps you learn to deal with hunger pangs, something I feel we've gotten away from in our constantly grazing world.   

Here is my "under 500 calorie" diet plan, if I am planning on a lean day.  Again, this is NOT something I recommend for every day consumption. 
  • Double tall skinny latte w/ cinnamon - provides a satiating 100 calories and some protein.
  • An apple - a dieter's best friend.
  • A big spinach salad with cucumbers, celery or any other "green" low-starch vegetable with balsamic vinegar. 
  • A can of tuna with more spinach for dinner.  I like the tuna mixed with dijon mustard. 
Drink lots of water with lemon or caffeine-free tea.  This is low-calorie meal plan that can be satiating. 

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Good News: Less May Be More When It Comes To Exercise

At least that's what a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham determined.  According to the results published in Exercise & Science in Sports & Medicine, four workouts a week might be the sweet spot.

The New York Times puts the findings in layman's terms.

        "We think that the women in the twice-a-week and four-times-a-week groups felt more energized and physically capable" after several months of training than they had at the start of the study, says Gary Hunter, a U.A.B. professor who led the experiment. Based on conversations with the women, he says he thinks they began opting for stairs over escalators and walking for pleasure. 

       The women working out six times a week, though, reacted very differently. "They complained to us that working out six times a week took too much time," Dr. Hunter says. 
       
       Rather, they felt pressed for time and reacted, it seems, by making choices like driving instead of walking and impatiently avoiding the stairs" 

Just from my experience, I've found the less is more approach to be more effective.  When I was training for marathons, I gained weight because I ate more and was so tired that I was pretty much a sloth the rest of the day.  When I exercise too much during the week, say six times, the workouts aren't the highest quality.  There's can be a "going through the motions" aspect to them.

My sweet spot is around five workouts a week with one of those five being a simple power walk with the family.  That's something any of us can do.  The workouts don't have to be long ones either.  30-45 minutes of quality exercise.  I did just that this Friday morning with one Texas Rangers executive before our day began at spring training. 
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Workout Wednesday: Getting Workouts Done on the Road, Even at Spring Training

It's happened.  I'm multitasking way too much.  I'm writing this blog post as I log an interview with Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish following his first workout of the season in Surprise, Arizona.  His is an interview that has a bit of "downtime" because he still uses a Japanese interpreter and answers his question in his native tongue.



But the whole multitasking thing is good when you're trying to squeeze in a workout.  This actually came up in a conversation with Elf & Slater on the 105.3 the Fan Radio this morning from Surprise.  These days at spring training are packed.  We must be at the Rangers clubhouse at 8am to get pre-workout interviews.  We don't wrap up until around 930pm in the evenings.   There is little downtime but that doesn't mean I have to forgo exercise.  It's all about fitting it in when I can.  These are lessons you can incorporate into your busy day, too.

One thing I make sure to do is walk everywhere, even if it's inefficient.  I take the long way to get places just so I am moving.  I also squeeze in pushups, situps, dips and squats.  Wednesday morning, I did 100 ab exercises and 50 pushups.  Tonight I will do some squats, dips and lunges.  This is a segmented version of my Quickie Workout that you can do anywhere at any time.

I also use my iPad and do a yoga or pilates workout that's been downloaded.  If I get a free hour at night or at crackthirty in the morning, I will hit the hotel gym.  They key, to paraphrase Nike, is to just do it. 

Getting in some exercise is a vital to our mental health as it is to our physical wellbeing.  In fact, I find it MOST important to stick to an exercise regime particularly when I am super-busy.  I'm more focused and do a better job when I've had that chance to decompress and get the blood flowing. 



Workouts are particularly important when the famous Cookie Lady is here with her wonderful treats.  This morning I sampled Mench's Munchie's named after former Ranger Kevin Mench.  These are Ritz crackers filled with peanut butter and covered in chocolate almond bark.  Very good. 
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

San Jose del Cabo's Flora Farm is Beyond Baja Fresh

Cabo San Lucas is always a perfect, easy getaway from Dallas.  In fact, I helped a Rangers executive with a Cabo itinerary for himself and his wife after the 2012 season.  On that list, and on many subsequent lists for friends, was Flora Farms.  This is a wonderful restaurant that is worth the bumpy drive.  Much of their produce is grown onsite and their seasonal menu is outstanding.  In addition to their unique restaurant, they have a great market.

February's Travel + Leisure elevates Flora Farms from the hidden gem category to hotspot noting that "dinner is booked months in advance by in-the-know travelers (chef Thomas Keller and George Clooney are fans)."
Okay, so I didn't encounter Clooney, Keller or a lengthy wait at dinner on my multiple visits.  What we did find was a delicious vegetable plate, excellent meats, amazing cocktails, fresh salsa and a half dozen friendly dogs more than happy to take your table scraps.

This is beautiful Baja Sur California dining at its best.   It's also a wonderful experience for kids.  My daughter, Jordan, enjoyed walking through the orchards.  If you're headed to the Cabo San Lucas area, definitely pay Flora Farms a visit.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Rangers, Mavs, HBO's "Veep" & More in the Friday Cheat Sheet

That Sports Girl's Cheat Sheet

Mondays are so rushed.  It's hard to skim the paper web to catch up on things you missed over the weekend and get ready for what's happening in the coming week.  I lucked out and had this Monday free.  So consider this the Monday Memo or better yet what you need to know to win your week.

Dallas Mavericks,  NBA Matchups, 2013 All-Star Game & Golddigging Jocksniffers
The Dallas Mavericks (22-28) are 5-5 over their last 10 games and are going for their third straight win Monday night against a decent Atlanta Hawks (27-22) team.   Dallas has won 9 of its last 13 games against the Hawks.

Wednesday Dallas hosts Sacramento (19-33) before taking a week off before the All-Star Game.  The Mavericks have beaten the Kings in 13 of the last 14 meetings.

The All-Star game is in Houston this year which also hosted the event in 2006.  I'll never forget how cold it was in Houston that February.  I'll also never forget walking into a hotel and seeing a perennial All-Star guard who was at one time married to a Hollywood celebrity fending off advances from a rather skanky chick who was not his gorgeous wife.  So goes life in the NBA.  I really feel for these guys sometimes.  Gold-digging jocksniffers are on the prowl at almost every turn. 

Couple of other Mavs-centric/NBA nuggets:
  • I am not a fan of the Mavs beard brigade.  Some guys are letting their facial hair grow until they get back to .500 on the season.  Shawn Marion got a trim today.  I appreciate the effort but I'm out on facial hair.  Marion has the right idea.
  • Totally looking forward to the Thursday's Heat/Thunder game.  It's the perfect way to close the first half of the season.   
Rangers Spring Training
Spring Training 2010 with Mark McLemore & producer Chris Bullock
We're heading to Surprise, Arizona to cover Rangers spring training on Tuesday morning.  Some things I'll be keeping an eye on:
  • What's the identity of this team with Michael Young and Josh Hamilton?  I'm curious about the dynamic on this team.  Ian Kinsler has said in the past he's ready to be a leader.  Easier said than done.
  • The Rangers are not the defending AL champs or the runners up this year, like the previous two seasons.  That usually meant a fair amount of attention.  What will it mean now?
  • How will the Rangers and Nelson Cruz address the Miami New Times report alleging Cruz purchased PEDs from a Miami distributor.   The Rangers handle these situations better than most teams. 
What are some questions you want answered about this 2013 Rangers team during spring training?

Lagniappe
And, finally, it's not something happening this week but it's something that has me looking forward to tax season.  Sorta.  Monday HBO announced that the second season of "Veep" will premier on April 14th. This is one of the smartest, nuanced (that's for you VP Meyer) shows on tv.  I catch something new every time I rewatch an episode.  

Speaking of smart shows.  Did you see Sunday night's episode of"Girls"?  Damn.   I feel like I lived that episode.  At least part of it.  That story I'm saving for the book.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Desk Diet: thinkThin Divine Bars Do NOT Disappoint

Need a great staple to help you stay on track when you're stuck all day at your desk?  Grab these little goodies and stock your drawers because they will become your new best friend.

I seriously had to do a double take when I first tried a thinkThin Divine Dark Chocolate Coconut bar

It was....you know it's coming.....divine!

It tasted so much like an Almond Joy candy bar that I had to examine the nutrition information more closely.

This little nugget is 1.48 ounces of dark chocolate and coconut deliciousness.  It contains 170 calories, 19 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber and 10 grams of sugar.  That is a good option for a sweet afternoon snack (something that is my weakness).

In contrast, an Almond Joy has 220 calories per packet, 13 grams of fat, 20 (!) grams of sugar and 2 grams of both fiber and protein.

No contest. 

The thinkThin bar is awesome.  It's not as syrupy sweet as Almond Joy yet tastes almost similar to it but better.  It's a more mature flavor profile, like adult candy.  The dark chocolate and real coconut add depth to the bar.  Perhaps the best thing is that it's pretty filling.  

An excellent choice if you're looking for that 4pm pick-me-up at work.   Stock your desk with these bars.  They're genius and so awesome that my friend, Tracy Kornet, and I rave about it (and more) in our Wonderful Wednesday edition of the Real Botox Diaries.



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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Don't Miss Your Chance to Get in the Game with the TCU Baseball Team

Baseball season is here!  I'm thrilled to be co-hosting TCU's fourth annual "Frogs for the Cure" Women's Baseball Clinic featuring baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle and his players this Thursday, February 7 at the Sam Baugh Indoor Facility.



It's a night to get to the know the 2013 squad as it enters its 10th year under Coach Schlossnagle and first in Big 12 competition (TCU went 8-3 against Big 12 teams last year, btw).  Proceeds from the evening benefit the Susan G. Komen of Greater Fort Worth for the Cure to provide funds for research and breast cancer treatment.  The event is open to all women ages 21 and up.

Some of the highlights will include:
  • A fashion show featuring members of the baseball team who will model the 2013 uniforms and the Showgirls modeling attire from Leddy's Ranch and CD Ski and Sport.
  • A chance to take batting practice, test your velocity on your fastball and more.
  • Dinner provided by Blue Mesa Grill.
  • Raffle items, door prizes and other surprises.
There will also be a discussion with Coach Schlossnagle and players Stefan Crichton, Kevin Cron, Jantzen Witte and Davy Wright.  Guests attending the evening will get the chance to ask them questions, on just about anything.

Here's where you come in:
Players need a walkup song when they step up to the plate in a game and they'll need one when they step on stage to join us for our discussion.  Suggest a walkup song for the players participating in the panel.  It can be anything.  Get creative.  Submit your song suggestions by posting in the comments section, tweeting me or TCU baseball.  

Here are some songs to get you in the mood.

You can get complete details on the "Frogs for the Cure" Women's Baseball Clinic presented by State Farm here.
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Suja Master Cleanse Juice: FINALLY A Way To Drink The Master Cleanse Juice And Not Gag

suja juice, master cleanse, juice

Have you ever tried to master the Master Cleanse, the juice fast created by Stanley Burroughs?  It's popular and helps you drop pounds fast.  Burroughs claims weight loss isn't the point.  Please.

Regardless of your Master Cleanse goal, the juice tastes horrific.  It's a blend of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, grade B maple syrup and water.  The first time you try it, you might gag.


Suja Juice is trying to make the urine-colored (really) concoction a little more palatable with their Master Cleanse juice.  I first saw it at Whole Foods and almost gagged at the price.  It is $8.99, too much for me to drop on something I might poor down the drain.   I went back later in the week and saw a $3 off coupon attached to the bottles so I took the plunge.

Suja Juice, master cleanse, Juice

The Verdict?
It's not bad!   You taste a definite heat from the cayenne pepper.  There's a decent amount of afterburn but it's not too strong.  It's almost pleasant, like a quality salsa fresca.   You also taste a hint of lemon but not much maple syrup.  In fact I couldn't even sense it.  It's lightly sweetened, not syrupy at all.
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Rock Your Resolution: Tips to Get Lean, Fit & in Fighting Shape in 2013

One month into 2013, are you sticking with them?  Not the extra pounds you (and me) want to lose but the resolutions to drop them?

Many people abandon their New Year's resolutions in just a couple of weeks.   Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, reports that of the 45% of Americans who make resolutions every year, 24% of them fail.  Take all that with a grain of salt but resolutions are a tough thing to maintain, no question. 

For those of us hoping for a leaner version of ourselves in a few months, here are reminders on how to rock your 2013 weight loss resolution with some easy tips:
Whatever happened to this!?!?!?!?

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