When Did a Corset Become Workout Wear?

Ann Cherry Latex Waist CincherJust when you’d seen it all when it comes to workout wear, I present, the exercise corset!

From Ann Cherry, the “latex waist cincher” is described as “ideal for exercises.” Ideal for exercises?!

Made primarily of natural rubber, the cincher sports a hook and eye front closure surrounded by colors such as blue, neon fuchsia, and neon purple which should match most of the latest workout looks.

Even better than the wardrobe options are the reviews. One gem states, “my waist and my abs are sore all day after wearing it so it definitely helps!”

Piqued your interest? The cincher will run you $55- $69 depending on the website you buy it from and is available in sizes XS- 3X.

image courtesy of Classic Shapewear

10 Body Changes You’re Going to Experience During and After Pregnancy

Pregnant Woman1.)  You’re going to experience growing pains. Aside from actually giving birth, a friend of mine assured me that the feeling of the ligaments stretching around her uterus the worst part of her first pregnancy.  This “round ligament pain,” as the experts call it, happens because as your uterus grows to accommodate the growing fetus and the bands around your uterus that are charged with supporting it and holding it in place change size and shape to accommodate your body’s changes. Some people experience sharp pangs of pain while others experience a dull achy pains and others (I’ll refrain from calling them “the lucky ones”) experience both.

2.)  Your perineum will stretch. It also may rip or have to be cut (called an episiotomy) while you’re having a vaginal birth. That sensitive bit of skin between your vagina and your anus may be small, but it’s a crucial part of the birthing experience.  While not often talked about, there are measures you can take to ease the pain and prepare yourself for if and when the moment comes.  Here are two options:      Continue reading

8 Answered Questions About Pregnancy and Your Skin

Pregnant Woman1.)  What is my pregnancy glow? 

As the fetus grows inside you, your body experiences increased blood flow, pushing many of your blood vessels to their fullest. Because the face has many blood vessels below the surface, the flow is more apparent, giving a rosy sheen to a pregnant woman’s cheeks.

2.)  What are the blotches on my face?

Pregnancy hormones can cause discolored blotches to appear on your skin. Most noticeable on the face, chloasma or “The Mask of Pregnancy,” can be lessened by avoiding ultraviolet light. Along with splotches, woman may experience darker than usual circles around their eyes.

3.)  Why do I have acne like a high schooler?

The resurgence of acne is a byproduct of your body producing pregnancy hormones. The good news is that the breakouts should subside shortly after delivery.

4.)  What causes stretch marks?

Striae gravidarum, as dermatology professionals call them, are a form of scarring on the skin that is caused by the dermis tearing due to changes in body shape. Along with the visible marks, those developing them may feel a burning or itching sensation, which is normal.

5.)  How can I get rid of my stretch marks?

There is no surefire way to get rid of stretch marks. Chemical treatments and laser treatments have success reducing the appearance of the marks. While oil and lotion treatments have gained popularity, experts agree that the main determination on whether or not you get stretch marks and how bad they can be is genetics and the size of the growing fetus inside you.      Continue reading

What Foods Should I Avoid Eating While I’m Pregnant?

Pregnant WomanEAT Fresh Fruits & Vegetables – Foods rich and vitamins and fiber like fresh fruits and vegetables should be high on your list for snacking and dining. Make sure you wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming them- even the pre-washed and bagged varieties.

AVOID Deli Meat – Unless it’s cooked, deli meat can contain Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that causes Listeriosis, a serious infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.”

EAT Soft Cheeses – You have probably heard that you needed to put down the goat cheese and brie while pregnant but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now advises that soft cheese during pregnancy is okay f0r consumption, as long as it’s made with pasteurized milk.

AVOID Sushi – Unless all the ingredients are cooked, you risk consuming one or more sickness-causing parasites. Still want your sushi fix? Many California rolls contain all-cooked ingredients but to be sure, ask your server to check with the kitchen staff or make your own at home. Continue reading

5 Tips for Working Out During and After Your Pregnancy

Pregnant YogaYou worked out before you fell pregnant and you already plan on working out after your delivery. During your pregnancy, an exercise regimen under a doctor’s watchful eye can not only help make delivery easier but also speed recovery time, and get your body ready for the change in activity you will experience once baby arrives.

I asked Vicki Feldman, a trainer at Orangetheory Fitness in East Cobb, what she advises expecting and new mothers who want to workout. Here are her five tips:

1.)  With all the necessary rocking, cradling, picking up, and putting down, my arms are not ready for full time hands-on parenting. What can I do to get them ready while I’m pregnant?

“After giving birth, carrying a baby and maneuvering a baby requires repetitive muscle movements.  There are arm exercises that can help.  Bicep curls and front and lateral shoulder raises can help strengthen the biceps and shoulders for lifting. Tricep kickbacks or overhead tricep extensions will help for the back of the arms. All arm work should be done with a focus on core stabilization as it is very important to protect the back.  Abdominals should be contracted and weight lifting should not move the rest of the body. Picture the core looking like the trunk of a tree.”

2.)  I worked out during my pregnancy and I took a few weeks off to heal after giving birth. What’s the best way to get back on the horse?

“Women should stay aware of their body while ‘getting back on the horse.’ [They] should begin slowly with walking, staying aware of fatigue, especially coupled with sleep deprivation.”

3.)  My child hates being put down but constantly carrying around that little bundle of joy makes my back ache.

“Carrying a baby and breast feeding often can cause poor posture and some back discomfort. Incorporating a workout program of both cardio and strength is ideal. Adding in workouts that also strengthen the back, rear shoulders and hamstrings can add balance.”

4.)  Is there an exercise I can do to help with breast soreness?

“I recommend pushups, modified pushups or chest presses and flies to help the underlying pectoral muscles. This will strengthen the muscles connected with breast soreness. If breastfeeding, plan an exercise routine following breastfeeding or pumping. This will be more effective as the swelling will be reduced.”

5.)  My pre-pregnancy bra and workout shorts just will not cut it. What should I wear? 

“A supportive bra is essential to a new mother’s wardrobe. A loose fitting shirt over a sports bra can be more comfortable for working out, especially since most new mothers are anxious to get rid of extra pounds. Clothes that wick moisture away and shorts with elastic waistbands are also essential for comfort.”

Vicki also wants every expecting and new mother to remember, “It takes nine months to have a baby, take the time to get back to pre-baby weight!”

10 Looks from Kendra Scott’s New GlamRocks Collection

Kendra Scott GlamRocksShe’s a little bit glam and a little bit rock’n’roll; and that’s why she needs Kendra Scott jewelry.

This summer, the jewelry company is set to launch their GlamRocks Collection that is inspired by Scott’s Aunt Jo, a 1970’s mover-and-shaker in the fashion industry. The stage-stealing collection pays homage to the fashion, culture and lifestyle of its self-title. GlamRocks includes multi-color drusies, black iridescent stones, mixed metals, faceted stones and coiled wire. GlamRocks will launch on Wednesday, July 16.

“I am thrilled for the launch of both collections,” says Kendra Scott, founder and CEO. “From barely-there glimmer to sumptuous sparkle, you’ll be ready to steal the stage in GlamRocks.”

If you love classic favorites, then you’ll want to be on the look out for their Fall Signature Collection, launching on Friday, August 1, that will feature classic styles in a variety of new hues including Cobalt, Bright Red, Translucent Iridescent and Black Iridescent.

[1- Karalyn Earring (gold/white), 2- Ash Earring (gold/black), 3- Jane Earring (gold/magenta), 4- Elisa Necklace (gold/multi drusy), 5- Skylen Ring (gold/white), 6- Deva Earring (gold/twilight), 7- Amy Earring (gold/white), 8- Carrie Earring (gold), 9- Ellie Earring (gold drusy), 10- Juliette Earring (gold/turquoise)]

The Limited Launches ‘Scandal’-ous Collection

Scandal The LimitedOlivia Pope is known for her closet full of pieces from Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Carolina HerreraFerragamo, and Prada. The actress who plays her on the hit ABC drama Scandal, Kerry Washington, is known for her impeccable red carpet style.

It only seems natural that Kerry, Scandal costume designer Lyn Paolo, and Elliot Staples, head of design from The Limited would team up for a collection worthy of modern, sophisticated professional women.

“By creating a line inspired by the show, we are introducing a collection that embodies the elegance and power of the Scandal aesthetic for real-life gladiators and everyday fashionistas,” said Washington. “The collection is a nod to our devoted fans, to fans of fashion and to women everywhere who are inspired to boldly pursue their passions and look good while doing it.”

Staples describes the 42 piece line of tops, pants, jackets, and outerwear as a combination of a, “quintessential neutral palette together with soft feminine color,” noting that, “the collection is outfit driven while remaining easy to mix and match – creating effortlessly modern and powerful looks.”

Gladiatiors will be able to get their hands (and bodies) on Scandal-inspired items this fall when The Limited Scandal Collection arrives in The Limited stores nationwide and online.

Stop Going to the Store to Try on Lingerie

True & CoHate to go bra shopping? Now you can order a shipment of bras to try on at home with no obligation to buy any of them. True story. Here’s how it works:

  1. Log on to True&Co’s website- trueandco.com
  2. Find your personalized fit information using True&Co’s fit quiz which asks completely non-invasive questions like, “How are your shoulder straps?” and “How do you feel about padding?”
  3. When you’re done with the quiz, you’ll create a log-in ID and password to save your fit profile and view your personal bra shop.
  4. Once logged in you’ll be given a TrueSpectrum Color (mine was Citrine) and you’re able to start shopping.
  5. Build your box by adding at least three bras and up to five additional items including loungewear, camisoles, tank tops, and panties.
  6. Proceed to check-out. You’ll be asked for your shipping and billing address, credit card info, and won’t be charged anything- yet. Standard shipping is free.
  7. When your box of products is delivered to your home, you have five days to try on the products. You keep what you want and send back what you don’t wish to keep.

4 Tofu-Infused Summer Smoothie Recipes

House Foods Tofu Mango SmoothieSmoothies are a great way to infuse some nutritional value into your usual summer cool-down beverages. I especially love one after mowing the lawn while I’m cooling down pre-shower.

House Foods Tofu must have read my mind when I was thinking about trying new smoothie recipes because they sent over a few tofu-infused ones over to try and I thought I’d pass them along to you:

Strawberry Sunshine Tofu Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 banana
2 cups frozen strawberries
½ pkg House Foods Tofu Soft
3 Tbs. honey
1 cup ice

Directions:
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Serve and enjoy!

Tropical Tofu Smoothie

Ingredients:
2 cup frozen mangoes
2 cups frozen peaches
½ pkg House Foods Tofu Soft
1 ½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup ice
2 Tbs. honey (or more to taste)      Continue reading

10 Tips for Surviving Day of Drinking

Drinking BeerEvery now and then a class or a workshop pops up that I just have to take. Last month’s Drinking Primer at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival was one of those.

Half out of sheer curiosity and half with the thought that I can use this class for an article, I signed up.

Before I even got to the room, I heard about the legend that Eric Crane, the class’s instructor:

“He’s hilarious!”
“Be careful- he’ll make you spit your drink out you’ll be laughing so hard!”
“OMG he’s a fucking riot.”

No one said anything about his instructing abilities. Really, there wasn’t any reason to. Any person whose job it is to drink for a living yet has the liver of a non-drinker according to their doctor (it’s true, we saw the picture), is the perfect teacher. Here are Crane’s tips:

  1. Drink water all day. “Walking around is exercising,” Crane told us.  So, drink water like you’re working out so you stay hydrated.
  2. Find a drinking buddy- preferably before you start drinking. Make it someone you trust and who you’ll listen to when they tell you to stop. Crane also recommends your buddy be, “someone who doesn’t know how to get arrested… Will take your phone away… Has a working credit card.”
  3. Always practice drinking. When you practice, you’ll know your limit better and know what types of alcohol effect you in what ways.
  4. “You don’t have to eat and drink everything in site.” It’s okay to be choosy. Going to a party? BYOBTD (bring your own beverage to drink).
  5. Okay, you don’t have to eat and drink everything in site but do eat. Eating will not only keep your energy up to help you keep drinking all day long, it will also help your body digest the alcohol you’re consuming.
  6. Learn how to properly spit. It’s okay to not drink all of a drink. Sample some, sip from others, swish it around in your mouth. If you don’t like the taste, don’t swallow- spit.
  7.  “If a daiquiri costs $20, you’re probably making a great decision,” says Crane. Stay out of the 30 flavor frozen wonderland tourist traps and head to local haunts. Not only will the quality of the drink be better, you’ll be better able to tell what you’re consuming. Crane wants you to remember, “a $3 piña colada equals a $1,000,000 hangover.”
  8. Stick mostly with aperitifs if you want to survive a full day of drinking. High quality biano vermouth, wines with high acidity, dry sherries, light sparkling wines, ciders, and light beers are your best bets.
  9. Don’t be afraid of sparkling water. It aids in digestion and will keep everything you’re ingesting moving along; just don’t chug it.
  10. Remember what you’re drinking. Use apps like Delectable, BJCP, When Wine, BarNotes, EasyMeme to document your tasting travels. Not only will it help you remember the next day, it can help you keep track of how much you’re taking in that day.

And, perhaps most importantly, Crane told us, despite what Kenny Chesney tell us, “you can drink tequila without going crazy.”