Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Healthy Snacks That Will Help You Lose Weight

Chips. Cookies. Crackers. They're hard to resist. But we all know that everything that tastes good isn't always good for us. Thankfully, these days it's pretty easy to replace "junk food" with healthy, wholesome and yummy snacks.  For example, since the beginning of the summer I eliminated most dairy and white sugar products from my diet. Adieu, Maison Kayser. Instead, my new regimen includes lots of water, berries, Greek yogurt, raw almonds, salmon, salads, avocados, pickles and hummus. And I dropped nearly 12 pounds in three months.


But I'm not totally munchie-free. And when it's time for a "treat" I opt for healthier snacks. Here are a few of my faves, courtesy of the Editor's Showcase Snack Attack and the Fancy Food Show:

Garden of Eatin' Blue Chips: It's hard to eat just one of these delicious, natural and organic blue tortilla chips. Great with guacamole, salsa or straight out of the bag.

Brownie Brittle: Only 120 calories in each six-piece serving. Comes in a variety of flavors like Salted Caramel, Chocolate Chip and Toffee Crunch.

Harvest Stone: Gluten-free has never tasted this good.  The Original cracker is a blend of brown rice, sesame and flax, and the Original Crispy Mix has roasted veggie multi-grain squares, savory multi-seed chips, roasted garlic popped chips, gluten free pretzels and corn chips with flax.

Viki's Granola:  The Original Honey is a blend of gluten-free oats, organic honey, almonds, pecans and unsweetened coconut void of refined sugar, filers and preservatives.

NuttZo: This is the world's only organic seven nut and seed butter, chocked full of cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds.

Sweets & Beets Terra Chips: Made from real whole vegetables. What's not to love about a crisp combo of beet and sweet potato chips.

Nonni's Dark Chocolate Almond THINAddictives: Drizzled with dark chocolate and packed with whole almonds, this is the little cookie that could. Each box contains individually wrapped packs of two thins, only 80 calories or less.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Girlfriend Getaway at Kimpton's New Mason & Rook Hotel

Whenever I travel, Kimpton Hotels are always my first choice.  They are centrally located, with art-and-fashion forward decor and stellar customer service.  And with a complimentary wine happy hour every day, what's not to love? 


Mason & Rook rooftop pool./Kimpton

Recently, on a girlfriend getaway to Washington, DC, I stayed at the new Kimpton Mason & Rook in Logan Circle near the hot U Street corridor full of trendy shops, bars, restaurants and music venues.  

The boutique hotel even has a Shinola Watch Butler program, where guests can borrow a stylish watch during their stay. So If you are planning a visit to the nation's capital this summer here's a package you don't want to miss.

Sip, Sun & Soothe” Package at Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel

Live the high life and enjoy the newly opened rooftop pool at Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel. Sit poolside with inventive cocktails in hand from the team at Radiator, the hotel’s new bar, while taking in some of the best views of the District. 


A refreshing cocktail at Radiator./Kimpton

The package includes: 
  • Deluxe accommodations + complimentary upgrade
  • Two reserved chaise lounges on the rooftop deck with complimentary sparking water
  • Two Soothing Body Wrap in-room spa treatments with aloe vera gel and algae to calm and moisturize the skin after sun exposure
  • $100 F&B credit to be used for rooftop cocktails or at Radiator lounge 

Rates for Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel’s “Sip, Sun, & Soothe” package start from $689 per night before tax. Bookable at www.masonandrook.com with code SIPSUN or by calling 1-800-KIMPTON and mentioning the SIPSUN rate.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Fashion and Beauty Essentials from Hawaiian Tropic

The lazy days of summer go by so quickly.  But there's still time for that beach getaway. To help you pack, here are a few resort-ready fashion and beauty essentials from Hawaiian Tropic and Badger.


Whether you are lounging poolside, going for a beach stroll or brunching in a sunny setting, Hawaiian Tropic has literally got you covered. We love these colorful caftans and beach dresses (from $39.99).



And don't forget the sunscreen and bug repellent. Our picks are Badger's dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic daily SPF 25 Sunscreen Lotion Unscented for Face and Body ($17.99); Anti-Bug Balm ($6.99), a DEET-free bug repellant with citronella, cedar and lemongrass in a convenient travel sized twist-up stick; and After-Bug Balm Travel Stick ($6.99) to temporarily relieve itchy bug bites and minor skin irritations with cooling menthol and 10% colloidal oatmeal.

Organic baby nighttime soothing products from SheaMoisture

You want the best when you shop for beauty products, and you also want the best for your little ones.  For discerning parents, SheaMoisture has a new line of organic, nighttime soothing baby products made with Manuka Honey and Provence Lavender, including a fragrant body lotion, shampoo and body milk and slumber mist, available at Target.




Manuka Honey & Provence Lavender Baby Nighttime Soothing Body Lotion ($9.99)
This nutrient-rich hydrating lotion soothes and nurtures baby's delicate skin. Certified organic Shea Butter and Manuka Honey blend together to hydrate and soften the skin, while Lavender and Ylang Ylang provide a relaxing scent to unwind and encourage restful sleep. 



Manuka Honey & Provence Lavender Baby Nighttime Soothing Slumber Mist ($8.99)
This slumber mist helps create a calm environment and prepares baby for bedtime. Combining certified organic Shea Butter, Manuka Honey, Provence Lavender Oil and Ylang Ylang, it soothes, relaxes and encourages sleep.



Manuka Honey & Provence Lavender Baby Nighttime Soothing Shampoo & Bath Milk ($9.99)
This sulfate-free creamy shampoo and bath milk cleanses and softens baby's delicate skin. Moisture-rich, it hydrates without drying and provides a relaxing scent to calm and encourage peaceful sleep.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Probiotics Do a Body Good: Vitamin Shoppe Tips to Trust Your Gut

You've heard about probiotics.  But what are they and what do they do? We asked the Vitamin Shoppe's on-staff nutritionist Brian Tanzer for the skinny on the benefits of these good bacteria that help keep your gut healthy.

Why you need probiotics? If you eat a lot of processed foods, excess sugar or refined carbohydrates, the bacteria in your digestive tract might have a hard time staying in balance. 
And probiotics inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, promote good digestion, boost immune function, and increase resistance to infection.

Tip: You can find them in capsule, tablet, powder and chewable forms.

When you should take a probiotic? If you are looking for a probiotic to take every day, try a multi-strain probiotic starting with 5-10 billion CFU, and see how it works for you. CFU's, or colony forming units are used to measure probiotics potency. CFU’s can range from 1 billion up to 100 billion. The best time to take a probiotic supplement is between meals, ideally in the morning or in the evening.

Tip: If you are finishing up a course of antibiotics and have chronic digestive issues, look for a CFU count of at least 30 billion.

What if you don't want to take a supplement? If taking supplements isn't your thing, fermented foods can offer similar benefits to supplements, by providing more good bacteria, and supporting a proper balance of gut bacteria. Try organic Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup,  tempeh and yogurt with live, active cultures. 

Tip: It’s best to gradually add fermented foods into your diet as you may feel a little more bloating than normal until your body and gut bacteria adjust.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Natural beauty products and soy candles from Brooklyn Flavors

What does Brooklyn smell like? Well, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t a fragrant candle or body butter. But Brooklyn Flavors (820 Washington Avenue, 718-854-7486), a Brooklyn-based natural skin care shop, wants to change that perception.


Brooklyn Flavors owner, Sophia Sylvester/Yelp
Created by Brooklyn native Sophia Sylvester, Brooklyn Flavors offers a signature scent inspired by some of the borough’s most distinct streets and neighborhoods (wisely, there's no Gowanus Canal flavor). For example, Bed-Stuy’s flavor is an earthy blend of sandalwood, jasmine, cedar wood and patchouli; Canarsie Cookie smells like freshly baked sugar cookies with butter cream frosting and vanilla extract; and the Caribbean-inspired Church Avenue combines juicy mango, papaya, jasmine peach and coconut. 

Sylvester’s mission is to make quality handmade products using natural ingredients and to promote a healthy approach to candles and beauty and bath products (body souffle, dead sea salt scrub, bath bombs, and more). All products are also available online.

Everything She Wants: What inspired you to start Brooklyn Flavors?

Sophia Sylvester: In 2003, I wanted to work from home to spend more time with my children. So I built a website and started selling candles with a well-known manufacturer. They made beautiful candles, but my customers complained about the scent not being strong enough. So in 2004, I decided to make my own candles—natural, sweet smelling and strong. It worked and my customers loved them. In 2006, I went a step further and made natural skin care products infused with Shea butter, olive oil, almond oil and other essential oils that soothe, moisturize and nourish the skin.

ESW: What makes your skin care products different than others on the market?

Sophia: Each skin care company's products are different from the next. We are all inspired by different needs and experiences. My products are different because they were created out of a need to heal my children's dry skin issues. So I use specific oils and butters for those reasons. We are also different because we decided to have a little fun and pay homage to Brooklyn, the city I fell in love with as a little girl.

ESW: You also sell candles. What makes your candles unique?

Sophia: Our candles are 100% soy wax candles. We wanted to help the environment by not making candles using paraffin wax, which leaves soot all over your walls and curtains. Research has shown that paraffin wax releases cancer-causing agents into the air when burned.

ESW: What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?

Sophia: 1) Do a lot of research in the type of business you would like to open. 2) If you have a family, learn to juggle your family and your business. It won't be easy. 3) Get everyone involved in helping; you will need all the support you can get. And lastly, don't get discouraged and give up!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mother's Day Beauty Gifts Under $50 from SheaMoisture and More

Each year you probably ponder, "What should I get Mom for Mother's Day?" But even if your Ma already has closets and dressers full of everything, you still have to show her how much you care and give her something she wants, needs or both.

To help you navigate all of the gift options out there and select the perfect gift for that special lady, here are a few beauty gift ideas under $50.







1. SheaMoisture Peace Rose Oil Complex, Community Commerce Collection (from $8.99, available at Target) is the newest offering from this cruelty and paraben-free hair, bath and beauty brand with ethically-sourced and natural ingredients. The collection features a unique blend of roses to nourish sensitive skin and dry hair, and was handpicked for Target's 2016 "Made to Matter" program as one of the 20 leading natural, organic and sustainable brands in the industry.

We especially love the Peace Rose Oil Haircare Collection, which includes sulfate-free Nourish & Silken Shampoo, Conditioner, Styling Gel-Cream and a non-aerosol Holding Mist; and the Peace Rose Oil Bath & Body Collection's Sensitive Skin Creme Body Wash and Body Lotion.

2. The stylishly repackaged Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler ($49.99, available at Target) is a two in one tool that will save Mom time and money. Thanks to smooth, frizz-free results, she'll look like she just stepped out of the salon with a professional blowout.

3. If you're a Gen X baby, you remember Caboodles (from $19.97, available at Target) from the late '80s as a fun and fashionable way to organize your makeup and beauty supplies. Well, Caboodles is all grown up with chic, versatile designs that easily double as a spring tote or gym bag. Mom will cherish the Chevron print Envy IT doctor's bag (above photo), the perfect pairing of a purse and makeup organizer.