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Health & Fitness:

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Here are some GREAT things to keep in mind as you’re working through your list of New Years Resolutions for 2013 - The Things Successful People DON’T Do.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been shivering my way through this recent cold front in Northern California. Rain in December I’m used to. Wind & air so cold it feels like it should be snowing? That’s new. If you’re in a similar boat these simple tips can save your booty this Winter – Stay Warm!

Keeping your energy levels up during the way can seem impossible sometimes. Day-to-day you may feel changes due to diet, the amount of sleep you got, stress levels… And while you can’t always control every aspect of your life, there are some things that you can keep an eye on to help with this – Fatigue Facts: 5 Things That Make You Tired.

Breakfast

While I enjoyed all of the “round-up” style posts during December to celebrate the end of 2012 I have to say that this was one of my favorites so I just HAD to share – Best of 2012: My Favorite Vegan & Raw Recipes.

Staying inspired and positive about your body is an important step towards being happy and healthy! See what The Huffington Post has to say about keeping your attitude in check – Seven Ways To Be More Body Positive In 2013.

Fashion:

There’s nothing quite like a flashy new campaign to get you in the mood for some serious shopping. That’s part of the reason we adore fashion magazines, right? Well Fashionologie has the low-down on all the killer campaigns for Spring here.

bun

Finding stylish but simple new updos that’s keep my hair out of my eyes is a new mission so I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this fabulous tutorial – Beauty How To: Braided Bun Tutorial.

Need some inspiration to get creative with your hair this Winter? Check out Rebecca Minkoff’s 2013 Ushers In A New Wave Of Hairstyles for some serious tips.

I ADORE Winer outwear & accessories so this Glitter Guide post had me in raptures. If you’re similarly inclined head over for their Style File: Chic Winter Wear and prepare to swoon!

DIY

If you’ve been trying to find a fabulous statement necklace but have come up empty so far, why not make your own? This DIY Charm Necklace from I Spy DIY is to die for!

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Beginner Fitness

In 2012 a reader came to me with a simple request – Could I help her ease into a workout routine that would put her on the path to overall better health? I documented a part of the process in the following series of posts - Want To Achieve Gym Goddess Status?, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V.

I’ve recently received a similar request and thought that 2013 would be a great time to share some of the details with my readers again because I think it’s such a worthwhile topic and achieving better health is widespread goal. I’m sure there have been countless New Years Resolutions related to this so why not get started on your path to health and happiness now?

In addition to providing short beginners workouts for the next few weeks, I’ll be recommending reading and do my best to keep you all motivated and inspired – Which is half the battle.

Workouts:

You want to ease into a new workout regime regardless of your current level of fitness, however if you’re not currently working out, attending classes, and/or running on a regular basis I would suggest starting with one or two small workouts a week and gradually increase to 3-5 as you start improving and feeling stronger.

Let’s start Week One with two short workouts to get us in the mood:

Day One

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*My recommendation is to turn this into a mini circuit workout – After your warm up do one set of planks, one set of lunges, and one set of squats, then repeat the process a second and third time to complete the circuit before your warm down.

Day Two

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Reverse Lunges {FitSugar’s Back to Basics: Stationary Reverse Lunge} 3 rounds of 10 lunges on each knee
  • Crunches {Dummies.com’s How To Do Crunches} 3 rounds of 20 – Be sure to watch your form & keep your chin & elbows UP form is important w/ this move
  • Leg Lifts {Shape Magazine’s Double-Leg Lower & Lift} 3 rounds of 20

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Nutrition:

Following diets, participating in cleanses, and going through detox programs are interesting ways to find out how your body responds to things, but they’re not a way of life. Learning to eat well & make smart food choices on a daily basis is going to do much more for you than any short-term healthy eating “fix.”

Depending on your typical diet transitioning to a clean eating regime can seem pretty daunting, so to make the switch more manageable I’ll just recommend a few tips and suggest some things to cut out of your diet each week.

To start, it’s time to get cooking! Your first goal should be to cut out packaged, processed, and pre-made food from your diet. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to order Chinese again or never enjoy a handful of chips in the future, but if you want to transition to a clean diet the first step is to eliminate all of these types of foods. So your mission for the next two weeks is to start giving up anything processed, stop hitting the drive-through, and spend more time in the kitchen and less time at restaurants.

PumpkinSeeds

Here are a few alternatives:

  • If you like chips or salty other snacks – Try raw almonds, butter-free air popped popcorn, or baby carrots w/ hummus
  • If you crave the beta-endorphin rush of sugary treats, baked goods, or candy – Switch these high calorie picks for fresh fruit, natural almond butter, or homemade sweet treats like Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower or Maple Cinnamon Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Homework:

Understanding why you feel the way that you feel and how to improve your health is important. Anyone can blindly follow instructions, but learning about health, nutrition, and your body will help you for your entire life.

So with the goal of educating yourself and expanding your horizons here are some interesting articles you might enjoy:

  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds {in moderation} are an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about this subject by reading Natalie Jill Fitness’s Eating Fat Will NOT Make You Fat…
  • One of the things that impacts your health almost as much as nutrition and fitness is stress. You need to pay attention not only to how much stress you have in your life, but how you deal with it – How Stress Affects the Body.

Stress

So what do you think of this new series? Are these topics and the information I provided above interesting and relevant to your life?

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. I’m merely an enthusiast {and former athlete} who reads & does research daily and has worked out alone or with coaches & trainers since the age of 6. I am lucky enough to have access to a handful of blogs, websites, and trainers to answer my questions though. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet I suggest that you consult a physician.

For more inspiration, my daily workout routines, and more Moi Contre La Vie you can find me on these platforms:

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New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part III

This post is devoted to the lines that I’m just discovering - Hey I never claimed to be on top of everything - and the designers are that just starting to hock their wares at New York Fashion Week. You can catch up on the earlier posts that you missed to see reviews of dozens more fashion shows – New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I &  New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part II.

Veronica Beard:

This two-year old brand put out a lovely collection for Spring 2013 - Twenty-one looks that included colorful day dresses, loungewear, smart blazers, chic suits, and light outerwear.

You could see the Moroccan influence in the vivid colors and prints, and in the loose silhouettes and pajama-like styles of some of the pants, jumpsuits, and short suits.

Jil Sander Navy:

I’m not sure why, but I’ve never checked out the Loobook for Jil Sander Navy before – Thus its inclusion in the “new to me” Part III review of NYFW – And I enjoyed what I saw. The collection was full of crisp fabrics, clean lines, and basic separates that are the building block for every modern woman’s wardrobe.

When I look at this Lookbook I see all the casual but chic and stylish pieces that you need – Tennis skirts, sleeveless blouses, car coats, shirt dresses, patterned jackets, mod-inspired collarless shifts, and knee-length skirts – All in navy, white, red & blue with stripes and florals thrown in for good measure and paired with sporty wedges, t-straps, and platform tennis shoes.

I look forward to seeing what this brand comes out with next!

Honor:

This was a pretty collection of pretty frocks in neutrals with hints of Spring-appropriate pink and green. Nature-based prints, lace, and brocades gave this collection a very sweet vibe – Everything looked fresh and ready for next Spring.

Light colors, delicate fabrics, and slightly oversized silhouettes gave many of the pieces the illusion that they were preparing to float away. In addition to satin pumps there were classic sandals in white and powder blue. I loved the shorts, pants, and high-neck blouses they were sweet and dreamy but still contemporary enough to imagine in your own closet.

Holmes & Yang:

Miss Katie Holmes continued to shed her Mrs. Tom Cruise title and joined with her long-time stylist to create a cute, functional group of looks for an early morning NYFW showing.

The clothes were chic and wearable with flats & heels, handbags, flowing silk maxi dresses & maxi skirts, slouchy cropped pants, cute day dresses, short suits, and plenty of fun prints and leather. The first look was my favorite, I liked the loose wide leg pants and the quilted motorcycle jacket.

Pierre Balmain:

While Balmain is the go-to brand for sexy, rock n’ roll fabulousness, its new sister line Pierre Balmain may become the go-to for chic, ladylike separates.

The 66 look collection featured Parisian black & white, pops of pink & yellow, peplums, lace, leather & eyelet, menswear, denim, all-over prints, and a great collection of blazers & jackets in varying lengths and fabrics. While Balmain pieces can often look more like couture than street wear, these clothes were ready to walk straight from the catwalk to the sidewalk!

Theyskens’ Theory:

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve never taken the time to look at Oliver Theyskens’ collection for Theory before. The shame!  And it was no surprise that I liked what I saw when I finally did.

It was a dark hued, wet looking group collection – filled with elegant suits, sleek leather, chunky knits, and some slouchy Alexander Wang-style separates, all paired with strappy heels and oversized, borrowed from the boys outerwear.

Thakoon Addition:

Cute. Feminine. Wearable. These were the first thoughts that popped into my head when I saw this collection - Nothing innovative or provocative, just stylish, contemporary separates and dresses for the modern girl.

The eyelet and mini flower prints were Spring-ready and the bloomer-style short shorts and long, open sweaters gave the collection some fun silhouettes. I especially liked the print mixing and the striped, open sweater-sets.

Katie Gallagher:

NYFW newbie Katie Gallagher was quite the topic of discussion this season and stood up to the scrutiny by showing a black & nude collection full of draping, swimwear, and cutouts.

Peplums, sheer fabrics, chainlink belts, lace-up strappy sandals, asymmetrical hemlines, shrunken outerwear, bathing suits, retro bandeau tops, and textured fabrics kept the collection from being boring.

MM6 Maison Martin Margiela:

The perfect Paris-meets-New-York-City looks this season came from MM6 Maison Martin Margiela, new to NYFW and one of the hottest tickets in town.

Urban cuts, dramatic drapping, and loose silhouettes featured heavily in the Lookbook, with washed out greys, browns, and white, all paired with over-the-shoulder and messenger bags.

Charlotte Ronson:

Flirty florals, calming deep blues & greens, multicolored stripes, colorblocking, rompers, sheer blouses, mesh, jumpsuits, and cute shrunken blazers all made an appearance in the Ocean themed collection.

The separates here really stole my heart, I loved the print mixing & matching, the layering, and the sweet patterns that she used. I was also a fan of the handbags and ankle strap platforms that accompanied the looks. These are the perfect types of pieces for throwing on during the Spring & Summer – Bathing suit cover ups, hot Summer nights, vacation clothes – Cute, easy, and wearable.

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous NYFW Collections: New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I, New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part II, New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Pre-Fall 2012 Part I, Part II, Part III, and NYFW Spring 2012 Round-Up.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: The Huffington Post’s New York Fashion Week 2012: The Top 5 Trends, The IFB’s Spring 2013 Collectionson Pinterest, or The Stylist’s The Pit, Model Critiques And More: A New York Fashion Week Photographer Diary (VIDEO).

What was your favorite trend so far from the Spring 2013 collections? I think I have to agree with Mr. Blasberg about one of my favorite emerging trends for next Spring - “NYFW trend: Long live the sexy secretary skirt! Low on the hips at Marc Jacobs, unzipped at Michael Kors, and in python at Reed Krakoff.” Looking forward to seeing how this trend is translated in London, Milan, and Paris.

Be sure to stay tuned for the fourth and final post from the tents at New York Fashion Week – The street style, nighttime glam, and fabulous front row fashion of New York City.

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Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

Did you watch the recent 60 Minutes piece Is Sugar Toxic? Raise your hand if that guy scared you a little! I consider myself very well-informed when it comes to health and nutrition, and I don’t consume much sugar, but that guy was still creepy intense. Doesn’t mean the message was wrong though, to be sure, let’s just try to hear it from a different, more palatable source. The Difference in How Fructose and Glucose Affect Your Body from Kimberly Snyder, Do We Need Better Advice About Eating Well? I Vote Yes from Marion Nestle, and The Sugar Blockers Diet from Prevention.com.

Need some healthy snack ideas? Obviously you should reach for fresh fruit & veggies, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit before anything packages & processed, but sometimes you just need to throw something in your purse or keep in your desk in case of a snacking emergency. Check out the Hungry Hungry Hippie‘s suggestions or my Lollihop review. I’ll also be reviewing my Healthy Surprise box soon!

Are you a fan of yoga? Since I’m going through physical therapy for a back injury and trying to strengthen my core and stay flexible, I’m going to give it another try. Here are some beginner and not-so-beginner yoga sessions to give a try:

Did you enjoy Part I and Part II of the Mark’s Daily Apple series called Why Fast? that I posted here? The next installment in this series is a great beginners guide to fasting – Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method.

Healthy motivation to start your week off right tomorrow! 4 Great Ways To Use Chia Seeds from Canadian Living, professional triathlete and author Brendan Brazier’s favorite ingredientsfrom leafy greens to pseudograins, seeds and nuts, and In Defense of Fat: 7 Surprising Facts from The Huffington Post.

 

Fashion:

As we get ready for Spring why not take inspiration from the Aussie’s who are finishing up their warm weather dressing - Sydney Snaps: Street Style From Down Under.

I read lots of pieces on how to be a good hostess – from menus to glasses to centerpieces, but I was excited to read this article from Apartment Therapy on Hosting Overnight Guests Without A Guestroom. San Francisco is a city of apartment living and when a one bedroom is usually over $2000 a month, most people don’t have an unused bedroom, so this is incredibly relevant!

Nothing but fabulousness from the arrivals at the Gucci Fashion Show After-Party in Shanghai. If you need inspiration for a night out on the town these ladies are a great place to start!

A great look for Spring is a crisp button down shirt. You can pair it with cropped pants, a pleated mini, over a flowy maxi dress or even tucked into jeans. And why not mix up the classic white button down and try a Chambray shirt. Do A Little Chambray! from Eat Breath Fashion.

Whether you’re breaking out your Spring dresses for weekends or planning a shopping trip for your Summer wedding season, take inspiration from FabSugar’s Ultimate Spring Dress Guide!

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Need a tutorial on mixing colors for Spring? Cristina’s Blog has the goods – Mixing Colours… Blue & Yellow.

If you love glamour and a slinky, retro vibe you’re bound to be a fan of Russian stylist, photographer, and designer Uliana Sergienko. Couture et Cuisine has a collection of phenomenal pictures of her here for your viewing pleasure.

If you’re in the market for a new girl crush I highly suggest checking out Modelinia’s Elisa Sednaoui Continues to Reign as Our #1 Girl Crush or Vogue UK’s catwalk piece on the stunning Jourdan Dunn. So hard to choose!

Curious what the fashion industry is up to between the shows? Here are some of the recent events and launches: The New Museum’s 35th Anniversary Gala, The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner, H&M’s 2012 Conscious Collection hit stores 12 April 2012, get a tour of Rachel Roy’s office, The 9th Annual New Yorkers for Children event, and, as I’m sure you’ve heard, Raf Simons from Jil Sander has replaced the disgraced John Galliano at Christian Dior.

Check out this casual, cool look from Coachella queen Kate Bosworth on Frugal Fashionista to get you in the mood for the music festival. If you need for inspiration read my Hippie 2012 Breakdown for everything you’ll need for Coachella!

Health/Fitness:

Marion Nestle is an author, professor & nutritional expert who has written books, chaired government committees, and writes a column for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her blog, Food Politics, always has great posts on food, nutrition, grocery shopping, farming, buying organic, meat processing… I highly recommend checking out the following pieces:

I found myself nodding along to Choosing Raw’s Building a Better Snack: Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Snack Bars. Sometimes you want something quick and easy to snack on, but when you read the ingredients in products you realize that there are very limited healthy processed options. Making your own snack bars (or energy bites) are great options! Next week I’ll be sharing my energy bite recipe or you can try Choosing Raw’s Super Speedy, No Bake Omega-3 Vegan Snack Bars, Hungry Hungry Hippie’s Peanut Banana Oatmeal Bars, or OhSheGlow’s Homemade Banana Bread Larabars.

7 April Superfoods from The Huffington Post – All in green and red!

Still looking for great breakfast ideas for Spring? I’ve shared overnight oats recipes and smoothiesgalore, what about breakfast porridge? Check out Chatelaine’s Gluten-free recipe: Sweet breakfast porridge with fresh toppings.

Have you read about or tried intermittent fasting? These are both interesting reads: Dr Michael Eades, M.D.’s Could intermittent fasting or caloric restriction make the heart more resistant to damage? and Stop Eat Stop.

Do you workout with your significant other? Do you want to…? I suggest taking a look at Rachel Wilkerson’s piece Living In Sin: How CrossFit Has Helped My Relationship, Holly Would If She’s Could’s CrossFit Love: How Sharing Fitness Has Improved My Relationship, or my post Health & Your Relationship.

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