Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

A minute on the lips…

When I was a teenager, someone told me “remember, a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.  I think of that now after the holidays when everyone (including myself) is trying to lose 5-10 pounds.  Ugh!  It’s not easy.

Losing just a few pounds requires effort.  You have to REALLY want it.  Fortunately, I’ve already shed 1 KG in 9 days from working out and eating right… feeling slightly hungry before bed, daily sweat sessions and cardio with the jump rope, reducing my intake of refined carbs and processed foods, and increasing my water consumption.  1KG is just 2.2 lbs, but it all adds up.

If you want to lose weight, you definitely can… but you need to be realistic and want it more than you want other lifestyle choices such as sugars, excess food, alcohol, laziness, and comfort.  YOU have control over what your body looks like, and you can choose to build your own body however you want and make a decision to live and eat well.  Maybe you’ve just skimmed over those last few sentences like “blah, blah, blah”… but it’s true that you really have complete control over the way you look.

Some of my tips for trimming up a bit:

  • Drink two large glasses of water after waking up and before meals.
  • Drink 1 large glass of water after each meal.
  • Make sure breakfast is 50% fruits; lunch & dinner are 50% vegetables.
  • Avoid eating and drinking foods that weren’t in existence in the 1800’s (this is a good one).
  • To curb cravings between meals, drink hot tea.
  • Limit fried foods and processed foods as much as possible.
  • Add psyllium husk to foods to increase bulk and aid digestion


Filed under: Belly, Belly and Core, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jump!

Christian Bale from the movie "American Psycho"

Pop Quiz Hot-Shot: What you do when a ridiculously fit, focused, GQ, Christian Bale/American Psycho look-alike at the gym suggests you start jumping rope to burn more fat?  Here’s what you do – pick up a rope, and start skipping baby.  And so it begins….

I picked up a weighted jump-rope in the gym yesterday, turned on my i-pod shuffle, and hopped around for twenty minutes, I felt absolutely FANTASTIC!  Definitely better than walking at a level 7 on the treadmill watching Nigella Lawson’s baking show on TLC.  I was seriously sweating and it felt great… then I followed it up with one hour of weights.  It reminded me about the awesomeness which is jumping rope.

  • Reminds you of being a kid
  • You can move at various speeds
  • Burns insane fat and calories – the best cardio workout ever!!!!
  • You won’t get bored as easily as you might on stationary cardio equipment
  • Easy to travel with a jump rope
  • You look like a cool ninja-type person
  • You get seriously toned legs and a great tush

It isn’t exactly a revelation – I’ve done lots of skipping in the past one year – but not since Thanksgiving.  Plus, my brother actually gave me an amazing jump-rope for Christmas… so I’m starting to see the writing on the wall.  GQ-hottie couldn’t have reminded me about the benefits at a better time either… it’s just about time to start planning a beach & bikini getaway!

 

Filed under: Belly and Core, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Legs, Losing Weight, Manage stress, , , , , , , , , , ,

Look and feel your best in 2011

Resolve to look and feel your best in 2011 with positive changes in your lifestyle, habits, and appearance.  See the below for my take on building a healthier and more attractive body.


1.  Create S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound).  It’s easy to say “I want to lose weight in 2011″ but you need to consider the details.  For example, “I want to lose 4 pounds each month for 5 months so I will be 20 pounds slimmer by June 1st.  I will reduce my caloric intake by 500/day by cutting refined foods (alcohol, candy, white bread) and begin walking at least 20 minutes per day.”  S.M.A.R.T goals will help you achieve.

2.  People in great shape look and feel better.  Would you pay USD$5,000 right now for the body of your dreams?  Of course you would!  Ok, so use that money and purchase a gym membership, personal training, new workout gear/clothes, a kayak, hiking boots, etc.  Commit to your decision to look and feel better.

3. Book an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss products for your age and skin-type.  Maybe you want a few injections or fillers, scars/pigmentation/veins removed, or just need to drink more water and sleep better.  A dermatologist will tell you the truth and hook you up with the products and creams to suit you best.

4.  Find a wonderful salon/spa.  I rave about the Mandarin Oriental Salon (HK) because they are specialists with hair, face, feet, nails, etc.  Invest in a relationship with a wonderful stylist and technician and trust them on beauty and grooming advice.  Look after yourself.

5.  If possible, only buy fresh food.  It’s that simple.  Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheese, dairy, nuts, eggs, tofu, whole grain breads… and even chocolates.  Consider buying chocolates from See’s Candies which expire relatively quickly vs. packaged chocolate that lasts 6-12+ months on the shelf.   Always go fresh and try to avoid needing to open a wrapper to consume your food.

6.  Take care of your wardrobe.  If it has a stain, a hole, reminds you of a bad experience, hasn’t been worn for 2 years, or you just don’t like it – it’s out.  Don’t rationalize or feel guilty for getting rid of it.  Use a dry-cleaning service to ensure your clothes look their best, purchase lint-rollers for home/work/car, take your shoes to the cobbler seasonally for care and upkeep, use jewelry cleaner regularly, and buy quality hangers so your garments hang properly.  www.imageandlifestyle.com for my personal shopping and style services.

7.  Smile and de-stress.  Take a holiday, get more sleep, book spa appointments, watch a movie with a glass of wine… do whatever it takes to chill out.  Make your happiness, goals, and health a top priority for the new year.

Filed under: Beauty, Dressing Style Tips, Exercise, Facial, Fitness - Motivation, Grooming, Hair, Health, Healthy Eating, Hong Kong, Losing Weight, Manage stress, Skin care, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nutritional Expert Weighs in on Hong Kong Lifestyle

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing nutritionist Chrissy Denton, owner of Bebe2Be for the scoop on the services she offers, weight loss, and prenatal dietary advice.

http://www.bebe2be.com/Nutrition(2056269).htm

Contact: chrissy@bebe2be.com

1. What services do you offer for clients who want to make a major lifestyle change?

We offer a range of nutritional services tailored to each client’s lifestyle and personal goals.   Our services include weight management, sports nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, family nutrition, body composition analysis as well as corporate seminars and workshops.

2. As a nutritionist, you must see all kinds of unusual weight loss strategies.  What advice do you have for in-active women 35-45 years old who want to adopt a healthy diet to lose weight?

    There are many crazy diets in the media these days that convince women to consume an unhealthy eating regime.  Healthy weight loss is achieved by choosing healthy food options that will be maintained over a long period in order to prevent the weight gain or ‘yo yo’ effect.  Exercise is equally important and should be done in conjunction with a healthy diet.

    3. Do you have specific nutrition advice for women who have just become pregnant?

    It is important to maintain a balanced diet during the entire pregnancy, ensuring that you get all the important nutrients that your baby needs.  In the first few weeks some women may lose their appetite due to morning sickness and nausea but overall your body doesn’t need any extra calories for the first six months of the pregnancy.    There are some unsafe foods to avoid during the pregnancy such as soft cheeses, pate, and raw seafood’s such as oysters and sushi and of course no alcohol and limited caffeine.   Folic acid should be taken for the first 3mths of pregnancy and some may also need a vitamin D supplement right up to after the birth.

    4. Do you offer nutritional services for children?

    Yes, we offer nutritional services for children of all ages.  We help parents deal with fussy eaters, offer a variety of snack/recipe ideas as help children with allergies/food intolerances, eating disorders or those dealing with overweight or obesity.

    5. What do you think is the one major dietary mistake people in Hong Kong make each day?

    I think people in Hong Kong tend to go with convenience and chose foods that are ready-made because of their busy lifestyle.  Most people believe that it is cheaper to eat out than cook at home which is very untrue.  Education is the key and by simply showing people basic recipes and how to cook on a budget this would dramatically improve their weight control and overall health.

    Filed under: Health, Healthy Eating, Hong Kong, Losing Weight, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, Pregnancy Foods, Prenatal Health, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

    Health All-Star: Psyllium Husk

    Hello Friends,

    I consider psyllium husk fibers a Health All-Star when incorporated into a diet for additional fiber, digestive health, and appetite control.  This saw-dust-looking powder is a natural, taste-free, gluten-free, nearly no-calorie, fiber-rich food which turns liquids, smoothies, soups, etc into a somewhat gel-like substance if not consumed immediately.  It is this gel-like texture which forms bulk in your GI system and promotes a healthy colon by absorbing fats and cholesterol from the digestive tract, pushing out mucoid plaque, and preventing constipation.  Other beneficial health properties of psyllium husk include the following:

    • Blood pressure improvement
    • Treatment of IBS
    • Treatment of yeast infections
    • Pain management and treatment of hemorrhoids and cystitis
    • Anti-inflammatory properties
    • Weight loss control
    • Pregnant women should consult a physician prior to use

    Personally, I find psyllium husk helpful during weeks of detoxing and tightening up my diet, or mornings after a wonderfully indulgent evening out (see shake recipe below).  Although I do not consume this product daily, it helps me feel clean, refreshed, and light and is a welcome addition to my personal health program.  I purchase 200-300 gram packages at 360 supermarket in Elements or Hyrdohealth in Central and keep it refrigerated and sealed for freshness.

    Jennie’s Super Healthy Morning Shake: Blueberries (any fruit as desired), heaped spoon spirulina, heaped spoon psyllium husk fibers, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup ice, 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil, 1 heaping spoon vanilla protein powder.  Blend and be prepared to eat with a spoon… the psyllium will make this thick… and it becomes thicker the longer it sits out.  Add psyllium powder to the blender after the milk for easier cleaning.  Almond milk is used for the naturally sweet taste, protein, and low calorie properties.  Spirulina has a strong earthy flavor balanced by the fruit and vanilla protein powder.

    Filed under: Belly, Health, Healthy Eating, Hong Kong, Losing Weight, Tummy, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

    My Pyramid – Create Your Plan for Healthy Eating

    My Pyramid Available at http://www.mypyramid.gov

     

     Hello Friends! 

    They say how you look is 80% diet; 10% activity; 10% genetics.  I tend to agree to a point and recently discovered a wonderful website www.mypyramid.gov provided by the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) full of dietary information.  This impressive site is loaded with interactive tools to generate caloric requirements for your body and lifestyle, menus, eating plans, cost calculators, dietary guidelines and numerous other relevant and up-to-date facts to help guide you through weight loss, weight gain, and special population considerations for pregnancy,  breast-feeding, and pre-school aged children.  

      For example, at “My Pyramid Plan”, I input my weight, height, activity level, age and instantly received feedback for exactly what portions and food groups I should consume each daily to meet my body’s requirements.  Interestingly, the USDA recommends a 2,400 daily caloric consumption for my lifestyle.  In my case, I am relatively young, active, and currently at my ideal BMI.  Your caloric needs will likely be significantly lower if your are intensely physically active for less than 1 hour per day.  I often hear people suggest a daily limit of 1,200 for losing weight, but limiting calories too significantly will cause weight gain in the long run due to your metabolic rate decreasing.  

     Truly, the only way to maintain a fit and toned physique is with adequate physical activity, sleep, water, and a clean diet complete with fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  Each body processes foods at different metabolic rates and with different requirements, so referring to websites such as www.mypyramid.gov will provide trustworthy and safe information to help you achieve your goals.  Losing weight is not only calories in and calories out, but the nutritional value of those foods, the intervals at which you eat, intestinal motility, etc.  Check it out and enjoy creating an eating plan and menus to generate safe weight loss and improved health with long-term results.

    Filed under: Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, Pregnancy Foods, Prenatal Health, , , , , , , ,