Hollywood Ladies Baring All For Pirelli

Word of a new Pirelli project came my way recently, and I love that for it, these “elite” ladies are being photographed au natural.  Yes, part of me knows that they probably had facials, and undoubtedly have their own selection of skincare and preventative aging measures (in general, but also in preparation!) BUT. . . I still appreciate that they are being photographed withOUT the layers of makeup they usually are seen wearing.  Refreshing.

Why would I bother mentioning it, especially given that I don’t follow celebrity media?  Because a lot of ladies look up to the “stars.”  Young ones, in particular… The faces in the spotlight matter – right or wrong (whatever your opinion) – to many.  So it’s great to see them taking it all off to encourage people to love the skin they are in – no one should have to hide, and it is OKAY to be bare-faced.

newbeauty.com

newbeauty.com

Per photographer Peter Lindbergh and New Beauty:

“I wanted to use the 2017 calendar to convey a different kind of beauty,” said Lindbergh at a press launch in Paris. “Since it’s based on consumption, the present system offers a single kind of beauty, which is essentially one of youth and perfection, since its objective is to get people to consume. But this idea of beauty has nothing to do with the real world or with women. Through the Pirelli Calendar I’ve tried to convey a different message, which is that beauty is far more than what advertising offers us today. My aim was therefore to portray women in a different way: and I did this by calling in actresses who’ve played an important role in my life, getting as close as possible to them to take my photos.”

While I wish this kind of encouragement was more prevalent, I am thankful for any of it at all – it’s important, in a world of false pretense and facades (grazie, social media!) that people realize a pretty face often has a lot more going on to make it APPEAR that way.  Let’s remember that we are human beings – we have dynamic wrinkles because we are alive and laughing!  Our skin sometimes has little spots because we see the sun from time to time.  We aren’t plastic, and flawless…and there’s nothing wrong with that.  We don’t have to live up to “perfect” (someone else’s term and standard, probably!) all the time…or even, how about this…? EVER.

Thank you, Pirelli, for the calendar…and for supporting “us” as we are.

Pirelli Instagram photo

Pirelli Instagram photo

Martial Arts Humor – Unnecessary Injury

It isn’t exactly funny. . .but interesting that there are so many memes about this!

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I’ve been talking about this a lot lately – I simply have no interest in partnering with students who want to go full-bore.  The purpose of my training is to learn techniques, to replicate them properly in order to create the correct muscle memory.  I’m NOT interested in going bananas, and cranking my partner’s limbs…OR my own!

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Don’t get me wrong, rolling, kicking, sparring, punching…at your full potential is great too, of course! – but this is more with respect to when we are specifically training techniques.  I see (and sadly have FELT) rushing far more than I’d personally like – you can’t go at a snail’s pace for sure, but unless you solidly have the technique, it’s important to be mindful.  

When you are in a class and learning techniques designed not only to lock joints, but flat-out BREAK them, staying in FULL CONTROL of your body and movement is integral.

Along with that? Keeping yourself tidy – again, mindfulness – so that you don’t put your partner at unnecessary risk (yes, I have had my face gouged my nails. “Ugh, your DNA is under my nail!” my partner said.  My response wasn’t so cheeky, as I wiped the blood off my face.)  Cleanliness and grooming matter when you are in a close contact sport.

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These days, I’d rather say, “slow down,” “hold looser,” or “dude, maybe you want to partner with someone else.” 

More substantial – avoidable – injuries?  NO THANKS!

Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes For The Mats

Some of my training partners and I were talking about an issue (several, actually) that comes up a lot in Martial Arts (especially fuller contact ones) – staying clean!

It isn’t pretty, but it’s par for the course, so you just have to be prepared. It’s not only the fact that you are all up in someone’s face (which is a huge part of it), but also about fending off clogged pores, dirt and other offenders.

I ran across these Yes to Tomato Charcoal Facial Wipes recently and was honestly psyched to see them – I’m not crazy about some of the wipes out there because some just don’t feel like they get the job done.  These, though, are formulated with charcoal – a pore-clearing, grime-busting substance that will provide and on-the-go detox when you simply don’t have other options.  They also happen to be black, which my inner goth finds not-so-secretly satisfying.  How badass of you, Yes To!  😉 ) 

The brand has a bunch of other ones too, but I like the idea that these amp up the impurity busting quotient – when you finish a Reflex Development class at Jiu-Jitsu, you WILL be sweating like a farm animal, and you’ll need that extra skin-clearing boost. 

Toss these “LBG”s (cheeky, I like it!) in your gym / dojo bag and keep yourself clean wherever you are, and whenever you need it!

 

Humor, And The Perfect Woman

I give myself a SERIOUSLY hard time sometimes.  I’m not exactly a typical female and though I am thankful to be as I am, there are times when I have felt badly when other impose their own interpretations of what a woman “should be” on me.

Heaven forbid I say “I don’t cook.”  I mean that generally.  You won’t find me with an apron on baking casseroles, for sure, but that doesn’t mean I’m a total dolt.  I can manage with the smaller variety of things I eat…and I’m absolutely certain I can follow a recipe (I cooked a lot with my parents when I was little.)  But just because baking isn’t my favorite hobby…or being ultra feminine won’t work for my sportier lifestyle, I shouldn’t feel badly.

And you shouldn’t EITHER.

Don’t let anyone else define you, put you down, or place you in a box. 

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that another person’s definition of “perfect” may well deviate (even substantially) from our own.  There is nothing wrong with that!  

We all have gifts, and all have room to grow.  

We all have preferred activities, and those that just aren’t so much our thing.  

And in the end, that’s kind of what makes the planet so interesting, isn’t it?  If everyone was cookie cutter, I think I (for one) would be highly disturbed! 

I appreciate my glamorous friends, as much as my sporty ones, my bohemian ones, and the workaholics… I love them all, and appreciate most that THEY are happy.

Conforming just doesn’t work for me – it’s such a drag, and not worth anyone’s time to stress about!  If, as a human being, you do feel down about it, remember that YOUR “prefect” may not be everyone’s “perfect”…but there are countless others to whom your ideal is also perfection.

It’s all in the way you define your terms anyway.

I DO cook.  

I definitely “IRON.”  

And I always make sure home is nice and clean. 🙂

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Recovery, Support and 12-Step Groups

As always…a great article from 88RecoveryHubBlog – a wonderful resource for anyone struggling with addictive behaviors, or in need of recovery support.  LOVE this blog.

Let me clear up some confusion.  There are various names for similar recovery organizations. You might hear “self-help group” “support group” “12-step” or even &…

Source: Recovery, Support and 12-Step Groups

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue

The benefits of charcoal as a detoxifier are by no means new, but there has been rather a surge in charcoal based skincare over the last few years, and I’ve more recently seen it for haircare as well!

And, while there are a plethora of products out there, it is worth mentioning Dermalogica’s Charcoal Rescue Mask, which appears to be a heavier hitter in the epidermal detox than many others. The mask is formulated with Binchotan Charcoal, derived from the Japanese Ubame Oak Tree – in addition to adsorbing up to 1,000x its own weight in impurities (environmental toxins, sebum etc…), it has also been used to deodorize, purify water, and whiten your pearly teeth. Impressive!

Ulta.com

Ulta.com

In addition, Dermalogica uses Sulfur in the formulation, known to treat various conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea, sebaceous dermatitis, and to promote cell turnover.  Brilliant!  Add to that Volcanic ash, sea silt, bamboo extract and alpha hydroxy acids to “further accelerate skin brightening with dual-action exfoliation.” ANDNiacinamide, and Chilean Wild Mint, which ” helps reduce congestion and calm the skin” and refine pores, respectively.

If you have problematic skin at all…this sounds like a serious holy grail (HG) treatment mask – at $46, I know it’s a lot, but I’ve never had a bad experience with Dermalogica’s products.  EVER. 

 

 

Healthy Options – Day Trip

I had the blessing to visit an old college haunt this weekend with my man – Old Glory BBQ in Georgetown, Washington, D.C..  We ate with such frequency that I remembered tables where I once sat, as well as dishes no longer on the menu…  Good times! 😀

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I try to be as healthy as I can when I’m traveling, and I am incredibly thankful I am able to do so – once upon a time, that was nigh impossible.  (I also have the support of my significant other, which is a huge deal in my book.)

Despite the down-home-comfort of most of what they serve, it was incredibly easy to get a healthy meal.  The turkey was smoked and grilled, and the veggies were grilled on a kebab – perfect!  If sodium was a substantial concern, the smoked turkey may have been substituted with the chicken (which generally had less, as I recall.)  But overall, it was a delicious (and filling!) combination of protein and veggies.

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We got a little hungry later so we stopped at D&D on M Street – a supermarket would have been better in the pricing department, but I was thankful to be able to buy fresh fruit so I’m not complaining!  Grapes have quite a bit of sugar, but we walked quite a bit, and had a long drive back home – for me, that was just what I needed.  I loved the mixture of green, red and black grapes, too – the colors and taste variety keep the snack interesting.

More of my nutritional stuff here!

Dinner On The Go

The other night my hunnie thoughtfully picked something up for me for dinner… 

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Sometimes I’ll hear people complain that there aren’t many healthy options when needing to pick something up for a quick bite.  If you DO want to watch your meals, don’t fret because there absolutely ARE some really healthy dishes out there!  

With sushi, I’m sure there are additional things to think about – not everyone is comfortable with certain preparations, for example.  Truth be told, I took these and warmed them in hot soy to “cook” them a bit – a sin, perhaps!  But they melt like butter, and I know my satiety is tricked when they are cooked versus completely raw.  (How about that neat trick!? 😉 ) 

I also realize this isn’t wild caught – it is harder to find that when buying your own sashimi, in particular…and sometimes when out.  That said, I don’t have it frequently enough that I’m terribly concerned.  In general, salmon is a great fish because it is high in healthy fats and protein, and it will therefore not only keep you functioning optimally, but keep you feeling full and satisfied longer.

He also got a huge serving of steamed vegetables to go with this – seriously delicious!

Healthy Is A Lifestyle

Healthy is  Lifestyle. Period.

I was feeling really bummed the other day – we ladies can be “puffy” without forewarning, and I was just having one of those days!  

Maybe it was too much salt, maybe it wasn’t enough water…  Maybe it’s just that I was beholden to the tides of being a woman!  I’m 37, so things have changed!

I was also “taking it easy,” and took extra days off from my HIIT cardio sprints to baby a shin splint, so I was admittedly playing the mental “I-haven’t-done-enough” game.

Whatever the case may have been, I wasn’t feeling great.  I’ve been through eating disorders in the past (not of my own volition, but from PTSD and the causes of it), so I know body dysmorphia intimately.  

Fortunately, I will never go back to that place – EVER – and I proactively make sure of it each day by exercising, taking a break if my body needs it, eating (more than!) enough…  But it is something you carry with you, and it is a proactive battle you face every day – whether you have been through a trauma or not, health is a daily effort.  Taking care of ourselves should always be a number one priority!

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Anyway…  There I was feeling like the Staypuft Marshmallow Man…

On my way to the treadmill, two ladies stopped me to ask about “being fit.”  What is my routine, what do I eat, how to I maintain it…? I was so touched, and frankly honoredit means a great deal to me to touch others, and to know that they might be inspired to do something wonderful for themselves because of the work I put in.  (Honestly, that is the biggest gift of all for me! ❤ ) 

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The way I put it…and the way I have always viewed it…is that being fit is a Lifestyle.  

It isn’t about a fab diet or exercise-of-the-moment.  

Being healthy is a consistent, daily practice of “little things” that keep us on track, and in a “maintenance phase” (as opposed to the well known trying-to-catch-up mode too many people face today.)

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Eating clean, exercising, being around those who support you, and taking time to care for YOU is a Lifestyle.  It is the combination of a whole ton of positives that add up to a happy and healthy whole.

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You may have days where you aren’t as “ON” – you lag through your workout, you eat something you aren’t pleased about later.  No big deal!  You don’t have to be superwoman or superman EVERY day – the idea is that you are taking steps to stay healthy…not run after it!

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Even if you don’t feel like it, hop on the bike for a few minutes.  Walk on the treadmill for 15…  Choose a healthy, balanced meal even though something is taunting you because it smells good (it usually smells better than it tastes!)  If you take the “whole” approach, things fall into place.  When you are consistent, blips aren’t going to derail you – you will already be in a really healthy place!

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For more pix of my fitness and fuel, here are links to my Facebook albums, and Instagram:

 

Ingredients…the Book

I came across this book – Ingredients: A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives & 25 Food Products, by Dwight Eschilman and Steve Ettlinger – rather by accident…but it’s something that I am interested in, for sure.  I recently realized I am lactose intolerant…and for the last two or so years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have new food allergies – yes, 35 years into Life, they reared their (frankly, inconvenient) heads.

I eat incredibly clean but I have my areas – I use Sucrolose, for one.  As I’ve mentioned before, sugar does not sit well with me…and Stevia caused a whole plethora of allergies.  But before you judge, please recognize we ALL slip somewhere!  Many of my friends are health-conscious-crazed…and even they have a few intruders. (It’s possible I’m interjecting this point because it makes me feel better.  At least I admit it, right?  Right? 😉 ) 

Pick your poison, is almost what it comes down to.  I think THE cleanest eater I know is my brother.  It’s a challenge to be free of all things non-natural, but it can be done.  One of my issues is that honey doesn’t work as a sweetener for me, nor some of the purported “better-for-you-than-sugar-but-basically-the-same-thing” products.  Especially for my coffee…I need a little bit!

That aside, I also take an amino supplement…one I haven’t found a comparable, ultra-clean version of.  So I worry about dyes and other “stuff” that lurks in the formulation.  It makes me a wee bit nervous but I think sometimes I let it go because the bulk of what I do ingest is relatively healthy…and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can really get the best of me.

“Relatively.”  

It is ALL relative, isn’t it?

I saw one of the food photography images from the book, and I was intrigued.  It looks akin to a chemistry experiment.  I kind of feel like I need to pull out my Bunsen burner, some glass slides, and a microscope…

(C) - Doritos. Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

(C) – Doritos. Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

I mean…sure, some salt, or spices…  But what’s up with the colored bits!?  Why ARE there so many powders?  

It’s a tiny bit creepy, don’t you think?  Doritos taste good, I know (at least our buds say they do)…but they DO leave our hands bright enough to paint road stripes.  Um…eeek.  

*puzzled face*

(C) - Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

(C) – Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

 

(C) - Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

(C) – Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

I can’t say that I am particularly keen on chem… Or maybe I should say “adept at” – I thought class was cool, but I was more interested in sports…or the next experiment, or…”oh hey! Are those ghost crystals?!” (my attention span is, sadly, that of a Gemini.  We get incredibly excited and entranced, only to lose interest and want a new challenge about three seconds later.)  

Sigh.

I’d like to say I am solidly knowledgable about EVERY ingredient in my supplements, and in my food…but the assurance would be unjust.  I DEFINITELY check my labels more than the average person, and I know for certain, I eat “cleaner” and “less processed” on the whole.  But I need to be better versed, and I like that this book has a visual element to it.  

I haven’t read the book – I only just came across its “Doritos” ingredient layout.  It may be more suited for someone who likes looking at molecular structures, or understands the interplay between hexagons and linked lines.  But it may also be a help for those of us with a need and desire to delve a bit deeper.  I’m hoping it’s the latter case, as opposed to the former maningful-shapes scenario.  I’m going to look into it myself…