Category Archives: Personal

New Dove campaign flashes attention on camera shy women

As someone who takes candid pictures for a living, it is amazing to see the amount of people who are camera shy in this world. The majority who spy me with my long lens or decline my request to be photographed and give their name are women.

I find this very unappealing. I understand if you don’t want to open you heart and life up to me so I can write it all down and display it to the community on the front page of the town’s local paper.

But what’s a picture?

What’s a picture of you and your child having fun at the Strawberry Festival?

What’s a picture of you and your friends cheering at a football game?

What’s a picture of you at a socialite event in your formal best?

It really makes me sad. Sure, us women don’t always look dolled up. But just because we look natural, organic, doesn’t mean we should live in shame. Don’t ever be ashamed of your appearance.

Pictures, videos- they capture a moment in time. They’re immortal. And you are immortal in that space.

Dove’s newest campaign seeks to point that out. Sure the video is cute and playful. But it pinpoints a dark truth: When did you stop thinking you were beautiful?

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Filed under Advertising, art, Design, Entertainment, Fashion, Feature, Features, Fitness, funny, Health, humor, News, Opinion, Personal, Photography, Women

Flower-based recipes not just for pica eaters

pansy_salad

It’s an indescribable urge. 

My mouth waters. I begin to grind my teeth at the thought of chewing the succulent texture. 

I’m not salivating over a fine steak or wishing I could have a bite of a sweet truffle. In fact, I’m not even in a kitchen, restaurant or sidewalk cafe. I’d be more likely to be in a floral shop, field of wild flowers or holding a bouquet. 

It’s because this urge comes from a weird thought of mine. I have the desire to eat flowers. Particularly roses.  

I actually have never eaten a flower. But every time I get flowers sent to me or am in a garden, the sacchariferous smell of the petaled-beauties transcends into a delicious flavor. 

Until now, it has kind of scared me. There is an actual condition termed Pica that is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive, such as clay, chalk, dirt, or sand.

But flowers, like vegetables, seem like they might not fit in that category. 

On the constant prowl for unique recipes, these flower-infused bites are most definitely something I need to try.

The recipes include tempura banana flowers, candied rose truffles and more accepted recipes like basil and mushrooms and artichoke bruschetta. 

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Filed under Entertainment, Feature, Features, Fitness, Food, funny, Health, humor, Kitchen, Opinion, Paleo Diet, Personal, Pinterest, recipes, Vegan

Top gym pet peeves

So you finally get your ass into the gym after an hour of stalling or pushing the snooze button repeatedly. Some days just click. You’re less tired, you’re more motivated, you can run an extra mile on the treadmill or you’ve graduated to a higher weight you can lift.

But then there are those days where you’re dragging, when you forgot your water bottle or had to stop for morning coffee before, which is now sloshing inside your belly as you bounce up and down on the elliptical. That’s when you start noticing your gym pet peeves. You know, things other people do at the gym that annoy you, or ticks that just really set you off.

Here are my top gym pet peeves in no particular order

(although #6 is my top pp):

1. When men stare at my ass.

2. When women stare at my ass.

3. People who fight for the front row parking spaces. You’re going to the gym, walking ten extra feet across the parking lot will only do you some good.

4. Women who wear skanky outfits to the gym. I’m talking spandex with ass hanging out and a sports bra that barely covers their boob jobs.

5. 9 a.m. Don’t people have jobs? Why is the gym so crowded at this time?

6. When there are literally 30 treadmills available and someone gets on the one right next to me. I don’t want to hear you breathing, and I don’t want you to hear me breathing.

7. My iPod runs out of battery life in the middle of a cardio workout.

8. People who walk on the treadmill with no incline at 2.5 miles/hour for an hour. That’s not really doing anything for you.

9. Chubbier men who think they’re fit. It’s great that you’re in here, but do you have to walk around with your chest puffed out and arms held out by your side?

10. Tanning booths.

11. What the hell is red light therapy?

12. Why is there a bowl of tootsie rolls on the front desk? This is a gym.

13. No towels.

14. Girls who run in packs that come in and do abs for ten minutes, talk loudly about nothing and then leave. You’re taking up floor space.

15. When someone uses a machine that’s part of your superset routine.

16. Overpriced gym drinks.

17. Why do the showers smell like a swamp?

18. Come on, wipe down the machine!

19. People who wear too much perfume or cologne.

20. Children in the gym. Shouldn’t they be playing sports or with their friends outside? You know, kid stuff?

I would love to hear others gym pet peeves. Comments welcome!

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The true cost of unhealthy eating

A ferocious hunger gripped me as I looked inside of my bag for the salad I brought to work.

Damn! I had forgotten it on the kitchen table.

I work at a TV station, which requires more time out in the field doing interviews and covering events and less time sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen three steps away from a vending machine.

Since I started the paleo diet, I continued my healthy eating at work, packing a lunch, usually salad topped with homemade chicken salad and some almonds and spanish peanuts as a snack throughout the day. I noticed how much energy I had, how, even when I was hungry, I could still go, go, go. I was less cranky, more focused. My mind seemed less clouded.

Before I started the paleo diet, I would sit at a desk after lunch and get that”2:30 feeling” that is advertised on 5 hour energy drink commercials. My eyes would droop, my mind would wander, the front of my face would feel numb with sleepiness.

Unfortunately, the day I forgot my salad, the photographer and I stopped at Krystals on the way to an interview. I devoured three Krystal “chicks” which are chicken sandwich sliders. I thought the chicken was grilled, but it was fried. The sandwich was more bread and mayo than anything else.

I had instant satisfaction after I ate the “chicks.” Tummy full, I felt high off of my first bite of bread in several months.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks; That 2:30 feeling. I fought to stay awake on the thirty minute drive to the interview. My mind seemed unclear, my thoughts would start and then trickle away into drowsiness. This was a feeling I hadn’t felt since the start of my diet.

I felt disgusting. This “food” I ate could hardly be called fuel. Yet people eat it everyday.

“Every day, 2.2 million Americans complain of being tired,” according to WebMD.

This is why.

Combined with alcohol and tobacco usage and not enough sleep, diet not only affects your waist size, it affects your mood.

It is a shackle that gratifies you instantly, addicts you, then abuses you.

“At least one-quarter of American adults eat fast food everyday,” Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, said in an interview with CBS.

 “In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music – combined,” he writes in Fast Food Nation.

Americans like it fast, easy and fried. But it is killing us.

About one-third of U.S. adults are overweight. But more shocking is that approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese, according the CDC.

An adult can make the choice to consume foods that are blatantly bad for them. But now, the younger generation is suffering because of the choice of the parents.

A study done by The New England Journal of Medicine reports that for the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancies than their parents.

A McDonalds value menu cheeseburger may only cost $1. But  this is the true cost of unhealthy eating.

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Filed under Alcohol, Feature, Features, Food, Health, News, Opinion, Paleo Diet, People, Personal

Food scents that shouldn’t be made into candles

My house is filled with candles. Candles in the bathroom, candles on the kitchen table, candles on the nightstand. My favorite scents are food related fragrances like apple and cinnamon. Those are some pretty normal, vanilla flavors. But I stumbled upon a strange website recently where you can suggest a candle scent and buy some other unique smelling candles inspired by food and drink. It’s called Hotwicks. Here’s my top five weird scents from Hotwicks both suggested and made.                                                                                                        

THE FRESH BREAD CANDLE

5.  THE FRESH BREAD CANDLE

I know people love the smell of fresh bread, but it’s kind of strange for a candle. Why don’t you just bake some bread instead?

4. THE MEAT CANDLE

“My friend’s wife is not a good person and she’s a hardcore vegetarian so when she visits my house, I would love to fill the house with the fragrance of meat… of any kind.” — Suggested by JD., RALEIGH, NC

3. THE ASPARAGUS PEE CANDLE

“This was already suggested but I want to second the idea and strongly recommend it. It’s one of the funniest smells ever.” –Suggested by Josh E., MIAMI BEACH, FL

2. THE BACON CANDLE

“Everything’s better with bacon, including your living room. Now you can turn your love of bacon into a full-blown problem with the new HOTWICKS BACON CANDLE. Burn it with THE COFFEE CANDLE and THE PANCAKE CANDLE and treat your nose to a nice breakfast.” -Hotwicks

1. THE BEER CANDLE

I feel like you might have an addiction if your burning this wick.

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Health to be shown at Fashion Week

Bravo CFDA!

This year the Council of Fashion Designers of America have set up health initiative guidelines to help raise awareness of eating disorders among young women.

The target of controversy in recent years, designers have been ridiculed for the models they send down the runway, rather than the possible faux pas they create in avant-garde pieces.

The more “voluptuous” super models of the 90s have given way to Twiggy-like inspirations in the 2000s. Designers want a walking coat hanger. Honestly, I don’t blame them. Who wants to see a piece of clothing with giant cleavage distracting from the neckline or a muffin top bulging the hem upwards?

Models are paid to have a certain body type and maintain that body type. But they must maintain it in healthy ways. I had a model friend who was 6-feet and a size zero. Her hips bones jutted out and her spine poked through her back, but she didn’t have an eating disorder. She had the runway body type. So many young girls strive for this completely unrealistic frame that only a handful of women have. 

It’s courageous for the CFDA to take on this trend of unhealthy tactics head on instead of ushering it under the rug and trying to hide any bad publicity.

And even though deterring bad publicity is probably one of the CFDA’s main concerns, it seems like they really do care about women and sending the right message through the creative and powerful medium of fashion. “We each have the power to impact the lives of women. Together, we can let the world know that diversity and Health Is Beauty are what we stand for,” Diane von Furstenberg and Steven Kolb wrote in a letter on the CFDA’s website.

Models now have to be 16 or older to walk the runway. Providing healthy snacks and a smoke free environment during shoots and fittings are other objectives. They are also working on developing workshops on eating disorders and having models seek professional help if they have an eating disorder.

Clothes are important, but the women who wear them are far more valuable.

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Now that the food cops have spoken…

 When you think of opinion pieces or the editorial section of the newspaper do you think of it as a page for uppity journalists to rant and rave about issues that really piss them off, or piss off the white, middle-age male population they write too?

To tell you the truth, that’s exactly what I think of when I read the Op-Eds.

But an editPhillip Morris, The Plain Dealerorial written by Phillip Morris about the state of nutrition in inner cities and how we can legislate diets opened my eyes to editorials. They can be revolutionary.

Morris really drills home a point at the end of his opinion, “A healthy appetite can’t be legislated. But it can be taught.”

My advice, read his piece. It’s short, but might as well say a thousand words.

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Filed under Food, Health, Opinion, Personal