Tag Archives: Holidays

The Easy 4 Day Detox

9 Jan

Thank you, Details Magazine.  There is an article in their “Health and Grooming” section in the January 2010 issue that discusses this post-holiday must:

Who says all that end-of-the-year gluttony requires months of penance? You may think you’re doomed to nibble kale until the Fourth of July, but you’re wrong. “All you need is four days to get back on track,” says New York dietitian Keri Glassman, author of The O2 Diet. “That’s enough time to reset your body.” Follow these simple tips and you’ll get rid of the bloat and maybe even find yourself thinking about fruit and vegetables instead of cheeseburger sliders.

Eat Early, Eat Often
You should have a good breakfast—no-brainer, right?—but the key is to be eating within one hour of waking. If you wait until you’re at your desk, you’re more likely to overindulge. When should you stop eating? That’s where things get interesting. Despite what your girlfriend says, it’s okay to keep feeding right up until you go to bed. “The goal is to be eating consistently,” Glassman says. “If you’re on a schedule where you have dinner at 9, that’s not so bad. By munching throughout the day, your body’s always burning calories at its best. It’s like throwing twigs onto a fire.”

[Read More: The Best Breakfast in America]

Take a Sabbatical from Sugar and Salt
Although one Oreo cookie is fine in theory, it’s hard to stop there. Sweets and alcohol often make you crave more sugar, putting your noble efforts at self-control in peril. Sodium prompts your body to retain water. It’s not enough to put down the salt shaker; beware the lunchtime deli run, too. Pickles, sliced meats, and split-pea soup are all known to pump you full of H2O.

[Read More: Ice Cream Sandwiches are Back]

Don’t Overdo the Juice Fast
Liquid diets can help you feel lighter in the short term, but maintain them for any longer than three days and you’re setting yourself up for nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, and failure. Juicers often start bingeing right after swallowing their last sip, warns dietitian Keri Gans of the American Dietetic Association. “If you’re going to try it,” she says, “don’t think you can just drink juice and then go to McDonald’s.”

[Read More: A Details Classic: Manorexics]

Give Up the Shredded Wheat
According to New York nutritionist Oz Garcia, the wheat-based starches you find in breakfast cereals are trouble. “Many men, as they move toward a better diet, think whole wheat is good for them,” he says. “But it triggers appetite and water retention. It also contributes to gaining weight around the gut and developing man boobs.” Try oats or grains like quinoa or millet instead—or get your carbs from vegetables like yams, squashes, and pumpkins.

[Read More: A User’s Guide to Man Boobs]

Bring On the Artichoke
A plate of fiber-rich lentils or chickpeas will fill you up, but so will the often overlooked—and decidely delicious—artichoke. Glassman suggests having one every afternoon. “It’s low-calorie,” she says, “and it takes a while to eat.”

[Read More: The Pills You Should Be Popping]

Don’t Be Too Spartan
When Bradley Cooper had to shed a few pounds for his upcoming role in The A-Team, he ate mostly boiled chicken, broccoli, and brown rice. Channing Tatum has streamlined his physique with the same regimen. Glassman says it’s a good plan, though a bit too ascetic. Boiling the chicken adds no fat or calories. But grilling it with a little nonstick spray and some herbs and spices adds about two calories and lots more flavor.

[Read More: Bradley Cooper Has Hollywood by the Balls]

Bite Your Tongue
As a topic of conversation, your diet restrictions are about as interesting as a grocery list. Unless your name is Oprah, no one cares that you’d kill for some lardo on wheat bread. So be a champ and keep your virtue to yourself.

[Read More: O-Face or Oprah Face?]

Turn Up the Heat
No less an expert on overindulgence than John Belushi would head to the sauna after a wild night. The Animal House star was crazy, yes, but he was no fool. One 20-minute session can improve your mood and your appearance. The heat raises your outer body temperature, boosting your circulation and making you feel euphoric, and the sweat flushes debris from your pores. “It mimics the effects of running the Central Park loop,” Oz Garcia says. Try saying that about wheatgrass.

[Read More: Find the Right Massage]

Need Motivation: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

StickK.com lets you bet against your weak, impulsive self. If you lose the wager, you fork the cash over to a friend, an enemy, or even a cause you despise—like, say, Sarah Palin 2012.

Fatbet.net—founded by two buddies trying to drop 10 pounds each—helps you set up weight-loss competitions with friends and chart the results. Those who meet their goals split the winnings.

[Read More: The Slacker Workout]

Put Down the Protein Shake
Put down the whey powder. Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, a New York weight-loss specialist, recommends breakfast shakes made from rice protein, which is less rough on the stomach. Mix two scoops of protein powder, two tablespoons of flaxseed fiber, eight ounces of water, and ice in a blender. Consume with the morning paper.

[Read More: Meal-Replacement Shakes]

The Sports Drink Myth
“Coconut water is what Gatorade wishes it was,” Oz Garcia says. It has the potassium and the sugar you need to feel restored after a workout but none of the artificial ingredients or the food coloring.

[Read More: Alex Rodriguez: Confessions of a Damned Yankee]

The Hangover Remedy
Forget hair of the dog. Come the morning after, try rehydrating with this: Fill one half of a glass with apple juice, the other half with water, and add a pinch of sea salt. “As a cure, it works,” Morrison says.

[Read More: The Best way to Drink Tequilla—Hangover Not Included]

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Screw the Holiday Blues

14 Dec

The December/January issue of Men’s Fitness magazine, with Ben Roethlisberger on the cover, has a 7-step plan to give that foul holiday mood a serious beat-down.  “Happy holidays?  Bah, humbug.  For some guys, December is actually the darkest month, says Andrew Weil, M.D. ‘There’s a contradiction between expectations of joy and reality.’ he says. (The sucky economy doesn’t help.) Conquer the problem with these simple all natural mood boosters:

1. Get your ass to the gym. It’s still the best way to prevent the holiday funk.  A 2008 study backs this up: subjects who were most fit were also the least likely to experience depression.  Now that’s “lifting” your spirits.

2.  Strike a pose. Who knew “downward dog” would do more than simply make you think of sexy time?  Yoga is also an effective treatment for depression because it helps hike up levels of the same chemicals in the brain that are targeted by many antidepressants.

3.  “Wort” off the blues. Although St. John’s has not yet been proven effective against major depression, the over-the-counter herb can help minor depression.  It’s sold as a capsule, tea, or liquid extract.

4.  Let her (or him) tickle you. Maybe laughter is the best medicine.  According to a recent study, watching a funny flick may increase your body’s production of beta-endorphins, the family of chemicals that alleviate depression.

5.  Step into the light. Soak in as much bright light during the day as possible. Or invest in a light-therapy box, which mimics natural outdoor light, causing a biochemical change that lifts your mood.

6.  Go Fish. Depressed patients have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are primarily found in fish.  Weil says that just 2 to 3 grams of fish oil a day can leave you happier.

7.  Ho, Ho, Hold on to your wallet. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones still working, this isn’t the time to splurge.  Watch your spending for the rest of the month or you may feel anxious about that monstrous credit card bill coming in January.

12 Days of (Free) Christmas…

13 Dec

The funny thing about the recession is that every magazine on the shelves is talking about how to do everything for less.  I mean everything. I will spare you some of them, but one caught my eye and I thought that it would be worth posting.  The November 2009 issue of Men’s Health magazine, the one with Jason Bateman on the cover, has a full section on how to save money during the recession and various statistics about how spending habits are changing.  One section was titled “12 things that don’t cost a cent.”  For your pleasure, here they are…

Music – listen to full-length albums at lala.com and spinner.com.

Directory assistance – Dial (800) FREE-411 for phone numbers

Television – Hulu Desktop (hulu.com/labs/huludesktop) streams shows – 30 Rock, Lost and more – from a computer’s HDMI out port to a connected HDTV.

Brains – MIT’s OpenCourseWare portal (ocw.mit.edu) provides lecture notes, project examples, homework, and tests from real classes in 35 fields, from biology to architecture to economics.

Software – Open Office (openoffice.org) has word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs that are nearly identical in look, feel and features to Microsoft Office.

Wi-Fi – know before you go with wififreespot.com, which catalogs hotels, cafes, and shops with free web surfing in your hometown or travel destination.

Grub Reviews – your paper’s bloated dining critic is limited to one meal a night, typically at an over-hyped joint.  But chowhound.com‘s user reviews help you find authentic and downright delicious spots from diners who share your tastes and budget.

News – The Wall Street Journal charges for its online content, but if you have an iPhone, you can download its free app and enjoy the same stories at no charge.

Books – Pull up public-domain books, from Twain to Dickens to Poe, on your cellphone with Project Gutenberg’s nearly 30,000 digitized, downloadable books.

Shipping – before you check out at your favorite online store, visit freeshipping.org for coupon codes that can cover the expense of shipping.

Languages – Learn to say “Where’s the bathroom?” in 36 different languages with the BBC’s online guides.

City tours – Learn from the locals with free city tours through the Global Greeter Network (globalgreeternetwork.info), which pairs groups of visitors with knowledgeable volunteers.

Hey Dads: Holiday Gift Idea #82

25 Nov

In the December 2009 issue of Esquire Magazine, legitimate gift ideas are sprinkled throughout.  Some are typical: Bose speaker systems, iPod touch, Esquire subscriptions, etc…but there was one that caught my eye.  The plain, big, round ball.  The reasoning is quite compelling. “It’s the perfect gift. The reason is, you can’t really play ball alone – you have to make friends to play with them. Playing is where all the kids learn what they need to succeed as grown-ups: how to cooperate and share, what’s fair and what isn’t. Video games don’t do that.  Not even educational ones.  And you know what? Neither does homework.  More balls, fewer books: Now you’ve got a New Year’s resolution, too.  Plus, ball-playing happens outside in the fresh air, so they are running around getting exercising while they are having the time of their lives.  I mean that.  What wouldn’t you give to be 10 years old, running across a field, laughing with your friends, kicking a ball?” Well-said.  In fact, I don’t have kids and I would consider buying one for myself or a friend as an excuse to see old buddies more often.

Champion Sports 10-inch playground ball, $7; dickssportinggoods.com

Drink Like a Dude: Winterize Your Bar

21 Nov

The December 2009 issue of GQ magazine has an interesting concept on cold-weather cocktails.  The thought here is that you eat and dress seasonally, so why shouldn’t you drink seasonally as well? For colder days what you need are drinks with depth and complexity, ones that pack a punch and warm you up but with a subtlety that won’t leave your throat on fire. Invest in these bottles and you will have fireside-worthy cocktails to last until spring (when its mango margarita time again).

1. Amaro – the perfect digestivo (try it with a couple ice cubes), this Italian liqueur really does help you digest after a big meal. If you find the standard variety too Jagermeistery, try Amaro Nonino – it’s just bitter and herby enough.

2. Ri (Rye) Whiskey – Less sweet than bourbon, rye holds up better in cocktails that call for whiskey.  A quality rye needs only an ice cube or two; for something smoother, try this… Old Fashioned: 1 sugar cube, 2 dashes of angostura bitters, 2 ounces Rye, 1 amarena cherry.  The sugar and bitters take just enough of the edge off the liquor.  Muddle them with just a little warm water and when the sugar dissolves, add the rye and some ice, stir vigorously and drop in a cherry – preferably not the neon red kind.

3. AppleJack – The world’s only maker of AppleJack – a cider-based spirit – is Laird’s, a distillery in New Jersey that’s been producing it since the 1600’s.  And the number one reason to stock your bar with it is to make the following…Jack Rose: 2 ounces AppleJack, 1 ounce lime juice, 1/2 ounce grenadine.  Like the sidecar, this is one of the most deceptively boozy cocktails you’ll ever drink five of.  And its not the same when made with easier-to-find apple brandy.  Shake the ingredients with ice, then strain, sip, and settle in for the night.

4. Red Vermouth – Vermouth might play a bit part, but it’s the difference between an awesome cocktail and an overly saccharine one. Dolin, a vermouth from the French town of Chambery that has just become available in the US, is so light and dry you should consider drinking it on the rocks with a twist of lemon.  Or use it to make a manhattan, the ultimate cold-weather cocktail.

5.  Brandy – Distilled from grapes and aged in French oak, this brandy is not unlike Cognac – smooth, rich and ideal for the sidecar, one of the most drinkable and warming cocktails around.  Sidecar: 1 and a half ounces of brandy, 3/4 ounce of Cointreau, 3/4 ounce of lemon juice, orange peel.  Shake the first three ingredients with ice, strain into a glass, and garnish with the orange peel.  Also try squeezing the peel over a lit match while holding it above the glass.  This gives the drink’s surface a thin layer of concentrated orange flavor, but it mostly impresses guests.

If you would like information on any of these, feel free to contact us or pick up the December 2009 issue of GQ Magazine, on newsstands now.

Turkey Day Tricks: Gourmet Leftovers (Volume 1)

21 Nov

It is here.  The season of festivities, family and an average of a 10 lb weight gain is finally here.  Many men have learned how to master the beautiful bird but not many people put much focus on the leftovers.  Sure, everyone eats them, if there are any left to eat, but how do you make them gourmet? The November 2009 issue of Men’s Journal, the one with Tim McGraw on the cover, tells us how to do it.  They feature 3 specific recipes.  In the spirit of saving time and space, as well as keeping you in suspense, I will feature them one at a time.  So for those of you for which Black Friday is less about the shopping and more about the aftermath of success, first up is Turkey Gumbo…

Turkey Gumbo (Serves 8-10)

This recipe is so good, that you may want to consider cooking an extra turkey next Thursday  for this day-after special. John Besh, author of the new cookbook  My New Orleans suggests a smoked  turkey carcass, but any will do, and lard instead of vegetable oil.

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass, with all of the meat removed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or duck fat or lard)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small can dices tomatoes
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, diced
  • 1/2 lb smoked pork sausage, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp creole or cajun seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups okra, diced
  • meat from turkey, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • Tabasco
  • 1 qt rice

HOW TO: “for the roux, heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat, add flour, and allow it to slowly brown; stir constantly for half an hour.  Once brown, lower the heat to medium and cook slowly until it looks like dark chocolate.  Add onions and stir well. After 5 minutes, add celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, sausage and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes before adding carcass and covering with water.  Allow to boil before lowering the heat to a simmer, then add Worchestershire, creole seasoning, bay leaves, and okra.  Simmer for 1.5 hours, occasionally skimming the fat off the top. Remove carcass, add meat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, green onions and Tabasco to taste.  Serve over rice.”