Tag Archives: women

Guest Blog Post: Rules of Dating By Relationship Expert Jenny Jen

24 Nov

[source]

Happy Hump Day fellow Healthy Chicks! Today I am proud to entertain you with a guest post from one of my favorite readers/fellow blogger Jenny Jen. She is one Blonde Bronzed Twenty Something who knows the ins and outs of relationships, dating and men (something I am totally clueless about). Alas, let me give the floor (er, blog) over to her! Jen, you may take it from here…

Healthy as we might be with other aspects in our life, we’re not so much with men.  We are told to go for the good guy, yet fall for the bad.  We are meant to walk away from a relationship without looking back, not wanting the ass hole even more.  We are supposed to take the oh-so-obvious hints that he’s just not that into us, but instead we focus on the signs that show us he is.  We my friends are twentysomething women who – although healthy and in control in other areas of our life – lack the same nutrients and wholesome diet in our dating life.

Well consider me your relationship trainer.  I’m going to give you the core tips to energize your love life.  So are we ready girls?  Time to swap those Nike runner’s for a pair of Manolo thigh-high boots and start walking:

1)     Keep a ‘dating diary’:  The same way you would record the calories and eating items you intake to notice patterns and how each food makes you feel after consumption, do the same with men.  We often forget the bad and overwrite it with rosy stories that are far from accurate.  Keep this journal to understand your patterns, in hopes to prevent making the same mistakes again.

2)     Everything in moderation:  We are always told that too much of something is never a good thing.  If he uses excuses such as work, studying, moving, etc., realize that someone who wants to see you will fit you into his schedule, no matter what.  I’ve dated people in high demand jobs such (think doctors and hockey players), yet they still managed to make time for me.  Got it?  Alternately, be aware of spending too much time with the man of your affection.   If you’re together 24/7, you likely don’t have room for other aspects of your life and wellbeing since he has become it.  Neither of the two choices are a healthy alternative.  Instead, indulge in him but make sure to make time for yourself and your friends, because at the end of the day, if Casa Nova and you break it off, you and your friends are the only one who can pick up the pieces. 

3)     Work it:  You’re not going to burn calories, release endorphins and start noticing changes on your waistline unless you start working out.  Wish as we might, sitting at home playing on our Macbooks won’t get us into shape.  Same with dating.  Though we can try to peruse the net for potential suitors, it’s going out, meeting people and putting ourselves in a social environment that will get us to reach our goal.  So put on a hot little number, head out and make it happen.

4)     Avoid Toxins:  You wouldn’t dare ruin your diet with something that was unhealthy or distructive to it, so why would you do that you with your men?  You know that hung over feeling you experience the morning (and day, and evening) after drinking?  Those are the effects of toxins in your body.  Toxic relationships are destructive to your well being.  Not only do they halt motivation and make you less productive, but they also deter others from you (no one wants to get toxins).  And deny as you will that the boy is toxic, listen to those around you who refer to him (and who you become with him) as such.  No one should be bringing your fabulous, foxy-self down.  A partner is meant to bring out the best in you, not worst.

We wouldn’t settle for a bad gym, we wouldn’t feel good from a half-assed work out, and we certainly wouldn’t feel clear headed and airy if we ate a meal full of junk.  If you put in the same thought and awareness as you do with your health, I can assure you you will find that grade A relationship you so desire. 

-Jenny Jen

Thanks for such a wonderful, fun post Jen! You may contact Jen on Twitter @BlondeBronzed, read her hilarious, informative relationship blog here and email her at blondebronzedtwentysomething@hotmail.com. 

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Don’t Be Afraid to Give Advice (Or Take it)!

6 Oct

When I was younger, I used to take advice (even kind, constructive criticism) extremely bad. I hated when people offered me “lessons,” different perspectives or new ways for me to do things. What was wrong with the way I was doing things? When I was in Elementary School (heck, probably up to when I was in high school), I’d throw fits at my dad for trying to teach me how to play basketball better. Poor guy. Being the high school basketball star he was, he was just trying to throw his daughter a few innocent pointers. Little did he know I’d throw a temper tantrum and scream at him because of it. Yeesh, you’d think I’d at least say “thank you.” After all, I was terrible at basketball. I couldn’t make a lay up and I’d lob the ball full-speed at the backboard. All he was trying to do was help, but I wouldn’t let him. Ever. (sorry Big Guy) Needless to say, I never became star of the basketball team in high school. But maybe I could’ve?

Now, I definitely take advice a little more openly, as we should. Imagine if we all treated people who offered their words of wisdom as I treated my dad with basketball. It’d be a scary world, huh? 

Today, I witnessed this kind of constructive advice at it’s best. I was at the gym for my first day working out at Benefitness, an all women’s gym in my area. I know, all women’s gym, weird huh? It was actually surprisingly refreshing! I didn’t have to worry about big macho muscle men “working in” for a set or staring at themselves in the mirror, and I didn’t have to worry if I looked *pretty* as I sweat away (OK, I never really look pretty at the gym anyway). AND I had no distractions as I sped away on the elliptical machine, although this may be a bad thing as good-looking men usually make me run harder (I’m crazy and hormonal, I know). 

Back to the point. In the midst of all my non-distractions, I let myself drift away into a workout high, that I almost didn’t realize the woman next to me was trying to get my attention. I was dumbbell squat thrusting like I’ve never done before and nothing was going to stop me. Then I realized the woman next to me was still staring at me, this time with concern (and hesitation). “Excuse me, I’m sorry, I usually try not to say anything, but I just have to tell you something.” Shit. At first, I thought I was in her way or I was breaking some sort of gym “rule.” But indeed it wasn’t that at all. “You’re really going to hurt your back the way you are doing that exercise because you’re using your back to pull up. Maybe try a lighter weight. What you’re using is quite a lot for your size,” she continued. She stared at me in fear, waiting for my rebuttal or annoyance of her “interrupting” my workout. But instead, I was thrilled she spoke up to me, and shout out a sincere “Thank you.” And I really meant it. I was so happy that someone was brave enough to tell me what I was doing wrong, and then further advise me on how to improve to do it right. 

I went on to tell her to please not apologize as I was truly thankful of her tip. After all, it is my back we are talking about here (something I want to be strong and in place when I’m older) so of course I don’t want to be doing anything that’s going to hurt it. Of course, it also had to do with how she said it. If she came over to me and ripped the weights out my hands and told me I was inexperienced and shouldn’t be in the gym, I wouldn’t have been too happy. But she offered me some advice, then gave me a solution. What’s the harm in that? It’s a shame that we feel nervous or wary to give other women advice, because they may go all Monster on you (like I did on my dad). If you have a different perspective to offer someone, say it. If you know someone is doing something harmful to their bodies, tell them. If you see a coworker doing something incorrectly, help them. Really, we need to learn to be more open to one another, and learn to help other women. At the same time, please be open to advice when it’s coming your way as well. It’s not an attack, it’s a different way of doing something and we need to learn how to accept that. A personal attack is a whole ‘nother issue, but constructive criticism should be praised, not shunned. 

Do you get touchy when someone offers you advice? Are you ever afraid to speak up to other women? How do you handle constructive criticism? 

Bring Your Inner Beauty OUT

7 Sep

This morning after breakfast, I went into the bathroom for my usual makeup routine. Moisturizer. check. Few dabs of liquid concealer. Check. Touch of powder. Check. Mascara. Check. Eyeliner. Check. Then I saw some bright pinkish/purply lipstick at the bottom of the bag, something I haven’t used for a verrryy long time. After all, I’m a pretty simple girl and normally just stick with clear lip gloss or vaseline if anything on my lips. But today was different. This lipstick had a story behind it. “bibo,” it read in cursive across the outside. “bibo? what the hell is bibo?” Then I remembered what it stood for when my mom gave it to me a few years ago: bringing inner beauty out. 

So what did I do? I grabbed ahold of that lipstick, twisted it up and applied some on my lips. Sure, it’s bright and a little bit much but I was going to rock this lipstick for all that it’s worth today. That’s exactly when I decided that I would also make today dedicated for bringing my own inner beauty out. No feeling fat. No feeling sorry for myself. No comparing myself to other women. No, today I will rock my purple lipstick, throw on a cute outfit, smile and feel absolutely beautiful from the inside out. 

So what exactly does that mean? What the heck is bringing your inner beauty out? How does one take the beautiful woman who lies inside of them and bring that out? Well after some serious thinking, I decided what that means to me, and think you too can learn to appreciate your inner beauty…and let that shine loudly from the inside out.

Bringing your inner beauty out is…

*Eating that fresh, homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookie or slice of pizza and not feeling guilty about it for the rest of the day. It won’t make you fatter. You still are beautiful

*Putting on that adorable dress that hugs your curves and thinking, “I feel good. I look great in this. My body is wonderful the way it is. I’m going to rock this dress.” 

*Dabbing on some hot red lipstick (or purple in my case), and smiling at every person you walk by on the street

*Telling someone you admire that they are beautiful rather than envying them. Jealousy is ugly. Appreciation is beautiful. 

*Writing a love note to your friend/husband/mom/new crush

*Giving a stranger the 25 cents he needs to cover his coffee, or giving up your seat on the train without thinking twice about it. 

*Covering up that big, ugly zit with a little cover up, and moving on with it. It’ll be gone tomorrow, and here’s a little secret: no one else is looking at it. Go out and enjoy the day! 

*Seeing yourself for who you are when you look in the mirror, rather than what your pant size is or how big your bags under your eyes are today

*Telling that stupid number on the scale to “f*ck you!” That number doesn’t define who you are. Don’t let it ruin the rest of your day. 

*Not feeling sorry for yourself because you are a single girl surrounded by COUPLES, but instead concentrating on Y.O.U and everything you have to offer. Just try to smile and be happy. Men are drawn to happy, confident girls.  (I sometimes struggle with this one, but am working on it). 

*Walking up with confidence to the guy you think is “too good for you” or “too hot for you.” He’s not. Do it. 

*Not beating yourself up over a little arm/thigh jiggle and instead priding yourself for having a body that allows you to move/dance/run/twirl/play. 

*Laughing uncontrollably with your friends, and knowing it’s OK to be silly and act like kids some days, or every day. 

*Telling yourself ten things you absolutely love about yourself and would never want to change. 

*When you’re feeling down about yourself, throw on a comfy outfit and go lay in the grass…in the sun…with a coffee or tea to go. 

What does beautiful mean to you? What’s your advice on bringing your inner beauty out?

Finding Your Healthy Passion

5 Sep

[source]

A few months ago, one of my friends came to me in distress. “Rach, I’m just so jealous of you that you have a passion. I feel like I’m not passionate about anything,” she said in distress. “Sure you are. You are one of the most loving people I know, and there are tons of things you enjoy!” “I guess. But I just don’t get excited about anything. I don’t have any true passions.” 

This made me sad at the time, as I wanted her to open her eyes and see how much this world has to offer, and more importantly how much she has to offer the world. It was especially hard for me to understand, because she was right: I am passionate about lots and lots of things; some would maybe even say I’m TOO passionate. So how could my friend not find one little thing to get excited for, to make her feel good about herself? I wanted deeply for her to figure that out. 

Fast forward a few months to this email I received from that same friend: “I’m sure you all know that I’ve ALWAYS bitched about not having a ‘passion’…and I think I know something that will make me excited and that is learning how to sail! I’ve always loved the lake/ocean/water/boats/etc so I think this will be fun and there are some somewhat cheap sailing lessons right here on the potomac!” she wrote. She also mentioned how she started a book club with some work friends (and hosted the first meeting), began taking hot yoga classes, and had been taking a lot of trips with friends. You could hear her excitement (and passion) in her email; it was THAT loud and vibrant. Honestly, I couldn’t be more happy for this particular friend (you know who you are) because she finally saw something she had all along, and was brave enough to dig deeper in order to seek it out. Bravo!

As for me, I get silly, obnoxiously excited for almost everything. Sometimes I feel like I still have some (or most) of my 10-year-old self locked up in my 23-year-old body. Take today for instance. I’m sitting here like a little kid on Christmas because I get to go grocery shopping in an hour with my roommate…to TRADER JOE’S (my favorite place on earth.) Not only do I love buying fresh, healthy eats for the week, but the free snack counter is one of my favorite parts of the trip. I anticipate what it’ll be every time…it’s like a secret goodie bag. Seriously, it’s my favorite. thing. ever. 

Lately, I’m also super excited about my new love for running (I ran another 5-miler today-yay!), crafting up innovative recipes, my new ‘n’ improved blog look and mostly MY RECIPE BOOK that I can’t wait to get published. As you can see, I have a lot to be happy and passionate about, and so should YOU!

What are some things you’re particularly passionate about, or simply little things that make you extra-excited? 

Healthy…Dudes?

4 Sep

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from men. There are those who read my blog religiously, others who enjoy what I have to say about women, and some who just simply like the concept of it and want to know more. While my blog is called “Healthy Chicks” and mostly geared for, well, chicks, I suppose much of the advice I give can be for both men or women, really. 

So for all of you men out there: don’t be ashamed to read my blog and give me suggestions. In fact, I’m flattered that both men and women can enjoy what I have to say. No, I’m not going to change the name of my blog to “Healthy Chicks ‘n’ Dicks,” nor will I suddenly become an expert on the male species, but I do welcome readers of all backgrounds and genders. 

When it all comes down to it, both men and women can follow a happy, healthy lifestyle…and who knows, maybe we can learn from one another? I’ve got to be honest: I’ve flipped through Men’s Health magazine, and actually find it interesting what they have to say about men, health and even relationships. Not to mention the majority of my friends from home are all dudes, so I’ve learned a lottttt about the way they think, act, and treat women (sometimes I wished I’d  had earmuffs for). Regardless, it’s neat to hear different perspectives from people young, old, man or woman. 

So I don’t care if you’re a 16-year-old teen girl, a mother of three, or a 54-year-old man (hi dad). I welcome you to read, comment, criticize, or love my blog all the same. 

What are some life lessons (on relationships, health,  fitness, love, whatever) that you’ve learned from a dude? 

The Power of One Little Compliment

2 Sep

Today when I was ordering my food at Panera, the barista caught me by surprise. While normally it’s just the usual place your order, fake smile, take the buzzer and go, today was different. “I absolutely love your dress,” the woman said. “It looks so cute and comfy!” Not only did the lack of robotic communication take me by surprise, but I was also completely flattered. She then continued by telling me the salad I ordered was a good choice, and that I seem like one healthy girl (little did she know I’m a “Healthy Chick” after all). Anyway, back to the point: this stranger’s simple compliments completely made my afternoon. And they weren’t even over-the-top or extravagant in any way. I walked back to find a seat beaming in confidence, just because of two little nice lines from a stranger.

This got me thinking about how I wish we saw more of these kind exchanges more often in life. Too many times throughout the day, I see people frowning and looking completely pissed off, or watch as people blurt out rude comments without thinking. I see it every day in line at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Yelling. Shouting. Snide, sarcastic comments. Impatience. It’s as if people have completely forgotten how to have friendly conversation, or somehow feel as if they’re superior in some way. It’s sad, really. Sometimes I wish I could smack some sense into these people or force a smile onto their face. Seriously, it just makes me plain angry.

Did you ever stop to think what a teensy weensy smile or one little simply compliment could do for someone else’s day? I know it sounds cliche and we’ve heard it a million times, but still you don’t see enough of this “happy talk” anymore. And you know what? The best part about it is it’s completely effortless.

So I challenge you to turn your iPod off during your next commute to work and smile at that stranger. Or actually engage in some sort of conversation with the guy that bags your groceries every. single. time. Compliment a woman you admire for her true beauty. Really, it can’t hurt. And I can bet you that your tiny, little act of kindness will actually make some sort of difference on anothers day…even if you can’t SEE it right away…

What are certain kind exchanges you’ve had lately, or something someone told you that completely brightened your day?

How Pilates Can Turn Your Life Around (Feature Interview with Jennifer Blaine of Jennifer Pilates)

2 Sep

I have to admit: While I consider myself a health and fitness enthusiast, I know very little about Pilates. I tried a class a few years ago at my local gym and boy was it a challenge (in a good way of course). Let’s just say every participant in the class was 100% ripped (especially the instructor), and my abs hurt for the next three days.

However, that one little class is the extent of my Pilates knowledge. But there has got to be more to it than that! After all, magazines rave about how it’s the most amazing workout for your body, and celebrities swear by it. So what is it that makes this exercise so darn great?

Since clearly I don’t know the answer to that, I interviewed Pilates instructor Jennifer Blaine of Jennifer Pilates to find out more about this mysterious, miracle exercise. With studio locations in Boston and on Cape Cod Jennifer truly does live and breathe Pilates. Alas, I’ll give the floor to her…

RC: When were you first introduced to Pilates?

JB: I was introduced to Pilates in 1997 after being in a car accident in Boulder, Colorado. I had such severe internal tissue damage and Pilates was actually recommended from my doctor. So I rehabbed with it for about two years…

RC: Wow, you’ve come so far! How did you get to where you are today?

JB: Well one day one of my instructors couldn’t show up to class and asked if I could sub in, since I’d been there for two years. So I kind of helped out a little bit that day, and from then on Pilates changed my life…I left my corporate job and dove into Pilates. It really was a blessing in disguise.

RC: That sure is. What’s unique about your background?

JB: I’m trained as a classical third-generation master Pilates instructor, derived from the classical methods of Joseph Pilates himself from the “Harvard of Pilates Schools” The Pilates Center of Boulder, Colorado.

RC: And you have locations in both Boston and Cape Cod? Or do you just stay here in Boston?

JB: I’m in Boston [at the Newbury Street location] three days a week and on the Cape (at the Osterville location) two days a week.

RC: Wow, that’s great. You’re a busy girl! What’s something you would tell someone who knows NOTHING about Pilates (like myself) or may be weary to try it out?

JB: Pilates is great because virtually anyone can do it. I have clients who are 8 years old and clients who are 90 years old. It’s especially great for people looking for something new.

Pilates works from the core outward so in one session you’re working your entire body from head to toe. There’s no messing around…you’re in, you’re working and then you’re out. It’s just so wonderful…I don’t even feel like I’m working out. With Pilates you really can get a great workout in just an hour.

RC: That’s wonderful! I know some people who spend hours at the gym only to see no results. How is Pilates beneficial to your body?

JB: Well, after 10 sessions, you’re really feeling a difference in your body. After 20 sessions, you’re beginning to SEE a difference—losing inches, toning, strengthening, and gaining stamina. Then after 30 sessions you completely change your body and really see such a big difference. After all, the sessions are 50% stretching, 50% strengthening.

RC: What is some of the feedback you’ve heard from clients? Any unique stories?

JB: I have a golf pro who has been following me from my studios forever because I changed his golf game. Everyone asks him, “What happened? What did you do?” Focusing on the core outward really changed his body and his game…his ball is now going further and straighter.

I’ve also worked with downhill skiers and tennis pros in helping them stay in tune with their bodies. Even clients returning after having twins who are trying to find their abdominals again. Pilates is great for everyone!

RC: That’s amazing that it’s extremely versatile, good for both men and women. What are your other hobbies and interests besides Pilates?

JB: I’m an avid golfer and an avid tennis player. I also enjoy skiing, hiking, boating and sailing. I’m a real outdoorsy girl. The ocean is a big part of my life in the summer and skiing is a big part in the wintertime. And so is Pilates of course. I practice what I preach!

RC: Definitely, it makes all the difference when you’re doing what you love. Thanks Jennifer!

Purchase your very own private session with Jennifer Blaine today! Click here for more info.

[Interview also featured at CoupMe.com]

Seven Simple Stress Tamers for the Working Woman

4 Aug

When you work 9 to 5 (or 8 to 4 or all freakin’ day long) every day, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get stressed out from time to time. With deadlines, nonstop buzzing phones, grueling assignments, and noisy coworkers, you’d have to be non-human not to let the stress monster get to you every once in a while. I know for me, I don’t let stress affect me very often, but when it hits me, it hits me reallllll hard. So what are we to do? The only places you want to be right now are your bed, the beach or on a massage table, but you’re stuck in the office for at least five more hours. Doomed? Not just yet. Use these seven simple de-stressing tips and you’ll be back to your perky, happy, stress-free self in no time!

1. Remember to Breathe: Sometimes it’s just as simple as taking a few deep breaths once in a while. Breathe in, breathe out. There you go! Feel better? If you work in a small office, where people won’t judge you, take a few moments to lay down on your back and close your eyes (think: final relaxation phase in Yoga). It feels heavenly!

2. Have a large supply of tea on hand at all times: The best thing about my office is that we have a shelf fully dedicated to tea: black tea, green tea, pomegranate green tea, breakfast teas, you name it. And even better: We have an in-house tea expert who makes his own loose leaf tea right here in the office! Lucky me got to enjoy his creations two times this week, a chai tea and a combination of Jasmine Dragon pearls and a Rooibos. Purely delicious…and if that doesn’t tame stress I don’t know what will!

3. Bring a stress ball to work: Seriously, these little stress balls work wonders! If you don’t want to buy one, you can make them with a balloon and baking flour like the good old days in Girl Scouts. Crunching up paper, punching your desk (lightly) and chewing gum also helps. Just don’t smack your lips too loudly, and never punch a coworker!

4. Remember to Eat: Sometimes, when you’re ultra stressed out, you forget to do one of the most important things: EAT! Make sure to eat a few healthy snacks throughout the day (apple with peanut butter, string cheese, fresh fruit, carrot sticks and hummus), as well as a wholesome lunch. Stuck in the office ’til God knows when? Have a few go-to eats on hand, like dried fruit and nuts, bananas, yogurt, or some whole grain bread for emergency situations (i.e. deadline change).

5. Squeeze in an afternoon gym sesh or quick walk: I know lots of people who squeeze in a quickie gym session during their lunch break instead of heading out to Panera with the rest of the crew. Why don’t you do the same? Lunch can wait ’til your desk; your wellness can’t (unless you plan on doing push ups under your chair). If you don’t have the luxury of a nearby gym, take a mini stroll outside to get some fresh air and clear your head. The other day, I was extra stressed, so I took a simple 5-minute walk outside, and when I came back I felt MUCH better and much more productive.

6. Know When to Say “No”: Of course, it’s great to take on lots of tasks and help out a coworker, but when you are drowning in work of your own, it’s OK to say N-O once in a while, politely of course. Explain that you are extremely busy with your assignments at the moment, but can help out later during the day, or find someone else who has the time (and energy) to help out.

7. Change Up Your Location: If you work in a job where you’re always sitting (like me), stand up a few times throughout the day to get the blood flowing and your mind clearing. On the run all day bouncing from appointment to appointment? Do the opposite! Sit down on that enticing park bench for a few minutes or eat your lunch at the cafe (instead of in the street) for once!

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