Body & Soul
Mother-Daughter Team Launches Cosmetics Product
Body & Soul
The Great Joy Ride
Dr. Dorree Lynn • July 26, 2011
Wanna know a secret? Grownups, even some very grownup grownups, are playing…with sex toys! In fact, for couples and singles alike, there is a revolution occurring for people over 50. Adult sex toys, pornography, erotic literature, game playing, and other pleasure products and practices have become much more mainstream than ever before. This is good news for those in good health, as sex toys can add fun and excitement to adult life. And it’s even better news for those in ill health because of new products available to help make sex easier, possible, and more satisfying for those with health challenges—like eyeglasses and hearing aids for the bed.
You’re Never Too Old to Play with Toys. Whatever your situation or age, jazzing up your sex life with sex toys
and perhaps pornography can be a great way to feel vitally alive and sexy for all your years. Single folks
may find that a little help from a manufactured friend can be a welcome addition. And for couples in long-term relationships, some added spice is always nice. While no sex gadget can fix a broken relationship, experimenting with sex toys, erotic books, educational sex films, role playing, and perhaps even working with a sex or relationship therapist can be very helpful for lifting an otherwise good relationship out of a passion slump.
The Joys of Toys As We Age.
While vibrators are the most popular after-50 sex toys, there are many other passion playthings on the market today. Now that we are living longer, it’s the perfect time to incorporate adventure (and convenience) into your sex life. After all these years, we’ve finally arrived at the joys of sex unzipped. Adults of advanced years are grownup enough to enjoy their sex lives to the fullest, and they are going for it in droves.
Researchers attribute the widespread use of adult sex toys to easier availability and a cultural shift away from the bad boy, X-rated sex toy industry. New Internet sites for sex products aimed at mainstream couples now feature images of middle-aged models and realistic sex scenes. Women, as well as men, are buying more sex toys and pleasure products than ever before, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by the adult novelties industry. In fact, several companies now market exclusively to postmenopausal women. In many regions of the country, Tupperware parties have given way to adult toy sales gatherings, almost always attended and led by women. Not only are women buying and using more sex toys, but the sales of erotic novels are up, even in a slumping economy. An entire flourishing industry now markets erotica especially for older women.
Overcoming shyness and shame is part of the way to keep those hormones healthy. If you don’t know where to shop, you might be surprised by what you find in your local Target, Walgreen’s, or department store under body back massagers (Use your imagination.). Even local drug stores and supermarkets now carry vaginal lubricants. Read the label, and make sure to use one that’s water-soluble. This kind of between-the-sheets shopping can be useful as well as fun.
Try some of these toys as surprise stocking stuffers. There are hundreds of thousands of sex toys on the market today. With a little creativity and fun, you can come up with all kinds of ways to spice up your love life just in time for the holiday chill!
People are more successful at achieving their New Year’s Resolutions than widely believed. In fact, a study found the success rate of resolutions is ten times higher than the success rate of adults desiring to change without making a resolution.
Half of American adults make New Year’s Resolutions. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, researchers found half of the people who made New Year’s Resolutions to quit smoking, lose weight, or start an exercise program were still successful at their goals six months later. The study, which compared people who carried out their resolutions and those who didn’t, clarified a few important things about how people successfully change.
They found desire to change and introspection didn’t make a difference. What made the difference were actions. While unsuccessful resolvers talked a lot about their problem, successful resolvers actively worked toward their goal. They controlled their surroundings, avoided difficult situations and rewarded themselves for changing.
If you want to lose weight, find strategies you can easily work into your lifestyle. Don’t try to make sweeping overhauls that are doomed to fail. Your goals should be realistic, specific and simple. Try just a few of the 192 tips excerpted from my book Diet Simple:
Minesweep for Calorie Bombs
Get rid of the foods in your house that you have a problem controlling.
Bottom Line: If that saves just one 500 calorie binge per week, you could lose 7 pounds in a year.
The numbers tell the story: 6 ounces of prime rib is 600 calories, sirloin is 450, salmon is 300, white fish is 180 calories. Choosing seafood over fatty red meat could save at least 300 calories per meal.
Bottom Line: Do it four nights a week and lose 18 pounds in a year.
Irritate the Waiter
Shake up the usual order of things in a restaurant by ordering a salad or soup first, eating it, then ordering your entree. This will take the edge off your appetite so that you’ll order more modestly. Count on saving at least 400 calories per night out.
Bottom Line: If you “irritate the waiter” just once a week, that adds up to losing 6 pounds a year.
Hit the Ground Running
Wake up in the morning. Yawn. Roll out of bed, go to the bathroom, have a drink of water, and slip on some exercise clothes. Don’t check e-mail or phone messages. Start moving. Now! Right away! Exercising first thing in the morning is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And it’s over with before you’re even awake!
Bottom Line: Do it for just 15 minutes a day, and lose 10 pounds in a year!
Get Sexy Lingerie
After accomplishing just one of these strategies, reward yourself—or ask your spouse to—with something that’s not a box of chocolates or an elaborate dinner out. Make the substitution just once a week and you’ll save at least 1,200 calories.
Bottom Line: Lose 18 pounds in a year.
Successful weight loss is a lot like being successful at anything in life. Set a goal or resolution, plan concrete steps which will take you there and anticipate and avoid pitfalls while rewarding yourself along the way. Above all: Know thyself and plan appropriately!
Regardless of Oscar Wilde’s belief that resolutions are “pure vanity; their result absolutely nil,” you can be successful at achieving your New Year’s Resolution!
Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D. is a weight loss and nutrition consultant with a 20-year private practice in Georgetown. She is a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of, Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations (LifeLine Press)
Communication Is Not the Key
Yes, you read that correctly! People always say communication is the key to improving your relationship, but clearly, that’s not true. We’re already always communicating. Yelling is communicating, abuse is communicating, the raised eyebrows of countless unsaid criticisms are communicating, unfulfilled sex is communicating, and bickering over who didn’t put the top on the peanut butter jar or why the toothpaste was squeezed the wrong way is communicating. And we can probably agree that little of any of that helps to improve relationships, feel close, or have great sex.
The real key is honest, positive communication that renders your relationship better for both of you, so that you feel more understood, appreciated, connected, bonded, trusting, and/or turned-on. However, honest, positive communication does not always mean being nice. It does mean learning how to be truthful about your own needs without purposely being hurtful, and actively listening to what your partner has to say without getting wounded every time he or she tells you something you would rather not hear.
Truth and authenticity are never easy to achieve–they require a fairly good understanding of yourself and the courage to reveal your inner workings. Everyone wants to feel understood, especially by his or her lover. But since few of us understand ourselves all of the time, how do we learn to help our partners understand us, no less learn how to better understand them? It is a process that requires practice and possibly help. If this were something you could learn in ten easy steps, everyone would be doing it overnight. The truth is that honest, positive communication takes much skill, awareness, effort, and sometimes also the help of a good counselor or therapist; most new learning takes some guidance.
The Science of Slimming, Satisfying, Sumptuous Soups
I love soups… Warm… Filling… Comforting… Psychologically Satisfying. What could be better right now than curling up with a hearty, delicious bowl of, say, Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Ginger, Michel Richard’s Chicken Mushroom and Barley Soup, Spiced Red Lentil Soup? And it doesn’t hurt that studies show soups make it very easy to lose weight.
Classic studies have found that as long as the volume of a food is high, people can feel full with fewer calories. In one study, researchers varied the water content in three different first courses to see how it would affect peoples’ intake at the main course. The study subjects were fed either chicken rice casserole, chicken rice casserole served with a glass of water, or chicken rice soup, which is basically the casserole with water/broth added. They found the subjects who ate the soup consumed 26 percent less—about 100 calories fewer—at the main course, compared to the other conditions.
Researchers surmise that a large food volume caused by water, even without added calories, helps us feel more satisfied for several reasons. It causes stomach stretching and slows stomach emptying, stimulating the nerves and hormones that signal feelings of fullness. Just seeing a large volume of food can increase your ability to feel satisfied by it, even though the calories are relatively low. Finally, the larger a meal and the longer a meal goes on, your satisfaction declines and you lose interest in completing it. Water is the component in food that has the largest influence on how much you eat. This study, and many others like it, finds eating a high-water-content, low-calorie first course like soup enhances satisfaction and reduces overall calorie intake.
Start lunch or dinner with a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup or turn main courses into soups by adding water or broth. Save 200 calories a day! Do this every day and lose twenty pounds in one year. Wasn’t that SIMPLE? And oh, so painless!
Michel Richard’s Chicken, Mushroom and Barley Soup
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Small Onions, Peeled and Diced
1 Pound Mushrooms, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
2 Quarts Unsalted Chicken Stock (defatted)
2 Tbsp Lite Soy Sauce
6 Tbsp Pearl Barley
4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
4 Large Chicken Breasts or Thighs, boned, skinned and sliced into bite-size pieces, at room temperature
About 1-1/2 Cup (about 3 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until translucent for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high and cook uncovered until lightly browned, for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, barley and garlic. Simmer gently for 45 minutes to cook barley and then blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. (This can be prepared ahead, cooled, covered and set aside at cool room temperature for up to four hours or refrigerated for several days.)
To serve, bring the soup to a boil, add chicken, reduce heat and simmer just until the chicken becomes opaque, for about two to three minutes. Ladle into four soup plates. Pass Parmesan, if desired.
1,200 calories for the entire pot of soup
Michel Richard is the owner and chef of award-winning Michelle Richard Citronelle in Georgetown.
4 to 8 Servings
1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Medium Potato
6 Cups Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock), fat removed
1 Cup 1% Milk
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
8 leaves Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Slice the white part of the leeks, cut the cauliflower into florets and set aside. Heat canola oil in an iron skillet over medium heat. Add sliced leeks, stirring frequently for about ten minutes until soft. Stir in the stock, cauliflower and potato. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes or until vegetables are soft. When mixture has cooled, puree in a blender or food processor, and add the milk. Serve hot in the cool weather, cold in the hot weather. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.
700 calories in the entire pot of soup
Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., is passionate about helping people transform their health and their lives. Her book, Diet Simple, is called the “Un-Diet” by The Washington Post, and “The only good nutritionally balanced and easy-to-follow diet book” by Good Housekeeping Magazine. She also custom designs nutrition and weight loss programs. Find her book on Amazon
Scandinavian Midsummer: Feast the Night Away
Diet Simple (June 2011, LifeLine Press)
Swedish cuisine is the ultimate “nouvelle” cuisine. It is simple, fresh, and is naturally local and seasonal. It’s elegant, yet down-to-earth, which is also a perfect description of the Swedish people, and even Swedish design.
I’ve had a life-long love affair with Sweden, its culture, cuisine and people. I’m so grateful that finally the world has caught on that my beloved Sweden is a recognized culinary destination.
The daughter of a Swedish mother and an American father, I’ve been visiting Sweden since I was a little girl. During my regular visits, I soaked in every possible aspect of Swedish food and cooking. I took many fishing trips in the North Sea on my Uncle Olle’s small motor boat. I received early lessons on cleaning, smoking, grilling, pickling – and any other method one could name – of preparing fresh fish.
I was raised in the Swedish culinary tradition. I’ve picked wild blueberries, strawberries and mushrooms in the Swedish archipelago, then watched as my grandmother (Mormor) and Aunt Ingrid prepared treats with the bounty. Growing up, I and my mother dined regularly on crepes with lingonberries and cream – one of my favorite dinners (though now I use yogurt instead of cream! Naturligtvis!). I’ve delighted in all the unique foods my family introduced me to: the grainy rye breads, the special cheeses and yogurts, the smoked reindeer meat, the delicate, sweet, and tiny Swedish shrimps, caviar, crayfish, and of course, meatballs and lingonberry sauce!
If you are not a Swede or Scandinavian, you may not know that this is the most special time of year. For weeks on end the sun never sets in Sweden’s summertime. It’s daylight round-the-clock.
Every ear, during one of those “white nights” – the Friday nearest the 24th of June – the nation turns out to feast until morning. After long winter months of what seems like never-ending darkness, sun-starved Swedes join the rest of Scandinavia in celebrating the summer solstice – the year’s longest day.
Swedes call the celebration Midsummer Eve. It is more than just a holiday, however. Midsummer Eve, often lasting through Saturday – and sometimes the whole weekend – is the national excuse for the biggest parties of the year. The revelry is non-stop.
Beginning Friday morning, families gather to set the scene. Every spare piece of furniture is moved outdoors, setting up a festival atmosphere. Large wooden crosses are turned into maypoles decorated with flowers, ribbons and leafy branches.
The maypoles are raised, and hours of dancing, singing and community wide camaraderie get under way. By late afternoon the revelry has served its purpose. Gnawing hunger has prepared the celebrants for the main event: the feast, Sweden’s famed smorgasbord.
Smorgasbord is a Swedish invention and is literally a table of open-faced sandwiches. Though its origin was a simple array of hors d’oeuvres, smorgasbords today are exhaustive buffet-style spreads, the Swedish version being the best known.
There are appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts. The dishes signal summer’s first harvests: freshly clipped dill, tender root vegetables, fish and other seafoods, and strawberries grown in the country.
There are cured ingredients, as well. Pink rolls of cured salmon are wrapped around dill sprigs, with yellow mustard sauces and peppercorns alongside. There is marinated herring and coarse salt, as well as dill and other pickles. Dairy products also are important, including eggs, cheese and cream.
The traditional drink is aquavit, Swedish vodka spiced with anise and caraway. It is served in tiny schnapps glasses. The Midsummer toast, which loses something in translation, usually amounts to a unanimous gulp followed by a chant of “rah, rah, rah, rah.”
Actually, preparation of Midsummer food usually begins a couple of days before. Local fishermen stack their just-caught salmon in rickety wheelbarrows, roll them into town and go door to door displaying their wares for inspection by anxious cooks.
The fish are carefully examined in solemn transaction, the cook – usually my Grandmother – signaling the final selection with an abrupt, “This will do!” The fisherman nods, satisfied, and carries the fish to the kitchen where it lands on the table with a thud. The smell of the sea enters the house with the day’s catch. The best knife has been sharpened for this moment: the start of Midsummer Eve cooking.
Aquavit and Marcus Samuelsson’s Gravlax Club Sandwich
(excerpted from Diet Simple (June 2011, LifeLine Press)
This sandwich is such a popular item in Aquavit’s café that it is never off the menu. It combines the velvety textures of guacamole and gravlax, with the crispy nature of iceberg lettuce and great chewiness of whole grain bread. If you want to make this sandwich and don¹t happen to have any gravlax on hand, you can substitute smoked salmon with equal success.
I’ve used this recipe at parties. Just cut the sandwiches into smaller appetizer size sandwiches, into quarters, and place a tooth pick through all layers for easy grabbing. It’s always a hit.
Makes 5 sandwiches.
Juice from 2 limes
1/2 medium size red onion, finely chopped
1 medium-size ripe tomato, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
8 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 thin slices of whole grain wheat or rye bread
5 thin slices of Gravlax
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1. Mash the avocado with a fork and add the limejuice. Add the chopped onion, tomato, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro and toss everything to mix well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
2. Toast the bread slices lightly and let them cool.
3. Place a slice of gravlax on a slice of bread. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the avocado mixture over the gravlax and sprinkle with shredded iceberg lettuce. Cover with a second slice of bread. Repeat with the remaining bread slices and gravlax.
1 Gravlax Club Sandwich: Calories; 300, Total Fat ; 15g, Saturated Fat; 2g, Cholesterol; 5mg, Sodium; 740mg, Total Carbohydrate; 38g, Dietary Fiber; 15g, Omega 3 Fatty Acids; 0.82 g, Protein; 11g
2-1/2 pounds fresh salmon
4 Tbsp Sugar
5 Tbsp Coarse Salt
1 Tbsp White Peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 Bunch Fresh Dill
Lemon and additional dill for garnish
Mix sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
With half of the dill, cover the bottom of a shallow baking pan just slightly larger than the fish. Pour two-thirds of the sugar, salt and pepper mixture evenly over the dill and place salmon on top, skin side up.
Cover the salmon with the remaining mixture and remaining dill. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for two days (at least 24 hours).
To serve, scrape off the marinade, slice fish thinly and roll. Garnish with lemon pieces and dill. Serve with mustard sauce on the side. Serves 8 to 12.
1-1/2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Dill
3 Tbsp Gulden’s Mustard
1 Tbsp Sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Place mustard in a small bowl, add sugar. Blend in the oil slowly. Add the dill and mix thoroughly.
Nordic Food Days June 19 to 26, 2011
The embassies of the Nordic countries are bringing five of the world’s best chefs from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Among the events: Nordic Jazz and Cuisine on the rooftop of the house of Sweden in Georgetown on June 19, and June 21 to 26: Nordic Restaurant Days at select DC restaurants. For more information, go to: NordicInnovation.org/NordicFoodDaysDC
I will see you there!
By Katherine Tallmadge, author Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations (LifeLine Press, June 2011), designs personalized nutrition and wellness programs for individuals and companies. www.KatherineTallmadge.com[gallery ids="100023,100024,100025,100026" nav="thumbs"]
I am the stay-at-home-mom of a great little 12-week-old boy. Not going back to work has been quite an adjustment, but my husband and I always agreed that I would leave my job until our kids go off to kindergarten. I have missed my colleagues and spending time on big projects, but I know that the “project” I’m currently managing is about as big as it gets.
It’s my dear husband who doesn’t seem to get it. Nearly every day, he comes home from work and asks, “So, what did you accomplish today?” Now that I am at home with our son, my husband suddenly expects me to become a domestic goddess. He wants me to make dinner every night, cancelled our maid service, and even thinks I should mow the lawn. None of this was consistently part of my responsibility before the baby came. We hired out for the jobs we didn’t like doing (housework, lawn care), and split the rest (cooking, shopping) between us. Today, his list of to-dos is so long he can’t keep up with it all, and the truth is, I don’t want to keep up with all of that. I thought we chose this new lifestyle so I could be a parent, I didn’t think I was signing on to be a servant. How do I explain myself without sounding like a whiny brat?
— Overworked on O
Hmm, part of me wants you to just follow this script: “What did I accomplish today? I kept your son alive.”
While that’s probably not the most productive response, it felt pretty good to type.
It sounds to me like both you and Husband are still adjusting to becoming parents! Now that Baby is on the scene, you may need a reminder or clarification conversation about your household game plan. Have you had a conversation about your own expectations during this stay-at-home time? Does he know how you feel? Does he know how it sounds to you when he asks what you’ve “accomplished”?
When you say you don’t want to come across like a “whiny brat,” it suggests that some part of you is feeling bad about not taking on all the household duties. That sounds like the modern Superwoman complex gone awry. Presumably you and Husband made the joint decision to have a child and the joint decision to parent with you at home. A calm, honest conversation about your own feelings and expectations is the only way to ensure that he actually hears what you’re thinking.
And who knows, you might learn that he isn’t feeling so great about not being on-site with your son. Men have their own Superman complexes — is he allowed to name his feelings about the situation? Perhaps his questions are only masking his own disappointment about the way things are going. Again, an honest conversation is the only way to find out.
Meanwhile, I’d also recommend that you to seek out old friends who are newly minted stay-at-home-moms (or meet some new ones) to find a support circle during this transition time. You haven’t chosen the “easy” route here, and just because you’re already walking it doesn’t mean you don’t need some encouragement from others on the same road.
I have been married for 11 years to the love of my life. We have two children together, a nine-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl. My husband is everything I have always wanted. We have always been very compatible and I feel so lucky to have him as my partner.
Lately though, I have started working closely with a male colleague, I will call him “Bob.” We’re on a big project, which has included some travel together. The more time I spend with Bob, the easier and more fun it becomes. On the last trip, when we went to dinner I felt like we were “on a date.” I felt a lot of attraction for him, and I think he felt the same for me. We didn’t talk about it, and neither of us did anything to make a move.
My question is whether I should tell my husband. We have always been completely honest with each other, and I would want him to tell me if he felt as much attraction for a woman as I feel for Bob. But I asked my best friend and she thought I was crazy to potentially damage my marriage when I have no intention of acting on the feelings. I don’t know what to do — should I keep it a secret? Bob and I will be working closely together for at least another six months.
— Attracted in Arlington
Let’s run through the scenarios. What exactly would telling him do? I agree with Best Friend that it is likely to damage your relationship with Husband, but what other purpose would it serve? Do you want to tell him so that you are semi-publicly shamed into not acting on the feelings? Or perhaps a part of you wants Husband to lose it, giving you permission to seek solace in Bob’s open arms? Or maybe you come from a tradition where lusting in your heart is such a burden, you just want to confess to someone? If that’s the latter’s the case, my advice is simple: find someone else to talk to. If you’re still unsure of the purpose, let’s turn the conversation away from Husband and back to you.
What is this really about? You make such a strong case for your great marriage, I wonder if you are allowed to admit that things might not be as wonderful as they “should be.” Yes, marriage is about partnership, family, and unconditional love — but those things don’t always add up to something sexy and intriguing day after day. Do you need more romance, excitement, spontaneity? That’s nothing to be ashamed of, and the good news is you can get it at home, with a little work and creativity.
When we’ve been with our partner as long as you have, we sometimes forget that we have to use actual words to convey what’s going on in our brains. The two of you may have honed your connection over the last 11 years so much that he’s a mind-reader when it comes to co-parenting or picking out your favorite ice cream at the store. Still, he might need a little more guidance on this one, since family routines are notorious for soothing even the best of us into relational apathy. You don’t have to own up to the attraction to get what you want, you may just have to make surprise vacation plans, or just flirt with him a little more in public. Give it a shot before setting off a bomb in your happy home.
Stacy Notaras Murphy is a licensed professional counselor and certified Imago Relationship therapist practicing at the Imago Center of D.C. in Georgetown. Her Web site is www.therapygeorgetown.com. This column is meant for entertainment only, and should not be considered a substitute for professional counseling. Please send your relationship questions to email@example.com.
Dining Out — Without the Bulge
I love going out to restaurants. The whole ambiance is delightful. I enjoy the solicitude of the staff, watching the people and simply taking a quiet hour or two to relax and enjoy good food. There are times when I go out and choose healthfully, and there are other times I enjoy a good splurge and overindulge — either choice is perfectly normal.
For me, eating out is a special occasion. For millions of Americans, however, it’s a way of life. I know more than a few people who eat out all three meals five, six, even seven days a week. That’s when restaurant food can present appreciable health problems.
Let’s face it: one reason the dishes we get in restaurants are so delicious is that they’re swimming in richness, and chefs choose their ingredients and cooking methods for their effects on the palate, not for their health properties or low-calorie contents. An occasional splurge won’t do any lasting damage. But indulging — or, to be frank, overindulging — on a regular basis will add some serious weight to your frame if you aren’t careful.
If you eat out frequently, I recommend some basics. Before you go, or even decide on a restaurant, look at the restaurant’s Web site and menu so you know what to expect, and make a note of some of the courses you think would be tasty yet healthy. This way, you’re not so tempted by the sights and smells of the fattening foods you’ll inevitably be surrounded by once you get there.
Second, if you have read about the restaurant and chef, then you may have some idea of how heavy-handed the chef is with butter or other fattening ingredients, or whether the restaurant serves a sole diner a portion that could feed four. But if the place is new to you then look around for clues. Take a walk to the restrooms and look at the food on other diners’ plates. How big are the servings? Are the meats, veggies, pastas swimming in sauce? What do you smell? Don’t be afraid to ask the wait staff for help. Finally, it is okay to ask for a take-home bag if the serving size is too much.
Set some priorities. Suppose, for example, you’ve booked four meals out this week. You certainly won’t lose weight, and you may even gain weight, if you eat with abandon each time. What you can do, however, is decide in advance that one of those nights is going to be your “splurge night.” Order anything you want. Enjoy every bite. Savor each and every one of those special calories. On the other three nights, order more carefully. You’ll still enjoy the experience of dining out, but you won’t take in more calories than your poor body can handle. In my book, “Diet Simple,” I call this strategy “The 25 Percent Blowout.”
Some diet plans and nutrition fanatics forbid, or at least discourage, eating at restaurants and enjoying yourself with abandon at all. I disagree. My approach is designed to help you enjoy your meals — enjoy life, for that matter — and feel satisfied while maintaining a healthy weight. Eating out with friends or family is a wonderful experience. No eating plan has a chance to last if it’s not enjoyable. What I do advise is eating (and ordering) smart. By all means, enjoy your meals away from home — but take a few simple steps to keep the calories under control.
To give you some perspective, the average woman should eat about 1,800 to 2000 calories daily to maintain her weight (1,500 to 1,800 to lose weight). The average man, about 2,200 to 2400 (1,800 to 2,100 to lose weight). But a person’s calorie needs can vary widely depending on his/her height, weight, age and degree of fitness and activity level.
I find people feel best and avoid blood sugar and appetite highs and lows with their accompanying cravings when they eat 1/3 of their day’s calories in the morning, 1/3 mid-day and no more than 1/3 of their days’ calories in the evenings. So, for the gals, that means your meals should be no more than about 500 to 600 calories, but if you prefer to have more food at dinner — my recommendation would be 800 at the most for a dinner out. For the guys, meals should be no more than 750 calories — or 900 max for dinner out. These rules aren’t carved in stone, but they’ll give you some context when I give you recommendations or you go to a restaurant’s Web site to view the calorie content of some of their offerings.
As an example, the beauty of traditional Italian cooking is its simplicity: Italians have a no-fuss approach to cooking so their extraordinary ingredients shine. A little olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe an herb or two, and voila — a light, healthy masterpiece! But for this magic to happen, the freshness of the basic ingredients is vital. Italians (in Italy) have access to the most delicious produce, nuts, grains, olive oil, pasta, cheese and seafood in the world, often because they still get it from their own backyards, the neighborhood farm or the fisherman nearby. This freshness and high quality is why simplicity works — no complex cooking styles or sauces are necessary, which keeps calories down and health up, especially because serving sizes traditionally are small.
But this is where real Italian cooking and most American Italian restaurants part ways. Most Americans expect a lot of food on the plate for their money. We call it “value.” But when restaurants are expected to serve such huge amounts of food for low prices, the quality of the ingredients suffer, chefs resort to fattier methods of cooking and gooier sauces are used to compensate. This is one reason why Americans who regularly eat in restaurants are fatter, according to research. In fact, one study found if a person ate in a restaurant 12 times or more per month, they were eating 20 percent more calories. That can pack on the pounds very quickly!
This is not to say it’s impossible to eat healthy in a restaurant. You just have to go in with your eyes wide open. Of course, in any restaurant the no-brainer healthy selection is a salad-like appetizer, a simple seafood preparation such as grilled fish and fruit for dessert.
But when in Rome, we want to do what the Romans do. Eat pasta. Drink wine. Linger over several courses of beautiful food.
You don’t need to be disappointed — just alert and careful. Italians do interesting things with vegetables and seafood (try mussels and clams cooked in broth, or raw bar style). The beef or seafood carpaccios are excellent light and tasty choices. And always check the side-dishes and appetizers. Small servings of pastas that involve vegetables and light sauces are perfect alternatives. Of course, if we ate more Italian-sized portions and preparations, we’d be fine.
Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., a nutrition expert for over 20 years, will customize an easy and enjoyable nutrition, weight loss, athletic or medical nutrition therapy program for you, your family or your company. She is the author of “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations” and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Visit www.katherinetallmadge.com or call 202-833-0353.
Soothing Summer Sensations
Grocery store items aren’t the only summer goodies that can be compared in Georgetown, so this week we brought you a whole new perspective on pricing. After experiencing the heat wave with triple-digit weather last week, we realized items to protect and moisturize your skin might be good to explore. Plus, let’s be honest, these sorts of items smell great!
So this issue for “Is the Price Right?” we looked into summer skin goodies at Lush, Sephora, Blue Mercury and CVS.
CVS faired the best this time as the cheapest place to buy your summer products. Yet we’re not sure if we would say CVS is the highest quality, especially when compared to Lush, Blue Mercury and Sephora.
For a lotion that sooths sunburn, CVS charges $6.49 for an 8-ounce bottle of their name brand item. Lush’s 8.8 ounces of Dream Cream Lotion, which soothes the skin and contains chamomile and lavender, is $24.95. Blue Mercury has Kiehls lotion with aloe vera at $19.50 for 8.4 ounces, and Sephora has a 7-ounce bottle of Lavanila Laboratories lotion for $15.
To keep your skin moisturized and safe from UV rays, we checked each store for SPF lotion. CVS had Olay Complete All-Day Moisturizer with SPF 15 at $9.99 for 6 ounces when it is normally $13.19. Sephora was the most expensive at 2 ounces of Baby Block SPF 40 for $20. Blue Mercury was the second cheapest for their 8.4 ounces of Kiehls for $22. An 8.4-ounce of Ultra Light SPF 30 at Lush was $49.95. Lush’s lotion is designed to protect your skin from sun, wind or cold and can even be mixed in with your foundation.
After a long day of walking around the city, everyone could use some ocean salt scrub to soften their feet. Blue Mercury has a 12-ounce container of Bliss Hot Salt Scrub for $36 and Sephora has the same brand as Blue Mercury at 14.1 ounces for $36. Lush has an 8.8 ounces of Ocean Salt, containing lime and coconut for $34.95. At CVS you can’t get a salt scrub, but a 6-ounce Neutrogena Sugar Scrub is $12.29.
Then for a special treat, we chose one summer item from each store. Lush has Glorious Mud Body Mask squares for $5.95, while Sephora has a sun safety kit, which contains 12 sun protection products, two single-use UW monitor bracelets and a travel bag for $25. Blue Mercury has a Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit for $45 and CVS has two for $3 Bioluxe Hair Products.
Check out our next issue for another new spin on “Is the Price Right?”
Lotion – 8.8 ounces for $24.95
SPF Lotion – 8.4 ounces for $49.95
Ocean Salt – 8.8 ounces for $34.95
Special Summer Item – $20
Lotion – 7 ounces for $15
SPF Lotion – 2 ounces for $20
Ocean Salt – 14.1 ounces for $36
Special Summer Item – $25
Lotion – 8.4 ounces for $19.50
SPF Lotion – 8.4 ounces for $22
Ocean Salt – 12 ounces for $36
Special Summer Item – $45
Lotion – 8 ounces for $6.49
SPF Lotion – 6 ounces for $9.99
Ocean Salt – 6 ounces for $12.29
Special Summer Item – 2 for $3
Between the Sheets
It seems like the longer my wife and I are together, the less we make love. I always wanted more sex than she did and that felt bad. But in the last year, my erections aren’t what they used to be, and now she’s the one who wants to make love more and I’m not so sure I can. Is it too late for us?
— Ray, 57
It can be very frustrating when you first realize that “old faithful” (your penis) can’t deliver like it used to. So what are you going to do, just give up on the party now that your wife is finally in the mood?
Many people say that as they have aged, they have evolved new ways of being sexual. Instead of the super-stud, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sex of their youth, they have experimented with different permutations, positions and possibilities. For most people, the process can become slower, richer, fuller and better than ever. But the learning curve requires us to be more vulnerable and exposed, and that can be scary. Up to this point, most of us were too busy making our lives in the present to think about how to live them in the future. The word “intimacy” may not even have been in our life lexicon. Who had time or inclination? Performance-oriented intercourse, culminating in a predictable orgasm and a quick trip to the bathroom, does not always involve deep intimacy. Talking secrets together, cuddling, touching, caressing, connecting, kissing and allowing yourself to deeply melt into someone else who at the same time is melting into you, is a different experience — a deeper level of intimacy that you can have for the rest of your life, even as your body and health change.
Getting from wherever you are to wherever you want to go will take some effort. But we don’t think it’s drudgery, do you? It’s both an inner exploration and an external execution that involves other people. There’s even opportunity to become more “holistic” and learn about the sexual arts from the East, such as Indian kundalini. In the last decade or so, the ancient Indian art of tantric sex has been quietly slipping into American bedrooms. Rather than the usual foreplay-intercourse-climax, tantric sex teaches lovers how to extend the peak of sexual ecstasy — sometimes for hours — so that both women and men can experience several orgasms in a single sexual encounter.
Dr. Dorree Lynn is a Georgetown-based psychologist and life coach committed to helping people have better relationships fulfilling sex lives. She has appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, CNN, PBS and other major programming. She is the author of “Sex for Grownups,” available from Amazon.
I have a problem, and I’m just going to say it straight up. I’m a 25-year-old Hill staffer with a master’s degree and a wide circle of friends – and I’m a virgin. I dated guys in high school and college, but never got close to having sex with any of them. It’s not a religious thing – I just haven’t had the opportunity. I can blame my parents for handing me a healthy fear of getting pregnant in high school, but I assumed that my college and post-grad experiences would include long-term boyfriends and the intimacy that comes with those kinds of relationships. I never had the chance to just “get it over with” and now each time I meet someone new, I worry about having to eventually tell him I’m a virgin. It’s so embarrassing; I never even talk about it with my girlfriends – all of whom seem to be having wild sex with short- and long-term boyfriends. All of the sudden, engagement rings are starting to pop up on the hands of friends and coworkers – I’m running out of time. What is wrong with me? I feel like I missed my chance to find The One.
— Sexually Frustrated in Foggy Bottom
Dear Foggy Bottom:
Deep breath. Your letter carries a lot of anxiety – which can only hint at the large burden you are carrying around because of this. I’m hopeful you felt some amount of relief in writing. Often, just naming a feeling can diffuse some of its power. So you’re a virgin. I promise you’re not the last unicorn in DC. But let’s talk about why this seems so overwhelming.
Our society is sex-obsessed, so you cannot be blamed for thinking about yourself in comparison to the billboards, TV shows, and public displays of affection by teens on the Metro. But when you start equating virgin-status with marriage potential, we have to think about your emotional maturity. Let’s talk about why none of your relationships has progressed to the level of intimacy that would lead to having sex or getting married.
What exactly are you looking for? Do you want to find a soul mate to bring home to mom and dad, or are you actually more interested in your career and spending time with your friends right now? That’s ok, you know. It may not feel like it all the time, but at 25 you really are not on the cusp of Old Maidhood. Are we dating simply to clear this rite of passage, or for something deeper, during which losing your virginity will only be a side effect? Being clear about your intentions is the first step in getting what you want.
Next, where are you looking? If you think you have to hang out at the bar, waiting to give it up to the first guy to buy you a drink, I’d imagine that there is a part of you so violently opposed to that scenario, that it’s keeping you from connecting with anyone, anywhere. So let’s take your virginity off the table. You are a catch – a career-focused, highly-educated femme with a lot of friends around you – start acting like it. Do your girlfriends know you’re looking to meet someone? Are you trying online dating? Is there someone you’d like to ask out, but the virginity question takes you so far down the mental rabbit hole, that you’re avoiding it altogether? There’s no reward without some risk. He’s not going to find you if you’re hiding in your cubicle.
I get it, believe me, the pressure about “women of a certain age” and the dating/marriage/baby trifecta is a common theme in my counseling office. But if you are viewing your virginity (or cup size, or height, or accent) as a defect, then you give it the power to keep you out of relationship. With the right person, your level of experience will be an asset. Give him the opportunity to surprise you.
My three daughters are grown up and out on their own. I still live with my wife in the house they grew up in, and so we still have some of their personal items here at home. I like having these things to remember the good times we had when they were younger. It’s not like I’ve created a shrine to my girls, I’m just talking about a few trophies, awards, photographs, and the odd report card. I keep these things in a spare room, and my daughters each have said these mementos are not important to them, and that they do not wish to have them in their own homes. My wife, on the other hand, thinks that since the girls do not want these keepsakes, we should throw them away. She has started calling me a “hoarder,” after watching some cable TV show, and has threatened to purge the house when I’m not here.
Her words make me mad and embarrassed. I’m also worried that she will act on her threats, and I don’t know what to do.
— Wanting More Time in Washington
Your letter gives me the opportunity for a brief public service announcement. Hoarding is a trendy topic these days – the mass media would have us believe that every third household has its own hoarder. But most in the mental health community agree that this condition falls somewhere between the larger categories of impulse-control disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders, both fairly uncommon diagnoses. People suffering from these types of disorders may be unable to resist the drive to do something harmful to themselves or others, and may believe that if they do not act on the compulsion, something even worse will happen. Pyromania, kleptomania and compulsive gambling are impulse-control disorders. While there is no official diagnosis for hoarding as of yet, most agree that it includes the compulsive need to acquire and store largely unnecessary items.
What I’m getting at is that hoarding much more complicated than holding onto a few mementos in the spare room.
Parenting is a life-altering experience. It’s not uncommon for moms and dads to hold onto things that remind them of those times. If it’s indeed what you say it is – just a few items in the spare room – I’d be curious about why this bothers your wife so much.
I wonder if this is part of the regular division of labor in your relationship? Do you take on the emotional and she holds the practical? Consider approaching her about this (in a non-threatening way) so you can learn about her motivations, and perhaps explain your own in terms she can understand. We are hard-wired to react to confrontation with defensiveness – that’s what our brains believe will keep us alive when under attack. If you address the issue in a gentle, fact-finding manner, you may be surprised by what you hear from her side. Perhaps she’d like to use the space for another purpose. Maybe she wishes you held onto souvenirs from your honeymoon in the same way. You may need to make a deal that you get to keep the items, even though she doesn’t understand. But you never know unless you ask, and make room for the answer.
Stacy Notaras Murphy is a licensed professional counselor and certified Imago Relationship therapist practicing at the Imago Center of DC in Georgetown. Her website is www.therapygeorgetown.com. This column is meant for entertainment only, and should not be considered a substitute for professional counseling. Please send your relationship questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.