The body and The Mind

September 17th, 2013    Posted in Lifestyle

The body

 

Each of our essential organs is maintained by ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ energy, with some having clear-cut characteristics; for example, the heart tends to be ‘hot’, whereas the kidneys and liver are ‘cold’. Consider the ailments below:

hot and cold energy

Too hot? ‘Hot’ individuals tend to be prone to high blood pressure and heart problems. Breathing problems such as asthma can also be a characteristic of hot people, as can skin conditions, migraine, insomnia and tension headaches. Get the balance Focus on maintaining your general health through exercises that relax the body and lengthen the breath, such as yoga or tai chi. Try also massages with virgin coconut oil for skin benefits.

 

Too cold? ‘Cold’ individuals tend to have poor circulation (always feeling cold), IBS or constipation and weight problems. Fatigue can also be common, including the condition ME. Get the balance Try cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming or jogging, to boost your circulation and give you a feel good endorphin rush to improve your energy.

 

The mind

 

Ever notice how someone quiet and laidback is seen as ‘cool, calm and collected’, whereas someone who tends to fly off the handle is ‘hot-headed’? This draws a useful parallel with the way ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ energy relates to a person ­which are you?

 

Too hot? ‘Hot’ characters are more prone to mood swings, particularly flying into bouts of anger. They may find that they always feel the need to ‘cool off’, often feeling better when they have a moment alone to breathe. Get the balance If you are feeling hot-headed, try to take a moment to yourself; consider going for a walk alone or taking a relaxing bath to allow yourself some peace.

mood swings, particularly flying into bouts of anger

Too cold? Someone who is prone to feeling depressed, listless or fatigued could be experiencing too much ‘cold’ energy. They may not show much emotion, and feel a lack of motivation to socialise.

 

Get the balance If you’re prone to cold symptoms, try motivating yourself by creating a playlist of high-energy or uplifting songs, or calling a friend or relative who makes you laugh to stimulate your mind.

 

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LOOK, MANO LEGS!

August 15th, 2013    Posted in Fitness

Other than pure intimidation, there’s another reason you may not have been so quick to slide under the squat rack: debilitating injury. Many of us have heard or—gasp!­seen someone snap their quadriceps or strain their lower back going for that last deep squat.

snap their quadriceps or strain their lower back going for that last deep squat.

Most agree that it’s either a matter of form, equipment or inevitability. Baldwin says “most lower back injuries can be avoided if the squatter keeps the back arched”. He also believes good form is more easily kept by having your toes pointed slightly outward for balance. “And always keep your knees aligned with your toes, not buckled in,” Baldwin says. “If your knees look funny going down, it may not be so funny when you can’t come up.”

 

Casey Viator, who took third in the 1982 Mr. Olympia, looks at squat rack pads as being a key. “Unless you have naturally large trapezius muscles, having a pad behind your neck [around the bar] will protect your vertebrae from injury, not to mention it makes you less apt to quit reps from being uncomfortable.”

 

Viator also recommends machine squats because of the padding, and also for offering a more controlled rep. “I see a lot of my clients wobble with free weights off the rack,” he says. “If you stick with the machine, the weight is steady even when you’re not.” If you feel too much pressure on your muscles after hard exercise, use the right natural healing products from gnet health and fitness store.

squat

But three-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane says “you could squat from a Lazy Boy and there wouldn’t be enough cushion to save you from injury”. “I was fairly careful throughout my career,” Zane says, “and even I didn’t escape the lifetime of back pain I now endure. I think squats did more harm than good and probably should be elimi­nated from routines.”

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DYEING TO BE BUFF

August 7th, 2013    Posted in Lifestyle

Owen had a loving family, many friends, and at six feet tall, 175 pounds and only 7 percent body fat, he was quite muscular. Still, inside Owen a battle of life and death was taking place over a single issue: image.

 

Today, one in ten men suffer from eating disorders: anorexia nervosa (starving oneself), bulimia ner­vosa (hinging and purging), and overeating, which can cause high tsh levels and risk of thyroid disorders. Fuse that statistic with the numbers from the latest cen­suses, and that’s over 1,500 Canadian and 13.7 million American men who struggle with the prob­lem. Of those, the disease will kill about 20,000. Precise numbers are difficult to come by because “Few men get help,” says Dr. Trent A. Petrie, professor of Sports Psychology at the University of North Texas, and preeminent researcher of male disordered eating. “Even when they do, professionals are unlikely to diagnose them because of a bias that finally connects these issues with women.”

eating disorders

In the movies, on TV, and even in action figures, the increasing bombardment of the perfect male body is obvious. According to Dr. Roberto Olivardia, co-author of Adonis Complex (Free Press, 2000), the insignificant-looking G.I. Joe of the 1960s has transformed longer resist the urge to eat bad food. “I pulled into a Burger King,” he remembers, shaking his head, “and ordered $25 worth of burgers, fries and shakes. I got home, ate it all, and then felt this unbearable guilt. I went straight to the washroom and stuck my fering from a common occurrence in dis­order victims: he was identifying with the illness. “I thought I would lose myself if I gave up the bulimia. It’s how I defined my­self. It’s what I thought about every second of every day.” Owen is quiet for a moment, into the super buff figure he resembles today — a metamorphosis that, Olivardia says, mir­rors men’s growing obsession with mas­culinity.

 

Owen began to exercise incessantly. “But no matter how muscular I got, I would look in the mirror and see fat.” Owen suffered from muscle dysmorphia: a mental illness that compels fit men to see themselves as scrawny or fat. “I tried everything, but felt I would never look like some of those guys in the gym.” Owen’s obsession with image caused him to impose a harsh diet on him­self. “It wasn’t as if I wouldn’t eat pizza or burgers. I wouldn’t eat anything. I lived off chicken breast and protein powder.” Owen grew depressed, convinced that he had to look like the models to be a man.

eating disorders

A total immersion of the male population in these images creates what Olivardia calls the Adonis Complex, which describes many men’s need to pursue the perfect body. It fosters the idea that: “If you’re a real man, you should look bigger and better than you do,” Olivardia says. As a result, many men resort to measures of disordered eating, even though it ultimately threatens their lives, in order to look and feel more manly.

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Beyond the fridge

July 31st, 2013    Posted in Lifestyle

What five things do you always have in your fridge?

 

Strong cheese, such as stilton or mature cheddar, cottage cheese (if I am on a health kick), granary bread (never white) and probably some lemons and garlic, as they can jazz up any meal.

What five things do you always have in your fridge

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

 

My friends are my friends for a reason, so all of them! Plus, I never get to see enough of them these days. I’d also love to invite Stephen Fry — I don’t know him but I would really like to.

 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

 

It’s not so strange now, but when I was younger I absolutely loved snails. My parents would take me to a French restaurant and I’d eat them thinking they were mushrooms!

 

What is your speciality in the kitchen? It always used to be some form of pasta, like a spaghetti bolognese, but now I tend to make grilled chicken with a side of peas with bacon and white wine, and broccoli.

What is your speciality in the kitchen

What would be your last supper? Sushi — I just love it. I’m not fussy about what type it is, as long as it is fresh and raw. Or maybe I’d have a curry. If I’m feeling like an indulgent treat, I go for a takeaway chicken tikka masala.

 

What was your most memorable meal? It has to be when my husband proposed.

 

Have you ever worried about your weight?

Have you ever worried about your weight

Oh yes, often! I find it quite easy to put on weight. I’ve always been aware of what to eat and what not to eat though. When I find myself putting on weight I take garcinia cambogia and I do a lot more exercise, especially yoga. I also take the best creatine supplements to have more energy during training. And I will also cut out alcohol if I have to!

 

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Spring Clean Your Life Part 2

October 13th, 2012    Posted in Uncategorized

HIRE STAFF Owen Muir’s other company, Mrs Hunt’s Agency (020 7937 1788), can provide you with permanent or temporary staff Perfect if you want a lady who knows how to iron, launder and mend. It is also an excellent number to keep handy for cooks, butlers, waiting staff and housekeepers.

MEND YOUR WINDOWS There is a company called the Sash Window Workshop (01344 868668), that can overhaul, draught-proof, replace and double-glaze windows. The overhaul leaves you with sash windows that make an expensive “whoosh” sound rather than that all-too familiar rattle. And after paying to get them mended, don’t forget to get a window cleaner in, too.

FACE UP TO YOUR DESK Don’t be intimidated by the mountain of paper and unopened brown envelopes on your desk call Hire Intelligence to sort it all out for you (020 8487 9450). This excellent company will organise your life, download your address book on to your computer, book your travel arrangements, arrange your bills, and leave you with a working filing system.

HAVEYOUR CARPETS CLEANED Arrange for the carpets to be cleaned while you are away for Easter and, while you’re at it, have industrial cleaners wash all the walls and woodwork. Owen Muir (see above) can arrange this, and Hire Intelligence (see above) can even arrange Owen Muir…

BIN OLD POT POURRI AND ALMOST-FINISHED CANDLES and delight in replenishing them all. Current fabulous candles are Comme des Garcons’ Palisander and Diptyque’s Violette and Narcissus candles (best burned together).

CLEAN DUSTY CANDLES Do this with a little white spirit on a cloth and remove the black smoke from around the top of the glass. It is amazing how manky candles get. If their wicks have got lost in the wax and old matches have disappeared into the mix, then for goodness’ sake throw them away.

ARM YOURSELF WITH SPONTEX There are two essential tools for any spring-clean, both by Spontex. The first is called Window Wonder, a green cloth that cleans glass beautifully without using a product. You dampen it and it wipes off grime from your computer screen, pictures, the oven door or windows, without leaving Gnet any smears. It is amazing. The other is called Rub Out, and is a white block that removes marks from walls as if by magic.

RE-HANG YOUR PICTURES –and clean the glass in the frames at the same time. Spontex Window Wonder cloth is perfect for this.

HAVE YOUR SOFA CUSHIONS REUPHOLSTERED Very often a sad-looking sofa just needs its seat cushions replaced. Eighty per cent down and 20 per cent feather is a very good stuffing.

CLEAR OUT YOUR BOOKSHELVES Take any books that you don’t care about to a charity shop, making way for new reading. Use any gaps you have to wedge box frames of photographs or pictures between books. David Linley does a great box frame.

IMPROVE YOUR BEDROOM LIGHTING Bedroom lighting is often very bad, ranging from drab to austere. If yours falls into this category, you need to go shopping. Pretty lamps and good shades are essential to the overall loveliness of a bedroom. Light must be golden and not surgical. Shades should never be lined in white; instead, for bedrooms, use champagne hues.

CELEBRATE SPRING WITH FLOWERS Choose jugloads of daffodils and paper whites. Hyacinths are divine, too, and if you can find them in some of the more unusual colours, so much the better.

BUY CHEERFUL CERAMIC FLOWER NIGHTLIGHT HOLDERS from The Cross. A yellow one is perfect for a mantelpiece, or use masses of them in mixed colours down the dining table.

BUY UP BEAUTIFUL BOTTLES AND GET A STASH OF OLIVE-OIL DRIZZLERS Find the bottles at markets and get the drizzlers from any cookshop, then decant everything that comes in a nasty bottle or carton: milk, olive oil and washing-up liquid.

GET IN A STOCK OF FUNKIN FRUIT PUREES AND HALF OR QUARTER BOTTLES OF CHAMPAGNE These purees (strawberry, white peach, raspberry and passion fruit) are utterly delicious and perfect for Bellinis. Having drinks with friends before lunch or dinner at the weekends.

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Spring Clean Your Life Part 1

October 6th, 2012    Posted in Uncategorized

April is the month to get to grips with all those chores you’ve been putting off and make yourself feel lovely again. Overwhelmed? Just follow Rita Konig’s failsafe advice

Self help

Revitalising your life is all about the peripheral things rather than the major ones: a great pair of shoes, a facial or, better still, a weekend away

GET A NEW FRAGRANCE This is the single change to one’s outward self that makes the biggest difference. It must be carefully chosen, though. Good hunting-grounds include Frederic Malle at Les Senteurs, Ormonde Jayne, Miller Harris, Guerlain (the old stuff or single notes only) or Santa Maria Novella. A bad hunting-ground is Duty Free.

CHUCK OUT YOUR OLD KNICKERS and buy new ones. There will be some good pairs that you want to keep but the everyday white or black cotton needs to be regularly renewed. Replace nasty G-strings with seamless cotton Strecker’s company Pants, and go to Prada for a really beautiful set.

THROW AWAY SWEATERS that have been washed a little on the hot side. It is no good keeping them for painting a room or a cold weekend somewhere. Those occasions never arise, and even if they do they never need to be accessorised with a shrunken sweater, how ever expensive it was pre-demise.

HAVE A WEEKLY PEDICURE. Go with a girlfriend to Princess Nails on Fulham Palace Road, where there’s a score of Vietnamese girls who do a brilliant pedicure and manicure for £30 all in.

INVEST IN NEW NIGHTDRESSES from the Monogrammed Linen Shop They have the most beautiful selection of satin or cotton to choose from. Try to spend as much time in them as possible.

VISIT THE BAMFORD SHOP on Mossop Street, the sister store to Ledbury Road’s Bamford & Sons. Here, you will find delicious cashmere as well as great everyday jewellery: wooden cuffs, seed-pod necklaces, chalcedony folic acid and fluorite rings, crystal necklaces – really exciting things to renew your wardrobe.

GIVE YOUR JEWELLERY A NEW LEASE OF LIFE There’s a jeweller at Erickson Beamon who makes charm necklaces by combining old charms, medals and badges with new jewels and curiosities. Look through your jewellery box for things to recycle – these necklaces are beautiful and will add new life to things that have gone by their past their sell-by date.

GET A NEW WATCH STRAP There is nothing better than a brand-new coloured strap to make you feel as if you have got a new watch. Cartier has the best selection, but will only do straps for its own watches.

SORT OUT YOUR MAKE-UP BAG Call the Handbag Doctor and a make-up artist will be sent to your house to go through your make-up bag, weed out things that don’t suit you any more and write you a “prescription” for what you need. She will also help with special-event make-up.

TAKE LONG WEEKENDS CLOSE TO HOME We are so fixated on exotic holidays far away, but think of Bruges or Brussels for a weekend of delicious food and fabulous antique shops, or even head to the British coast for blustery spring walks along the beach – Tresanton in Cornwall is lovely.

ORGANISE YOUR I POD Sandra Nerdrum will download all your music on to your iPod for you and will create playlists to suit every occasion.

Home help

A little home maintenance is usually needed at this time of year. Apart from the general open of windows and cleaning, more hardcore fixing is often essential. Remember, there is nothing more fabulous than when it’s all sorted…

BLITZ THOSE JOBS If you have lived in your home for any length of time, it will almost certainly benefit from having the woodwork repainted, and this is a very good way of giving it a tidy without the hideous expense of redecorating the whole place. Owen Muir of The Kensington Maintenance Company is the man to call. He’ll sort out your paintwork, plus he can make a list with you of all the other DLJs (dirty little jobs) that need doing in the house. A one-stop shop.

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Big Time Crook

September 18th, 2012    Posted in Uncategorized

Never let it be said that office jobs are boring: Mackenzie Crook’s made him a household name, then paved his way to Hollywood. Now he’s getting serious in a West End play.

Mackenzie Crook is troubled by my rhododendron problem. He is looking intently at the traffic thundering by the restaurant we are sitting in. His brow is furrowed and his eyes dart from side to side, as if flicking through a mental gardening manual. The intense look on his face is all too reminiscent of his character in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s cult BBC comedy series The Office. You can just imagine Gareth Keenan, with his pudding-bowl haircut and mobile-phone holster, lost in this realm of deep concentration. The major difference, however, is that where Gareth would be worrying about the non-legality of handguns, his alter-ego is worrying about the non-acidity of my soil.

There is a touch of the obsessive-compulsive about Mackenzie Crook. He says so himself. He has, he confesses, been gardening solidly for the past few days — “in a kind of frenzy”. The 33-year-old feels totally happy in the garden of his new Art Deco semi in Muswell Hill; not least because it has a cherry tree in it that was planted by one of his heroes, former resident Peter Sellers. As Crook gardened, every so often his beloved 18-month-old son Jude would toddle out to see what he was up to. “I’m having the time of my life,” he says eagerly, nervously and with the faintest of smiles. “But I wish I wasn’t too late to plant sweetpeas.”

We are in Muswell Hill, in his local restaurant, Pickles, which was inexplicably named after the small dog that, in 1966, discovered the stolen World Cup under a bush in faraway Norwood. This is exactly the type of thing that amuses Mackenzie Crook. He is not a gag-cracker by any means. Like so many masterful comedians, he is quiet — shy almost — with a palpable intensity. And yet the more you tune in to his quiet mutterings (not, it is worth noting, with any hint of Gareth’s West Country accent), the more you hear his humour — in every aside, every understatement, every deadpan declaration. “You should never go husky racing,” he says totally out of the blue, and with a worryingly serious expression, at one point. “They don’t stop to shit, you see. They just shit as they run and it all splatters up into your face.”

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The Fashion Insider’s Peepshow

September 7th, 2012    Posted in Uncategorized

CHARM SCHOOL

This season’s fashionable alternative to wearing your heart on your sleeve? Wearing your jewels on your handbag. At Marni, sparkly strings were slung across shoulder bags, while Pheobe Philo added charms and chains to Chloe’s gold evening purses. Another great excuse for more jewellery.

OPEN MINDED

Tucked away in Paddington’s Chilworth Street, Saturday has a fan base that has been growing slowly but surely since its birth last May. The shop may only open on Fridays and Saturdays and, as its co-founder Sherry Lamden puts it, “must seem terribly indulgent”, but the set-up seems to work. With a hairdresser out back, cla side effects limited edition and exclusive designs by Seraph, Double Identity, Jessica Ogden and Eley Kishimoto, and an eclectic mix of furniture and fittings, there’s a real homespun feel. Make a note to stop off.

GENDER BENDER

Anne Valerie Hash is not one to take her fashion lightly. The 27-year-old Parisian designer describes the need to develop her creative vision as “an emergency”. The concept? Transforming ultra-classic items of traditional men’s clothing into elegant pieces for women (think a dress made from a suit jacket, a lab coat cut into a sleek shirt). “I love playing with the codes of our society,” she says. “I take menswear, divert it and still end up with a classic item.” The most sophisticated take on cross-dressing.

CARRY ON

LUELLA BARTLEY’S COLLABORATION WITH MULBERRY: BAGS SO DESIRABLE THAT GISELE BEGGED TO TAKE HERS HOME AT THE END OF A SHOW.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ANDREW BOLTON

WHO IS HE? A curator of groundbreaking fashion exhibitions

WHERE’S HE COME FROM? His first passion was for studying Eastern civilizations, rather than evening dresses. After jobs at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology Cambridge and The Commonwealth Institute, he moved to the V&A in 1993

WHAT’S HE KNOWN FOR? His exhibitions at the V&A, including Men in Skirts, which managed to look beautiful as well as treat fashion as a serious cultural player. His new book, The Supermodern Wardrobe (V&A Publications, £25), looks at urban dress. “I’m not a stylist,” he says. ” I’m just trying to put these things into a cultural context”

HIS NEXT MOVE? In March, Bolton was lured to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Expect him to create as many waves there.

perfect match

With the rest of the world going football bonkers over the World Cup, even the fashion industry has come under the sporting spell. Cue a range of treats —from Evisu’s tiny football strips to Celine’s wallet featuring red and yellow cards. You can get excited about them even if the game leaves you cold.

PIN POINT

Parisians have gone crazy for a metal hairpin. Catwalk hairstylist Odile Gilbert’s “Barette” curves around a bunch of hair to secure it. It’s also hypoallergenic and comes in metal, chrome or 18-caratgold. Who needs chopsticks? MC Hairpins, by Odile Gilbert, from 135 each

SLIPPERY CHARECTERS

Give your stilettos a break: cool feet have moved on to the babouche. The Moroccan slipper has been given a small heel and groovy prints by hip French label Babouche. Madonna recently showed up in a S18-carat goldipes pair, while Marc Jacobs has been spotted wearing a pin£35iped version. MC From £55, at Aime

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