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When I was 12 and again when I was 18, in the process of losing a significant amount of weight, I’d hear it a lot. “Wow, you’re so thin!” – “Your belly is so flat.” – “Your thighs got so much slimmer!” I’d beam upon hearing those words, but I didn’t know how to respond. I wondered how the person delivering the “compliment” expected me to respond. But I would quickly translate the comment to mean, “You look better / prettier / hotter / more worthy of my attention or affection.” Given that, the only way I could think to reply was with a genuine “Thank you so much!!!”

Every day, interactions like these have young girls and women on the fast-track to associating their weight with their worth. But at least now, there’s a growing conversation about the problem … specifically in Good Girls Don’t Get Fat by Robyn J.A. Silverman, Ph.D. Based on the dissertation she did at Tufts University, the book looks at the various forces that chip away at girls’ body image and explains to adults how they can best influence daughters, nieces, sisters, cousins, students to embrace varied body types and “thrive at any size.” While the book seems to primarily focus on the body image challenges facing adolescent girls and young women aged 16 to 21, I bet — for better or for worse — women of all ages can relate to the “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat” myth.

Below, a powerful trailer for the book that really drives that message home …

I love that Dr. Silverman doesn’t seem to think it’s fair to place the blame solely on anorexic actresses on primetime teen soaps and reality shows; damaging “Be/look/act skinny!” cover lines on magazine covers; Hollywood or even the fashion industry.  As she notes, we’re also to blame for our daughters’ and our mothers’, friends’, our sisters’, our daughter-in-laws’ poor body image and low self-esteem. So what can we do?

Today, tell a woman you love why she’s beautiful … inside. Tell her that she’s witty, she’s brave, she’s charming, she’s brilliant. She might just start to feel like a rock star.

“Girls who see themselves in terms of strengths, who feel supported by those they love and have come to a place of acceptance about their bodies, are the ones who flourish,” writes Dr. Silverman.

Are you flourishing?

 

 

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By Carey Purcell, Special Guest Blogger to The Body Logic

The new mom shows off her post-partum bikini bod, which apparently she attains by "eating nothing." (Photo via Life & Style)

In our culture of instant gratification and crash diets, it’s not surprising that reality TV star Bethany Frankel’s post-baby diet secret is to “Taste everything, eat nothing.”

My response can be summed up quite concisely: Ugh.

First, I’d like to address how ridiculous these “post-baby body” stories are. They’re everywhere, and they’re infuriating. Average women shouldn’t hold themselves to these insane standards. They’re just not realistic. And what’s more, they’re not healthy. These movie stars who drop 30 pounds in three weeks have personal chefs, personal trainers, and hours of free time every day to exercise. Who in real life has that luxury? I am not married, have no children and yet, I struggle work an hour of exercise into my life every day. If you don’t have the same resources as these wealthy celebrities, don’t have the same expectations as them.

Second, is it just me, or does Frankel’s advise sound, um, awful, to anyone else? The idea of eating nothing is not my idea of an enjoyable, healthy life, even if it would mean I’d be photographed in a “teeny turquoise two-piece” bathing suit for a trashy tabloid magazine. Why do celebrities, if you consider Frankel to be one, consider food the enemy? Why is it something that has to be avoided at all costs?

Food is not the enemy. As a former Weight Watcher, I struggled with my relationship with food for years and maybe I would have tried Frankel’s method myself. But now, after achieving a healthy weight and maintaining it for six years, I find Frankel’s mantra to be disturbing and dangerous. Food should not avoided and feared. The sensual and nutritional benefits of food should not be hampered by the PhotoShopped covers of grocery store shopping lane tabloids. (Another reason why I love Trader Joe’s! No magazines there!)

One of the crucial lessons I learned while losing weight was that food should be a pleasurable part of life. Food should be enjoyed. Food should be savored. If you want a treat, you can have a treat. You don’t have to run screaming from a piece of chocolate cake. Just work it into your healthy eating plan for the day or even the week by eating a healthy, vegetable-filled meal or add a bit of extra cardio to your workout the next morning. And if you’re going to have that treat, enjoy every bite of it! Don’t feel guilty. Don’t think, “I shouldn’t be eating this.” Take small bites, chew slowly. Savor it. These are “Naturally Thin” rules to live by. It makes me think … if she really wanted to stay true to her healthy living agenda, Bethenny would have been better off saying, “Don’t eat EVERYTHING; just enjoy everything you eat.”

Carey Purcell is self-confessed health junkie with an intense sweet tooth that she satisfies with small pieces of organic dark chocolate and large amounts of fresh fruit. Her workouts vary between yoga, Cuerpaso and simply commuting from the Upper East Side to Tribeca every day. She is the editor of MindBodySanctuary.com and a frequent contributor to the Health and Wellness section of Alternet.org. You can read her writing or contact her at CareyPurcell.com.

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My favorite time of year, when sundresses and flip-flops and sunshine prevail, is supposed to come to a screeching halt after Labor Day (which is also my 27th birthday, by the way…) That’s why late August is when I usually start sounding like a whiny child. “But, do we have to consider it late summer? I refuse!” My argument: Fall doesn’t start until September 23, which is more than a month away! So why can’t we devote a full 3 months to Summer? I mean, that cruel ice queen, Winter, practically gets 5!

Anyway, in an effort to savor the last little over 2 weeks of the “technical” summer, here are 5 cheesy-but-awesome songs and how to make the most of their feel-good power. They will make you smile, dance and hopefully, remember to do like Baby and Johnny and have the Time of Your Life. 😉

“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

Summer wouldn’t be the same without at least one dance to this. Quick how-to: Pretend your guy just defended you against your overprotective parents by saying that no one puts you in the corner. Imagine you’re wearing a flowy pink dress. Take the stage. Do not giggle when Patrick Swayze touches your armpit. Then sway in his muscular arms. And run to him and do the lift. Sigh.

“SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake (featuring Timbaland)

Around this date in 2006, we were all about to be seduced by a track that would change the direction of pop music…and make us hot and bothered! Quick how-to: Show up on your significant other’s doorstep after spending a night out with the guys/girls. Request that your S.O. put “SexyBack” on, so they can see what you’re “twerking with.” (Because it’s the last song you heard in the bar, of course.) Now, go ‘head. Be gone with it.

“Power of Love” by Huey Lewis & the News

In the summer of ’85, I was 2. Over the next 20 or so years later, I became a wee bit obsessed with the time-travel romantic comedy about the McFly fam. This upbeat pop track that scores Marty’s skateboard ride through downtown Hill Valley—just the icing. My infatuation somewhat reached its pinnacle, in the early fall of ’05, when I saw Huey Lewis perform the hit live in Burbank. Quick how-to: Wear cool shades. Play air guitar. Imagine going 88 mph. Now, that’s the power of love.

“Just Dance” by Lady Gaga

Two years ago, we really didn’t know who this Lady Gaga chick was. She was blonde and had a pop single, so she was probably just another Madonna/Britney incarnation, right? WRONG. We had another pop revolution on our hands here, people! And why not usher it in with a song that celebrates the joy of throwing your hands up and saying, “I’m too drunk to know what’s going on. I might as well just have fun. Everything’s gonna be OK!” Quick how-to: Turn your shirt inside out. (Optional: Wear a bra made from mirrorballs.) Splash around in a blow-up kiddie pool. Then, just dance.

“Jump In The Line” by Harry Belafonte

I realize that 3/5 of my songs were featured prominently in ’80s movies, but you know what? ’80s movies rocked. This song from Beetlejuice was the track of choice for my college roommates and I when we’d dance ontop of our desk chairs. We couldn’t float like Winona, so chairs would have to do. Quick how-to: It’s simple. Just shake, shake, shake, senora!

What is your favorite feel-good summer song?

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Currently kvelling over this look of the Lady’s. Sometimes, I get a little obsessed with makeup… And all I feel like doing is putting on coats and coats of mascara and experimenting with different lip and nail colors. And after going Gaga for the latest Lady mag cover this morning, I hunted down the details on her makeup. The lips: MAC Viva Glam Gaga, go figure. The nails (gorgeous): Deborah Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas. Even though I’m definitely more of a golden goddess than a silver lioness, I want, I want. (Just the nails and lipcolor, that is. The hair I can try once I’m in 60s-70s.)

At any rate, happy weekend! Monday: We shall talk about BlogHer ’10 and vaginas. 🙂

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Posing sans makeup in Marie Claire

“The universal thing that defines beauty is inner confidence. And I know a lot of people say that, but it is really hard to find. It is really hard to do your own personal homework and really understand who you are as a women, as a girl, like, who you are. What makes you authentic? What makes you unique? Like, who are you? Answering all those questions and really knowing yourself. That is probably the hardest part about feeling beautiful, but it is the most incredible part, when you actually do discover it.”Jessica Simpson in an interview with South Colorado’s KKTV

When it comes to beauty, the pop/”country” singer-turned-actress-turned-“sexual napalm” knows more than a thing or two. She recently explored “The Price of Beauty” on VH1.

Do you agree with her?

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(Photo via zap2it.com)

In honor of the fourth season of Mad Men premiering this week, the Web churned out how-tos on throwing your own themed viewing parties, character studies of smooth-talking protagonist Don Draper and of course, odes of love to The Queen of Curvy, Christina Hendricks. Right now, everyone seems to have a girl crush on the voluptuous redheaded actress. Because, well, she’s gorgeous. But she’s also unconventional! *gasp!* She’s the anti-Kate Moss! *sqee!* She’s DEFYING SOCIAL STANDARDS! *faint* Her size 14 hourglass figure apparently stands for so much more than a flashback to a time when women weren’t hell bent on looking like “tits on a stick.”

Yet, I can’t help but agree with this article from BBC News Magazine that asks:

“Christina Hendricks…has been identified as the woman with a body others should healthily aspire to. But how realistic is it for women to look like her?”

By aspiring to look like Hendricks—who is said to possibly measure in at 38-32-38 and wears a C-cup—we’re just collectively chasing after a different yet still unattainable model of perfection.

Hendricks may be blessed to have a flat tummy along with a “pow, pow, pow” booty and “wow, oh, wow” boobies, but in the real world, women with Hendricks’ figure have larger stomachs and wider waists to match their generous bosom, says a psychologist from the National Centre for Eating Disorders who is quoted in the BBC story.

For these real women, looking like Hendricks would likely require a mega-rigorous diet and exercise. Or, at the very least, uncomfortable undergarments! And let’s face it, Mad Men fans from Millenials to Boomers, are not going to regularly stuff themselves into ribcage-choking corsets or girdles to attain a perfect hourglass. (Thanks to Sara Blakely, we get to pull on a pair of relatively comfy Power Panty Spanx and go!)

Breath-robbing aside, I’m personally not a fan of anything that drastically transforms my body into something that it’s not. Just this past weekend, I picked up a pretty strapless bra at Victoria’s Secret. I was all about it, until I realized that it’s part of their new “Miraculous” collection, which basically has enough padding to stuff a king-sized comforter. It adds THREE WHOLE CUP SIZES! This bra could catapult my pear shape into mini-Hendricks hourglass terrain. But I’m not down with such obvious faking. Even though it’s not “in” or “ideal,” I’m simply more comfortable being little in the middle—and ontop—while havin’ much back.

Still, the occasional or chronic discomfort with the mirror can make any woman susceptible to this infectious idea that the ideal body is a celebrity’s—be that buxom or twig-ish. As much as I appreciate that society is once again embracing a figure that is slightly more attainable than the emaciated type, there’s still a problem with putting any extreme on a pedestal. The deep-end result: Some women are forging undergarments altogether and going straight under the knife, requesting in some cases “head 2 toe” carving à la Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie and yep, probably Christina Hendricks.

With these cases becoming more and more prevalent, I think it’s time to say, seriously, ladies, let’s get a collective grip. It’s one thing to think, “Wow, she’s smokin’!” (literally, ha), but quite another to go all Heidi Montag on yourself. You oughta feel free to girl crush all you want, but know that the most “ideal” body shape will always been your own.

The other day, HollywoodLife.com asked its readers, “Do You Wish Angelina Jolie Got More Glam For Her Big ‘Salt’ Premiere?” The post goes onto lament Angie’s failure to craft a “dramatic cat eye…smoky eye or…stunning hairdo” for the red carpet.

When it comes to a big blockbuster premiere or award ceremony, we expect our celebs to put on a show 24/7. For women, that typically means haute couture, red lipstick, false eyelashes or hey, if it’s 2001, even a vial of your husband’s blood will cut it. When the snaps make their way onto the gossip blogs, we’ll be damned if we spend our precious time-wasting time clicking through anything short of certifiable eye candy.

But, uh, doesn’t just about everyone agree that Angelina is visually delectable without any cosmetic bells and whistles? In fact, in photos taken of her at the Salt premiere, her minimalist makeup looks fresh, dewy, summery while still formal. Especially in the shots where she’s laughing, the combo is pretty breathtaking.

Below, The Los Angeles Times got up close in HD with the star:

But it wouldn’t satisfy the blogosphere for the ethereal beauty to simply pile on the MAC. The Snarkmeistering Powers That Be also want us to consider the fact that Angie may be, well, starting to look old! Yep, “The Stir” says she is aging and it shows. While the writer has a point about Angie being so darn skinny, the rest of it makes me think, “Give me a break.” She’s 35. She’s a mother of SIX children! And she’s a world traveling movie star. If she was anyone else, she’d have bags under her eyes the size of the Beverly Center. Interestingly, this writer seems to think that the movie star is wearing too much makeup!

Oy, so which one is it? I mean, really, if Angelina is a dud, then I guess none of us has a fighting chance.

By the way, I’m definitely not one of those gals who falls all over herself when it comes to Angelina. But to many, she’s the holy grail of beautiful. Even though I personally think she could stand to eat more, I acknowledge that she’s still a gorgeous woman who doesn’t need a speck of makeup to look anything less than spectacular. So, Hollywood Life, maybe try nitpicking someone who actually screwed up their makeup or plastic surgery. I hear that the tanorexic cast of Jersey Shore is an easy target these days.

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On Tuesday, July 6, my sister and I saw Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball. Being big enough fans to call ourselves “little monsters,” Emmie and I had greatly anticipated this day and this show for months. And, believe me, Gaga did not disappoint. Next time (yes, I will pay to see this woman perform more than once), we will have to splurge a bit to get up closer, because we had a pretty dead-on side view. (Hey, at least we could see her exits and entrances, which made for a “behind-the-scenes” experience!)

Queen of The Monster Ball (Photo via InspiredByTheLady.tumblr.com)

 

Gaga/Stefani Germanotta embodies a lot of what I believe in and try to touch on through my TBL writing. She’s sexually open, political, outspoken, empowered and bold. She’s confident–but modest, she has recently owned the label of feminist, she’s been through hard times with her physical/emotional/mental health and come out on top. Many of these themes play throughout her whimsical, outrageous, sexy, poignant performance. And because of that, there’s a lot going on beneath the surface of the experience. That’s why I thought it’d be fun to break down the…5 Lessons Learned from The Monster Ball:

5. Everyone’s insecure. Sadly, this often compromises our emotional and sexual well being.

The Monster Ball opens with the silhouette of Gaga behind a giant, green, laser lit video screen, behind which she performs “Dance in the Dark.” By waiting to present herself fully to the audience, Gaga is surely toying with her audience’s sense of anticipation, but she’s also making a statement about insecurity. As Gaga told Ann Powers back in December: “The record is about a girl who likes to have sex with the lights off, because she’s embarrassed about her body. She doesn’t want her man to see her naked. She will be free, and she will let her inner animal out, but only when the lights are out…These lyrics are a way for me to talk about how I believe women and some men feel innately insecure about themselves all the time. It’s not sometimes, it’s not in adolescence, it’s always.”

4. There are so many definitions of ‘sexy.’

Bloody Gaga

 

At some point between smearing blood makeup over her chest, wearing a clear rubber nun costume and laying between the legs of one of her bisexual male dancers, Gaga shouted, “Do you think I’m sexy?! Because I think you’re sexy!” When it comes to being a little monster, you don’t have to be clad in black leather from head to toe, wearing 5 ft. platforms and fishnets, blonde or painfully thin to be sexy. You just have to be a free…bitch.

3. No matter how much Fame you have, you can’t go it alone.

The show’s Wizard of Oz-ish storyline follows Gaga from her Lower East Side roots to Brooklyn, Central Park and eventually, to The Monster Ball. You could say it’s a mishmashed freaky-deaky love letter to NYC. And Gaga, always effusive about her devoted fans, paid special tribute to her hometown when she said, “Without New York, I would not exist.” She also praised her pops, stating before her performance of “Speechless,” “Of all the drunk men in my life, Dad, you’re my favorite.” I also adored when Gaga sang  “You and I,” a new rock-and-roll ballad that was supposedly written about Stef getting back together with her ex-bf, Luc Carl. The bottom-line: When making your dreams come true, prioritizing love is a must.

2. Fantasy is central to a life worth living.

Between songs, Gaga talked about how bullshit can get you pretty far and admittedly, she’s “the most delusional bitch on earth.” Thank God for that, because a healthy dose of over-the-top theatrics, escapism, fantasy and indulgence—themes thread throughout The Monster Ball—makes anyone richer.

Me (left) Em (right) after we had our asses kicked by Gaga

 

 

1. Beauty is being your freaky or comfortable, half-naked or costumed-to-the-max, sexy or grungy, drunken or sober self.

Em and I were sure that we’d be plain Janes compared to the little monsters who were dressed up in elaborate “Telephone”/futuristic Russian brothel/disco stick tributes. (Even though Em bravely picked up a hot metallic silver body suit and paired it with her black band-aid mini.) Turns out, for every pair of fans wrapped in caution tape or sporting sunglasses made of cigarettes, there were twice as many girls in cute, comfy sundresses and flip flops or sexy heels and guys in jeans and Gaga image-adorned tees. No matter how they decided to flaunt it that night, all the fans were gorgeous in their own right.

As you can tell, The Monster Ball made me love Gaga even more than I did before, as if that were possible! I can’t wait to see her again–hopefully in February when she returns to the city that adores her as much as she loves and appreciates it.

If you’re also a little monster—or even if you’re not—what have you learned from Lady Gaga?

 

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Miley (when she was more tame) and me - Summer 2006

 

I met Miley Cyrus in the summer of 2006. She was making her premiere appearance as Hannah Montana at a concert in Disney World. Having been told that she was the “next big thing,” I was to interview her for my then job at a teen entertainment mag. My co-worker and I waited patiently for a Disney publicist to escort us into her trailer, where the tween star-in-training was hanging out with her mom, Tish. All I remember is that she was sort of standoffish… Reserved. Not that she only gave me “yes” or “no” answers like some young stars (cough Rupert Grint cough), but she already seemed jaded, not very trusting. She wasn’t going to share much.

But, let’s take a step back for a second and remember that she was 13, for crying out loud! She was a baby. Yet, she wanted nothing more than to be thrust into fame, to be the next Britney Spears… No, she didn’t tell me that, but it was pretty clear from how she was being marketed that Disney aimed to launch her into mega-fame. Sure, via a squeaky-clean sitcom. But how did Britney start out? Oh, that’s right, the squeaky-clean 1990s version of The Mickey Mouse Club.

Fast forward 4 years later, and now 17 year-old Miley is front-and-center for flaunting her girly parts in public and prancing around in barely-there black leather and thick black eye shadow.

My question: This is news? When Britney was 17, she was skipping around in a skimpy Catholic school girl’s uniform pleading “(Hit Me) Baby One More Time.” Granted, when Britney catapulted to overtly sexy “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” pop star status, she had been out of the public eye for a couple of years. She wasn’t even remembered by many as a truly innocent pre-teen. Miley’s not-so-smooth transition may seem a lot more jarring to parents who just a couple of years ago considered Hannah Montana default harmless viewing for their tweens. Nonetheless, given Disney’s track record of rebellious female tween stars, Miley’s new image shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. (Also, news flash: She was “acting out” and flaunting her fragile teen sexuality via mini-photo scandals on MySpace two-three years ago…)

"Give me a break! You people MADE me." (Photo via Wonderday.ca)

 

Says Robyn Silverman, a child and teen development expert who blogs here:

“Why is Miley’s behavior so shocking to parents and fans? As a childhood role model, she became a girl-next-door icon. It can be challenging for parents and fans to watch her new, ‘untamed’ persona stomp out the quirky, reliable, relatable Hannah Montana from the past.’’

Fair enough. But, sorry, it’s not really ever 100% about what the parents want. In pop music, entertainment and Hollywood, it’s about what makes money. And, on a more idealistic note, it should also be about what Miley wants. She’s 17. Like every other girl her age, she’s trying to assert her independence. But she’s still growing up, groping around blindly in the glare of fame and trying to figure out who she is and what inspires her. And too bad for you, Puritan America, part of that is developing her sexual identity. (Yes, a young woman does and should have one of those.) As a pop music aficionado, I’m not a huge fan of her blatantly ripping her new image off of every stale Beyonce, Britney, Christina, Madonna and Gaga stereotype. I’m also not a huge fan of her running around without skivvies. And I’m certainly not advocating that 10 year-olds imitate that behavior. But, it’s not Miley’s responsibility to make that obvious to tween girls. It’s the girls’ parents’ responsibility… (Dr. Silverman offers some tips for parents who want to make a “teachable moment” out of Miley’s recent image switch here.)

Hey, there are even mom bloggers out there who agree that the 17 year-old shouldn’t be subject to catty, critical chatter. 

And over all the bruhaha and buzz, what does Miley herself have to say for her “controversial” new album and look? “It’s all about breaking free, being who you are and not being afraid to tell the world to back off sometimes, and do your thing and do what makes you happy.” 

I’m all about speaking up for yourself and opening up about what you want, even if that’s for “the world to back off sometimes.” I kinda wish that I had met this outspoken, untamed Miley four years ago. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed by her evolution. And I can’t help but think, You go for it, girl.

Are you surprised by The “New” Miley?

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I feel like ranting a bit. There’s a radio DJ who I often have the misfortune of listening to while driving to work. In the past, I tuned in while she was whining about how she was once in a cab, and she was like, so busy BBMing on her Blackberry, and all of a sudden, she went flying into the window divider between the front and back seats. Because, “Like, WHO wears a seatbelt in a NYC cab???” I do! (When you’ve had your front teeth knocked out of your face in a car accident, while sitting in the back seat, you realize what a difference a seat belt makes.) I couldn’t believe that this DJ was whining about seat belts to a wide audience, which may have included impressionable youngsters tuning in on their drive to school. From that point on, I was completely annoyed by this chick.

The other day, inbetween Maroon 5 and “California Gurls,” she starts giggling about how, “Oh muh G, I don’t cook! Like I totally don’t cook…” And then she gushes that even heating something up in a microwave is a big deal for her. 

I love me some NYC pizza. But unlike Carrie, I can make my own at home!

 

This jogged my memory of a discussion that a friend and I had several months back: Girls we knew who seemed to think that others should find it endearing that they haven’t a clue what a spatula is. That they think that making a simple salsa is hardcore complicated gourmet. That their ovens are only good for storing Louboutins…as if they came up with that—not the Queen of Anti-Domesticity herself, Carrie Bradshaw. 

This isn’t a city girl vs. suburban girl thing, but I do think many Anti-Domestic Princesses happen to live in the city and use their cramped apartments and chaotic work/social lives as excuses not to surf around on Epicurious instead of Menupages.com. However, not every 20-something professional chica in NYC knows more about her smart phone than her stove. My old roomie in SoHo often went for runs after work and then made herself incredible, protein-packed vegan dinners. And my friend Carey, who lives in Manhattan, works for several publications and still manages to somehow prepare three healthy meals a day. She says it saves her money, and bonus: she knows what she’s eating!

Therein lies the power of cooking for yourself. It’s not anti-feminist or hip urbanista behavior. Knowing how to use your oven is not giving in to some 1950s, subservient, Leave It to Beaver social trap to DIY in the kitchen. It’s empowering, because when you make your own meal, your health (and your wallet) is in your hands. Admittedly, when I was a single girl living in Boston, L.A. and NYC, I was a huge fan of takeout, delivery and going out to dinner with my friends or dates. I probably spent more money on eating out than anything else, except, well, maybe sundresses. (I have a penchant for sundresses.) But guess what? I regret it! I don’t regret every delicious meal. No, some maki special deliveries, Poquito Mas carry-out trips or Toast to-go runs were totally worth it. But not caring enough to learn how to make myself a healthy lunch or dinner on a regular basis stripped me of cash and left me at the mercy of the sushi chef or burrito guy. While leading that takeout-frenzied city life, I also fell off the bandwagon with Weight Watchers and gained back about 18 lbs. of my hard-won 40 total lost. Thinking back to the all the Washington Square Park falafel pitas and Bleecker St. ahi tuna burgers, I’m shocked that I didn’t gain more.

It's not necessarily retro to be a Domestic Diva. (Image via 180mag.ca)

 

These days, Dan and I cook dinner just about every night. We definitely get bored with the same old recipes. But that’s when I go online and do some research (one of my fave things) or talk to my friend Lisa about what she is making lately (she gave me a killer marinade recipe this past weekend) or buy rainbow kale, because we’d never eaten it before and need to mix it up in the greens dept. Yeah, we spend a significant amount of our paychecks on some organic produce and antibiotic-free, hormone-free meat. But it’s still less than what it would be if we were ordering out every night. And I also think that we’re saving money in the long run, because there’s a high price for the scary health consequences of eating cheaper, processed or pesticide-laden food. Also, because we cook every night, we have the extra cash and calories to go out on a Friday or Saturday night for a really delicious meal with our friends, at a restaurant like our new favorite Greek place in Bloomfield that is out of this world.

The best part: It feels like I’ve accomplished something when I make a souvlaki pita myself or when we’ve made a grilled vegetable casserole together. I’m capable. I’m in control. And hey, I am honing my kitchen skills! No, I’m nowhere close to being a Top Chef. But I’m taking care of myself, which I’d venture to say is one concept that will never go out of style.

Do you cook?

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