Archive for September, 2013

First off, I’m on my way to Dallas this weekend for my college girlfriend’s wedding. There’s supposed to be a huge storm front passing through but hoping it holds off until Sunday. Regardless, super excited to see her and a few other college friends – and who knows, maybe I’ll meet a nice southern Texas man! KIDDING.

Today’s post is a bit random I admit. Two news-related items caught my eye this week that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. But here goes.

supermThe first one was from earlier this week. It’s about the former president of Trader Joe’s. Inspired by all the wasted food America trashes every single day (1/3 of the world’s food goes to waste every year!), he’s decided to open a store called The Daily Table. This store, located in Boston, will be a grocery/restaurant hybrid that will sell expired food and produce that typical grocery stores would throw away. The goals are to a) reduce food waste from large grocery stores and b) to provide fresh options for those with lower incomes that normally don’t pay for and/or can’t afford fresh foods.

A report done by the National Resources Defense Council last year showed that Americans throw away approximately 40% of food every year, which equates to over $2,000 annually per family of four. THIS IS SO SHAMEFUL. There are so many different and EASY ways to reduce your family’s waste: plan your meals, freeze extra food, buy fresh produce once a week (and not in bulk!), eat your leftovers… the list goes on. Also- studies have also shown that we throw away food long before it goes bad, and that many are confused by dates on items. Just because it has passed the date, doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad. And many don’t realize the differences between “sell-by” versus “use-by” versus “best by” and the government hasn’t established any standards to regulate what these mean.

But this is not just consumers. I think restaurants are also a big part of the fault. I realize that restaurants need to abide by very stringent rules related to food safety. I also realize, especially at nice restaurants, that chefs have a high quality standard that they set for each plate that goes out to the dining room. But a couple things aren’t happening at most restaurants. One, I think that back of house staff needs better training on food waste. Not only will that education help our planet and reduce waste, but it saves the restaurant money and helps its bottom line! Two, portion sizes are straight up out of control these days in restaurants. Sometimes my entrée is enough for my actual dinner, and two lunches during the week. But I seem to be in the minority; so many people don’t take the rest of their meals to-go or let them sit in the fridge to be inevitably tossed in the trash.

So because of this, I’m in favor of his new concept. Who knows if it will be successful but at least there’s someone trying to make strides to reduce waste and educate consumers on how to reuse those random items in your fridge!

AMAArticle two. I get to my computer this morning at work and there’s this in my inbox: “Heroin-Like Drug That Rots Flesh, Bone Makes Appearance In US”. What the whattttt? My colleague must have read it at the same time I did cause we were both like, HOW HAVE WE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THIS? Apparently, it’s some cheap concoction of codeine-based headache pills mixed with iodine, gasoline, paint thinner or alcohol. It gives a high like heroin but only lasts 90 minutes. Oh, and IT TURNS YOUR SKIN INTO A CROCODILE. So there’s that. It’s street name is Krokodil, which makes sense, and sounds super cool. Anyways, this just baffled me that people want this so much that they will literally let it eat their body away for a 90 minute high. Ugh. There’s some really gross pictures that I’m not posting here, but if you don’t have a weak stomach, check them out here. And besides its skin-eating effects, it can also compromise your immune system, impair motor skills, damage your brain, burst your heart arteries and other really cool things.

Just something nice to leave you with on a sunny Friday. Have a great day!


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the truth about modeling.

So yea, it’s been a while. BUT…praise God that this weekend is my last travel destination for the next month and a half! Not that my travel has been boring: weddings, the beach, home to Pittsburgh… but I feel like I haven’t been able to be in Chicago all summer.

I have a pet peeve (among many as you’ve noticed). I shudder when I see those magazine headlines from People or Glamour or Cosmo highlighting “How ___ dropped twenty pounds for her new acting role” or “Only 3 weeks and she’s back in that post-baby bikini body: find out her secret!” These articles say that you too should have the ability to drop weight like said celebrity and your number one concern after birthing a child should be weight loss (who cares if your kid is healthy and happy – if you don’t fit into those skinny jeans then your life is over!).

All kidding aside, not only are these articles ignorant but they are quite often misleading or downright lies. My favorite is when these celebrities are describing the exact efforts they took to lose their weight. “I do pilates a couple times a week,” “Just eating healthy and exercising more,” “I only allow myself one cheat day a week” or the ever-popular “I just have a really fast metabolism.” All this does is creates false impressions in our youth that it’s easy and effortless to look like these celebrities.

Case and point… I came across this pretty poignant article a few weeks back and have been wanting to do a post on it since reading it. It’s written by ex-model Carre Otis. Throughout her career, she received the majority of her fan mail from younger girls, expressing their desires to be skinny, pretty, cool, have awesome hair, and eliciting her beauty secrets. But her goal with the article is to tell the truth, not what she was told to tell reporters or magazine editors, but the real-life struggles she went through to be successful in the modeling industry.


carre otis.

Instead of the exercise touted in magazine articles, Carre had strenuous two-a-day workouts on her off days and worked out seven days a week. All this on zero energy because her true diet consisted of cigarettes and cups and cups of coffee each day. So she was constantly fatigued from starvation and over-exercise. And because she was always caffeinated to maintain her energy, she needed sleeping pills in order to fall asleep at night. Because of the coffee and nicotine, her teeth were yellow and nails brittle. But nothing a little post-shoot airbrushing and manicured nails couldn’t fix. Her hair fell out and was also thin and weak and oftentimes would have fake hair added or even be given a wig during shoots. Her skin was dry and blemished and pimply but would be Photoshopped later to be flawless.

Because she was constantly on the road, her romantic relationships suffered and most times did not ever develop into any deep connections. Living this lifestyle kept emotions at bay and left her so tired that she had no energy left to feel real feelings. Something bad happened in her life? She had to suppress it and act happy and sexy in front of a camera.

After about twenty years on this “diet regimen,” Carre was rushed to the hospital with heart palpitations – the doctors found holes in her heart and she needed emergency surgery to save her life.

BUT THIS SIDE OF THE STORY IS NEVER TALKED ABOUT. The young girls who have eating disorders and body image problems or even low self-esteem don’t hear these stories. What they do hear is Kim Kardashian’s 2-month 50 pound weight loss of doing nothing but “healthy eating and moderate exercise.” I mean, seriously?! That’s like a pound a day. I’m sorry, but I eat healthy and have an active exercise regimen and I don’t drop A POUND A DAY. I would venture to guess that Kim’s been working with a “nutritionist” that has her eating next to nothing, and a personal trainer that kicks her butt 2-3 times a day. So not only are we lying to our youth (and our naïve adults!) but it creates an unrealistic expectation for those that struggle with weight that having a salad for lunch instead of a burger and staying on the treadmill for 15 more minutes is all you need to do. And what happens when the weight doesn’t come falling off? We become disheartened and discouraged and for a lot of people, they quit altogether. And guess what? They gain more weight because they feel like constant failures.

I know this doesn’t sell magazines. It’s much more exciting to read about drastic weight loss than developing a healthy lifestyle and dropping 50 pounds over the course of a year. But what’s sustainable? Eating lettuce leaves and drinking coffee for every meal and training seven days a week for 5 hours a day? Or maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and developing a LIFESTYLE instead of a diet?

What we do need are a few more Carre Otis’s to tell the truth in order to create realistic expectations to the public in regards to weight loss. And to ultimately redefine these ridiculous body image stereotypes and show the younger generation that the way to weight loss isn’t not always what it may seem.

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