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Susan's Spa

Your number one stop for beauty and blogging tips, all in one fabulous blog!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tyra's Tirade

We all know how absolutely beautiful Tyra Banks is. We also know that she, for the most part, has eschewed the need to be rail thin during her entire modeling career. She often spoke about how girls would starve themselves for runway shows, while she simply cut back on what she normally would eat to lose a few pounds. She admits that she wishes she cared about exercise more, but would rather be doing anything else. Since leaving the professional modeling world to be a full-time talk show host and producer and host of her reality show, she admittedly has put on a few pounds. Unfortunately, one tabloid found an unflattering photo of her taken on her recent vacation which makes her appear much heavier than she really is. In her own defense, she has come out on several entertainment news shows and recently did a spread for 'People' magazine, showing her proudly displaying her figure (160 pounds) in a red swimsuit, similar to the one she was photographed wearing in that ugly tabloid. Tyra has always been a champion of women who aren't a size 2, 4 or 6. She gives hope to those that you can succeed, be proud of yourself and still feel sexy no matter what size swimsuit you wear. She is, however, fighting mad about that distorted photo and she will appear wearing that very same suit on her talk show tomorrow (or so it has been reported). I don't think she needs to prove anything to anyone, but if someone is watching and it makes them feel better about themselves by her doing so, then more power to her.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Bodies In Motion

If you are a fan of FitTV, then you are probably familiar with the workout series by Gilad called 'Bodies in Motion'. Gilad Janklowicz, is a famous fitness instructor, who has been around for decades. His no-nonsense approach to fitness is a favorite of many of his followers and he incorporates both aerobic and body sculpting techniques in a short amount of time to get desired results. This is one of the many things I like about Gilad. In less than 35 minutes you can get a complete workout and you can vary the workout on a daily basis so that you can work out different muscle groups. If you don't get FitTV, then check out Gilad's Quick Fit System at Body By Gilad . You can also check out discounted DVDs and video tapes by Gilad at .

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Getting Real With Rachel

If you are a fan of Rachel Ray's 30 minutes meals, then you know that Rachel is very big on pasta and other high carb foods that are good to eat because they are so satisfying, but aren't necessarily diet friendly. In '30-Minute Get Real Meals', Rachel tackles the task of creating menus that are not only very tasty (yummo!), but are also low-carb alternatives to her other cookbooks, making these recipes healthy alternatives. Here you will have recipes that solve snack ideas, light meals (soups and stoups, a cross between soup and stew)as well as meals you can prepare for family and friends and even some tasty desserts that don't require baking (she doesn't bake). As always, Rachel is big on hearty flavor and she doesn't skimp on using her favorite herbs and spices. She even included a section for pasta lovers, but cautions to skip it if you are sticking to a low-carb menu, or just simply cut the pasta portion down to keep to comply with the theme of the book. You can also substitute whole-grain pasta and grains for these recipes as well. The book is available in soft-cover at all book sellers and is well worth the price for all the great 30-minute recipes you will get in return.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Weight Loss Secrets

Continuing with the theme of getting in shape for the new year, people wonder if there really are secrets to losing weight. Of course there are! As reported in Prevention there are lots of little things you can do which take less than one minute, to help you rev up your metabolism or keep you from falling into traps that keep you from your weight loss goals. Here are a few and I'll be posting more in the future:
1) Instead of drinking fruit juice, just add a little bit to some club soda for a juice spritzer. You can cut up to 85 calories per glass and lose 5 pounds over a year just doing that.
2) Get a cordless phone if you don't already have one. When you are talking on the phone, keep moving and doing your chores while you talk. You can burn a couple of hundred calories just doing that alone.
3) Chew sugarless gum. By doing this on a regular basis, you can rev up your metabolism by 20 percent. This could easily burn off over 10 pounds per year just doing that.
4) Sip green tea before you take a walk. Both the caffiene and the polyphenols in green tea appear to work together to increase your calorie burn while you walk.
5) Sprinkle flax seed in your cereal, yogurt and home-made muffins. The high fiber in the flax seed will help fill you up and keep you from snacking on less healthier alternatives.
6) Drink ice water. The body needs to heat up after you drink the ice water, revving up your metabolism and making you burn more calories in the process.
7) Trick your tastebuds by sucking on a menthol/eucalyptus cough drop. It will stop a craving instantly.
8) Fidget! By fidgeting alone, you can burn up to 700 calories a day.
9) Blot the fat. By dabbing off the oil from two slices of pizza, you can cut the calories by about 40 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.
10) If you really want fresh-baked cookies, try taking a long whiff of them before you go ahead and eat them. Just by smelling them, you can sometimes stop the craving and keep you from derailing your diet.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ellen Gets In Shape For The Red Carpet

Talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, has asked her good friend, 'Biggest Loser' trainer, Bob Harper, to help you lose weight for the Oscars. Ellen will be hosting the event this year and wants to look her best so Bob will be training with her for the next few weeks. Why should you care? Because Ellen wants you to train with her. You can do exactly the same plan she is following with Bob by just going to Ellen . Here you will get exercise and diet tips to help you lose as much as she does before the Oscars airs in February. This is a great idea! You are not locked into paying a personal trainer or even joining the website for a fee to do this. Ellen has already lost about seven pounds so far following Bob's advice.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Idol - The Bloodbath

Is it just me, or has 'American Idol' turned into 'American Bloodbath'? I suppose looking back on the first season, there were a few klunkers that were thrown into the audition footage, but fast foward a few years, and most of the audition footage is dedicated to the dregs of society looking for their 15 minutes of fame. What some will do to get themselves on television is truly unbelievable. It makes me wonder why the producers choose to air so much of this nonsense over a span of two nights and four hours......oh yeah, 37 million people watched....duh! Of course, far be it for Rosie O'Donnell, the resident bully on 'The View' to let this pass. Now she's defending the mentally unstable of the world who choose to make fools of themselves on national television. As if they needed defending. I guess she should know though since she is the biggest attention whore in the universe at the moment. It makes me wonder why they let her go on as she does......oh yeah....ratings.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Best Life Diet

Yesterday, Oprah unveiled her current diet plan, designed by her personal trainer, Bob Greene. 'The Best Life Diet', with a forward written by Oprah, is Bob's newest book which is an all-encompassing lifestyle that helps to reach and maintain a healthy weight for life. There are three phases to this plan, which begin with eating only certain foods initially and then gradually adding in other foods until you can basically eat anything, but with healthier alternatives and, of course, portion control. Unlike his other books, Bob now has a website which can fully support anyone who wants to join, with tips, recipes, exercise, and a community of members helping each other to stay on course and reach their goals. You can join right now for 10 days free. If you wish to stay, you will pay around $20 a month to maintain membership, but after perusing the board, if you feel the book won't be enough to help you, it is a worthwhile investment. Also, a number of manufacturers have joined with Bob to promote this plan and when you go shopping, you will see products marked with the Best Life Diet emblem. These products are approved for his plan and make it much easier to plan meals. Oprah swears by this plan and even has included some of The Best Life Diet .

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Walking Away The Pounds

Since it is the beginning of a brand new year, many people are looking for ways to lose weight from years of mindless eating, or just from too much indulgence over the holidays. One name in fitness has stood out for years and that is Leslie Sansone. Leslie revolutionized the idea of walking for fitness by developing an in-home walking program through her VHS tapes. Her very simple moves is really what made the programs such a huge success. There are no tricky dance moves (I take this quote from another fitness instructor) to impede you from mastering the program. She use four simple moves (walking, sidestep, kicks and alternating knees) in various combinations. She also shows you the number of miles you have walked so that you know you have accomplished what you set out to do without any guesswork. Over the years she has expanded her program and now you can get her Walk Blaster program which includes a step to intensify the workout. She also includes dieting tips and some strength training so that you have the full impact of and all-inclusive fitness program. Having used her walking DVDs, I can tell you that her program really works and you can tailor it easily to your own needs. For more information you can go here .

Thursday, January 11, 2007

When Storage Is The Problem

With the new year already upon us, so many people have included moving as one of their new year resolutions. If it's not moving that's the issue, then maybe you have a storage problem. Anyone from college students to empty-nesters are using storage services to store items that might be needed at a later date, but there's no room for them anywhere else. Many retirees who are selling homes and opting for condo living might not be ready to part with every item, but are not quite sure what to do with them. That's when a storage company can come in handy. The same is true for college students who have apartments near campus, but must vacate their premises during summer recess. No one wants to have to drag their stuff around with them all over the place, and storage companies can answer their needs as well. If you are in the need for a storage company and you've never used one before, here are some specific things you might want to know about them. Do they have self-storage, mobile and/or portable storage units? Do they have climate-controlled storage or car and RV storage as well? Are they available anywhere in the country or in just one area? Most importantly, are they bonded and insured? As long as you get all that information before-hand, then you will be secure in knowing that your belongings will be safe.

Changing Shades

I was reading an article recently about changing make-up and when to do it. This had nothing to do with throwing out old make-up. Most make-up goes bad after a while and we should all purge stale make-up from time to time. This had to do with when to change make-up with regard to aging skin or changing hair color. Actually, the two go hand in hand. Many women change hair color shades as they age because it lifts a dulling complexion. This is something that happens to all of us as we get older. The question is, what shades do we use when we change make-up? The most important guide will be your new hair color. Warm hues such as dark browns can often make your skin appear more golden while pale blondes might look more pink. Red hair can be the most challenging and redheads should try to stick to peach, apricot or other neutral colors for lips and cheeks. If you have gone blonde, then go for sheer pinks or rose colors for cheeks and lips. If you have gone brunette, then you can opt for plums, pinkish browns or even sheer reds to compliment your new hair color.

Whitening Teeth Safely

Of all the things a person can do to improve their looks fairly quickly, teeth whitening has to come in at number one. The trend began years ago in a dentist's office and was quite costly and time consuming. To have a dentist safely whiten teeth is still not cheap ($200 to $500)for the traditional whitening methods and up to $1,000 for the latest methods (Zoom Whitening). As a result most people opt for over-the-counter products. Manufacturers have taken advantage of this and there are dozens of products to choose from. So which is the best for you? The bottom line is trial and error. You have to find something you can use that works for you, but most importantly, look for the American Dental Seal on the product. For myself, I had the traditional method of teeth whitening done years ago. This involved having special trays made up with a solution that contained a 20% bleaching solution. I have been able to maintain the whitening effect with over-the-counter products which contain around half that percentage. The most convenient method right now is a combination of whitening mouthwash (Listerine makes this one) and a whitening toothpaste. The trays I have are still useful from time to time for a more potent whitening treatment. The one thing I do know about teeth whitening; it will take years off your face and give you much more confidence.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Your Own Extreme Makeover

One of the most popular of reality shows brought to the forefront just how important looks are in conjuction to self esteem. Although we often associate plastic surgery with vain celebrities who cling to the idea of looking youthful, there are many regular people who seek out plastic surgery as a way of gaining the confidence they need to get a new job or get out of a bad relationship. Plastic surgery has become to user friendly, that many places are offer payment plan options that make it affordable and offer treatment in luxurious, spa-like surroundings that remind patients of an upscale boutique rather than a doctor's office. In Los Angeles Breast Augmentation is probably one of the most sought-after procedures. In a city that is full of beautiful people, in a climate that begs for skimpy clothing, women want and need to feel good about themselves so this is the surgery that is often the most requested. Plastic surgeons are becoming more than just doctors. Many are catering to their patients on many levels to help them make their transition after surgery by offering such services as hair, make-up and fitness programs. Whether you like it or not, plastic surgery is here to stay and is much more within reach than ever before.

Best Breast Cancer Weapons

If you are a woman, than chances are you either know someone who has had breast cancer or has had breast cancer yourself. The newest information on nutritional studies to help cut the risk of getting breast cancer or having it return is as follows:
1) British researchers have recently found that a compound called Indole-3-Carbinol found in mustard collard greens or kale seems to open tumour cell receptors to chemotherapy drugs, making meds more effective. As a side note to this, you can take Indole-3-Carbinol in capsule form, but there are little studies to ascertain if the capsules have the same effect as eating the veggies.
2) Women who ate a diet rich in carotenoids (organge, red and yellow veggies and fruits) have a 43% lower risk of breast cancer recurrence as per a most recent study of 1,550 women.
3) One other recent study found that women who cut their fat intake by 10% cut their risk of a type of estrogen-dependent breast c cancer by 36%.
4) In yet another study researchers found that women who maintained a healthy weight before, during and after breast cancer, were 52% less likely to die from the disease within 9 years after first being diagnosed. Those who avoided gaining belly fat cut their risk of death by 48%.
For more information on these and other statistics, you can go to
Prevention .

Stooping To An All-time Low

I'm sure I'm not the only person who is sick and tired of this on-going feud amongst Donald Trump, Rosie O'Donnell and Barbara Walters. While each one is accusing the other of not being able to move on, they are, in turn, egging the others on to retaliate with a knee-jerk reaction that smacks of a middle-school mentality. Above and beyond the obvious publicity these TV stars are garnering from their low-life tactics, it makes me wonder just how low as a society we can sink, if shows like 'The View' and 'The Apprentice' need to fall back on these kinds of tactics to draw viewers. I'm quite sure people are watching 'The View' just to see how long they can keep up this nonsense, while 'The Apprentice' is suffering from lower ratings because of the change in night (from Thursdays to Sundays...the worst night of the week for any show). Just for the record I've never liked either Rosie O'Donnell or Barbara Walters, but I do believe they bring out the very worst in each other and apparently, this is paying off for the both of them so I hope they will be very happy together.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Very Civil Career

Not too long ago a friend of mine told me that her son had switched his college major. I asked her what he switched to and she told me that he wanted to be a civil engineer. Apparently, this is a very good field to go into and that starting salaries and job opportunities are very good. I wondered about this because it is not a field I ever really thought of before, but I got curious so I did a little research. It turns out that there are firms that will recruit civil engineers to work in some of the most prestigious engineering firms. One such firm which handles Civil Engineer jobs is called CSI, which made me think of the popular television show, but this firm apparently works very hard, making over 25,000 phone calls in a month's time to recruit some of the hottest prospects in the civil engineering community. Apparently, the don't just search through old resumes to help fulfill their client's needs because they do represent some of the top civil engineering firms, not just regionally, but internationally. They have over 30 years experience in this field with a president who has 20 years of civil engineering recruiting experience. It's amazing to me that someone so young would already know what they want to do with the rest of their life, but really encouraging to know that they will be entering such a wonderful career.

Monday, January 08, 2007

ChaCha Toolbar

I found this great new search engine called that has real people as "Guides" to find information for you on the Web! I loved ChaCha and after using it, I signed up and became a ChaCha Guide.

With ChaCha you can perform a normal instant search, but you can also click "Search with a Guide" and be immediately connected to an experienced, friendly ChaCha Guide (like myself) who will find the best Web site(s) with the exact information you are looking for!

As a ChaCha Guide, I have my own ChaCha toolbar and would like to invite you to download my toolbar and use it to search on ChaCha. It's much better than the other toolbars out there because you can connect with a real person live, to guide you. Who knows, you may get connected to me!

Click on the link below and start experiencing a NEW way to search, with real human intelligence.

Download the toolbar by clicking on the link below or copy and paste the link into your web browser.
ChaCha Toolbar

Personal Scents Make Good Sense

A while back I wrote a post on my other blog about Urban Botanic. What I really liked about this company is that it began with a woman who wanted to create a new company that was unique and different from all the other home-based businesses. What's different about this one is that it offers the opportunity for women to have a signature scent created just for them through a very easy personality test. I was invited to try the product and I was pleasantly surprised at how close the personality test results came to my own personal preferences in scents. I was given a number of choices and guidance on how to choose several scents to mix for a special product made just for me. The results came in the form of a luxurious body lotion scented to my own specifications. In my own instance I selected jasmine, freesia and verbena for a refreshing and light scent. You can choose other products as well to personalize such as a parfum body spray and bath and shower gel. Urban Botanic offers their customers other opportunities as well including having a party for friends and family so they too can experience this unique idea. Of course, you can become a representative which is a great idea, breaking away from other home-based businesses that have saturated the market or, you have choose to do Urban Botanic as a hobby and make unique and personalized gifts for your family and friends. To take a personality test to create your own personalized scent, just click here .
For more information on Urban Botanic, just click here .

Friday, January 05, 2007

What Goes Around, Comes Around

In this particular instance, that would be isometric exercising. There is a surge of interest in this type of exercise that gained popularity many years ago. With the growing information about the benefits of aerobic exercising, isometric exercise took a back seat. Now, the train of thought is to do short bursts of exercise through out the day (8-10 minutes) to keep your metabolism chugging away at a steady pace, burning calories through out the day. This would be in place of doing one block of exercise which spikes metabolism and then drops it down again. There are pros and cons to isometric exercising, the first of which is the amount of time which is minutes a day. There's no special equipment needed as well since you are usually only using a wall or the floor to do them. Many people swear by them and this is basically the concept behind the ever popular Shapely Secrets . The disadvantage is that it appears to rais blood pressure. If you want to incorporate isometric exercising to your routine, then great, but you must also do aerobic exercise as well. For more information about it, just click here .

When Drugs Are A Good Thing

Did you know that the average person is taking approximately five medications and/or supplements every day? I take more than that between two prescription medicications and vitamin and herbal supplements. So how does one keep track of all these pills anyway? Your doctor should know everything you are taking from Acetaminophen to multiple vitamins. How else will she or he know whether or not there will be an interaction that will either hurt you, or lessen the effect of your medication? Besides the fact that medication is costly, if you are taking it in conjunction with other pills that lessen the effect, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. Thankfully, physicians have a place online where they can check drug doses, side effects and interactions with other pills you may be taking, in a matter of minutes. Your doctor can now tell you exactly how your medication should be taken (with or without food) and what, if anything, will happen if you miss a dose. They can also find out if there are less expensive versions of a particular drug for patients who are either uninsured or not covered for prescriptions. Drugs are a good thing and for many, a necessity, but now your doctor can make sure that he or she is giving you the exact medication you need to make your life even easier.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

No Longer N'Sync

If you choose to believe 'Star' Magazine, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake are no longer a couple and spent Christmas apart.......if you choose to believe the folks you handle Britney Spears (a full-time job), Britney is only at 'Serenity' Spa (and by spa I mean rehab) because she is exhausted and needs a rest.......if you choose to believe Cindy Adams, Barry Manilow has e-mailed all of his friends about his song choices for his 70s cover album and is considering covering "You Light Up My Life" (please, I just ate lunch).....and, if you choose to believe Barbara Walters, Rosie O'Donnell is a loved member of 'The View' and will be welcome back with open arms should she choose to renew her contract.......but, it's all about what you really choose to believe in the end.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

They're Off To A Good Start

Those ambitious blondes are off to a good (and I use the term very loosely) start for the new year. The first and youngest, Britney Spears, is reportedly about to be kicked off her record label for not just being a bad girl (they wouldn't evict her for that alone), but because allegedly her new album, so far, sucks. Meanwhile, her reps are trying to put a motherly spin on her New Year's Eve prat fall at Pure in Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas. They said she was just overly tired and needed to go back to her suite to be with her sons (that and she was totally wasted). The other blonde with ambitions to adopt a Malawian boy, Madonna, supposedly is avoiding any contact with the boy's father. He stated that he would like to speak with her to see how he is doing, but Madonna is turning the other cheek. This is suspect to me anyway since he probably shouldn't be trying to directly contact her anyway. She insists David is doing just fine.

Monday, January 01, 2007

What Did You Resolve In '07?

So, did you wake up with a huge hangover this morning (or afternoon)? If that's the case, you probably haven't even begun to think about the coming year, but some have already begun. Judging from my post on Shapely Secrets, I'm guessing that a lot of you are worried about how you will deal with losing so much weight. Most are obviously looking for a quick fix, and programs like Shapely Secrets fit that bill. There are no easy answers to losing weight. The more you need to lose the harder it will be and be prepared to spend months doing it, one day at a time. However, since so many of you are looking for answers that will bring fast results, another popular program is Oxycise . Oxycise is very similar to Body Flex ,but with different moves. The breathing technique is very similar though and many have gotten good results from this program. The other component though is diet. You have to change your lifestyle in order to help you reach your goal, which means giving up your present eating plan and adopting more healthy alternatives which will leave you satisfied without compromising taste, but will give you the results you desire. I highly recommend Weight Watchers . I've lost over 22 pounds just in the last six months with this program along with regular exercise (both aerobic and weight training). As time goes on, I will continue to review the finer points of weight loss and exercising, but just for today, here's a start for you.

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