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From cold showers to the best must-have products, here's our best fashion and beauty advice.
The most fashionable people know how to mix old and new. Anyone can swipe plastic at a department store, but it takes a strong sense of style—and creativity—to score a treasure at a vintage or thrift shop. Try this approach to building an outfit: Pick one key vintage piece (when shopping, look for intricate beadwork, embroidery and luxurious materials) and pair it with newer items in your closet. That rare vintage find will get you tons of compliments, trust me!
Hot showers may feel great, but they're a real bummer for your skin and hair. They strip away skin's natural defences against dryness and irritants and can weaken hair and make it susceptible to breakage. Lukewarm water, on the other hand, leaves skin hydrated, while cool water helps to close the hair cuticle so tresses look shiny.
Need for speed
"When I have to be fast, I skip traditional eyeshadow and use a shadow stick instead. It blends seamlessly, looks flawless and there isn't any powder fallout... A lifesaver!" - Jodi Urichuk, hair and makeup artist
If you've ever fallen in love with an almost-perfect item of clothing, you know the value or a good tailor—a hemmed pant leg or nipped-in waist can upgrade an entire outfit. But some fixes are easier than others: It's best to buy a coat or blazer that fits properly at the shoulders and then hem the sleeves if necessary. Even with a good tailor, taking in a shoulder seam can be risky.
Tip to toe
Not sure how to ground an outfit? Take a modern approach to pairing and juxtapose styles. If you want to show off your bare legs with a hem that hits midthigh or higher, go for a chunky heel. If the base of your outfit has an obvious masculine look (wide-legged trouser, cargo pant or cuffed jean), opt for a dainty heel.
Tools of the trade
1. Teardrop-shaped sponge
Use it to blend foundation, cream blush or highlighter by lightly bouncing the sponge across skin—the pros call this technique stippling.
The Original Beautyblender, $28, sephora.ca.
2. Basic Black Strappy Heel
The ultimate go-to shoe, it can pull together any outfit and add sophistication.
Suede ankle-strap shoes, $135, ninewest.ca.
3. Good-Quality Blow-Dryer
Look for a lightweight one that is easy to use and gives you plenty of heat and control settings.
T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i, $320, sephora.ca.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle is important, of course, but quick fixes and flashy diets that you hear of online aren't the way to go. These trend diets, advertised to work wonders, can actually bring more hassle and danger than benefits to your health.
With flashy food shots and pictures of fitness gurus posted on social media pretty much every second of the day, it’s no surprise so many of us are scrambling to keep up with appearances through strategic self-branding and unhealthy diets.
“People are willing to try and pay anything in the hopes of losing weight. There are many self-proclaimed ‘experts’ on the internet providing health advice that may not be safe or even science-based,” says Andrea D’Ambrosio, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians of Canada. “It’s crucial to be critical of information that we find on the internet to avoid being misled by false, unsubstantiated claims.”
D’Ambrosio says she reminds her clients that despite what personalities like Dr. Oz say, there’s no magical food or diet for weight loss.
Here are five popular diets to be wary of.
Juicing encourages dieters to juice their plant-based meals. It’s based on the idea that nutrients from foods such as fruits and vegetables can be absorbed quicker, and fresh juice gives our systems a rest from digesting fibre. While some claim this helps in weight loss and the removal of toxins, the truth is that the amount of sugar from the fruit you eat to maintain a feeling of fullness can equal more calories, which contributes to weight gain.
“Diets that remove entire food groups run the high risk of leading to nutritional deficiencies unless you make up the lost nutrients in other foods or supplements,” D’Ambrosio says.
2. Low-carb diet.
A low-carb diet requires the restriction of foods high in carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and certain fruits and vegetables. Although dieters don’t need to cut high-carb foods from their meals entirely, the suggested limit being advocated on social media, is 60 to 130 grams of carbohydrates per day. That’s less than three plain bagels.
3. No fat diet.
A fat-free diet sounds tempting, but is it really? When we think of fat, we often think of the bad kind that’s found in junk food, but we can also find it in nuts and seeds, fish and fruits like avocado. According to a publication by the Harvard Medical School, unsaturated fats (the good kind!) supply the body with energy and can even help prevent heart disease.
A positive note, D’Ambrosio says, is that these types of diets encourage people to eat less processed foods, which is healthier and helps weight management.
4. 5:2 diet.
For those familiar with diets, fasting is no stranger. The 5:2 diet is one of many regimens floating around the internet that has dieters eating normally (read: unrestrained) for five days and reducing food intake to 500 calories a day for the other two.
“Eating less than 500 to 600 calories a day on fasting days is very difficult for many people and challenging to sustain,” she says. “Many who attempt fasting or severe restriction also find a corresponding increase in cravings or binging after their day of restriction.”
5. Activated charcoal “diet”.
Touted by both health junkies and beauty enthusiasts on social media, charcoal can be consumed via tablets or used in cooking. Aficionados of activated charcoal claim it soaks up surface fat so that calories are not absorbed into the body, plus they say it removes unpleasant gases and toxins and reduces appetite.
The short-term effects may be tempting for those hoping to quickly shed a few pounds or to maintain a healthier lifestyle, but D’Ambrosio says there needs to be more research conducted for diets that boast impressive results. “If you want to lose weight fast, remember that you did not gain that quickly.” she says.
D’Ambrosio says working with a professional dietitian to ensure nutritional needs are met and healthy weight-loss strategies are implemented is a good plan for those who need a helping hand losing weight. “Forming a healthy relationship with food and a positive body image—regardless of weight—is also important during any weight-loss journey,” she says.
Tip from D’Ambrosio:
Food-tracking apps, such as eaTracker, give you a better idea of what (unhealthy) foods you’re eating and what swaps you can make to increase the nutrition and healthfulness of your diet.
Andrea D’Ambrosio is also the owner of Dietetic Directions a nutritional counselling and education company based in Kitchener, Waterloo.
When it comes to getting kids helping in the kitchen, our motto is the sooner the better! Here are some of our easy, healthy and kid-friendly favourites that even picky eaters are sure to love.
Cooking with kids may sound like a lot more trouble (and mess!) than it's worth, but when children grow up helping out in the kitchen from a young age, the benefits are priceless. Not only does it help develop an early understanding of safe cooking practices and good old-fashioned work ethic, but think of the fun and delicious results that come from experimenting with different ingredients and flavours!
These recipes are healthy, fun, and easy to make—even for helpers with little hands. And with a wide array of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert (with some snacks, to boot!), we've got you covered from morning to bedtime. Test Kitchen tip: If cooking with kids is new to you, save it for a holiday, PA day or weekend project, when you've got plenty of time to spare before anyone gets too hungry.
Challenge your children to eat every colour of the rainbow by offering vegetables for every arc. Have kids help in the assembly and make their own “rainbows.” We used an assortment of vegetables, but this will also work with vegetables that you have on hand. Or choose vegetables you think the kids will try.
Baking chicken fingers is not only healthier than frying but also a safer alternative to using hot oil, which may spatter. A chicken tender is the little filet that separates easily from the rest of the breast. Kids can help by coating the chicken fingers and arranging them on the baking sheet. Serve with Marinara Dipping Sauce.
Finding a breakfast that gives your family a boost and keeps you going can be tricky, especially if your kids are picky about what they eat for breakfast. These whole grain waffles made with protein-rich Greek yogurt and topped with nutritious berries and more yogurt will start the day off right, and keep the whole family going until lunch. Kids will love cracking the eggs and helping stir up the batter, plus choosing the best berries for garnish!
This tidy version of a Sloppy Joe is perfect for small hands. Serve the extra sauce on the side for dipping. Kids can help by mixing and shaping the mini patties—just make sure they wash their hands well afterwards!
This pull-apart monkey bread tastes just like apple fritters, and it conveniently separates into little doughnut holes for shareable bite-size treats! Get the kids involved in rolling the dough pieces into balls and building the bread in the Bundt pan.
Make this pasta salad for the whole family—the kids will love the mild dressing and round bocconcini cheese, while the adults will appreciate it as a light alternative to a sandwich. Under supervision, kids can chop the cooked chicken and broccoli, and they can also help whisk up the dressing.
Kids of all ages will love topping these chocolate chip–studded dark chocolate cookies with even more chocolate. It's a delicious, messy good time. Drizzle the chocolate using a resealable plastic bag with one corner snipped off, or just dip a fork in the chocolate and wiggle it over the cookies for a simple and fun alternative.
Make weeknight dinners fun (for adults and kids) with these veggie-packed, tomato sauce–topped mini meat loaves. Steamed green beans make a nice veggie side dish. Kids will love shaping the patties themselves and distributing them amongst the muffin tin cups.
Kids will get a kick out of turning classic broccoli with cheese sauce into pancakes. Adding ham makes this breakfast-for-dinner a protein-rich meal. If you don't have fresh broccoli on hand, use frozen, cooking it according to package directions.