How to spot diet scams Dietitian Leslie Beck talked with Balance Television host Dr. Marla Shapiro about diet scams and offered up six red flags to help you spot them.
Promises a miracle "Sure, you can lose 10 pounds in 10 days. Just imagine what happens if you eat cabbage soup or grapefruits day-in, day-out. But you know that's not safe. There are health consequences," Beck said. "Any rapid weight-loss diet must be medically supervised. What happens when you lose weight fast is you're losing more than that fat, you're losing muscle and water and what happens when you lose muscle is your metabolic rate slows down."
The result? It gets harder to lose weight as you carry on and easier to gain the weight back.
Guarantees "easy" weight loss Diets that promote easy, effortless weight loss should be avoided. To lose weight in a healthy fashion you have to change your eating habits and incorporate exercise. "For many of us, that's not effortless," Beck said. "It takes discipline and work."
Sells a "must have" product Beware diets or programs that sell or promote a "must-have" product that is the key to weight loss, Beck warned. "The problem with that is, it really sets up, in my mind, an artificial environment." The short term solution doesn't teach you how to shop for and cook healthy foods and how to order in restaurants, all key to keeping weight off once you're off the diet.
Rejects modern medicine Many fad diet authors reject the prevailing wisdom of doctors and dietitians, Beck said. "They claim to be nutrition experts and yet they dismiss years of scientific evidence around diet and weight loss and they offer their own unconventional solution that will work."
Offers enticing testimonials "Testimonials are so easy to get," Beck explained. "They're not based on science, they can come from anywhere." Even if the person lost the weight you have no way of knowing if they kept it off. Look for scientific research to support the diet or program as opposed to quotations from alleged success stories.
Gives a "money back guarantee" "Most companies have no intention of giving you your money back," Beck noted. "And even those that do know that very few people will actually go to the trouble of sending the product back."
Keep those toes nice and warm this winter with this super simple knit.
Keep your tootsies toasty with a cozy pair of hand-knitted socks that are sure to be the favourite pair in your drawer. This easy (and free!) pattern is knit in Fine Tweed Yarn, which is made up of a mix of superfine alpaca, soft merino wool and viscose for warm and soft sock.
Knitting Tips: The Anthony Socks are an intermediate level pattern, and a great first foray into knitting socks. You'll have lots of practice picking up stitches, purling and knitting in the round on double pointed needles. Don't be intimidated by the heel, it isn't as hard as you think. By the time you finish the first sock, you'll be tackling the second with confidence and excitement.
Materials: - 1 skein (Women's size S, M, L), 2 skeins ( Men's S, M, L) of Americo Fine Tweed (25% Superfine alpaca / 55% Merino Wool/ 20% Viscose) 100g / 465 yards (425 m) - 2.5 mm (US 1) set of 4 or 5 Double-pointed NeedlesNOTE: if you prefer a denser fabric, you can use 2.25 mm needles. Socks will be slightly smaller, but not significantly - Yarn needle or crochet hook - Stitch holder
Note about the yarn:Americo Fine Tweed is available through Americo Original online and at select yarn stores. You can substitute for other fingering weight yarns in your stash. Remember that you will need 1 skein for women's size S, M, L and 2 skeins for men's S, M, L.
Gauge: 36 stitches and 44 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in stocking stitch using 2.5 mm (US 1) size needles or size needed to achieve gauge.
Abbreviations and Terminology: K, k: knit P, p: purl Rib: Rib (bed), ribbing – a pattern stitch – has vertical columns of knit and purl stitches, side by side, with elastic properties. Examples: (K1, P1) aka 1 x 1 ribbing; (K2, P2) aka 2 x 2 ribbing etc. k2t (slant to R): Knit 2 together - Insert the needle into the front of the 2 knit stitches from left to right. Draw the yarn through to the front knitwise, and drop both stitches from the needle. p2t (slant to R):Purl 2 together - Insert the R needle into the front of the next 2 stitches, from R to L. Draw yarn through both stitches purlwise and drop these stitches from the needle. ssk (slant to L): Slip-Slip-Knit - Slip 2 stitches knit wise onto the R needle. Insert L needle into the front of both slipped stitches and draw yarn through to the front. Drop both stitches from the needle. DPN(s): double pointed needle(s) - A needle with points at both ends; used in sets of used singly or in sets or 4 or 5, for knitting in the round; also used for working narrow pieces of knitting, or for cable patterns Grafting: Hold the needles parallel with the purl sides facing each other and the needle tips pointing in the same direction. Thread a tapestry needle with a tail of yarn long enough to get across the entire row of stitches that are being grafted. Before you begin grafting you need to do two actions to set up for the technique one time only. First: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the needle closest to you as if to purl it and pull the yarn through leaving the stitch on the needle. Second: Insert the needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit the stitch. Leave the stitch on the needle and pull your yarn through. Now you are ready to follow the 4-step technique called grafting: Step 1: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the front needle knitwise, and slip the stitch off the needle. Step 2: Insert the needle into the next stitch on the front needle purlwise and leave it on the needle. Pull the length of yarn through gently. Step 3: Insert needle into the first stitch on the back needle purlwise, and slip it off the end of the needle. Step 4: Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on the back needle knitwise and leave it on the needle. Pull the length of yarn through gently. Repeat these four steps for a few inches / cm. End at the end of your steps so you know where to start up again. Use a crochet hook to adjust the tension of the yarn you have been weaving through the stitches to match your gauge. Continue to end. Tip: I find an easy way to remember what I am doing after the initial set up row is to say over and over: Knit 1 slip it off, purl 1 leave it on, purl 1-slip it off, knit 1 leave it on. Eventually you just remember what you are doing.
Finished Foot Circumference: Woman's S, Woman's M, Women's L, Man's S, Man's M, Man's L 7.5 8* 8.5 9 9.5 10 inches 19 20.5 21.5 23 24 25.5 cm
Instructions: Leg: Using a 2.5 mm (US 1) size needles, cast on 68(72, 76, 80, 84, 88). For a stretchy cast on, we used the Twisted German Cast on for our sample. Instructions for it can be found here. Alternatively, you can use a long tail cast on using a needle one size larger for the cast on only. Arrange stitches as evenly as possible on 3 DPN's. Place marker and join, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Work k2, p2 ribbing until piece measures 3 inches (7.5 cm). Now work in stocking stitch, until piece measures 8 inches (20.5 cm), or desired length, from the beginning.
Heel: Knit across 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) stitches. Turn work, and purl across 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44) stitches. These are the heel stitches.
Place the remaining 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44) stitches on a spare needle or stitch holder to be worked later (called Instep stitches ).
Heel Flap (using the Eye of Partridge stitch pattern) Work back and forth on the heel stitches as follows: Row1: (RS) *Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in back (wyib), k1: rep from *. Row 2:(WS) Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front (wyif), purl to end. Rep Rows 1 and 2 until the following number of rows have been worked 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44)
There will be 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) chain selvedge stitches on both edges of your work.
Turn Heel: Row 1 (RS): Knit across, 19(20, 21, 22, 23, 24) stitches, ssk, k1, turn work. Row 2 (WS): Slip 1 purlwise, purl 5, p2t, p1, turn. Row 3 (RS): Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before gap, ssk (1 stitch from each side of gap), k1, turn. Row 4(WS): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before gap, p2tog (1 stitch from each side of gap), p1, turn.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all heel stitches have been worked, ending with a WS row.
There will remain 20(20, 22, 22, 24, 24) stitches.
Heel Gusset: Knit across all heel stitches and, with same dpn (needle 1), pick up and knit: 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) stitches, along the selvedge edge of heel flap: with another dpn, (needle 2) work across the held instep stitches; with another dpn (needle 3), pick up and knit: 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) stitches along the other side of the heel, and knit across half of the heel stitches. Total stitches: 88(92, 98, 102, 108, 112) stitches.
The round now begins at the Centre Back Heel:
Round 1: Knit to the last 3 stitches on needle 1, K2tog, k1; knit across all instep stitches on needle 2; at beginning of needle 3, k1, ssk, knit to end - 2 gusset stitches have been decreased.
Round 2: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there remain: 68(72, 76, 80, 84, 88) stitches.
Foot: Work even in stocking stitch until piece measures from the back of heel: 6.5(7.5, 8, 8, 8.5, 9) inches [ 16.5, (19, 20.5, 20.5, 21.5, 23) cm ]OR about 1.75(2, 2, 2.25, 2.25, 2.5) inches [4.5(5, 5, 5.5, 5,5) cm ] less than desired total foot length.
Toe: Round 1: Needle 1- knit to last 3 stitches, k2t, k1; Needle 2- k1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2t, k1; Needle 3- k1, ssk, knit to end (4 toe stitches decreased). Round 2: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there remain: 32(36, 40, 40, 44, 44) stitches.
Repeat Round 1 only until there remain 12 stitches for all sizes.
Knit the stitches from Needle 1 onto Needle 3. There will now be 6 stitches on each of the two needles. Cut yarn leaving an 18 inch (46cm) tail. Graft the two sides of the toe together.
Finishing: Sew in all loose ends.
Americo Original is a Canadian yarn company and online knitting shop with its own line of quality yarns, knitwear patterns and accessories. Americo’s yarns are made exclusively in the Andean highlands of South America, using only natural fibres, including luxurious wool, llama, alpaca, cotton, linen, silk and cashmere. Americo and its in-house design lab are based in Toronto, offering international shipping from its online store: americo.ca/shop.
How to care for you skin Covering the beauty beat and having bad skin is like being a hairstylist with mall bangs or a personal trainer that's seriously out of shape. It's a hard sell.
As a teenager, I dealt with the typical lumps and bumps of hormonal acne. Now I've been out of high school for over a decade, but my skin still hasn't graduated from good ol' acne. My friends and I describe the condition as "wracne": â€¨a Frankenstein-like hybrid of wrinkles and acne. What's a girl (or should I say, woman) to do? Teen-targeted pimple fighters are drying and exacerbate my fine lines, but rich anti-aging creams throw a pimple party on my face – and everyone's invited.
So I'm on a mission to find clear skin, and my first step is to meet with dermatologist Lisa Kellett of DLK in Toronto to get some answers. Kellett cuts to the chase: "I want you to tell me what you put on your skin from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed," she says with her pen poised.
Hesitantly, I rattle off the dozens of products I've been trying as of late and, based on her reaction, she's not impressed with my supersize skin-care regimen. Apparently, my anti-aging efforts may be part of the problem. While she admits that acne is the result of a number of factors, she is adamant that 95 percent of what's causing adult acne in her patients is improper skin care. And by that, she doesn't mean we're not cleaning our faces; she's saying that we aging beauties need to lay off the occlusive (ointment-based) creams that can cause clogged pores.
She instructs me to use a nonfoaming gel-based cleanser with small exfoliating beads in the morning and at night, and recommends I apply an acne treatment all over to treat breakouts before they start. She suggests a serum with a one percent retinol concentration to use at night and a serum with a 25 percent or higher vitamin C concentration for morning.
How lifestyle and diet affect acne Besides the glaring errors in my skin-care routine, I wonder if my lifestyle and diet could be causing my bad complexion. So I book an appointment with naturopath Penny Kendall-Reed at Urban Wellness in Toronto to see if she can help me take a holistic approach to my acne issues.
"Acne is often hormonal," says Kendall-Reed. Teenage acne, she explains, is stimulated by an imbalance among estrogen, testosterone and progesterone; it causes sebum (an oily substance) to be released into the skin. But she also sees a lot of acne in women when they have additional hormonal shifts, such as in their late 20s and early 30s, and again in their late 40s and early 50s.
"During those transition years, women often have imbalances between progesterone and testosterone, and a surge in cortisol, the stress hormone, all of which release more sebum into the skin. These imbalances also increase an enzyme called collagenase, which breaks down collagen in the skin, creating the perfect recipe for acne and wrinkles," she explains.
So what can you do to counter the problems caused by cortisol and your other raging hormones? Load up on omega-3s (get 3,000 milligrams a day in capsule form or from foods such as fish, flax, avocados and nuts), zinc (get it in foods such as walnuts), vitamin C (get 1,000 milligrams a day in capsule form or from leafy greens and berries) and hyaluronic acid (take 40 to 80 milligrams a day in capsule form).
And what about the rumour that dairy products cause breakouts? Kendall-Reed doesn't buy it. "It's very individual," she says. "Some people may react to dairy while others react to wheat or other foods."
But there is a common culprit: sugar. Remember that commercial from the early '90s about acne being caused by eating too many chocolate bars? There might be some truth to it. A diet high in sugar does affect the skin by creating advanced glycation end products, which can weaken collagen cells, cause inflammation and exacerbate acne. Kendall-Reed recommends trying an elimination diet while keeping a food diary to see which foods contribute to breakouts.
How to get rid of acne With a new list of eating habits and my supplements in hand, it's time to seek out a skin-care professional to round out my routine. So I head for a facial at The International Dermal Institute in Toronto to get the skinny from skin therapist Amanda Lindsay.
She points out my problem areas (my jawline and chin), which are very common breakout areas for adult acne. (Teen acne usually occurs on the forehead and around the centre of the face.) She recommends cleansing twice at the end of the day, starting with an oil-based (non–mineral oil) cleanser and following with another cleanser â€¨tailored to my skin type. "Oil will attract oil just like water attracts water, so an oil-based cleanser actually helps deep-clean the pores," says Lindsay. She cautions me to be extra gentle when exfoliating, because scrubbing a breakout can lead â€¨to inflammation.
One sneaky acne-causing culprit is bacteria. Lindsay reminds me that I should be washing my makeup brushes once a week (oops, guilty!) and changing my pillowcases frequently. She also suggests I reevaluate the kind of hair products I use, including any heavy-duty conditioners and silicone-laced products that can clog pores.
But her most important tip (and the hardest one to follow) is not to squeeze breakouts. "You can push the infection deeper, and that will cause pigmentation issues that can last for a long time and are hard to treat," says Lindsay.
Now that I've cleared my cupboard of pore-clogging creams, stocked my fridge with skin-clearing foods and gotten a lesson in skin hygiene, a future with a clear complexion is in my sights.
We asked some of Canada's top celebrity designers to spill the beans on their best-kept design secrets—and did they ever! Read on for expert advice on everything from space planning and choosing paint colours to styling shelves and how to create a foolproof gallery wall.
The inside scoop on space planning
How much space do you need around your dining room table? Can you really make a room feel larger? Our experts weigh in.
Tip 1: Sofas should be two-thirds the length of the longest wall, and seating is placed close enough around so no person is more than eight feet from another to allow for easy conversation. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 2: One easy rule to figure out what size dining table you need: allow for a minimum of 30 inches walking clearance on all sides. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Space planning is critical. For a kitchen island, for example, leave three feet of space between the island and surrounding counters. Ensure that appliances (like the fridge or dishwasher) can open without blocking traffic flow or hitting neighbouring walls or cabinets. Not leaving enough room is a mistake people make all the time, before they call a designer in a panic to help fix it! — Lisa Canning
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 4: Use mirrors strategically to expand space and increase the amount of natural light reflected in the room. Framing a wall with floor-to-ceiling mirrors adds a dramatic effect to the feeling and scale of the room. — Brian Gluckstein
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 5: Allow for 18 inches between the sofa and the coffee table so people have enough room to pass by and to make it easy to reach for drinks or food. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 6: Want to make sure furniture fits before it arrives at your door? There are a host of free sites (like planyourroom.com) that allow you to put furniture onto a scaled floor plan. Another option? Many furniture and decor stores offer free design services, and they'll do the calculating for you. — Janette Ewen
Light it up
Follow these five rules and your lights will shine in all the right ways.
Tip 2: Install dimmer switches; they're a practical way to control light and energy consumption. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 3: The bottom of the shade of your bedside reading lamp should be at shoulder height when sitting in bed. Do the math! — Karl Lohnes
Tip 4: Choose a pendant or chandelier that's one-third the size of the table or kitchen island. Hang it approximately 30 to 36 inches above the table or island; if there are more than one, place them 12 to 18 inches apart. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Incandescent bulbs are great for atmosphere lighting, but LED bulbs are more suited to task lighting, when you really need to see what you're working on. — Janette Ewen
The inside scoop on paint and palette
Did you know that paint selection should be one of the last decisions you make when decorating a room?
Tip 1: I'm a firm believer in mood boards. They're not just for designers! Gather together fabrics, paint samples and inspiration images for a room before starting. It will create a picture and a trajectory that you may not have thought of. — Steven Sabados
Tip 2: When you design a room, pull your palette from one inspiration fabric. Whether you use a whimsical print or a more traditional pattern, take all the colours present in that material and allow those to guide fabric selection for pillows, throws, drapery and upholstery in the room. Take that same fabric to the paint store and have a custom colour mixed that matches one of the hues exactly. — Lisa Canning
Tip 4: Fine finish Choose a fresh trim colour in a semigloss, such as Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace OC-65. It creates a subtle separation from a matte wall, and it's a much more durable finish, which comes in handy since trims are usually the most touched, bumped and scuffed parts of our homes. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Colour pop If you buy that cool orange statement chair, give it a buddy. When you're adding a colourful piece to a space, always have at least one other subtle hit of that colour elsewhere in the room to create a cohesive feel. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 6: Want to make a room feel taller? Paint baseboards and crown moulding the same colour as the walls. Want it to feel huge? mix one-third of the wall colour into the ceiling paint. — Karl Lohnes
The inside scoop on styling
You've bought the sofa and painted the walls. Now what? Our experts show you how to style a room like a pro.
Tip 1: Shop at stores that have liberal return policies and buy three times as much as you think you need. This gives you plenty of merchandise to play with to see what works and what does not. Mix in unique family heirlooms and vintage finds with the new pieces you purchase to create a naturally curated look. — Janette Ewen
Photography by Magdalena M
Tip 2: For a no-fail pillow combination, you need only three: one 20- by 20-inch, one 16- by 16-inch and one 12- by 16-inch. Those sizes look good together no matter how you arrange them! — Jo Alcorn
Tip 3: Beauty is in the details When styling a console, include framed art on easels or leaning against the wall; it's a great way to display smaller pieces. Create a dynamic vignette by mixing in boxes, vases and vintage pieces in differing heights and dimensions. — Brian Gluckenstein
Tip 4: Mix and match Use these common elements when styling shelves: stacks of books, gorgeous flowers and at least one accessory that has a lot of shimmer and shine. Varying heights and textures is also really important for visual interest. — Lisa Canning
The inside scoop on art
Take the mystery out of hanging art.
Tip 1: Make your own art! Buy a canvas in a size you're looking for, then grab some paint in the colours you're decorating with, and see what happens. Great masterpieces are born of happy accidents or beautiful mistakes. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 2: When hanging art on an empty wall, the middle of the art should to be hung 66 to 72 inches off the floor. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Art relates to furniture, not the ceiling: Keep art about six to eight inches above the sofa, or any piece of furniture, when hanging it. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Tip 4: For a gallery wall, use different-size frames in one single finish and select artwork with a consistent theme in colour or subject matter to keep the display cohesive. — Brian Gluckenstein
Each year, top designers and brands showcase the best in innovative and inspiring design from around the world at The Interior Design Show in Toronto. We’ve picked our top Canadian designers that you may not have heard of yet, but should.