Friday, March 19, 2010


By Brianne Harrison

The weather’s gotten warmer (at last!) but my skin hasn’t quite caught up yet. I’ve still got winter-dry hands and probably will at least until mid-April. Luckily, I’ve found a great remedy in Bliss’ Lemon + Sage Body Butter Lite. Unlike most of the moisturizers I’ve tried, this soaks into the skin quickly, without leaving me with greasy hands that can’t grip the knob on the bathroom door. It moisturizes beautifully, and has a nice clean, fresh scent rather than the cloying scents of so many other moisturizers on the market today. If you need some serious skin therapy, Bliss also has a Lemon + Sage Body Butter, apparently their best-selling body product for 10 years. Try it out, and you’ll see why!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're Not Buying it!

By Jennifer Chaky

The Tap Water Movement is gaining steam as more and more people become aware of the nightmare of commercially-bottled water--where natural ecosystems are destroyed, one liter of water for every liter bottled is wasted, and millions of plastic bottles are put into the waste stream- 80% of which do not get recycled. And that doesn't even address the massive amounts of energy being consumed throughout this whole ordeal- from collection to transport. And don't get me started on the chemicals being leached from the plastic bottles into the water that we drink...ugh!

Beverage companies had us convinced for a while that we needed to depend on them to have healthy drinking water. But consider this: brands like Aquafina and Dasani are reprocessed tap water from sources like the Detroit River and other municipal water supplies. Yes, companies like Coca Cola and Nestle buy plain old tap water from municipalities for the same price that citizens pay, then they sell it back to those citizens at 500 times the cost. And this to me is the greatest injustice. Water is a right for every being on Earth, not a commodity to be bought and sold. It should not ever be controlled by corporations, but we dangerously give corporations this control when we pay them for our water.

By simply drinking filtered water from your tap you take back control while doing something great for your health and the health of the natural environment. Now, all filters are not created equal. Brands like Brita and Pur are two popular ones that remove chlorine and will make your water taste better, but if you want one that removes a wide range of contaminants you need a carbon filter system like Multi-Pure water filters that come in a variety of systems and price ranges to fit your needs and budget.

So hit that tap and know what a good thing you are doing!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Core Training

By Gerard Bochese

The big buzz in fitness is core training. The problem is, most people don’t know what the core truly is. Technically it is the pelvis, abdominal wall, spine, hip complex, and rib cage and all of the 29 muscles that attach to this complex. In other words, the core is your body minus your arms, legs and head – your trunk. The core’s purpose is to work as an integrated functional unit that accelerates, decelerates, and dynamically stabilizes the body during movement.

What is interesting about exercise is that all movement must pass through the core, so technically all exercises involve some kind of core involvement. This is why training the core correctly and knowing which muscles need to be trained as core muscles is so important.

From the above definition the core is much more than the “6 pack” and only doing crunches is a far cry from core training.

There are two systems to the core:
1) Stabilization system
2) Movement system

These two systems must work together. We must work from the inside (stabilization system) out (movement system) because the stabilization system, based on its location within the body, provides direct stabilization to our spine, pelvis, and hips and the movement system does not. Therefore, training the muscles of the movement system prior to the muscles of the stabilization system (which most people do by performing crunches, bicycles, etc.) does not make structural, biomechanical or logical sense. It’s like building a house—you must have a strong foundation (core) before you can put up the frame or the house will collapse.

The four (4) key core muscles in need of stability training are:
• Deep abdominals – transverse abdominus, internal obliques – these muscles act as an internal weight belt and connect the upper and lower body.
• Hip abductors and rotators – these muscles are the foundation for leg training
• Spine stabilizers – these muscles are directly opposite the deep abdominals and also connect the upper and lower body
• Scapula stabilizers – muscles between our shoulder blades that act as the foundation for arm training.

By training these muscles to be structurally strong and have a strong endurance capacity, one is creating a stable base or platform to perform everyday tasks as well as recreational and fitness activities. When we are pushing and pulling, carrying and lifting things in the gym or the real world with our arms and legs, we need our core to be the base of support that these extremities can work off of. If the core is weak there will be compensations, postural deviations and potential injury while performing these tasks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Color for a Cause

By Brianne Harrison

Pancreatic cancer is a particularly dire form of the disease. Diagnosis often comes too late—in more than 80% of cases, the tumor has already spread and cannot be completely removed. A staggering 95% of those diagnosed die within five years. This is an area of medicine greatly in need of more research into treatments, but, like anything, research takes money. Quite a lot of it.

In an effort to raise those necessary funds, Entertain Me For a Cause is hosting their first annual Color for a Cause fundraising benefit on March 25 at The Manor in West Orange. The evening offers something for everyone: Swayde Boutique will host a fashion show, and there will be entertainment, dancing, raffles, a four-course gourmet dinner, and an open bar. There’ll be plenty of prizes, giveaways, and gift baskets, and all attendees will leave with a goodie bag.

Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased by contacting Robyn at Twenty percent of the ticket sales will be donated to the Pancreatic Research Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.

Come out and help those suffering this terrible disease. Remember that each patient is someone’s child, spouse, parent, or friend, and only by joining together to help can we make this cancer a thing of the past.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Black Garlic: The Ingredient that Wouldn’t Go Away

By Pat Tanner

I first encountered black garlic at last summer’s Fancy Food Show, where I refused to take even a nibble. (This from someone who once voluntarily ate toasted mealy worms.) My thinking went something like this: “Garlic that is turned jet black and described as sweet? No thank you!” But when restaurant chefs all over the country started singing its praises, I warily ordered some from (It is also available at Wegmans and some other upscale markets.)

Long story short: I am smitten.

Black garlic does taste sweet, but not sugary sweet. More like molasses sweet, although others have detected balsamic vinegar, chocolate, licorice, and fennel. It was developed in South Korea as a health product and is purported to contain twice as many antioxidants as regular garlic. The black, sticky cloves are made by taking regular, run-of-the-mill garlic, fermenting it for three weeks in an environment of controlled heat and humidity, and then ageing it for another week. In the process, the acrid bite normally associated with garlic is completely mellowed out.

New recipes using this black gold are popping up online every week. Among the first I tried was Scallops with Black Garlic at Fabulous. I also made black garlic puree from a recipe by Jeremy Fox, who just left the highly regarded vegetarian restaurant Ubuntu in Napa, California. It’s as simple as pureeing cloves from two heads of black garlic in a blender or mini-food processor and adding as little water as needed to make the mixture pourable. Like the vinaigrette below, it is terrific drizzled over chunks of warm, cooked potatoes and hard cooked eggs.

For additional recipes - as well as the full story behind the development of this welcome new ingredient - visit

Adapted from Caron Golden, San Diego Network News

5 cloves black garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Process until the black garlic is completely incorporated. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. (Good over greens as well as warm, cooked potatoes.)

Makes about 1 cup.