She SAID: Fresh Diet… Delivered

Terri Kennerson

A quick internet search will net you any given number of diet remedies and so-called perfect solutions to help you lose weight and reveal your best self. The thing that most of these deals have in common is the notion of a quick fix or a short term solution. Any freshdiet2amount of common sense dictates that 1) there’s no such thing as a quick fix, and 2) the key to losing weight and keeping it off comes with a shift in lifestyle food and exercise choices.

The Fresh Diet is out to convince more people to play the long game in the battle of the bulge. With daily deliveries of 3 meals (and two snacks) based on a Mediterraean Diet, Fresh Diet Fairies (their words, not mine) arrange fresh selections based on your dietary likes and dislikes. The food is actually fresh… never frozen or freeze dried. You can choose meal plans to suit your needs (and wallet) over the  period of a week or month.

The Fresh Diet delivers to 12 states (including 44 metro areas and nearly 600 cities) in the continental United States.

While The Fresh Diet doesn’t make any outrageous dietary claims, they do keep daily deliveries to a specififreshdiet3c number of calories, based on gender. The idea is that with a steady diet of fresh ingredients and balanced meals, your body will have no choice but to shed excess weight.

Prepare to pay for the privilege of having your meals delivered daily. A month-long program runs more than $1,000. If you don’t spend nearly that much on food regularly, such a price tag may cause you to pause. If you’re not sure how much you actually spend on food weekly/monthly… it might be time to revisit the ol’ budget. It is absolutely possible to plan, prepare, and enjoy the same kinds of meals on your own, likely for much less. But because the plan is specifically designed for busy people with no time for such trivialities, the question becomes… why would you want to?

He SAID: The Martian Delivers

Scott F. Evans

The Martian is proof positive of how great films can be when all of the parts: writing, direction, and acting… work together.

Ridley Scott is an iconic director. Some might even call him visionary. But even at his talent level, Scott is only as good as his script. Consider Robin Hood, The Counselor, Prometheus and most recently Exodus: Gods & Kings. The truth is that with that kind of roster, Scott – iconic status and all – became box office poison. These films (although visually stunning) were misfires, specifically at the screenplay level.

themartianThis legendary director needed The Martian.

Proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, Scott reigned in his highly visual style and instead focused on human interaction. Stunning imagery of the Mars landscape is prominent throughout the film, but it’s the heart and soul of the human stranded on the Red Planet that takes center stage. Scott’s direction is effortless and unobtrusive. His camera allows us to both take in the imagery and connect with the camera. At no point does one overwhelm the other.

themartian1The Martian was written by Drew Goddard and adapted from the novel of the same name by Andy Weir. Goddard’s screenplay is smart but he never lets it go over audience’s heads. All of the main characters are scientists or administrators, and they behave like scientists and administrators. Goddard avoids including the typical clichéd versions of these archetypes, and focuses on the the humanity of each character. There’s drama, but it grows from realistic complications, not cartoon villainy. If The Martian has a villain, it’s nature and circumstances. Goddard injects healthy doses of heart and humor but neither are obviously shoehorned into the overall picture.

The stellar cast plays their respective roles with a natural relaxation that draws you into the story. You nthemartian5ever catch them ‘acting.’ Matt Damon is probably one of the more likable actors of his generation, and he’s perfect in the lead role as astronaut Mark Watney. He’s all charm,  and you immediately root for him. Jeff Daniels is NASA head Teddy Sanders. Typically, this character would be the antagonist. While Sanders has to make the tough decisions, Daniels’ gruff charisma makes you root for him. Chiwetel Ejiofor rounds out the lead cast as NASA Mission Director Vincent themartian3Kapoor. Ejiofor is effortless and excellent in what could have been the thankless role of a moderator between the suits and the astronauts.

The only real criticism I have about The Martian is that the overall nature of the film is a bit exuberant. Characters are faced with problems and they dive right in to solve them. They make mistakes, but there’s never a moment where any of them are paralyzed with fear, indecision, or regret. While it paints a refreshing picture of smart people doing thing smartly, it also gives the false impression of lower stakes.

That said, go see The Martian. It’s a great ride with strong performances and clever writing… and it just might re-instill a little faith in humanity.

RATING: Theater

She SAID: Eyes, Lips, Face

Shahada Karim

These days, we have a distinct need to ‘de-clutter’ our surroundings. For makeup, that means no little pans of single eyeshadows, blushes and the like. The truth is, those individual pots end up getting buried in whatever bag or kit they happen to fall into, only to be rediscovered well past their expiration date. These days, we’re all about the multitasking palette.

COVER FX Contour Palette

When Cover FX came out with their contour palette, the first thing we wanted to know was if we multitask3could cheat by using it for foundation. Answer: YES. Each palette features four shades (one of which is bound to match your exact skin color) for purposes of highlighting and contouring. You can use fingers (please sanitize between uses) or a brush (beware of hairs getting stuck in the cream formula) or a sponge.

SEPHORA Ombre Obsession Eyeshadow Palette

Always on the quest to solidify the company name, Sephora’s latest makeup release includes multitaska palette of ombre eyeshadows that can be mixed and matched to one’s heart’s desire. We recommend a smaller brush to pick up individual color… otherwise you  might end up with an unexpected color combination. The good news is, this palette is great in a pinch; a few swipes of color and you can head out the door in record time, without worrying about coordinating colors and finishes (because they’re all in the same place. Yay!).

TARTE Bling it On Amazonian Clay Blush Palette

Okay, that’s a mouthful. Tarte probably decided to do the most with that product name, to make it truly worthy of the product itself. Five full sized blushes in a single palette are multitask1nothing to sneeze at. The limited edition palette features Tarte’s five bestselling colors. The brand is known for pigmentation and long wear in the blush department, so we’d say all is mostly forgiven for that name… mostly.

BOBBI BROWN University Lip Palette

Not to be outdone, Bobbi  Brown released 10 of the original lip multitask2colors in a single palette, including two shimmer shades. The idea is that you can use them straight out of the pan, or mix the them for a bespoke shade. Bobbi Brown is predicated on the idea that there is a color to flatter every skin tone, and offers this palette as proof. At $60 (and for the moment exclusively at Sephora), it’s much cheaper than trying out each individual shade in a single bullet…

Plus, we’re so over that singular stuff.

Remember?

We SAID: Autumn Adjustments

Staff Writer

Many of us are subconciously gearing up for hibernation mode; the Holiday Season is kind of here (the shopping season is already in full swing for millions of Americans) and that means a nearly guaranteed 15-20 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even the best laid workout plans tend to take a back seat to planning for friends, family and Holiday faire. Before you know it, you can no longer blame too-tight jeans on a marathon session in the dryer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

One of the most common causes for workout setbacks is the failure to adjust for thautumnworkout3e season. The way you worked out in the Spring and Summer months might not translate to Autumn and Winter. Long outdoor runs or cycling sessions can be uncomfortable, if not downright hazardous in cold and wet weather. Weekend workouts in the park obviously won’t have the same appeal.

Adjust Your Scenery

If you normally workout outdoors, consider taking the routine inside for the season. If the general atmosphere of your local gym doesn’t appeal to you, consider specialized studios for Spin, Crossfit, Dance, Martial Arts or Yoga. Switching up will not only keep you interested and potentially consistent in your workout goals, it will open you up to new possibilities, people, and opportunities to expand your physical and mental capacity. Plus, Cupid might be hanging around to set you up with a special blessing. We know a guy who first went to  yoga to pick up spiritually open, physically fit women (we’re not saying his initial intentions were noble. But hey, people can change). He’s now married, two kids, and living his best life with the coolest yoga teacher you ever did meet. Just saying.

Adjust Your Diet

We know… so much easier said than done. But mindfully shifting toward a diet better suited for colder months will help keep you on track in terms of health and wellness. Heat-bearing foods like Walnuts and Nutmeg can go a long way to helping you maintain a cozy feeling of fullness without overdoing it. Cut back on ‘spike-worthy’ ingredients like processed sugars that can send your energy through the roof, and bring you crashing down. A dash of cayenne in dishes things like spaghetti (with ground turkey and gluten free pasta) can help you burn a couple of extra calories without your taste buds ever figuring out the difference.autumnworkout2

Adjust Your Attitude

Becoming aware of the changes outside your window, can help you adjust to the changes inside your body. Make a list or keep a journal, and refer to it each day to keep your diet and exercise routine on track. A physical account keeps you honest about everything you eat and do, including that quick bite of a cookie or walking out on the second  half of a strenuous group exercise class. Keeping track of what you eat, and when and how you work out can go a long way to avoiding unwanted Holiday pounds… and the perpetual need for a ‘weight loss’ resolution come the New Year.

We SAID: Summer’s Last Squeeze

Staff Writerwatermelon water 1

Autumn is here, even if the weather in some places has yet to get the memo. If you’re already longing for the next round of Summer goodness, you can drink in what might be the best representative of the season: WTRMLN (watermelon) WTR (water).

Not actually water at all, the 100%  juice drink is made of watermelon and lemon. That’s it. It’s sweet and tart all at once, and goes down like the virgin version of some fruity drink we tried during our last trip to the Caribbean.

Taste aside, the drink also boasts an impressive list of health benefits. Watermelon is considered a nutrient-dense food: high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants… but low in calories. Studies suggest that consuming watermelon helps decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It also helps promote a healthy complexion, healthy hair, and increases overall energy. The addition of lemon upgrades watermelon’s own Vitamin C content, which can in turn help boost the immune system.

You can find WTRMLN WTR online for the moment. Here’s hoping it’ll soon spring up at a grocery store near you.