Natural beauty

Natural beauty

Are you the type of girl who like a soft, natural look? Are you

looking for one that will leave your lashes soft and flexible? Do

you desire gentle enhancement, not a full out  glam-gal look? 

Then L’Oreal Mascara Bare Naturale Mineral Enriched

Mascara may be your dream product.  It’s

full of conditioners such as Vitamin E and aloe. It goes on soft.

If you are careful, it doesn’t clump. The look is definitely

soft. There is no strong scent. If you want wow lashes, this not

your mascara. But if you like it soft and natural, you will love

this! At most drug and big box stores.


DolceDolce trend alert

Bend me, shape me,

anyway you want me

So goes the lyric from a classic rock song by The

American Breed – and it’s what most of

us do get fabulous lashes. I know darlings, I have done it all.

In the pursuit of lashes to die for, contributing editor Anne

Gravel and I have tried extensions, extenders, and

a whole host of mascaras. Anne adores lash extensions and her recommendations

are in the archives

Anne loves her lash extensions
I stick mostly to mascara. Those I like for every day are made by

L’Oreal Paris: Voluminous

and Telescopic, in blackest black.  When

I am feeling very extravagant, I adore Chanel Inimitable

Multi Dimensional Mascara. I like a heavily-lashed,

glam look. 

In spite of less than lavish lashes, I passed on the lash growing

products by Jan Marini and others. Jan Marini

has since discontinued this product as it contained prescription glaucoma

medicine. This seems like such a bad idea to me, I avoid the whole


Allergan, the makers of Botox,

have finished clinical trials on a preparation to

grow lashes that uses an ingredient in their prescription medicine

Lumigan. Lumigan is used to treat glaucoma and was also seen to

grow darker, thicker lashes as a secondary effect. Ironically, this

is exactly how Botox came to be used as a cosmetic. A Vancouver

eye doctor noticed and documented the secondary effect of Botox

in wrinkle reduction. Allergan’s product will be sold by prescription.

When the first Spin Lash Mascara hit

the drug and big boxes stores, I took a good look them. The battery-powered

wands can be used with your own mascara or the one that comes with

it. It cost abut $15. I just can’t bring myself to buy one.

I just don’t need anything that spins that close to my eyes.

I have poked myself a few time with plain mascara; that was bad

enough. A spinning mascara just doesn’t appeal to me. Besides,

I haven’t heard raves about it from my sources.

Now Lancôme and Estee

Lauder have come out with prestige spinning mascaras,

Oscillation and Turbo lash

respectively. The cult is already forming, but I am still not convinced.

I may change my mind. After all it’s hard to resist trying something

so new from two acknowledged innovators. Both companies make some

of the most popular mascaras on the market.

Most beauty products today are pretty fabulous. I think they

are usually worth trying once, if they interest you. But in today’s

economy, value for money is important too. So when it comes to my

lashes, I will continue to bend them, shape them ,and black them

– but I will not be spinning them, at least not anytime soon. But

another thing I have learned about beauty is: never say never.


A side salad for four


side salad for four

or a main salad for


Peel and slice 3 medium red beets as thinly as you would tomatoes

for a salad, about 1/8 inch/3 mm. Be careful not to slice them too

thin. Do the same with 2 golden beets. You may use all red beets

if you like.

Tip: Keep a bowl of clean and cool water besides your board as

you peel. Rinse your hands constantly or wear latex gloves. This

will keep the beets from staining your hands.

Boil the beets in water with 1 tbsp. of salt and  1 tbsp.

of sugar or 1 pkg. of Splenda. Cook until fork tender, or about

8-10 minutes. Watch and test the beets as they cook. Younger beets

cook faster. Rinse in cold water to shock them and stop cooking.

Drain and chill, lightly salted to taste, or not.

Clean portobello mushrooms, use ½  per person. Dry

well. Coat lightly with olive oil and grill on medium heat for 3-4

minutes. Cool and slice. Salt the mushrooms lightly after cooking.

Wash and dry a head of lettuce. Use young romaine hearts or butter


Tear or cut lettuce into small pieces. Slice ½ avocado

per person. Squeeze lemon over the fresh cut avocado.



1/3 cup raspberry vinegar

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. sugar or 1/2 tsp. Splenda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. green peppercorns freshly ground or black pepper to taste

1 small clove of garlic crushed lightly. Remove before serving


Slowly add ½ cup of good olive oil.

Marinate your sliced and drained beets with a few spoons of the

dressing. Don’t drown the beets.

The salad will be better if you can let the beets marinate for

at least 10-20 minutes.

To serve: toss the greens with the dressing and mound on serving


Arrange the beets, mushroom and avocado slices on top of the

lettuce. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh

walnuts. Use about  1 tbsp. for each salad.

August is a precious month, as the last of steamy summer flees

all too quickly. Hold on to each precious day tightly. Remember,

you are entitled to respect. Command it with your confidence, grace,

and compassion.  Never let anyone make you feel less -not even

for a minute. Make yourself a lovely salad. You deserve the best

when it comes to fresh healthful food and good friends. Remember

that both are even better – and better for you when taken together.


So darlings carpe diem and  have a sweet week!

Until next week, please sign-up

if you haven’t already – DolceDolceis free.

And please forward

us to all your friends.

Gracey Hitchcock

Eat and grow younger!

Eat and grow


A professional chef and registered dietitian, Cheryl

Forberg is a James Beard award-winning recipe developer. 

Six years of research went into Cheryl Forberg’s latest book, Positively

Ageless. A true labor of love, it offers a 28-day

plan for ageless health and beauty. Her book contains fascinating

facts and delicious recipes. Reading them, you won’t be surprised

to learn that Cheryl once worked for the famed chef Wolfgang

Puck in one of his top restaurants.   

As the nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser

program, Cheryl’s role is to help overweight contestants transform

their bodies, health, and ultimately their lives.

Cheryl is a unique combination of trained health professional

and professional chef. Equally passionate about health and food,

Cheryl shares her knowledge in this exclusive DolceDolce


DD: What inspired you to write this book?

CF: My first book was an anti-aging

cookbook – Stop the Clock! Cooking. I

wanted to do another cookbook, but I also wanted to share emerging

research with my readers that supports and explains the notion that

our food choices can literally slow down or speed up the rate at

which we age.  I wanted to lay the foundation for my research-based

recommendations in a reader-friendly format that shows how easy

it is to get started.  Positively Ageless

does just that with menus, shopping lists and simple delicious recipes.

DD: Can we really reset the clock with our diets?

CF: Absolutely.  Genetics is only

a part of what determines the rate at which we age.  The choices

that we make every day of what we eat, whether or not we choose

to exercise, spend time in the sun; these things play a bigger role. 

In terms of our food choices, the quality of the calories is just

as important as the quantity.  In fact if we only focused on

the quality of what we’re eating, then the quantity would take care

of itself. We wouldn’t have to worry about counting calories). 

A balanced diet of quality calories is satisfying and filling. 

It can be delicious too, if you know what to choose and how to prepare


DD: Is it ever too early to start eating a "positively

ageless diet"?

CF: It’s never too early or too late. 

The Positively Ageless pantry is the ideal

way for the whole family to eat. Because there is such a large variety

of foods to choose from: fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes,

nuts and seeds, fat free and low fat dairy, lean proteins, whole grains,

healthy fats, even chocolate and red wine, there is something here

for everyone.

DD: How can we avoid gaining weight as we age?

Some of us start to gain as early as our twenties and thirties as

we begin office jobs. Others gain at the start of menopause. Help! 

CF: As we progress through adulthood,

our muscles begin to dwindle in size and strength. These muscles

burn a lot of calories each day. As they shrink with age, we naturally

begin to burn fewer calories. This means that if we continue to

eat the same way, we will gain weight. Smaller weaker muscles also

mean that our bones are more likely to be weak. Exercise that helps

your muscles helps your bones, too

Experts have seen that declining muscle isn’t just an unpreventable

fact of aging. In large part it’s due to lack of use. Even people

in their nineties can show impressive strength gains with exercise.

In order to maintain or build our muscles we have to include

resistance training as a part of our exercise program. Consider

at least one session with a qualified fitness professional when

you begin to work out. A personal trainer can help you design a

program, teach you how to do exercises, and observe your form to

ensure it’s correct.   

In terms of your food choices, if you’re exercising and trying

to maintain or build muscle, be sure to include plenty of lean protein.

Therecommeded daily alowance for adults may not be enough to encourage

sufficient muscle maintenance, as you get older. Researchers haven’t

pinned down exactly how much you should strive to get. If you aim

for getting 30 percent of your calories from protein, however, you

should get enough to support muscle maintenance and growth. Lean

protein is also required for building and preserving muscle. Lack

of protein can contribute to fatigue. In addition, your body needs

a steady supply of protein to keep your muscles strong.  There

are lots of suggestions in Positively Ageless

for implementing a personalized exercise plan as well as ways to

include more lean protein in your diet.

DD: Are spices, herbs and garlic an important

part of an anti-aging diet and why?

CF: Absolutely. In addition to the

fact that they add layers of flavor to recipes, minimizing the need

for calorie-rich fats), they also happen to be very high in antioxidants. 

Positively Ageless has charts

that identify the most powerful anti-aging herbs and spices along

with recipes that use them.

DD: If a non-cook wanted three quick steps towards

better health, what would you suggest?

CF: First, lose the white stuff: white

flour, white rice, white pasta, and white sugar. They’re all loaded

with calories but virtually no nutrition. Second, be sure to eat

plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, every day. A

colorful variety will ensure you’re providing your body with all

of the different vitamins and antioxidants needed to kick up your

immune system and slow the aging process. And finally, focus on

getting Omega 3s, the ultimate anti-aging fat into your diet. 

Every cell in our body uses Omega 3s. Try to include it in your

diet every day with Omega 3 rich fish such as salmon, or plant sources

such as walnuts and flax seed.

DD: Are fats good for you?  

CF: Yes, though we should try to keep our fat

intake below 25 percent of our daily calories. Unsaturated fats

such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, can actually lower

your LDL cholesterol and raise your good HDL cholesterol. 

Monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oils. Fish contains

a polyunsaturated fat known as Omega 3 fatty acid, which can help

prevent atherosclerosis and lower triglyceride levels. Healthy

Omega 3 fats seem to help inhibit breast and colon cancer development

too.  I like to call Omega 3s the anti-aging fats. Their benefits

include: helping to slow the aging process, heart-protective benefits,

such as encouraging healthy cholesterol levels, reducing blood clotting,

and preventing irregular heart beat, possibly reducing the need

for steroids in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory

bowel disease, possibly delaying or even preventing the onset of

Alzheimer’s Disease , and promoting softer skin, thus possibly minimizing

the appearance of wrinkles.

DD: What foods can any one eat to have more

beautiful skin?

CF: Cold-water fish: wild salmon, mackerel,

albacore and bluefish tuna, herring, anchovies, and sardines are

great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids and healthy protein. Some

fish also contain a powerful antioxidant called DMAE, which protects

you from free radical damage and preserves your skin tone. Brightly

pigmented fresh fruits and veggies provide antioxidants

and other nutrients to promote healthy skin from the inside out.

Drink lots of water. Staying well hydrated keeps your skin’s

cells plump and firm. When you don’t take in enough water, the deficiency

encourages dry, wrinkled skin.

Think of a bunch of grapes; firm and smooth and fresh. Leave them

in a hot, dry environment so they lose their fluid, and what do you

get? Raisins which are soft and deeply wrinkled. This image probably

oversimplifies what happens to your skin’s cells when you don’t drink

enough water, but the point is that your body is filled with fluid.

You need to be replacing it constantly. It washes toxins out of your

body, helps bring nutrients to your cells, and keeps all your processes

working properly – on the inside and the outside of your body.

For more about Cheryl

Summer woodland beet

Summer woodland beet

and portobello salad

with walnuts

I adore beets. It might sound romantic to say I learned to love

them in Russia and that a former White Russian countess cooked them

for me, but it would be a lie. I have always loved them. Thanks

to my farm-reared father and my gardening-mad grandparents, we always

had lovely vegetables.

I have always thought of beets as sweet little jewels. 

Is there anything more gorgeous than their deep ruby colour? And,

they are so healthful. Beets are high in folate, manganese, and

Vitamin C. They are also full of antioxidants that can help fight

heart disease and cancer. They can also help to lower harmful cholesterol.

Beets have an anti-oxidant that is especially beneficial in preventing

colon cancer and helping to reduce C reactive protein levels. Wow,

all that from one little beet!

This week I went for an early dinner with a friend at a cute

little bistro and market combo. She too is a beet lover. When she

ordered a lovely, little beet salad, it inspired me to share this

recipe with you. Think of it as a spa on a plate, if you like. It

is chockfull of health-giving ingredients. Or just think of it as

a delicious, mouth-watering addition to dinner. You decide darlings.


Enviro-smart on the go!


on the go!

Solavie is a smart new line of products

for the environmentally conscious beauty on the go. The line is

designed to give you the perfect product as you travel through different

climate conditions. There are six destination choices: urban, desert,

plains, tropics, shore, and mountains. Each line has a selection

of  shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, and cream. I love this

idea. My hair and skin often has a 24-48  hour adjustment period

after any change in climate or water.  All the products contain

natural mineral water. Individual products use different natural

botanicals sourced from the environment they are intended work in.

The packaging is brilliant. The is no excess. The small bottles

snap together and meet international security regulations for carry-ons.

I checked. The bottles are recyclable and a portion of the profits

go to earth-sustainable charities. And since the products are unisex,

if your man is with you he can use them too!  It’s perfect

idea for now: a simple way to keep yourself and the planet gorgeous.