Salvage your resolutions with a little bad behaviour

2MPMy friend Cindi Marshall Oakey is over 50 and fabulous. She has the figure of a teenager but it wasn’t always that way. Once she felt it was slipping way so she made plan – not a diet – but a plan to stay in shape for the rest of her life. I asked Cindi to share some of tips with DolceDolce readers and here is what she had to say:

It’s just about that time of year when people’s best intentions for New Year’s resolutions drop off.  Why not change your eating habits for good and get off the failed diet cycle? In The Marshall Plan: Being Good to Be Bad, I give you a synthesized 12-week health coaching program and  easy-to-read guidelines to make smarter eating choices and still enjoy guilt-free splurges.  There are no recipes or meal plans.  You decide when to “be good” and when to “be bad”.  It’s not a diet.  It’s a lifestyle.

Top five ways to make a difference starting today:

Drink clear liquids

This includes water of course, but when you enjoy a libation, make it champagne, white wine, vodka & club soda (or better, sparkling water, less sodium), or light beer.  Mixers contain sugar, and sugar turns to fat.  Stay away from fancy martinis; they are always laden with juice and syrup, unless you drink them dry, shaken, or stirred.


Use portion control

Eat half your meal and assess, ‘am I still hungry?’  Save the other half for later, even if it is 30 minutes to an hour later, you are learning to tune in to MINDFUL eating.


Eliminate or reduce processed foods such as dairy which is high in saturated (bad) fat. The fat-free varieties have added sugar to compensate for flavor.  Instead choose one to two percent fat, if you have to have dairy. Watch sugar content in yogurts; more than 14 grams of sugar is high for a meal or snack.  

Eliminate processed or white carbs

They turn to sugar, sugar turns to fat and then you’re jeans don’t fit.  Seek whole grains with protein.  Be wary of wheat. Wheat these days is over-processed and also causes bloat (we hate that!) and food allergies.  

Eat more greens
Iceberg lettuce is not a choice because it has little nutrient value. Fill up on green veggies at every meal.  Diversify cooked green veggies, steam, sautéed, or roasted.  Substitute a snack with a fresh green juice (stay away from smoothies with high sugar content.) Try a veggie dinner a few days during the week. Tomatoes and mushrooms are good veggies too. Think vegetables, not just vegan. It is ok to add a little cheese or other flavourings to an otherwise veggie dinner. 

And the number one most important thing you can do right now is: 

Be good to yourself

If you’re not healthy, nothing else matters.  Put yourself first.  It’s not selfish.  It’s Self-is.



The hottest hair trends in an instant

Taylor Hair UThis year’s Grammy Awards show was a stunning display of musical talent, but everyone also had an eye on the red carpet. No one can start a beauty trend faster than a popular celebrity. Here are some of the show-stopping trends spotted at this year’s Grammys, and how to get the look with help of HairUWeareasy-to-use pin-in hair extensions.     (Right Taylor Swift)

Side swept bangs

Taylor Swift’s side swept bangs are classic, but glamorous look. To add bangs to a pony, low bun, or any style, try E! Live from the Red Carpet Hairdo Side-Swept Bangs. Just clip in the bangs and style, and you can avoid the drama of cutting and growing out a fringe if it is just a passing fancy. 

Long glamorous waves

Ariana Grande and Anna Kendrick wore their hair in glamorous waves. Hairdo by HairUWear 23” Loose Waves Extensions can help you get the same lush look that stylists give stars with extensions for the camera.Anna Grande Anna Kendrick

(Right Ariana Grande) 

Brightly-hued tresses _Kelly hairU.jpg

Kelly Osborne and Bonnie McKee stood out with their avant-garde coloured locks. Kelly’s bob was a bright purple. Bonnie’s long locks were brightly-coloured ombre.  Enjoy this look for a night out without damaging your hair by using  POP Clip-In Color Strips or try POP Clip-In Two Tone Ombre Extensions.     (Left Bonnie McKee)

The extensions range in price from $18 to $99.


Shimmer and rejuvenate

123_pivionejpg.jpgFor years the pageant girls’ mantra has been “if you can’t tone it, tan it”. But as the over-bronzed look fades from popularity why not try a little shimmer to enhance pale limbs. Every starlet worth her 8X10 glossies knows that skin looks best moisturized with a little shimmer.  L’Occitane’s Pivoine Flora Shimmering oil adds subtle golden highlights your face, body and even your hair.  The light shimmering oil has the delicate floral-green scent of the Pivoine Flora, a peony from the Drôme region of southern France


Heal painful heel cracks

123ZimPeeling dry skin and painful cracked heels can make you want to cry. Zim’s Crack Creme for Heels and Feet was developed by a pharmacist. It contains arnica, aloe, and L-Arginine. Many foot creams can moisturize feet but studies show that L-Arginine, an amino acid can help speed wound healing. It may also help you develop thicker, healthier skin that resists cracking and heals faster.  As a beauty editor who specializes in anti-aging, it is one of my favourite ingredients.


Don’t get a permanent pucker

lipdrink.jpgSun damage can happen all year long. Those little lines that can “pucker” the skin around your lips and look so aging are often the result of sun damage. So protect your lips as well as your skin. Jane Iredale’s Lip Drink provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15 combined with soothing botanicals such as carrot seed oil and avocado oil to moisturize and coffee seed, blackberry seed and green tea leaf extracts for antioxidant protection. Lemon peel oil gives the soothing balm a refreshing scent.                                        



Confessions of a Wild Child

ConfessionsJackie Collins’s newest novel, Confessions of a Wild Child, will delight fans of her hugely popular Lucky Santangelo series. In this book Jackie lets us in on what made Lucky the sexy, smart charismatic woman she we meet in the first book Chances 

Jackie Collins told me, “Yes, Lucky is absolutely my alter ego – in fact she is the kind of female every woman would like to be!  She’s wild and smart and outspoken and afraid of nothing.” She went on, “Even as a teenager in Confessions of a Wild Child she’s street-smart as she discovers life, love, and rock-n’-roll.  And of course boys galore! 

“Just like I did as a teenager”, added Jackie Collins.  

“I wrote Confessions of a Wild Child in the first person, so the book is from Lucky’s point of view” Jackie told me.  “She doesn’t manipulate men, she just believes in equality and if a man can do it, so can she.” 

Even though this book is about a teenager it won’t disappoint fans looking for Jackie Collins’ trademark insider view of lives of the rich and famous. The story takes the reader from Los Angeles to the south of France and Las Vegas with stops in Switzerland and a private Greek island. The characters that included a Greek billionaire and Hollywood starlet are all larger than life and believable because Jackie has known them all. 

Confessions of a Wild Child is a delicious indulgence, like French macrons or truffles, but it won’t make you fat. I read it in a day. I couldn’t put it down. It was too much fun.




Classic tomato soup, updated

smSoup1.jpgThere are few things more warming than a bowl of spicy homemade tomato soup with crusty bread on a cold winter’s day. But if you are grown-up foodie, then nothing from a can will make the grade.  This homemade version takes only minutes but is so good you will might as well double it. You can garnish the soup with a spoonful of sour cream if you are feeling decadent, or low-fat creamy Greek-style yogurt. Serve it for a warming lunch or dinner with a big green salad and crusty garlic bread or cheese topped bread. 

Open a large can of San Marazano tomatoes or Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced tomatoes. Using a food processor or stick blender, puree but leave some texture. 

Peel, dice and sauté 1 small onion in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Do not brown over medium heat

Add ½ tsp dried chili flakes

When the onion is soft add 1 or 2 peeled and crushed cloves of garlic and sauté for 30 seconds

Add 2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar and stir until dissolved

Add tomatoes

Add 1 can of organic chicken stock or water and simmer

Taste and correct salt

Add fresh black pepper




Check it out for yourself

12graceysmallDarlings, these days you need to be a savvy consumer.  Shopping online lets you compare many products and vendors you could never find or have time to look at in real time. It is a fabulous way to get the best value for your money. But be wary of toolbars that promise to get you the “best deal.” Over the holidays I tested several of these deal-hunting tool bars recommended by shopping experts on the The Today Show. None of them did as well as I did with a simple 10-minute search. Granted, Google Shop and the like now makes it harder to get unbiased search results, but with a little persistence you can find a good deal by searching  for what you want, reading the fine print, and comparing prices. 

Also, read reviews with a skeptical eye.  I love reviews from other consumers; they are invaluable for the details vendors never tell you, but read them carefully. Make sure you are reading a review from a real shopper or traveler, not a “paid reviewer” Check out how long the person has been reviewing. See if they have posted personal photos or shared interesting details or personal anecdotes. It soon becomes easy to spot the real deal. Also, people who take the time to review a place or service are happy to respond if you send a question. This can be worthwhile if you are looking a big ticket item such as a trip or appliance.  

Checking out reviews carefully can make your local experiences better too. Helpful members of YELP have guided me to some of my favourite service people and restaurants.  

Until next week darlings, make life sweet by always taking time to check it out for yourself!

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 Gracey Hitchcock

Editor, DolceDolce

Follow me @graceysays on Twitter

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