1. Beauty secrets of ‘Real Housewives’

    Ramona Singer blogs about the routine that tones her 50 plus bikini bodySay what you will about reality TV housewives, but they are, as a group, in great shape — with a few notable exceptions. The good news is that many of the things they do to look fabulous are effective and available.

    Keeping fit with Pilates in ‘the OC’
    A recent episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County showed Tamara Barney and Alexis Bellino — who both have fabulous figures — at a hard Pilates workout. I was struck by how similar their classes were to my Core Fusion workouts at Exhale Spa. Core Fusion combines Pilates Yoga, interval cardio training, and Lotte Berke, in a challenging 50-minute session. I do it daily, Monday to Friday, and have become addicted. It challenges and shapes your body from head to toe.
    All the OC housewives are into  fitness. Alexis varies her régime of spinning, jogging, and Pilates with other fitness activities when it “stops being fun." She indulges in “treats,” but watches her weight, as healthful eating is a lifestyle for her.  Fellow OC housewives Tamara Barney and Gretchen have similar approaches. These women are all in perpetual motion.
    How they do it in Beverly Hills
    The ultra chic Beverly Hills (RHOBHO) wives work out, too. Super cool and lovely Adrienne Maloof owes her fabulous figure to her dedicated practice of martial arts and a healthful lifestyle. Stunning Kyle Richards trained for and completed a cycling road race for charity with her husband. She says she is still trying to get back into shape after the birth of her two-year-old daughter. She works with a personal trainer, and even shared a vigorous “boot camp” workout with her teenaged daughter.
    The ever chic Lisa Vanderpump has her own home gym and pool.
    And in Jersey
    The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ) have a very different style, but they are looking good, too. Caroline Manzo began the first season looking curvy, but now she appears toned and svelte. She claims the weight loss came partly from nerves. I can believe that, the show is full of drama. But she has also added diet and exercise. Caroline now eats small portions of her beloved Italian food. She has also found time to jump on a treadmill for regular sessions in her home gym. And she has reportedly hired a trainer for herself and her children. 
    Slimming Italian food
    Caroline’s volcanic co-star Theresa Guidance wrote a bestselling cookbook called Skinny Italian. She argues that what packs on the weight is fat-laden American-style Italian food, not her authentic Italian recipes. In her late thirties with four children, Theresa is the best advertisement for own approach; she looks great. She claims she never really works out, and that her husband doesn’t want her too be too skinny. Housework, work, and four kids keep her in great shape. She tries to work in a few squats and light weights, while she is running around with her kids.
    Skinny Girl Bethenny is all  business about beautyLooking good in the Big Apple
    The cats fighting in The Real Housewives of New York (RHONY), as well as the breakaway housewife, Bethenny Frankel, all look chic and fit.
    Bethenny Frankel has gone on to found her Skinnygirl empire, based on her Skinnygirl margarita, four self-help books, as well as a new show, Bethenny Ever After. The outspoken Bethenny shares her childhood struggles with weight and her adult solutions to overeating in her books. Her plan is predicated on “stopping the food noise” and learning to taste rather than eat.
    Bethenny also has a very good basic yoga workout DVD, Body by Bethenny. It is a mellow, but fairly challenging, whole body workout, with a light section. Bethenny says she stays trim by walking and by using her own books and DVD.
    When it comes to beauty and fitness, Bethenny is all about business, but it seems to work for her and her fans.
    The Countess loves yoga and the Chopra Centre to recharge Most of the RHONYC are dedicated to Pilates and yoga. Reality show star, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, was recently quoted in People Magazine, that saying that she stays in shape with Ashtanga Yoga. She credits it for her glowing complexion, and claims she does not use Botox. Countess Luann eats a healthful Mediterranean diet.
    The ultra-fit Ramona Singer of the RHONYC gets Botox and many other beauty treatments from a favourite plastic surgeon, but she stops short of surgery itself. She has created her own skin care line, Tru Renewal. Ramona showed off her amazingly fit 50-plus figure in a tiny bikini last season. She even shared her fitness routine on her blog, with a detailed how-to. http://ramonasingerblogs.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/how-i-maintain-my-slamming-body-workout-tips/. Ramona’s diet consists of small portions of lean proteins, lots of salad or steamed veggies, eggs, blueberries, yogurt, and two glasses her favourite Pinot Grigio.
    RHONYC former model Kelly Bensimon keeps fit by staying making active at least 30 minutes a day. She tries to eat healthfully six days a week, and then has a cheat day.
    Love them or hate them, they look fabulous
    Whether you love them or hate them, the housewives look fit and fabulous.
    Most of the wives indulge in pampering, with facials, massages, mani-pedis, as well as Botox and fillers. The Beverly Hills wives are very open about their use of cosmetic enhancements, as are the OC wives. The east coast wives are cagier. I think that is because it is less acceptable in the east, where people are still are more judgmental.
    Botox is a choice, but fitness and good nutrition are essential
    To use Botox or dermal fillers or anything else is a choice, but after 30, 40, and definitely by 50, many women are looking for way to slow down the aging process. A lot can be learned from watching the evolution of the housewives and the choices they make.
    It is clear that diet ,exercise, and good nutrition are vital to looking good and feeling good. Much of what the housewives do to look fabulous and glamorous is available to any woman who wants to try it. Take the similar workout I do five days a work at Exhale Spa to the one Tamara and Alexis do: if you can get to an Exhale Spa, try a class and you too will be hooked. Or, you can try one of their many DVDs. Look for them at www.acaccialifestyle.com and find out why fashion editors and celebrities love it. You can also buy Body by Bethenny from www.acaccialifestyle.com, as well as a selection of Ashtanga DVDs, if you can’t find a class near you.
    Most cities have martial arts schools. If you are inspired by Adrianne Maloof, sign up. 
    All these women eat healthful portion-controlled diets. Many favour the Mediterranean diethttp://www.mediterraneandiet.com/category/how-to-lose-weight/. 
    Beauty treatments are affordable!
    When it comes to beauty, all the housewives are happy to share their favourite products and secrets. If you admire a housewife’s makeup or skin care, check her blog on Bravo or personal website. They often post the information. A few will even try to sell it to you.
    Lisa Vanderpump has a chic skin care line. Ramona Singer developed her line with her New York plastic surgeon. Both lines look interesting and may be worth a try, if you are in the market. A few of the others sell their own makeup. But just emulating the “Housewife” dedication to beauty, fitness, and healthy habits will take you take a long way.
    Bravo’s (Slice) Real Housewives are one of my guilty pleasures. I am not recommending they become yours, but they look fabulous. Realize that the best of fitness and beauty is not locked away for celebrities our even pampered “Housewives”. It is available to us all. So darlings, go for the glam! Take time to work out like a Housewife. Eat healthfully and pamper yourself with good skin care too. You can do almost any beauty treatment at home these days, if your budget is tight. The trick, my darlings, is to bring the glamour of real housewives into your life.