Fabulous – fast and forever

Green tea --the beauty brew --that can help to keep you youngDo you look and feel fabulous? Well darlings, you should. Life is too short to go around feeling less than your best, less than other women, less than fabulous. And it isn’t necessary.

Even a gorgeous diamond ring starts to look tacky and dull if no one cleans it. And we all know what happens to a fine antique left uncared for – cracks develop. But, if you clean the ring and buff up the antique, voila – magic happens! Well darlings, we are much the same as those precious objects.
Looking and feeling fabulous begins with the right attitude, a good diet, and sound sleep. Exercise is vital too. Research has shown we can change our DNA and extend our lives with exercise. If, like me, you are not a jock or do not have hours to work out, do not despair. You can break up exercise into manageable blocks of 10 and 20 minutes, and it still counts. You can slip in a 10-minute DVD workout in the morning, a 20-minute walk at lunch, and another 10 to 15 minutes of yoga before bed. Before you know it, you’ll have 40 minutes of beauty-making exercise. Get to a class or two a week, and you will soon have a new body.  
Here are a few of the latest scientifically-proven ways to look fabulous fast and forever. Try one or two of them – or try them all.
Try Pilates to trim
Pilates has long been a favourite of dancers, models, and actresses because it can reshape and trim bodies without developing bulging muscles. Pilates devotees have strong and shapely bodies.
Now, June Kloubec, a professor at BastyrUniversity in the state of Washington, has published a study showing the clear benefits of Pilates. Kloubec is a core faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science, and her work appeared in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
25 subjects participated in the study, in a one-hour Pilates class twice a week for 12 weeks. When they began, the active middle-aged participants were able to do an average of 24 push-ups on their knees. By the end of the 12 weeks of Pilates, they were able to do an average of 35 push-ups. A similar 25-person control group in the study could do only an average of 20.5 push-ups at the start of the study. At the end of the study they were able to average only 21 push-ups each. The study also showed that the Pilates group had a significant improvement abdominal strength and lower-body flexibility. 
Pilates was once almost prohibitively-expensive. Now, many studios in most major cities offer classes in mat and small-group instruction on equipment at more affordable prices of about $25 per class.  In addition, there are scores of good DVDs. I recently began Pilates classes. I noticed a difference in both my strength and silhouette after only a few weeks. Proper form is vital to Pilates, so try to take least a few classes. 
Don’t underestimate any effort you make as long as you are committed. DVDs work, if you find the right “virtual teacher”. A friend of mine just clicked with a trainer on fit TV. She told me Gilad, the tough Israeli trainer, can get her to do those last few killer reps. I am currently hooked on Body by Bethenny. I’m also thinking abut a Pilates Stick by http://www.peakpilates.com/peak-pilates-shop/pilatesstick.asp.
Eat breakfast
Experts agree that breakfast is important for both weight loss and energy. Numerous studies show that women who eat breakfast are thinner and have less trouble losing weight. Hate breakfast food? So do I, but there are many other good things to eat in the morning. Eat a piece of whole wheat toast and some fresh fruit with an egg or low-fat cottage cheese.
Breakfast is the time to eat a healthy carb that is filling, such as whole grain bread or oatmeal. Top oatmeal with sweet and healthful berries. Have a low-cal smoothie made with fresh or frozen berries, no fat yogurt or skim milk, and a sweetener of your choice. Try low or no-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit or salsa. Hard-boiled eggs or egg white omelets are fast and easy. Try them with low-calorie tomatoes. Eat breakfast. Martha Stewart sometime eats like the Japanese and has a piece of salmon. I also like this treat from time to time.
Be fabulous and exotic at breakfast, but eat and exercise to start your day.
Blueberries are beauty berries
Blue berries are full of anti-oxidants that are so good for you that some doctors call them brain-berries. I call them beauty-berries. Anti-oxidants are important for longevity and aging well. Oxidative damage to our bodies is not unlike rust on a car; it wears down our vital organs. It occurs as we use oxygen and is made worse by stress, sun exposure, smoking, and other environmental factors. Anti-oxidants help defend the body, reverse the damage, and slow the aging process.
My favourite way to eat them is frozen, alone, or in plain yogurt. I think freezing them makes them taste sorbet-like. And it is easy to take a small bowl of pre-washed frozen berries from my freezer for snacks or to flavour plain yogurt. Never buy fruit yogurt. It has too much sugar/sweeteners, and too little fruit. Buy bags of frozen berries and add to your own low or no-fat yogurt.  
Get your Omega 3
Omega 3 oils help keep skin looking youthful and firm. Chances are your family doctor already told you how important Omega 3 oils are for your heart and brain. They help to keep you young and beautiful inside and out! Omega 3 oils can even help prevent serious sun damage such as precancerous skin lesions, according to a recent Australian study.
The results of that study have some doctors calling salmon a natural sunscreen because of its high Omega 3 oil content.
All types of salmon are excellent sources of Omega 3. You will want to watch the amount of tasty smoked salmon you consume because of its high salt content. Tinned salmon has undeserved bad reputation. It is very healthful and usually made from high-quality wild salmon, a good source of Omega 3 and calcium. It is delicious in salad with lemon and chopped fresh vegetables. If you like shellfish, it too is rich in the healthful Omega 3. And don’t worry if you have heard it is high in cholesterol; it is not a problem, unless your doctor has told you not to eat it. Experiment with small fish such as herring, trout, and black cod – they are good sources of Omega 3.  Walnuts, almonds, and flaxseed are also excellent sources of Omega, if you dislike fish. Experts recommend at least three servings of Omega-rich foods a week. Sushi and sashimi are good, but use low-sodium soy sauce or Ponzu in small amounts. Also eating too much of certain large fish, such as tuna can pose a risk of mercury poisoning, so enjoy but limit your consumption.
Brew a beauty booster
If you would like to lose weight, have beautiful skin, and stay young and healthy, drink green tea. It has so many beauty benefits; it should be called the beauty brew.
Green tea can help to boost your metabolism and give you a little lift. So try some hot or iced tea to conquer late afternoon munchies or fatigue.
Green tea contains catechins, a compound of potent anti-oxidant. According to the latest scientific studies, green tea may even be able rejuvenate dying skin cells! It can also help protect skin against UV damage from sun exposure.
Studies in The Journal of Nutrition show that green tea, when combined with exercise and diet can help to burn belly fat.
I drink at least a liter of green tea a day. Because it benefits skin when applied topically, I take a few seconds to place cooled used tea bags on my face before I toss them out.
Suck a lemon
Collagen is what holds you face up and help your joints work smoothly. After age 35, we start to lose collagen. After age 60, collagen levels plummet. Vitamin C is essential for good healing, but it is also is necessary for the natural production of collagen. Your body can’t store Vitamin C, so it is important to replenish your supply of it daily. If you drink, smoke, are under stress, or party too much, you will need even more Vitamin C to undo damage to your cells.
To keep your face firm and your body moving smoothly, think C! You can take a supplement, but experts say natural is best. My solution is to squeeze low-cal and delicious lemon on everything.
Topical Vitamin C creams are also very effective, but lemon juice is too harsh to apply directly to your face.
Not sleeping enough can make you fat, old, tired, careless, and crabby. Darlings, get to bed and go to sleep! Enough excuses; do it. If you can’t sleep, see a doctor; they can help with new behavior modification techniques, natural sleep medication, and a host of effective solutions.

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention a single beauty product in this list of tips. I adore fabulous lotions and potions! We review the best every week. But so much of how you look and feel comes from how you feel about you.
Stress ages you. It steals your youth. Life can be trying, but often we stress about things we can’t control and don’t really matter in the long run.
Learn to shut off the noise. Turn-off emails, texts, and facebook after an hour. Get out and see people or a movie. Or, stay home and read a book. Relax! Get rid of the toxic people in your life. My favourite diet is the one when you lose a hundred pounds or more instantly by dropping a poison person from your life. Darlings, if someone makes you tense, angry or upset, ask yourself why this person is in your life? If they’re not your boss, parent, spouse or child – get away from them. You’ll look and feel better instantly. 
You deserve to look and feel fabulous, and you can! Your beauty is a precious gift –nurture it. Then my darlings, go out and enjoy it.