Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous!

I recently received a copy of nutritionist Esther Blum's new tome, "Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous." Let's just say I was delighted to have something to read that doesn't have line numbers next to every sentence or begin with the words, "Thank you, Mister Chairman, for the opportunity to testify before your Committee..."

My own personal lameness aside, the book is very cute. And I am not just speaking of the hot pink cover.

As a trained nutritionist, Blum discusses the importance of eating a healthy balanced diet and taking care of oneself in the search of looking and feeling your best.

One of the best parts about the book is her acknowledgement that you are not going to eat all organic all the time, or have unrealistic expectations of you giving up all dairy, carbs and alcohol like some diet gurus (cough, David Kirsch, cough). She understands that there will be nights when your diet consists solely of many many Bud Lights and a Zone bar. She talks about how to make the best of those situations and recover wisely.

I also got the chance to interview Esther about her book and a little bit about some of her favorite beauty tips and tricks:

You talk a lot in the book about the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet. You also, correctly, pointed out that peanut M&Ms are vastly superior to plain. What is your favorite splurge food?

Foie gras on toast points with a good martini. Ain't nothing better!

I also appreciated your chapter on drinking and the effects it can have on your body (hopefully not just finding it in some English basement with that random staff ass from Dirksen). If you are trying to be tame at a work event, what is the best drink for keeping your wits about you and not breaking the caloric bank?

The best drink for keeping your wits about you is one that is consumed very slowly. Everybody's poison is different, but in the end its usually about quantity more than quality. Obviously you will need to steer clear of the Jaegermeister, and stick to something tried and true. Also be sure to show up to the party having eaten a snack beforehand so you've got some food in your belly to sop up the alcohol.

In the book, you talked a lot about the importance of dietary supplements. Considering that, post-DSHEA, most dietary supplements are not regulated for quality control or potency, how would you recommend that someone following your advice decide on brands and which supplements to take?

To really be sure of the quality behind your supplements, its a great idea to work with a nutritionist or nutritionally oriented-physician. Practitioners spend a great deal of time doing research so you don't have to, and by doing so they take the guesswork out of choosing supplements. Plus, supplements sold to practitioners are usually only available through practitioners and represent a higher standard of a regulated product.

You did talk a little bit about some of the interactions between supplements, what about reactions between supplements and prescription meds?

Another great reason to take supplements under the supervision of a practitioner. When in doubt, ask your doctor or the person who prescribed your supplements about drug-nutrient interactions. That's why you're paying them, right?

You also discuss the importance of focusing your time and money on buying certain fruits and vegetables that are organic, namely, those that get sprayed with the most pesticides. Are there any other products you would encourage people to focus on buying organic?

Dairy, meats, and skin care products. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and we absorb what is put on the skin into the bloodstream. So go for organic products, which are kindler and gentler to the body. Dairy and meat are also essential organics, as the animals are cleaner. Commercially-fed beef is often fed animal byproducts which in turn increases the risk of mad cow disease. Organically-raised animals don't have that problem.

If there was one issue you could get all the staffers and constituents who read this blog to advocate to the members of Congress, what would it be?

Increase your recommendations for Vitamin D!! Again, this is a case where misinformation is doing great harm to our population and leaving behind a legacy of diabetes, autism, and asthma as a result.

Ok, on to beauty...

What are the five beauty products you would take to a desert island?

Ooooh, I've always wanted to be asked this question!! Vincent Longo undereye concealer, NV Perricone Active tinted moisturizer, eyebrow tweezers, L'Occitane hand creme, and Devachan Angell.

What shampoo and conditioner do you use?

I haven't washed my hair in about 10 years!! I'm a curly girl so I scrub my scalp and locks with Devachan One Condition (conditioner). My curls have never looked better and my scalp passes the clean sniff test every time.

Is there a beauty product that you use that is so totally wacky that you almost don't want to cop to using?

This is probably more mainstream than wacky, but I'm a firm believer in ladyscaping, so I keep my lady shaver on hand for times of unruliness. And I'm an Aquaphor whore! It's great for my lips, cuticles, and dry heels.

What was your first lip gloss?

Bonnie Bell peppermint lip smacker. It was on a rope so I sported it around my neck!

If you had to pick one makeup brand to shop at for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I like to sleep around ... to limit my options would be a sad, sad day! I do love Chanel, Bobbi Brown, and Stila, as I'm not a total commitment-phobe.

Who is your biggest beauty/fashion influence?

Being a Virgo, I've always believed that less is more, so I'm inspired by designers with a very understated elegance. I believe that each outfit should have one focal point and not be trying to do too many things at once. Oscar De La Renta gowns are sublime, as are Carolina Herrera's. Both designers know how to work a woman's body and enable a woman to wear the gown; not the other way around.

Vogue or Elle?

Is it wrong to say In Style and Domino?

Marni or Dolce and Gabbana?

Luca Luca and Narcisco Rodriguez!

Project Runway or America's Next Top Model?

Oh definitely PR! Heidi is fabulous.

What is the most expensive product in your arsenal?

My bling. I have some amazing heirloom pieces and my wedding jewelry is designed by Karen Karch.

The least expensive?

I have a top that I literally bought for $4.99 on sale from H & M. It's so wrong that it's right!

Ooooh, I feel just like Charlie Rose. Except..well...not.

Go check out the book! I thoroughly enjoyed it!


em said...

OK, her whole "makeup is absorbed through the skin" deal is completely wrong. This is something that these folks trot out and lot and it's misinformation and it pisses me off. I'm not sure why a nutritionist is setting herself up as as someone to give advice about topically applied makeup anyway, but then I see that she's slapping the Longo and Perricone on herself, and that shit isn't natural AT ALL.

Also, the comment about buying supplements from a nutritionist 'cause they have better access to better formulations is highly suspect. Especially coming from a nutritionist.


Anonymous said...

ditto em, that's what bugged me, too. the skin is a barrier, makep is harly absorbed by it, and there's an overwhelming amount of research that shows "organic" and "natural" products are no safer than the rest. Besides, they are not regulated, so that makes them even less appealing to me.

midwest girl said...


I really got a kick out of your comments and observations.
I too love fashion, makeup, fragrance and all that girly stuff.
I smiled when you made the comment about the Dirksen staff person!
I have a son who works 'on the Hill', so it caught my attention.
Any way, you sound like my kind of girl friend, Barbie!
I don't think I care much for Esthers splurge food, aka foi gras and a martini.
Fattened duck liver! Yuck!
Makes me queasy!
Never tried it, mind you.
Sounds icky! I have read how they force feed ducks so they become 'fattened'.
The whole picture thing I now have going on in my mind when I hear Foie Gras makes me want to never eat the stuff!!
I love the new martini menus, however!

Peace and love,
Midwest girl

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