Working Out with Kettle Bells
By Dorkys Ramos | 06/11/2009 - 15:45

A kettle bell is a traditional Russian weight made from cast iron that kind of looks like a cannonball with a handle! They might look funny, but kettle bells can yield serious results. They help tone and strengthen muscles while burning fat, and they’re also great for cardio routines and working out your core. Just keep safety in mind: Start out slow with a light weight, until you learn how to use it properly. This means keeping your head aligned with your body, your shoulders back, chest forward and elbows and wrists straight. And don’t drop it on your foot!

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Staff Health Challenge: Unexpected Workout
By Dorkys Ramos | 06/10/2009 - 15:20

I have a confession to make: I’ve never had a proper workout regimen. I figured that with all of the speed-walking I do around NYC, climbing up and down stairs in the subway and living in a fourth floor walk-up, I was getting more than enough exercise. In fact, for a while I thought I should aim for less physical activity so I wouldn’t waste so many precious calories!

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Staff Health Challenge: Guilt-Free Drinking
By Angie Romero | 06/08/2009 - 18:00

This is a tough one. Not going to lie. I’m home in Ecuador on vacation. I came here for a dear friend’s wedding and, as you can imagine, everyone is trying to feed me, particularly that liquid diet, if you know what I mean.

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Staff Health Challenge: A Better Burger
By Mariela Rosario | 06/05/2009 - 15:55

One of the things that totally freaked me out about joining this health challenge was a fear that I was going to have to deprive myself of things I really, really love. Like wine, chocolate and my all-time American fave: The Burger.

Whenever I am feeling down and out or just need something to make me feel like a school kid again, I'll indulge in the delicious and tasty treat of a burger and a chocolate shake. But when I checked the calorie content of that meal, I literally almost had two heart attacks in a row.

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How to Enjoy Flowers and Stay Allergy Free
By Dorkys Ramos | 06/05/2009 - 09:00

Beautiful flowers are always a quick way to brighten up your home, but what do you do when allergies leave you terrified of incorporating them into your decor? Turns out, you don’t have to avoid them all. So grab a bouquet and breathe easy knowing you can enjoy your blooms, too!

“Strong fragrance can be an irritant to the nose and can cause allergy-like symptoms but may not trigger allergies,” explains Dr. Clifford Bassett, diplomat of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. “However, male plants often cause more of a reaction to those who are sensitive to pollen.”

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The Truth About Achieving Toned Abs
The Truth About Achieving Toned Abs
By Mariela Rosario | 06/04/2009 - 09:30

When it comes to getting a flat tummy, every girl feels pretty much the same: You work out and work out, but the little flab around your mid-section won't budge! So we went straight to the authorities to find out what can be done, once and for all, to get those elusive toned abs. Here's what nutritionist Christina Persaud and fitness expert Phoenix Carnevale had to say:

What are the best exercise moves and diets to follow if you want flat abs?

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Staff Health Challenge: Me? Anorexic? Nah…
By Dorkys Ramos | 06/03/2009 - 14:15

Over the course of a rough 2008, I lost an alarming 10 pounds. Not much to some, but when you’re already treading through underweight territory, it can be downright dangerous.

My wake up call finally came late last summer, the morning after I’d weighed myself in at 76 pounds. I nearly blacked out in the middle of the street on my way to work and spent the rest of the day in the hospital. As bad as my immediate diagnosis was (a scary combo of starvation, dehydration and exhaustion that lowered my blood pressure), I had a tougher pill to swallow several weeks later.

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Staff Health Challenge: Dear Diary...
By Angie Romero | 06/01/2009 - 13:30

So after my French fry binge I asked Marc, my trainer from MPHC, for some advice. I was spazzing, in all honesty, saying how I had derailed the entire health challenge and if I didn’t do something about it, I was going to end up the skinny fat girl forever, wearing the same J Crew one-piece swimsuit for the rest of my life. So Marc told me to chill, and he also shared with me the same advice he gave his sister.

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Staff Health Challenge: Body Image 101
By Mariela Rosario | 05/29/2009 - 11:57

The other weekend I went home and my mom, being a bit biased, was going on and on about how great I looked. But when I told her I wanted to lose 10 more pounds she glanced at me with a worried look on her face, "You don't need to be all crazy skinny and anorexic like those blanquita models, you know?"

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Staff Health Challenge: Top Tips to Gain Weight
By Dorkys Ramos | 05/27/2009 - 18:00

Although I’ve always wanted to be fuller, I never really knew how to gain weight the right way. The thought of stuffing my face with a mountain of food as often as possible killed my appetite so I usually went about it the seemingly easier (read: unhealthy) way by choosing burgers and fries or any other greasy option on the menu when I ate out. Well for this challenge I wanted to pack on the pounds while keeping my risk for heart failure at a minimum. So I turned to nutritionist Christina Persaud for a list of healthy foods containing good-for-me fats.

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