Self Magazine's 15 Minutes to Your Best Self by Lucy Danzinger et al. presents multiple New Year's resolutions in one gorgeous little package. This brilliant compilation of 573 hip tips helps even the most harried but health-conscious woman catch up on topics like health, nutrition and fitness, style and beauty, happiness, sex, money, relationships and home by tackling them in tasks that only last from one to 15 minutes. Need to buy shoes for this summer's marathon but want to save time in the store? Wet the bottom of your foot, step on a paper towel and the imprint will tell you what kind of foot you have. Got another minute? Soothe morning moods, make your sex life brighter, figure out if you have a cold or allergies, and make even veggies healthier. Got three minutes? Become sun smart or find your ideal dog or yoga style. Ten minutes? Find the right winter boots. Fifteen minutes? Check for skin cancer and discover secret ways to save. The book also includes amusing to don't lists on various subjects and 10 things lists on topics from eating your way to slender happiness to looking stylish every time you leave the house.
BUT WHAT TO EAT?
If you've resolved to work more healthy foods into your lifestyle, get all the inspiration you need in 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life. This fascinating look at food as therapy is an A-Z guide to common nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and grains with uncommon powers. Author David Grotto, R.D. L.D.N., contributing writer to Prevention magazine and president of Nutrition Housecall, a family nutrition consulting firm, bases his research on ancient medicine and scientific studies. He reveals the history, lore and uses for super foods that have boosted health and helped heal diseases and chronic complaints for centuries, including avocado (helps decrease gingivitis), cherries (anti-inflammatory, relieves arthritis pain), cardamom (helps heal ulcers), cumin (more effective than some diabetes medications), sardines (more calcium than a glass of milk) and wasabi (shown to inhibit growth of breast cancer cells). Simple, healthful and imaginative recipes by guest chefs and nutritionists make it easy to incorporate the foods into daily meals, including Cranberry Pear Salad with Curried Hazelnuts, Spicy Japanese Mint Noodles, Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Wasabi Sauce and Carob-Walnut Cake. The book includes vitamin and mineral counts, buying and storage tips and fun facts that make remembering items you've previously overlooked at the supermarket easier.
Prevention magazine is must-reading for a healthy lifestyle, and their new Prevention's 3-2-1 Weight Loss Plan: Eat Your Favorite Foods to Cut Cravings, Improve Energy and Lose Weight is the right antidote to eating endless bowls of cabbage soup. Written by Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. (Yahoo.com's nutrition and weight-loss expert and Self magazine's monthly weight-loss columnist and author of the best-selling Joy Bauer's Food Cures), the book contains dependable information, backed by scientific research, designed to help dieters adopt good nutrition principles for a lifetime and drop pounds without hunger or cravings. The 3-2-1 plan of three meals, two snacks and one sinfully delightful treat each day is presented in three phases: changing habits, losing weight and maintenance. Each phase has its own health and nutrition information that includes meal plans broken out by calories, treat and snack lists and dozens of healthful recipes, plus illustrated workout routines using a mat and dumbbells. Every aspect of achieving a healthy weight is covered, from why bother to how to keep it off, making the book an excellent companion for those longing to finally shed a lifetime of excuses, fads and excesses.
TRAINING WITH THE STARS
Celebrity trainers are a dime a dumbbell, but Steve Zim manages to put a Hollywood gloss on ordinary workout circuits in The 30-Minute Celebrity Makeover Miracle. Zim (6 Weeks to a Hollywood Body), is a fitness expert on the Weekend Today show, and runs a gym in Southern California, where everyone wants to be a star whether in the next box-office blockbuster or their own life. Our microwave culture calls for instant results, however, so Zim designed a combined cardio-weight training program that promises to raise metabolism, burn fat faster and sculpt muscles in just 30 minutes a day, three times a week for 10 weeks. Of course, you don't get Taye Diggs' biceps or Nicole Kidman's colt-like legs without some serious sweat and this program does require a huge dollop of dedication. Walking, marching and jogging phases blend intense workout circuits of strength training using dumbbells and a balance ball (illustrated with black-and-white photos) interspersed with cardio moves, and Zim also presents a brief but good nutrition plan. While those easing into activity could be discouraged by this program, Zim's promises of Hollywood looks on a mere mortal's schedule will certainly motivate those who find themselves in a fitness rut.
More than 40 percent of women ages 55-74 are unable to lift 10 pounds, according to celebrity trainer Kacy Duke (whose clients include Julianne Moore, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis and Gwen Stefani). That women accept this as a natural part of aging is B.S. according to Duke, who busts out the sistah moves to get self-esteem as well as weak muscles whipped into shape in The Show it Love Workout: Celebrate the Body You Have, Get the Body You Want, co-written with health and fitness writer Selene Yeager. Presenting her signature Woman Warrior Workout with its I Am, I Can, I Do philosophy, Duke's refreshingly up-front advice refashions a workout into a three-part boot camp for emotions, body image and diet, as well as physical self.
I Am looks at the power of the mind-body connection (Duke highlights a study that demonstrated merely thinking about exercising a muscle actually made it stronger). I Can gets the motivation mojo working and I Do focuses on movement after the mental foundation has been established. Pictures of Duke doing the workout moves appropriate for each stage (some brandishing a staff) are also included along with sensible nutrition advice (go on, call Dr. Godiva when needed) and some healthful recipes. The daily get through anything guide at the back keeps the newly-fit on track with short workouts for stressors like the post-baby blues, getting dumped or fired, having a bad day or feeling bored. The entire program can be done in a living room or the gym, and Duke excels at encouraging women to find what they love whether that's a treadmill, gymnastics or flamenco dancing and pushing beyond comfort to a new belief, motivation and strength.