Spring 2011: Let's get a physical

 We don’t need to tell you how important it is to be healthy; we tout the virtues of healthy living in nearly every issue of C. But, according to the most recent health care report card from the National Women’s Law Center, some Virginia ladies just aren’t getting it. Among the 11 categories where we’re failing: having gynecological screenings, eating right and, perhaps most alarming, keeping our weight under control. In fact, 26 percent of women ages 18-44 in Virginia are severely overweight. Let C help you get back on track, with yoga practice, healthful cleanses and the ultimate healthy smoothie.

Clean living

Mix lemons with maple syrup and black pepper for a 10-day Master Cleanse that rids your body of harmful toxins.

Every year, it’s the same resolution: Take care of our bodies. If you’re looking at a detoxing program, you might consider the Master Cleanse, a strict 10-day diet of lemon juice, maple syrup and black pepper only. The goal? To eliminate toxins. If it sounds brutal to you, you’re not alone. Local nutritionist and dietitian Kate Bruno says detoxing actually detaches people from their food intuition.

“When [people] do start to eat again, their bodies want to hold on to a lot of the nutrients almost in this survival kind of mode,” she says.

But it’s not all bad. The Clean Menu Detox, hyped by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, consists of fruit smoothies, seafood and chicken dishes, among other things. And, according to Zachary Bush of the Revolutionary Health Center in Scottsville, with an effective liver cleanse, “You can rapidly reduce the systemic stress that results from chronic consumption of processed foods, cholesterol and inflammatory fats.” Bush has sound advice for would-be cleansers." 

Most of all, you should enjoy your cleanse. Don’t pick one that sounds like it is going to make you miserable. You should enjoy the food as much as the increased energy and health that a successful cleanse will provide.”—Chiara Canzi

For a singular cleanse, try the mono fruit detox, which calls for eating only one fruit for a week.


It’s the balm


We don’t know about you, but winter’s left our hands cracked, dry and generally unappealing. Enter Combat-Ready Balm, a multipurpose and great-smelling skin salve from eco-esthetician (and St. Anne’s-Belfield alum) Sara Damelio. An all-natural and organic lotion, Combat-Ready was born when Damelio sent a homemade jar to her husband, then stationed in Iraq. A few weeks later, he asked for more. 

No wonder. It heals skin damaged from bug bites, minor cuts and scratches, shaving burns and wind burn. 

Find the whole Combat-Ready line (including soap and lip balm) at Rebecca’s Natural Food (Barracks Road Shopping Center, 977-1965). A 2 oz. jar will run you $25. Damelio gives a portion of every purchase to Operation Sand Flea, her campaign to ship care packages to soldiers overseas.—Caite White



Go green

When it comes to the Green Monster, looks can be deceiving. Trust us, green is good.

Talk about packing a punch: This trés vert smoothie is loaded with vitamins A, C and E, not to mention iron, folic acid and Omega-3s. In other words, lots of energizers and nutrients for your skin, nails and hair. The best part? The basic recipe is super versatile. Up the fruit, toss in some honey—anything goes!—C.W.

Classic Green Monster

1 cup almond milk, or milk of choice

1 ripe banana, preferably peeled and frozen

2 handfuls organic spinach

1 tbsp. chia seeds (or 1 tbsp. ground flax)

1 tbsp. nut butter

1-3 ice cubes

Starting with the liquid, pour milk into a blender. Add in the chia or flax and nut butter. Next, add in the spinach followed by the banana on top. Blend until smooth. Add the ice cubes and blend some more. 

*Reprinted with permission from ohsheglows.com and greenmonstermovement.com.



Good reads

Local author Kathryn Erskine recommends young adult fiction for readers of all ages.

Sometimes it’s nice to harken back to a simpler time. Namely, childhood, when you could spend an afternoon curled up on a comfy chair with Scout Finch or Freckle Juice. National Book Award-winning YA author Kathryn Erkine provides some of her favorites to get you in the mood.

The Watsons go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Ten-year-old Kenny and his entire family are an absolute hoot, and very believable. There’s some poignancy and history here as well as laugh out loud humor. All the warmth of To Kill a Mockingbird wrapped inside the wacky comedy of A Christmas Story.

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

You’ll feel like you’ve been dropped in Medieval England, complete with drafty castle, raunchy humor, and snarky teen. Short diary entries are perfect for brief spurts of time—carpool line, coffee break, boring meetings (look down at book on lap, look up at boss and nod…repeat).

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Seventeen-year-old Marcelo, probably on the autism spectrum, is neither prepared nor eager to work in his father’s law firm for the summer. But there’s intrigue, adventure and romance when you enter the “real world,” and Marcelo handles it better than anticipated. A great story with quirkiness, heart and humor.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Remember the Star Wars movies? Remember comic books? Remember middle school? O.K., forget middle school, but remember how much you enjoyed Star Wars and comic books? Read this book, you must! Laughing, you will be!

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

The real (awesomely gory) story of Hansel and Gretel, and what happened before and after the witch became toast. Gidwitz delivers the tale like a true storyteller, but dark. And grim. And hysterically funny. If you liked The Princess Bride, (or even if you didn’t) try this tale.—Kathryn Erskine 

Charlottesville resident Kathryn Erskine won the 2010 National Book Award for her young adult novel, Mockingbird, which tells the story of Caitlin, an 11-year-old with Asperger’s, as she struggles with the death of her brother.



Fiber for your life

At risk for diabetes? The Mayo Clinic suggests the following: Be more physically active, drop extra pounds and eat more fiber and whole grains. Start with über-fibrous split peas: Just one cup packs more than 16 grams. Not feeling the princess vibe? Reach for raspberries, artichokes or spaghetti.

Veg out 

Only 34 percent of us get enough fruits and veggies. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says adult women should have at least four (if not five) total servings of fruit and vegetables per day. What’s a serving? 

One banana, apple or peach

One Roma tomato

10 baby carrots

3/4 cup tomato juice

Straight facts

Blessed with straight-as-a-pin hair? Keep your tresses looking silky by eating plenty of foods with Omega-3s (like salmon, tuna and other fatty fish), using a shampoo that skips ingredients like ammonium lauryl sulfate and getting a trim every six to eight weeks. And remember: Never wring out your locks after the shower. Hair is most vulnerable when wet, so try blotting it with a towel instead. 

Still feel like your mane is taking last place? Head to the kitchen for a fast fix: A mask made from mixing mayonnaise and an egg should get your strands back on track.—C.W.

Hey, curly girls: Here’s one answer to your post-blowdry frizzies. The DevaFuser at Salon Druknya ($42, 221 W. Main St., 979-0012) is an innovative way to dry your hair. The hand-shaped contraption utilizes 360 degree airflow, which dries your curls from the inside out, leaving them healthy, shiny and touchable.


Try bellydancing the low-commitment way: At Alexandra Dance Studio, your first class is free.

Yoga revamp


Studio 206, long a place for physical and spiritual renewal, is having a revitalization itself. The Downtown studio will now specialize in Vinyasa yoga.

Try the flow-style yoga or other classes throughout February with 206’s two-for-one deal; bring a friend and you each take a class for the price of one. Visit studio206downtown.com for more deals.—C.W.

Mix up your workout and visit Alexandra Dance Studio (109 Second St. SE, second floor, 249-4611), a new fitness spot from ACAC bellydance instructor Alexandra Bourque Snyder. Says Snyder, bellydancing tones the entire body—especially the abdominals and glutes. $15 for drop-ins, with monthly and quarterly rates also available.









Vita mix-up

Unsure which multivitamin to choose from the many bottles you see in the store? Says Martha Jefferson dietitican Rita Smith, they’re pretty much all the same. Reach for Centrum, Women’s One-A-Day or even a store brand. Just be sure it’s specifically marked for your age group: Post-menopausal women should take a vitamin with less iron.

Woman power

If you build it, they will come. At least, that’s true for Women Build, a Habitat for Humanity program that gets ladies to build simple and affordable homes for other women.

Volunteers get their hands dirty nailing walls and building windows, both in the summer and during the winter months. And in 10 years, Women Build has erected seven homes, “an amazing feat,” says Special Projects Assistant Laurie Curtin. Visit cvillehabitat.org for more information.—C.C.

If construction isn’t for you, there are plenty of other opportunities to donate your time. Head to the local SPCA to socialize with cats or walk dogs. Join the Rivanna Conservation Society for an outdoorsy streambank cleanup, or help the Blue Ridge Food Bank sort through donations, to name just a few.