Diets Suck

Diets don’t work. Let’s make that perfectly clear.

So why are there so many diets out there if they don’t work?
Good question. There are new diets year after year because they don’t work or only work while you’re on them. There is a lot of information out there regarding diets, with conditional results. You will drop this many pounds/kilos if you do A. B. C. D and avoid E. The difficulty with these diets is they only serve to confuse your natural instincts on when, how and what to eat. Attempting to restrict eating habits can mean you end up putting on more weight after the diet ends. So it follows that we need is not another diet but a guide that helps us make better food choices.

Processed Health Foods vs. Real Food
Have you ever started a diet that required you to buy their own brand snack bars or shake mixes? These foods are sometimes not food at all! When a specific product is formulated in test kitchens, a company may make the addition of healthy ingredients such as omega 3 fats, but what you’re getting is far from natural and may even harm your body (ie. artificial sugars, hydrogenated oils). (more…)

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Fuel for Super Models

Take care of yourself during a busy show season by having snacks on hand to keep your energy up and to ensure you always arrive on time. Having to stop for food can sometimes make the difference between attending a casting or being late for a show. Always have a supply of snacks in your purse or your car that will maintain energy and blood-sugar levels so you can give your best to the job.

Fresh Fruit is great to have on hand in warmer weather. Fruit high in water content will hydrate, energise and help you feel full. TRY: banana, grapes, watermelon, apples, pears and peaches.
With Dried Fruit, a little goes a long way. High in sugar and sometimes fiber, dried fruit is a sweet snack that will give you burst of energy, especially great in the afternoon. TRY: unsulphured apricots, goji berries (eat them with almonds, for less bitterness),  strawberries, banana, figs, dates and mango.

While eating your dried fruit throw in a small handful of Nuts, which will give you long-burning energy and some protein. The best type for you are raw and unprocessed, but lightly roasted also do fine. TRY: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds and walnuts.
For those models who eat dairy, Yoghurt can be a convenient morning snack. Easy enough to grab as you’re running out the door, you can eat it on the run or on the job. The extra protein & calcium will keep you feeling fuller for longer. TRY: any natural greek yoghurt and naturally sweetened varieties. Try to avoid soy, low-fat or artificially sweetened yoghurts as they can be less satisfying, leading you to feel hungry sooner.

Air-popped Popcorn is a healthy whole-grain carb, with fiber and a little protein. Snacking on 1-4 cups of the air-popped variety will give you the carbohydrates to burn during a demanding job. TRY: popping your own kernels and using a zip-lock bag, or any store bought, low sodium popcorn.
Available at most supermarkets, Baby Carrots are a refreshing crunchy snack that will keep in your purse all day. They’re a great snack for models who are looking to maintain their measurements, and will give your complexion a glow from the inside. TRY: cutting your own carrot sticks and using a zip-lock, or any shop bought pre-washed baby carrots.

Black Licorice, if made with blackstrap molasses can be high in Iron, and some studies have proven real licorice can reduce your appetite. This sweet treat will keep your hunger at bay until the next sit down meal. TRY: Panda All Natural Licorice or Darrel Lea Soft Eating Licorice. Just a few pieces are enough, and chew gum afterwards or it could leave your teeth looking a little green.
Always stay hydrated between castings and on the job by carrying a re-usable water bottle that you can fill through out your day. Try to alternate your snacks so you don’t become bored and snack on the nearest packet of crisps.

What do you snack on? Feel free to add your favorite snacks in the comments below!

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A Model of Strength

Much like Sportspeople, Actors and Dancers, Models develop muscle strength to give them an advantage on the job. Conditioning muscles with gentle exercise can prevent injuries in heels, give you balance on the runway and aid you with stamina for shooting in unusual positions. We recommend aftercare such as massage and stretching, for alleviating any knots and tension in muscles- in addition to giving your body pre and post-workout meals- thereby increasing the benefits of exercise and maintaining any progress you have achieved.
So how can you build and strengthen lean muscle? Maybe you’d like to add a few exercises to your current routine or you’re a newcomer to the world of model-workouts. Let us show you how it’s done:

Building muscle as a model is a delicate issue, you don’t want to bulk up but what are the right exercises to add definition without looking too muscular? Every model has different needs for their body and depending on the market they work in most; fashion/ fitness/ beauty/ underwear/ commercial, your workouts should reflect this.
For adding definition and a little muscle mass try light WEIGHTS - which offer low resistance, with end results showing a leaner muscle without bulk. Adding lean muscle mass also increases your metabolism, as does the exercise itself which will allow you to maintain similar measurements over time. Dedicating time to understanding muscle function will allow you to prevent injury and assess your strengths and weaknesses.

Try this exercise for improving poor posture; Stand upright with a 3-7lb weight in each hand (1-3kg). Engage you core and gently raise weights to shoulder level. To ensure shoulders are not curving forward, push shoulder blades together.  3 x 10 sets.  To improve balance, adjust the above exercise to standing on just one foot.
Another exercise to combat slumping shoulders involves raising a single 5lb weight (2-3kg) above the head and slowly moving it down, behind your head- this will engage the muscles that keep your shoulders back (trapezius and deltoid). 3 x 10 sets. Hunched shoulders can be caused by Pectorial (Pec) muscles being too tight, so following these strengthening exercises, stretch by finding a wall, bend elbow at 45 degree angle and place hand flat on the wall. Slowly turn away from the wall and hold for 12 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

A model favorite, YOGA is an interesting way to gently tone muscles, improve balance and calm the mind. We say interesting because we know yoga is not for everyone- and yet we can’t say enough good things about it!
Through a series of postures and breathing you can slowly and gently build lean muscle, become more flexible and de-stress. With yoga, the more you give to your practice the more benefits you get back. Among our favorite postures for models are Downward Dog which will improve flexibility in hamstrings, Childs Pose for a relaxing stretch of the gluts (Gluteus Maximus) and lats (Lattisimus Dorsi) and Chair Pose for strengthening inner thighs, groin and the core muscles. If you can manage it, try the Bridge Pose which will stretch the abs and give you a boost of confidence!

Following exercise or a busy show season we cannot stress enough how important aftercare is. Taking time to check in with your body and ease any aches and release tension in muscles will make your job more enjoyable and hopefully prevent injuries to muscles; especially those in the ankles and lower back.
Visiting a chiropractor, masseuse, acupuncturist, podiatrist or physiotherapist are valid options to get a professional opinion and treatment for any persistent conditions. These professionals can decrease healing time and are able to give you exercises to prevent an injury or strengthen after recovering from rolled ankles, torn ligaments and muscle strain.
If you are low on money and need a cheaper option, invest in Tiger Balm for muscle soreness, a Foam Roller to release muscle tension or an electric massage tool like this one.

Your body needs FUEL to provide glucose to muscles during your workout. Consuming a carbohydrate with a small amount of protein you can give your body access to the sugars it needs to sustain energy output. Have a banana, with a slice of whole-grain bread and peanut butter for a simple snack 1 hour before exercising. 
Following your workout, protein is needed to enable muscle growth and repair. Adding to this, drinking an electrolyte sports-drink or coconut water will help you avoid tiredness and minimize recovery time. How often do you feel lethargic after a workout? If that answer is often, consume a sports beverage up to 10 minutes, and protein no longer than 40 minutes following a workout.
A convenient way to access protein after exercise is the protein shake. There are many choices for these drinks… dairy-free, vegan, wheat-free and organic options- that ensure a fast delivery of protein and simple sugars post-workout.

As outlined above, modeling is a demanding profession on and off the runway; so it follows that the more you treat your body like that of a sportsperson, you will be able to avoid injury and be relied upon for your energetic performance.
Feel free to comment below to add to the list of strengthening exercises and any aftercare you can recommend to avoid injury. Happy runways!

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DVD’s We Love! NYC Ballet Workout

This DVD set brings us the New York City Ballet workout. What could be more graceful than the long, slender limbs of the world’s best ballerinas… making them your own! We follow most of the ballet workouts (except the squat-like ones) and over time have seen better posture and subtly defined muscles.

New York City Ballet; The Complete Workout, Part 1 & 2

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BOOKS WE LOVE

‘Eat mostly plants, especially leaves’
Author Michael Pollan gives us direct advice on what to put in our mouths and why we should leave processed foods in the labs they are made in. We love his easy-to-read style in this book, although if you’re looking for something a little more in depth try Omnivore’s Dilemma, winner of the James Beard award and a very revealing read on the modern food industry.

 

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