Happy Holidays!

Tara Bitzan, Chicz Editor

Tara Bitzan, Chicz Editor

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback you sent us after our first issue of Chicz hit the stands in October! We knew we loved the magazine, but we were thrilled to learn that you loved it too! Not only did you send us your appreciation, but you also sent us your fabulous ideas to feature in upcoming issues.

A few of you even got so caught up with the new magazine that you sent us articles, and we’re happy to say, we printed them! A special welcome to contributing writer Amanda Herzog, a 7th grader who felt she had something to offer the “young chicz” in the area.

We’re already at work on your winter issue and would love your input. Please send us a note about what you think of Chicz or share your ideas with us.

In the meantime, enjoy every minute of the holiday season. Don’t get so caught up in the “to do’s” that you miss out on the real joys of the season – time with loved ones. My wish for you is that this time is unhurried, unharried and heartwarming.

Merry Christmas!
Tara Bitzan
Chicz Editor 

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A healthy way to enjoy food and wine

Give fresh fruit and cheese a try

By Al Edenloff

Eating food with wine doesn’t have to be a decadent, calorie-laden process.
It can be easy, light and healthy. Here are some ideas.
Cut up some fresh fruit. Strawberries, apples and grapes are good choices or try experimenting around with exotic or unusual fruits like kiwi, star fruit or fresh figs. Dry white wines – unoaked or just subtly oaked – typically pair the best with fruit. Try a Sauvignon Blanc with bananas. Or if you have a sweet tooth, try a sweeter white wine, like Muscat with blackberries or melon. Red wines can also work well with certain fruits. Try Cabernet with apples, pears or peaches; Chianti with figs; or Pinot Noir with berries or cherries. A tip: Sip on a glass of water to cleanse your palate before trying different flavor combinations.
Sample different cheeses. There are classic wine and cheese pairings that bring out the best in both. Remember, you don’t have to go through a whole block of cheese. We’re talking about a few slices between leisurely sips of wine. Make it last. You can swap in some cheeses with reduced fat content if you want to make the experience even healthier. Some suggested pairings: mozzarella or ricotta with Riesling (which, by the way goes well with many kinds of cheeses), Gewurtztraminer, Moscato or Champagne; havarti, monterey jack or manchego with Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Zinfandel; aged cheddar with an aged white Burgundy, Bordeaux or a California red blend.
Combine both fruit and cheese. Here’s a fun experiment. Put a piece of havarti cheese on top of a slice of pear and try it with a Chardonnay. It’s delicious but it’s also a treat with a red blend or Cabernet, except in another way.
Which one do you like better? There is no right or wrong answer. That’s the beauty of fruit/cheese/wine pairings. It’s the tasting, comparing and contrasting that makes it fun.
And there’s one other benefit as well: It will take the edge off your hunger so you can move on to a lighter, healthier meal.

Al Edenloff of Alexandria and his wife, Celeste, were married in the heart of California wine country and enjoy sipping wine on their weekend date nights.

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Pinterest inspired!

By Lacey Dannhoff

I love the idea of marquee letters, and according to Pinterest, so does everyone else. The only catch is the real deal vintage letters are few and far between, and most DIY versions involve a crazy amount of steps, weird tools, and too many measurements for my comfort, but not with this one! If you can use a knife, you can make this!

Materials needed:
• Large cardboard letter (available at craft stores)
• X-acto Knife
• String Lights
• Pencil
• Paint (optional)


1. Cut along the seam of your cardboard letter, only on one side. It’s surprisingly easy! This will be the back side that hides the cord

2. Twist the glass casings from the strand of lights, and lay them out where you’d like them placed on the front side of the letter, and then trace the smallest part of each.

3. Cut an asterisk shape in each circle, which will allow you to push the bulbs right through into place.

4. Put the bulbs back into the circles you cut, and then twist the lights into place from the back, tucking any excess cord in the sides.

My final project!

Lacey Dannhoff of Alexandria is a graphic designer, wife, mother and animal lover.

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Quit smoking

By Rebecca Zwonitzer

As we say goodbye to another passing year, a new one arrives and with that comes New Year’s resolutions. Along with your new resolutions to start hitting the gym more often and making healthier food choices, make the healthy choice to refrain from any tobacco or electronic cigarette use. The New Year is a great time to set new goals and make healthy changes in your life. The challenge is sticking with them, but small changes make a big impact.
One habit to quit in 2015 is tobacco use, including all nicotine. Although the public health community is continuously working on reducing the prevalence of tobacco use in the nation, recent introduction of electronic cigarettes in the U.S. may decrease this effort. Electronic cigarettes began to appear in the United States in late 2006, but marketing has exploded in recent years.
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol. Depending on the brand, e-cigarette cartridges typically contain nicotine, a component to produce the aerosol (e.g., propylene glycol or glycerol), and flavorings (e.g., fruit, mint, or chocolate).
These products are also becoming a concern for our youth. In 2012, an estimated 160,000 students who reported ever using e-cigarettes had never used conventional cigarettes. This is a problem because young adults are still developing their tobacco-use behaviors and electronic cigarettes may re-introduce young adults to tobacco use or promote dual use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.
People often describe e-cigarettes as a way to help them quit smoking, but the nicotine in the devices is still extremely harmful. There are many other types of successful cessation products that you can use, such as nicotine gum or patches.

So as we head into the New Year and make healthy improvements to our diet, exercise and tobacco/nicotine use – don’t substitute a traditional tobacco product with an electronic product. Instead, make a healthy choice and quit tobacco and nicotine all together.
For more help and support about quitting and other cessation products, contact QuitPlan.com or 1-800-354-PLAN.

Rebecca Zwonitzer is the health educator with Douglas County Public Health.

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Keep skin healthy as you exercise

By Jessica Sly

Maybe you work out regularly or maybe working out is your New Year’s resolution. Either way, you need to take care of your skin while you exercise. This might mean working up a good sweat. Believe it or not, sweat is a good thing. It cleans out and opens up your pores and keeps you cool during a workout.
Follow these other tips to protect your skin before, during and after a workout.

Remove makeup – Makeup creates a barrier on your skin and prevents sweat from flowing freely through your pores, which could create breakouts and blackheads.
Apply sunscreen – If you’re going to work out outside, apply a light SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and, at the same time, allow your skin to breathe.
Decontaminate – It might be a good idea to bring anti-bacterial wipes to clean gym equipment before you touch it. Transferred microbes from others’ sweat can cause massive acne.
Pack the perks – Along with your body wash, bring a separate moisturizer and face wash to give your skin the boost it needs.

Wear a headband – This will help keep sweat from pouring down your face, and you can look stylish at the same time!
Keep hands away – Hands can transfer unwanted dirt and germs to your sweaty face and add to pore-clogging components. Instead, use a towel to wipe excess sweat. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after a workout.
Drink water – This is important anytime but especially while working out. It revitalizes your body and prevents your skin from looking dehydrated.
Wear moisture-wicking clothes – This is a special fabric that draws sweat off the skin to the outer layer of your clothes. It keeps your skin from chafing and getting irritated.

Change clothes – If you continue to lounge in sweaty clothes, you could possibly block your pores and cause breakouts.
Shower – It’s important to wash away the grime created from sweat cleaning out your pores. Don’t scrub too hard, and avoid soaking in hot water for an extended period of time, as it will leave your skin dry and itchy.
Cleanse – Using a facial cleansing cloth is a good way to rid your skin of extra filth brought out by sweat.
Moisturize – Do this after you’ve showered and cleansed to trap all the needed moisture in your skin. It will be most effective if skin is slightly damp.

Jessica Sly of Alexandria is a writer/proofreader and has a passion for art of all kinds, whether it be music, writing, drawing or Disney.

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What to eat before a workout

By Lori Mork

Nutrition is especially important for a healthy workout. Here are a few tips on what to eat to maximize your exercise:

Whole grain bagels. These bagels provide a constant stream of energy during your workout through the complex carbohydrates they provide, as opposed to the burst of energy and crash you get from simple carbohydrates.

Bananas. High potassium content makes bananas the perfect food to relieve muscle cramps. Not only that, but bananas are paced with carbohydrates and help replace sweat loss by keeping you hydrated.

Berries. Berries are one of the richest foods in antioxidants. They are perfect for helping protect muscles from damage that may be caused by exercise.
Here’s a hint: The darker the color, the healthier the fruit.
Carrots. Containing complex carbohydrates that provide energy and potassium to help control blood pressure and muscle cramps, just a half-cup of carrots has only 35 calories.

Whole grain cereal. Need a quick snack before exercising? Grab a quick bowl of whole grain cereal. Cereal contains complex carbohydrates and protein, and eating an hour before a workout will give you more energy.

Chicken thighs. Chicken thighs, or turkey drumsticks, will fill you with iron and zinc to boost your energy levels. The dark meat is lower in fat than red meat, but has much of the iron, zinc and B vitamins that women need in their diets.

Chocolate milk. Not only chock full of calcium, milk also gives you plenty of vitamins and minerals, and, when combined with cocoa, is a powerful recovery drink that helps repair muscles.

Low-fat cottage cheese. There are 14 grams of protein in each half-cup of this snack, an important factor in repairing those small muscle tears that happen during exercise.

Cranberries. Not just a Thanksgiving specialty, cranberries pack a big carbohydrate punch. They also have proanthocyanins, a compound that helps prevent and battle urinary tract infections.

Eggs. One egg a day, especially the yolk, is a good source of iron, as well as lecithin, which promotes brain health. It also falls under the 300-milligram daily cholesterol limit set by the American Heart Association.

Ground flaxseed. Full of lignans, ground flaxseed has both soluble and insoluble fiber to help keep you regular.

Oranges. A year-round source of vitamin C, oranges also help repair damage to muscles and helps make collagen, the tissue that keeps bones strong.

Peanuts. One study found that female soccer players who added just two ounces of peanuts daily to their regular diet were able to play just as well at the end of a game as they were at the beginning. The extra fat helps to improve endurance.

Potatoes. Help replace your sodium and potassium with a small baked potato and a few shakes of salt. It will help maintain fluid balances in your body and keep muscles from cramping.

Salmon. Not only good for your heart, studies now show that the monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats from salmon may help keep away abdominal fat.

Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related.

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Fighting colds and flues naturally

By Carly Erickson, ND, MSM

Winter is here in full swing and that means cold and flu season is upon us. Here are some tips for staying healthy this season. As always, check with your doctor before trying any new treatments or supplements.

Rest: Your body needs to repair and replenish each night for a healthy immune system. Try for at least 7.5-9 hours per night, but extra may be needed. Listen to your body.

Stress management: Stress lowers immune function. If you know you will be under added stress, be sure to give your body extra support to keep from getting sick.

Avoid sugar and alcohol: Sugar and alcohol lower your body’s ability to fight off viruses for up to five hours after consumption and both can inhibit your white blood cells that fight off bacteria, leaving you susceptible to infections.

Avoid foods that trigger an immune response: Eating foods that are food allergies (IgE) or sensitivities (IgG) cause an immune response, triggers inflammation, and lowers your immune function.

Add spices to your meals: Ginger helps body aches, coughs, and nausea. Garlic and onions are antimicrobial and can be used for prevention and treatment of colds and flus.

Stay hydrated: Drink water, herbal teas, and broths to prevent dehydration. Be careful not to reach for juice or sports drinks with hidden sugar. Try our immune soup recipe.

Take immune-boosting supplements: Vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc are immune-supporting nutrients. Herbal supplements such as echinacea, hydrastis and garlic also work to fight off viruses and bacteria.

Support your gut flora: Consider a daily probiotic supplement. Probiotics are the beneficial microorganisms found in your gut. Probiotics have been shown to improve immune function and decrease susceptibility to infections.

Hydrotherapy: A warm Epsom salt bath or steam shower can help with body aches. Adding a couple drops of essential oils to the water or wall of the shower can help to relieve headaches and open up congested sinuses. Try eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, or lavender.

Immune Soup
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger root
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sliced Shitake mushrooms
1 quart miso, chicken, mushroom, or bone broth
3 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
1 grated carrot
Combine the broth, onion, ginger, garlic, mushrooms and simmer for 15-20 minutes
Remove from the heat. Add lemon juice, carrot and parsley. Cover pan for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Carly Erickson, of Alexandria, is a doctor of naturopathic medicine at the Dynamic Healing Center

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Avoid unwanted weight gain this year

By Amanda Heffner

On average, Americans gain one to two pounds during the holiday season each year. This may not sound like a lot, but these extra pounds tend to stay put into the New Year. Imagine this weight gain over a 10-year-span. It can add up to more than 20 extra pounds simply from holiday eating alone. If you are looking to avoid this weight gain, here are a few tips to help keep you on track.
• In preparation for family gatherings, do not skip meals. Skipping meals may result in overeating.
• Prepare small, lower-calorie meals during the day, before your holiday party, so that you can eat celebration foods later without overdoing it.
• If you are bringing a dish to pass, make it healthy!
• Use the smallest plate available. Research shows that people tend to eat everything on their plate.
• Do not arrive to your holiday party hungry!
• Focus on conversation instead of appetizers.
• During dinner, fill half of your plate with fruits, vegetables, and salads. Try to take smaller portions of everything else.
• Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register when your tummy is full.
• Concentrate on your food. When you know you are full, take your plate away from the table.
• Find something active to do after a large meal. For example, play with grandchildren, nieces/nephews, pets, etc.
• If you don’t love it, don’t eat it! Try not to waste extra calories on foods you’re not in love with. Focus on your favorite foods first.
• Think before you drink. Drink alcohol in moderation to avoid unwanted calories. Consider wine, a lower-calorie option than many other beverages, at just 123 calories for a 5-ounce glass.

Don’t forget, there are more things to the holidays than just food. Try to find the joy in non-food holiday events. For example, focus on the meaning of the holidays, share what you’re thankful for, decorate a Christmas tree, set a New Year’s goal, go sledding, build a snowman, take a trip, learn how to ice skate, and most importantly, spend quality time with the friends and family you love.

Here are foods to choose more often:
Turkey breast
Plain potatoes
Tossed salad
Fruit salad
Steamed vegetables
Plain rice
Fresh fruit

And here are foods to choose less often:
Alcoholic beverages

Amanda Heffner is the registered dietitian at Elden’s Fresh Foods in Alexandria.

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Tips on reaching healthy fitness goals

By Christa Swedberg

Did you create a health- or fitness-related resolution this year? Most of us do. The New Year seems to be the popular time to make changes, although there is no perfect time to start. Whenever you decide to make that change to lead a healthier lifestyle, here are some helpful tips to reach your goal:

Be realistic. Set yourself up for success by making your goals workable within a certain period of time. Establish efforts that yield results. Lay out goals that offer challenge, but beware the tendency to change everything all at once. One should also be free to make a mistake or two along the way.
Set performance-related goals. Do your self-esteem and perspective a favor by avoiding appearance-based goals. Make a performance-based goal such as to complete a 5K, go on a bike ride with your grandkids, or make time to cook your own healthy dinner twice each week. Make it about performance, not appearance.
Make it visual. Post inspiring quotes on your bathroom mirror, on the fridge, in your car. Take progress pictures. Have a favorite outfit you would love to fit into again? Hang it where you can see it. See your goal, deal with it daily, and reach it!
Prepare for obstacles. Change does not happen overnight. Take baby steps. You’re bound to feel worn out, distracted or hit plateaus – all reasons people trying to lose weight can get discouraged. Keep it simple and focus on the next baby step ahead.
Educate yourself. Knowledge is power. Take time to research and find a logical program that fits your needs and beliefs.
Buddy up. Research has shown that people who have support are the mort successful with diet and exercise programs. When you make a commitment to change along with someone else – a weight loss coach, friend or family member – you are more likely to stick with it.
Don’t program-hop. Trust the process, and give it time. Quick fixes are not the answer. Give a program time to produce results. If things go differently than planned, stop to figure out the reasons why and learn from them.
Reward yourself. Create a reasonable reward system when you meet certain goals. The ultimate reward is a healthier, happier you. Keep it fun!
Making nutrition, activity, and lifestyle changes can be hard. It requires time, dedication, will-power, and sacrifice. There are daily temptations and challenges along the way. When you reach your goal, it is an incredible feeling!
Christa Swedberg is a certified profile coach for Profile by Sanford.

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Workout clothing that’s right for your shape

By Lori Mork

There is so much more to selecting workout clothing than how those clothes look when you wear them. We all want to look good while we exercise, but it’s important to make sure you have the right fit and material for the activity you enjoy. Choosing the right fabric for your activity can impact your success.
Polyester, Lycra and spandex fabrics that wick, or draw moisture away from your skin, help keep you cool when exercising. Cotton is good if you aren’t going to be perspiring much, such as from walking or stretching, but can get very heavy and stick to your body as it absorbs moisture from more intense workouts.
These fabrics also give you great range of motion without irritating or chafing your skin.
Fit and support are both important when selecting clothes. You don’t want to wear loose, long pants when running or biking that could cause you to trip or get stuck in the pedals.
If you exercise outdoors in the winter months, you should consider layering your clothing. Even though it’s cold outside, your body temperature will still rise as you exercise, so it’s important to be able to shed layers as you warm up.
The sports bra you select should provide support and flexibility, so don’t skimp on the undergarments.
Don’t forget to put serious thought into your footwear as well. You need to make sure you have the right shoe for your activity, and that it gives you support and protection.

Light colors on top help move eyes away from the lower body.
To balance your body shape, flared pants are best.
Avoid pants with stripes down the side, which will make hips seem bigger.

Ruching on the sides of tops will help give the appearance of curves.
Color on the sides of pants also helps shape your body.
Use a tank top with a lower neckline and a sports bra with some padding to help create curves.
Loose tops with ties at the
middle help narrow the look of your waist.
Fitted pants will help slim legs.
Flared-bottom pants will make you look larger.

Tops with V or scoop necks
accentuate small waists.
Loose clothing will make you look larger

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Decorating for Valentine’s Day

By Lori Mork

Are you planning a romantic night at home for Valentine’s Day? Why not give your dinner some special touches? For your table, add a few special touches. Set out your good china and glassware on a pretty tablecloth with cloth napkins, then add candles and flowers for a cozy night for two. All white is especially beautiful in this setting.
A door mirror can be used as a table runner for your tablescape. Pull out a few votive candles and holders, placing them down the middle and add a few candy hearts or chocolate kisses.
Get into the traditional by making your table settings red and white. Toss on some flower petals and tie your white napkins with some red ribbon, and finish it all off with red candles.
Try something different and have a picnic. Simple to accomplish, just throw a blanket on the floor, fill a couple of baskets with fruit, lay out some cheese and crackers on a tray. Add wineglasses and your favorite bottle of wine and you have a picturesque table for just the two of you.

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