Archive for Winter

Ten First Date Fears

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by Firstsource

On a first date, I’m a regular anxiety-fest. Second-guessing everything I say, trying not to fidget, and working on overdrive to figure you out.

And, of course, after our first date, I’m going back to my friends to dish over every detail, especially if I really like you. What am I so worried about? More importantly, what can you do about it? Here’s a peek at my first date fears and hang-ups and what you can do to put me at ease.

1) Is this a date?
I often find myself in the following situation: I’m sitting across from a guy, having a great time, enjoying the company. Everything is going well. Except, I can’t stop wondering whether he thinks I’m a potential girlfriend or just a girl friend. Now that we’ve graduated from playschool (ahem, college), having friends of the opposite sex is par for the course. But as great as it is to have a buddy to obsess over UFC with, the gray area between platonic and romantic can make things awfully perplexing, too.

If you’re into me, you’ve got to come clean about it. Start by employing the magic word. No, not “please.” I’m talking about “date.” As in, “I’d love to take you out on a date some time.” Telling me that we should “hang,” “grab a drink,” or “meet for lunch” is not always going to get your romantic intentions across. This goes double if we’ve been long-time friends, co-workers, neighbors, or colleagues.

2) Does he like what he sees?
Maybe you’ve already seen a picture of me. Maybe we met briefly at a party or in a dark bar. But chances are, I’m still going to be wondering whether you like what you see. Telling me straight off the bat that I look great starts things off on the right foot. Plus, I can stop worrying about the cow-lick I spent an hour trying to flatten, and that frees up my mind to focus on getting to know you.

3) Why won’t he look me in the eyes?
Are you nervous? Strung out? Bored? Hypnotized by my breasts? Regardless, when a guy won’t look at me straight on, I feel like my eyes are emitting death-rays. A cool superpower, but not exactly what I had in mind when I was putting on the mascara. Be aware of your body-language, too. I’ve been out so many times with men who sit back, totally aloof, while I smile and nod and try my best to carry on a conversation with someone who might as well be a rock (and not the cuddly “pet” kind, either).

Even if you’re verbally responsive and asking all the right questions, I’m going to feel awful if you aren’t making eye contact and your body language is screaming “Not Interested!” By all means, if you really aren’t interested, after this first date, do not ask me out on a second date. Throw away my phone number. Chances are, if we aren’t clicking, I won’t be calling you, either. But I am working hard to be nice. I expect the same from you.

4) Why did he pick this place?
I once went out with a man who informed me that he takes girls he’s only marginally interested in to Dippin’ Dots (no, we were not consuming the “Ice Cream of the Future” at the time). Not exactly the best thing to admit to on a first date, but the guy (now history) got me thinking harder about all the places I’d been to on dates.

These days, I usually ask the guy to choose the locale of our first date, because it gives me a little insight into what he likes and how well he’s got me pegged, so choose wisely. And honestly, if you’re taking me to Dippin’ Dots, you’ve made it loud and clear that you’re just cruising for a one-night stand.

5) How does he go about ordering dinner?
Are you ordering for me? Are we sharing several dishes? Are you ordering a bottle of wine with the meal? Are you saving room for dessert? Are you vegan? Vegetarian? Kosher? How much do you spend on food? How much food do you eat? Do you want to stuff me in a blueberry pie and eat me (i.e. are you totally psychotic)?

Since we Homo sapiens tend to eat several times a day, what and how you eat is a significant indicator of our compatibility. If I’m an omnivore and you are a raw vegan who only eats food he has personally foraged, it is just not going to work out. Asking about my food preferences before you plan our first date does so much to minimize surprises. Starting out with just coffee or a drink is a great way to avoid culinary snafus as well.

6) Is that a major wardrobe malfunction or a fashion statement?
I once went out on a first date with a man who showed up with his shirt on inside-out. No big. Kinda cute, actually. Except his shirt was inside-out on our second date, too. After this occurred a third time, I finally asked him (completely sincerely) whether this was a fashion statement (after all, I kid you not, he did work in fashion). “Oh!” He exclaimed. “You’re right. It is inside-out!” Yes. Men have had major wardrobe malfunctions on first (and second and third) dates with me, and it is just about the most distracting thing on this planet.

I’ve spent many an evening wondering how you’ve managed to go all day with that tag stuck on your pants, your buttons not aligned, and mismatched socks. Unless your date is a super-bitch, a little wardrobe malfunction is not going to make or break you. It might even be endearing in a Nutty Professor kind of way. That being said, I would not recommend skipping the fly check before you go out.

7) Is he for real?
More important than what you say is the meta-data I’m filtering while we’re out. For example, do your stories feel like they’re way too practiced, i.e. like they’ve been told too many times to too many women? Are you disclosing too much too soon? Are you excited about me? Are you a good listener? I’m looking for signs that the person you are projecting is The Real You. Don’t insult my intelligence. If you’re giving me the song-and-dance, I’m going to totally be on to you.

8) Should we do the check dance now?
Do you have any idea how much thought and deliberation I’ve put into my half of the check dance? When I was younger, I always insisted on splitting the bill 50/50. I was told enough times that this practice of mine is emasculating, and I switched to sitting there coyly while the man reached for his wallet. But some dates clearly took this as a sign of snooty entitlement.

Thus, the check dance. I hate the check dance. The whole show is really for your benefit. What can you do about it? Easy. On your way back from the head, settle the check discretely. Then, when I suggest that we get the bill, you can just say, all suave-like, “It’s already taken care of.” Wow. That is so hot.

9) So, is this date over?
Okay, so sometimes I get really, really horny. I admit, sometimes I even want to take you home on the first date, but I’m really embarrassed to ask. I’d feel so much better if you made it sound like it was all your idea. I know, pretty silly of me, right? I have to admit, the same part of me that will never disclose how many men I’ve really slept with also doesn’t want to be the one asking you upstairs. Do us both a favor and give me an opening I can work with.

10) Does he really want to see me again?
At the end of a date, I want to be clued in. Is this goodbye or see you later? If you don’t think we’re a good fit, you don’t have to be rude about it, but don’t go making promises to call me, either. I really hate it when a guy gives me all the signals that he’s interested, only to never be heard from again.

On the other hand, if you’re really excited about me, just tell me. No matter what your guy friends tell you, acting all nonchalant at the end of a date is not going to help you. What’s the worst that could happen? She could say flat-out that she’s not that into you. Better that than risking getting your signals crossed because you played it so cool that you came of icy.


Six Reasons To Workout With a Partner

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by Firstsource

1. You’ll be more motivated.
Don’t feel like working out after work? It’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself but it’s another to cancel on your friend—someone who’s counting on you. “No one wants to be Debbie Downer by bailing and letting down your friend,” says Steve Stonehouse, the Personal Training Manager at Crunch gym in New York City. You’re much more likely to meet your friend for a planned workout session at 6 p.m. compared to tentative plans you made with yourself for, say, sometime after lunch. “After three or four weeks, once you’re in the habit, you won’t even think about canceling on your friend,” adds Stonehouse.

2. Your workouts can be more fun.
News flash: The treadmill and the bench press aren’t the most exciting ways to pass the time. With a partner, you can get your heart racing in more interesting ways (yes, we’re still talking about the gym). Together, you can play one-on-one basketball, tennis and squash. “You can also take turns leading new exercises and switching up the routine,” suggests Stonehouse. Maybe you know a brutal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you something new. “Your body adapts and becomes efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stonehouse. “The more you change up your workout, the better your body is going to respond.”

3. You’ll work out harder.
“Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be great than when you’re alone,” points out Stonehouse. (You don’t want to be the weak one who can’t keep up with a seven-minutes mile!) One key tip when picking your partner: Your athletic abilities should be in the same ballpark. A more seasoned gym-goer won’t get as much out of working out with a newbie. “If you’re on the same level, you can push each other,” Stonehouse says. Odds are, you’ll both want to quit around the same time but you’ll go a little longer if your friend is still at it.

4. You’ll finally be able to afford a personal trainer.
Sharing a cheeseburger is cheaper than buying one yourself. The same math applies when it comes to a personal trainer. At Crunch, where Stonehouse works, for example, a one-on-one session costs about $85. Yet a session with a partner is around $50 per person. “One-on-one training is still the bulk of my day but I’m seeing more and more partner training for financial reasons alone,” says Stonehouse.

5. You’ll always have a spotter.
Never again will you have to approach a random meathead and ask him to spot you. Never again will you have to count your own reps. “You also won’t have to worry about forced reps,” adds Stonehouse. What’s a forced rep? “Let’s say you’re on the bench press and you want to stop at 10 because you’re not sure you can make it to 11. If you have a spotter, you don’t have to worry as much and you are more likely to power through the 11th, 12th and 13th reps. And each of those little lifts will add up and make a difference.” Use your spotter to keep an eye on your form as you work, too.

6. Your friends will be thinner.
Before you judge us, we’re not being totally shallow here—having thin friends is for your own good. Researchers at Harvard University found that you can “catch” obesity (along with smoking habits and happiness) because it spreads like an infectious disease. The experts found that a person’s risk of becoming obese rises by two percent for every five obese social contacts they have. “There’s definitely some truth to that,” agrees Stonehouse. “If you’re surrounded by people who are active and eat well, there’s a good chance you’re going to do the same.”

Scientists Weigh In

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Firstsource

Break a Sweat (More Often)
We’ve said it before—you can’t just cut calories. Now yet another study backs us up. In a recent animal trial, researchers at Oregon HEalth and Science University found that overweight monkeys who were put on a lower-calorie diet lost almost no weight. When monkeys were encouraged to be more active but continued to eat their regular diet, the pounds still flew off. No matter your species, you’ve got to burn more calories through exercise to lose your extra flab.

Treat Food Like a Dog
A drug addict’s brain reacts similarly to the brain of overweight individuals, according to a recent study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The common thread is that the body needs to consume ever-increasing amounts of both substances to keep producing dopamine, the chemical that triggers feelings of joy. Cut back on the amount you’re eating and dopamine levels fall. That may lead to bad moods, withdrawal symptoms, and out-of-control binging. Meaning, if you’re really having a problem kicking excess weight, consider seeing an addiction specialist.

Train on an Empty Stomach
A new European study notes that cyclists burn more fat when riding “on empty” than following a pre-workout meal. The researchers say that being hungry apparently helps the body to keep adrenaline high and blood sugar low—an ideal formula for the oxidation of fat. The only drawback is that without food or energy, it’s hard to make big workout gains. The solution? Go into one to two workouts a week hungry and eat before the others.

Think Weekly, Not Daily
New government guidelines recommend that you track workouts in hours, not days. Each week, shoot for 75 minutes of intense activity, such as swimming, or 150 minutes of moderate activity, like walking on a treadmill. Miss a workout? Just make up the time as soon as you can.

Log on, Get Lean
Too much YouTube won’t keep you lean but clicking on other sites might. A new study reports that guys who regularly log on to dieting sites to track their weight loss are able to lose more weight—and keep it off—than guys who don’t. Experts say the sites create a sense of accountability that’s useful in maintaining set goals.

Hot Shots

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Firstsource

Kodak PlayTouch 1080p
$230 @

Blu-ray quality 1080p HD video is rare in such a small digital video camera—but the PlayTouch’s got it. It also features a 3-inch touch screen so you can easily swipe through your videos and photos.

Nikon Coolpix s1100pj
$350 @

Project amd share pictures and HD videos from your camera onto any surface. Images come through bright and clear and can be stretched up to the size of a 47-inch display from up to eight feet away.

Samsung PL90
$150 @

A built-in USB connector on this inexpensive and easy-to-use gem allows you to forgo wires when uploading pics. Other highlights: auto-face detection and and red-eye correction, a 12.2mp image sensor, 4x optical zoom, and a 2.7-inch LCD screen.

Canon s95
$400 @

Don’t be fooled by the simple, sleek design—the s95 packs pro-level capability and high-end features like a bright wide-angle lens, pro-style manual controls, and improved low-light shooting. A nice upgrade.

Fujifilm Finepix 3D W3
$500 @

That’s right. You can now shoot real 3D photos and video. Two 3x zoom lenses take shots from different positions. The camera then merges the images into a single enhanced 3D photo. (If you’re feeling retro, the W3 shoots conventional 2D images, too.)

Hottie of the Day

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Firstsource

Fittest Tennis Pros

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Firstsource

When people tell me, “If you played today, you would be competitive against Federer,” I just start laughing. My ass would get kicked so fast and so hard. The fitness, the training, the preparation, and the understanding of the game have all changed since I played 20 years ago. These guys are more complete players. There are few or no weaknesses in their games today. Now you have to be strong, agile, quick, and be able to last longer than the opponent if it comes down to it.


He has the whole package. He’s very physical and confident, has a well-developed upper body and is extremely quick. I don’t know if there’s a better natural mover on the circuit. Staying on top requires mental fitness, which is connected to physical fitness. You can be the fittest guy and still lose a match [to Federer] because you got tired, and he didn’t. Federer has superior stamina, and it’s easy for him to be mentally tough since he knows he won’t be tired later on in the match.


The problem with the upper body during my time was you had to carry that weight around, and you got tired quicker. But today you have these guys with bigger upper bodies who are still controlling the ball extremely well. Nadal uses his strong arms to his advantage. He can hit the ball harder.


His serve is tremendous, and that comes from core strength. When he changes shirts on the court, what jumps at you is his abs. They’re the source of his power, and he uses that really well.

Australian Lamb on a Shovel

Posted in Diet, Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Firstsource


  • 1 1/2 lbs thick-cut rib or loin lamb chops
  • 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • Lemon wedges


You’ll Also Need
Logs, wood chips, or wood chunks, plus a grill or campfire and a clean metal shovel, if you want the full (but optional) old-school presentation.

How to Make It
1.) Lightly brush the lamb chops on both sides with olive oil. Season both sides with salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary.

2.) If you are using just a campfire and shovel, heat the shovel blade in the fire and then arrange the chops an inch apart on the blade. It’s OK to work in batches. Cook the chops until done to taste. Skip step 3.

3.) If you’re using a charcoal grill and want to use logs or wood chips, place them on the coals. If using a gas grill, add the wood chips or chunks to the smoker box or place them in a smoker pouch under the grate. Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange lamb chops on the hot grate and grill them until done to taste, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.

4.) Transfer to plates and, if desired, drizzle extra olive oil over chops and serve with lemon wedges.

Nutritional Breakdown
Per serving
Calories: 293
Protein: 25 g
Carbs: 1 g
Fat: 21 g
Fiber:0 g
Serves 4