Health & Beauty

Article from EverydayHealth – Top 10 Budget-Friendly Foods (Healthy Ones!)

Posted on May 7, 2009. Filed under: Cooking and Eating, Health & Beauty, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Top 10 Budget-Friendly Foods (Healthy Ones!)

Tightening your belt these days? You don’t have to cut back on healthy foods as you’re trimming your family food budget! Here are 10 top picks for economical and delicious healthy foods

1. Oats

2. Healthy Frozen Mixed-Vegetable Blends

3. Fresh Fruit: Bananas, Apples, and Oranges

4. Lentils

5. Beans (Canned or Dried)

6. Peanut Butter

7. Canned Salmon

8. Fat-Free Yogurt

9. Eggs

10. Sweet Potatoes

I’m happy to say these are all a part of my regular diet, though I should try to eat beans and lentils more often.

For the complete article, click here


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How My Friend Elyse Stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Jamaica for FREE by Teaching Yoga Classes

Posted on May 5, 2009. Filed under: Health & Beauty, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , |

I met my friend Elyse about 15 years ago at a health club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She was my aerobics instructor and we also became workout buddies.  Her warm, friendly personality clicked with mine and when I found out Elyse also had a career in high tech marketing, I knew we would become good friends. I was even a bridesmaid at her wedding.

Elyse has her own PR consultancy.  One of the things I have long admired about Elyse is her ability to juggle and balance all the aspects of her life – her busy career, her husband and two kids, her extended family and friendships, and time to take care of herself.   She is very organized and efficient so she finds ways to combine her lifestyle and interests whenever possible.  For example, she teaches yoga and spinning classes at her local healthclub in the suburbs a few days a week and her entire family of four enjoys a free club membership.

In February, Elyse went on a fabulous week long vacation to Jamaica with her family without spending a lot of money.  They were even able to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort in Rose Hall for free.  How, you ask?   Elyse signed up at a website called which facilitates the exchange of services between specialty professionals and numerous all-inclusive resorts and vacation destinations.  Resort locations currently include the Caribbean, Brazil and Mexico.

The website helped match her skills as a certified yoga and fitness instructor with resorts that offer teaching opportunities in exchange for a comped (i.e., free) room for Elyse and one guest (kids under 12 at no additional charge).  In this case, she also received a $150 daily food allowance which they usually used for dinners. Another way they saved money was by shopping at the local market and using the fridge in their room.  They were also able to use frequent flyer miles for 3 of the 4 tickets to Jamaica.

The teaching contract was for 3 one hour classes a day, 7 days, Sunday – Sunday. Elyse taught 2 classes each morning, a core training for abs and and back, and then a vinyasa flow yoga class and was done teaching by 10:00 am.  She also taught another yoga class at 5:00 pm.  She had the bulk of each day to spend with her family.  Elyse was able to swap classes with another visiting instructor to have a full afternoon free to go on a longer day trip, to  Ocho Rios and Dunn’s River Falls.  They saved money on the day trip by negotiating a flat fee with a local taxi driver and hired him for the day, which also gave them much greater flexibility over the tour bus option.

Elyse said it was one of their best family vacations  and the first one she has taken where she ate really well but didn’t gain any weight.  Click here to see photos of Elyse teaching her yoga class outside overlooking the beach and some from their vacation in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Kind of inspires me to want to go get certified in something.  You should register on the site if you are any of the following:

CEC Provider Chiropractor
Club/Studio Operator Dietician
Fitness Enthusiast GFI & Yoga Combo
Golf Pro Grp Fitness Inst.
Health/Fitness Biz Masseuse
Nurse Personal Trainer
Squash Pro Tennis Instructor
Yoga / Pilates
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Walgreen giving free care to jobless and uninsured

Posted on April 2, 2009. Filed under: Health & Beauty | Tags: |

Walgreen giving free care to jobless and uninsured

NEW YORK (AP) — Drugstore operator Walgreen will offer free clinic visits to the unemployed and uninsured for the rest of the year, providing tests and routine treatment for minor ailments through its walk-in clinics — though patients will still pay for prescriptions.

Walgreen said patients who lose their job and health insurance after March 31 will be able to get free treatment at its in-store Take Care clinics for respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments. Typically those treatments cost $59 or more for patients with no insurance.

Hal Rosenbluth, chairman of the Take Care Health Systems division, described the plan as something close to an experiment: He said Walgreen isn’t sure of patient demand or how much providing the services might cost the company.

It’s likely to generate more attention for the clinics, however. Rosenbluth said a typical Take Care patient tells eight other people about his or her experience. So far, about 30 percent of Take Care patients were new customers to Walgreen.

The program is expected to last through the end of 2009. Walgreen runs 341 Take Care clinics in 35 markets around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Cleveland. Free services will be offered only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walgreen said it will not offer free checkups, vaccinations or other injections because it is focusing on providing services patients might otherwise get at an urgent-care center or even an emergency room.

Patients must present proof they are unemployed, including a federal or state unemployment determination letter and an unemployment check stub. They will have to sign a form at the clinic saying they have lost their jobs and health benefits. If they find a new job or get new health insurance, they will no longer be eligible for free care.

Spouses and children are also eligible for free services if they don’t have insurance of their own. Medical lab operator Quest Diagnostics is participating in the program by offering free tests for step throat and urinary tract infections.

Walgreen bought the Take Care clinics in May 2007. Take Care says it has seen about 1.2 million patients since its launch in November 2005 and estimates that up to 30 percent of them were uninsured.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far ) – find a workout buddy or activity partner so you can keep your diet and fitness New Year’s resolution

Posted on December 29, 2008. Filed under: Health & Beauty, No Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

It’s that time of year.  If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more,  get in shape, improve your health, lose weight, expand your social network or meet new friends and activity partners, then this free to register site may be a good resource for you.

The Network is designed to help people from all across the United States & Canada find other people in their local area to exercise within any healthy activity.

Why Join?

  • You need to find a friend to exercise with you in your favorite activity!
  • A friend that will keep you motivated in a fun and positive way.
  • Friends challenge and push you to succeed no matter your skill level.
  • Connecting with friends in the Network is FREE.

Why Do I Need Exercise Friends?
The number one reason most people don’t start (or end up stopping) their exercise fitness clubs & gyms, people usually post a 3×5 card on a cork board in their gym describing their availability, fitness level and workout preferences. Finding a friend can be cumbersome, as your best friend could be waiting for you on a cork board in another gym routine is they lose motivation. One of the primary ways the fitness and health community suggest to stay motivated is to have friends that exercise with you. They help keep you motivated when you’re not (and vise versa). The Network is the easiest way to find a like minded friend to exercise with!

The Network makes it easy to see who wants to be contacted about working out and exercising. They are the leading online service that quickly and easily matches and introduces workout friends to each other based on activity, skill level, age, and personality.

  • Friends motivate! Once you’re there it is easy to exercise.
  • Find a workout / fitness partner on the Network.
  • Exercise friends will help to get you off the couch.
  • The Network is for every shape, every activity & every age. Basically, this Network is for everybody.
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far ) – find local sales, specials and promotions,

Posted on November 19, 2008. Filed under: Bargain Shopping, Cooking and Eating, Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Home & Garden, Low Money Fun, San Francisco Bay Area, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , , |

Shopping SalesRestaurant PromotionsSpa & Fitness Deals

Sign up for FREE to win a $400 gift card!

WHAT IS CITYSKOOP.COM? is your source for local sales, specials and promotions.

Find Clothing & Furniture sales up to 80% off, Restaurants offering half price wine and food nights, discounts on Spa & Fitness services, Hotel specials and much more!

WHY SIGN UP? Membership is FREE and gives you the following benefits:

  • Deal Alert Newsletter – be the first to hear about hot deals
  • Save listings to your private folder
  • Email listings to your friends and family
  • Chance to win a $400 Gift Card* to a local business
    • Currently your choice of Best Buy, Mastro’s Steakhouse, The Palm or Bloomingdale’s


  • Food & Drink Promotions – Half-off wine nights, special holiday meals, happy hour specials, drink specials, Restaurant Week menus and more!
  • Shopping Deals – Sample sales, trunk shows, warehouse sales, holiday sales and more for Women’s Clothing, Men’s Clothing, Kids & Toys, Sporting & Outdoor and Pets.
  • Body & Beauty Deals – Spa discounts, special spa packages, salon discounts, yoga and pilates deals, fitness center discounts and more!
  • Home & Garden – Furniture sales, floor sample sales, lighting discounts and home and garden decor deals.
  • Travel – Hotel and Resort discounts, airline deals and promotions.
  • Online Shopping Deals – Clothing sales, electronics discounts, sporting goods sales, shoe sales and more!

WHERE CITYSKOOP IS LOCATED Look for them in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego. Coming soon to Las Vegas, Boston, Miami and Atlanta.

Membership is FREE, so sign up today!!

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10 Ways to Look Younger on a Budget

Posted on October 14, 2008. Filed under: Health & Beauty, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

10 Ways to Look Younger on a Budget
Simple, age-erasng beauty tricks that won’t empty your wallet
By Sally Wadyka

When economic times turn tough, it may seem that beauty indulgences should be the first things to go. But just because your budget calls for some belt tightening, that’s no reason not to look better than ever. The trick is to bolster your beauty routine by making no- or low-cost moves that deliver maximum impact. From hiding dark circles to boosting hair’s shine, here are experts’ top tips for trimming costs–and a few years, to boot!

Look Better, Not Broke!

  1. Pump Up Hair’s Volume
  2. Restore Your Locks’ Luster
  3. Reduce Redness
  4. Banish Brown Spots
  5. Get a Healthy Glow
  6. Plump Thin Lips
  7. Brighten Your Smile
  8. Minimize Undereye Circles
  9. Smooth Imperfections
  10. Give Eyes a Lift

For the full article on, click here

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Free tea tastings and education

Posted on September 11, 2008. Filed under: Cooking and Eating, Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Travel & Leisure | Tags: , , , , |

Yesterday, I wrote about going to the de Young museum in San Francisco with a friend of mine  last Sunday and how I received free general admission with my Bank of America card.  Kathryn and I were at the museum from about 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm. We weren’t ready to end our visit, so we decided to go get coffee. Kathryn suggested checking out Clement street which isn’t far from the museum or her apartment in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco.


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Free or low cost hair and beauty treatments

Posted on August 15, 2008. Filed under: Health & Beauty, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Frugal does not mean frumpy. One way to get free or discounted hair, spa and beauty treatments is at a local beauty school. I just discovered that the south San Francisco Bay area has a new high-end school that recently opened February, 2008 in Santa Clara called the Academy for Salon Professionals. The salon facility is beautiful including 50 stations with state of the art equipment. The instructors are excellent and you can get spa services (nails, hair, and skin) at a discount. For example, a haircut for $10.00, if you are willing to allow a student in training work on you. The price list and more info is on the web site.

I was just able to get my hair cut and colored for FREE by a supervised student in training. My student, Louise, who is fabulous, needed to complete an assignment with an actual live client (i.e., me). The school uses Redken products and she did a great job. Because Louise has only been in the program 8 weeks, her instructors worked with her every step of the way. After we agreed on a color, Louise consulted with two of her instructors. Each gave her slightly different direction regarding what would work best on my hair, and she went with one of the recommendations. However, the first semi-permanent color mix she used didn’t take and she had to re-do it, following the advice of the other instructor, which worked very well. Sometimes you learn from what goes wrong as well as what goes right. Because it was a low peroxide, no ammonia color product, there was no damage to my hair, it looks and feels great.

It had been about 2 1/2 months since my last haircut which had been a good cut. As Louise said, one of her favorite instructors, Lonny, tells the students, “the difference between a good cut and a bad cut is 4 weeks.” In other words, if you get a hair cut, and it doesn’t look good as it’s growing out after 4 weeks, it probably wasn’t a very good cut to begin with. Nor was it a good value for the money you spent on that haircut if you have to go back and get it cut again so soon. So Supercuts may not always be your best bet.

I looked through the hairstyle books Louise gave me. During my consultation for the cut, we talked about my hair type (thick head of naturally wavy but fine hair) and what I was looking for – relatively low maintenance, to have it look good wash and wear or styled smooth with some volume via a round brush and a blow dryer or hot rollers. I also wanted to be able to keep the layers long enough to be able to wear it up. So ultimately, I chose not to do anything drastically different, just a health trim with rounded long layers. After she cut it, which she said she loves to do and it shows, Louise styled my hair with a blow dryer. Louise did a very nice job, and I am quite happy. The color and products she used made my hair super shiny and the good cut brought the bounce back. We went outside and she took a photo with her iPhone, for her portfolio and for my blog.

I have a flexible schedule at the moment, and the whole process for the free color and cut took longer (like 10:30 am – 2:30 pm including a lunch break). As I knew this upfront when I scheduled my appointment with Louise, I was fine with that.

If you don’t have the extra time or very flexible schedule, try the discounted services.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far ) free classes for a healthy mind and body

Posted on July 6, 2008. Filed under: Health & Beauty | Tags: , , , , , |

This is not the drugstore you grew up with. opened it’s first store in Berkeley in 2002 and offers a variety of holistic, organic, and environmentally friendly items. ElephantPharm is an herbal and a prescription pharmacy and they also offer a green dry cleaning service. While you sometimes pay a little more to go green, they sell green cleaning products, natural and specialty foods (like gluten free), natural cosmetics and body care products, vitamins and supplements, and lots of cool gift items. I received a great yoga mat and CD as a gift and I also purchased a re-usable stainless steel water bottle. I have been known to go in there just to browse and get a little chair massage.

The chain is currently only in the San Francisco Bay area with locations in Berkeley, Los Altos, Walnut Creek, and San Rafael.

Each store has over 80 free classes a month, and their friendly advice practitioners are there to answer all your questions. Free classes this month range from various Yoga styles (including family classes for children), meditation, tea tasting, Tai Chi, homeopathic remedies for First Aid, hand & feet reflexology, Quiqong, 8 steps to a pain free back, various healthy pregnancy classes, acupressure, etc. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far ) Free Online Diet & Weight Loss Journal

Posted on July 3, 2008. Filed under: Cooking and Eating, Health & Beauty, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I know it’s not the only one out there, but along with 2.2 million other members, I really like FitDay. FitDay is a free online diet journal that allows you to track your foods, exercises, weight loss, and goals. FitDay also has a PC version of the fitness journal for $29.95, but the free online version suits me just fine.

You can use your free online account to enter your daily foods and exercise. FitDay analyzes all your information and shows you:

– Daily Calorie Counts
– Carbs, Fat, and Protein
– Weight Loss and Goals
– Detailed Nutrition for 1,000’s of foods
– Long Term Diet Analysis
and much more…

It takes time initially to input any and everything you have eaten in a day, but once the data is in there, FitDay stores the info in a “recently eaten” list so it can be re-used. You can also create customized foods. For example, I don’t need to look up 1 cup steel cut oatmeal with 1/2 a granny smith apple or 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1 tsp of cinnamon every time I eat that for breakfast (a few times a week). I just need to select and enter it from my recently eaten list.

The detailed info and charts on nutrition show you how close you came in a day (or a week) or what you’re missing as the day progresses in meeting the FDA daily recommended allowances for vitamins and minerals. I take a multi-vitamin every day, so maybe it’s my personality, but now that I am tracking what I eat, I want the most bang for the buck or, in this case, calorie. FitDay certainly helps me really think about what I am putting in my mouth. I now find myself making better choices to lower consumption of “empty” calories while increasing my choices of things like nutrient rich “superfoods”. Kale has suddenly become part of my culinary repertoire, a first for me.

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