Month: December 2022

Live with a Scarfer? How to Lose Weight Anyway!

losing weight

If the book hasn’t yet been written, it’s utterly overdue, and just to get the ball rolling let me suggest the title: Surviving Life with a Scarfer.

It seems to be a truism in life that those of us who meticulously watch our food intake pair up with those who consider pizza four nights a week to be a cool perk of adult life, and pack cupboards like they’re settling in for a long Dakota winter.

In desperation, amateur healthies may attempt to upgrade the scarfer by quietly substituting applesauce for oil in cake batter or pureed carrots in mac ‘n’ cheese, but dedicated scarfers merely laugh at these attempts and forage on.

Save your precious energy and use it to create a plan to maintain your smart eating habits while the scarfer continues to vacuum up copious amounts of calories.

Long story, short: I lost 55 lbs. in my early 40s. It’s 17 years later, and I’ve maintained the original loss, and at this moment I’m 58.

The Art of a Win-Win

When you live with a scarfer, the main trick is to take the edge off your hunger 24/7/365 until you form an ironclad habit that’ll keep you on your smart eating path even while he mainlines the junk.

Back when I ate right along with my scarfer – and ballooned because of it – I had to put some serious planning into how to coexist with someone who eats the exact opposite of me.

These days, I eat my healthy food while he goes for the junk food. He could stand to lose a few (and doesn’t care), and I’m hanging at my lowest weight (and care a lot).

Yes, two diabolically opposed people can live happily (enough) together.

Make Peace with Reality

When I finally realized that my scarfer would never – like, ever – join me on my Smart Eating Lifestyle, out of desperation I learned a few tricks:

One: A Wonderful Tool for Smart Eaters

For almost two decades, I’ve kept a spiral pad and paper by my fridge and count everything I eat (I count points, others count calories, but whatever you do: count something. Studies show and so forth).

Two: a 5-Star Habit

Cottage cheese loves us and wants us to be happy.

Every two hours I eat something small but substantial, like an apple or a banana with a teaspoon or two of peanut butter, a half-cup of cottage cheese, whole-wheat English muffins paired with a protein… you get the idea.

Three: Maintain a Smart Kitchen

Keep smart food options that you really like in your kitchen at all times so that you can realistically stay moderately full. On a scale of 1 to 10 – one being horribly stuffed, 10 being “about to pass out from hunger” – don’t let yourself get hungrier than a four. Handling the scarfer’s marshmallow chocolate whatevers is much easier if you don’t allow yourself to get too hungry.

Four: Do You Believe in Magic?

This one is so, so true, but most don’t believe me. When I daydream about junk food, it’s merely a sign that I’m hungry. When I eat something substantial, the junk food cravings disappear.

Would you believe that after 17 years of maintenance, I still re-learn this truism almost on a daily basis?

So, work to embed this valuable skill into your heart, but don’t expect yourself to get it right the first time or the 51st time. Just test what I’m suggesting: the next time you want to go Cookie Monster on snacks or treats, tell yourself that you’re actually just hungry and need real food.

Cravings = hunger. Nothing more, nothing less.

Five: Make Your Demands (But with a Sweet Smile)

First, I should say that while my husband thinks being called “a scarfer” is hilarious, most won’t see the humor, so keep the word “scarfer” locked away in your heart.

If you know your scarfer prefers the word “foodie,” then use the word “foodie.”

Whatever it takes.

Also, this tool only works if used in conjunction with the kindest attitude and your best smile. Gently ask your scarfer to please place all of his “special food” on the highest shelf where it can’t be seen or even reached by you without a step stool. (Good time to say: If you have a step stool in your kitchen, now is the time to put it in the garage behind several big items like bikes and yard equipment).

At least in my case, the more time consuming and hard it is to find something like the step stool, the more likely I am to entirely forget about the food I was trying to reach anyway.

As long as you’re talking to your scarfer, also request that treats be “enjoyed” out of sight too. Your scarfer won’t comply? That’s fine. Just say, “Awesome!! Then let’s eat the treats together!!” The second your scarfer sees that you’re about to paw through his stash, the quicker the treats will be out-of-sight. (Use tool as needed.)

Six: The Beauty of Unappealing Junk Food

Encourage your scarfer to purchase junk food that you don’t like. In my case, I can easily forgo strawberry ice cream, most cookies and candy. I’d be a goner, however, if my scarfer brings home rocky road ice cream.

Seven: Conscious Desserting

These beauties are a tasty dessert and don’t break the calorie-bank.

When all else fails and you long to join your scarfer in a little delicious desserting, go to these options that do way less damage than, say, half of the Tuxedo cake from Costco:

  • Three to six colorful macarons. Trader Joe’s carries the lowest calorie macarons that you’ll find in the frozen aisle next to ice cream.
  • A large chunk of angel food cake with a light drizzle of chocolate sauce and a squirt of whipped cream.
  • No-sugar chocolate pudding with another squirt of whipped cream.
  • Slices of fruit dipped in dark chocolate.
  • Sugar Free Wafers that come in these flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and several more fun flavors.

In the end, living happily with a scarfer while maintaining your Smart Eating Lifestyle has everything to do with – what the therapy-world calls – “individuation” meaning to consciously step into your life as an individual outside of your partner. You’ve learned to tell yourself: I’m at peace with the idea that my partner and I have entirely different approaches to health, food, and the body.

So, keep telling yourself, we eat differently, and that’s okay. Say this over and over and over to yourself. And one evening, your scarfer will plop on the couch beside you with a bowl packed in chocolate mint chip, and – at un-fun moments like these – you’ve learned to ask yourself this life-altering question:

Would I rather be a size 8 or would I rather eat ice cream?

And boom!! With one little mind-shift the ice cream loses its luster and you’re back in charge.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you found it difficult to live with a partner who loves enormous amounts of food? Has it been your assumption that you partner and you have to agree on eating styles? How does it feel to eat so differently from your partner?

Read More

Cult-Fave, Black-Owned Brand Ami Colé Is Now Available at Sephora

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, STYLECASTER may receive an affiliate commission.

It’s a big day for founder Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye and all her many fans. The first generation Senegalese-American launched her brand Ami Colé just in May 2021 with a mission to deliver clean beauty to those with melanin-skin who are often overlooked by other “clean” brands. And now, Ami Colé has launched at Sephora with its cult-fave Skin-Enhancing Tint, Lash- Amplifying Mascara, Lip Treatment Oil and more.

“I can’t believe that we are launching in Sephora today,” said N’Diaye-Mbaye in a statement. “In college, I worked as a Sephora cast member helping people discover brands and products to perfect their beauty routines. Today, we will be entering 277 Sephora stores nationwide joining the Clean at Sephora lineup. Through this partnership we continue our mission to make clean beauty more inclusive. As a Black-owned, and women-owned brand, reaching this milestone, means everything – not only to me but to our entire community who helped us get here.”

Instagram PhotoSource: Instagram

“Sephora is thrilled to partner with Ami Colé and help support their mission of bringing clean and inclusive makeup to clients’,” added Alison Hahn, SVP Merchandising Makeup & Fragrance at Sephora. “With its powerful and nourishing formulas uniquely made for melanin-rich skin, Ami Colé delivers beauty products that seek to explore, celebrate, and reveal inner excellence. Founder Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye is fearlessly dedicated to changing beauty industry standards, and we admire her commitments to bringing these products to underserved clients. We look forward to welcoming this brand into our Sephora community and know it will be a great addition to our makeup assortment.”

It’s easier than ever to shop the brand best-sellers. Grab ’em, below.

Ami Colé. setting powder

Ami Colé.

Skin Melt Talc-Free Loose Setting Powder

This superfine setting powder leaves skin with a soft matte finish without any flashback.


Ami Colé. mascara

Ami Colé.

Lash-Amplifying Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara

This volumizing mascara contains 87 percent natural derived ingredients including shea butter and jojoba oil to fortify and condition lashes.

Ami Colé. concealer

Ami Colé.

Skin-Enhancing Concealer

This medium-coverage concealer hydrates and blurs imperfections in 12 shades.


Ami Colé. tinted moisturizer

Ami Colé.

Skin-Enhancing Tinted Moisturizer

Give skin a boost of glowy hydration with this buildable tinted moisturizer in six flexible shades.


Ami Colé. lip gloss

Ami Colé.

Lip Treatment Oil

There are three shades (including one clear) of this oil-to-gloss lippie that’s a cult fave for a reason.


StyleCaster Shopping Newsletter Sign Up

Read More

FYI: Free People Has a Super Secret In-House Beauty Line With Vegan Lip Gloss, Luxe Candles & Natural Deodorant

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, STYLECASTER may receive an affiliate commission.

While you’re at Free People grabbing perfect knits, flirty dresses and oversized cardigans, you might not have noticed the retailer has a huge beauty and wellness section. In fact, Free People even has a secret in-house beauty brand called Summary that trust us, you don’t want to overlook. In addition to Summary, the retailer also makes delicious-smelling candles, vegan lip balm and so much more. Who knew, right?

Of course, Free People also hawks other best-selling brands such as RMS, Kosas, HigherDose and DedCool. You already know and love these. The real surprise is how great Summary is, along with Free People’s other products they’re making in house. Summary is part of Free People’s Clean Beauty category, meaning each product is “consciously made” with “mindfully sourced ingredients.” If you’re looking for deodorant without aluminum, baking soda, talc, parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances — that actually works — Summary has it. And so much more.

Shop some Free People beauty favorites, below.

Free People. serum

Free People.

Summary Stress Less Antioxidant Priming Serum

This ultra-hydrating serum contains redness-reducing patchouli leaf extract and encapsulated micro-spheres containing omega-rich raspberry and hemp seed oil.

Free People. candle

Free People.

Free People Balsam Fir Candle

This luxe candle was hand-poured by Joya in Brooklyn, New York exclusively for Free People. The cozy balsam scent is perfect for all winter.

Free People. lip gloss

Free People.

Free People Vegan Lip Gloss

This sheer, pearly pink gloss contains hydrating castor seed oil, argan oil and sunflower seed wax.

Free People. deodorant

Free People.

Summary Cool Down Muscle Gel & Deodorant Set

This workout-ready set gets you antioxidant-rich deodorant and a cool-down muscle gel, which contains spearmint leaf oil, menthol, and magnesium.

summary mist

Free People.

Summary Reset Clarifying Body Mist

This cleansing and purifying body mist contains salicylic acid and witch hazel help keep breakouts at bay, as well as tone-evening rose flower and lotus root water,

StyleCaster Shopping Newsletter Sign Up

Read More

Give Yourself the Gift of Yoga this Holiday Season

yoga for seniors

It’s the holiday season. In the last several weeks, most of us were concerned with buying gifts for family and friends. But have you thought about giving yourself a gift? How many times do you give yourself an important gift in your life? I don’t mean a cashmere sweater gift. I don’t mean a facial or massage gift.

I’m talking about a gift that makes you feel blissful inside yourself, a gift that uplifts your spirit, that makes you more enlightened, more positive and more conscious than you have ever felt before. “What kind of gift would that be,” you ask? “I don’t know any gift that I can find in my life that comes near that kind of gift,” you say. “Where could I find such a wonderful and bountiful gift?”

A Gift That Enriches Your Life

If you already practice yoga, you are one step ahead of me. Yoga has many benefits that impact our emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual state. These benefits are unparalleled gifts that we give ourselves through the practice of yoga. These gifts keep giving, keep enriching our life, and keep stretching us to be more conscious and mindful.

Yoga makes us less reactive, less resistant and a whole lot more peaceful. Now, that’s what I call a real gift! And you know what? We can give ourselves that gift any time we want, any day of the year throughout the rest of our life.

During the holiday season, we get very busy, very consumed with ritual activities, family logistics – the kids are home for the holidays and we’ve got to be prepared and get ready for the December stress party. Or, the grandchildren are coming and you’ve got to figure out where everyone is going to sleep; don’t forget to stock up the fridge at Costco.

There are school pageants and office parties, and festivities of all kinds with churches and temples. You’ve got to get ready for the holiday shopping? Well, that takes more time than you even have.

A Gift That Helps Deal with Holiday Stress

More than probably any other emotional impact on our sense of well-being is the well-worn feeling of depression. I asked one of my yoga classes today, the most vocal class of course, what causes stress at holiday times. Some of my yoginis already looked stressed out. Big silence in the room. No one wanted to answer so I called on my most vocal student, a woman who I adore and whose sense of humor and ironic take on life is truly amazing.

“Julie, what do you think about the holiday stress factor?” I asked her. She looked up at me with a stone face. “I think about all the people I loved who have died in December during the holiday season and it sucks.”

Several other people concurred. Then one of my students said that there are statistics that bear out the fact that more people die in December than any other month.

I’ve surrendered and accepted that my mother died on December 15th. I don’t associate the holidays with the death of my mother, or high school graduations with the death of my 18-year-old nephew, nor the death of my father with summer. My loved ones just happened to reach the end of their lives during certain months or seasons or events. When I think about those I’ve lost, I truly smile with gratitude and remember how I loved them so much and how important they were in my life.

Julie then said, “That’s why I think we should practice more yoga in December. It makes me feel so much better to come to class and open my heart and mind.” Everyone agreed.

Yoga is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

My suggestion to everyone during the holidays is the same:

Practice yoga more.

If you just can’t get out of the house, spend time in meditation for about 10 minutes twice a day. It will clear your mind and make you feel like you did get a spa treatment. It will open you up to new and different experiences during the holidays. Now, that’s a great gift you can give yourself. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

I am not immune to all the activities that ensue during the holidays. However, during the whirlwind month of December, I plan on retiring my stress and anxiety to focus on yoga and meditation because this is the gift I cannot live without. This is the gift that clears my mind and brings joy to my soul.

I can’t wait to take my yin yoga class on Sunday; I can’t wait to take a meditation workshop or maybe do an ecstatic chanting. I can’t wait to go to yoga with my daughter-in-law.

My wish for everyone as the holidays end is to think more yoga and meditation and less about buying, think more joy and bliss and less sorrow and depression. And if you are not a yogi yet, treat yourself to an introductory class, or online yoga practice and see what yoga is all about. And if you have fallen off the yoga wagon the last few months, return to where peace and hope reside.

Please take a moment to fill out our short end-of-year survey. We will really appreciate your input!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you already practice yoga or meditation? How do these help you cope with holiday – and other – stress? Would you like to receive the gift of a yoga or meditation class? What other gift makes you feel blissful inside? Please share in the conversation.

Read More

Winter Hydration and Why It Matters

winter hydration

The extreme warmth of summer is a great internal reminder to drink more fluids. However, when the colder months come around, we should continue to keep this top of mind as we can become just as easily dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, especially as we get older.

Older Adults Are at a Greater Risk for Dehydration

As we age, our sense of thirst diminishes, leading to a lower fluid intake. Older adults are also at heightened risk of dehydration because we retain less water as we age. Even the low humidity of winter’s indoor heating can dehydrate a person faster than expected.

Lastly, and of key importance, are medications. Medications we take may increase our risk for dehydration. Certain medications such as diuretics may pull water from the body and increase the amount we urinate, or we may be taking medications that can cause fluid loss as a side effect like vomiting or diarrhea.

When it comes to medications, ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist if your medications increase your risk for dehydration.

So, what else can you do for an effective winter hydration routine?

Set a Daily Water Goal

Of course, drinking plenty of water is a big part of supporting hydration. Carrying around a portable, reusable water bottle with you is a great way to get into the habit of drinking water throughout the day. Put the water bottle already filled into your refrigerator overnight, so it is ready to go when you are ready to start your day or when you are ready to run out the door in the morning.

If you are caring for a loved one, set timers to help remind your loved one to drink fluids throughout the day. Treat yourself to a water bottle that has time markings to keep you on track throughout the day to meet your targets.

Add Hydrating Foods to the Mix

Eating your way to hydration may just be the best trick to staying healthy over the winter months. Start your day right by including fruit high in water content such as peaches, strawberries, oranges, and low-fat yogurt for breakfast.

Prepare some celery sticks, cucumbers, bell peppers, honeydew, grapes, or cantaloupe for a snack. Add low-sodium homemade soups or broths to your winter menu.

Warm It Up

Stay warm and hydrated with caffeine-free herbal teas such as chamomile, lemongrass, or ginger tea. Add warm lemon water to your day. If you have a sweet tooth, even a healthy version of hot chocolate made from low-fat milk, dark chocolate, and lower-sugar maple syrup can keep you cozy, warm, and hydrated.

Use a Humidifier

Between the chilly, dry air outside and the hot, dry air that heats your home, your whole body can become dehydrated and dry. Using a humidifier can help to support your body’s hydration by keeping moisture in the atmosphere of your home. Humidifiers also help to boost saliva production and relieve dry, itchy skin.

Pay Attention to What Else You Drink

Not all beverages are created equal. It’s just as important to watch what we drink as how much. Caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics, causing water loss. The caffeine in coffee, soft drinks and tea increases your body’s water output, offsetting some of the benefits of taking in the fluid.

Even caffeinated tea can cause dehydration. According to Medical News Today, some of the teas that are the highest in caffeine include yerba mate, matcha, black, Pu-erh, and oolong tea.

With so much to enjoy during the winter months, stay one step ahead with your health by being hydrated throughout the season. Your body will thank you!

If you haven’t yet gotten around to taking our short survey, please do it by December 31st! We will appreciate your input!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What’s your favorite hydrating beverage? What about your favorite hydrating food? What other hydration tip are you going to incorporate this winter? Do you have any additional hydration tips?

Read More