Victoria's Secret responds to one woman's request for a line of bras for breast-cancer survivors.
Two weeks ago, we reported on the humble beginnings of 27-year-old Allana Maiden’s unique and inspired appeal on Change.org, a petition, in honor of her mom, Debbie, asking lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret to create a line of bras for breast-cancer survivors. Today we’re getting news that mother and daughter hand-delivered more than 180,000 signatures (in a pink striped VS bag, no less) to Victoria’s Secret’s New York office, and that they met with Tammy Robyn Myers, V.P. of external communications for Limited Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, to discuss the possibility of a “survivor bra.” After their meeting, Myers invited the two women to the store’s Ohio headquarters to further explore the idea.
“If there’s anything I could tell the 118,000 people who’ve signed my Change.org petition right now, it’s that Victoria’s Secret is taking very seriously the comments from survivors and their families and friends who want to see ‘Survivor Bras’ in their stores,” Allana said in a press release. “It’s been wonderful to see all this support and to have the chance to talk to Victoria’s Secret representatives about how much this amazing decision would mean to survivors of breast cancer.”
To learn more about the petition—and its remarkable journey via photos, comments and celebrity support this past month—go here.
Philly personal trainer Brian Maher explains why exercise isn't just for weight loss.
I’m sure you’re well aware by now that 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight. But have you ever thought about the flip side of that statistic? It implies that around 30 percent of U.S. adults are able to maintain a healthy weight despite the abundance of calorie-dense foods and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. In a 2010 poll, only about half of normal-weight adults reported exercising three times per week. This raises a good question: If you’re already at a healthy weight, why should you exercise?
I’ll tell you why—keep reading.
NextAdvisor.com sampled a week's worth of meal plans from top diet-delivery programs and ranked them by taste. See who made the grade.
A Diet-to-Go Meal. Photo via Facebook
For those of us who are too busy to write an extensive grocery list and plan a strategic attack on our local food store, meal-delivery diet programs can be a life saver. Healthy? Check. Convenient? Check. Easy-to-follow? Check. And, while all of these aspects of delivery diet programs are awesome in both theory and practice, the most important factor to consider is, of course, taste. Fear not, Delivery Diet Programmers—NextAdvisor.com, an independent consumer information and research web site, has announced the results of its 2013 diet meal-delivery taste test.
NextAdvisor anonymously ordered a week’s worth of meal plans from leading diet programs—including Diet-to-Go, Jenny Craig, and Nutrisystem—and ranked them from most delicious to least yummy. Ten individuals of varying ages, male and female, sampled each meal and (without knowing exactly what they were eating) rated the taste on a scale of 1 to 10. “We had no input from the diet companies and the tasters had no way of knowing which brand they were trying. This was a completely independent taste test,” NextAdvisor lifestyle editor Polina Polishchuk said in a press release.
So who came out on top? Diet-to-Go came in first, with feedback noting its “excellent consistency and good flavor.” In second place came Jenny Craig, which scored highest for its breakfasts. Third was Bistro MD, the previous taste-test winner in 2012, and fourth went to Nutrisystem, whose meals were described as unappetizing in look and “mediocre” in taste. In fifth place was eDiets Fresh Prepared, which scored low taste points across the board for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other factors that were incorporated into the overall rankings were price, fitness tools and support strength and availability.
Steve's wife is so done with breastfeeding—or so he thought.
The second time my wife developed mastitis, an infection related to breastfeeding, she sat there shivering on the couch, feverish and chilled, swearing repeatedly, “That’s it. I am so done! I’m weaning. Done. No more breastfeeding.”
I greeted the news cautiously, but after my wife spent the majority of the next 15 minutes dropping “f” bombs on the entire notion of breastfeeding, I chimed in.
“Do you mean it?” I asked. “Are you really done?”
“Hell yes,” she said. “I am sooo done.”
“Good,” I told her, “because I’m done, too.”
At the time, I believed she might actually have reached her breaking point. Her first bout with mastitis necessitated a four-day hospital stay; for months, she endured cracked and bleeding nipples and a stabbing pain that radiated across her entire breast. Every so often, if a few days passed without my seeing her grimace, I’d ask if the pain subsided.
“No,” she’d say, “I’m still waiting for the good part.”
The app creates a customized map of the patient's joint, and puts it right in the palm of the surgeon's hand.
One of Dr. Orozco's assistants shows off the Dash app pre-surgery.
Having knee surgery? There’s an app for that.
Well, sort of. Surgeons at the Rothman Institute are testing out a new app for iPod Touch called Dash, which puts surgical navigation in the palm of their hands. The app creates computerized models of patients’ joints, allowing doctors to make incisions and repairs that are custom-tailored to the patient. Such mapping systems already exist in many operating rooms, but the innovation here is that the app puts the navigation at the doctor’s fingertips—rather than across the operating room on a monitor. In other words, it makes using the technology much more convenient.
Here’s how it works: the iPod Touch is placed in a sterile pouch and “cradle” outfitted with miniature instruments in the operating room. Using an infrared camera, the app creates a model of the patient’s joint right on the screen. This allows the doctor to cut the bone in exactly the right spot, and position and fine-tune the new joint according to the patient’s anatomy.
“This technology is very interesting,” Rothman joint surgeon Fabio R. Orozco said in a press release. “Convenience is the key … If we can get the same outstanding results we obtain using standard navigation equipment with the added convenience of a handheld device, then I think this technology could be very promising.”
Check out the video below to see the Dash in action.
All hail veggies!
• At the risk of belaboring the point … you should really think about going vegetarian—even for just a day or two a week. Why? A new study found that vegetarians are 32 percent less likely than meat eaters to wind up in the hospital with cardiovascular disease. One-third! Less likely! That’s something to hang your hat on. The mega-study included 45,000 subjects from England and Scotland, a third of whom were vegetarians. Researchers found that in addition to having a significantly lower heart-disease risk, vegetarians also had lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels than non-veggies. “Vegetarians also tended to be slimmer and there were fewer cases of diabetes, but these two factors were not found to significantly affect the study results,” HealthDay reports. And while the study has its critics—among them, a doctor who points out that the vegetarians in the study were, on average, 10 years younger than the meat-eaters, which could skew the results—there’s really no downside to eating more broccoli, carrots and kale, right? I say just do it.
• Um, guys? You may need to throw out everything you thought you knew about weight loss. A new study found that some of the most popular assumptions about weight loss—that small changes in diet or exercise can result in steady weight loss; that slow, gradual weight loss is better than rapid, dramatic weight loss—are myths. Read more here.
• I’m loving this: Our friends over at GPhilly wrote about a study which found that “out gay and lesbian people are mentally and physically healthier than straight people or those who have yet to come out of the closet.” More here.
Less guilt, more football.
Ah, Super Bowl Sunday—a day dedicated to watching super-fit athletes tear it up on the field while stuffing yourself silly with Cheetos and Buffalo wings. (Am I the only one who sees the irony here?) If you’re looking for a way to do a little less waistline damage this year, we can help. Check out these recipes for yummy munchies that’ll satisfy your game-day snack craving with a little less regret. I’ll drink to that!
Southwest Layered Bean Dip
via Eating Well
Use low-fat sour cream and cheese to make this delicious dip a tad more figure friendly.
Lemon-Drop Chicken Wings
via Cooking Light
These wings provide a great healthy alternative to traditional wings. One bite of the lemon-drop-marinated chicken and, trust me, you won’t even miss them!
Kutcher, who was cast as Steve Jobs in a new indie biopic, set out to learn everything about the man's life—including his diet. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the, um, worse.
Man does not live by fruit alone, right? Ashton Kutcher, method actor extraordinaire, came to learn this life lesson the hard way. Given the opportunity to play late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Kutcher sought to more fully realize his character by adopting the man’s so-called “fruitarian” diet, which consisted solely of fruits, nuts and seeds. His pancreas, unfortunately, did not agree with this decision and reacted angrily.
“I ended up in the hospital two days before we started shooting the movie. I was, like, doubled over in pain,” Kutcher said at the Sundance Film Festival. He went on to explain: “My pancreas levels were completely out of whack, which was really terrifying … Considering everything.” He is, of course, referring to Jobs’ death from pancreatic cancer in 2011. We’re obviously not trying to connect the dots here (that this particular diet may have played a hand in Jobs’ death), it’s certainly an interesting detail.
We can only hope that Kutcher, who, admirably, spent hundreds of hours studying tapes of Jobs in order to grasp and mimic the man’s outward behavior, has learned not to bite off more than he can, well, chew. Watch Kutcher discuss his hospitalization at the Sundance Film Festival below.
Take a deep breath, drink wine, and relax.
What are the two best ways to relax? Yoga and wine, of course. Crossing Vineyards in Washington Crossing brings the two together in its Vinyasa Yoga and Wine Tasting series, starting February 10th.
Participants will enjoy an hourlong Vinyasa yoga class, suitable for all levels, followed by a wine tasting of Crossing’s award-winning wines. A ticket also includes a full tour of the vineyards at no additional cost. Receive a $10 discount on your tickets when you book three or more dates at a time. Find out more information and buy tickets here.
$35 per session ($25 if you purchase three dates or more), February 10th and 24th and March 10th and 24th at 11:30 A.M., Crossing Vineyards, 1853 Wrightstown Road, Washington Crossing.
>> Have a health or fitness event you’d like to share with Be Well Philly readers? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
A new piece in the New Yorker asks exactly that.
Are you a Dr. Oz fan? Why wouldn’t you be? The charismatic heart surgeon/health guru, dubbed “America’s doctor” by Oprah herself, makes a monumental living telling us all how to eat better, have sex better, and indulge in raspberry ketones and green coffee beans.
In the current edition of the New Yorker, though, writer Michael Specter asks whether Oz’s success has led him over the line from physician to charlatan. It’s a fascinating profile, and the opening paragraphs—in which a TV film crew demands a take two of an emotionally laden moment between the doc and a patient—are harrowing.
Among the other highlights: Oz’s mentor, heart surgeon Eric Rose, says he wouldn’t send a patient to his protégé today: “In many respects, Mezmet is now an entertainer.” The portrait drawn of Oz’s wife/producer Lisa, a Bryn Mawr College grad who refuses to have their four children vaccinated for flu and convinced her husband to allow a Reiki practitioner into the surgical theater. And Oz opining on his favorite maladies: cancer “is our Angelina Jolie. We could sell that show every day.”
Read the piece here, and tell us what you think. How much do you trust Dr. Oz?
Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com