Monday, October 29, 2012

Watch Sandy Candy and Hurricane Weight Gain

Wind? Rain? How about weight gain?

*Please note this was written before Sandy devastated the area, I would never make light of what's happening in our city. 
I would guess that, aside from water, our family could survive for a month with the items in our pantry, fridge and fruit bowl. Obviously, a loss of power would change those calculations. This knowledge didn’t stop me from hitting the grocery store. I felt compelled to get another bunch of bananas, milk (we had a ½ gallon and a spare), eggs, Mast Brothers dark chocolate with sea salt, you know “just in case”.  I was housebound during flooding in New Orleans, back in college, with carrots, tomato paste, ground coffee (not that interesting when there’s no water) and uncooked brown rice. Though I survived, it wasn’t fun. Clearly, I am not alone in my unfounded food panic Westside Rag reported a run on bagels, pasta, turkey burgers and scallions (scallions.. are people smoking them or something?). 

We are not in a low-lying area or “Zone A” so my Hurricane Sandy fear is not the legitimate concern for our home or property. We are not getting evacuated. If we were I’d be attending to all the goes along with that. Instead, I have the luxury of bitching about school being closed, my workday scrapped and hours upon hours housebound and sedentary. The idea of this makes my skin crawl. And compounding this there’s another source of anxiety, what will my cooped up clients be eating?  I want to grab the microphone away from reporters in windbreakers near beaches and scream "everyone knows that beaches during storms are unsafe, what about kitchens?" In the event that you’re inside contemplating cake or Halloween candy, some dietary sandbags:

Plan your food for the day.
It’s easy to use food to pass the time; however, if you’re less active and eat more you will roll your way into Halloween. You see where this is going. Make yourself a menu for the day. Maybe use up some perishable items or cook something healthy. Warning: cookie baking may lead to "storm surge" in unexpected places.

If you own a juicer, while you still have power, use the veggies you have lying around in a juice. Washing and cutting takes some time (you have plenty) and you’ll be able to start your Sandy day on a healthy note.

Don’t raid the pantry, organize it.
If you’re in the house for the foreseeable future and any of your shelf contents are unappealing, they will always be unappealing. Use the time inside to gather up giveaway items.

Do you have that pumpkin sitting around uncarved? Carolyn informed me pumpkins were sold out at Whole Foods yesterday so some of you snagged them. Maybe some Sandy-inspired art? While you’re at it, roast the seeds. What else do you have to do?

I’m the type who needs to move or I’m unpleasant to be around (my husband would likely have a different adjective than"unpleasant"). I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to risk my life to get to Flywheel at the JCC tomorrow (with a bike dangerously located near a window) but I will have a family dance party or we’ll shoot some hoops in my son’s room and I may even use some of the purged cans (hearts of palm that predate my children) for hand weights. Our intern Katelynn plans to embrace elevator-less-ness and she lives on the 19th floor.

And when all else fails shop
We might not be able to get our Sandy Special to you during the storm but we can at least provide a light at the end of the hurricane.

Let’s have some fun with this.
As always you can #TIDEI (tweet it don’t eat it) if you’re tempted to eat any unnecessary Sandy snacks.

Post on our Facebook page how you’re “working out” during the storm. I welcome creativity but keep it PG rated (do what you want but just don’t tell me about some workouts) 

At the end of the day, Sandy may lead to a lot of devastastation; she doesn’t need to make you fat.
If you went to the grocery store before a storm, what would your essentials include? Why do you think we’re tempted to eat when stuck inside? Any idea about the scallion appeal?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are you as comfortable naked as Helen Hunt?

Last week we saw a movie called The Sessions. The film is based on a short story written by Mark O’Brien. Mark suffered from polio as a child, remains immobile and visits a sex surrogate. I had never heard of sex surrogacy but let’s just describe it as physical therapy for other parts…Helen Hunt plays the sex surrogate and while I have all sorts of thoughts about this profession, I was more intrigued with Hunt’s nakedness. Helen Hunt doesn’t have a nude scene in the movie, she’s nude for most of the movie and seemingly totally at ease.

On the Today Show Hunt said, “all right, all right for God’s sake, I’m naked. People keep saying this is a ‘brave’ performance and I keep thinking ‘brave’ means ‘naked’”.  I’ve written before about the naked locker room people (and how I am sooo not one of them) but while naked for covered-up types like me is “brave” I am thinking for the naked-and-happy club naked is sort of natural. 

Hunt also said “my role in this movie is to come in and give the audience a glimpse of what it would be like if we dropped all our strangeness about sexuality.” Where does this strangeness about sexuality or nudity come from though? Is a comfort level in the buff tied in with body image? If you feel better about your body are you more apt to sleep naked or parade around without clothes? A piece on Mind Body Green actually suggests time in front of a mirror naked as a way to reduce body hatred and improve self-esteem. I haven’t tried it yet.

I’m also intrigued by whether growing up in a naked house makes you more comfortable naked. Interestingly, I have a mother who was very comfortable (and still is) about her body. She didn’t parade around when I had friends over but didn’t ever seem in a rush to cover up either. You’d think that would make her children “free” in this sense but it didn’t. Is that our personalities or do you pull away from what you’re used to? Again not sure.

Matt Lauer said to Hunt something to the effect of as the film goes on you sort of forget she’s naked. This may just be really good acting but it would be really nice if we could all forget the discomfort and awkwardness that nakedness presents. There will be no “sessions” in my future or group nakedness (I didn’t mean it like that) but I do think body comfort is something to aspire to. Do you?
Have you seen The Sessions or heard about it? Are you a naked sleeper or locker room person? Why do you think some people are naked-and-happy? Is it from your family, where you were raised or is it individual? What do you think of the naked time suggestion from Mind Body Green?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting Sick? Stay Home and Eat These Immune Boosting Foods

We were recently interviewing interns. One candidate came in, shook our hands, sat down and proceeded to take one of those repulsive, slurpy sniffs. “I didn’t want to cancel but I’m not feeling well” was her opener. She was smart and qualified but I couldn’t finish fast enough to wash my hands. I’m not such a germophobe, much more of a sickaphobe.
Some who are sick may be in denial or even tell sick, little lies. Whenever I hear allergies or food poisoning I can’t help but wonder if it’s really a head cold or stomach virus. Who wants to confess to that when they’re breathing all over you? If you're reading this feeling sick contemplating going to work or whether or not to break plans I say don’t be a martyr; keep your germs to yourself, stay home. And as a thank you gift for doing so, here are all the foods you should eat to feel better.

Germ Riddance Smoothie
Blend this puppy up whenever you think you’re coming down with something or if you’re feeling sickaphobic. Whey protein and every single ingredient (other than the stevia is immune boosting.

1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, pineapple or kiwi)
1 handful kale (only if in high powered blender club)
1 tsp. Coconut oil
4 ounces almond milk
Few slivers fresh, peeled ginger root- few slivers fresh ginger root or use a couple ounces Ginger Fireball juice from Juice Press
Shake of Cinnamon
Nu stevia
Note: if you use fresh fruit you'll need some ice cubes

Mid morning: 2 cups or more of White Tea. White tea is the best immune boosting tea and a killer of bacteria and viruses- love that.

Lunch: Miso Soup  and Salmon
This miso recipe from Whole Foods is the warm equivalent of the smoothie below.
Note, if gluten free some miso has barley derivatives. I like the South River miso.
Have some poached salmon in addition to the soup. Omega 3’s boost immunity by increasing phagocyte action. Think of these white blood cells as bacteria traps.

Mid Afternoon: either Kefir  or Siggis drinkable yogurt or green juice for infection ammunition
My kids have kefir most mornings and love the Evolve brand; I also like Nancy’s.

Chicken is good for immune system due to zinc content. There’s also an amino acid released as chicken cooked that’s similar to a bronchitis drug (not incredibly appetizing information but according to the University of Nebraska, it’s true). Garlic contains sulfur-based components that are both antibacterial and antifungal.

So there you have the best foods to keep you healthy. The worst things for your immune system are sugar, inadequate (less than 7 hours per night) sleep and, as we spoke about a couple of weeks ago, lying. So the next time you’re tempted to sniff the day away and call it “allergies”…think twice.
Are you a sickaphobe? What do you do when you think you're coming down with something? Have you ever told a "sick" lie?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Christina Hendricks Says "Full Figured" is Rude, It Is.

I don’t watch Mad Men. It's very hard to fit everything in with the abundance of Food Network/Cooking Channel shows and the reality crap I watch. So I am unfamiliar with Christina Hendricks, her body of work and her body. It was only via Time Magazine I read her quoted as saying “I think calling me full-figured is just rude.” I ripped out that article pronto.

After some googling I found out that Ms. Hendricks is shall we say busty.

 I was then confused, does “full” refer to being buxom or is full-figured a euphemism for fat? One definition described “having an amply proportioned or heavy body”.  Another source said in the fashion world, full-figured is size 12 or above. Ehow had this to say about the full-figured woman “she has thick hips, a rounded backside, large breasts and a non-narrow waistline.” From that it seems full figured is a buxom/overweight combo but they clarify “full-figured does not automatically constitute overweight, many full-figured women are healthy, active and conscious of balanced eating.” And yet didn’t give me anything close to healthy or balanced eater as a synonym. “Not-narrow” = ouch.

The quote from Hendricks came during an incredibly awkward interview by Australian journalist Kate Waterhouse . Maybe it was jetlag but Hendricks seemed ticked off before full-figured was mentioned. I also couldn’t help but notice that Ms. Waterhouse is tiny and curve-less. Does this matter? It may. I would take a comment regarding my parenting from another mom in the park very differently a comment uttered from a person without children present. I also take issue with the assumption that one wants to be a body type poster child. “You’re an inspiration to full-figured women”. How about being an inspiration for other actresses or simply an inspiration to women?  The question not only assumes Hendricks considers herself full-figured but also that she’s somehow showing other “amply proportioned” women that you can be this size and succeed. Even Ms. Waterhouse’s sweet Australian voice didn’t let her get away with this.

Finally, there’s  the issue that we can say things about ourselves that doesn’t mean others can. I can say I’m moody, obsessive, short or old…but you can’t. If you do, I’ll pull a Christina and tell you you’re rude.
What do you think full figured means? Is someone "non-narrow" automatically an inspiration? Do you think this question was out of line? What would you have done in Ms Hendricks situation? 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Foodtrainers' Favorite Carbs and Giveaways

  • Photo Hilary's Veggie Burger

Most of us have more than enough carbs in our lives. Pasta, bread, tortillas and grainy desserts all make the list of the top ten foods consumed by US adults. Even many of the carbs we consider “good” such as whole wheat bread (oftentimes not so whole and pretty much worthless) and oatmeal packets are what I call wolves in healthy clothing. As Dr David Ludwig says “we have no biological requirement for grains”. This is so true but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy them, in some form.
Kelp Noodles
We all crave something noodle-esque in our lives. If you’re gluten free or    firmly rooted in healthy eating you’ve nixed Penne alla Vodka and all its relatives. Once you know certain foods can’t be dietary staples you have to be flexible. While I would never suggest eating any anything that doesn’t taste good, I am asking for equal parts open-mindedness and wishful thinking. Sometimes the substitute isn’t the same as the original. Spaghetti squash isn’t angel hair and zucchini pasta isn’t linguini but they can be delicious with proper doctoring.
Have you tried kelp noodles? To entice you I will say these low calorie, gluten free, low calorie, iodine rich noodles from the sea are a favorite of my boys and mine. And for full disclosure, I’ll admit when my husband tried them he said “not my thing”.  I like the Sea Tangle brand. They are technically ready to eat but a rinse and then a soak in warm or near-boiling water does wonders. Some use them like pasta with pesto or other traditional sauces. I prefer them in Asian preparations (sesame oil, fresh ginger, garlic, wheat free tamari, maple) with leftover veggies for a quick lunch. Just be sure to cook them long enough to soften.  

Cocomama wants you to “Meet Your New B. F. F.” and while I normally find adults using the term “best friend, BF or worst of all bestie” beyond annoying I’m totally on board with “Breakfast Friend Forever”.  We have a breakfast quinoa recipe for clients but only a select few make it. Others are too busy, “refuse pot washing” (swear direct quote) or can’t cook when traveling at work etc. Cocomama has their and your backs. Their ready to eat pouches can be heated or consumed straight up. It comes in delicious flavors, while I knew I’d like banana cinnamon, orange cranberry (not orangey person) was a nice surprise.
I still love Vigilant Eats and will have it as my #1 oats on the go …but I’m pretty fickle and may indeed have a new B.F. F. Cocomama wants to invite you into our quinoa clique too. One reader will receive a 6-pack to try, no hazing rituals, I promise.
When we talk about edible wolves in healthy clothing most veggie burgers top the list. If you’re home and have veggie burgers in your freezer, go check the label. Do you see TVP (textured vegetable protein)? Soy protein isolates? Soy protein concentrate? And most importantly do you recognize what’s listed?
Hillary’s are gluten free, soy free, GMO free, organic, they taste great and even their packaging is recyclable and biodegradable. Hillary’s worries about you and will not throw you to the “wolves”. Here is a coupon for Hillary’s.

Flackers are gluten free, raw crackers made from flax. Admittedly, I am more of a chia than a flax girl but our clients convinced us to try these and they’re delicious. Plus they’re the makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s favorite cracker. We’re not making any guarantees but her skin is pretty darn nice. Flackers are giving away a variety 5-pack.

Friday night I discovered my new #1 favorite carb. My friend had us over for arepas. They are little, gluten free corn cakes you stuff with all sorts of fillings. No giveaway for these...yet.
For other carb-favorites, check out today’s newsletter A Few Good Carbs.
To be eligible for the giveaways:
  • Comment and tell us your favorite carbs and which of these you’d like to try.
  • Tweet Foodtrainers’ Favorite Carbs and #Giveaway @cocomamafoods @flackers and @hillaryeatwell 
You have until Sunday 10/21/12 to enter.
Have you tried any of our favorites? Would you like to? What do you consider grainy “wolves in healthy clothing”? What are your go-to pasta or pasta stand in?
The winner of the Black and Blum givaway is Gina, please email your address.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Weight of Lies

"Go and find the people that you know
Show them all your good parts
Leave town when the bad ones start to show"

I love Linda Wells. Whether you read beauty magazines or not, you should open Allure (one of my favorites) and read Linda Well’s Letter From the Editor in each issue. This month, Linda outed herself as a liar in “Pants on Fire. She admitted “for years, I lied to my sons about my age- and not by a little.” She explained that her son was writing a composition for school and asked how old she was, she said 36 and remained “36” for years. And she knows what you’re thinking and said  “what mother lies to her children? Me, clearly, and without missing a beat.”  Before you judge, chances are there’s something you flub, fib or let’s face it totally lie about.

I remember when I was a new RD working in research. I had someone I was counseling as they took part in a study. I poured over this participant’s food journal and couldn’t for the life of me understand why she wasn’t losing weight. I went into my friend Linda’s office for advice. “C’mon Lauren she’s lying on her food journal or as they say under reporting.” I was stunned, it hadn’t occurred to me that someone wouldn’t be completely forthcoming about his or her food, this was research after all.  Years later, I now know there’s “under reporting” when it comes to weight as well. When I ask most new clients how much they weigh, it’s always less that what the scale ends up saying.  I know, I know some of it is clothes, some food consumed that day and some of it is not wanting to weigh what we do, so we lie.

A study in Ethnicity and Disease found women misrepresent their weight more than men and white women even more so than women of other ethnicities. The authors  concluded “this may be because a fixation on thinness is more common in whites” Women fib about their weight ever to those closest to them, to their partners, best friends and even their mothers. A UK study found the average weight lie to be 9 pounds.I always thought of myself as more of a height liar.  I placed myself at 5’2” but did not know that for sure (more on that later). Height lies are more common among men though the lie is usually an inch or less. There’s only so much leeway there. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts several years ago found that 60 percent of people lie at least once during a 10-minute conversation. So if everyone is telling untruths about their age, weight and height, doesn’t it level the playing field? It becomes like vanity sizing. If all the 8’s become 6’s, does it really count?

So why tell the truth? One interesting study split participants into two groups. One was told to tell fewer lies and the other encouraged to lie. Polygraphs were used for verification.  “When participants told fewer white lies than they did in previous weeks,, they reported four fewer mental health complaints (such as stress or sadness) and about three fewer physical health complaints (like sore throats and headaches).” And I loved this from Dr Alex Lickerman in  Psychology Today  “telling the truth motivates us to strive to become all the good things lying helps us pretend we already are”

At the end of the Allure article, Wells says “Today is my birthday. I’m around 50…or 54” I thought I should face the truth, or in my case the tape measure.  I had a feeling I was ½ inch to an inch off...and I was. I’m not 5’2” I’m 5’3”! While I’m not sure what it says about me that I lied in the wrong direction, I hope it’s proof that sometimes the truth isn’t that scary, try it.
Are you more of an age, weight or height fraud? Why do you think we lie about these things? And if you want to stop pretending, spill your actual height, weight or age in the comments (you only get the mental/physical benefit if you previously lied about it). 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Overweight Folks in Ads: Helping or Selling?

Nathan Sorrel, 12 years old
Yesterday I did a segment for Today. During the taping I was asked the inevitable “so what numbers are we talking about when it comes to weight in this country”.  I mentioned that two thirds of adults were overweight or obese however I don’t focus on these figures. The statistics and obesity anxiety or weight terror- alert doesn’t help. So what does?

A study from the Rudd Center at Yale University concluded two things were helpful when it came to messaging about weight or eating. We tend to respond to messaging that’s supportive and information that encourages a specific behavior. The Let’s Move campaign is a great example of keeping it positive (and not preachy) and providing relevant resources.

How about advertisers? Yesterday’s segment focused on a front page USA Today article about the trend in casting overweight people in ads. While inclusivity is always good, I think we have to look at the motivation. Are the ads designed to sell products? To stir up controversy? Or to help foster change?  Some of these ads have caused quite a ruckus.

Take this add from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. An overweight mother and daughter are in the grocery store. The mother places unhealthy items in her cart and the daughter, with a mini cart, does the same. Let’s just say this didn’t sit well with many people including Lindy West on Jezebel (wish I had her with me for the napkin girls incident). I think Blue Cross could’ve made the same point saying “we’ve all been there and we don’t always set the best example for our kids.” Today you can change that and show a mother and child reading a label or making better market selections.

The Nike ad, that ran during the Olympics, was another example cited by USA today.
Nike shows an overweight boy jogging. The narration tells us greatness isn’t reserved for a select few, we are all capable of it. When I see it I smell a conference rooms of ad execs saying “we can’t sell shoes to a select few” it feels calculated. My kids had a different reaction. One of my boys said “it says never give up.” When the video finished the collage of other videos/ads displayed on the screen. My younger son said “the boy running in the commercial was big, none of those people are big.” He then said, “but in the world lots of people are big.” In his eight-year-old terms he could see this was unusual. However, regardless of its intensions it was supportive in its messaging and specific in its explicit message (to exercise). It also appeals to both overweight and non overweight...good for sales and health at the same time.

From years of counseling clients, a couple of things are clear. First, people know what to eat. They know what they “should” eat. Second, shame and guilt isn’t the answer. We all have an abundance of negativity swirling about in our heads when it comes to weight and food. To enact change, we have to go about things differently. We have to give people something they don’t already have.
What’s your reaction to more overweight people in ads? Do you think it’s inclusive or patronizing? And what about the parent’s? Should the parents let their children me the face of childhood obesity?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Prada Doesn’t Like Quinoa (Black and Blum Giveaway)

Sometimes nutrition information can seem like the airline’s “in the event that you crash” spiel. We’ve all heard it so many times it’s hard not to tune out. A study came out over the summer that seemed to be another yawn. They reported you’ll loose more weight if you food journal and if you don’t skip meals, yeah, yeah. And then there was a third conclusion. Those who ate out more frequently lost less weight and the strongest association was observed with lunch. “Women who ate out for lunch at least weekly lost on average 5 fewer pounds.”

They had me at 5 pounds but if you need further convincing (some of you are tough), I’ll appeal to your inner cheapskate. While I have all sorts of ways to justify money spent on good food. I have trouble with this:

In case you can't make it out I had kale salad and coffee. Organic salad and organic coffee but still, $20.03? 

If you're with me on this lunch thing, the question now is what to bring. Vanessa Peronne, a Canadian RD has a feature on her blog (which is great and I’m very picky) called What’s in Your Lunch Bag. She sent me a series of questions to answer. And since I spilled my beans, I asked her a few questions in return.

Vanessa: Can you describe the Foodtrainers lunch-packing philosophy? How do you keep yourself and clients motivated about packing nourishing lunches?

Me: I feel that skinny starts Sunday. It’s hard to decide the morning of that you’re going to make lunch. I advise clients to make, a grain, a green and a protein for the week. You can go a long way with those three. It’s also key to double recipes. We always make extra chili, steamed or roasted veggies and I make lunch containers as I plate our dinners so no family members infringe on my lunch for the next day.

Me: I think there’s a strategy in packing lunch; many people sell themselves short with skimpy portions. What do you see as the biggest lunch-packing mistake?

Vanessa: The most common mistake I see with clients involves salad-building. The lettuce-tomato-cucumber mix lacks sustenance and will leave you cranky within the hour. I recommend these key salad-building steps 5-steps:
1) A leafy green base (spinach, arugula, romaine, kale, escarole)
2) At least 2 other vegetables  
3) A source of protein (hemp seeds, hard cooked eggs, chickpeas, tuna) 
4) One extra (avocado, nuts, fruit, dried fruit or cheese)
5) Homemade dressing made with a good, cold-pressed oil

Me: Oh my goodness, we have very similar construction methods. I call extras “salad accessories”. I also love walnut oil and sunflower oil.

Vanessa:  About the Hardware: What lunch bag or box are you using right now?

Me: This is crucial information for newbie lunch packers. A while ago, I posted about quinoa. One of my readers whipped up the quinoa salad (may have been breakfast quinoa but anyway). That day I received an email with a photo attached with the subject line “Prada doesn’t like quinoa”.  So one issue is spillage and that’s sad for a number of reasons but other issue is a matter of pride. No self-respecting adult should carry something that looks like this
The only “hardware” as you say that gets the Foodtrainers’ vote is Black and Blum.
I use both the Bento Box and Box Appetit.

Me: Other than salads, what are your lunch greatest hits?
Vanessa: Tis soupy season. This recipe for Pasta e Fagioli (bean soup) is a classic and family favourite. It's simple, inexpensive and filling to the max. For any G-free readers (or you Lauren), you can swap for gluten-free pasta or remove it altogether.

Me: Funny that you brought up soup (unprompted) because broth-based soups are an appetite suppressant, always a strategic lunch choice. And Black and Blum is just introduced this spectacular thermo pot which keeps food hot for 5 hours.

If losing five pounds doesn’t excite you this thermo pot (with magnetic spoon) certainly should.
Black and Blum is giving one lucky and stylish reader this thermo pot.
To be eligible, there are 3 things to do, yes 3:
  1. Comment and tell us your favorite lunch box/bag, spillage stories, fave lunches to pack and anything else lunchy.
  2. Like Black and Blum on Facebook
  3. Tweet Lose 5 Pounds without carrying an ugly lunchbag @Foodtrainers BlackANDBlum #giveaway
You have until Monday to enter.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Is Age a Blessing or a Bitch?

My sister recently had a “big” birthday. Leading up to her birthday, I pressed my mother, sisters and sister’s boyfriend to make plans. Should we have a party? Go away? Chip in for a present? Compulsive planners need to know.  Word was that she wasn't thrilled about her birthday and didn't didn’t want a fuss made. I found that so silly; birthdays are blessings.We are all lucky just to be here.  My sister and I both have friends we have lost who haven’t made it to celebrate these days. I joked with my sister’s boyfriend, “so you guys are old, what’s the big deal?” He said he’d check in with me with my time came and we could talk further.

I’m still in my 30s and though I’ve seen those changes that everyone warned me happen at that 35 mark (seems previously "good" parts become cause for concern and "bad" parts remain trouble areas) until recently age wasn’t something I worried about. Perhaps one can only stress and overthink so many things. I have always felt it’s not so much age but the place you are in. I have a career I enjoy, a loving family and I’m healthy (knocking desk).

Well that uncharacteristically grounded thinking was shattered last weekend. We went to dinner at Marble Lane at the Dream Hotel. 

After a delicious meal, we stepped outside to get a taxi.  We stood on the curb as my friend’s husband hailed a cab. After a couple of minutes, three 20-something girls in napkin-sized dresses charged in front (regretfully no photo snapped). Presuming “innocence” he said, “we’re already waiting but you can grab the next taxi.” They weren’t happy, rolled their eyes and said something to the effect of “whatever”.  At first I didn’t react; I was too busy taking in the outfit choices. 
 My Friend: “Is there a problem? Why the comments?”
Napkin Dress: “Oh my god, why don’t you act your age.”
 My Friend: “Excuse me, did you say act your age, not a problem if you can act over 3.”
Neon Yellow Napkin Dress:  “Seriously- you guys are too old to be here.”
That was it, I couldn’t hold back, she called me old and I had a martini in my system.
Me: “Even when I was 20, I wouldn’t go out with my titties on full display. Plus, there's something called manners.”
There were a few more comments, in a desperate attempt to prove she wasn’t a whore, yellow napkin told us she worked in finance. I may have inquired if she interviewed in that dress, fortunately we were soon in the taxi. We joked about what transpired but I looked at my friends and said, “do you think we were too old to be there?”

I wish I could say I forgot about the Saturday night skirmish but I woke up thinking about it. I went to workout and afterward walked down the street fair on Columbus.  A large sign “Organic Skincare” caught my eye. I chatted up the owner of the company about ingredients and such and asked, “What product would you suggest I start with?” She handed me this

“Mature Serum?” I asked.
“Don’t mind the name” she replied detecting my disappointment “it’s great at any age.”
And so I did what any insulted and panicked person would do, I said “oh sure, I understand, I’ll take it.”
We ended up having a “non birthday” dinner and chipping in for a special present for my sister. Despite her misgivings she was really touched.  I realize we all view age in different ways and you never know when it’ll seem like a blessing or when it’ll be a bitch.
Do you see age as a blessing or a bitch? What would you have done if confronted by the napkin trio? Have you ever been hurt by anyone commenting on your age? 
Congratulations to our Indian Cookbook winners Kristen "swankydietitian" and Marie