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Q: What's the best way to weigh yourself?
A: We brought our FAQ's about BMI, body comp, and pounds to two Best Life nutritionists, Stephanie Clarke, M.S., R.D. and Willow Jarosh, M.S., R.D. Before jumping on that scale, read their list of weight dos and don’ts.
Do understand what your numbers mean.
Weight isn't the only measurement that matters, but it's one of the most widely-used guidelines for assessing personal health (and for determining which countries have the highest obesity rates). Clarke and Jarosh use the Best Life formula to generate what they call "an average healthy weight." For women, start with 100 pounds and add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. Expand this to include a 15% window (plus and minus) to account for different body types. So a healthy weight for a woman who is 5'5" would be within the range of 107 to 144 pounds. The Centers for Disease Control uses body mass index, or BMI, to determine that the healthy weight range for a woman who is 5'5" tall is 111 to 150 pounds. (use the CDC's calculator to see where you fit in).
Which is exactly why Kayli Stollak, 24, turned to her Granny Gail, 75, when she decided to jump into the online dating scene in New York City—especially since Granny (who lives over 1500 miles away in South Florida) is playing the digital dating game herself. As Stollak says, "She's a 24-hour cocktail party full of jokes, gossip, and advice." To record their triumphs (and low points), which they discuss almost daily over the phone, Stollak started a blog "Granny Is My Wingman."
Next: Find out more about this unexpected tag team and get their best advice for finding love online.
Trailers for the new television series, Pan Am, make air travel look like a glamorous adventure—where the stewardesses' clothing stays perfectly pressed and the passengers seem generally cheerful and relaxed. These days? Different story. No matter what you encounter once you get up in the air, these products will help you relax at 35,000 feet and look more refreshed when you de-plane.
Next: 5 products that will turn your seat into a spa
Men! What are they thinking? We can't always answer that, but we'll be posting our favorite glimpses into their world in this space every Thursday.
* In 1989 a 7-year-old girl sent Roald Dahl "a dream in a bottle" she'd made with oil, colored water and glitter. He wrote back. (Twitter via Letters of Note)
* Speaking of children's literature, where's Waldo? (Guardian.co.uk)
* An ode to Steve Jobs' most influential innovation of all: Business casual attire. (The Smart Set)
* Bummed you won't get to see Venus Williams compete in the U.S. Open? Get to know Ryan Harrison, the 19-year-old Grantland calls the next John McEnroe. (Grantland)
* "Let’s put it this way: My legs are gone, but I’m still going to be able to walk my daughter down the aisle one day, and I’m still going to see my son grow up, and probably get into trouble." — New York Times photographer Joao Silva, who lost his legs after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan, in a speech he gave in early August. The whole thing is worth a read. (Lens Blog)
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we’ve got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #18: Three readers share the traditions that help them savor time with family.
"It's so easy to crowd the calendar with activities, but last year we decided not to enroll our son in anything on weekends. Instead, we have Explorers Day—we take turns picking a destination. We bike or drive with grandparents, which feels leisurely because we're not racing back for other things on the schedule." —Anne Medved, 33, Boston
"Deciding which movie to watch as a group used to take forever. Now my sisters and I play a game we call 3-2-1. One of us picks three movies to watch, the next narrows it down to two options, and the last person makes the final choice. It's a fun bonding game—and now no more bickering if the movie is lousy." —Jamie Spitz, 24, New York City
Tell us: What's your favorite way to create quality time with your family?
30 days of makeovers
Family fun in under 2 hours
Weekend trips that don't cost a fortune
Best Chocolate Chip: Get Fresh Bakehouse Chocolate Chip
When Jeff Robbin's daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease, he decided to try his hand at gluten-free baking. After three years of research, his New Jersey team fired up its ovens and started cranking out batches of hefty cookies in flavors like Butterscotch Walnut and Oatmeal Plus (with white-chocolate chips, walnuts and dried cranberries). The classic chocolate chip--huge hunks of chocolate laced through buttery, sweet dough--was a runaway winner in our taste test.
Best Oatmeal: Whole Foods Nutmeal Raisin
Imagine the flavors of an oatmeal-raisin cookie--brown sugar, chewy raisins, almonds and cinnamon--minus the actual oats. We were suspect at first, too, but Whole Foods pulls it off with these dense, fist-sized sweets that are safe for people who avoid oats in their diet. The grocery chain offers a line of 30-plus baked goods out of its dedicated gluten-free bakehouse in North Carolina, but our testers fell hard for these ("scrumptious," "addictive") cookies.
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we’ve got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #17: If you never want to hear the words "Please enter your password then press pound" again, we have a solution.
30 days of makeovers
O's shortcuts to simplify your life
How to get 7 more hours into your day
Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth, $50. Fashion yourself a scarf, carry your groceries or wrap a present using this quirky graphic fabric.
R2-D2 Ice Cube Trays, $9.99. These freezer must-haves are cheaper than a droid robot, and--we can't help it--cooler, too.
State Prints, $15. Letterpress shop 1canoe2’s whimsical drawings pay homage to American cities, states and regions--because nothing says Wisconsin pride like a poster that reads, “Cheese and crackers, beer and Packers.”
Farmer’s Market Basket, $14. Keep that fresh-from-the-market feeling going in your kitchen all year long with this stoneware take on the ubiquitous green cardboard basket.
I have a friend who religiously packs her Clarisonic face brush alongside her lantern, s'more supplies, and sleeping bag on camping trips. She may not have running water or a toilet, but she definitely has clean pores and smooth skin. It sounds a bit crazy, but who am I to judge? I have a poster hanging in room that says "I love not camping." In fact, the last time I spent the night in a tent I was seven, on a family trip in Yellowstone National Park, and I begged my father to take me to a hotel on day two. But for those of you who have plans to head to the great outdoors this weekend, these five beauty must-haves will help you feel a bit more pampered while you get in touch with Mother Nature.
Next: Get your beauty essentials checklist.