Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NYC Scrapbook :: Coterie 2012!

I returned back to Texas on Sunday from a week-long trip to NYC. It was business, not pleasure {but isn't it nice when the two coincide?} as Fashion Coterie for Spring 2013 was taking place, and it was the most incredible experience! We had an AMAZING show. To have been selected to show my line alongside big labels like Milly, Trina Turk, Theory, Nanette Lepore, L.A.M.B., Rebecca Minkoff, House of Harlowe 1969, Catherine Malandrino and so many more was truly a dream come true. It was wonderful to meet all of the sweet buyers as well. Here is a recap of the week! 

Our very first stop upon our arrival was the Waverly Inn, my favorite place to dine in NYC. Their chicken pot pie is life changing! Bradley Cooper was there and wouldn't stop staring at us {annoying} but he left, I'm assuming to meet Zoe for drinks. Nice hair though.

A new discovery in the food realm that is apparently well known all around Manhattan but was new to me is a place called Eataly. One of the best roof-top views I have had the privilege of experiencing!  The next day we stopped by FAO Schwartz for a bit in the morning and thankfully THANKFULLY talked Shiloh out of buying yet another Montenegro-style band jacket. Maddox was totally on board with our decision. Major close call on that one. 

Set up day was nothing short of bonkers, and I don't think I have ever been so exhausted in my life. The alarm went off at 5am and we peeled ourselves out of bed into pouring rain and were at the convention center before 7. 

We worked worked worked like cray-cray until about 2 in the afternoon with no break for food, so we took a midday breather and headed to a nearby diner for some sustenance.

And by sustenance I mean margaritas, of course.

The rest of the day flew by after that break...strange.

LOVED the end result. So colorful and all around PERFECT!

We went for blow outs late that evening at a place called Drybar, which is a genius concept and I'm told we now have one in Fort Worth. So great! Suri was there in the chair next to me and she was super cute. I asked her to join us for dinner at the Shake Shack but apparently she had some big play date the next morning and politely declined. Heartsies.

We got there early the next morning to take photos of several booths before it got really packed...

Everything had to be taken down completely on Friday night {a monstrous task in and of itself}, but that meant we had all of Saturday to goof off and explore NYC. We were beyond exhausted but came up with our own combo of go-go juice to get us through the day. I tried my first cupcake from Crumbs, ate a pizza slice as big as a baby, found the cutest Pomeranian on the planet, had my first Joe Fresh experience {officially addicted} and feel confident in saying that I now know of the best eggs benedict in all of NYC via Eli Zabar!

Until next year, NYC! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Legume Manifesto

A lot of people feel that I am completely silly to not eat beans. Several proclaimed Paleo converts still have beans on their plates. Others are die hard Weston-Price followers, and adhere to the principle of soaking beans and seeds to positively impact their nutritional qualities. If you are any of these people - READ ON! The article below explains why beans should be kept completely off your plate for good...

Via the whole 9, april 18, 2011

If you’ve read our articles or heard us speak, you know we don’t base our nutritional recommendations primarily on what Paleolithic man may or may not have eaten.  We care about whether the foods we’re eating here today are making us more healthy or less healthy. So the reasons we cite for avoiding legumes, much like our rationale with grainsdairy, and sugar, have far more to do with health than history. (It just so happens that health and history – and our genetics – areinextricably linked.)
Legumes are a botanical family of plants that include dozens of varieties of beans, lentils, garbanzos, peas, and peanuts. Yes, that also includes soybeans, which the multinational agriculture conglomerates have figured out how to grow in (unnatural, unsustainable) monocultures by the megaton – and market them in a pretty effective way to the American public. (An aside: the coffee , cocoa, and vanilla “beans” are not, botanically speaking, legumes, and thus are excluded from this particular discussion.) Legumes are often used as “cover crops” because of their ability to “fix” nitrogen in the soil, improving fertility of the soil for subsequent crops. Historically, they were primarily used as an agricultural tool, not as food. Hmmm.

The Case for the Bean

Owing to their nitrogen content (i.e. protein), legumes are often recommended as a healthy dietary choice, especially for vegetarians. Proponents of legumes cite their dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, and “high” protein content, and may even reference observational studies that “show” thatlegumes are healthy. Let’s address the potential benefits of legumes one by one.
First, you might already know that foods other than beans – such as ample amounts of vegetables and fruit – offer us plenty of fiber.  In addition, dietary fiber isn’t as important as you might think, in the context of a healthy diet that is not promoting gut damage.  In summary, eating legumes for fiber is like eating a Mounds bar for the coconut – lots of potential down sides (which we discuss in detail below) for a small potential benefit.
In terms of micronutrient density, legumes come up short when compared to vegetables and fruit. (The lack of nutrient density in beans compared to green leafy vegetables like kale is so glaring that we can rest our “beans are nutritious” case here.)
Finally, we don’t think we need to make a lengthy argument that legumes are an inferior source of protein compared to meat, seafood, and eggs, and that regularly consuming animal protein is yourbest bet to supply dietary protein (i.e. those amino acids that your body builds into your structural “stuff”).  Just in case… legumes offer an incomplete amino acid profile, meaning that they do not supply all essential amino acids in biologically useful amounts.  In addition, some of the proteins that are technically present in the legumes are poorly digestible, and thus not available for use in your body.

Digging Deeper – The Legume Downside

So legumes aren’t as awesome as the marketing might make you think.  Is that really a good enough reason to ditch them altogether?  Worse than simply being an inferior source of dietary protein and an unnecessary duplication of the dietary fiber supplied by the micronutrient-dense vegetables and fruit we recommend, legumes do have some major downsides – enough that we think you should keep them off your plate.
First, while legumes do contain some protein, they also contain significant amounts of carbohydrate – often several times that of the amount of useable protein. We are certainly not carb-o-phobic, but the amount of carbohydrate you’d take in using legumes as a primary protein source would mean that you were (a) not getting enough (bioavailable) protein in an attempt to limit your carbohydrate intake to a healthy amount, or (b) taking in unhealthfully high amounts of carbohydrate to get as much protein as you need.  (Or, potentially, both.)  And though the carbs found in beans are low glycemic index, your body still has to secrete significant amounts of insulin to manage the relatively large amounts of blood sugar – and with insulin, like many things in your body, a little is good, but lots is… not.
Second, legumes as a general botanical category are toxic if consumed raw. Literally… toxic. The problem is that usual preparation methods of prolonged soaking and rinsing, cooking, sprouting, or fermenting only partially neutralizes those toxic substances, generally referred to as lectins. (There are other harmful substances in legumes, but we’ll stick with lectins for now.)  Lectins are plant proteins that are very resistant to digestion in the stomach and small intestine.  They arrive (and hang out) in the small intestine largely intact, and do some pretty dirty work there.  Lectins such as phytohaemagglutinin create damage to the wall of the small intestine (which increases gut permeability) and causes an imbalance of gut bacteria. P.S. Increased gut permeability is never a good thing.
If your gut integrity is compromised, that means that the immune tissue located in your gut is exposed to large amounts of potentially inflammatory substances, including those lectins. Regular exposure to lectins can promote inflammation in the digestive tract, but also elsewhere in the body (since those little buggers punched holes in your gut and can get virtually everywhere via your bloodstream). Long story short: the fewer intact foreign proteins (including lectins) circulating in your bloodstream, the better. Foreign proteins in your bloodstream cause systemic inflammation. Boooo.

Specific to Soy

A third concern, specific to soybeans and even moreso with processed soy products, is the content of compounds that behave like estrogen (that female sex hormone) in the human body. These compounds, classified as phytoestrogens (or “isoflavones”), bind to and stimulate – or, in some tissues, block – estrogen receptors. And while the overall research on soy products is conflicting and inclusive due to the gender-and tissue-specific effects of phytoestrogens, there are, in our view, some alarming issues related to the consumption of soy  and soy products. In women, phytoestrogens have been linked to longer and more painful menstrual periods. For guys, soy intakedecreases sperm count. And studies suggest that children fed soy-based formulas may be at risk forcompromised immune systems later in life. So while the research may not be cut and dried, we think you shouldn’t mess with your delicate sex hormone balance at any age, and ingesting phytoestrogens in an unknown “dose” via soy products do just that.
As an aside, edamame (the unprocessed soybean) is not your best choice for everyday consumption, but processed soy products, including soy protein concentrate/isolate and “texturized vegetable protein”, are extra-bad choices for multiple reasons.  In fact, the more processed forms of soybeans, like tofu, are an even more  dense source of the phytoestrogens and other antinutrients than their unprocessed counterparts.  

For Vegetarians

For vegetarians who are morally or ethically opposed to using animal proteins for their amino acid supply, legumes might be a “necessary evil”, since legumes – specifically soy – are some of the densest plant source of protein.  However, understand that from our view, legumes won’t come anywhere close to supplying the right amount and proportion of amino acids for optimal health. (The argument is often made that some groups of people survive while eating legumes, but that doesn’t mean that legumes are your best choice to thrive.) If you’re a strict vegan, your best bet is to practice traditional preparation methods of soaking, rinsing, sprouting, fermenting and prolonged cooking, to partially break down some of those inflammatory lectins, and to rely on more dense sources of protein (less processed soy products like tofu and tempeh) that offer more grams of protein without so many accompanying carbohydrates.

The Wrap-Up

In summary, the claimed benefits of legumes aren’t quite what they’re heralded to be, and there are significant downsides to legume consumption. Yes, there are ways to make them “less bad”, but why work so hard to continue to eat things that in the end still aren’t that healthy?   While prolonged soaking, rinsing, cooking and fermenting legumes neutralizes some of the lectins, we still don’t think that they offer enough in terms of micronutrition (vitamins, minerals, and beneficial phytochemicals) to justify regular consumption. And while the jury may be out on the long-term effects of phytoestrogens, we recommend generally avoiding legumes as part of your healthy, Eat-Good-Food diet.

Here is a link to Robb Wolf's site where you can read all about Paleo!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Behind the Scenes 2013

When you look at the photograph above, would you ever believe that this below is what was going on right in front of her...

One of my favorite things to see at the end of movies are the outtakes! Right?? The fun, the laughter and the pure craziness that go into a production are so great to see. For that reason I was thrilled to have a behind the scenes photographer at the Spring 2013 shoot this year. She was able to capture what was really going on, and looking back on the shots already brings a huge smile to my face. 

Everything moves FAST. Clothes changes, hair changes, makeup touch up - boom boom boom. 
We are on a tight schedule!

Pose for a shot...

...then steal some hugs.

My dining room was transformed into a style closet.

My mom holding Munch, and my hair and makeup artist Connie snuggling with Snooze.

Gabby Tunic Dress in pink/white silk ikat. LOVE!!!

Practicing some twirls and spins in the Melissa Dress, my favorite silhouette of the entire collection.

Miss Popular having to field calls in between shots ;) 

Dance Party 2013 began...

We had SO MUCH FUN, and I love being able to share some of the images with you all! 

These are just a snippet of all the behind the scenes shots. I will share more throughout 2013 via my newsletter. Sign up for it on my website contact page right here!

Lifestyle/Look Book Photographer :: Sommer Photography
Behind The Scenes Photographer :: Candid Chic Photography
Hair and Makeup :: Lemongrass Aveda Salon

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Honest Toddler

Those who are parents, prepare to die of laughter.
Maybe I am way out of the loop here but I had never heard of The Honest Toddler until a friend forwarded me a piece that was featured in the Huffington Post last month. It's entitled, I'm Sorry. You know I only do re-posts if they are amazing, and this one definitely lives up to that! 
I'm Sorry, by The Honest Toddler
Look mom. I can tell from the way you haven't looked me in the eye since fetching me from my crib well before dawn that you're upset about last night. Waking up every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours isn't easy for me either.
In my defense, my blanket really did keep coming off, I was thirsty, and... I can't remember the other reasons, but I'm sure they were equally valid.
There was at least one nightmare. I was in a strange house. I knew it wasn't ours because the dishes were washed and your hair wasn't everywhere.
I do want to thank you for bringing back the 3 a.m. milk that you worked so hard to get me off of. It was delicious and instrumental in helping me wake up soaked in urine at around 4. Can't wait to have it again forever.
You seem tired and short tempered this morning which is why I felt more comfortable writing this than having a face-to-face. Can I get you anything? A cup of coffee? While you're up please bring me a sippy cup of juice and some unbroken crackers. Oh that's right. We don't have crackers... I recall you saying that around 1:15. That's OK. Why keep the house stocked with my favorite foods? I'm sure we have two kinds of wine though. But that's fine.
Anyway I wanted to thank you for changing my pajamas and throwing that towel down on my pee pee sheets. I noticed you didn't open your eyes once (weird). It's also OK that you didn't actually change my sheets. I find the faint smell of ammonia comforting. Love means doing things halfway.
I mean, I know another mother or a grandma might have removed the soiled sheets and replaced them with freshly laundered ones but you just do you.
There is something I did want to discuss now that I have your attention. It's none of my business what goes on between you and father after I go to bed but if you could just throw on a robe before coming into my room, that'd be awesome. I think you should definitely rock what you've got but angry nude lumbering zombie isn't your best look. I want to be honest.
This seems like as good a time as any to bring up the possibility of reintroducing cosleeping. I can't promise I won't judo kick you to the face like I used to but at least one of us will get a good night's sleep and isn't that what matters?
Anyway. I hope this note brings you some comfort. You really do look awful. Maybe you'd feel better if you made us some breakfast?
love and hugs,
your HT
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