Thursday, January 21, 2010

What is in your food?

“How do the ingredients in my food have anything to do with being elegant?” you might ask. Simple, the food you eat impacts your health, the amount of food you eat impacts your weight. Its simple calories in versus calories expended in activity, no magic.

The ingredients in your food are very important. Have you look at a label lately? Depending on the food and how processed it is you need a PhD to decipher what really is in there.

We are all in a hurry these days and cooking food as close to how it came from the farm can be hard, but well worth it in the long run. All of these ingredients that we can’t pronounce – how many times have they been processed and what ingredients were added during the process.

New York City is trying to ban salt, or at least lower the amounts we consume. Take a look at the condiments in your fridge – look at the salt content in ketchup, mustard even hot sauce. Want a TV dinner – beware of the salt. We know the health implications of to much salt and trying to control how much we take in if were not cooking the food ourselves is very difficult.

What prompted this posting? Watching Food Network I was this commercial by the Corn Refiners Association, touting that high fructose corn syrup isn’t bad as long as it’s in moderation. I have two issues with the commercial. The first is; HFCS is in so much of the food we eat, how can we eat it in moderation? Secondly, they make the people who are saying “Don’t eat HFCS” look like idiots. This people when questioned as to why not consume HFCS can’t answer the question. I can, how about this, yes it is corn when it started its life but now it’s closer to Frankenstein then corn. HFCS is a way of sweetening food, a very cheap way. Have you ever had Coke from Mexico or one of the boutique sodas? These sodas use pure cane sugar and the flavor of these sodas is amazing in comparison to the Coke in the cans in America. Do you know why HFCS can be labeled ‘natural’ ? Because there is nothing synthetic in it, but I’ve never seen a HFCS plant, I do know what cane sugar looks like. One more thing, don’t confuse corn syrup you cook with, with this HFCS. Our world is controlled by marketing firms. We must be aware as to who is behind our commercials and news stories. We must look out for ourselves and not let someone in an office or conference rooms in NYC or LA tell us what we should eat, wear or think.
We have been taught that cheaper food is better, to expect big portions, portions that are 2 – 3 times more then should be consumed. We think we are getting our moneys worth. This just isn’t true. Ever see the portions of food we should be eating? Food, when left on its own has flavors that are so satisfying and our digestion systems knows what it is and what to do with it.

Controlling our portions and being aware of what we are consuming will help in controlling our weight and help those who are trying to lose weight. Again, calories in versus calories expended.

I believe in better living thru science, except when it comes to the ingredients in my food.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Charity for Haitians

Our hearts are full of love and concern for all those who have been directly and indirectly affected by the earthquake.

When donating please use your wits and do not fill the pockets of the lowest part of humanity. Those who would take advantage of this situation to enrich their own bank accounts are below and beyond contempt. Personally, they should be hunted down and dealt with. Donate to reputable agencies. Most of the news organizations have a link; even Google has a link where you can feel safer about giving money.
When donating money thru texting, be aware that it could take almost 90 days for that money to make it thru the channels.

One more item, do you know of someone in your community with relative in Haiti? These individuals have been affected also. They have a place to lay their heads, but can they even sleep? Are they eating? How is there family? Are they still looking for family? These people need your emotional support. If you work with them, can you help with the work load that they might not now be so able to complete in a timely fashion? Do they need someone just to listen to there worries? Reach out to these people, they are feeling lost right now. Imagine if you were the only member of your family in a foreign land.

As a world community, please put aside politics and religion that normal separate us.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Classy or Elegant?

Most people use these words interchangeably. The question is, are they? Not really.

Consult and you’ll see the difference. Defining class by about the 8th definition you get “the system of dividing society” and the following one is “social rank esp. high rank”. Class just makes you think of someone wanting to place themselves above another person. Elegant gives you a different definition: tasteful, graceful, and excellent. Those are adjectives that everyone would wish to have applied to there reputation.

Class makes you think of do’s and don’ts

Elegance is something you learn by example.

There have been some high profile books out in the past few years from women with social standing. For some years now this is how class and elegance have been presented to us, as something automatically obtained by the wealthy and privileged, and if you didn’t have this blessing then you were condemned to a life of tackiness. Interestingly enough, in the late 1930’s there was a home study course on personal experience, with chapters dealing on charm and etiquette, for every woman. In our era these books now make is seem that if you are not born with a role model or with the money for classes your only hope is to be uncouth, unlearned, part of the great “unwashed”.

This might be the case if we only had the examples of women from reality TV, “celebutants” and those who married into the aristocracy, which must be making the founders of the United States rolling over in their graves that we still have this odd fascination with titles. George Washington didn’t need any title, nor did Thomas Jefferson. The wives of the presidents (if alive) didn’t ask for nor required a title. These were people that did some amazing things and they were humble enough to realize that their accomplishments were for the betterment of human kind, not singularly a personal betterment. A lesson we all need to remember. We can build better lives for ourselves, but not at the detriment to others, are you listening Mr. Madoff?

The best thing any women can do for a daughter is to be elegant and let her follow your example.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Introducing Brooks

As you see there is a contributing blogger Brooks Forrester. Brooks is the ying to the yang. Brooks will contribute differing views points at times and other times there may be a comment from Brooks pertaining to something particularly irritating that the rest of us can contribute a comment.

Two voices can make for a much more interesting read and multiple view points make a lively community.




I am not sure if I am the ying or the yang. We hope that we can share what we have seen that is just, how should I say it, not kosher to be seen. Like those sweat pant clad, fake blond, plastic manicured "women" going to the store for milk. puh-lease!!! Astor and I may or may not see things eye to eye, though we hope we can shed light on being more elegant. So, enjoy elegance in this era.



This is the first posting of Astor Adams and elegance: redefined.

This really is a niche blog. There are image consultants, stylist and those highly astute in all things etiquette. There are people to tell you which fork to use, others to tell you which cut of what clothing to wear. You even have life coaches to create the amazing life you desire. I am here more as the crowning of your achievements. You can look amazing, know your white wine glass from your red wine glass, and have your life planned out in nice little segments. A lot of people have achieved to that level, unfortunately they have not achieved to that of elegance. Why is that? That is why this blog is here.

There will be very few rules laid out here. There are enough rules in our life. Elegance is a feeling not a law.

Why is there a need to have elegance redefined? Elegance by its sheer nature is timeless and thus wouldn’t need to be redefined. That is absolute correct. What we have now are forces in media and culture that are looking to define elegance as something that everyone can obtain, in short to cheapen the word. In the last 5 years the words; “class”, “classy”, “lady” and even “diva” have been hijacked by people who simply believe that by laying claim to the word means they are, by their mere existence, the embodiment of that word. Words do have meaning and that meaning over time can change. Just as Emily Post has updated her books to reflect our changing times, the word elegant hasn’t changed its meaning, but the strategies are different then 50 years ago. It is no longer only those of the “upper set”, the privileged few which can attain to the mystic of elegance.

Between the words classy and elegant – what is the difference? I would much rather have someone say to me that I am elegant then to hear I am classy. Which would you rather hear?

I leave you for now with that question. I leave it open to members of the blog to respond.

Over the next weeks and months, I will post on current events and open a dialog to see your views. Along the way I will define or in some case redefine into our 21st century the elegance that all women, with a desire, can display.