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The Healthiest Ways to Celebrate a Birthday!

A new trend is officially gaining steam: Healthy Birthday Celebrations! When it come time to blow out the candles, it seems like boozing and binging are out and exercise and eating well are in.

To be fair, this could be a sign of being a certain number of years out of college, but I don’t think getting older is the only thing at work here. It’s probably about getting wiser too. I have definitely noticed an increase in the healthier birthday party: For my roommate’s birthday a year or two ago, we all woke up at six in the morning to go on a group run. We spent the rest of the day antique shopping, walking around town (even more exercise), and ended the night with a glass of champagne each.

birthday

That’s right. Birthdays do not have to be about totally throwing your healthy lifestyles out the window. Here are some fabulous (and yes, still really fun!) ideas for a more adult birthday party. Enjoy!

Fitness Class Fun
Yoga, Zumba, Indoor Cycling, Pilates, ballet, kickboxing?! There are so many different exercise classes that are an extremely good time—why not bring your friends? Your birthday wish can (and should!) absolutely revolve around getting your best pals to join the fitness class you love. A lot of gyms and fitness centers have group rates or bring-a-friend prices, so definitely take advantage of them. What better way to start a new year in your life than with a little healthy sweat alongside your best friends?

Group Run Get-Together
Similarly, a nice group run is a wonderful way to set yourself up for success. Start your special day off right with a gorgeous run outdoors. Yes, gyms are great, and treadmills are good for your joints, but Vitamin D is important and it’s a lot more fun to run en masse in a park or along a trail. You can even theme the run. How fun would it be to run with birthday hats on or along a trail of landmarks from your childhood? Make it a little more interesting and your friends will definitely be in.


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Napa Valley’s Festival Del Sole Promotes Health by Highlighting Yoga and Wellness Programs

Called by the New York Times a “feast for the senses set among lush rolling foothills and breathtaking landscapes,” Napa Valley’s Festival del Sole is just that; ten sensational days of art, music, wine and wellness, nestled in gorgeous vineyards, under a Californian sun.

Beginning the second weekend in July, this unmatched span of days is sure to satisfy even the most stringent of pleasure seekers. From world-class artists and musicians, to celebrity chefs and winemakers, the Festival del Sole offers exquisite performances, culinary experiences, and much, much more. Set in intimate, unique settings such as candle lit wine cellars, or sweetly lingering over beautiful outdoor amphitheaters, events take on an ambience that is well above simple taste and beauty.

This year, attendees will be able to breathe in the colors of the Kristine Ashe Vineyards while soaking in the enjoyment of a yoga class, and compliment their healthy yoga afterglow with a sumptuous wine tasting experience. Nicole Abiouness, professional wine maker and yoga instructor, will be leading participants through inspirational yoga classes in celebration of finding balance in health, taste, and the decadent pleasures of life. Yoga and wine pairings include Abiouness’ Anusara yoga followed by Kristine Ashe’s rose of Cabernet Sauvignon and Abiouness’ rose of Pinot Noir.


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Joel Robuchon: From Haute to Healthy

Written by Alessandra Bulow. Brought to you by FoodandWine.com.

With little fat and lots of inventiveness, legendary French chef Joël Robuchon creates big flavors.

I count myself among the 45 million Americans currently on a diet, consulting weight-loss gurus at every turn. But no pep talk has ever been as compelling as my recent chat with Joël Robuchon, the world’s most Michelin-starred chef. At his L’Atelier in Manhattan, he spoke passionately about his commitment to healthy eating—touting his favorite ingredients (“One should eat cumin every day!”) and championing the scientists who advise him (“We the chefs have a responsibility to learn about the chemical makeup of food!”).
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Eat Like a Food Critic and Stay Slim

Written by Kristin Donnelly. Brought to you by FoodandWine.com.

Restaurant reviewer Joy Manning keeps the pounds off with a tell-all blog and a semi-vegetarian diet at home—the subject of her new cookbook, Almost Meatless.

Like the fictional Bridget Jones, Joy Manning writes down her weight almost every day. But instead of keeping the number in a diary, she shares it with the world on a blog, WhatIWeighToday.com. “It makes me feel accountable,” explains Manning, the restaurant critic at Philadelphia magazine. (At five feet four inches, she’s about 145 pounds.)

Still, the threat of public embarrassment isn’t Manning’s most effective tactic for controlling her weight: Instead, her strategy is to work out—a lot—and balance rich restaurant meals with light dishes at home that contain just a little meat.
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An Indulgent Chef’s Healthy Makeover

Written by John Currence. Brought to you by FoodandWine.com.

Mississippi chef John Currence was once infamous for his profligate eating habits. But now he makes low-fat versions of the Southern dishes he craves that are delicious enough to serve guests at a dinner party. Here, he tells how.

When pancreatitis hits, it’s like a phantom freight train, hard and with no warning. Trust me on this. I was a 44-year-old, pork-eating, whiskey-swilling chef in Oxford, Mississippi. I thought I was indestructible, but that belief came crashing down last summer, when I spent three weeks in a hospital bed, near death, as penance for my poor lifestyle.

As much as I knew about food, it turns out I didn’t know very much about nutrition. I was a grab-and-eat survivalist in the kitchens of my three restaurants, snatching anything that was close at hand: a big piece of roast chicken skin, a slice or two of bacon.

While I was still in the hospital, I also began imagining my first meal at home. I realized I could create a welcome-home menu from several dishes I’d lightened in my head. I’d even create a nectarine-and-plum crisp using whole-wheat flour in the subtly sweet streusel topping. When I finally got to have that dinner, with my wife, Bess, and several close friends, it couldn’t have been better or more satisfying. It wasn’t my grandmother’s fried chicken, but I know my grandmother would have been happy to eat it, anyway.
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