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Interviews



Miss Kansas is Anything but the Beauty Pageant Norm, and We Love It

“I try to be like my dad, he’s where I get my characteristics and strength,” said Miss Kansas Theresa Vail. She went on to call her father her role model, but she hopes other young women find inspiration in strong females. Based on how people are responding to her participation in the Miss America pageant, it’s almost guaranteed that many will be looking up to Theresa Vail.

Theresa Crown

Raised as a self-described “military brat,” Vail moved around a lot. She was bullied as a child, and nearly ended her own life at the age of ten. Seven years later she joined the Army. Now she is a sergeant and has recently signed on for six more years of service. Only the second representative of the military to compete in Miss America, Vail has broken quite a few barriers. She was America’s Choice in last weekend’s pageant, which earned her a place in the Top 15 and placed her just outside of the Top 5 overall.

It makes sense that her platform is “Empowering Women: Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers.” One of the biggest stereotypes Vail overcame was the thought that Miss America contestants shouldn’t have visible tattoos. Instead of hiding her large tattoos, Vail proudly displayed them.

“I told everyone before I left for Miss America that whether I win the crown or not, if I can change people’s opinion, then I’ve done my job,” she said. Many people’s opinions of Miss America and the women who compete for the title are based on how the contestants look. The focus on body image and self-confidence is something Vail has already encountered while she has been serving as Miss Kansas.
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Chipotle is Going GMO-Free Because “People Have the Right to Know What’s in Their Food”

Food costs at a restaurant are the most critical to the business’ bottom line. That’s why many restaurants cut corners and you’ll often find their kitchens piled high with nameless, low-quality ingredients to ensure they can mass produce meals at a value while still turning a profit. That’s not how it works at Chipotle though, where they say it’s “worth it to spend a little bit more.”

We spoke with Chris Arnold, PR director for Chipotle Mexican Grill, who told us Chipotle has some of the highest food costs in the restaurant industry. Even still, they are able to “invest more in quality food and still be very profitable.”

chipotle GMO

Chipotle just became the first American restaurant to work toward clearing its menu of all GMO foods, something that will equally drive food costs while improving quality. The company knows there will be cost implications, exactly how much at this time they can’t say, but it’s not uncharted territory for them. “Making decisions that result in higher food costs is nothing new to us,” said Arnold.

The brand was a supporter of Prop 37 last year, the California bill that aimed to require labeling of GMO ingredients on all foods sold in the U.S. It was then that the brand started to hold itself to the same standard it was asking of others. Arnold explained that their first move was purely disclosure, to let their customers know which foods had GMOs.

“We think people have the right to know what’s in their food,” said Arnold.
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Almost Anorexic: New Book Explores Relationship With Food in a Different Way

Almost AnorexicIn the new book Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem, Dr. Jennifer Thomas (Director of the Eating Disorders Clinical Research program at Massachusetts General) and best selling author Jenni Schaefer explore a new definition of anorexic behavior, the “almost effect.”

Almost Anorexic is one in a series of books about The Almost Effect, written by faculty members of Harvard Medical School and other experts. This book, and others in the series, suggest that behaviors often fall short of meeting the criteria of receiving a particular diagnosis, but still fall outside of normal behavior. These are the people who often slip through the cracks and whose behaviors often develop into a full-blown condition.

Recently, I spoke with the bubbly co-authors about their collaboration. “When Harvard Health Publications approached me about the book, they encouraged me to work with a writer,” Dr. Thomas explained. “The first person I considered was author Jenni Schaefer. She added a great layer to the book.” Not only has Jenni penned numerous books about eating disorders, she knows about the disease firsthand. 


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4 Reasons Your Diet is Doomed to Fail

Diets don’t work. It seems like such an obvious, undeniable statement. But if it is true, why does the diet industry continue to thrive? Well, because people always want to lose weight. So when one diet fails to achieve the desired results, it’s off to the next one. In some cases like with major commercial diet brands, they’ve created such a strong brand loyalty that people will often go back to their approach over and over again.

depressed diet

While pondering this simple but important question of why diets fail, I asked two health authors and advocates to chime in.

“In my experience, the key question isn’t ‘Why do diets fail?’, but instead ‘Why do experts keep telling us to eat in ways that we can’t keep up?’,” said Jonathan Bailor, author of The Smarter Science of Slim.

In simplest terms, it’s a matter of supply and demand. It’s just that in this case, the consumer continually goes back to a product that fails them. Could you imagine any other industry this logic would work for?

View Why Your Diet is Doomed Slideshow


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Giuliana Rancic Says Miss USA “Absolutely” Promotes a Healthy Body Image

On Sunday, June 16th, Fifty one women will compete for the big sparkly crown and the title of Miss USA at the 62nd Annual Miss USA Competition. Giuliana Rancic, E! News anchor and co-host of the pageant, says she’s ready to roll with the “anything-can-happen” moments and she’s excited for the world to meet all the fabulously fit contestants.

miss usa cropJoining veteran Giuliana (who is hosting for the third year in a row) will be first-timer, Nick Jonas. In addition to emcee duties he’ll also be performing with his band, the Jonas Brothers. Before they take off for final auditions and prep work for the live show in Las Vegas this weekend, Giuliana and Nick took some time this afternoon to talk about the women, the pageant and answer a few questions from the press. We wanted to know if the hosts felt the contest conveyed a positive body image. The answer was a resounding, “absolutely.”


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