Amy andersen matchmaker

Spending the Holidays in Your Skinny Jeans

Guest blogger, Jae Berman, a registered dietitian in San Francisco, has written for all your readers about keeping fit and in those skinny jeans for the holidays.

Right now is when our social calendar fills up with fun parties, great opportunities to celebrate with family and friends and the weather makes it so easy to get cozy at home. This is also the time of year when our routine gets off track and our healthy eating habits tend to go to the wayside.

It is very easy to just go crazy this month and tell ourselves we will get back “on the program” January 1st but consider how phenomenal it would feel if you could manage your nutrition, prevent holiday weight gain and start 2013 feeling fantastic.  23224

 Some tips from Jae to help you through the next few weeks…

#1 Exercise

Do not stop working out. Even if it means walking around the block or doing some extra stairs at your house/office/relative’s house. Try to get at least 30 minutes of a workout most days of the week. Walking is always great or consider using DVD at home or in a hotel room, a workout app on your phone or go to a class or gym where you can power out an hour sweat session. Bring your relatives with you! Not only will you burn calories but exercise if a great stress reliever as well as important for your immune system and digestion.

#2 Eat every 3-4 hours

This is key! No matter the schedule or how many parties you have in a day still eat within an hour of waking and every 3-4 hours thereafter. Ideally there would be protein and carbohydrate present so you can give your body everything it needs and you will feel satiated. The ideal scenario is you never walk into a party starving. If you save your calories for the day and start your evening hungry, you are destined to overeat! How to prevent this? I strongly suggest eating right before a party. Say grab a mini-meal at 4 or 5pm before a 6.30pm event. It works! Set yourself up for success and eat every 3-4 hours to prevent getting into a sticky situation

#3 Watch your alcohol consumption

If you drink too much this month you are going to gain weight. It is that simple. Set yourself either a number of drinks per week or a number of drinks per event so you don’t over do it. Drink water in between cocktails to keep yourself hydrated. Lastly, avoid the sweet stuff. Stick to simple cocktails over ice or mixed with soda water or go for wine or beer rather than drinks filled with juice, sugar or cream. Spiked egg nog is so yummy but your hips and butt don’t agree!

#4  Limit your sweets

If you eat every sweet that is presented to you this month you will pack on the pounds. Do you really need every cookie or every piece of chocolate? Just say no sometimes! When you really want a sweet – go for it! But often we eat just to eat or because we feel we should or because someone made homemade cookies or….there are so many excuses! Also, when you have that sweet tooth you may just be hungry! Check in on how long it has been since you last ate and consider getting a snack with protein and carbohydrate and then see if you still need that sugar fix. martinis-636

While this may sound a bit strict, I am confident if you are a bit more mindful in your decisions this time of year you will find even more to celebrate. Enjoy the holidays! Cheers to a wonderful year ahead!!!

For more information about Jae, please go to: www.jaebermannutrition.com

Ask Linx Anything!

Dear faithful readers,

Although I don’t know most of you personally,  I am thankful that you are reading the blog and hopefully enjoying the random things I post here from Linx HQ. I’d like to get to know all of you better and thus encourage you to comment on any of the entries. Don’t be shy!  And, yes, you can do this anonymously.  I’m going to start a new “ask anything” part of the Linx website where you can submit dating and relationship questions to my inbox and I will answer on the blog, keeping your identity totally and completely anonymous.  So go for it!

Q: ” Amy when is it appropriate to sleep with the guy I am really into?”

A: Although it can be very tempting with hormones firing in all directions, resist that temptation until you are exclusive! If you are serious about love and getting to the goal of marriage in the near future, absolutely wait until you are in an exclusive relationship. 

Our featured song is Enrique Iglesias Tonight I’m Lovin’ You. 

Women make it too easy for guys right and left by having sex  without any sort of commitment. I was horrified, when I was dating in San Francisco, at how casual guys were about sex. “Stay over tonight,” he would say. “Huh?” was my response followed by a “not ’til we are exclusive.”

Guess what? The serious good guys will RESPECT your wishes, beg, and drool like hungry pups waiting for their dinner and the WRONG ones will drive you home that night (thus rejected) saying “ciao bella.”  After he drops you off at home (or hails you a cab or worse yet, you get yourself a cab) chances are he will never call or ask you out again.  Let’s face it, in many ways, you did reject his sexual advance. On the other hand, sister, you are putting your values and needs first, not his testosterone.  

For him, there are so many other girls willing to go downtown and do the horizontal mambo that you can focus on finding the right guy. 

Girls Pack Your Bags for Sun Valley!

This past weekend my husband and I headed to Central Idaho for a nice long weekend of horseback riding, sunbathing and …..

After a few days of r&r in the incredibly scenic and magnificent weather of Sun Valley, my natural matchmaking instincts surfaced and I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of really good looking older men. (Think Ralph Lauren look alikes- tan skin, active, healthy, avid skiers, and silver hair). If I were a single woman in my 30, 40, or 50’s…I would buy a one way ticket to Sun Valley, Idaho! It is loaded with affluent, good looking, sporty men who are ALL SINGLE and searching. Real cowboys! Men on horses! Men wearing wranglers!

Curious about the local dating scene, I began chatting it up with a few locals at the Pioneer saloon and one eligible gentleman shared that women “should not commit to any man till they are last least 39 1/2 years because men are by nature  still trying to find themselves. Men don’t know their shit till after 40. Men in their 30s are trying to find themselves professionally. Ladies are different.”

A lot of the men I encountered have been married 1-3 times before and choose Sun Valley to be one with nature, enjoy a very down to earth group of locals, and the active lifestyle.

If you visit during the Allen & Co week, you will rub elbows with a lot of movers and shakers if you are lucky enough. A lot of the locals head out for that week to get outta dodge away from the hustle and bustle.

Our featured song for this entry is Tim McGraw and Faith Hill It’s Your Love 

So, grab your best girlfriend and head to Sun Valley for a long weekend. I’d play it real low key as these guys are no dummies. They can spot a woman who is after them for the wrong reasons or simply someone who is too eager. I chatted with my new Sun Valley buddies about this! Stay in town, go horseback riding, eat at the Pioneer, listen to live music, admire the thriving art scene, check out the Ketchum Grill, grab coffee at Java for low-key or Tully’s for more of a scene…..mingle and meet some really great locals who like you are searching for that perfect match.

Sun Valley, Idaho – The best baked potatoes money can buy! Good shopping! Limitless outdoor activities! (skiing, horseback riding, cycling, golfing)  Gorgeous mountains! The downside is a long drive from Boise airport to Sun Valley. The upside is countless new connections to really down-to-earth, good people…and possibly finding love!

Date Night at Home

Summertime is the perfect season for staying in and doing date night at home. Gathering the freshest ingredients, prettiest backyard flowers, using Tuscan party string lights suspended throughout trees and bushes, lighting tons of votives, and opening a gorgeous bottle of champagne creates magic for any couple.

Our featured song is Kool and the Gang Summer Madness. 

Last night, we wanted to stay in and chill at home. Husband cooked a delightful meal of heirloom tomatoes with burrata, chilled spinach fettucine with roasted chicken and sesames, and a vanilla scented whipped creme and fresh berries for dessert. 

Here are simple ways to add sparkle to your backyard:

Restoration Hardware “Party Globe Light String” (I have had ours in the backyard for a few years now. Have a handyman come out to string multiple rows together, using duck tape along the way and nailing on your fence if you have a fence.) Another festive idea is Restoration Hardware’s “Starry String Lights” for a tree.

Wine bottle candelabra- Amazon has a few varieties. Keep a special bottle your honey and you shared from an anniversary and use that bottle for home entertaining. All you need is the candelabra and some tall candlesticks.  Another cool idea is to get a larger wine bottle like a magnum w the candelabra, smaller bottle with candles next to it, and a third bottle as a vase. Group all three next to one another.

Fresh garden flowers and flower petals on your dinner table. Romance is created.

The best bubbly you can afford. Champagne is so fun to drink. Make French 75’s if you really want to add a special twist you your evening. I prefer high quality bourbon French 75’s over gin. He will love it! Trust me. Dip the champagne flute rims in a little colored sugar for an extra sweet touch.

How to Charm Him!

A short and sweet little post about charming a guy with the simplicity of wearing a charm bracelet. When my sister and I were very little, our mom started a wonderful tradition with us where we would add fun charms to our sterling silver bracelet after memorable family vacations or nostalgic occasions (graduation, getting your drivers license, getting a family puppy, etc). At this point, my bracelet is so loaded with charms (favorites include: a little bird cage from my grandma on my father’s side, a poodle, a high heel, and a best friend heart split in two.) 

I don’t always wear my bracelet but when I do, I notice it is a fabulous way to share a story about yourself in such a genuine and authentic way. Not only does it  make a loud jingle jangle sound as you bounce down the street but once on your date, inevitably he will ask what that is around your wrist and let the conversation  start!   You know he will want to know more and more! It’s just such a sassy flirting mechanism that every IT girl should try!

I think it is a lot more fun to buy a quality empty bracelet and slowly start collecting charms through the decades versus buying one that is already set with charms which might not have any particular meaning to you. It can become a bit of a scavenger hunt while on holiday as you search for the cutest, shiniest, little keepsake.  

James Avery Craftsman out of Texas has quite the collection of very durable and well made sterling bracelets and the sweetest little charms ever.  I have had my James Avery bracelet (including many of their charms) for goodness knows a very long time! 

Zee Creep Who Knows A Little Too Much

We’ve all been there, I’m pretty sure of it. On a first date where that guy or that girl aka “zee creep who knows a little too much” has done their due diligence on you thanks to the world wide web, or simply put zee internet.

I‘ll admit, when I was out there dating, it was so the temping to pull up what seemed for some of these guys to be archive, after archive, of pure fabulous deliciousness DATA. I wasn’t one of those who mentioned these things on my dates, ok maybe once or twice, but more “that girl” who knew a fair amount about him and sort of nodded my head as she shared about growing up in the south, attending so and so school, and getting this first job at fill in the blank– simply cause I already knew. Geez! So I learned over the years that maybe that isn’t such a great thing to do after all and take pleasure in knowing less.

I tell my clients to not Google one another and definitely don’t FB your dates. I could write countless blog posts about it but a little mystery when dating is a really good thing and important. Case in point, why we don’t give last names anymore and try to keep much of the actual introduction totally private, under the mantra of less is more. 

Too much information exists for people to read about who they are going out with. Some people happen to be really good about not having an “identity” on the internet and others can’t help it. Either the nature of their job, tags in photo sharing sights, the list goes on. Try not Googling your date ahead of time and keeping the experience to be as bling date as it can get. Maybe you will feel more nerves walking into the date with less information. On the other hand, maybe it’s best that you don’t know everything out there, including the photos of his or her ex smothered all over FB.

Lingering Doubts Before Getting Engaged?

Have you been out of the dating scene for a long time because you’ve been focusing on personal and professional growth and suddenly you think you’ve found “the one” but are still feeling hesitant to take the plunge – i.e. marriage?

Perhaps you are feeling like you need that last bit of “reassurance” – just to “make sure” he/she is “the one.”

So, what do you do?

Do you follow your “gut feeling” and take the next big step toward full commitment? Do you continue to “date around?” Do you….phone a friend?

Well, I am seeing time and time again for people who haven’t really dated a ton (compared to high volume daters), that once they get matched, they couple up very quickly because everything is perfectly aligned – the physical attraction is on point, values and goals are closely correlated, sparks are firing and the timing is right. 

As things are moving rapidly and the feelings are amazing and it quickly becomes “serious,” they often need that “last gut check” to make sure the timing really is right for marriage. I’ve had many clients in this position contact me for an additional introduction to a new person, in a very casual setting, i.e. no dinner date (less guilt) and more like a coffee ‘conversation’ as a final “date” to give them that nudge to either move forward or take a step back with the person about whom they are really serious.

I am a firm believer in following your gut feelings and recognizing that when you’ve got a great thing going, there may not be flashing signs or lightning bolts but if you are in a happy relationship, muster up that courage and take the next step!

However, when my clients come to me in this situation, I am more than happy to give them that little “nudge” even if it means setting them up on one last casual date to seal the deal because it does take a lot of courage to take a step back, re-evaluate and seek a bit of “help” before making such a big decision. And because the choice to get married is so individual – I find that this is a wonderful way to step out of that microcosm for a moment and to take a look at their current relationship from a different perspective before ultimately making a decision.

The bigger picture here – simply do what feels right. Sometimes we humans unconsciously make things more difficult than they need to be. If you find yourself in a wonderful, exclusive relationship and marriage feels right – take the plunge! If you’re feeling a bit nervous or uncertain about it – address the issues and keep moving forward. Either way, choose love and you can’t go wrong 😉

Have you found yourself in a similar situation? If so, how did you overcome the feeling of needing that little “nudge” to get you over the hump? Do share!

My 48 Hour Juice Cleanse

I decided to do an easy 2 day juice cleanse to put some seriously good nutrients into my system and to help give me a nice boost of energy, a glow to my skin, and a more balanced and healthy feel. For the last 6 years I have started each January 1st with a 30 day “Amy cleanse” which has become my own personal ritual to kick off the New Year, and I love it! Given that we are approaching mid March and the weather is icky, I felt I wanted to just feel that my insides were clean and clear of whatever toxins that tend to pile up in our bodies from everyday living. This past January I did a 3-day juice cleanse in conjunction with my standard 30 day cleanse and enjoyed the results very much.  Spontaneously, I felt why not do a 48 hour cleanse, hence this blog.

Day One – this was pretty easy. I started the day by picking up a nicely packaged box of 12 juices in Woodside that were packed on ice – very professional. My first juice was a mint and grapefruit – definitely refreshing and yummy. The second was sweet green (romaine, chard, spinach, cucumber, celery, apple, parsley, and lemon). It too was very good. At around 1:00pm I enjoyed the third juice which was “red greens” (cucumber, celery, beet, carrot, romaine, spinach, rainbow chard, collards, parsley, lemon, and ginger). I loved the little kick at the end of it with the nice ginger to heat it up on the palate. I started to get hungry and was craving “normal” foods around 3:00pm and felt myself not wanting the next one, to be perfectly honest. #4 was spicy citrus which truthfully is my least favorite.  I think for me it feels as if it is the least nutrient-rich and not as satisfying.  It is a blend of water, citrus, ginger, cayenne, and stevia. The cayenne definitely is hot and this one for whatever reason isn’t my fav. Although I had enjoyed 4 so far, I did feel I needed some actual protein so in conjunction to #5, I had a piece of plain grilled chicken with some herbs for taste on it for dinner. Since I’ve been working out a fair amount recently, my body was telling me it needed something more, since my metabolism is up. Plus I do find that when I juice, I sort of miss chewing something. Funny right? You don’t realize these things till you stop chewing and when you just drink, it is a sort of a weird sensation with no chewing. Juice #5 was daily green. This is a combination of kale, romaine, celery, spinach, cucumber, parsley, dandelion, lemon, and ginger. I am not a huge kale fan. Finally, I ended my day with Liv Juices almond milk blend which is filtered water, almonds, dates, vanilla, and Himalayan salt. I love this – it tastes sweet and like a liquid dessert! I think it would be even tastier with some cinnamon blended in there too!

Day Two: I woke up feeling refreshed and balanced. Energy level is up and my body feels good. Today is a repeat of day one. The exact same juices.  It is the afternoon and I almost feel hyper and harmonious. I’ve already enjoyed three so far. I know today will be great too and since I am going to be doing a tough workout, I am going to eat the protein too for dinner. Note, I am a coffee drinker and I have not abstained from coffee. I really need it. I know, I know. If I were uber intense and doing a 7 day shock the system, I wouldn’t do coffee but, for me, it is absolutely my morning ritual and I love the effects of it. I wake up! Trust me, my clients wouldn’t want to know me without coffee and my husband can attest to this! After my third juice today, I was craving some almonds, so grabbed a handful to snack on.  Three more to go. Super easy and it feels great!

A quick update. It’s 5:00pm on the second day and I just finished the spicy citrus which today I liked better. I definitely feel good right now, a little hungry to be honest (might have a bite of grilled chicken in 45 before my dance class) and then will finish the day with 2 more. This is easy! I look forward to more juicing days and also enjoying normal foods too!