Rad Over Fifty! Meet a 72-year old snowboarding instructor.

Being “over the hill” is a good thing! Just ask 72-year-old snowboarder Edith “Chickie” Rosenberg. Chickie, who is from West Orange N.J. (but spends winters in Killington, Vermont) first learned to snowboard at age 50. Since then, she has become the most popular instructor at Killington ski resort and has written two books on snowboarding. We’re inspired! Which, according to Chickie is exactly what keeps her teaching snowboarding each season. “We don’t do it for the money,” says Chickie. “You really change people. I can’t tell you how many times I finish a lesson, and someone, usually a woman, says, ‘I never in my life dreamed I could do this. I can’t thank you enough.’” Here we chat with Chickie about what motivated her to pick up snowboarding after fifty and the difference between men and women on the mountain.

You had been skiing for over two decades, then one winter, at age 50, you strapped into a snowboard for the first time. What prompted that?
We were in Park City and I was taking a skiing lesson. I wanted to try a new move and the instructor said, “You’ve gotta just go for it.” So, I just went for it. I hurt my knee. I had just read an article that said in skiing, the big injuries are to the legs, especially the ACL and in snowboarding, the big injury is broken wrists. I thought, ‘maybe I ought to try snowboarding. I’d rather break a wrist than tear an ACL.’ Bones heal, tendons don’t. When we were back in Killington, I took some snowboard lessons.

How were you the first time?
Terrible but I liked it. That summer, I saw the Burton snowboard model I had learned on, was on sale. I was going to turn 50 and thought why don’t I buy it for myself, as a birthday present? I bought it, brought it home, and put it in the living room. All summer I stood on the board, imagining I was on the mountain, going forward, going back.

So skiing doesn’t prepare you for snowboarding?
The only advantage is knowing how to dress for cold.

You were ready to hit the ground boarding, the next winter?
I got back to Killington the next winter, and was still on staff teaching skiing. Every time I finished teaching a lesson, I would change, put on snowboard boots, and practice that. Soon, I asked the head of our ski school, “Could I transfer to the snowboard department?” It was a joke, because we didn’t have a snowboard department–just four guys knew how to snowboard.

You were ahead of the curve! Not only did you start snowboarding at a later age, but you were also so early on in the movement.
That was fun because I would go up on the mountain and there were no other snowboarders. There would maybe be a 12-year-old little boy and he’d say, “wanna take a run with me?”

You weren’t frustrated? You had been skiing longer than kids like that had been alive–now you were totally starting over.
I hadn’t been on a green trail in years. I felt like I rediscovered the mountain.

But some people who switch from skiing to snowboarding do find it frustrating. They don’t see that side of it; they feel like they’ve regressed. What would you say to them?
The only people who can snowboard are stubborn. They’re gonna do it if it’s the last thing they do. If you want an easy learn, skiing is better. The snowboarders all have strong personalities because it’s not a quick, easy learn. They have tenacity. But the learning curve becomes more forgiving after that.

What do you mean?
Once it clicks, it clicks. Every time you go out you just get better and better. It’s very hard for skiers to get beyond intermediate. For snowboarders, the minute it catches it’s incredible.

You’ve been vocal in saying that snowboarding is specifically conducive for women to pick up. Why is that?
Snowboarding is about balance. It’s not specifically about speed. And remember in high school how the girls danced and the guys didn’t?

A lot of the women I teach are dancers; they do ballroom or ballet. They say, ‘It’s just like dancing, that’s all.” Your feet are either going forward or back, forward or back. It’s also a more social sport. Snowboarders tend to cluster.

How come you chose to write two separate books Snowboarding for Women and Snowboarding for Men instead of putting this all in one?
When they come to the mountain, a lot of women don’t want to take a lesson with a guy. So I wound up taking women for private lessons. I’ve come to specialize in frightened women.

So you’re just calling it like it is. No reason to lump them together when they’re different.
Women don’t like to go fast, period. They don’t like the cold. I say, ‘you don’t have to go fast. Who told you that? If your boyfriend wants to go fast, tell him you’ll meet him at the bottom for lunch. What do you care?’ In my girl book, I spent 35 pages dealing with how to dress. In the guy book, I think I spent three pages.

That’s honest!
My primary goal is to make these women feel comfortable, to allow them to have a really nice time on the snowboard. If you can do that, you’ve done a wonderful thing.

Learn more about Chickie at her website, www.snowboardingforwomen.com.

Images courtesy of Chickie Rosenberg.

{Fashion Flash}

Fashion Flash time! This week, it’s hosted by glam gals Deborah Boland and JoJami Tyler of Fabulous After 40a blog with simple tips for updating your style! Learn how to find your best look and enjoy all the other links from our fab Fashion Flash friends.

{2011 FOF Awards} The envelope, please…

The Academy Awards may have been given out on Sunday… but, today, we present you with the 2011 FOF Awards. As part of this FabOverFifty annual tradition, thousands of you tell us your favorite things from the past year, from beauty to fashion to technology. Then we narrow the results to three finalists in each category and have a run off! At long last, the big winners:


FOFs are loco for coco…Coco Chanel that is. Chanel No. 5, voted the No. 1 fragrance by FOFs for the second year in a row, was launched by Coco Chanel in 1924. A bottle of this ubiquitous, musky-jasmine fragrance is sold every thirty seconds, generating sales of $100 million a year. Clearly, Coco has FOFs to thank.
(Runners up: Amazing Grace by Philosophy, Beautiful by Estee Lauder, Angel by Thierry Mugler)


See ya later, washcloths! This electric, facial-cleansing brush has tickled the fancy (and faces) of FOFs for it’s ability to deep clean our pores. This past year, it won the FOF vote for best beauty product discovery.“I thought I had good skin until someone convinced me to buy the Clarisonic Classic. It went from good to amazing in days,” says Kari Soljyntes of beauty blog, Faboverforty.com. “It’s like a Sonicare toothbrush for your face. (It’s made by the same inventor!). It gets all the day’s dirt and grime off and lightly exfoliates. When you use it, your other skincare products work so much better because they penetrate the skin deeper. It’s an investment for my skin!”
(Runners up: Olay Regenerist, Bare Minerals Products, Brazilian Peel)


iPad, youPad, we allPad. FOFs are hooked on their iPads and using them for both business and play. “I hardly use my computer now,” says FOF Patty Smith. “I can do everything on [my iPad]–read magazines, books, check email, bank, Facebook, shop. I am never without it!” Another FOF, Corinne Garrett, a university professor and painter, uses it for business. “It beautifully showcases my artwork for clients, manages my calendars and holds all sorts of media,” she says.
(Runners up: iPhone, Kindle Fire, Nook)


Aw, shucks you shouldn’t have! But, you did…and we’re thrilled! Thanks for voting us #1, FOFs.

(Runners up: Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest)


Beating out Macy’s, Coldwater Creek and Kohl’s, FOFs chose Nordstrom as their favorite place to shop for clothing and accessories. “I love Nordstrom for splurges,” says FOF Pat Pelland. Another FOF, Mary Robins, found her mother-of-the-bride dress there. “I had great luck at Nordstrom. I bought it there, then compulsively went to every bridal store trying to beat what I purchased and couldn’t. Was delighted with the service and in-house alterations.” Others tout the lingerie department. “The fitters usually have a great deal of experience and they have an excellent return policy as well,” says FOF Kelly Yamauchi.
(Runners up: Macy’s, Kohl’s, Coldwater Creek)


“Have you ever read a book and then gotten sad when you realized you were close to finishing it? asks FOF Deborah Martin. “Have you ever just fallen in love with characters and wanted to know what else was going to happen to them after the book ended? This is one of those books.” Deborah is not alone–The Help captured the hearts of millions of women, spending more than 100 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller list and selling over five million copies in 35 countries.
(Runners up: The Bible, Bossypants by Tina Fey, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)


Who said a movie can’t be as good as the book? Clearly not FOFs! “I loved both the movie and the book. We’ve come along way,” says FOF Annette Brinkerhoff.
(Runners up: Bridesmaids, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Midnight in Paris)


Beating out French macarons, greek yogurt and gluten-free foods–PopChips are the official FOFoodie favorite of 2011. These all-natural snacks, made from popped “kernels” of potatoes, clock in at just 120 calories and 4 grams of fat per bag. “Yum!” says FOF Mary Beth Schriver. “All-natural sweet potato Pop Chips–a great snack–and good for you!”
(Runners up: Greek Yogurt, French Macarons, Gluten-Free Foods)


This one was close! Vitamins beat out massage (just by a hair) for the product or service that most improved your health in 2011. “None of us get 100 percent of everything that we absolutely need,” says Dr. Tanya Edwards, a Family Physician who consults at the Cleveland Clinic Center. Dr. Edwards recommends that all FOFs take at the very least–a multi-vitamin. “Our standard American diet is grossly lacking in so many things.” (Read about other vitamins Dr. Edwards recommends for FOFs, here.)
(Runners up: Massage, Yoga, Weight Watchers)

{Best of 2011} Our favorites from this year, revealed.

Drum roll, please… We’ve compiled a list of our 15 favorite beauty products and gadgets, fashion accessories, books and more that we’ve featured on FabOverFifty in 2011. The best part? You can win them all. Find out more here.


1. PaloVia at-home laser, $499: PaloVia, how we love thee. Let us count the ways. First, you replicate expensive in-office laser treatments so now we can do them in the comfort of our homes (for a much lower cost). Second, you’ve been proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. And third, our members said you really do work(!)–read all their rave reviews, here.


2. The Baking with Dorie app, $7.99: Our favorite FOF cookbook author now has her own app. Based on the idea that we all have different cooking styles, the app has four different ways to view each recipe. Have cookbooks gone the way of the dodo? If this app is any indication–it’s certainly probable.


3. A hand-painted scarf from Jill Kirsh, starting at $150. We ran a giveaway with Jill’s gorgeous scarves in October, and it turned out to be one of our most popular fashion contests to date. These scarves have it all–they’re one-of-a-kind and hand-painted in your most flattering colors according to Jill’s color matching system.


4. The Makeup Wakeup: Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age, $15.64: Two of our favorite FOF makeup experts, Lois Joy Johnson and Sandy Linter, have teamed up to create a beauty book for FOFs. It’s chock full of product recommendations, step-by-step tutorials and cosmetic solutions (surgical and non-surgical), just for us!


5. “Graham” leather stud bracelet from Gorjana, $55: Over 200 of you raced to enter our giveaway last month for these gorgeous leather wrap bracelets from Gorjana–reminiscent of the iconic Hermes double-strap watch, but at a price point slight less than $2,700. At just $55, we couldn’t believe they’re made from genuine leather and 18K gold-plated accents. Oh, and they come in over 30 colors. We’d give our right arm for this, and apparently you all agree.


6. Victoria McGill Eye Defining Contour Strips, $9.99 for 16 strips: One of our most popular beauty giveaways yet–nearly 500 FOFs entered to win this product that promises a non-surgical solution to droopy eyelids. Anything to avoid going under the knife, right?


7. BeautySleep drink, $21.90 for 6 bottles: A drink that helps you get more shut-eye? Sounded like a bunch of baloney to us, too. But, your raving reviews made us BeautySleep believers. How could we have been sleeping on this one until just now?


8. Asprinpods, $28 for 10: A bestseller this year in the FabOverFifty shop, this genius keychain could save your life. Find out more.


9. FabGown by Goodnighties, $54.95: Another FabOverFifty shop bestseller, this night gown is made with the same material that pro athletes wear–so it keeps you cool, eases pain, improves sleep and looks great. “Thank you FOF for… such a great product!” wrote an FOF who bought one and reviewed it. “I love this fabric – it’s like magic and I’ve never slept better!” Read more 5-star reviews.


10. Alpine Rose 3-Step System by Dermelect, $193: We run weekly beauty product tests on our site but one of our most favorable responses yet, was to this product trio by Dermelect made with cell extracts from the resilient Alpine Rose. “After 10 days using this, I stopped wearing my foundation,” wrote one FOF in her review.


11. Wheat Belly book, $15.96: You couldn’t stop buzzing about an interview with Dr. William Davis we published in November. His groundbreaking new book suggests eliminating wheat from your diet to lose weight. But, does it actually work? “I have downloaded his book.. and read it. I have lost 14 lbs and I can boast, I am not hungry,” commented one FOF on the story. “Dr. Davis gives great advice and I can attest to the diet actually working. Bravo, easiest diet I have ever been on.”


12. Locket from Stella Saves the Day, starting at $88: Over 200 FOFs entered a giveaway last month for a custom, embroidered locket from the Etsy shop Stella Saves the Day. “Love the retro look of the locket, but with a a new spin,” wrote FOF FabulousMimi. We couldn’t have said it better, ourselves.


13. Tarte ReCreate anti-aging foundation with Wrinkle Rewind technology, $37. FOF Beauty Guru Tracy Brown, of the BlingingBeauty blog says she splurges on this foundation from Tarte. “As we age, our skin has so many more needs. Look for foundations that contain anti-aging properties such as this one.” If there’s such a thing as an FOFoundation–this is it.


14. Brazillian Peel, $78: Remember the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha gets an impulse peel, her doctor leaves it on too long, and she ends up looking like a boiled lobster? This is virtually impossible with Brazillian Peel, a chemical treatment that actually turns itself off. Then, it “brightens, tightens, and smooths your skin” Revolutionary! (Plus, FOF Founder Geri Brin is a huge fan.)


15. Bras by Le Mystère, starting at $36.99: The line for Le Mystère bra fittings wrapped around the room at the FOF Beauty Bash this year. No surprise here–these bras are comfortable and gorgeous. “It gives extra support under fitted clothes and light fabrics without feeling like you’re wearing a mattress,” says Today Show style expert and FOF Charla Krupp about the bras.


from →  

{Beauty Bash} The Menopause Makeover

Staness Jonekos tells you how to get your life–and your body–back after menopause.

When FOF Staness Jonekos was 47 years old, she got engaged for the first time to the love of her life. That same year, she “slammed into” menopause, gaining 30 pounds, suffering hot flashes every fifteen minutes, losing her libido, and becoming, in her own words, “a raging witch.”

In her bestselling book, The Menopause Makeover (2010), she explains how she got back on track, so that today, at 52 she says, “I’m healthier that I was in my 20s!”

At the Faboverfifty Beauty Bash, this October in NYC, Staness shared her top-10 menopause makeover strategies, live on the main stage. Watch the video, here, or check out Staness’s cheat sheet for starting your own menopause makeover.

Staness’s cheat sheet:

1. First, get your menopausal symptoms–hot flashes, weight gain, irritability–under control. Start with lifestyle changes – diet and exercise. If that’s not enough, consider standardized black cohosh (work with your doctor to make sure you get the right kind) and acupuncture, which has just been proven to help women with hot flashes. If that’s not enough, there are FDA-approved hormonal products. If you’re not a candidate for hormone therapy, you may be helped by the right anti-depressants. Work closely with your doctor to find the right solution for your symptoms.

2. Hormone therapy. The only natural hormones are the ones being made by our body. If you see the word “natural” on a product, that’s jut a marketing term. Even if it comes from a plant, it has been synthesized.

3. Bio-identical vs. non-bio-identical. We all want something natural, and “bio-identical” sounds nice, but the most important thing is finding the product the works for you. I actually didn’t do well on bio-identicals and ended up needing non-bio-identicals. When it comes to hormones, we’re all different.

4.  Diet. Once you turn 50, your metabolism slows down and you lose muscle. This food pyramid will change your life. Eat it every 3-4 hours and your metabolism will kick off. Eating a combination of low-to-medium glycemic carbs with lean proteins makes all the difference. Have some low fat cottage cheese and some blueberries. Or egg whites and vegetables.  Eat oatmeal in the morning mixed with some protein powder. If you eat the oatmeal alone, you’ll gain weight. The key is combining carbs with protein.

5. Fitness. We all know we have to work out. I work out 30 minutes a day—I’m not a nut about it. Most important, honor your body. If you have bad ankles and can’t do high-impact, then bike or swim. Don’t make your goal a marathon if your body can’t handle that.

6. Beauty. When we’re young, the cells of our skin rejuvenate every 28 days, but as we age, it slows down, leaving little fine lines and uneven skin texture. My big tip: Exfoliate 1 or 2 times a week, depending on the sensitivity of your skin. That changed my life.

7. Emotional roller coaster. If you’re really cranky and feeling out of control, talk to your doctor.  If it’s hormone related, you can get it managed.  If it’s emotional or you’re in a bad relationship or you have stresses, you have to address those issues or it won’t get better.

8.  Relationships and sex. After you turn fifty, your vagina dries up if you’re not on hormone therapy. It’s just a fact. Astroglide, is a non-hormonal alternative. For women who have it really bad, there’s a new product called Vagifem, an estradiol tablet. You put it in your vagina, and lubrication and elasticity come back.

9. Spirituality. This is a great time for reinvention and knowing who you are. You’ve been taking care of your husband and kids for a long time—now’s the time to say “who am I? What do I want in life?”

10. Happiness. Accept that you’re getting older and going through changes. Feel gratitude that you’re healthy, because if you are healthy now, your odds of reaching your 80s are 75%.  That’s a lot to be grateful for.

{Charity} Have you been Pinkwashed?

When it comes to “shopping for a cure,” the leading philanthropy watchdog group says: “Buyer Beware!”

October is breast cancer month, and that means it time for . . . a tsunami of pink products. We’ve seen knee socks and nail jewels, lipstick and Milano cookies, fried chicken and even temporary tattoos, all claiming to “support the fight against breast cancer.”

But what does that really mean? How are these products helping to stop breast cancer? And, if millions of products are selling every year, why can’t a doctor at one of the nation’s leading research facilities, The Cleveland Clinic, find enough money to fund trials for a promising new breast cancer vaccine?

We spoke to Laurie Styron an analyst at The American Institute of Philanthropy, a national charity watchdog group that rates charities from A to F in order to help consumers make the best decisions about where to send their money.

Laurie says there are several troubling aspects to this “pink product” craze.

“There’s no way to find out exactly how much a company is giving to the charity,” she says.  “They don’t have to tell the consumer and they can be very vague, as in ‘a portion of the proceeds go to fighting breast cancer.’” There’s no definition of what “proceeds” means. “So, for example, if Walmart is advertising a $20 pink water bottle made by ABC company, and saying that ABC company is giving 10 percent of the proceeds to charity, most people assume that means 10 percent of $20.”  But, says, Laurie, that’s rarely the case. “Proceeds” likely refers to the manufacturer’s price, which the consumer has no way of knowing. And it may be referring to “net profit” rather than revenue.

So, ABC company can end up giving a tiny percentage. Or even worse, they can give zero percent, and the entire promotion can slip by under the guide of “breast cancer awareness”–  another issue that drives Laurie crazy. “A lot of money is wasted each year on expensive ‘awareness’ campaigns that are no longer necessary for a cause that people are so broadly aware of, like breast cancer. I will donate $50 to any charity that can find me 10 people who aren’t ‘aware’ of breast cancer.”

Also, Laurie points out, the donation is often capped. So a company might say, “$30,000 of the profits of this pink item go to charity. But what if they sell 8 million dollars worth?”

So what’s an FOF to do, if, in Laurie’s words “your deep motivation is to channel as much money as you possibly can to researching and finding a cure?”

Find a breast cancer charity that spends a high percentage of its expenses on funding research and give to them directly. “There is one organization called Breast Cancer Research Foundation that gets our highest rating–an A+. They spend only $5 to raise $100 that goes directly to the cause.”

If you’re tempted to buy a product with an adorable pink ribbon, think for a moment about what percentage of your money is actually going to charity after you account for the wholesale price, the marketing costs, the advertising, etc. “You may want to just donate $20 to Susan B. Komen rather an buying a $20 mug for which only 20 cents on the dollar ends up going to research a cure,” says Laurie.

{Weekly Roundup}

Let go of anything holding you back last week and start fresh. But first, check out these recent posts from around the web:

7 ways to wear flats

Itty bitty necklaces and hearts

Love these bookends

Hot fudge bourbon milkshake!

An 80s style cell phone case….yeah, they went there…

Vintage summer snapshots

Stiletto ice skates?

Looking forward to fall and the many ways to wear vintage scarves

Blueprint inspired dinner textiles

We would love to take shelter from Hurricane Irene in one of these lovely living rooms.

Slim pants have met their match

Paris in August

Until Monday, FOFs.

P.S. – THIS WEEK ONLY! 30% off your ticket to Beauty Bash when you enter code BB30!

img via flickr

Energy and weight loss secrets from Biggest Loser contestant Jackie Evans

When FOF Jackie Evans was eliminated from Season 5 of the Biggest Loser, she was 90 pounds lighter and had more energy than she’d ever had her entire life. Now, four years have passed, and Jackie no longer has a crew of pro trainers and nutritionists to keep her motivated, yet she has kept her weight down and energy up. How does she keep charged? Here, FOF chats with Jackie Evans about her post-Biggest Loser weight loss and energy secrets.

How did you get involved with “Biggest Loser?”
I had watched Biggest Loser every season. I’d sit with a bowl of popcorn with a stick of butter on it and say, ‘why can’t I lose weight?’ I wished I could be on the show but thought they wouldn’t let anyone my age compete.. They were having an open casting in Chicago and I encouraged my son Dan to go. He tried out and made the show, but the producers said, ‘we have a twist, this season duos will compete, is anyone else in your family overweight?’ And he said, ‘yes, my mom.’ They interviewed me, then they interviewed us together and low and behold we made the show.

Before you competed on The Biggest Loser what was your energy like?
I had no energy. I’d come home from work and I was exhausted. I had chronic fatigue. I remember my first day on the Biggest Loser, they wanted us to run on the treadmill. I couldn’t even run twelve seconds. By the end, I could run 45-minutes straight non stop. This year, I’m running 19 half marathons with my son Dan as part of an initiative called Team Future.

What is Team Future?
Since Dan and I lost a combined 225 pounds, we’ve been lucky enough to share our story with thousands. Our goal has been to educate children and families on the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits. We established a non-profit with this mission called Kids Fit. Dan and I [Team Future] are running a total of 500 miles to raise money and awareness.

You really went from not being able to run for twelve straight seconds to marathons?
Yes, [but a secret is] that I do the run-walk which is different than just running. You make your own intervals. When I first started I would run for 1 minute and walk for 6. Now I run for a minute and a half and walk for 3. Nineteen half marathons aren’t good for your body at all. You’ll break your body down instead of building it up. The run-walk is an incredible challenge every time I do it. It’s cardio challenge, interval challenge and energy booster, yet I’m not destroyed and I don’t feel punished.

What was a day in your life like before competing on The Biggest Loser?
I’ve always been an early riser. I’d get up between 6 and 7 in the morning and have what I call ‘me time.’ I’d drink a cup of coffee or two, sit in my chair and ponder and plan. Then, about 9 a.m. I’d go into work and grab another cup of coffee on the way out the door. No breakfast. I’d work all day at my computer. I knew if I ate I’d get tired, so I didn’t eat until 3 p.m. I’d eat whatever we were ordering out, maybe a sandwich, a burger or barbecue chicken. Then about an hour later, around 4 p.m. I’d get so tired. I’d want to take a nap, I’d try more coffee. Finally around 5 p.m. I’d go home, turn on my Tivo get my shows going, and pretty much eat all night long. I’d tell myself, ‘I had a heavy lunch I’m only going to eat a little something.’ So I’d have some cheese, I’d still be hungry and then I’d eat a half a sandwich. Then, maybe I’d have some popcorn. Then it would be back to bed and I’d pick up the same thing the next day.

Were you always overweight?
I struggled with my weight all my life. I tried every diet, I own every weight loss gadget you can buy on TV. I never ate regular meals. I found out when I was on The Bigger Loser that my yo-yo diet destroyed my metabolism.

What is day in your life like now, almost four years after to competing on The Biggest Loser?
I still get up early and have my “me time.” I have one cup of coffee instead of four. I eat breakfast now — four egg whites and one whole egg and one cup of fruit. I do three 12-minute workouts before I leave for work–  abs, lower body and upper body. Once I’m at my office, I set an alarm on my phone to tell me to eat every few hours because I can get so caught up in my work and forget to eat. For lunch I have a sandwich with four ounces of turkey, mustard (only 5 calories!) and lettuce on Ezekial bread, the whole thing is 450 calories. I cut the sandwich in half and eat each half a few hours apart. When I get home, I’ll have a protein bar, then I go outside and run a minimum of three miles but sometimes up to six. After, I’ll eat dinner — usually just protein and vegetables. Then I’ll watch TV in my chair, not in bed like I used to and go to bed at around 11 p.m.

Do you still get sleepy in the afternoon?
No. I go a full day and don’t get tired anymore. Food is your fuel. That’s the biggest thing I learned as a ‘Biggest Loser.’

Your favorite energy boosting snack?
I absolutely love Power Crunch bars. I’ve searched high and low and tried every protein bar in the world and these are the most delicious. They are 200 calories per bar and 14 carbs. It’s the perfect snack. On the show, they taught us to eat a protein and a carb together to kick-start your energy. So sometimes I’ll eat an apple and some almonds. For me, it’s about is keeping my blood sugar stable all day. I don’t drink energy drinks.

Have you had trouble maintaining your weight after the show?
I lost about 90 pounds on the show and right now I’m within five pounds of my finale weight. I struggled when I first came off the show because it was a whole new challenge when I was back at home. I had trouble figuring out how to make what I learned on the show part of my life.

What’s advice do you have for keeping energy up and weight down?
The most important thing is to plan.  I plan out what I’d eat and how I’d exercise on a perfect day. I plan a different routine for each day, because I have different commitments every day of the week.

What’s the biggest mistake you think people make when it comes to their energy?
They confuse mental exhaustion with physical exhaustion. I’d come home after sitting in an office all day and be exhausted. But, I was mentally tired not physically tired. I didn’t know the difference. You just need to get active immediately, get moving.

{Giveaway} Monogrammed Writing Set from Nico and Lala

FOF is giving away a personalized writing set, including a monogrammed lucite pencil holder and 20 customizable stationery cards from Nico and Lala. To enter, answer in the comments below: Is writing thank-you notes a chore or a pleasure?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

When FOF Tweetie White turned 60 this past March, her daughter and friends thew her a surprise birthday party.

“I was totally shocked,” says Tweetie. “Walking through the door and seeing the faces of so many dear friends and family, some who traveled a great distance, is an image that will be in my mind and my heart forever. Every detail was thoughtful and perfect.”

Those thoughtful details included custom cupcake toppers, koozies, stickers for soup cups, and a sign-in board and invitations with vintage photos of Tweetie as a high school cheerleader. All of it was created by Nico and Lala, a Nashville-based design company that specializes in event branding, favors, gifts and custom invitations and stationery.

Company founders Nico and Lala, also known as Nicole Speake and Lauren Staley, met working in a Nashville gift shop. Their dream of starting their own custom party branding and gift company came true in 2009 when they launched Nico and Lala. Initial business came from local event planners, but in two years they’ve expanded nationwide thanks to word-of-mouth. They’ve recently launched a line of lucite gift items based on their most popular stationery and invitation designs.

“Our designs are creative, Southern and swanky,” says Lauren. “That’s what people know us for.”

Enter to win a personalized writing set including a monogrammed lucite pencil holder and 20 customizable stationery cards from Nico and Lala. 1 FOF will win. To enter, answer in the comments below: Is writing thank-you notes a chore or a pleasure?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. One winner is chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes July 21, 2011.)

{Quiz} Can you match the FOF celeb with her favorite book?

When they’re not tooling around Tinseltown, writing bestsellers, filming blockbusters or sun-tanning in Bora Bora, some FOF celebs find time to… *gasp* read. Can you match the FOF celeb with her favorite book?