A New You for the New Year

The latest health, beauty, wellness and fitness tips for kicking off 2011.

The time to pamper yourself is finally here. After weeks of battling for parking spots, wracking your brain for perfect gifts and dashing from one holiday party to the next, you need to unwind – but where to begin? And what about all of those resolutions?

We took the guesswork out of it and talked to some of the best New Orleans has to offer when it comes to taking care of Y-O-U. With specialists from hair stylists to personal trainers to nutritionists, this is your easy button to starting the New Year healthy, rested and rejuvenated.

Start with looking gorgeous. Stylist Lisa Marquette of Salon M says the New Year is a great time to go all out with a makeover.

“We just got a new makeup
line, Façade, which is humidity resistant,” Marquette says. “Try a makeover and enjoy these
great product well into the summer months.”

Maybe you overdid the heat styling for all of those parties. Marquette also recommends trying a Bumble and Bumble hair masque to quench winter hair’s thirst and get it shining and soft again. Salon M has private waiting rooms and styling rooms – at this upscale but cozy salon, you’ll get the star treatment you deserve.

Cold air and dry indoor heat can wreck your hair, so Earl Joyner of Studio-E Salon says it’s all about hydrating the hair and scalp.

“This is done by several of our in-salon Kerastase treatments,” Joyner says. “We tailor these treatments to the individual needs of each person, taking into consideration age, lifestyle and overall condition of the hair and scalp.”

Who wouldn’t want to take a deep breath and let the rich Sublimateure Jour replenishing cream soak into your scalp and all the way through your ends?

A mini-holiday at the Roosevelt New Orleans could melt away any post-holiday stress. The new Guerlain Spa has two new indulgent treatments that would make even the most extreme workaholic consider taking a personal day.

The Exceptional Orchidée Impériale Treatment uses two specially targeted masks on the face, neck and décolleté, and includes the Guerlain rejuvenating and detoxifying facial massage. Carrie Devries of The Ehrhardt Group, which does marketing for the hotel, says, “Your skin will be intensely nourished and recover its strength and firmness, while your complexion will be revived.”

If pampering your face just isn’t enough, then try the Intensive Body Therapy, which takes you from a stimulating Vichy shower to a polishing body scrub, finishing with a replenishing wrap to treat sun damage, pigmentation marks and cellulite.

For more ways to keep that complexion looking gorgeous, Keirnan Zimmer of Serenity Day Spa and Gifts suggests a hydrating facial with gentle enzymes or Alpha Hydroxy acids.

“During the winter months we lose more of our natural cells ability to hold in moisture,” Zimmer says, “which leads
to dry, tight and a more wrinkled appearance.”

A hydrating facial packed with anti-aging ingredients can give your skin a youthful glow that erases any holiday stress. Zimmer stresses, “It’s important to wear sunscreen everyday, no matter what the season.”

Altering your skincare routine during the winter months is essential, says Dr. Patricia Farris “of Old Metairie Dermatology. From heavier moisturizers to more gentle anti-aging creams, Farris encourages patients to care for their skin when humidity is low.

“January is a popular time for peels and laser treatments that rejuvenate the skin,” she says. “We love the Melange peel for pigmentation and do lots of fractional resurfacing to boost collagen.”

Dr. Farris also worked as a clinical investigator on a new, fresh-on-the-market wrinkle relaxer, Dysport. While very similar to Botox, she says, the results can be quicker.

Another great way to beat the winter blues – especially if you didn’t get away for a vacation this year – is an airbrush tanning treatment at Maison du Soleil. They have a full line of exfoliating products and tan extenders to keep you looking like you just stepped off a beach, says owner Monique Kronlage. And, with an adorable boutique of contemporary, feminine apparel right in the salon, you can shop for something to show off that newly – and safely – bronzed skin. Maison du Soleil just moved to a new location in the heart of Lakeview.

Now that your skin is glowing and your hair is revived from holiday havoc, it’s time to put those New Year’s resolutions to the test. If you ate a few too many Christmas cookies and overindulged in champagne cocktails, the New Orleans fitness and nutrition gurus are here to get your body back into shape for overall health and wellness – not to mention those new clothes.

Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center has four locations with a strong focus on meeting individual needs and goals. Programs from “Weight No More” to “Boot Camp,” “The Biggest Loser Challenge” and even a kids weight loss program, everyone can find the right class to challenge their body and mind for the New Year. When it comes to keeping those resolutions, dietician Elesha Kelleher says its important to give yourself time and patience, choose a few specific and realistic goals and take comfort in the small strides you make on your weight loss journey.

“If you passed on cookies or cake, celebrate,” Kelleher says.

“It can take weeks or months of practicing a new behavior before it truly becomes a new habit. Focus on working toward your goal each day.”

The winter blahs can make you feel lethargic and stir cravings for sugary and carbohydrate-rich food, says Elmwood dietician Molly Kimball. Her remedy is to get moving.

“Aerobic exercise has been proven to help improve mood and reduce stress. Try for just one hour doing aerobic exercise outside – even with cloudy skies overhead.”

Dr. Timothy Harlan of the Tulane University School of Medicine says simply eating better, rather than fixating on weight loss, is a great New Year’s resolution. He is an advocate of whole grains, from brown rice to oatmeal.

“Start by not eating fast food, and take your lunch to work,”

Dr. Harlan says. “Gradual, small changes in lifestyle are the ones that have the most effect.”

If you’re looking for a spiritual, holistic approach to fitness, Salire Fitness could be a great match.

“I usually see what I call the ‘Resolution Rush’ at the beginning of the New Year,” says trainer Nolan Ferraro, who ensures spiritual and psychological well-being are major components to his personal training. His S.M.A.R.T. technique (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic and Timed) helps clients achieve long-term goals for the mind and body. Ferraro teachers boot camp and Pilates with a spiritual edge.

If formal classes and gyms aren’t your style, head over to City Park, where you’ll find pedal boats, rowboats, jogging and bike trails to help you get moving.

Gretchen Schultz, a physical therapist and owner of Audubon Gymnastics, recommends getting
the family together to exercise.

“Over Thanksgiving, my mom, daughter and I took several long bike rides. It was invigorating
to be outdoors while we burned calories.”

Paula Rangel will host a nutrition seminar, “New Year – New You,” at Omega Hospital this month, focusing on using the food pyramid to help keep your New Year’s resolutions on track.

The Touro Diabetes Center has excellent resources to help patients manage their disease. Manager Pam Butler is an expert in helping patients making healthy changes to their lifestyle.

“Have a plan to achieve what matters to you,” Butler says. “Be specific, such as simply walking for 15 minutes, four days a week.”

If your new year’s goals are a bit bigger than exercise, Fairway Medical Center offers numerous procedures to help patients with weight loss, such as gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band surgeries. They also host support groups to help post-operative patients maintain healthy lifestyles.

Viviana Falco, cardiologist with Touro affiliate Crescent City Cardiovascular Associates, recommends women make a resolution to start leading a heart healthy lifestyle beginning this year. “It’s important for women to make healthy lifestyle changes they can stick to throughout the years. The new year serves as a great reminder for us all to really begin focusing on our health and make the changes needed to be heart healthy this year and for years to come.”

We all need a little motivation to haul ourselves to the gym – and some stylish new workout gear never hurts. At Priorities, you’ll find the Thriv line of breathable, anti-microbial clothing made from bamboo, and also made locally in Metairie.

Jeanne Emory, owner of the Bra Genie Fitting Salon, says shapewear is great in the cooler months under layered but formfitting outfits to smoothes lines in the hips, back and stomach.

“A great new product is Squeem. It’s a bit cumbersome to get on, but once it’s all hooked up, it has an amazing effect for those special events when the cameras are popping and you want to look your best,” Emory says. Mardi Gras balls, anyone?

Last, but certainly not least on our list for kick-starting your healthy new year is visiting your doctor.

“Seeing your gynecologist isn’t just about getting a Pap smear,” says Dr. Gabriella Pridjian of the Tulane University School of Medicine. “Many women think that seeing the gynecologist is just that. Your gynecologist can provide further information on healthy lifestyles and can help identify areas of risk improvement, and also help you guide your way through newer recommendations regarding screening examinations such as mammography, cholesterol screening or colon cancer screening.” Maybe it isn’t as fun as a day at the spa but it’s definitely a must when it comes to making the most out of each and every year.

As salon owner and stylist John Jay puts it, “I have come to believe that no matter how beautiful women look today, they may not feel beautiful because of the many pressures they now encounter;” no matter how beautiful you look, the most important thing is feeling beautiful.

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