Performance Anxiety

Planning to step up your game after the holidays? Worried that you’re not up to the challenge? Listen to your body (and your doctor) and you’ll avoid the sprains, trains and stress that send others to the bench.  

Three cheers for medical science. Although staying fit still takes hard work and commitment, remaining injury-free is easier than ever. Whether you’re a weekend warrior training for your first triathlon or you live on the tennis courts, you have two missions when you’re pushing the performance envelope: Do your best… and make it home in one piece. The key to success (or survival, depending on your sport) is recognizing that there are three important components where your body is concerned: BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER. Understanding the basics of each not only gets you on the court or field or road—it’s what ultimately will keep you there.

BEFORE

The right preparation can save you a world of hurt, but often people skip this step. Here’s how to ensure you’re ready to take on all comers:

  • Check yourself out. Most people know it’s wise to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, but there’s another professional who might be just as key. “I’m a strong advocate of having a person trained in physical therapy take a look at the muscular-skeletal system,” says Jim Dunleavy, PT, MS, Administrative Director of Rehabilitation Services for Trinitas Regional Medical Center. “We all come with little quirks that we may not know we have. For instance, if someone has resisted motion in their hip, that could cause a knee or ankle problem. After the assessment, they can make sure that their exercise program attends to those potential issues.”
  • Ditch the heels. Women who wear heels put themselves at risk for injuries in sports. “If you wear heels during the day, your calf is shortened all day long, and you won’t have the flexibility and the strength to participate in your activity without hurting,” Dunleavy says. You’ll need to engage in some extensive stretching of your lower legs before and during your activity to help minimize the chances of injury.
  • Be sure you’re balanced. You may be working hard to get your muscles in shape for your particular sport, but you can’t ignore the rest of your muscular system. “You need to pay a little attention to your core muscles, to A Special Health & Wellness Section from Trinitas Regional Medical Center balance things,” says Dr. Richard Mackessy, Chairman of the Orthopedics Department at Trinitas. “If you overdevelop one area, like your chest, but haven’t done anything to the back, you’ve created an imbalance in your shoulders that makes it so they’re pulled forward constantly, and creates a risk of pain.”

DURING

While you may be concentrating on squaring up to the ball or keeping your marathon pace, there are other things to keep in mind before you shift into high gear:

  • Warm up. There’s been so much debate on how to get rolling—just stretching, stretching and warm-up, or full speed ahead—but most experts agree that a warmup is essential. “You don’t want to just walk onto the field and play the toughest match without doing anything,” Dr. Mackessy says. “We recommend going through a period of warming up, where you’re going at half the pace. If you’re playing tennis, you might hit balls at a very relaxed pace for a few minutes, then stop and do some stretches before you really start playing.”
  • Don’t go crazy. Weekend warriors may be all gung-ho about doing the activities they love when they have the time, but it’s best to work up to an all-day round-robin. “If you’re working 9 to 5, your body is not built up to withstand the constant stress that’s placed on the body with a prolonged sports activity,” Dunleavy says. “Your body can only take so much—overuse can result in inflammation, making it very difficult to use that area without pain.”
  • Stop if you have pain. Forget that old No pain, no gain adage—if you’re hurting, take a break. “If you have pain, you need to stop playing,” Dr. Mackessy insists. “You don’t need to hurt yourself and be laid up for six weeks.”

AFTER

When you’re ready to pack it in for the day, there are a few tricks you can use to help ensure you’ll be ready to achieve peak performance the next time out:

  • Stretch it out. After a brief cool-down (like the warmup, you’re going at a more relaxed pace), be sure to give your muscles a well-deserved stretch to keep them limber. “Hit all the common stretches—legs, arms, shoulders,” Dr. Mackessy suggests.
  • Nurse your wounds. If you do have pain and inflammation—the most common results of overuse injuries—there are a number of steps you can take to decrease the swelling, either at home or under a doctor’s care. “Swelling is going to retard the healing process, so you need to cool down the tendon with ice,” Dunleavy suggests. “We can also try to stimulate the healing process by increasing blood supply with electricity, heat and ultrasound, or by injecting medications, like cortisone or steroids. We can even load medication into an electrode and use electricity to drive medication into an area.”
  • Assess your performance. Play Monday morning quarterback and see what you can improve at your next sporting event. “John MacEnroe once said that he learns more from losing than from winning,” says Dr. Rodger Goddard, Chief Psychologist and Director of Wellness Management Services for Trinitas Regional Medical Center. “Being able to look back at what was disappointing in our performance and devise a plan to improve our technique, execution and strategy in these areas is an important skill.”

 

Editor’s Note: Lisa Milbrand is a New Jersey-based writer whose articles on health and relationships appear in Parents, Arthritis Today and Modern Bride. Her blog themamahood.com celebrates the life of a working mother.

 

Lola Latin Bistro

The Lola in Lola Latin Bistro, isn’t a person, but an attitude. “The name Lola sounds fun and exotic and Latin,” says Grace Castagnetto, the 25-year-old chef who inspired this fiesta of a restaurant in Metuchen, which is exactly that—fun, exotic and very Latin.

It’s a party, Lola Latin Bistro, a lunchtime/dinnertime celebration of Castagnetto’s spirited takes on the foods she grew up with in a Peruvian household in Perth Amboy coupled with what she learned as a culinary student in New York and as a mainstay in the kitchen of the venerable Frog & the Peach restaurant in New Brunswick. That’s where restaurateur Nick Borzone met her and decided to create a restaurant that would showcase her talents. Thus was born Lola, a hot-pot of Latin flavors accented with the young chef’s awareness of global trends and ingredients. Does it work? One look around the high-energy parlor of a dining room on an SRO weekend night tells you food and diners are clicking, big time. There are bountiful bowls of Brazilian fish stew, fat pork chops plated with a colorful pineapple-jalapeno salsa and cocktail glasses of ceviches going out to tables and, momentarily, stopping conversation. If folks in the area who knew this spot on Durham Avenue as the longtime home to a traditional Italian restaurant had their doubts when Lola opened a year ago, they don’t today. Lola is a firing-on-all-cylinders smash. That’s probably because Castagnetto has the gumption to turn garlic shrimp on its ear, taking a same-old, same-old starter and bumping up its flavor quotient with an infusion of warming, smoky-sweet guajillo chilies. She brushes baby pork ribs with mango and a mix of hot-woodsy spices, cooks them till they’re spoon-tender and elicits swoons from diners. This chef knows how to seduce. She pays homage to her South American heritage with empanadas that are basic and beautiful, such as the pockets of pastry filled with goat cheese and olives, or luxurious and alluring, such as the little bites stuffed with shreds of filet mignon.

If you need to choose, go with the basic, since the beef empanada falls shy on juiciness and seasoning. But there’s nothing shy about the meaty chorizo con queso, with its tandem of heat-licked Spanish sausage tempered by a wash of tangy cheese that you roll into a flour tortilla. Tuna tartare goes Latin here courtesy of tortilla-shaped crisps that provided a cheery textural counterpoint to the silky seafood. I didn’t think the starter needed the schmear of guacamole between fish and chip; if anything, it clouded the play between main elements. Think you know all about jalapeno? You can’t, not unless you’ve experienced Castagnetto’s garlic-and-ajipanca-marinated pork tenderloin. She gives the pork a night in the marinade that lets the ancho-esque taste of the Peruvian ajipanca chile shine and then plates it with a jalapeno puree tamed by slow cooking with scents of cumin and sea salt.

She coaxes an uncommon sweetness out of the normally hot jalapeno, allowing it to bring out the best in the pork. Factor in a heap of lime licked Spanish coleslaw on the side, and it’s an entrée sensation. That Brazilian seafood stew shows the care taken by the kitchen to make sure each shrimp, mussel, clam or piece of fin fish struts its stuff in the broth of onion-strewn tomatoes. Salmon isn’t shortchanged, but coupled with mango that glazes the rich fish and makes it taste like a whole new species. But the biggest and best surprise of the night was what the chef did with chicken: Pumped up by bright citrus flavors and a burst of cilantro, then set astride rice enriched by coconut milk and flecked with scallions, chicken gets a full-regalia makeover from wallflower to prom queen.

We leaned in to discuss dessert options, necessary because, by this point in the night, the party at Lola was in full swing and the noise level bordering on nightclub. The loquacious host came by to advise, a server who confided his sideline is sweets pitched in his two pennies and, of course, we’d spied finales being delivered to tables around us. The skinny? Don’t miss the tres-leches cake, probably the best version of the Latin three-milks cake I’ve had in the state —moist, not too sweet and creamy-textured as it was. And the flan, a wiggly, eggy, thoroughly custardy rendition of the classic. It’s hard to leave a good party. But at Lola Latin Bistro, I suspect the party’s only started.

Editors Note: Andy Clurfeld is a former editor of Zagat New Jersey. The longtime food critic for the Asbury Park Press also has been published in Gourmet, Saveur and Town & Country, and on epicurious.com.

 

After Midnight

New Jersey in the wee small hours

In the wee small hours, not all of New Jersey is in REM state I am an early bird. It has nothing to do with catching the proverbial worm; my day job in the financial sector simply required me to be up at the crack of dawn. No Late Night with Letterman. No Conan. No 1:00 a.m. road trips to the Wendy’s Drive-Thru. Whatever the rest of New Jersey was up to after midnight was of little interest to me. Then came the financial vortex of 2008–09, which inhaled my position and proceeded to transform me into an insomniac. I became the earliest of birds, a night owl. I soon found myself downloading songs on the Internet and dancing like no one was watching. Because no one was watching. It was time to get out and see what the rest of New Jersey was up to in the wee small hours. My first stop? That was easy. It was time to really learn how to dance.

CHEEK TO CHEEK Dancing in the dark is not just a Springsteen thing. The Fred Astaire Dance Studio—with six locations across the state— welcomed me with open arms when I requested an after midnight session. By appointment, these professionally run studios, manned by champion dancers, bowed to my presence. The first words I heard after all the midnight pleasantries were exchanged were: “Shall we?” The rest was a little slice of history. As I was leaving the studio another nocturnal soul came lilting in, ready to dance the rest of the night (or, technically, the morning) away.

HOME INVASION Somewhere this evening in the Garden State, a group of ladies is enjoying a truly moving experience. They are spending the night in heaven courtesy of the Pampered Soul, whose magnificent, mobile spa rolls into your driveway to perform candlelight massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and other rejuvenating amenities.

’VETTE FLIX The good old days are still here if you’ve got a decent GPS. The Warwick Drive-In Theatre in Vernon and Delsea Drive- In Theatre in Vineland run movies past midnight and offer fully stocked concession stands. Hot buttered popcorn. A box of Junior Mints. Orange pop. Get the picture?

WINE FOR WATER I never really got over my long-ago infatuation with Love Boat. Perhaps that was what drew me to Lincoln Harbor, where Spirit Midnight Cruises shoves off at 12:30 a.m. and returns around 3:00. The journey begins with a dockside party and then it is smooth sailing on the Hudson in sophisticated style. Though true love eluded me on this particular voyage, the dancing, drinking, food and fun—not to mention the romantic views of the big city—beat the heck out of Circle Line.

NIGHTLY BREAD Whatever pundit wrote Man does not live by bread alone obviously hadn’t heard about Terrigno’s Bakery. The aroma of piping-hot loaves draws devotees down to Bridgeton right up to closing time, in the neighborhood of 12 o’clock. Think crusty on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside; seeded, whole grain, rye, sour dough, French, Italian. And for those who insist a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand, Terrigno’s also turns out a spectacular array of sweets, pastries, cakes, pies, and tarts. Bring an extra pair of hands.

LOUNGE ACT Frank Sinatra’s first group went by the name The Hoboken Four. Old Blue Eyes knew his way around the Mile Square City’s backstreets, bars and juke joints in the 30s, but even he might be overwhelmed by the after-midnight choices in the town today. Among Hoboken’s new and noteworthy hotspots is Lounge 11, at 505 Madison Street. An exclusive nightclub, bar and restaurant, it combines contemporary design with a hip New York atmosphere. The music selection is diverse, as is the crowd scene—especially on weekends.

SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY If you’re searching for weird in New Jersey in the pre-dawn hours, as a rule you shouldn’t have to look very far. If you’d prefer a more structured foray, then head to Ocean City, where eerie sounds and sightings highlight the candlelight strolls led by the Ghost Tours staff. No two tours are alike, says one guide, because “many strange and unusual things have been picked up on digital cameras. At times, even my own hair stands on its ends.”

STAR POWER Leave it to New Jersey’s own Ivy Leaguers to keep our eyes trained skyward all night. The Amateur Astronomers of Princeton have focused their know-how, curiosity and enthusiasm on princetonastronomy.org, an astronomy and cosmology web site that lets us know what to look for on those early a.m. strolls. A 24-hour phone line (609) 737-2575 suggests the best time to wish upon a falling star or view a cosmic display, and alerts callers to sudden developments in the night sky. A recent call described an unusual lunar citing visible at 3:00 a.m. Live updates are also available to Tweeters at princetonastro.

COUNTER CULTURE You knew this was coming, right? New Jersey is world renowned for its diners, and rightfully so. Entire books and web sites have been devoted to the subject. Golly, a whole page in this issue of EDGE has been devoted to diner culture! Rather than debate the relative merits of the Garden State’s classic eateries, I’ve chosen one to represent them all. The Mastoris Diner in Bordentown has been satisfying appetites and clogging arteries for more than four generations. An endless menu only hints at the jaw-dropping portions that cascade out of the Mastoris kitchen—which often serves 2,500 customers a day. Technically this is not an all-night diner; the Mastoris staff catches its breath for a couple of hours after 1:00 a.m. every morning. But that has not kept it from becoming one of Jersey’s most cherished late-night traditions.

 

What Price Beauty?

Marilyn Monroe is said to have had $3.50 in her apartment when she died. Yet she will make more money this year than all but a handful of Hollywood stars. How is she worth more dead than alive? Who gets that money? Who doesn’t (but should)? Welcome to The Marilyn Wars.

Marilyn Monroe has been dead for 48 years. Do you care? In some years the dead Marilyn earned over $7 million on sales of over $60 million in merchandise bearing her name or image. Still don’t care? Well, I know who does care. A unique group of sharp business people, creative lawyers, nostalgic purveyors of porn, scheming collectors, paranoid political conspiracy theorists, fraudsters and infringers, fans and obsessed idolaters, and loyal devotees who seek to prolong their candle in the wind. These are the soldiers in The Marilyn Wars. They are engaged in a struggle of constant calumny, lawsuits, claims of fraud and theft, and even threats of duct-and abduction.

The main battlegrounds are the federal courts and state legislatures, and the principal combatants are the estates of various artists claiming conflicting intellectual property rights in Marilyn, and the publishers and photographers who took the iconic photographs reproduced on so many of the pieces of merchandise sold under her name. The rest of the colorful players (who are worthy of their own article) are cheerleaders of varying stripes. Over the last few years, The Marilyn Wars changed the entire playing field for intellectual property rights known as “rights to publicity,” sparking precedent-setting court cases from coast to coast who owns a piece of what or whom.

And all over symbol who would have recently turned 83. A product of national obsession and hard work behind the scenes, Marilyn’s estate—in tandem with its licensing agents and others—has fought to ensure that her memory lives on, and productively so. Marilyn’s name or image has appeared on dozens of products and advertisements, from a “Marilyn” perfume line in Europe to advertising campaigns with Dom Perignon, Absolut and General Motors. There are even Marilyn-themed casino slot machines and a line of pet clothing that includes a hot-pink dog dress with the slogan, “Diamonds are a Dog’s Best Friend.” (Seriously.) Would you reach for a bottle of water bearing the iconic image of Marilyn stretched out on a red velvet blanket over one of Fuji or Evian? Gauging from their labels, the makers of Star H2O must think so. So who owns Marilyn, and who or what has the right to the proceeds from her legacy? After all, that’s what The Marilyn Wars are really all about.

In her will, Marilyn left the residual of her estate to her acting teacher, Lee Strasberg of New York. Some years after Marilyn died, Strasberg married named Anna Mizrahi, who by many accounts never met Monroe. After Lee died, Anna connected with Mark Roelser, who had founded a company now called CMG Worldwide, headquartered in Indianapolis. This location is important because Roesler had lobbied the Indiana legislature to pass a law giving rights to publicity to the estates of deceased people— despite the fact that they were already dead when the law was passed, thus coining the term, “posthumous rights to publicity.” This allowed CMG to capitalize on the rights of publicity licensed to his company by the heirs of deceased celebrities. CMG began enforcing these rights around the country, encouraging those selling merchandise using those names to pay a licensing fee for the privilege. Over time, this became big business.

Today CMG represents scores of “living legends” ranging from Monroe to Malcolm X. Some American icons became, in effect, worth more dead than alive. Who in 1947—the year when Marilyn was crowned Miss California Artichoke Queen—would have guessed that over $30 million would have been collected on Marilyn merchandise and advertising through the end of last year? Among those requested to pay fees for the use of Monroe’s image have been the heirs to photographers who themselves had taken some of the iconic photographs of Marilyn that the estate was exploiting. One such instance involves the famous publicity still from the film The Seven Year Itch where Marilyn is standing above a New York City subway grate with her dress billowing up around her. Issues of copyright and right to publicity are now center stage as CMG and other combatants in The Marilyn Wars have staked competing claims over who or what has the right to capitalize on Marilyn’s robust brand.

While the CMG-friendly courts of Indiana have enforced posthumous rights to publicity, the courts and statutes of other states such as New York and California have not necessarily followed suit. Importantly, New York has no laws granting posthumous rights of publicity. California, another state in which Marilyn maintained a home, did have such a law passed, but only in 1984, some 22 years after Monroe’s death. However questions were raised about its retroactive effect. In 2007, a court ruled that because there was no such right in New York (and that California’s law had no retroactive effect), no such right existed when Marilyn died in 1962 and, therefore, it was impossible for her to have conveyed that right in her will. You can’t convey something that you don ’t own, and if it didn’t exist when you died, you can’t have owned it. While these litigations and appeals are ongoing, CMG continues to own numerous registered trademarks relating to Marilyn Monroe. But others are jumping on the Marilyn bandwagon, such as her photographers and others claiming interests in her image.

The Marilyn Wars, in other words, are just heating up (and one can only imagine the fires soon to rage regarding the Estate of Michael Jackson). Their outcome impacts hundreds of millions of dollars and has implications to the estates of scores of famous people and their future estates. It will take some years before the stardust settles, but in the meantime, Marilyn keeps smiling and profiting a great many well beyond her few happy years. Not bad for a “candle in the wind.”

Editor’s Note: Neil Patrick Parent is a partner in the Manhattan-based law firm Reavis Parent Lehrer LLP (www.rpl-law.com ) with affiliates in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The firm has a practice group concentrating in intellectual property and entertainment law. This article is not intended to convey legal advice and individuals seeking information concerning the above should seek appropriate legal counsel.

It’s A Gift

Saving Grace

 Five essentials for that little bit of Grace in all of us. 

When you name your daughter Grace, let’s face it, you set the bar high. Starting in toddler-hood, the heat is on these girls to be just a bit more refined and elegant than the other kids. As Grace blossoms into young adulthood there comes the added pressure of living up to the divine blessing suggested by her name. And as the years pass, she must make us feel graced by her presence just to stay in our good graces. Let her slip, even for an instant, and—surprise—there is no grace period! In that respect perhaps there is indeed a little Grace in all of us. At least I’d like to think there is. So it’s worth noting that the saving grace of being Grace is that no two Graces are exactly alike. Among the myriad ways to express this individuality is through the products one uses to look and feel wonderful when venturing out into the world. Whichever of the following five Graces you happen to be, here are five essentials you can use to save the day.

GRACE KELLY • ICONIC ACTRESS The quintessential Grace. If anyone were ever just born perfect, it was she. Refined yet warm, bold yet demure, perpetually charming and unyieldingly beautiful. This Grace is sophisticated and chic. She spares no expense, gravitating to CHANEL’S SUBLIMAGE cream ($350, 1 oz.) to keep that million-dollar face in check and JO MALONE’S GRAPEFRUIT cologne ($100, 100 ml) to seduce and mystify. In the crowning glory department, she never forgets to keep her blonde icy with FREDERIC FEKKAI’S very own “Grace” color serum ($30) because flawless hue is essential. And this Grace uses BREMENN RESEARCH LAB’S LUMEDIA FACIAL BRIGHTENER ($90, 3 oz.) and MURAD’S RESURGENCE RENEWAL EYE CREAM ($73, .5 oz.) to remain luminous at any hour.

GRACE SLICK • 60s ROCK GODDESS The rebellious Grace. This Grace is the very essence of revolutionary cool. She is wildly beautiful, a fierce Athena with a twist of Venus. Her spirit is unwavering, yet elegant. She is a mix of earth mother and warrior, of intellect and magic. This Grace wears CREED’S WILD JASMAL perfume ($190, 2.5 oz.), BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Bb.SHINE ($35, 4 oz.) for glossy shag hair, and CHANEL’S navy liquid eyeliner ($45) to enhance her powerful, exotic gaze. It might be said that this particular Grace is known to, ahem, indulge now and again, and that’s one of the reasons we love her. On the flip side of that coin, AMORÉ PACIFIC’S TREATMENT ENZYME PEEL ($60, 2.5 oz) is sure to erase the evidence of any debauchery. Meanwhile, DECLEOR’S 10 DAY RADIANCE POWER CURE ($37, .33 oz) is a quick and holistic fix to brighten her complexion after dehydration from lack of sleep, sun exposure or perhaps, one too many summertime cocktails.

GRACE JONES • SULTRY SUPERMODEL The exotic Grace. She is a modern surrealist. This Grace is fueled by an almost primal force. She is staggeringly, savagely beautiful, and Amazonian in her sensuality. This Grace is not demure; instead her beauty flows from an overt and fabulous artistry. She wears ROBERT PIGUET’S FRACAS perfume ($95, .25 oz.), MAKE UP FOREVER’S NEON PINK POWDER BLUSH ($19), and PHILOSOPHY’S MIMOSA LIP SHINE ($12) for a bold pop art palette. This Grace is nothing if not physical, and to keep her body tip-top, CLINIQUE’S TURNAROUND BODY SMOOTHING CREAM ($28.50, 5 oz) is a unifier on the front against strain and age, while NUDE SKINCARE’S AGE DEFENSE DIETARY SUPPLEMENT ($108, 80 capsules) is an innovative regimen to keep skin tight, firm, and youthful.

GRACIE ALLEN • CLASSIC COMEDIENNE The witty Grace. She is quick and clever. This Grace is the first person you look for at every party, and the last you forget. She is fiercely independent, irresistibly fiery, and complexly rich. What she sacrifices in mystery, she more than compensates for in her confident allure. She wears BOND NO. 9’S WEST SIDE EAU DE PARFUM ($200, 100 ml.), NARS SEPHORA FLAME lipstick ($24), and BARE ESSENTIALS’ BUXOM LASH MASCARA ($18) for deep red, sumptuous lips and bold, beautiful eyes. In a pinch, this Grace turns to CLARINS’ INSTANT LIGHT PERFECTION TOUCH concealer ($30) and DUWOP’S SIDEWINDER CHEEK VENOM ($24, .35 oz) to ensure coverage and a brazen, natural flush.

GRACE GARCIAPARRA • BABY GRACE The Grace of things to come. When you’re the progeny of the ultimate soccer mom (Mia Hamm) and a baseball All-Star (Nomar Garciaparra) you had better soak up all the pampering you can before it’s time to get fitted for that first pair of cleats. WELEDA has the most delicate, organic products in its CALENDULA line. The company’s Starter Kit ($12)—which includes Baby Cream, Lotion, Shampoo/Body Wash, Calendula Oil, and Diaper Care—is as gentle as can be and everyone knows that comfortable baby equals happy mother. When it comes to dressing a toddler, PETIT BATEAU is at the top of the list. Classic, comfortable, and pure products for baby abound. Check out the MILLERAIES LONG-SLEEVE NEWBORN BODYSUIT ($20) and ROBBIE ADRIAN’S VELOUR ORGANIC BABY BLANKET WITH SILK TRIM ($44-$270) for the ultimate in cuddling.

Editor’s Note: Dan Brickley was the host of TLC’s A Makeover Story for three seasons. He has authored numerous articles on fashion and beauty.

 

Rutgers hoops coach Vivian Stringer

Grant Halverson/Rutgers University

If you had to win one game and could take any coach in the state, Vivian Stringer would unquestionably be among your top candidates. If you could select a coach to guide your daughter through the most important four years of her life, the Rutgers basketball legend would be a no-brainer. Coach Stringer has graced the Garden State with her presence since 1995, and during that time she has elevated the state of the game, both on and off the court. A three time Coach of the Year, she is one of only three people in women’s hoops history to win 800 games.

As it happens, EDGE Assignments Editor ZACK BURGESS has some history with his interview subject—they first crossed paths 10 years ago when he covered her Rutgers team for The New York Times. He knows as well as anyone that her triumphs have not come without their share of tragedy. She has persevered through the deaths of her father and husband, a daughter devastated by meningitis, and a son who nearly lost his life in a car crash. Some people define “grace” as the bestowing of God’s blessing. Zack pulled Vivian Stringer off the court to talk about this idea, as well as the dual challenges of being a coach and mother. And yes, he managed to sneak in an Imus question!

EDGE: Given the dramatic ups and downs and challenges in your life and career, do you feel blessed?

VS: Yes, I do. I wake up every day and witness other people’s plights, and just shake my head and wonder, ‘How do you handle it all?’ You just have to understand that when there is life, there is hope. Blessed? Yes.

EDGE: What does it mean to you to go into the Basketball Hall of Fame with Michael Jordan this year?

VS: I really haven’t allowed myself to think about it. I probably would be paralyzed if I thought about it too much. To go in with arguably the greatest class the Hall of Fame has ever seen is an honor. I have to prepare myself for the greatest day in my life, besides the birth of my children. It’s overwhelming. When I started at Cheyney State (in Philadelphia), I never believed that I would find myself receiving such a huge honor.

EDGE: How soon after you got the coaching job at Cheyney State did you know this was your calling?

VS: Are you kidding me? The minute I got there! I was just grateful they gave me a chance to coach the team. It was magical. I was 22 years old and loving every minute of it. It’s what I was meant to do.

EDGE: How do feel you did raising a family and being a college basketball coach?

VS: I did a masterful job as a parent of keeping basketball and my family separate. But now I wish I wouldn’t have kept things so separate. Those trips through the Midwest were tough. We were going from Iowa to Wisconsin. Instead of being on the team bus, I wish I had ridden right behind the bus for those six or seven hours, giving my kids more mommy time. Listening to them say mommy this, and mommy that. I was fortunate enough to have the best husband in the world.

EDGE: Where did being a coach and being a mom intersect?

VS: My son David played Division-I football. So not only do I know what it’s like to go into a home and recruit, I know what it’s like to be on the other end of the recruiting process as a parent. I know during his recruitment process I often looked for who was going to care about my son—who was going to push him to be the best that he can be, who was going to understand how special he is as a person. Ultimately, that’s what every parent wants. They want to know that their child is going to be safe and understood. I try to be the coach I would want for someone to be to my child. I want parents to understand that I am a parent, too. Parents have a right to see their child walk through your program okay, and emerge a better person at the end.

EDGE: Yet you have a reputation for being tough on your players. Is that fair?

VS: They say that I don’t get players sometime because I am known for being hard. What makes what I do any different from anyone else? Players who go to the University of Tennessee know they are going to a place where they just flat-out had better get it done. What I am trying to teach my players is to be good women. I want them to understand that when they come to Rutgers, they are not only here to play basketball, but to become young women who know how to empower themselves as well.

EDGE: Someone once told me talent and hard work always wins out. Do you believe that?

VS: I think perseverance, talent and hard work is what we should say. Thirty-eight years of doing this. I would like to think when my story is told that it’s one of perseverance, because you can have all the talent in the world—and you might even have a good work ethic—but without perseverance, none of it matters.

EDGE: What are the qualities you look for when you are recruiting a player?

VS: She has to have the will and the drive to be the best, and the skill to play the game. Someone who is not satisfied unless she is as good as she can possibly be, which means she is probably never satisfied. The more difficult something becomes, the more she sees it as an opportunity versus an obstacle. These qualities will carry her throughout the rest of her life.

EDGE: Have you ever gone against your rule and taken a player who had the skill but maybe not the drive?

Larry Levanti/Rutgers University

VS: Sure I have. It doesn’t work.

EDGE: Getting back to the idea of grace, I have a final question. Lost in the uproar after Don Imus made those infamous remarks about your players was the fact that you were quite gracious in accepting his apology. Why was that important to you?

VS: I think we found ourselves in a situation where we needed to forgive. My faith wouldn’t have me do it any other way and I knew that. When Imus said what he said, it hit me to the bone. I’ve never been one to be able to smile and say it’s over—I really need to do a much better job—so in order for us to go forward, we just needed to forgive.

EDGE: How many of those girls are still on the team?

VS: We have four kids left from that class who are now going to be seniors.

EDGE: And how are they doing?

VS: One is going to be doctor, one a pharmacist, one wants to be lawyer and another who can do whatever she wants. To see what these young ladies went through and have them come through it with their dignity and honor intact is a wonderful thing. I’m very proud of them.

 

Net Results

Graceful Exits

Acting Out

The Schnitzspahn Collection

Jack Nicholson. Bruce Springsteen. Tom Cruise. Queen Latifah. Our state’s contributions to the entertainment industry have been endlessly chronicled and commemorated. Yet generations before New Jersey became a “supplier” to the performing arts, it actually served as the epicenter of the entertainment world. Indeed, between the Civil War and World War I, summertime was showtime in the Garden State. For when New York City’s wealthy theatre-and-concert-goers headed across the Hudson and turned south, the 19th century’s American Idols followed. The show must go on, so they say, and it did—in playhouses and small-town theatres up and down the Jersey Shore. Historian Karen L. Schnitzspahn chronicled this annual exodus in her book Stars of the New Jersey Shore, and kindly agreed to give EDGE readers a rare peek at her priceless collection.

State Your Case

Shiny hair and teeth, longer legs, firmer abs, cooler apartments, faster cars—the list of differences between TV docs and the real-life ones is practically endless. Yet from a practical standpoint, the difference that matters the most to real-life patients is this: Can you help me? That’s when the TV docs disappear and the true problem-solvers hit their mark.  

Let’s face it. Who doesn’t love a good medical drama? When some “Doc Hollywood” sinks his teeth into a perplexing patient, we are transfixed. These television characters will crack the case—we know it and, on some level, we know they know it, too. The medical dramas that play out on hospital floors every day present the same challenges and demand the same out-of-the-box thinking. However, when a patient stares desperately into a doctor’s eyes, that’s not acting. It’s the real deal. We asked a trio of the top docs at Trinitas to “state their case”—the one that intrigued or challenged them, surprised or gratified them, the kind that makes real-life doctoring far better than doctoring As Seen On TV.

A HELPING HAND For Dr. Richard Mackessy, the chairman of Trinitas’ orthopedics department and a specialist in hand surgery, the toughest patients are often the youngest. He’s spent the past 20 years donating his surgical expertise to Healing the Children, a nonprofit that helps children from around the world come to the U.S. to receive treatment. “Most of the kids have congenital problems with their legs that keep them from getting around,” he says. “We usually have to amputate and give them a prosthesis, but the results are amazing—it allows them to be up and walking around, independent and functional.” Healing the Children sponsored two of Dr. Mackessy’s most memorable patients—a pair of children from Russian orphanages who had severe hand deformities. The first, a boy, was missing a thumb due to a congenital condition. Dr. Mackessy was able to utilize the index finger to create a thumb for the little boy. “You situate the index finger in a different way, attach different muscles, and take one of the bones out of it, and you’ve created a thumb.” The surgery helped the child gain use of his hand. Another, a little girl, was missing most of her left arm below the elbow, and the fingers on the right hand were fused together. Dr. Mackessy was able to separate the thumb and fingers on the right hand, and perform surgery to make her left arm more useable. Both kids not only regained the use of their hands, they gained something else—while they were in America for their surgeries, they were adopted by U.S. families. Dr. Mackessy says he constantly sees the power of medicine. “[This work] makes you see life differently—it shows you what medicine can do for people.”

THE HEART OF THE MATTER For Dr. Arthur Millman, head of Trinitas’ cardiology center, mending broken hearts is all in a day’s work. One of his most interesting patients was a 70-something lady who wanted to skydive. “She wanted to get a letter from us that said that she could go, but she was in severe heart failure, with a leak in the mitral valve,” he recalls. After she was stabilized, Dr. Millman was able to surgically repair her valve. “While you can replace the valve, doing so damages the heart muscle and creates illness in the patient,” he says. “If you are able to fix the valve instead, it’s still you, not some piece of plastic or something that came from a cow or a pig.” With this valve repair, he was able to give the patient a whole new lease on life. “She can take care of herself now, go shopping—things she couldn’t do beforehand. I still tell her that skydiving isn’t a good idea, though.”

SOLVING A MEDICAL MYSTERY When a young diabetic patient came to Dr. Paul Vaiana early in his medical career complaining of numbness in his hands and feet, the now-president of Trinitas Regional Medical Center’s Medical and Dental Staff, might have assumed that the problem stemmed from a failure to take his medications. But Dr. Vaiana noticed something that concerned him. “He had no motor strength, and that made me think that something else was happening.” A spinal tap revealed the cause—Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the nervous system comes under attack by the body’s immune system. At the time, not much was understood about the disease, but Dr. Vaiana knew his patient was running out of time. “I knew it needed to be addressed quickly with a very specialized treatment,” he recalls. “If you aren’t able to wash the patient’s blood, they became ventilator-dependent quickly.” Dr. Vaiana and the hospital were able to locate a plasmapheresis machine within 24 hours to cleanse the patient’s blood and get him on the road to recovery. “Everyone worked together on this young man and in three days he was out of the woods,” he remembers. “We were so aggressive in treating it, and now that is the standard care of this disease.” Three decades later, that young man is still Dr. Vaiana’s patient. “I love practicing medicine and having a relationship with my patients,” Dr. Vaiana says. “It’s not the money driving care here—I’m glad to be part of a team who really goes out of their way to help people in their time of need.”

Editor’s Note: Lisa Milbrand is a New Jersey-based writer whose articles on health and relationships appear in Parents, Arthritis Today and Modern Bride. Her blog themamahood.com celebrates the life of a working mother.

The Playing for Keeps Issue
Made In The Shade

Clean living. Prudent diet. Sunscreen savvy. All vital to healthy skin. And all easier said than done.

People spend billions of dollars a year on products that promise to make their skin firmer, fresher and younger. But doctors who focus on caring for the skin insist that the body’s largest organ needs more than over-the-counter potions to maintain its health and radiance—and to do what it was designed to do. “Skin is the protector of our body and the first line of defense,” says Dr. Kamran Khazaei, head of Nouvelle Confidence, the Center for Cosmetic Laser & Rejuvenation. “The first thing that’s affected when you come in contact with pollutants, bacteria and other toxins is the skin—that’s why you have to continually do maintenance on the skin, to allow it to work its best.” Everything we eat, breathe, and do affects our skin, and the results aren’t always pretty—especially when people neglect the basics of skin health.

Here’s how to ensure you protect the skin that protects you. SKIN RAVAGERS While genetics can play a role in how easily you burn or scar, whether you freckle and how soon you show signs of aging, experts say that lifestyle choices have the biggest impact on your skin’s health. Smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, exposure to pollutants and even a lack of sleep and exercise can cause premature aging and other skin problems. “Smoking and a poor diet absolutely damage the skin,” says Dr. Khazaei. “Any type of toxin in the body affects the whole body, including the skin.” But when it comes down to it, sun exposure continues to have the most punishing effects on a person’s skin. “The worst enemy of the skin is the sun,” says Dr. Khazaei. “Everyone thinks they look healthier by tanning themselves under the sun, but that’s the worst thing to do for skin health.” It’s hard to avoid news reports on the dangers of sun exposure, but surprisingly it hasn’t had a huge effect on people’s behavior.

Recent CDC studies have shown that 40 percent of adults don’t use sunscreen, and 70 percent of those who use sunscreen don’t bother to reapply when it’s recommended. It’s the ultraviolet radiation that causes most of the trouble—particularly UVA rays. “UV radiation is a known carcinogen, and is associated with both an increased risk of skin cancer and an increase in skin aging,” says Dr. Joseph Alkon, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Trinitas Regional Medical Center, who specializes in treating skin cancers. Unfortunately, many people have taken their desire for darker skin straight to a more dangerous spot—the tanning bed—where UVA rays are three times more potent than in natural sunlight. “There has been a rise in the number of people using tanning salons, including teens and younger patients,” says Dr. Alkon. “More than one million people use tanning salons on a typical day in this country—70 percent of whom are females in their late teens to late 20s.” Tanning bed use, he adds, may put you at even more risk of cancer and other damage.

SAVING YOUR HIDE You may think you’re a lost cause after decades of sunscreen-free sunning at the shore, but there’s still plenty to be done to improve the health—and look—of your skin. Dr. Khazaei uses laser and microdermabrasion treatments to help combat the signs of skin damage. “Laser treatments help regenerate collagen formation to rejuvenate the skin, and can be used to treat freckles and age spots,” he says. “Microdermabrasion removes dead skin cells that are produced by the sun, exposing the younger, healthier skin beneath.” Customized skin care products—like Dr. Khazaei’s own line—can help clear away dead cells and revitalize the skin beneath. But the best protection is prevention—and that means stopping smoking, getting more sleep, eating better, and most importantly, using sunscreen regularly. “Even on a cloudy day, you need sunblock to protect the skin—the rays that cause the most damage can still pass through the clouds,” Dr. Khazaei warns. “If you take care of your skin, it naturally stays younger and lasts longer.”

Editor’s Note: Lisa Milbrand is a New Jersey-based writer whose articles on health and relationships appear in Parents, Arthritis Today and Modern Bride. Her blog themamahood. com celebrates the life of a working mother.

 

It’s A Gift!

Skins Game

Turns out you can judge a wine by its color.

Although wines have myriad and complex properties, perhaps the most obvious can be attributed directly to the skins of their grapes. The basics of wine-making are well known…grapes are picked, then crushed, and the skins either stay in contact with the crush or have little to no contact. Wines can be grouped into three primary categories relative to the skin of the grape: white wines, red wines, and rosés wines.

WHITE WINES are wines that contain little or no red pigmentation. These wines have had little or no interaction with the skins of their grapes as they are processed. White wines are almost always made from white grapes, but they can be made from black grapes as well, because the juice of most black grapes is actually clear. White wines can be sweet or dry, or somewhere in between. Popular white wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

RED WINES are made from black grapes and have a red or blue tint. Since most grapes have colorless juice, red wine needs its grape skins, which contain nearly all of the grapes’ pigmentation, to remain intact along with the juice during all or part of the fermentation process. Tannins, also found in the grape skins, are transferred into the wine while the skins are in contact with the juice. Besides the difference in color, the primary difference between red and white wines has to do with their respective tannins.

Found mainly in red wines, tannins provide a dry, puckery sensation in the mouth and in the back of the throat. They also help preserve wine, allowing most (but not all) red wines to be aged longer than white wines. Popular red wines include Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

ROSÉ WINES are pinkish in color, so they are often referred to as pink or blush wines. Rosés are made from black grapes, but they do not fully turn red because the grape skins are removed from the juice mere hours after initial contact. This brief exposure to the skins gives the wine its signature color through the slight transference of red pigments. Rosés can also be produced by blending white and red wines. This technique also involves brief skin contact, which ensures that a minimal amount of tannins enters the blush wine. Many rosés are sweet, with White Merlot and White Zinfandel serving as typical examples.

The best and most traditional vintages, however, are the European rosés, which tend to be bone dry. Given today’s high-tech instant information resources, grape skin and its extracts have been getting a lot of attention in terms of potential health benefits. Antioxidants, called pycogenols, are present in grape skins. The darker the grapes, the greater concentration of pycogenols, hence the media’s infatuation with the healthful properties of red wine. In the 1950s, these compounds were isolated from grapes and used in the treatment of cirrohosis, varicose veins, and retinopathy (an eye disease attributed to diabetes). As scientific discovery progressed, the researchers were able to isolate reservatrol, the most hyped compound on the market associated with grape skins. Studies have shown reservatrol’s benefits to include: • High potency anti-inflamatory properties • Blood thinning capabilities as good or better than aspirin • May interfere with the development of cancer • Natural anti-fungal agent • Helps to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) • Can increase good cholesterol (HDL) • Reduces blood pressure.

Now before we all go out and drink massive quantities of red wine to saturate ourselves with reserves of reservatrol, there are some offsetting side effects. In order to enjoy most of reservatrol’s positive health benefits through red wine consumption, we would have to drink red wine practically all day long, every day. Perhaps not a bad idea to some, but our livers would undoubtedly have something to say about this. A further, consideration is that reservatrol is a plant estrogen, which has received much attention as contributing to the proliferation of certain breast cancer cells. Grapes, once an innocent treat we all enjoyed as youngsters, now provide us as grown-ups with the fruit of the vine in its fi nest form—wine, complete with all its trappings, some good, some bad. We can now appreciate that wine is more than just grapes and their juices. It’s got some real skin, too.

Mike Cohen owns the Wine Concierge (www.gourmetwc. com). He specializes in locating hard-to-find wines for customers in New York and New Jersey.

 

Sun Dance

What’s Cooking This Summer? Hopefully Not YOU!

When it comes to summertime beauty, looking good is a whole different ballgame. While winter hues tend to accentuate the delicacies of one’s skin tone, hair and eye color, the warmer months are all about bright bursts of color against a healthy, sun-kissed palette. Of course, getting that sunny summery look often means increased UV exposure. Preventing skin damage during

the sultry summer months requires careful attention to protection, hydration, and (of course) daily product application. First rule of thumb—you don’t have to hit the beach to grab a perfect tan. TERRACOTTA SUNLESS BALM by Guerlain ($50/5.7 oz) is enriched with 100% natural Moroccan argan oil, so it hydrates, protects, and even helps to regenerate the skin for a smooth, flawless finish. Mimicking the effects of a deeply hydrating body butter treatment, this rich formula is ideal for quenching sun- and wind-parched dry skin. A subtle iridescence also gives your skin a natural glow for several days after the first application. Most importantly, Terracotta will leave your skin looking naturally tan, not orange or streaked. It’s quality luxury and, most importantly, it’s safe.

If you do plan to tan the natural way, you absolutely must protect your skin before leaving the house. Given the impact of a diminished ozone layer, you just can’t be too careful. And just because you don’t feel as if you’re baking in the high-noon sun doesn’t mean you aren’t burning. Doctors recommend wearing at least an SPF 15 at all times and these days it’s easy to find a light, smooth moisturizer with built-in UV protection (without breaking the bank). I highly recommend RoC RETINOL CORREXION DEEP WRINKLE DAILY MOISTURIZER SPF 15. This wonder product is a huge favorite among skin care gurus. Don’t let the name scare you off! This moisturizer helps to visibly reduce expression lines and wrinkles while protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Enriched with Vitamin E and SPF 15 sunscreens, it also helps prevent the signs of premature aging.

It does contain Retinol, however, which can be a challenge. In fact, it’s recommended that the user test the product for two weeks while building up the dosage gradually. The buzz on this product is incredible. Although it’s relatively new to the market, it’s being touted as a miracle cream inasmuch as it’s hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), oil free, and amazingly inexpensive (only $18.00/oz.). And since a good base cream won’t send you into foreclosure, ladies, I say splurge on your lips! CHANEL’S AQUALUMIERE SHEER COLOUR LIPSHINE is super light for those hot, balmy nights and also packs an SPF 15. Even at $30.00 a tube, don’t waste time shopping around. Survey says “Monte- Carlo” will be this summer’s hottest shade, so grab it while you can!

 

For the fellas, don’t be swayed by what your buddies tell you! Harsh sun, salt-water, and chlorine hold as many dangers for your skin and hair as they do for the ladies. Unless you want to end up looking like George Hamilton, here are some tips for summer maintenance. First of all, shaving is key. The ART OF SHAVING’S LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL ($22/5 oz.) is the perfect shave cream for summer. Rich with glycerin, coconut and other essential oils, it leaves your skin smooth and moisturized. But, once you’ve got a stubble-free, clean canvas of a face…what to do? This is where great unisex skincare comes in. What’s a beauty regimen without the quintessential summer face soap? Origins A PERFECT WORLD DEEP CLEANSER WITH WHITE TEA (5 fl . oz./150 ml) might sound like an afternoon drink, but as soaps go, it’s life changing. This perfect foaming face wash is formulated with nature’s rare Silver Tipped White Tea. In a preemptive sweep, dirt-grabbing minerals combined with the gentle, skin-compatible cleansing action of palm and coconut oils plus oat amino acid reach deep to help detoxify and free skin of harmful, free radical-releasing impurities before they settle down and cause skin-aging oxidation, dehydration, and irritation.

 

Now that your face is smooth and clean, there’s just one more step. Toner is essential for healthy skin in warm weather climate. Lately, vegan products have become all the rage. long last, I believe a non-chemical toner has finally been perfected. LUSH BREATH OF FRESH AIR TONER ($17.45/8.4 fl . oz.) is pretty much as naturally perfect as it gets. It rehydrates dry skin with soothing, nutritious ingredients like real sea water (fetched from deep in the Pacific), natural spring water, aloe vera gel, patchouli oil, rosemary oil, and seaweed absolute. Just a spritz softens and balances, while it refreshes and renews. Everybody needs a little extra help when it comes to maintaining a fresh face when the heat is on. So follow these tips, be prudent, and enjoy a skin-tillating summer.

Editor’s Note: Dan Brickley was the host of TLC’s A Makeover Story for three seasons. He has authored numerous articles on fashion and beauty.

 

Sarah Chang

As 20th Anniversaries go, Sarah Chang’s is one of the more remarkable. She has been captivating audience since age 8, mastering some of the most challenging violin concertos with awe-inspiring passion and precision when her peers were still proud of how well they tied their shoes. Now 28, Chang’s résumé is pages long when others her age are just getting their career-defining breaks. She has enchanted audiences from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center to the great concert halls of Europe and Asia. She has shared the stage with fellow luminaries from Pinchas Zukerman to Yo-Yo Ma. Chang’s CDs are best-sellers. She has even carried the Olympic torch. EDGE sent ZACK BURGESS on assignment to profile Sarah Chang. His job was to peel away the layers that typically accompany international stardom and acclaim, and get to the heart of this transplanted Jersey Girl. Sarah made it easy. Her poised and stunning facade notwithstanding, she is still a kid at heart.

EDGE: Every parent of a talented daughter dreams that their child will have the life that you do. So let’s get the obvious question out of the way. Do you ever yearn to be someone other than yourself, to slip out of your skin and into someone else’s?

SC: Maybe for a day, but not any longer than that. I love my life. I have been traveling all over the world since I was a 10-year-old. I’m 28 and have seen and done things that are just unimaginable.

EDGE: When did you request your first violin?

SC: At four. My father played the violin and I wanted to be like him—I’m a daddy’s girl, like most little girls. I was playing the piano at the time and thought it would be great to play something else. Besides, I wanted something to carry around.

EDGE: At what point did you realize that your life was going to be different?

SC: I performed with the New York Symphony Orchestra when I was only eight. I knew there was something that wasn’t normal about that. But I didn’t think I had a “gift.”

EDGE: As an adult, have you ever experienced the fearlessness you did back then?

SC: No. I was a kid. I just did it! I didn’t think about it. Of course, now, I’ve been doing it forever and this is my life, but back then I just went with it, like most kids do.

EDGE: What was it like working with older musicians?

SC: Everyone would be going to parties after a performance and here I had to go back to my room or go study. It was frustrating then but, hey, I was a kid, a teenager. Nothing is fair when you’re that age.

EDGE: So today, as a 28-year-old, what is the downside of being Sarah Chang?

SC: The travel. Sometimes I wake up and don’t know where I am, or what city I’m in. But then I remind myself of what I do, and how I get to entertain people all over the world— and that, at an age when others are just breaking into this business, I have been doing this for twenty years now. I’m already booked out to 2012, which is a great “problem” to have when you’re an artist.

EDGE: What’s your greatest obstacle as an artist?

SC: Having to be good every night, even on those days when I don’t feel well. It’s what the public expects from me and, realistically, it’s what I expect from myself.

EDGE: Which can get rather difficult.

SC: Because I’m human.

EDGE: Does it all seem surreal sometimes?

SC: Sometimes. But for the most part I’m used to it. I don’t go through this wow syndrome, where I have to pinch myself. I’ve been doing it for so long. I’m a professional. You know what I mean?

EDGE: How does dating work when you’re Sarah Chang?

SC: It’s a challenge as a young woman on tour. It’s really hard to have a personal life when one person is in one place and the other is somewhere else. I would like to settle down someday, but I would also like to be a committed mother and wife when that happens.

EDGE: When were you finally on your own?

SC: My parents stopped traveling with me when I was around 18 or 19—which presented a challenge because they were no longer there to protect me. I made my fair share of mistakes. But I’m having fun at this point in my life.

EDGE: What was life like before that, as a 13- or 14-yearold?

SC: I was just like any other teenager who thought the world owed me something. In retrospect it was no big deal. You know, here I am performing one minute and doing homework by fax for Germantown Friends and Juilliard the next. I was always struck by how much younger I was than everyone else, and that bothered me. I missed a lot of parties. But now that I’m older, in retrospect it really was no big deal.

EDGE: What do you do on days when you’re not performing?

SC: I’m just like everybody else. I’m human. I have everyday highs and lows just like everyone else. I would say I just like to have a day to myself. No cell phones, no Blackberrys, no emails. But that rarely happens. I probably wouldn’t know what to do if it did.

EDGE: Is there anything you miss about being a Jersey Girl?

SC: Of course. I miss the driving—and the space. I’m a terrible driver, so I could really use the space!

Photos courtesy of Sheila Rock/Opus 3 Artists
  
Net Results

Smooth Move

While the skincare industry touts its latest, greatest miracle-working scientific formulations, actual science increasingly links healthy skin to what you put IN your body, not ON it.

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It’s the only one that is instantly visible. And it is vulnerable to all sorts of attacks, including dryness, excess oil, wrinkles, sunburn, acne, dermatitis, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea, and various forms of cancer. Millions of consumers shell out billions of dollars on topical skincare products each year in an effort to improve the look and feel of their skin. All the while, they may be missing a more obvious, cheaper, and better way to reach their goal. Food.

In their book Beauty Basics for Teens, Dianne York-Goldman and Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D., urge a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, nutrients and fiber, but is low in saturated fats and empty calories. They also advise drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day for proper hydration. The goal is to eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Melody L. Meyer of Albert’s Organics, a California-based natural products distributor, suggests leafy green vegetables for iron and calcium, sweet juicy fruits (especially at breakfast), a variety of whole grains, and easy-to-digest proteins like legume soups, paneer (cheese made from boiling milk, adding lemon and straining solids), and lassi (diluted yogurt and spice drinks).

Carotenoids, which are found in red and orange fruits as well as in yellow and dark green vegetables, are recommended by Sharrann Simmons of Cognis Nutrition & Health, an Illinois-based food technology company. She says that carotenoid lutein has been shown to protect skin against UV-damage, improve skin hydration, encourage elasticity and enhance beneficial lipid levels. For its “Beauty from Within” campaign, DSM Functional Food Marketing of New Jersey also enlists carotenoids, as well as antioxidant vitamins C and E, green tea extracts, omega-3 fatty acids (which can be found in fish and flaxseed), and polyphenols (derived from olives). Consumers seem to be getting the message. A recent study by the Mintel Group, a market research fi rm, notes that 2008 saw the debut of more than twice as many new beauty foods and beverage products as there were in 2007.

Dermatologist and author Nicholas Perricone urges a diet loaded with these essential proteins: fish, poultry and, occasionally, lean beef, pork or ham. He also suggests consumption of soy foods like tofu and tempeh, egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat milk, and yogurt. For carbs, he favors squash, spinach, onions, green beans, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, collard greens, escarole, green peppers, strawberries, raspberries, apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, and kiwi. Recommended fats include oils derived from olives, walnuts, safflower, soybeans, rapeseed (canola), and sunflowers, as well as nut butters and avocado.

Perricone also is high on the following ten “Superfoods”: Aτai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee), a high-energy berry that grows in the Amazon The allium family of foods, including garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, shallots, and chives, all of which are rich in flavonoids. Barley, which is not only low on the Glycemic Index, but high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Green foods, which are derived from cereal grasses and blue-green algae. Buckwheat, also low on the glycemic scale, and which may be substituted for less healthful grains like rice, wheat, and corn. Beans and lentils, an alternative to fattier meat proteins. Hot peppers, which are high in heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds. Nuts and seeds, which are a source of good fats. Sprouts for their enzyme content.

Yogurt and kefir, fermented dairy products that add digestion-aiding probiotics to the diet. J.T. Ryan is a licensed physical therapist and owner of Healing Touch in Howell. The company makes and markets handmade natural body-care products. She emphasizes the need for trace minerals and electrolytes, which she calls “a key to cellular regeneration.” For example, Ryan says, a deficiency in copper will lead to scar formation during the skin’s 40-day cycle period. Foods rich in copper include most nuts (especially Brazils and cashews), seeds (especially poppy and sunflower), chickpeas, liver and oysters. Are there foods that should be shunned if your goal is shiny, smooth skin? Most definitely. This is particularly true if you are worried about acne. Naturopath Alan C. Logan, who teamed with dermatologist Valori Treloar on the 2007 book The Clear Skin Diet, cautions against the foods most popular with American teenagers—pizza, hamburgers, cookies, crackers, fried potatoes, salty snacks and sweetened beverages.

Even milk consumption is “strongly associated with acne,” the authors claim. In place of these no-no’s, Logan argues for a diet that focuses on the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), found in fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon, tomato extract with the carotenoid lycopene, marine fish that are rich in collagen, and a high-flavanol cocoa extract. Logan explains that inflammation is at the core of acne, and that oxidative stress, a byproduct of the standard American diet, “fans the flames of inflammation.” Fish oil, he says, especially EPA, blocks the production of the inflammatory chemicals. This also is why antioxidant fruits and vegetables are so important. Does this mean you have to toss away all your lotions, creams and ointments? Of course not. They definitely serve a purpose. But keep in mind that if you really want a smooth, healthy complexion, a good nutritional foundation is where you should start.

Editor’s Note: New Jersey-based freelance writer Alan Richman is the former editor of Whole Foods Magazine.

Pool Cues