Get ready for the unusual hustler ride with #dallasbuyersclub #review #film #movie

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Well it truly is Oscar season and if you haven’t had it yet then Oscar fever will well and take hold in only a matter of days. The frontrunner (in our view) in the acting categories (Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor) has to be Dallas Buyers Club. With Golden Globes well under their belts, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto set to storm the big kahuna and walk away with a couple of Oscar shaped statues.

So in light of all this awards commotion, we headed to meet the men themselves for the press conference last week. Now if you were expecting any Wolf of Wall Street chest beating antics, then we’re sorry to disappoint. Apart from Jared Leto praising Mr McConaughey and giving his own mini monologue about the tribal chest tappings, the focus was very much on Dallas Buyers Club and its incredible journey over many years to the silver screen.photo

Dallas Buyers Club is the story of Ron Woodruff. A man from Texas living a simple life as an electrician. He likes, women, drugs, drink and rodeos. That is what his life mainly revolves around. The turning point comes after a work accident where he ends up in hospital and finds out that he is HIV positive (which at the time had a huge stigma with homosexuality) and only 30 days to live. This story follows his battle to use any means possible to stay alive and it is fascinating.

Apart from the incredible dedication to the character where McCanaughey had lost an amazing 47lbs to play the part. Without his determination and sheer Texan will power this film would never have been made. The script for Dallas Buyers club has been passed from actor to actor and essentially lay dormant for around fifteen years until now. Even days before shooting McCanaughey must have used his rom-com charm and Magic Mike moves to get this production going because it very nearly halted with location and timing delays. Never the less, his star power prevailed and the set was up and running on time with immense focus from all the cast and crew in what seemed to be a very short space of time. The end result, well lets just say that boy was this film worth the wait.Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 12.42.26

The performances in Dallas Buyers Club are jaw-droppingly powerful. McCanaughey seizes the screen with his alpha male attitude and ego which out sizes his scrawny frame. We see his journey from “macho” Teaxan, to outright denial of his situation, to a new position of power as he not only tries an innovative way to help himself but other sufferers as well.  This is a very different performance to all the other Oscar nominees but it’s a brave performance which is very giving and totally absorbing, you end up fighting for Ron as much as he is, willing him to have that fairy tale ending where all is well, and are constantly on edge throughout pushing away the tears. Really powerful stuff.

We also see Jared Leto provide the counter balance as Rayon. The drag queen who’s vulnerability and desperation to live rather than die at the end pulls strongly on audience members heart strings. This subject topic is about desperation and will to survive, and the highly quoted line from Rayon of “a girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do” speaks volumes to this. Leto’s transformation is equally as impressive if not as shocking. He managed to get kudos from the gay community on his performance and managed to win the role by chatting up the director via skype! Even though he hasn’t seen the film, its easy to say that you can’t help but love Rayon and the way that he plays the character is with such a natural charisma that you can’t help but think he’s done this before!

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Finally in the supporting role as a sympathetic doctor (Eve), Jennifer Garner also helps us understand another side to this ongoing battle against HIV. The inner hospital politics are very much the same today as they were in the 1980’s and although drug advancements have happened, there are still the same old problems of getting certain medicines to market.

Overall this film is another important watch, which is why it has been heralded throughout the award season. It is a talking point, a simply made movie with great characters, with a lot of thought, heart and fact which have been too controversial to put on to screen in previous outtings, its honest and insightful and we should all be glad that it has been made as it really does open your eyes to this disease and the stigma attached to it.

Well acted, well shot and engaging to watch. Definitely something to catch at the cinema when you can.

4 Stars

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Watching your weight? Its ok, you can still treat yourself with @weightwatchers hot chocolate!

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 07.44.14It may not be time for bikini bodies anymore, but you still might be keeping an eye on your weight…so what can you eat? Well, chocolate is normally a big no-no, but fear not, we think Weight Watchers may have just found the solution!! 

The new product team at Weight Watchers Hot Chocolate have been working hard with you in mind to develop a fantastic premium hot chocolate that delivers a more intense chocolate drink – and that’s low fat too!  What’s more, it can even be used in home baking!

We here at Snoochie Boochies gave it a try, and can seriously vouch for the fact that it tastes great! You could easily swap your calorific hot choc for this little number and you wouldn’t even notice the difference in flavour. In fact it tastes creamier and more luxurious than some of the market leaders, who knew?!

And if you’re keeping count of points, Weight Watchers Select Hot Chocolate will be a lower ProPoints® value alternative to other premium ‘add milk’ hot chocolate brands such as Green & Blacks, Twinings and Charbonnel.Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 07.43.42

Here’s the science…

Weight Watchers Select Hot Chocolate’s unique formula contains 50% real chocolate but is still low in fat. Containing only 92 calories and with a ProPoints value of just 2 per serving, Select will be an indulgent delight for chocolate lovers looking for a real chocolate hit without giving up on the plan. The new hot chocolate drink will also offer tremendous value for money with an RSP of £2.49 for a massive 36 servings in the 216g tub.

When compared with the established Weight Watchers Hot Chocolate instant range, the new luxury product also has the added benefit of being home baking friendly and can easily be used as a substitute for cocoa powder in sweet treats such as brownies, muffins and biscuits!Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 07.43.58

What, there’s more?! 

Yep! Variety is the spice of life don’t forget, and Weight Watchers also has a  range of different flavoured hot chocolate drinks that are all made with real chocolate and contain only 40 calories per serving. The three blissful flavours, which include smooth chocolate, dreamy caramel and mouth-watering mint, also cater perfectly for those on a ProPoints controlled diet, with a ProPoints value of just 1 per serving.

Available in jars which hold 20 servings and have an RRP of £2.89 and in single-serving handy sachets with an RRP of 35p; all of which contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Tell me more about Weight Watchers…

Weight Watchers is the leading weight loss organisation in the UK. The new Weight Watchers ProPoints® plan is the brands most liveable and flexible weight loss plan ever, designed to fit around real life so that people successfully lose weight and keep it off.

The Weight Watchers Instant Hot Chocolate range is now available across all major UK supermarket chains and selected high street and independent stores.

@katscapades tells us to forget the Yo-Yo diet and embrace the #monacodiet #beauty #health

Once again, our health, fitness (and travel) guru Katrina Santos-Baron (www.katscapades.net) shows us how to live healthier…and maybe lose a few pounds in the process! So have a good old read, take the points on board, give it a whirl and let us know what you think!! 

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One fitness quote said, ‘it takes 4 weeks for you to notice, 8 weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world’.  I started a Weight Loss Challenge last March but had a major relapse when I had friends come to stay for two weeks! (oops!) I almost gained what I just lost, so I discovered the importance of juicing and decided to do an Alpha-reset (5-day juicing detox) to get back into shape. Juicing has been a habit since then. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of things, and discovered my passion for running. So taaaaaaaaadaaaaaaaaaa, I’ve lost over 5.6 kilos and just above 10cm (3.9 inches) around my waist. Yaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooooooo!

I’m so loving a healthy lifestyle. For me, it’s not just a fad or an excuse to sometimes splurge in the organic section of the supermarket. It’s way beyond counting calorie intakes or trying to join the ‘green’ club. It’s giving utmost value to ourselves, like valuing something that you’d been meaning to have and finally got it (just like when I received my first Chanel bag – it was treated like a V.I.P.!). Taking care of our body is a must, it’s the only one we have!

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I was never really a fan of crash diets. I was too skinny before anyways. In fact, I used to eat a lot! Like 3 cups of rice and meat plus a lot of sweets on one sitting three to four times a day! However, as they say, our bodies start to change as we reach the age of 25. Though I believed I had a healthier lifestyle since I moved to London (except for the cake moments with my best friend – which occurred on most days of my London life, ooops), I kinda felt this body-changing-after-25 particularly when I got married two years later. The joys of cooking and discovering amazing eating places, plus the ‘dining bond’ with my hubby (with no exercise) during the first 8 months of our marriage resulted to unpleasant muffin tops! And there I was, tempted to try different crash diets but I thought best not to. Motivated to lose weight eventually paved the way for me to really get hooked into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I recently had some dietary advice from a Monaco-based nutritionist  that really helped me on my fitness journey. I admit that I’m not 100% following it (I’m still human by the way), but it’s good to have it at the back of my head which acts like a little voice whenever I’m about to cook, do my grocery shopping and as I put my trainers on. I shared it with some of my friends and they’re happy with the results. This may not be new to you – I’ve known some of the items he shared before I met him but it didn’t just remind me, it also made me more aware about the importance of what we eat and do to how it affects our body

  • THE GOLDEN RULES OF NUTRITION
  • Do not ever starve yourself. When you starve, your metabolism slows down. You might be losing weight but gaining more afterwards, also known as the yo-yo effect. Like what C. Helgoe said, ‘if weight loss is your only motivation, and you jump into the latest fast being used by Hollywood stars getting ready for Oscar gowns, your program is likely to backfire’. Remember, your diet should be eating more of the right foods at the right time.
  • Eliminate flour, gluten and junk in your meals. I know this is super hard, eh?!
  • NO to dairy products – milk and cheese, huhuhuhu…. Goat’s cheese is ok (it’s not from the cow :p)
  • Here’re the good news – carbs are ok! YES! But only until 2pm.
  • Eat fruits only in the morning as most fruits have high sugar content.
  • Salt = Cellulites. Yikes!
  • NO to GMO too – choose organic.
  • Drink protein shakes for breakfast (could be mixed with fruits) and drink another one in the evening (without the fruits)
  • Fats will only be burned after 40 mins of cardio since the first 40 mins are only for sugar-burning
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep for cells to regenerate properly (natural anti-aging)
  • [Goes without saying] Drink loads of water
  • Don’t forget the veggies!

LET THE MONACO DIET BEGIN:

So here’s how my daily diet and activity looks like:

  • Between 6:30 to 7:00am: It’s cooking time! So meanwhile, I’m drinking Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake. I like it how it is so I only add water. Maybe one day I’ll try making smoothies with it.
  • About 7ish: My hubby and I normally have eggs for breakfast. Eggs are packed with protein and healthy fats – good for muscle growth and burning body fats partnered with superfood – avocado and spinach served with green juice on the side.

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Once in every 2 weeks, I make tapsilog (a Filipino dish composed of beef, eggs and fried rice but I cook it a non-stick frying pan – so no oil or sometimes a tiny bit of organic olive oil). Oh, try frying tomatoes with olive oil and basil – they go well with the eggs too!

  • Between 8am to 11am: I have some fruits on my working desk.
  • Around 12ish: I’m happy with a salad especially during the heatwave in the Riviera. Have you seen my crispy lettuce with strawberry salad dressing? If not, please click here. Sometimes I eat rice or whole wheat pasta with protein and fiber (so that’s meat and veggies). I also try adding some twists to the traditional dishes such as including spinach to spag bol sauce for instance served over gluten-free pasta or zoodles (zucchini-made-like-noodles). Who says healthy food is boring and tasteless?! I disagree! 🙂

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  • When my hubby gets home at 5pm: We have an early supper mostly composed of protein and fiber (I also cook with carbs for his packed lunch the next day but I try not to eat carbs during this time, til 2pm, remember?!). Sometimes I make another glass of fresh juice.
  • Between 7pm to 8pm: Trainers on, off we go running. Since it’s been too hot lately to run by the beach, I’ve been running lately at the treadmill (3 – 4 times a week). If we get hungry after the run, we just boil 2-3 eggs each eating only the white. Bye, bye yolk!
  • 9pm: Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake
  • 10ish to 11ish: Bed time!

Cheat day once a week is OK but if you sweat your ass off the gym and become aware of what’s good for the body and not, you’ll still resort to eating more of the right food and feel [a bit] guilty if not, therefore limiting unhealthy intake (if I used to eat up to 6 cupcakes at one sitting, now, 1 cupcake is enough during my cheat day).

When trying to lose weight, it is also important to think of these:

  • Why are you doing it. It’s an awesome feeling being able to fit into the clothes you want to wear, waking up with a flatter tummy, notice your skin looks younger and glowing everyday without putting on cosmetics, being able to run faster and be more mentally alert during working hours. As for me, I DON’T WANT TO BE SKINNY, I WANT TO BE FIT. I’d like to prepare my body as healthy as possible – who knows, we’ll have a baby soon? 🙂
  • Keep a diary of your progress. I did 🙂 It didn’t happen overnight, didn’t happen over a period of 10 days as well. It took me months and learned a lot along the way (and still learning!). Aside from my messy notebook, I also documented my progress @katscapades in Instagram and thru my previous blogs:
  • Do the alternatives. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the grocery instead of taking the car or bus, go for a fresh morning walk instead of snooze-snooze-go-away bed mood. Just be active. Move a lot. Y’know what I mean 🙂
  • Read the labels. Geesh, I really do spend time reading labels (in French) at the supermarket!
  • Be fun and creative! Sooner or later, you’ll discover that healthy chef within you.
  • Nobody’s perfect. You may feel you’re behind your regime but don’t panic – slow progress is better than no progress at all.
  • Connect with like-minded people. Share and start inspiring others too – it’ll make you feel like a million-euro-monaco-baby!
  • Take the holistic route. Have a balanced diet, regular exercise, fill your life with laughter and love. La vie est belle!

Cheers to a healthier us! xoxo

P.S. I just called it the ‘Monaco diet’ since the nutritionist is based there. Results on individuals may vary, consult your doctor first. But overall, I recommend a healthy lifestyle 🙂