Maggie Niemiec

Snack Girl to the Rescue!

April 15, 2014 at 10:20 am , by

We at Ladies’ Home Journal have been big fans of Snack Girl, Lisa Cain, for years. As a member of our LHJ Health and Wellness Blogger Network, Lisa is always keeping us informed of the latest healthy food news. As for her recipes? Both easy and delish.

Naturally we were super excited when her latest book, Snack Girl to the Rescue!, came across our desk. Whether you’re looking to get off the constant diet roller coaster, learn how to eat better on a budget or start to live an overall healthier life, you’ll want to check out this book.

Part one is all about encouragement and guidance. Lisa hilariously details her own journey with food and health and shares the little tips that have helped her maintain a healthy lifestyle. She even touches on body image—and not in the way most diet books do. Lisa’s approach is downright inspiring.

“If you find yourself staring at your muffin top when you look in the mirror, look up. Look at your face and decide that it is a waste of time to obsess over imperfections that do not encompass or define who you are. I’ve never met one person whose entire self was constructed around a muffin top.” Truth!

Part two of the book is full of simple, satisfying recipes—all for 400 calories or less. Lisa includes meals and snacks for any time of the day. Her recipe ideas are approachable and don’t require too many ingredients. We especially appreciate her list of pantry must-haves, as well as a five-day grocery shopping list that’s perfect for anyone new to cooking. We can’t wait to test out her pumpkin overnight pancakes, airy and easy mac and cheese and homemade skinny fries.

Snack Girl to the Rescue! is on sale today.

Categories: Food, Health, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: | No Comments

A New Plan For Weight Loss

January 10, 2014 at 8:00 am , by

We were skeptical at first when we heard that Rick Warren, D.Min., founder of the Saddleback Church in California and author of The Purpose Driven Life, was writing a diet book. Really? A weight-loss program based on religion? But when we got a copy of The Daniel Plan, he hooked us on page 1 with his candor and humor. In fact, the first three words of the book are: “Wow! Everybody’s FAT!”

You see, a few years ago, Warren had a eureka moment when he was baptizing members of his church and noticed that the majority of them were, well, obese—and so was he. That baptism was a wake-up call to the health issues in his own life and to those of his parishioners. So he teamed up with Daniel Amen, M.D., and Mark Hyman, M.D., two of the top doctors in the country, to create The Daniel Plan.

From left to right: Dr. Amen, Maggie, Julie, Pastor Warren and Dr. Hyman.

Warren got 12,000 of his church members involved, and in their first year of following the program, they lost more than 250,000 pounds! But when his son Matthew committed suicide last year, Warren stopped making healthy choices and gained back half of the 65 pounds he initially lost.

Yet relapse is part of recovery, he says. After grieving for Matthew, Warren got back on the plan—and re-lost 30 pounds. He knows what it’s like to be overweight and discouraged, so he made sure his plan is realistic, relatable and doable.

Our health director Julie and I met with Warren (second from right in the photo) and his co-authors to talk about The Daniel Plan. As the three told us (sometimes all talking at once, they were so excited), it’s not a diet but rather a prescription for living a healthy, happy life. The plan incorporates five factors: faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. Here, a few of the basics:

1. Faith
There’s nothing preachy here! For many people, faith is about religion. But it doesn’t have to be. The faith factor refers to your motivation for getting healthy, says Warren, and it’s essential for everyone, regardless of religious beliefs. Faith can simply mean wanting a better quality of life. Identify what motivates you—and use it to get healthy.

2. Food
Eat real, whole foods as much as you can. “It’s all about learning to love foods that love you back,” says Warren. The Daniel Plan plate is half non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent lean proteins and 25 percent whole grains or starchy vegetables. Add a side of low-glycemic fruit and drink water or herbal tea. Eat this way most of the time—but remember it’s a learning process and be gentle on yourself when you slip up.

3. Fitness
Make exercise fun! Don’t worry about what other people are doing—choose activities that you enjoy. Try to fit in 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise, three to five days a week.

4. Focus
Change the way you think about food and about yourself. Dr. Amen suggests writing down your automatic negative thoughts, such as “I’m weak” or “I’m fat.” The more you repeat these thoughts to yourself, the more you believe them. “Writing them down gets them out of your head and forces you to question your erroneous beliefs,” he says.

5. Friends
Find a buddy or start a group—with your family, friends, coworkers, church. “The secret to living healthy is people loving each other in a community, and helping and encouraging each other,” says Dr. Hyman.

Jennifer Lawrence Is Having a Major Moment

November 21, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

We cannot stop talking about Jennifer Lawrence. Girlfriend blew us away at the Los Angeles premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. We love everything about her look. The freshly shorn locks. The smoky eyes. The perfectly pink pout. The oxblood mani. And don’t even get us started on that dress. To put it simply, she nailed it. Even if you don’t have the courage (or the bone structure!) to go for a pixie haircut, you can still look as stunning as J. Law. Check out our easy step-by-step guides below to copy her hair and makeup look.

See how to apply a daring lip color like Jennifer’s in this quick tutorial.

Get sexy smoky eyes—without spending an hour in front of the mirror.

Watch how to create an uber-chic, straight style with your short hair.

How to Pull Off Dewy, Flirty Makeup This Winter

November 14, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

We’ve seen a lot of dark lips and smoky eyes for fall, but Mandy Moore shows that bright, pink-y makeup can be just as appropriate. We love her dewy skin and peachy cheeks. Gold-rimmed eyes and soft pink lipstick add to her flirty, feminine look. Sunkissed tousled waves complete her gorgeous beauty style, perfect for those cold winter nights when you’re just longing for the beach.

See how to create the natural look with makeup in this easy step-by-step guide.

Categories: Beauty, Ladies' Lounge | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Wear It Now Wednesday: Look Fabulous in a Faux Fur Vest

November 13, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

A faux fur vest is a must-have this winter, and at just $35, this one from H&M is both stylish and affordable. Not sure how to wear it? It’s more versatile thank you might think!  Pair it with a plaid flannel shirt and riding boots on weekends for a look that’s effortlessly chic. Take the vest into evening with a jewel-toned silk blouse and leather midi skirt. Have fun with your accessories, like this emerald and gold necklace and green suede pumps. You’ll be warm and comfy, yet still totally on-trend—what could be better?

Casual: vest, H&M, shirt (on sale!), American Eagle, jeans, Gap, boots, Bandolino

Dressy: vest, H&M, blouse, Madewell, skirt, Zara, pumps,

Stylish Workout Gear for Every Budget

November 8, 2013 at 10:54 am , by

Need some motivation to get to the gym? Look no further than these fashionable fitness clothes! Click through for our fave workout tops and bottoms in every price range.

Cory Vines Essential Long Sleeve

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We're big fans of this comfy-cozy fitted tee, made of nylon, polyester, and spandex for just the right amount of stretch.

Buy it now at, $35.

The Perfect Hairstyle for Your Upcoming Holiday Parties

November 7, 2013 at 8:00 am , by

Two Broke Girls star Kat Dennings looked absolutely stunning at the Thor: The Dark World premiere this week. Her simple chignon hairstyle, understated makeup, and berry-red lips make the perfect pretty and polished look for the holidays. It’s totally appropriate for your office’s annual holiday bash but transitions easily to drinks with your friends later that night. Romantic and classy, this is a look we’ll be wearing over and over again.

See how to do your own beautiful twisted chignon in this step-by-step guide.