Hello from Brooklyn! As you likely know, there was a hurricane this week. I hope all our East Coast and New England followers are safe and sound. Our offices in Manhattan are closed, so I'm writing this from my apartment in Brooklyn, where luckily I have power and Internet (albeit very slow Internet).
Anyway, we didn't want to let Hurricane Sandy slow us down, so we're going to do our best to keep SHAPE.com updated and timely this week. And to that effort, here are some headlines and links from 'round the web that we're reading right now:
1. Play with your pumpkin. Hurricane or not, it’s Halloween! If you spent the afternoon carving up a storm, don’t just toss your jack o’lanterns’ guts: Use these tips from FitSugar to get the most out of your entire pumpkin, including the seeds and pulp.
2. Go easy on the makeup. Proof that everything we do can kill you: New research suggests that phthalates, a common chemical used in most cosmetics and other household items and food, can cause early menopause, which in turn puts you more at risk for suffering a stroke, heart problems, and increased bone loss. All the more reason to embrace the natural look.
3. Reduce stress by cleaning. It works for Jennifer Morrison, who's currently on ABC's new hit drama Once Upon a Time. "I clear things out and get rid of the stuff I don’t need. When the food pantry and the refrigerator are organized, I feel less stressed.” Watch our exclusive video with the star to learn more about how she stays so fit and so gorgeous!
And for those who keep thinking about Sandy:
4. Find storm relief at your local gym or volunteer. The hurricane has wreaked havoc, killing 69 in the Caribbean and the death toll on the East Coast is slowly climbing. If you or anyone you know is in need of power, water, food, or other necessities, check your local gym or health club. Most are open today and providing services like cell phone charging and showers for free. If you're in the New York area and want to volunteer, Purpella has aggregated a list of organizations and resources who are looking for help.
5. Don’t try the sniff test. If you're in the midst of a blackout and looking at a week's worth of groceries in the fridge, this article from Huffington Post Healthy Living will tell you which foods to toss immediately, which are okay eaten within a couple of hours, and which are safe, as well as provide safety tips. Bookmark it even if you live on the other coast—you never know when you’ll be without power.