Clinical nutritionist Donna Brown, M.S., offers a guide to healthy eating strategies. Look good and feel good this holiday season!

‘Tis the Season! Festive spirits abound, along with holiday parties, family gatherings, company celebrations and goodies galore. The groaning table of treats, favorite comfort foods and boozy drinks that we dream of all year long is back. We give ourselves permission to indulge now and believe we will lose weight in January.

Guys, try something else this year and avoid the Un-Fab Five by re-thinking our excessive tendencies. Try these tips instead:

  1. Use the 90/10 rule: Eat healthy 90% of the time and eat what you crave 10% of the time. This goes a long way in taking a few liberties and complying with a healthier eating plan.
  2. Don’t skip meals the day of the holiday dinner or party or you might as well kiss your self-control good-bye!
  3. Eat a protein snack before the dinner that will provide much needed energy and keep your resolve going until dinner is served. Grab an egg, a small handful of nuts, a cup of vegetable based soup, an apple with nut butter, or a plain Greek yogurt.
  4. Eat low-glycemic foods that will not cause your blood sugar to rise quickly and crash—making you even hungrier! Low glycemic foods include all vegetables plus protein and fat containing foods.
  5. Hydrate properly beforehand to keep up energy, mood, and self-control.
  6. Slow it down! Don’t grab every treat in sight! Retrain yourself to look over the buffet, fill your plate with veggies and lean protein choices first and then take smaller portions of starches and sweets, if at all!  Chew your food! Take two bites of dessert or a favorite food instead of the whole thing and you may feel satisfied.
  7. Weigh yourself in the morning.  Face your weight and keep the number you want to weigh in mind when the dessert tray or the next bottle of beer is passed around.
  8. Scare yourself a bit. Taking off five pounds is no picnic and much harder than passing up the pie!


Donna Brown, M.S., is a clinical nutritionist in private practice in Fairfield, CT. The Nutrition Kitchen offers personalized programs for nutrition and aging, healing nutrition, weight management, sports nutrition, food coaching and overall wellness with the goal of feeling healthier and more vibrant into the decades.

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Meet Mënaji Man: Shawn Punch

Fashion Photographer and Menaji Skincare Customer Shawn Punch

Life behind the lens is exactly where Fashion Photographer Shawn Punch would rather be. And when he’s not snapping photos of runway gorgeous models, Shawn immerses his talents as a pencil artist & hospital administrator.

A regular Mënaji Skincare customer, Shawn shares a few details about his unique life and his favorite Mënaji Skincare products.

What are 5 things you can’t live without?  Music, family, art, food, and learning. I am the consummate learner.

Who has influenced you the most and why? My friend Glen had a huge impact on my life. He’ s served as a mentor; helped me land my first job out of college; and guide d me through the challenges of the corporate world and life in general. He always stressed the importance of honesty and doing a good job.

What was the best advice you have ever received? It pays to be a winner.

Everyone has a teacher that made an impact on his or her life. Who was that person for you? Mr. Gotesman my sixth grade teacher. He encouraged me to draw and believed that I was a good student and child.

Do you have a favorite music genre?  Hip Hop, especially New York 90’s rap music. It gets me in a confident, energetic mental space!

Describe what your perfect day looks like. I experienced a perfect day a few years ago. I was paid to do a fashion photo shoot in a club in the Lower East Side, New York City. The designer loved my work and treated me very well. My girlfriend at the time was right next to me providing love and support. From that event, I met a lot of really nice people who wanted to work with me.

Which Mënaji Skincare product is your favorite and why? I love the Aftershave Hydrator because it gives me a nice cool, fresh feeling after I shave my head and face. The Lip Balm Agent is really nice too. It keeps my lips moist.

Shawn Punch Photography:

Web:  Twitter: @ShawnPunch  Instagram:  ShawnPunch

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Love them or hate them, at some point in your life you may find yourself working with a headhunter. Let’s face it; an experienced headhunter can search more efficiently for jobs than you can.  Plus, a headhunter has something you don’t have — inside job market information AND knowledge about openings that you will never see advertised.

It’s helpful to understand how a headhunter operates.  Simply, their goal is to match you with the right job so they can collect their fee.

We asked Scott Craighead, a top headhunter (who is also a Mënaji Skincare fan) with the firm WTW Associates in New York to share some advice on what to expect when working with a headhunter. Here’s what he had to say.


Career Advice

What Is A Headhunter?

“Some headhunters will find you jobs, not all!  If they are retained search professionals who fill senior level positions ($150-200k+ depending on geography) they spend most of their time building relationships with senior executives at corporations in the hopes that they will be hired to find the next senior level executive.

These firms are not motivated to find people jobs.  But if they are contingency recruiters ($75-150/200k+/-), they may be more likely to help introduce you to their clients since there are more of these mid-level positions and these firms probably have more client relationships, with the demand to fill those positions more urgent.  So ask how they are compensated and how they work with people looking to further their careers.”

How Should You Engage a Headhunter?  

“Don’t call!  Email them. Recruiters are busy and are focused on building client relationships and finding candidates.  So email them your resume, tell them your current compensation, and why you’re contemplating a job change.  It’s important to contact recruiters who specialize either in your function (HR, finance, marketing, tech, etc.) or industry (consumer, pharma, manufacturing, etc.).  And aim high, contact the most senior person at the headhunter’s firm.  If you share a mutual connection on LinkedIn, mention that as an icebreaker.

What Are Today’s Trends with Job Search?

It’s all about LinkedIn!  If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you won’t get a job!  Today, 277 million people have profiles with most being professional based in the U.S.   This is where recruiters look for candidates.  Build up your professional network of who you know on this platform since you will be viewed on both your connections + the connections who you share with recruiters and other professionals in your area of expertise.

One final note, the biggest mistake people make is that they spend too much time responding to job postings – Which is like winning the lottery, many apply, with only 1 winner (typically!).  Instead, identify companies of interest and approach them directly — email the person to whom you’d report, suggest a phone discussion, should it go well, circle back in a week and suggest getting together.  Building a relationship with a potential boss may take time but it can pay off in the long run and having the right job is generally worth the wait.

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