Big Design Ideas

By Hailey Curtiss

There’s nothing like that casual cool look all Californians seem to have. It’s as if they just stepped off the beach somewhere and effortlessly threw something together.

This is the image SMU sophomore Hunter Rice embodies as he sits down for his interview. In his well-loved cotton T-shirt, slim jeans, and quintessential Vans, his posture is relaxed and low-key – such a California kid.

Thus it was no surprise that when he won SMU’s Big iDeas competition last year, and with it funding for a design project,  Rice created the Beyond T-shirt line which embodies that same casual, cool style — and makes a difference in his community.

But the Beyond line, which was inspired by SMU students with bright bandages on their arms after a blood drive, wasn’t Rice’s first foray into the design business.  In high school, Rice and his classmate Austin Miles created the company Frostbite LA.

Frostbite LA


“I launched Frostbite LA as a freshman in high school. My partner and I sold about 15,000 units from only a small angel investment of $500,” says Rice.

Miles adds, “We learned what to do and what not to do when starting a business. We made great connections and were able to have some fun along the way.”

580422_507779902593344_662466550_nFrostbite LA was successful and word of the brand grew rapidly. The line expanded from solely T-shirts to include tank tops and sweatshirts.  It attracted the attention of a few celebrities and even made it as far as Dallas.

Rice recalls the first time he saw one of his designs at SMU. “During my first week at school, I was eating in Umphrey Lee and spotted a girl from across the cafeteria wearing a Frostbite T-shirt. It was an incredible feeling knowing that the line had reached as far as Dallas.”

Seeing how far his brand had spread motivated Rice to try his hand at design again. He wanted the creative challenge of coming up with new looks, but also wanted the challenge of creating a brand that would give back to the community.625623_507782585926409_2062763602_n


Rice wanted to create a brand that was about more than cool T-shirts.   “I brainstormed for a while, but didn’t come up with the concept of Beyond until seeing a group of SMU students with bright bandages on their arms after an SMU blood drive,” he says. “I noticed how they kept these colorful ribbons on their arms because they wanted others to know they had helped someone.”

Rice liked the idea that that bandage represented their donation, so he drew up some designs on blank T-shirts with colorful, vivid designs on the trim of the sleeve that would represent a donation just as the bandages did.

The next challenge: Finding the startup capital to make Beyond Dallas a reality.

SMU Big iDeas Symposium

In April of 2013 Rice and his partner Matt Edwards competed in SMU’s Big iDeas symposium, a competition that awards grants of up to $5,000 to interdisciplinary teams. A panel of faculty members, students and Dallas community members, then review the proposals and award teams with funds to start their businesses.

Rice says, “I had planned to use some of my profits from Frostbite LA to get the new line started. I was unaware of the SMU Big ideas program. A friend of mine suggested I check it out. I worked on a proposal and business plan and submitted it. Within a few weeks, SMU had granted me a generous amount of startup capital.”

The grant allowed Rice to establish Beyond Dallas Co. and start building his brand.

Professor James Hart is director of Arts Entrepreneurship at Meadows School of the Arts. Hart thinks that starting a business while in school is a great idea. He says, “It’s a wonderful idea and I hope that more students do so because it’s a period in their lives where they can absorb risk.”

What is Beyond Dallas Company?

BT_largeToday, Beyond Dallas is a clothing brand that seeks to help underprivileged children. Since SMU’s Big iDeal Symposium, Rice has teamed up with The Boys and Girls Club. With each purchase of a Beyond Dallas Co. T-shirt, an additional T-shirt will be donated to a child in need. Rice’s business plan is modeled directly after the TOMS one-for-one model, where with a purchase of a pair of TOMS, a pair is donated to a child in need.

Regina Morris is a Dallas representative for The Boys and Girls Club. “I love creative programs where you never know where the community service is going to go,” she says.  “I love the [Beyond] initiative and the idea of Beyond Dallas Co. and appreciate Hunter Rice for choosing The Boys and Girls Club for his donation location.”

Beyond Dallas Co. T-shirts will be available for purchase in May.  They are made from a blend of high quality fabrics to ensure the shirts are soft and comfortable as well as stylish.

Rice’s partner Matt Edwards says, “We don’t want to make mass produced T-shirts that people wear and then throw away.  We want people to choose to wear our shirts over and over again.”

Rice says he wants the T-shirt to be versatile enough to be worn under a blazer or your favorite SMU sweatshirt.  But however you wear it, the shirt will make a difference far beyond SMU’s campus.

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fashion figures

by Naomi Bowen

dunham cover

Dunham on the April cover of Glamour

Yes, Lena Dunham graced the cover of Vogue and Glamour. But does this really mean fashion is accepting new standards of beauty?

Dunhman’s wide hips and small bust wouldn’t cause you to bat an eye if they didn’t know she was the brains and star of hit HBO show, Girls. However, since she doesn’t fit into fashion’s waif-like body type that has been popular over the past 20 years, Dunham is seen as “fashion fat.” Kate Upton is also included in this voluptuous plus-sized category, which is idiotic.

Like Dunham, I too lack a fashion figure. The difference between Dunham, Upton, and me though, is I lack of confidence in my body to wear the things I sometimes want but worry what others will think. This lack of confidence is not dependent on size. Almost every weekend the halls of my sorority are filled with one question. Do I look fat in this?

Dunham, however, defies the female stereotype of self-consciousness and bares it all with no hesitation on Girls and wearing exactly what she wants even if it extenuates her pear-shaped figure. We could all learn to take the same risks Dunham has, and embrace her confidence in wearing what she wants to wear without fear of looking, god forbid, fat.

While Dunham’s own self-confidence is something to be admired, the fashion industry’s depiction of her is not. Glamour wants a pat on the back for allowing Dunham to bear her shoulder and torso, even though this pose is not uncommon for a thinner actress or model. The issue isn’t her pose but the accompanying headline highlighting how frequently her weight is discussed. When magazines interview other more ideally-sized actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, who has confessed to loving food and constantly snacking, they don’t accompany the story with a disclaimer that she’s going to mention she’s done talking about her love of food.

I’m aware magazines are places of fantasy and escapism, and I embrace that. I didn’t take issue with Vogue’s cover of Dunham, even with the cropping and airbrushing, because Vogue focused on the powerful woman she is. Dunham has come to the defense of Vogue saying she was treated with respect and retouching is just a part of Vogue. The fashion industry isn’t going to change it’s standards of beauty overnight but when they should remember curves or different proportions don’t make someone fat, and to exclude their own biases about what is beautiful. Instead they should focus on highlighting the women they thought important enough to put on their cover in the first place.

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spring 2014 trends

by Amelia Ambrose

Is it too much of a cliché to say that spring is in the air? Well, that’s a fact, and it can’t come soon enough for me. I’m ready to say hello to the warm sunshine and goodbye to the icy temps that have long outstayed their welcome.

The changing weather brings changes in fashion. This season, expect to see a modern twist on a classic favorite (floral) as well as fun colors; black & white; and new hemlines so daring they’ll make your jaw drop. Every trend coincides with the next and each piece can and (should) be mixed and matched to give you the most options for your wardrobe.

It’s time to rip off those wool tights and heavy winter coats and locate the emergency credit card stored in the freezer. Let’s go shopping.



With the warming weather and beautiful sprouting foliage, a good mood is almost always a guarantee. According to, this spring we see glimpses of nature on clothing. Nature is an inspiration for most designers. This can be observed through the ample use of colors in this year’s spring collections.

A classic favorite: floral

Floral is represented in an upscale manner this spring. Sporting the budding blossom look is a great way to turn any event into an “Upper-East side soirée.” You’ll find feminine dresses in your favorite boutiques in pastel shades, adorned with intricate designs. Anyone bold enough to wear these outfits is sure to be seen. SMU graduate Ryanne Lewis rocks her floral prints wherever she goes.

“I love wearing my new flower print form-fitting dress this spring. It’s perfect for work and I can dress it down with flats for a Saturday afternoon brunch.”

Lewis found a way to make her outfit work for her everyday life. Practical yet stylish is key, and if you can make an outfit be both, you win.

These floral patterns don’t have to be over the top. Many designers use subtle looks to turn a bland dress into a fabulous one. Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren have paired fitted A-line dresses with a simple floral pattern, giving us a polished ladylike look. Pair with pointed stilettos and a stylish glove to finish the well-put together ensemble.

The “Always On” Black & White

trend2The black and white color combination has proven over time that its relationship was meant to last. B&W is again making a serious statement, but this season that dull “old couple” has a young, hip spirit. With new prints and patterns, from a distressed look to neat lines and shapes, today’s B&W packs a punch. BCBG MaxAzria manager Veronica Gonzales has noticed this trend and agrees with its capabilities.

“Having a great black and white piece in your wardrobe will make any dimple bottom look chic and sophisticated,” she says. Many shoppers are in search of these fun patterns this spring.

Add a color piece to make your edgy B&W outfit pop even more. “Having a great color statement piece is a great way to take your simple black and white outfit to the next level,” says BCBG MaxAzria style expert J.R. Hernandez.   Try a burnt lime tank with a crazy pattern to intensify the look.  Or stick with a more subtle shade of pastel pink, blue or yellow to finalize your outfit.

trend4Northpark mall senior publicist Kristen Gibbins has seen and written about the spring fashions this year.

“Springtime is going to see black and white used in new ways that are sophisticated and fun,” she says.  ”In addition to the blocks of color we’ve seen in previous years, we are going to see a mix and match patterns.  Black and white geometric forms may be seen with black and white florals — it’s all about having fun and making it unique for an individualized look.   To add another level of interest, on top of the black and white patterns, you’ll see some pops of in soft spring colors and laser cut detailing on clothing, shoes and purses.”

The Black Leather Jacket

trend6A black statement piece that is a good investment this spring is a skinny black leather jacket. Always functional and stylish, this is a piece that cannot go wrong. And it can be paired with all of the trends: floral, B&W, and pastels, the moto-estic meets sophisticated girl jacket is a must.  This piece is usually seen in fall collections but do not fret. Investing in this jacket now will last you through the fashion year. Gonzales says that this season the leather jacket has been hugely popular and she expects that it will continue to sell well into the fall season.


The white wide-legged pant

Wide-legged white pants are also sure to make an appearance. Leaving the oh-so tight fitted look behind, white pants made of light linen will be loose and flowing. These wide-leg pants are a nice breath of fresh air. Channeling our inner manliness, we can pair this look with a loose fitted top then add heels to elongate our frame. This takes the grungy-chic look to the next level.

With style inspirations such as The Man Repeller website, young women everywhere are stepping outside of their comfort zones and trying these new fashions. SMU graduate student Taylor Robinson has a knack for finding these different styles and knowing which ones work.

“I’m trying a lot of new outfit ideas this spring. I bought a pair of the white wide-legged pants and have already worn them twice. They are easy to pair a causal outfit with and on days when I’m feeling lazy it has the same function as a maxi-skirt. Very easy.”

The tea-length skirt

Wide-leg pants are not the only hot-ticketed item appearing this spring that are exploring new widths and cuts, tea-length skirts are joining them in the spot light. These skirts fall in between a mini and a maxi skirt. Although the length may seem a bit awkward to some, this look is perfect for the fearless fashionista. Seen on, pairing these with your fave heels and form-fitted tee and you form a power outfit, adding a touch of class to any wardrobe.

You may see them in many different colors and styles. Expect to see them in fun floral patterns as well, which will truly make a statement.

Crop Tops

Don’t worry, even though your legs will be partly covered, there will be no shortage of skin this spring. It will be possible to flaunt the arms, legs and the abs you have worked so hard for during these past frigid winter months.

Crop tops are back and higher than ever. According to, crop tops have a bit of a new flare added to them. By pairing these tops with the tea-length skirts refreshes this look. Another option is to pair with a high-waisted skirt. This look has been seen on celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian. Whether you like them or not, they are great models of fearless fashion. Add your leather or bomber jacket that is sure to turn heads.

With so many new and exciting trends on the scene, it is impossible to talk about them all. We need to go to new lengths and try these looks out. For whatever the occasion, finding pieces that you can mix and match together in new combinations is important for every fashionista. Plus, your wallet and credit card bill will thank you.

From floral print to exotic B&W patterns, pastel shades to new bottom cuts, and many pieces in between, this spring is sure to be a treat that every girl with a sweet tooth will be sure to enjoy.

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festival fashion

by Hailey Curtiss

With the arrival of spring, comes the arrival of music festivals all across the country. Who could forget Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performing with a hologram of Tupac at Coachella in 2012?

Music festivals feature some of the hottest performers – there’s something for everyone to enjoy! It’s also a time to bring out your inner hippie. It’s a time to swap those stilettos for sandals, and trade bandage skirts for maxi skirts.


photo via Elle magazine

Other hippie inspired looks include pairing cut-off denim shorts with a crop top, or wearing a loose ‘70s inspired dress. Either way, just throw on some retro sunglasses and you’re ready to go!

Another cool accessory that is worth adding to your outfit is an oversized hat. It is not only fashionable but also functional. It protects you from the sun while contributing to that boho chic style.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to music festival fashion. What will you wear?




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luxury e-tailer launches magazine

by Jenna Veldhuis

I’ll speak for most of the millennial generation and admit that I cannot imagine life without technology.

That said truth is that like most millennials, I cannot imagine life without my trusted iPhone, and moments where my Apple companion dies on me send me into a helpless panic.  It may not be love a la Joaquin Phoenix in Her, but it’s close.

Dramatic, I know, but it goes to show how powerful the digital age is. With smart phones, people forever ditched pagers.  With the GoogleMaps app, everyone under 35 ditched hugely inconvenient foldout maps.  And now, with so much news-worthy content on the web, more and more of us are canceling newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

All signs point to digital media taking the lead in this tug-of-war. Digital is cheaper, quicker, even easier to carry.  Yet, despite this logic, magazines are still an incredibly successful enterprise, as demonstrated by’s decision to take the plunge into the magazine world with the launch of Porter.

UK COVER FINAL - press copy

The London-based luxury “e-tailer,” which has been estimated to be worth more than $530 million, started its foray into the print industry with The Edit, a weekly shoppable digital magazine.

Porter began from a discussion between Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massanet, and Lucy Yeomans, the magazine’s current editor-in-chief,  after a busy day at Paris Fashion Week.  Yeomans writes in the Editor’s Note of the first issue about their inspiration to, “combine the beauty, fantasy, and authority of print magazines with the instant gratification and global reach of the digital world, afforded by a fashion and tech company like Net-a-Porter.”

Now, one year later, Porter is on newsstands.  And the reaction has generally been favorable.  Porter is different from most popular fashion titles in that it features a concierge service for everything featured in the magazine, even items not sold on the website.

SMUstyle blogger Daniela Hernandez says: “I think now with all the major magazine publications moving into e-reads, Net-a-Porter is definitely staying ahead of the game with a cool way for clients to browse some of their merchandise.”

I initially thought that as a successful e-tailer, Porter would be a beautifully made catalogue, featuring only items from  I was, however, very wrong, as the red cardigan sported by Gisele Bundchen on the cover of the first issue is by none other than Chanel, a brand the retailer has never carried.

Yet Porter is still a bit of a hybrid, says Mark Vamos, William O’Neil Chair of Business Journalism at SMU.  The publication is primarily a marketing vehicle that lacks real editorial independence since the company has commercially produced every article it carries.  Thus, Porter can best be described as “sponsored content.”  This type of content has become a “hot thing in the marketing world,” says Vamos, “but something journalists should be worried about.”

Before I glanced through the glossy February issue of Porter, I had wondered to myself why a company that clearly had achieved success in the digital world would essentially take a step backwards by launching a print magazine, when one glance at newsstands will tell you fashion print media is not in short supply.

Hernandez thinks the tangible aspect of magazine is important, as well as looking at, “the graphic design aspect of how everything is laid out and artistically planned, [something] you don’t necessarily get online.”

Porter seems to have been received well overall.  But only time will tell if digital media will transcend the print industry, but for now glossy magazines don’t seem to be going anywhere.

Vamos reinforces this point as he opens up to a spread in the April issue of Vogue, featuring Kim and Kanye. “You cannot do this with a tablet,” he says.  “[The] power of the double truck spread remains very strong and hard to reproduce in other media.”

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like to know it

by Virginia Boswell

likeIf you’re like me, shopping has evolved from in store, to online, to Instagram. Yes, buying clothes and accessories directly from Instagram has become another way that you can get fashion at your fingertips, literally.

While bloggers and brands have linked their Instagram photos with the website where you can purchase these items, a new website, LIKE to KNOW IT has taken this instant shopping to a new level.

RewardStyle has created yet another way to monetize online blogging through their new site LIKE to KNOW IT. Basically, the user signs up with the website through their Instagram account and can “like” photos of bloggers that use LIKE to KNOW IT. Then, the user gets an email that lets them know exactly where they can buy each item in the Instagram they “liked”. Look out wallet.

Not only does this site make visual shopping a reality, it also introduces users to new bloggers constantly. Members of LIKE to KNOW IT can look on the site at all the bloggers that are featured there, allowing them to discover blogs they never knew existed.

Brilliant or dangerous? I’ll let you decide. Either way, LIKE to KNOW IT embodies the instant gratification of being able to purchase any item your heart-or eyes- desire, with a simple double-click of your finger.

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bella and the city

by Michelle Hammond

When Candace Bushnell’s beloved character Carrie Bradshaw would write about her dating experience in New York City, she had her own column in the paper. Theoretically, people would need to have a physical copy of the newspaper to be able to read her column. That is definitely not the case today. With the way bloggers have been taking over the Internet in the past few years, anyone can have her own column, so to speak, and share it with the world. This also means that, essentially, anyone can be a journalist of sorts.

Bellas Ramos, author of the blog Dateless in Dallas.

Bella Ramos, author of the blog Dateless in Dallas.

Whether in print or online, if there is one thing women can instantly bond over, it is the hardships of dating. Candace Bushnell knew it, and Bella Ramos knows it. Ramos, the 31-year-old author of the blog Dateless in Dallas –the name is a clever play on the beloved rom com “Sleepless in Seattle”– has been documenting her experiences in the world of dating and online dating in Dallas since July 2011.

Bella's blog, Dateless in Dallas.

Bella’s blog, Dateless in Dallas.

With around 1,000 fans on Facebook, nearly 600 visits to her blog per day and 3,472 followers on Instagram, Bella’s numbers keep going up. By day, she works full time doing business development for a software security company, but when that is done, she becomes Bella, the sassy, opinionated Dallas dating connoisseur and more recently, fashionista.

Ramos just teamed up with Stella & Dot, a growing direct sales jewelry company now valued at $450 million, to be one of their personal stylists in the Dallas area.

“It’s been a fun and exciting experience,” she says. “Once you have jewelry to display, you can host a trunk show and show the guests how you can style every accessory from Stella & Dot.” Ramos is currently working on launching her new blog Bellasque, which will be solely focused on fashion.

Bella at the Anti Valentine's Day Bash she hosted this year at Mockingbird Station.

Bella at the Anti Valentine’s Day Bash she hosted this year at Mockingbird Station.

This year, Ramos was even asked to host Mockingbird Station’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Bash, which donates a portion of its proceeds to the American Heart Association.

Princess Umukoro, a Dateless in Dallas fan who attended the party, says, “It was a really nice spinoff on a Valentine’s Day.” Umukoro, 25, says the party included a live band, an attractive guy dressed as the cupid we all love to hate, and a goodie bag with ironic items like black roses and voodoo dolls.

Umukoro, who has been in Dallas a little over 10 months, praises Ramos for the blog’s aesthetics. She notes that because Ramos is a computer programmer she spends a lot of time on the little things, like fonts and colors. Umukoro believes that this helps the blog be fun and feminine while still looking professional.

Of course, appearance isn’t the only thing that attracts readers to a blog.

“I was interested in her stories,” says Melanie Rodriguez, a 26-year-old software developer. “I liked that she was real, she gives it 110 percent and I think that’s why readers enjoy her blog.” Even though Rodriguez has been in a relationship for seven years, she follows Dateless in Dallas loyally.

Rodriguez discovered Ramos’ blog through Instagram. Rodriguez often follows her favorite bloggers on Instagram and last year, the bloggers and some of their fans decided to meet. Rodriguez went, met Ramos, and the rest was history

Her blog has been leaning more in the direction of being a lifestyle blog now, but Bella says she will keep the name Dateless in Dallas because it’s catchy and fun.

And although monetizing blogs has become increasingly popular, Ramos has no interest in doing so. “Even though fashion or journalism was not what I majored in when I went to college, it somehow found its way into my life and I have loved doing it.”

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the bright yellow boutique

by Grace Merck

merck3I approach a small white-washed building, there is no sign, so I have to know what I’m looking for. I open the doors to a room covered in sunshine. Immediately, my eye is drawn to the bright yellow walls. Looking closer, I see the intricately printed furniture, the black and white floorboards, the unique flowers, and finally, the fabulous clothing that lines the walls. I have just stepped into one of Dallas’ best-kept secrets: a beautiful boutique named Canary.

Merry Vose, an active member of the Dallas arts community, opened Canary in October 2013, but this date does not mark the beginning of her retail career.

In 2007, Vose opened her first store, her self-proclaimed “fourth child”– Cabana.

The store was created by popular demand. Vose’s unique style and eye for fashion had many of her friends begging her to shop for them. “I decided that I would more [than personal shopping] love opening a store where I could go to market, buy the merchandise and create a fun environment to shop in,” Vose says.

So, she did just that. Vose first opened Cabana in her pool house. The store was open during hours that catered to a mom with young children. Think 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In spite of the store’s offbeat location and hours, Vose had immediate success. “The minute I had new things come in, I had customers excited to shop,” she says.

merck2Cabana was born from Vose’s struggle to find “great casual clothes in Dallas.” As Cabana began to fit the niche of clothing for the casual mom lifestyle, Vose’s clients and friends started requesting “a higher end, bit more sophisticated mix of brands,” Vose says.  ”That is the idea behind Canary.”

Canary has become the edgier and more sophisticated sister to Cabana, carrying brands like Peter Pilotto, SEA New York, and Megan Park. “Canary’s brand and style asthetic  is certainly more city wear,” says Vose.

The Canary employees praise Vose for her ability to find designers that few other stores in the area carry. “We have a lot of English designers, a line from Spain, a couple people out of New York, some from Paris,” says Molly Bruder.

merck1“Canary really does cater to the edgy but ladylike girl,” says Vose.

Vose, a 1994 SMU alum, credits her degree in advertising and her minor in art history with helping her succeed in her business.

“My advertising background has certainly helped me as we are constantly selling ourselves, our brands, our merchandise, etc. My art history minor certainly helped me, as well, develop an eye for detail, for craftsmanship, for color, for design,” she says.

Long-time fashion writer for Women’s Wear Daily, Holly Haber, is impressed by Vose’s success in such an interesting start up.

“What is so curious about Merry is that she made a great success of Cabana even though it’s always had extremely limited hours equivalent to 15 a week, no sign, and has never been open on weekends. This is unheard of in storefront retail. It demonstrates that it’s possible to break the rules and thrive if you’ve got the right mix, connections and cachet,” Haber says.

Vose offers advice to those who wish to pursue caeers in fashion: “Go for it. Don’t just sit around and talk about something. It will never get done by just talking about it. You have to work, hard, set goals, believe in your ideas and dreams, and take a risk.”

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lazy girl’s guide to creating naturally beautiful hair styles

by Amelia Ambrose

tangled1I’m not sure about you, but my hair is a piece of work. I was not one of those lucky girls who was blessed with perfectly natural straight hair or one that wakes up and the natural waviness is perfection. Nope, for me it’s as follows: a long, thick, dirty blonde (usually dirty) wavy mess. No matter what, it’s tangled and it’s very scary to put a brush through-so I usually don’t. Yes, this could be laziness or simply fear of pulling out half of my mane, but when it comes to styling this mess, I have a few pointers for what to do/NOT do if your hair is some kind-of-crazy like mine.


  1. Don’t shower the night before, especially if it’s way late. You will most likely fall asleep with you hair sopping wet and wake up with 100 kinks and waves that make you look like a wild animal
  2. Don’t put styling cream in your hair if it’s mostly dry. Knowing you, this will make it look extra greasy and dirty for class. Which would be very depressing because it was a day when you were going for the “trying but not trying too hard look”
  3. Use dry shampoo very carefully—applying too much can have you looking like you are graying at a young age
  4. Braids and headbands are your friends. BUT switch up the types of braids and wear different headbands so people don’t think you haven’t changed in days
  5. No matter what, act as though your hair looks really good. Your friends will see your confidence and think that your have discovered a new hair trend


It’s one thing to blow-dry your hair out and then styling it becomes easy, you could do it with your eyes closed. But on these days where you wake up late and showered the night (or a few days) before, things become difficult. Be mindful of these no-no’s and remember there is (probably) someone out there with worse hair than you. tangled2


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On trend: Good-for-you food

by Naomi Bowen

photo taken at HG Sply Co. in Dallas

photo taken at HG Sply Co. in Dallas

Over the past year, Dallas restaurants have gone from highlighting trendy dishes like tacos and burgers to focusing on food that is both healthful and delicious.

While some restaurants have opened to meet the dictates of specific diets like The Paleo Diet and anti-inflammatory diets, many mainstream restaurants are also adapting their current menus to include more healthful options.

Notes Leslie Brenner, restaurant critic for The Dallas Morning News: “Even in ‘cheffy’ restaurants, you’re seeing way more vegetables on the plates, way less butter, less heavy stuff. There’s been a big change in the dining scene in general, not just when a restaurant sells themselves that way.”

Many major chains like Applebee’s and Chili’s are also displaying lower-calorie options, to allow people the option of eating healthy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity in Texas has dropped 2.5 percent since 2011. Brenner says she thinks health-focused restaurants, like True Food Kitchen and HG Sply Co., show a change in how people are living and eating.  “If you go to both of these restaurants, they’re always packed. I think there’s a tremendous hunger for food that’s more healthful in Dallas,” Brenner says.

True Food Kitchen, the new Dallas hot spot that caters to the anti-inflammatory diet, has been consistently packed since it opened in Preston Center last November. Physician Andrew Weil, the founder of the diet, helped create the menu for this chain, which started in Colorado and also has a popular branch in Los Angeles.

anti-inflammatory-food-pyramidThe anti-inflammatory diet focuses on creating balanced nutrition — based on scientific knowledge of how specific foods help your body maintain optimum health — not just losing weight. “I think that we are catching up in Dallas with other parts of the country. Dallas is not the only place catching up, a lot of the heartland and the South are catching up, too,” Brenner says.

Rachel Fine, a certified personal trainer who provides dietary guidance, says she follows the anti-inflammatory diet and encourages her clients to as well.  “I already ate this way before I learned about it, which I think goes to show how much it just makes sense,” Fine says. “The main things to avoid are refined sugar, flour, starches, full fat dairy, and red/fatty meat. It’s not that hard, and it has a lot of healthy benefits beside weight loss like healthier skin, joints, and internal organs.”

In contrast, the Paleo Diet is built around “eating like a caveman” and getting your energy from meat. The diet excludes all grains, dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, beans, salt, and processed foods. According to founder Loren Cordain, the Paleo Diet allows for three non-Paleo meals a week.

Health care professionals, however, are not sure how healthful this diet actually is. “The diet requires you to get your protein from meat, and guys always love an excuse to eat red meat, which is not good for the heart,” Fine says. “Cavemen did not eat every day. Everyone I have ever met who did the Paleo Diet eats every day.”

SMU senior Brianna McIntyre, who has been on and off the Paleo Diet for the past three years at varying intensities, said she felt her energy go up once she cut out grains, sugar, and high-fat dairy. “The longer I was on it the clearer my head felt,” Mcintyre says. “The mental fog was gone, and I didn’t feel drained or tired.”

McIntyre says her motivation to go on The Paleo Diet was not about weight loss but simply a desire to eat better. “I started snacking on nuts during the day, and I actually gained weight when I was being really strict Paleo,” Mcintyre says.

Brenner thinks that once people adopt these diets that advocate for moderation and a focus on fresh produce they’ll stick with them. “If you’re eating a certain way at home and you go to a restaurant and you’re clobbered with meat and cheese and starch, it just doesn’t feel good,” Brenner says. “This isn’t trendy. People are getting smarter about what they eat.”

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