E6: 🥇Goodbye Cardio, Hello Strength Training

Plus: 5 best canned fruits, pickleball, calming face oils

Good morning! Thanks for giving us a read (and, welcome back to some of you who may have been our original subscribers). 

Let’s get to today’s diet of healthy, snackable news: as always, we are dedicated to providing valuable (and entertaining) need-to-know items to improve your morning/day/week/life. What we’re covering:

  • The evolution of the home gym and demise of the cardio workout, and what to do instead

  • Why you should consider face & body oils

  • Which canned fruit to buy, which you should avoid, and why it should regain a place in your pantry (spoiler: it can be better than fresh)

  • Our Mother’s Day guide for procrastinators, and what Mom really wants 

  • Reddit thread of the week: an entertaining discussion of Publix’s new brioche donuts

If you have friends who would love The Skinny or some of this week’s snackable content, please share the love by forwarding this email. And if someone already in the know sent this, you can subscribe here.

Goodbye, home cardio gym

Instead, focus on strength and the exercise of body & mind

Photo by Joan Azeka for Unsplash

The Skinny: Peloton’s wheels were spinning this week with news of its CEO departure and reports of impending layoffs (and then, rumors of a buyout). All of this unsurprising, given that trends—if swung far in one direction—rebound to the extremes. We reported last week on the rise of group fitness, which is the complete opposite of the “at-home gym/workout” that held steady during the bleak pandemic years.

In related news, Hydrow — a company that Peloton reportedly once tried to buy — is crushing it. It’s all pointing toward today’s fitness enthusiasts focusing on weight training over cardio, with gyms even slowly replacing some cardio equipment with strength/weights.

Here are some The Skinny-approved ideas to get you moving in this new era (including several that are Greek-inspired, since we are heading there tomorrow):

  • Look for gyms and clubs that also serve as community hubs and that focus on “social wellness” and human connection. This school of thinking goes back to ancient Greece, where libraries also served as gyms, and intellectual and philosophical discourse would accompany a workout (as we learned in this BBC article).

  • Along those same lines, and for strength: grab some workout buddies and do a “tetrad,” which is a four-day cycle taught to gladiators by Greek physicians, according to this account in Men’s Health (which also tells you how to incorporate it into a modern day workout).

  • Great minds dink alike: From Taylor Swift wearing an internet-breaking skort on a pickleball court to Katy Perry and Lionel Richie’s matchup, pickleball fever continues. We still prefer tennis, but either way: these court sports are also social activities, which have been proven to increase life happiness and longevity.

The Ancient Greeks believed it was the duty of citizens to perfect mind and body together. Athletic activity was seen as another form of wisdom (sophia)…so it made sense that exercising the brain and muscles was performed in the same place.

BBC, “How to train like an ancient Greek Olympian.” 
Crème de la Skinny  

Face & body oils for all

Photo courtesy of Desavery

Today, we’re talking about the glory of body and face oils. There may still be a debate on whether they “actually moisturize,” but they work for us, deliver on shine and dewy-ness, and are more pleasant to use than creams. Here we have some of the best body oils in the category (oui to  Nécessaire, one of our absolute favorites that we discovered during a ski trip to Chamonix).  

  • Do as Cleopatra did and use olive oil directly on your skin: learn exactly how, in this medically-reviewed write-up that also includes any risks to consider for certain types of skin. You can also invest in products that contain olive oil. One we’ve tried, and loved, is Korres’ Pure Greek Olive 3-in-1 Nourishing Oil.

  • For the guys: you need glowing, moisturized skin too. And since we know you like to keep it simple, face oils are the answer (options abound – AskMen has them all here). Also, impressed by the before/after from newcomer Krete’s “30-second hydrating facial serum.’  

  • Holy grail face oil for us right now is Desavery’s best-selling SMOOTH (hyaluronic acid to hold moisture in and plump) and STELLAR (moisturizing oil) duo. We are believers in a mind + body approach to skincare, and these are crafted with botanical plant oils that can help lower cortisol levels. Stress wreaks havoc on your skin and if something as pleasant as the fragrance from this product can help, we’re all in. From the founder, Andrea Dimmick, we have a quick 101 in the power of essential oils:

    1. First, she points to several studies that show how inhaling bergamot will quickly lower cortisol levels.

    2. Clary sage has a ‘happy’ effect. In a 2010 study, clary sage had the strongest anti-stress effect among a whole group of essential oils.

    3. Frankincense has a very calming and grounding impact. It’s been used in religious ceremonies for hundreds of years but it’s also been shown to help with focus and concentration. So calming, stress-reducing, grounding and focus - those are the benefits of inhaling Stellar.

    Plus, it comes in glass bottles and meets the EU’s strict skincare standards. (Pro tip: A little goes a VERY long way.)

Pantry Raid  

Reach into the recipe box: We want to hear from you!

Photo by Anita Austvika for Unsplash

The Skinny: We do love scouring our network/the socials for the best hacks, tips & trends when it comes to eating. Yet, we’re guessing that you—our readers—probably have the best recipes and ideas of all. And we want to hear them! Send us your recipes and we’ll choose one to make and feature in an upcoming edition. For this week, the only criteria is that your submission uses something from the pantry. Extra points if it’s a better-for-you dupe (like this copycat Beefaroni) or a clever hack (like these for your everyday ramen). To submit, simply respond to this email with your name, the recipe name, and how to make it. 

 We’ve discussed frozen vegetables before as your freezer’s unsung heroes and it turns out that canned fruit, too, can evolve beyond sad and syrupy. Believe it or not, canned or frozen are often better than fresh. The reasons are threefold: 

  1. It’s picked and canned/frozen at peak ripeness, whereas most “fresh” non-farmer’s market produce often has been created to prioritize storage, size and longevity over quality (all explained here in this story about why fruits/vegetables taste better in Europe—stop the madness!) 

  2.  It’s cheaper 

  3. It can help retain its nutritive value—this canned fruit explainer notes that a study showed that “antioxidant levels in canned apricots were 47% higher than the fresh ones.” 

Ready to shop? Here are five canned fruits you should buy (readable version), and five you shouldn’t (same story, video version). 

Shop the headlines*

The Mother’s Day edit

Where you @ procrastinators? Whether you’re a small business shopper (walk or bike to your local store = win/win by exercising and supporting the locals) or Amazon lover, you can still get Mom’s gift on time. Best part is these are things she likes for under $100. Our three faves from Amazon’s edit, below…hint, hint @ourkids. 

Also, universal lip color: As with everything beauty, dupes abound but here are two to consider for Mom—no guesswork required, as these are designed to look good on anyone! We like Clinique’s cult-fave Black Honey for several reasons: Effective product/formula, trusted brand, sleek eye-candy packaging, and catchy name (always a part of a beauty product’s allure). However, if you’re looking for something less pricey (but we will say, also with less color payout), we are fans of this Burt’s Bees Lip Tint Balm (2-in-1 duo). Pair this with a cute new cosmetic bag, and you’re done!

Finally, we asked a mom what she wanted and appreciated her take. Linda, a subscriber and witty Florida retiree, had this to say:

“Who knows me better than me? I proclaim that I would like to orchestrate the day and have my family execute it to my exact detail. Perhaps the best gift would be for my husband to leave at dawn and go fishing…ahh, if he only knew how to fish (maybe I’ll give him fishing lessons for Father’s Day). I would stay home and putter, one of life’s greatest joys.”


This week’s newsfeed

  • Run the runway: According to the FT, a new focus on stylish running kits has turned some marathons into fashion shows.

  • Just add a ton of mustard: In our quest to include hot dogs in every newsletter, behold this 65-foot installation in Times Square (shout-out to an alert reader who doesn’t even live NYC)

  • Soak it up: We sort of agree with these celebs who profess to hating the Met Gala, but ngl, we’re intrigued by Jessica Biel’s 20-pound epsom salt bath prep. (As a frequent bather, I agree, more is more!)

  • Cinco de Puppy: Dogs don’t know that Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, so you can make them this “pawgarita” anytime. 

  • Stairway to [workout] heaven: Competitive Tower Running gives “taking the stairs” a whole new meaning.

  • Must-scroll Reddit thread of the week: r/publix discussion on their new Brioche donuts (“I don’t care how good they are, I can’t afford new pants”).

*If you purchase something linked in The Skinny, we may get an affiliate commission—but at no additional cost to you.