Six months ago, I did nothing right in choosing a personal trainer ["Trainer Wanted: Must Fit," July 27], but he's working out fine. With hard work, determination and the right combination of exercises, he's helping me reshape my aging, postmenopausal body. I've had a few down weeks but for the most part, his weekly praise and encouragement keeps me motivated. He's worth every penny and I only wish I had gone this route eight years ago.
Last week's Lean Plate Club column ["Belly Up to the Bars, July 27] was a fun way to get into the differences between the various types of "energy," "nutrition," "meal replacement" bars.
The whole area of taste is a fascinating part of the evolution of a product category that originated to serve hard-core athletes -- who didn't really care as much about flavor -- and has expanded to include a huge mass consumer market. The challenges of balancing high-level nutrition and taste are big.
One small note about the graphic accompanying the column: It identified the EAS Advantage Edge bar; the product actually is EAS Advant-Edge and the particular bar your tasters had was part of the Complete Nutrition line.
Carmichael Lynch Spong
NOTE: Carmichael Lynch Spong handles public relations for EAS.
I was glad to read something about the hot flashes that have been my companion for the last two years ["Hot Enough for You?" July 27]. When I last visited my OB-GYN, his advice was to "grin and bear it" (He was trying to find a stadium on Mapquest at the same time as prescribing some relief). Here is my input:
* Tried Black Cohosh for eight weeks. It didn't help.
* Tried Vitamin E and soy supplements. It didn't help.
What does help?
* Fans, fans and more fans -- Fans in my study, studio, ceiling fans and a purse fan.
* Low-carb diet and low sugar intake reduced my hot flashes by about 50 percent; they occur every four to six hours instead of every hour on the hour, and for three months they disappeared completely.
* At least four large glasses of water a day
* Exercise and loss of a few pounds made me feel slimmer, trimmer, more energetic and better disposed when hot flashes appear.
* A wonderful husband who encourages me to stay calm and relaxed when the flashes hit.
Ilonka L. Nakhleh
A caption accompanying an illustration for "Hot Enough for You?" misidentified a martini glass as a glass of wine.