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    Here’s What a Sound Bath Is Really Like, and the Benefits That Will Blow Your Mind

    I’ll admit it: To say I’m a yoga and meditation pro couldn’t be further from the truth (a hard pill to swallow, considering I’m a wellness writer and a native of the land of green juice, healers, and crystals, AKA LA). Sure, I can do Pilates in my sleep and I’ve got my shut-eye schedule down to a science (humble brag), but when it comes to practicing poses and getting my mind to quietly sit still for minutes at a time, I’ve got my work cut out for me. So when I first heard about a sound bath, I took it as a challenge to up my yoga and meditation game. Plus, it’s said to improve mood and mindfulness, so maybe it could be the missing piece to quieting my mind and improving stress levels. With the help of Eva Hooft, a breathwork and sound facilitator, I break down what a sound bath is, its advantages, and my personal experience.

    Meet the expert

    Certified Holistic Health Coach & Breathwork and Sound Facilitator
    In her practice, Eva focuses on reconnecting people to their bodies and intuition through specific enzyme detoxes and hosts carefully curated events and classes that deepen this inner connection throughout LA.


    In this article

    What is a sound bath? 
    Though recently becoming popular in the United States, a sound bath is an ancient meditative practice with roots from over a thousand years ago in Tibet. Sound healing and sound therapy may date back even further, with ancient Egyptians using vowel sound chants in healing practices, as they believed vowels were sacred. Sound has long been used to provide healing, or mental and physical benefits. So what is the ancient practice that’s popping up in yoga and meditation studios all over the world?
    A sound bath has nothing to do with water (think of it like you are “bathed” in waves of ambient sound). “A sound bath is a meditative experience that uses sound and vibration to bring about relaxation, healing, and a sense of well-being,” Hooft explained. “The sound waves produced can be gentle or intense, depending on the instruments used. Generally, this includes instruments such as crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, drums, rattles, or gongs. These are used to create a sonic atmosphere that can create an altered state of consciousness.” Each instrument emits a different frequency, creating harmonic vibrations in the body meant to stimulate the alpha and beta brain waves, promoting deep relaxation and allowing your heart and breath rate to slow down.
    Don’t expect catchy tunes, but rather highly resonant music that envelopes you and ideally puts you in a deeper state of consciousness, shutting off your body’s “fight-or-flight” mode so you can be fully present and let it all go. The result? A restorative effect on your mind and body. And unlike taking a yoga class or some meditation and breathwork methods, you’re not guided throughout a sound bath. Participants usually lie down with eyes closed and are encouraged to just listen, be mindful, and let the meditative benefits set in. Sounds easy enough, right?

    What are the benefits?
    Because how we take in and interpret sounds vary from person to person, each individual is going to experience a sound bath differently, as with any other wellness ritual. But the general consensus is that the calming effect of sound baths alone can help you hit reset and feel more at ease and grounded. Still not convinced? According to a 2017 study on Tibetan singing bowl meditation, sound meditation may produce mental and physical health benefits, namely reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, increasing spiritual well-being, and lowering blood pressure and heart rate. 
    “Sound baths have a range of mental, physical, and emotional benefits,” Hooft affirmed. “They can help to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and regulate breathing patterns, which in turn can reduce anxiety and improve sleep. The soothing vibrations also allow for deep muscular relaxation, which can help relieve pain or inflammation in the body. On a psychological level, they are great for reducing stress levels and clearing out negative thought patterns. They allow us to reach a state of mindfulness where we can become more aware of our own feelings and thoughts without judgment or attachment.”
    Are there any drawbacks?
    “For most people, there aren’t any downsides to doing a sound bath,” Hooft said. “However, there is a small chance you may get a little dizzy or nauseous afterwards (this usually fades pretty quickly). It can also bring up emotional trauma, which can be overwhelming for some people.” Additionally, sound baths may not be suitable for people with sensitivity to sound, epilepsy, metal implants, or who are pregnant. If you have any hesitation, consult your doctor before engaging in a sound bath. 

    My experience  
    When I visited Breathwrk in Venice to take part in my first sound bath, I was met with what looked like an ordinary yoga studio, except with colored mood lighting, mats laid out with folded blankets on top (the perfect set-up for a good cat nap, if you ask me), and at the front of the room sat a semi-circle of sound bowls lit by candlelight. I scored the best mat in the house, according to Hooft—front and center—to get the most out of the experience. The theme of the 75-minute session was manifestation, so we started by sharing what we desired and what stood in the way of us achieving our dreams (think: limiting beliefs, fear) with a partner. Then, we moved into breathwork and the main event: the sound bath. At first I struggled to clear my mind, but it didn’t take long to become fully immersed in the symphony of resounding tones.
    After what felt like 10 minutes (I lost all sense of time), I felt a floating-like sensation as I visualized my desires and tapped into the feeling of living them, intertwined with excitement and pockets of grief from the recent loss of a loved one. Even though I was present in my own journey, I was still aware of the other attendees and their occasional sighs, sniffles, or snores that found their way into the mix. Translation: I found my meditative state. I managed to stay awake throughout the session (much to my surprise), tune out the excess chatter in my mind, and realize a relaxation similar to that of getting a solid massage, leaving my mind and body filled with nothing but gratitude, motivation, calmness, and the strong urge to crawl into bed for a blissful night’s rest. And that I did, sound Zzzs and all.   

    Please note that a sound bath shouldn’t be considered a replacement for any medical treatments you’re having. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

    I Tried Red Light Therapy, and the Benefits are Insane More

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    This Actor Turned Fitness Trainer Breaks Down Her Inspiring AF Wellness Routine

    When she’s not on set starring in Nickelodeon’s That Girl Lay Lay, dancing her way through La La Land, or appearing in cameos on Grace and Frankie, actress, dancer, and fitness instructor Tiffany Daniels can be found teaching her sold-out, high-energy spin classes in LA. While Daniels’ penchant for dancing remains (she was a former Laker Girl and on Broadway), she’s just as involved in the health and fitness industry. For her, wellness is more than LA’s devotion to juice cleanses, cold plunges, and IV therapy. “Everything I do is motivated by my desire to live my life in full pursuit of longevity, love, and success across the board,” Daniels said. “To me, wellness is treating this one life and this one body like a temple and a gift. I am selective with what I eat, where I go, who gets my time, and who gets my glow!”
    Daniels made the commitment to wellness—what she refers to as “preserving the sexy”—years ago, so she doesn’t have to make time for it; it comes naturally. “I don’t know who I am without self-care… Wellness makes me feel good. And when I feel good, I look good. When I feel good, I do good. It is all about making the lifestyle and wellness changes that work for you.” Read on for Daniels go-to wellness rituals that help her “preserve the sexy,” or feel her very best.

    Meet the expert
    Tiffany Daniels
    Actress, dancer, and fitness instructor
    With a background in dance and Broadway, Tiffany loves performing and views teaching spin classes as another outlet for her to perform while helping people reach their fitness goals. Tiffany currently teaches spin classes at premier boutique fitness TRUFUSION in West Hollywood, California.

    Eating a plant-based diet
    When it comes to wellness habits, Daniels’ non-negotiables start in the kitchen. “I have been plant-based for a very long time and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she affirmed. “Breakfast is the one meal that I am committed to cooking everyday, no matter what time of the day it is.”
    If you think that plant-based meals involve a lot of time and effort and can’t stack up to their meaty counterparts, Daniels proves otherwise. “My life is busy by design, so most of my meals are simple and quick,” Daniels expressed. “My typical breakfast consists of a plant-based probiotic yogurt parfait with gluten-free granola, blueberries, strawberries, and cinnamon, plus two plant-based, gluten-free breakfast sausages and a matcha latte. Lunch is usually served at work, so I get whatever the vegan option is for the day. 90% of the time dinner is a homemade salad with power greens, bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumber, chickpeas, raw sunflower seeds, olive oil, and a little balsamic glaze. If I need a little more protein for the day, I will add a veggie patty or plant-based Italian sausage on the side.”

    Maintaining a skincare routine 
    While Daniels is never married to any one product for very long, her current skincare line-up includes a few must-haves. “I really like to change things up to allow room for product exploration,” she confessed. “Right now, I am currently using quite a few of the “Youth to the People” skincare products. One of the beauty secrets I discovered on Pinterest is mixing baking soda into my cleanser to add a little exfoliation! The other favorite addition to my skincare routine has been the Solawave Red Light Therapy Wand.”

    Switching up her fitness regimen
    For Daniels, working out is about being strong, and she credits her healthy vegan diet and consistent exercise for feeling (and looking) fit and fabulous over 40. “Physical fitness has also become a huge piece of my identity, so much so that I became a fitness instructor in 2015,” she said. “I make sure to get a 90-minute sweat sesh in at least four times a week, six if time permits.” One of Daniels’ tips for reaching your fitness goals? “Change up the workout routine!” she asserted. “Don’t allow your body and mind to fall into the habit of the exact same thing every day. Variety is the spice of life, right?”
    And, of course, she practices what she preaches. “I teach spin classes, but I also love walking uphill or StairMaster intervals as my cardio,” she shared. “Hot Pilates kicks my a** like no other. I love to lift weights at the gym or take kettlebell classes at my studio. And I gotta get at least one hot yoga sesh in a week or my 42-year-old body screams at me!”
    As for Daniels’ other piece of advice for holding yourself accountable to your fitness goals? Plan out your workouts at the beginning of the week, just as you would your work meetings or beauty appointments. “Put them in your calendar or planner and an additional location that you see every day as a visible reminder,” she suggested. “I post my workouts on my white board in my ‘Command Center,’ another brilliant Pinterest discovery I made! (Look it up…trust me.)”

    Prioritizing daily self-care rituals and supplements
    Daniels is all about wellness from the inside out, and her tried-and-true self-care rituals ensure she prioritizes herself first and foremost. “I have a full supplement routine in the mornings, I light a candle in gratitude every day, I do a 30-minute stretch before I start every workout, I go to therapy once a week, and I lay in the steam room as often as I can,” she described. “I’m working on getting journaling and meditation on my non-negotiable list, but the struggle is real, y’all!”
    While Daniels keeps a back-to-basics approach to skincare, her wellness supplement regimen is another story (her collection would make any wellness girlie envious): plant-based collagen builder, pre and probiotic supplements, maca powder, ground flaxseed, MCT oil, spirulina, sea moss gel, ashwagandha, chlorophyll supplements, Vitamin B12 drops, Vitamin D3 drops, aloe vera juice, and lemons, just to name a few. Daniels admitted that it may seem overboard, “but they all serve a purpose, and baby, I am worth it!” More

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    The Latest Sexual Wellness Trends You Are Going To Want To Try This Year

    When you hear the word “wellness,” chances are smoothies, Pilates, and trends like mouth taping, red light therapy, and cold plunges first come to mind. A self-pleasure protocol and regular orgasms probably are not the first things that come to mind. But tending to your sexual health, desires, and sexuality is a form of self-care, just as much as therapy, journaling, and getting quality Zzzs (more on that to come).
    Thankfully, 2023 is the year of normalizing sex (seeing it an essential part of our overall well-being) and sexual inclusivity (AKA de-stigmatizing sexuality). Case in point: the range of sexual wellness products (think: vibrators, lubes, toys) that you’ll be able to shop in-store alongside your beauty must-haves, feminine products, and groceries in one fell swoop. From self-pleasure and sexual mindfulness, I asked sex experts to dish on the sexual wellness trends you don’t want to sleep on this year. Read on to get a head start on what’s hot on the sexual wellness scene for 2023.  

    1. Sexuality as self-care

    Bubble bath? Check. Hot girl walk? Check. Vibrator? Check. Equal with pampering yourself and exercising regularly, taking time to be sexual falls under physical self-care, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s Self-Care Inventory. In other words, we should be prioritizing taking care of our bodies sexually in the same way we do our healthy eating, exercise, and skincare routines. “We saw a huge rise in attention to health and self-care during the pandemic and sexual wellness fits right in,” explained Brittany Lo, Founder of sexual wellness brand Beia. “There are so many health benefits to sexual wellness: for example, orgasms can help you sleep better, boost your mood, and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Expect to see a shift in focus from sexual wellness being indulgent to an every day practice.”
    And it goes without saying that sexual wellness doesn’t start and end with having pleasurable sex, whether we’re talking with a partner or going solo. Following through with your annual wellness visits, getting tested for STIs, exploring self-discovery, and becoming aware of your own body, sexuality, and what feels good all make up a holistic approach to sex-care. 

    2. Sexual products with clean, organic ingredients
    Just as we’re becoming more conscious of using more natural skincare and household products, the oils, lubes, supplements, wipes, bath salts you use in your sex life should be no different. Thanks to revolutionary, female-led companies leading the charge in redefining sexual wellness, we now have our pick of intimate goods that deliver on clean ingredients as much as they do pleasure. “The sexual wellness category is still in its infancy so I think we will see a lot of outdated products go out of style and focus on clean, vegan formulas the same way many of us do in our skincare products,” Lo predicted. 
    “We’ve had a great increase in options for all-natural products that are designed for the female body, but what most consumers don’t realize is that your vulva and vagina are very absorbent and made from the same mucosal lining as your mouth, which means anything and everything you put on it absorbs into your body,” agreed Kiana Reeves, a somatic sex educator, pelvic health practitioners, and Chief Content Officer at Foria. “That’s why it’s super important to not just use natural products, but they also really need to be organic.” Bottom line: Avoid ingredients like glycerin, nonoxynol-9, petroleum, propylene glycol, parabens, and chlorhexidine gluconate. There’s nothing sexy about added toxins. 
    3. Self-pleasure routines
    There’s nothing like a euphoric, toe-curling orgasm and the physical and emotional effects that come with it (hello, feel-good chemicals). And taking matters into your hands (literally)—whether that looks like experimenting with multiple erogenous zones during a solo sesh (see: Friends episode where Monica describes the seven different ones to Chandler) or stepping up your sex toy collection—means getting to know your body better and what turns you on, not to mention developing self-confidence inside and outside the bedroom.
    “Taking charge of the sexual [element] in your romantic relationship and not constantly depending on someone else to provide you that spark will be on most people’s list this year,” explained Aliyah Moore, a certified sex therapist. “This year, many couples will be seeking ways to be more present in the bedroom while also igniting the spark of passion and pleasure within themselves, rather than relying only on one another.”

    But self-pleasure goes beyond reaching the big “O” solo. It also involves letting go of any shame and judgment surrounding your sexual self. “A reclamation is happening: women are taking their power back over their femininity, pleasure, and sexuality, releasing generations of sexual shame and allowing themselves to meet their own needs and desires first,” conveyed Steph Morris, a love, sex, and relationship coach. Morris suggested planning regular dates with yourself and romanticizing your life, allowing yourself to meet your own needs and self-sourcing your own pleasure.

    4. Foreplay products

    If the growth of the global sex toy market tells us anything (it’s expected to reach over $62 billion by 2030), it’s that the use of sex toys for more sexual satisfaction is only going to become more accepting and ubiquitous. “There [has been] such a big stigma against using sexual wellness toys to enhance pleasure, even though they play a crucial role in closing the O-gap,” Lo said. “80% of women have faked an orgasm and I think a lot of it comes down to not feeling in control of your own pleasure. Toys are a great way to take control and find what works for you.”

    Reeves explained that over the last few years, we’ve seen the sexual wellness market heavily focus on lubes, arousal oils, and all-natural alternatives to support pleasure during sexual activity. “This year I think we will see a wave of products that focus on enhancing sensuality and foreplay, helping to set the mood, connect people with their desire, and reach deeper levels of pleasure and arousal,” she predicted. “Foreplay is an essential act that often gets forgotten in the throws of passion or when the familiarity and sexual habits of a long-term relationship take hold.” Still not convinced? Using sex toys can help boost body confidence, better sleep, and relationship satisfaction, just to name a few. *Immediately adds five to cart.*
    5. Sex therapy

    Sexual health is equal parts physical and mental. We seek therapy for mental and emotional health, so why not for our sexual well-being to? “People are realizing that sexual health is just as important as mental health,” explained Dr. Lee Phillips, a psychotherapist and certified sex and couples therapist. “Sexuality is a phenomenon in which biological and psychological factors intersect, so both a person’s physical condition and their psychological well-being represent interdependent cornerstones of sexual health.” Common issues can include sexual problems related to chronic illness, pain, and disabilities, unsatisfactory libido levels, orgasm difficulties, painful intercourse, sexual trauma, gender and sexual orientation concerns, and relationship issues, all of which can create shame, depression, anxiety, stress, and anger.

    The good news? There’s an app for everything, even therapy for sex and relationships. “These apps can assist those who find discussing sex awkward and serve as a means to bring up problems with their partner and resolve them in the privacy of their own homes,” Moore concluded. “Making therapy more accessible, encouraging crucial partner conversations, and fostering a better awareness of our own bodies can only result in positive things.” Look for a sex therapist in your area or download an app like Coral.
    6. Sexual mindfulness

    “Experiencing sex in a whole new way is possible when you get out of your busy mind and into your physical, emotional, and energetic bodies,” Morris affirmed. Enter: mindfulness. When you pause, become more aware of your sensations, thoughts, and feelings in the present moment, and let go of any feelings of shame, you can increase your mind-body awareness and your capacity to feel pleasure. “Breathwork is a powerful embodiment practice that sensitizes your whole system, cultivating a deeper connection with your body and deepening your feeling of safety and ability to surrender to more pleasure,” Morris continued. The result? A powerful orgasm. 
    Morris suggested taking five minutes to do a connected breath in and out through your mouth (either alone or with your partner) to get your body warmed up and quiet the mind before getting into intimacy. In the same vein, you can go the meditation route because, yes, you can meditate your way to better sex. A 2018 study found that people who meditate tend to have more sexual desire and better sexual functioning than people who don’t. Meditation decreases stress and helps you tune into your body and let go of distractions after all, leading to higher levels of sexual satisfaction. So before getting steamy between the sheets, try a guided meditation or setting an intention, then taking deep, slow breaths as you stay present and feel every sensation. 

    How To Increase Your Libido in 2023, According To Sex Experts More

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    9 Black-Owned Wellness Brands That Will Transform Your Health

    As consumers, we have the power to make a positive impact by putting our money where are mouths are—AKA we can choose to support Black-owned businesses that inspire inclusion, connection, and innovation. And because systemic racism is the cause of many health issues and a direct determinant of health, we’ve rounded up a list of female, Black-owned wellness brands that have carved out spaces for healing and celebration alike for People of Color. From feminine care to an inclusive community for Black women to breathe easy, read on to learn about nine Black-owned businesses to follow, buy from, and share today and always. 

    After suffering from bacterial vaginosis for eight months, CEO and Co-Founder Bea Dixon started the first-ever plant-based feminine care system to provide everything from menstrual cups and organic tampons to lube and supplements—all derived from herbs. PSA: Your honeypot (AKA vulva or vagina) only deserves the best, so naturally all of its offerings are free of artificial fragrances and phthalates, hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested and gynecologist-approved, and cruelty-free. What’s more, they donate 2% of their online sales to charitable organizations that support wellness and education for humans with vaginas across the world.

    During her own personal wellness journey, Founder Dr. Kristian Edwards realized buying Black and consuming conscious, high-quality products didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. She started BLK+GRN to empower Black artisans, and the result is an all-natural marketplace that marries non-toxic products for Black women, made by Black women entrepreneurs, with self-love and wellness. Shop from over 136 brands ranging from beauty to home goods. 

    Building a connection with Earth and its plants was second-nature to Founder Jess Turner as a child. After struggling with stress and anxiety during her early career as an organizer and in search of finding her way back to herself, she trained to become an herbalist. And in 2020, Olamina Botanicals—an online apothecary that sells tinctures, tonics, syrups, and salves made by hand with local, foraged, and organic materials in Brooklyn, New York— was born. Turner’s mission? To teach BIPOC communities how to heal and repair through building a connection with the land and plants growing around them. 

    Superfoods meet self-care, thanks to Golde, a line of 100% natural and vegan-friendly products made to give your daily routine a little oomph. Co-founders and partners in life Trinity Mouzon Wofford and Issey Kobori launched Golde in 2017 with the goal of making wellness easy, accessible, and fun for all. And that they did with goods like their best-selling Pure Matcha, Pineapple Debloat Ade, and Original Turmeric Latte Blend. Oh, and did I mention they also make face masks? Green smoothie, but for your skin, anyone?

    When Founder Rebecca Grammer-Ybarra experienced a concussion and damage to her collarbone, shoulder, and spine after a car accident, she was determined to heal naturally. After some trial-and-error, she finally discovered the magic formula: a bath soak made from a blend of CBD, botanicals, and adaptogens mixed with colors from naturally-occurring minerals (read: color therapy). Fast-forward to today, Homebody boasts an extensive collection of wellness bath rituals powered by plants to address stress, mood, pain, sleep, and overall well-being. The best part? You’ll nourish your soul and skin while “you soak and surrender all your worries down the drain.” 

    Yoga teacher, author, advocate, and award-winning voice in wellness, Jessamyn Stanley is known for her all-inclusive approach to physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Her digital wellness platform, The Underbelly, encourages living authentically and fosters a safe, accepting, and welcoming space for holistic wellness, namely through her signature yoga classes. Hot tip:: Stanley also offers a fresh perspective on relationships, sex, and loving outside the box on her podcast Dear Jessamyn. 

    Combining her background as a reporter and anchor and love of fitness and design, Haitian-Nigerian-American Stefania Okolie established Solely Fit to support and unite strong women while telling a story of who they are. Each piece of activewear is designed to celebrate a woman’s body and make her feel confident and powerful. Expect flattering silhouettes in the form of bodysuits, bras, bottoms, and more. 

    Solely Fit 
    Available in three colors.

    You likely already know Creator Morgan Harper Nichols from her uplifting artwork and poetry on Instagram. An autistic artist, poet, and author whose work is inspired by real-life interactions and stories, Nichols has combined her gifts to build Storyteller, a daily encouragement app that provides daily inspiring reads to encourage you in your own personal story, art wallpapers, and journal prompts. 

    A meditation and yoga teacher by trade, Lauren Ash took her training, compassionate presence, and unconditional love to create a space “where women of color are drawn to come together to share self-care, beauty, and health intel, and most importantly, to inspire each other.” Through a community-centered digital membership, podcast, meditation, and more—resources that Ash once needed and didn’t exist—Black Girl in Om rewrites the narrative of black women’s well-being. 

    We Can’t Forget Black Women As Workplaces Change More

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    The Incredibly Simple Swap That Can Optimize Your Overall Health

    Smack dab in the middle of last year, I was spending my evening as I normally do: ignoring the dishes in the kitchen sink, being berated by my cat for more pets, and scrolling TikTok for a bit longer than originally planned. All was as expected until I came across one singular TikTok about what is lurking in our water. My jaw was on the floor, I froze in my tracks, and I’ve never looked at tap water the same since. It’s an ongoing goal of mine to drink more water but if I’m ingesting boatloads of heavy metals, microplastics, and even parasites, what’s the point?
    Unlike most TikToks I come across, this one offered up a solution that I knew I needed to try STAT. Enter the LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher which is shockingly… stunning? It’s rare to find a water filter pitcher that works well, let alone one that is so aesthetically pleasing, so I knew I had to get my paws on it. After using it enough times to get the hype, I’m here to spill the tea on whether it’s the one wellness item you’re missing out on.

    7-Cup Filter Pitcher
    Use code EVERYGIRL to get 20% off on any LifeStraw Home purchase today!
    7 colors available

    How it works:
    I used to operate on the theory that ignorance is bliss, when it came to my health. But after a year of dealing with some health issues (albeit minor in the grand scheme of things), I realized that ignoring my bad habits, stressors, and the environmental hazards around me was probably not the move when it came to setting myself up for optimal wellness. If I wanted to live a present life without brain fog, stomach issues, bladder problems, and general fatigue, I had to take action. And one of the earliest habits I adopted was to up my water intake.
    But with increased tap water intake comes an increased likelihood of coming across the 320 toxic substances that have been detected in U.S. drinking water (lead, arsenic, and “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, just to name a few). With this knowledge, I had two choices. Either A) return to a withered, constant state of dehydration or B) buckle up and find a solution. Introducing: the LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher that I won’t shut up about.
    Thanks to its dual filter technology, this pitcher removes 30+ contaminants. I’m talking bacteria, parasites, PFAS, pesticides, and microplastics—you know, all of those things you don’t want to consume if you can help it. And beyond filtering out contaminants, it also reduces chlorine and bad odors for improved taste which is music to my ears. Since I’ve owned one for myself, the verdict is in. Here’s why I’m recommending it to anyone who will listen:

    Why I love it:
    Top of the line technology without breaking the bank
    Considering this is the only water filter pitcher that removes bacteria and parasites in addition to microplastics and 30+ other contaminants, I closed one eye and braced myself when opening up my web browser. But to my surprise, my entire body relaxed when I saw that the price of the 7-Cup BPA-free Pitcher was just $44.95, with the glass version being $64.95. For what it does, how it looks, and the fact that it makes my water taste dramatically better, it feels like an absolute steal.

    A design that’s as sleek as it is functional
    I mean look at this thing. Despite the fact that I live with a man who insists on having a surplus of Star Wars-branded mugs in our cabinets, I really try to keep my home aesthetically pleasing which does more for my zen than I care to admit. With three new to-die-for colors between the BPA-free plastic and handblown glass options, this is a pitcher that doubles as decor and for that, I’m an automatic fan.
    I love that it fits seamlessly in my fridge without taking up too much space, is lightweight which makes filling it up a breeze, and that it has an easy-fill lid that’s about as hands-free as it gets.

    Sustainability that helps me do my part
    Removal of contaminants from my water is an obvious win for me, but I also love that this BPA-free plastic water filter pitcher is good for the planet. I’m always taking small steps towards becoming more Earth-friendly and with one pitcher saving over 2,000 single-use plastic water bottles per year, I feel like I’m doing my part to keep our parks, oceans, and communities clean.

    A brand mission that you can feel good about
    I first heard about LifeStraw a few years ago when I learned about their origin story. If you don’t already know, LifeStraw has a deep history of global humanitarian and sustainability work and their mission is a simple one: to provide equitable access to safe drinking water.
    LifeStraw has been a partner in the fight for the eradication of Guinea worm for 25 years and they actively respond to emergencies across the globe. Plus, for every product sold, a child in need receives access to safe water for an entire year. A brand that fights every single day for good is a rare find so when I lay eyes on one, I’m a forever fan.

    7-Cup Filter Pitcher
    Use code EVERYGIRL to get 20% off on any LifeStraw Home purchase today!
    7 colors available

    Other home products from LifeStraw:
    I have the 7-Cup BPA-free water filter pitcher and while I love it, this filter is truly jus the tip of the iceberg when it comes to LifeStraw products to fit your space and needs. Here are some others our team members our eyeing right now… use code EVERYGIRL to get 20% off of LifeStraw Home products now!

    Winter Wellness Upgrades Your Body Will Thank You For

    This post is sponsored by LifeStraw but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    The 30 Greatest Life Hacks of All Time

    I live for some good hacks: my Pinterest boards and Instagram bookmarks are full of DIYs, cheats, and tips, ranging from home projects to health swaps to general advice. Because at the root of my wellness obsession is an inherent desire to make the most out of life–even in the minuscule, day-to-day changes that we call “hacks,” or anything that makes life a little healthier, happier, or better. So when I saw a New York Times opinion piece titled “The Greatest Life Hacks in the World (for Now)” go viral on TikTok, you know I was sliving for it (Paris Hilton is cool again, right?).
    Full transparency, I’ve been thinking a lot about what wellness content we truly want to cover on The Everygirl–what content actually makes people well? Maybe it’s less about the latest foods, trends, and supplements, and more about the everyday, totally free advice that changes the way you think or how you go through your daily routine, and ends up transforming your entire outlook on life. So I wanted to share with you the life hacks that I have found to be the most powerful, transformative, and profound (yes, even when they’re super simple). Consider this list to be your modern-day fairy godmother: it will help you completely change your life (glass slippers not included). Read on for what I believe to be the 30 greatest life hacks of all time.

    1. Have something to talk about that is not other people and your judgments of them (FYI, talking shit about other people makes you feel bad about yourself).
    2. Happiness is a skill, not a circumstance–practice it, don’t wait for it.
    3. Mute or unfollow any account on social media that doesn’t bring you joy or inspiration.
    4. Time is a commodity to invest, not spend.
    5. Unfollow your ex. No, but like seriously.
    6. If you’re unhappy about something, change the circumstance. If you can’t change the circumstance, change your mindset.
    7. When you start feeling insecure, get outside yourself: call up a friend to ask how they are, donate to an organization you care about, or read a book about someone else’s experience (I swear it diminishes the insecurity!). 
    8. Eat more whole foods from the earth (no really, that is the only nutrition hack or diet advice you’ll ever need). 
    9. Say “thank you for…” instead of “I’m sorry for…”
    10. Being with the wrong person is more lonely than being alone.
    11. Replace “I’m too busy for…” with “it is not my priority to…” It will make you question how you’re actually spending your time.
    12. “No” is a complete sentence.
    13. Keep a list on your phone of all the things that made you laugh out loud–you can read it anytime you need to laugh or be cheered up.
    14. Remember that the way you look is not an accomplishment (your best self has nothing to do with a breakout, a patch of cellulite, or gaining a few pounds).
    15. Make your bed every morning. Don’t think about it, just do it.
    16. When you feel a lack of something–whether it’s time, energy, love, or money–give more of it. You’ll realize how much you already have, and attract more of it to you.
    17. With any health goal, work on achieving balance rather than perfection.
    18. Know that what you love in others is what you love about yourself; what you hate in others is what hate in yourself.
    19. When feeling low energy, take a walk outside or get direct sunlight.
    20. Think of self-care as a mindset, not a to-do list.
    21. When feeling stressed, physically respond: release your shoulders, unclench your jaw, take deep breaths. 
    22. Make your password your favorite affirmation so you have to repeat it whenever you log in.
    23. The secret to being liked by anyone: ask other people questions more than you make statements about yourself. 
    24. Tape your mouth while you sleep. You will look weird, but you will never wake up so energized. 
    25. Eat the damn ice cream cone. Or the pastry, or the plate of pasta, or any other [insert favorite food here].  Enjoy every bite of your life, and eat with mindfulness instead of insecurity.
    26. Fall asleep thinking about all the things that went right that day.
    27. Come in contact with the earth more: walk along the beach with bare feet, swim in the ocean, literally hug a tree, or lay in the grass (it’s called earthing and it’s scientific AF, look it up). 
    28. Turn off all notifications on your phone. Getting notifications (from emails, iMessages, calls, DMs, etc.) means you’re constantly in a state of reaction; take your power back by only responding to messages or clicking on apps when you want to, not when your phone tells you to.  
    29. Feeling overwhelmed or overly busy? Taking control of how you spend the first 30 minutes of your day will make you feel in control of the rest of your day. 
    30. Learn how to be nice–really, truly nice. This is the most insanely powerful life hack, but the most overlooked.

    50 Easy Things You Can Do to Be Healthier and Happier in 2023 More

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    14 Ways to Eat Healthier This Year Without Going on a Diet

    From rotating diet fads to misconceptions about how to eat healthier to achieve impossible body goals, numerous factors make nutrition seem complicated (and maybe even impossible), but healthy eating shouldn’t be so confusing. Rest assured, there is no miracle diet. There is no one method or magical list of guidelines to automatically get us all to achieve health goals, feel more energy, clear up the skin, and lose weight. Because while one way of eating might cure one person, it could be limiting to another. Plus, dieting is never sustainable—when we’re eating from a place of restriction, we will never feel satisfied. Food is meant to be as enjoyable as it is nourishing. Ditch your diets and try these 15 ways to eat healthier this year that you can stick to for your whole life (and not one of them is to restrict an entire food group).

    1. Have leafy greens with two meals a day
    If you make one change to your diet in 2023, consider it be eating more leafy greens. From spinach to arugula to watercress to romaine, leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, they’re so easy to sneak into meals—there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be eating multiple cups of greens a day. Try adding spinach to your smoothie, putting kale in a pasta dish or sauce, or ordering a side salad when you’re eating out. If all else fails, try these delicious ways to eat more greens. 

    2. Find plant-based alternatives of your favorite foods
    Listen, if you don’t like salads, don’t eat salads! Forcing yourself to eat bland meals and boring dishes will lead to binges, excessive cravings, and, worst of all, an unsatisfying life. Instead of eating foods you don’t like, get creative with healthier versions of your favorite foods. Try adding in more veggies or making simple swaps like opting for cauliflower pizza crust or chickpea pasta. For recipe ideas, check out these healthy alternatives to your favorite comfort foods and plant-based recipes for every craving.

    3. Make mealtimes sacred
    Healthy eating is not just about what you eat but also how. In a world where meals are often on the go and fast food is on every corner, we forget that food is not just about surviving—or even about enjoying the taste. Mealtime serves as a reminder to pause, slow down, and enjoy. Consider taking a break from work, turning off the TV, putting your phone away, and making each meal an opportunity to relax and be mindful. Whether you enjoy meals with the people you love or use it as an act of meditation to take a break from the busyness of your day, every meal should be about slowing down and mindfully enjoying your food.

    4. Load up on good-for-you beverages
    You already know to drink water and avoid sugary beverages like soda or sweetened coffee drinks as much as possible, so now it’s time to hack your hydration and include even more good-for-you beverages (in addition to your reusable bottle of water). For example, tea (like green, white, or hibiscus) has lots of health benefits, thanks to health-boosting components like polyphenols. You can also try sipping on green juice or replacing your typical soda with sparkling water, mint, and lemon. Bottom line: In addition to drinking water throughout the day, get creative with nutrient-rich drinks to sip on to increase health benefits and hydration.

    5. Eat fruit with breakfast
    Your mom used to give you orange slices and bananas with your Cheerios when you were a kid, but do you still keep up with your fruit intake? Maybe you’re good at adding veggies to your diet but forget about fruit, maybe you grab a breakfast sandwich from a coffee shop in the a.m., or maybe you’ve heard the myth that fruit isn’t good for you. The truth is that fruits are full of antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. They come from the earth; our bodies are meant to eat them. Whether your breakfast of choice is an omelet, avocado toast, or a bowl of Cheerios (old habits die hard), consider eating some berries or grapefruit on the side. 

    6. Add herbs to every meal
    Another easy way to sneak in fresh produce (are you sensing a theme here?) is by adding herbs to every meal. While herbs are typically considered a garnish, they’re actually leafy greens packed with nutrients and a variety of health benefits. Plus, they make everything taste more delicious. Try putting basil leafs on homemade pizzas, adding cilantro to stir-fries and sushi rolls, or chopping parsley into salads. Bonus points for starting your own herb garden at home.

    7. Listen to hunger cues
    So long, intermittent fasting trends and outdated “three meals a day” rules! 2023 is about ditching rules about when we should or shouldn’t eat food (and how much we’re supposed to eat). Instead of forcing yourself to eat three meals a day or five small meals a day (or whatever the latest trend is), simply eat when you’re hungry. Give yourself nourishing meals and focus on feeding your body with enough energy to get through the day, whatever that looks like to you. Likewise, rather than eating a portion that someone else recommends (whether it’s your mom, a restaurant, or the recommendations on the box), eat until you’re satisfied and not overstuffed. Find the amount, time, and method of eating that works best for your body and lifestyle. 

    8. Sprinkle seeds on everything
    If you haven’t been utilizing the seed food group, you are seriously missing out. Seeds like chia, flaxseed, and pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses, containing a wide variety of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals like calcium, zinc, and magnesium. I sprinkle ground flaxseed on basically anything (yes, even dishes like pasta and salads), but you can also try adding chia seeds to your smoothie, snacking on roasted pumpkin seeds, and sprinkling sesame seeds on stir-fries. 

    9. Include more water-rich foods in your diet
    Drinking water is so 2022 (but, like, also crucially important, so please keep that up); you can eat your water too. Eating foods that are high in water content is the secret to long-term, lasting hydration (and a lit-from-within glow). Call in some backup for your water bottle by loading up on plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, and berries, which are all high in water. Watermelon is one of the most hydrating foods you can eat (no surprise where it gets its name), with a water content of 92%. Water-rich foods will hydrate your body like good ol’ H2O but will also add in the extra nutrients that come from fruits and veggies. 

    10. Try one new vegetable every week
    You probably have the same grocery list that you know, love, and revert to every single week when you head to your local Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. While having a go-to list is necessary for us busy girls (and my other lazy girls out there), it doesn’t always set you up for the most inventive meals or greatest variety of nutrients. Challenge yourself to try one different veggie that you’ve never tried before. Maybe you saw a delicious butternut squash recipe and have never cooked butternut squash, maybe you see beets at the grocery store and Google how to prepare them, or maybe you come across a new leafy green at the farmer’s market that you’ve never tried. Trying (or cooking) something new will not only make your meals more exciting, but a bigger variety of foods also means a bigger variety of nutrients. Plus, you might like something so much, it ends up on your go-to grocery list. 

    11. Fill the majority of your plate with foods from the earth
    Instead of the 80/20 rule or limiting yourself to a plant-only diet if it feels too restrictive to you, think about eating “plant-foward.” While that title definitely sounds a little hokey, the idea is that you can emphasize and celebrate nutritious foods, but you don’t have to be limited to them. Instead of measuring, tracking, or limiting, simply make sure that the majority of your plate comes from the earth (instead of a factory), whether that looks like fruits, vegetables, whole grains (like oats, rice, and quinoa), or nuts and seeds. You’ll load up on the foods that make you feel good without restricting yourself from the foods that you enjoy. 

    12. Add more fiber to your diet
    While fiber is not the sexiest nutrient (protein and fats get all the attention!), it is one of the most important. And yet, only about 5% of the country’s population meets daily fiber recommendations. Fiber is the part of foods that the body can’t break down, so it passes through your entire digestive system and helps keep it healthy. But fiber has benefits other than just gut health and regularity (though those would be good enough). You can find fiber in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and seeds.

    13. Eat the rainbow
    No, I’m not talking about Skittles. You learned in middle school science class that plants get their colors from antioxidants, so it only makes sense to eat all the colors to provide your body with all the antioxidants, right? Incorporating all the colors—reds (tomatoes, apples, red pepper), blues (blueberries, blackberries, blue potatoes), oranges (sweet potato, butternut squash, tangerines), greens (leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, zucchini), yellows (spaghetti squash, bananas, corn), and purples (purple cabbage, eggplant, grapes)—is the easiest (and prettiest) way to ensure you’re getting an abundance of phytonutrients and the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. As an easy hack, try to add at least three different colors to each meal or include each color of the rainbow while grocery shopping.

    14. Let yourself enjoy foods you love
    You may think that deprivation helps you avoid “bad” foods, but in reality, deprivation is causing a lack mentality, meaning you’re more likely to binge said food when you do eat it or, more importantly, not truly enjoy your life. This isn’t just a warm and fuzzy body positivity tip—it’s a physical health hack that will help your body feel its best. When we remove “good” and “bad” labels around foods, we can listen to what the body really wants. We start craving the foods that help us live while mindfully enjoying the foods we never want to live without.

    These Items Will Actually Help You Reach Your Resolutions This Year More

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    Everything You Don’t Know But Need to About Making (and Achieving) Resolutions

    Welcome to The Everygirl Podcast. Whether you’re looking for insider secrets from successful women that have your dream job, are interested in expert advice to transform your health and feel your best, or just want to be entertained and laugh along with us on your commute, we’ve got you covered.

    Historically, I’ve always loved resolutions. There’s something about setting goals for a new year that just feels so hopeful—that is, until a few months into the new year when I lose motivation to keep up with my goals or forget what I wanted to accomplish in the first place. If even a wellness editor and health coach feels disappointed year after year of failed resolutions, I know other people are feeling let down too, which is why this week on The Everygirl Podcast we’re talking all things setting (and keeping) resolutions. While I’m a sucker for personal growth and I write all day about getting healthier and happier, I’m saying “thank you, next” to new year’s resolutions.
    For one, the foundation of New Year’s resolutions is change—lose weight, work out more, get a promotion, save more money—and glorifying change might tell your brain that you’re not good enough as you are (“new year, new me?” What’s so wrong with the old me?). We’re all working on building more self-love, but there’s a fine line between working toward growth and not feeling enough as is. Plus, resolutions just don’t work. According to U.S. News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So why is it that even the best-intentioned resolutions don’t stick? Read on to find out why resolutions haven’t worked in the past, and check out this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast for advice to set goals that actually last.

    Why is it so hard to stick to resolutions?
    In many cases, the resolutions we set aren’t actually what we value. Do you really want to lose 20 pounds by summer, or is it something you feel you should do to be more confident? Do you really want to earn a graduate degree, or do you just feel unsure about your next career move? We often set resolutions that we think will make us feel happier, more successful, or more confident without realizing that thinking that happiness, success, and confidence are circumstantial distracts us from actually feeling good in our lives as they are. Plus, losing weight doesn’t necessarily make you more confident, just like getting a promotion won’t necessarily make you feel like you’re in the right career path.
    Even if your goals are truly rooted in what you want, things don’t often work out as planned because of outside influences. Not to sound like one of Oprah’s self-help books, but resolutions that are based on the destination instead of the intention are setting you up for failure. If you want that raise by the end of the year, your company might not have the money, even if you worked hard for it. Likewise, if you lose 15 pounds and not 20, you’ll feel like you failed since you didn’t hit your goal instead of feeling proud of what you did accomplish. Instead of making resolutions, consider dedicating 2023 to overall becoming happier, healthier, and better (because we’re growing all the time, not just at the beginning of the new year). Ditch your list of resolutions and do these eight things instead:

    What to Do Instead of Making New Year’s Resolutions
    1. Create a list of things you’re looking forward to this year
    You’ve probably thought “2023 is going to be my year,” but why is it going to be your year? Record everything you’re excited about from now until 2024. Do you have a friend’s wedding, a special anniversary, a big life change, a graduation, or a fun birthday celebration? What about the little things, like a new season of your favorite TV show or a list of books you want to get through? What about the even smaller things like the changing of the seasons or recipes you’re excited to cook? You don’t have to wait until 2024 to realize 2023 is “your year.”

    2. Record the lessons you learned in 2022
    Whether in your career, relationships, life circumstances, or happiness and wellness, you can probably see a big difference from where you were this time last year. And when you look at where you are now compared to where you were last decade, the change is even more monumental. You have changed and grown over the year(s), so identify what exactly is different. What lessons have you learned, and in what ways have you grown that you’re proud of? Instead of focusing on what to accomplish next, celebrate how far you’ve come, knowing that you’re doing better than you think.

    3. Book a vacation
    The new year doesn’t have to be about change; it should also be about celebration. Treat yourself to a getaway whenever you can take some PTO, whether it’s that Europe trip you’ve always dreamed about, a long weekend in a nearby city with your best friends, or a summer staycation with your significant other or sister. Not only will a trip be something to look forward to this year, but it will also be a way to remember 2023 for years to come while celebrating all you’ve accomplished in 2022. 

    4. Spend more time with loved ones
    Instead of committing to new things to do, commit to the loved ones who are already in your life. Call your mom more often, schedule weekly coffee dates with your work wife, plan more weekend brunches with your best friend, sign up for a new yoga studio with your sister, and fit in weekly date nights with your significant other. After all, maybe achieving “happiness” isn’t about what we don’t have yet but what we already have that we need more of. Trust me, it will be the one resolution that will stick.

    5. Make a vision board
    Resolutions are often focused on the “doing,” or the actions you need to take. Instead, focus on the person you want to be and the life you want to have. Create a vision board displaying what you want, whether it’s in your career, your love life (pictures of Tom Holland, anyone?), your home environment, or just how you see your truest self. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or take hours to create. Your vision board can be as simple as a big picture goal list taped to the fridge. Set up the vision board in a location you’ll look at often and add to it as your dreams develop. Focus on the “being,” and the “doing” will happen naturally. If you’re looking for more guidance with your vision boarding, listen to our episode of The Everygirl Podcast featuring manifestation expert Roxie Nafousi. 

    6. Create a list of what you love about yourself and your life
    Screw changing—you’re already pretty great as you are. Make a list of everything you love about yourself as if you were writing a love letter: the smile you got from your mom, the strong legs that can run miles, the ability to laugh even when you’re sad, or the hard work ethic that your younger self would be proud of. Also, record what’s going well in your life. Are you close to your siblings, live in a city you love, or have the career you always wanted? Goal setting is important for growth, but what’s the point of making goals if we can’t feel happy once we reach them?

    7. Set different themes for every month
    Instead of resolutions for a whole year, dedicate each month to a theme. For example, January’s focus could be adding more plants to your diet, February’s focus is finding workouts you love, March might be about focusing on your finances to save more money, and the intention for April is spending more time in nature. 30 days of exploration and intention feel a lot more achievable (and more fun!) than 365 days to reach a specific goal. The key is to sett intentions rather than end goals, which means you’ll be proud of yourself no matter what you accomplish while still making major transitions and growth in various areas of your life.

    8. Choose a word or affirmation for the new year
    Do you feel ready to make some major improvements in 2023? Choose a word or affirmation to summarize what you want your focus or vision to be this year. Is it health, balance, happiness, self-love, gratitude, connection, or confidence? Consistently remind yourself of your focus and make decisions based on it whenever possible. For example, if you’re deciding on spending a Friday night in or going out with your friends, which option will bring you closer to your intention of self-love? If you’re deciding on whether to go to a workout class or take a rest day, which choice will bring you closer to gratitude for your body? Find a focus for the year and you’ll subconsciously be making thousands of choices to reach a huge goal. If a sentence is more your style, pick an affirmation. Write it down, hang it on your mirror, and make it the wallpaper on your phone until you start to think of everything in terms of your 2023 affirmation. More