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    I Spent Hours Doing Cardio and Saw No Results—Here’s What Actually Changed My Body

    As a former indoor cycling instructor and accomplished marathon runner, my days were once filled with hours and hours of heart-pounding, relentless cardio workouts that left me sweaty and breathless. The endorphins were real, and the adrenaline was incredible. Yet, no matter how much time I spent on the bike, the treadmill, or running all over planet Earth, my body simply never changed. While I wasn’t necessarily looking to lose a ton of weight or make any dramatic alterations to my figure, I thought the hard work would have paid off. But no matter how many calories I burned, I never looked any different. It took me many years, a few career changes, and some self-discovery, but to all my cardio queens out there: I finally figured it out. You know those women who spend way less time at the gym than you but appear more confident in their bodies and straight up look like they work out? I figured out their secrets, and I’m going to share them with you. Here are five changes I made that actually made a huge difference in my body composition and confidence.

    1. I prioritized strength training
    Many of us grew up believing that cardio equals weight loss. However, while cardio has many benefits, overdoing cardio can put stress on your body and have the opposite effects. The true fitness secret to getting toned is to start building muscle. Afraid of getting bulky? Don’t be. Women don’t have enough testosterone to support that kind of muscle growth, so women with extra-muscular physiques have to eat and train in a very intense, specific way. In other words, unless you’re quitting your job to train for multiple hours a day and eat a very calculated caloric surplus, bulking won’t be an issue for you. (But also, let’s stop worrying about taking up more space, shall we?)
    If you’re not sure where to begin, start with the basic lifts: squat, deadlifts, bench, overhead press, and row. Start with a weight that feels challenging but manageable, and increase by 10% as the weight begins to feel easier. When in doubt, always check out local trainers, coaches, classes, or online programs. Having correct form is the most important aspect of targeting the right muscles and preventing injury. 

    2. I cared more about the food I ate 
    While fad diets and nutritional misinformation are still running rampant on social media, the tried-and-true methodology of a balanced diet (protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats) is always a safe bet. Protein helps repair muscle tissue and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer. Carbohydrates give the body fuel to perform physical activity and basic functions of life—like breathing or thinking. Fat helps the body absorb vitamins and provides it with fatty acids that provide energy and support cell function. For your body to function at its best, all three of these macronutrients must be present in your diet in the right balance.
    The golden rule that changed everything for me: If it isn’t going to help my body perform a function, improve my training, or aid in recovery, it’s not a part of my everyday diet. While there are always exceptions, 80% of the time, I eat to fuel, and I’ve never felt (or looked) better.

    3. I put more importance on sleep and recovery
    We all have those times when work causes major stress, social obligations wreck our sleep, and the physical ramifications of being spread too thin take their toll. Stress, lack of sleep, and not enough focus on physical recovery (such as stretching, foam rolling, Epsom salt baths, and other self-care practices) truly impact how our bodies perform and, ultimately, how we feel in them. When we don’t sleep or recover fully, we cannot perform at our best in the gym. Plus, we’re more likely to mindlessly binge on junk food, alcohol, or snacking when we’re stressed or tired.
    If you want to improve the way your body looks, you’ve got to improve how your body feels. Getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night and giving your body what it needs to recover after a long day or a grueling workout must be a top priority. Also, rest days are just as important for your health as workout days.

    4. I spent time with the right people
    In my past, my friendships revolved around drinking wine, gossiping, charcuterie boards, and late-night parties. Nowadays, I surround myself with people who enjoy eating right, being positive, supporting one another, and taking care of themselves, so they feel their best. The old adage is true: You really are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, so make sure that your circle of friends is pushing you in the right direction.
    I saw massive changes in my body when I started spending time with people whose habits I wanted to emulate. Now, instead of drinking and partying, I meet my friends at the gym for a fun, butt-kicking workout, followed by a delicious and healthy lunch. While we aren’t immune to the occasional movie night with chips and popcorn, we definitely enjoy making feel-good decisions most of the time. If your group of friends isn’t helping you to become the best version of yourself, it might be time to rethink your friendships.

    5. I learned that consistency is key
    You’re not always going to be motivated. You’re not always going to feel your best. You won’t always be excited, and you’ll probably have plenty of days where you simply don’t feel like it. However, real change takes real time and staying consistent—with your fitness, nutrition, and positive habits—is the only way you’ll see real results. Nothing happens overnight. So, if you really want to see a change in your body, you’ve got to stick with it. Sure, bad days are inevitable. No one can be perfect all the time. But if you can commit to being consistent at least 80% of the time, you’re bound to see changes. 

    I’m a Fitness Coach and These 5 Easy Habits Keep Me in Shape More

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    The Kourtney Kardashian-Approved Health Hacks I Swear By

    We all have a favorite Kardashian, but whether you’re a diehard Kim fan or will fight to the death for Kris Jenner, it’s undeniable that Kourtney is the queen of wellness. From her early days of perfecting the matcha latte to experimenting with all sorts of health practices, diets, and recipes over the years, she has proven that she is willing to try anything to improve her health. And lucky for us, she shares it all on her healthy living website Poosh.
    While I can’t get on board with every wellness trend she tries (making your own aloe vera juice just wasn’t for me), I can vouch for a lot of the health hacks she uses regularly. After all, she’s the one who showed me the value of switching to natural deodorant (read on for why). So after testing out so many different health hacks over the years, I have narrowed down the list to the following seven that I swear are worth the investment and, as a bonus, Kourtney Kardashian-approved.

    1. Use a natural deodorant
    I started using a natural deodorant a couple of years back after reading up on the benefits of natural deodorants. While there is a lot of debate around whether natural deodorants are worth it, like Kourtney, I’ve always believed that what you put on your body (skincare, makeup, sunscreen, and even deodorant) makes a difference in your health. It took a lot of testing because natural deodorants don’t have the chemicals to block the body odor as well as natural deodorants do, but I eventually found a brand I like: Native. One thing to note: When you switch over to a natural deodorant, it can take a couple of weeks for it to start working as your armpits are essentially detoxing during this time.

    2. Try Pilates as a workout
    Over the past couple of years, Pilates has become all the rage, and there’s good reason: The low-impact workout targets the smallest muscles in your body and can leave you feeling the effects for many days afterward. Kourtney favors using a reformer machine for her Pilates workouts, and while I’ve never experienced this machine’s benefits, I have experienced the positive effects of doing an at-home Pilates workout. I swear by obé Fitness‘ 30-minute Pilates classes that can be done anywhere (they’re my go-to while traveling). I finish every class feeling stronger and with an endorphin boost.

    3. Opt for matcha instead of coffee
    If you’ve ever watched an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you’ve probably seen Kourtney lounging in her stunning home, drinking a matcha latte. While many people can’t get through the day without their first cup of coffee, Kourtney swears by her matcha recipe instead, and I couldn’t agree more. While I still love a coffee every once in a while, my regular routine involves a matcha latte or green tea first thing in the morning. Matcha still gives me an energy boost without the jitters that can come from coffee and– bonus–it packs major health benefits.

    4. Sleep with a silk pillowcase
    I’ll admit that my reasoning for buying a silk pillowcase wasn’t exactly health-focused (the feel of silk is just too good to pass up, especially while sleeping). But little did I know that opting for a silk pillowcase is beneficial for your skin and hair health. After all, you (should!) spend at least 7-8 hours a day asleep. That’s a long time to rest your body on something. Kourtney shared a similar sentiment with Insider, noting the difference in her hair when she made the transition, and I have to admit, I feel the same: silk pillowcases are game-changers.

    5. Use supplements can help support your immune system
    For an article in Poosh, Kourtney gave a peek inside her medicine cabinet to share all the different remedies she uses when she’s feeling under the weather, and there was one supplement in there that I also happen to love (especially during cold and flu season): the Wellness Formula supplement from Source Naturals. It has a combination of Vitamin C and over 25 different herbs, vitamins, and nutraceuticals. It’s that extra boost of vitamins your body craves when it’s working to fight off an illness. But every body is different and we all need different things. Regardless of what works for my or Kourtney’s body, talk to your doctor about how to best support your immune system. 

    6. Make sure you’re getting enough magnesium
    Magnesium is a vital mineral to the body, and many of us are not getting enough: one study found that 10 out of 11 apparently healthy women were magnesium-deficient. Kourtney shared in a blog post that she takes magnesium after every workout to help with muscle function, which is something I’m a fan of doing as well. I tend to fit my workouts in in the evenings, and after every session, I take a magnesium supplement to help with muscle recovery and ensure I get quality sleep. If there’s one supplement I make sure to never miss taking, it’s my magnesium. 

    7. Avoid dairy products for better skin
    When I first gave up dairy, it was because I had been told by my doctor I had a slight allergy to them (not just because Kourtney Kardashian doesn’t eat dairy!). All I could think about was how much I would miss cheese or ice cream, but little did I know the amazing benefits that would come from it. A couple months after giving up all dairy products, my skin became clearer and better than ever before.
    Kourtney shared a similar experience in an interview with POPSUGAR. “I keep hearing that it’s great for your skin to [give up dairy], and this new doctor who my kids and I have been seeing just said we all have allergies to it,” she said. While changing your diet is never easy, there are so many dairy alternatives today that can make the process a lot easier. If you are interested in limiting dairy, talk to your doctor to make sure you’re still getting essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and calcium in other ways. Also, if you enjoy dairy and it doesn’t make your body feel bad, enjoy it totally guilt-free! After all, the best Kourtney-approved wellness hack is to live authentically and forget the haters.

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    How to Update Your Wellness Routine for Fall

    I’ll be the first to admit I’m not good with change. And this in-limbo transition from summer to fall is not doing me any favors. While I love a sun-kissed glow as much as the next girl, I could do without the triple-digit heat we’re bracing for in LA, seasonal allergies, and overall fatigue.
    As we begin our September, I can only hope that sweater weather suddenly appears with the drop of all things pumpkin-spice-flavored at Trader Joe’s. I’m ready to say au revoir to hot girl summer and welcome all the cozy fall feels with open arms—give me all the fuzzy blankets! From switching up how I sweat it out to how I care for my skin, I’m spicing up my wellness routine this fall. Read on for five simple summer-to-fall swaps to hit reset and embrace the season ahead.  

    1. Reassess your workouts 
    A new season is a perfect time to reassess what type of movement is working for you. Your body needs different things at different times, so taking the time to update your workout is crucial. If you’re going through the motions with your hot girl walk routine, it may be time to switch things up. Try adding a pair of wrist weights to level up your current workout. Or, switch up your workout itself by introducing intervals of lunges, push-ups, or squats into your routine. If you enjoy running, try changing up your route.
    When the crisp autumn air finally hits, take it inside and try a new workout on obé Fitness. If your body is craving more low-intensity workouts than high-energy exercises, channel your inner Hailey Bieber and become a Pilates girl. No matter what your workout routine looks like or what your body is craving this time of year, take the time to check in with yourself and do what feels best for you. 
    If there’s ever a good excuse to get some new workout clothes, it’s a change in seasons. There’s no denying a new workout ‘fit puts a pep in your step—and makes it harder to skip the gym to rewatch Gilmore Girls for the umpteenth time. So don’t be left in the cold (literally) in a sports bra and biker shorts. Work in a pair of new leggings or, better yet, a matching set that screams fall (think: olive greens, mauves, and browns) into your activewear rotation.

    2. Revamp your skincare regimen 
    PSL season means it’s time to start thinking about layering more than just our clothing. That’s right. I’m talking about your skincare products, ladies! Sub out your lightweight summer products for richer creams and serums to avoid the dry skin that accompanies cooler weather. That’s not to say you need to overhaul your entire skincare routine—a few minor adjustments will do the trick.
    Start by swapping your gel cleanser and moisturizer for cream-based alternatives. Opt for a serum with hyaluronic acid. These quick swaps will help lock in moisture. Consider adding vitamin C oil to boost your skin’s antioxidants and achieve a J.Lo-esque glow. Keep your SPF on hand because those UV rays are still strong in the colder months. As tempting as it may be to slough off any dry, flaky skin, cut down on exfoliating if you’re prone to irritation, and forgo products with fragrance and alcohol. Oh, and don’t forget to hydrate the rest of your body to limit any itchiness that the drop in humidity can bring.

    3. Reach for local, in-season fall produce 
    Eating what’s in season not only provides your body with more nutrients but also helps you save money and the environment. So, what foods should you be stocking up on come fall? Opt for fruits like apples, pears, and citrus fruits, along with root veggies like squashes, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. This time of year, these fruits and veggies are preferable to raw, cooling foods like smoothies and salads. To round out a well-balanced diet, load up on healthy fats (think: coconut oil, avocado, and nuts) and warming spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and cumin. From soups to pasta to desserts, there’s no shortage of fall recipes that are as comforting as they are nourishing. Bottom line: Fill your plate with warm, grounding foods à la Ayurvedic practices to keep your body healthy and balanced. 

    4. Re-establish a consistent sleep schedule 
    With the buzz and laid-back vibes of summer, my beauty rest hasn’t exactly been on point. (Those under-eye bags don’t lie.) In anticipation of the shorter days ahead, getting our healthy sleep habits back on track is especially important. Getting quality rest requires waking up at the same time every morning, making sunlight your first order of business daily, prioritizing movement, keeping your bedroom at a cool 65 degrees (give or take), and creating a healthy pre-bedtime routine. And, no, that routine does not include binge-watching. Incorporating some light reading or journaling can do wonders to quiet your mind for a restful night’s sleep.

    5. Marie-Kondo your life
    Who says sprucing up your home is reserved for spring? It turns out that taking a page out of Monica Gellar’s book can improve your mood, reduce stress, and increase productivity. So with the onset of autumn, take the time to declutter and clean your space for the sake of your physical and mental health.  
    What better time to slow down and look inward than this seasonal shift from summer to fall? As we prepare for the new season, it’s the ideal time to let go of what’s no longer serving us. Ask yourself, “What’s weighing you down?” Consider what may be holding you back in your health, career, and relationships. It may even be helpful to write this out. Then, shed any limiting habits, thoughts, and fears to make room for new energy and opportunities. In other words, “Out with the old, in with the new.” Once you’ve released this baggage, set new intentions and create a clear path to follow through with them. Could you use more self-care? Pare down your to-do list, leaving only the necessary tasks, meetings, and appointments. This will allow you time to focus on your well-being. 

    How To Get Out of End-of-Summer Health Slump More

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    I’m a Wellness Editor and These Are the 5 Things I Always Pack in My Carry-On

    Not to brag, but I’ve become an expert at packing my carry-on. Between my obsession with all things wellness (#itsmyjob) and regularly traveling at least every couple of months (my whole family is on the opposite side of the country), I have mastered the art of packing my bag for travel days: It contains everything for every ailment so that I can actually feel my best. While my carry-on can resemble Mary Poppin’s bottomless bag where things just keep coming out, there are five things I pack and take with me on airplanes, no matter what. Read on for the five items you will always see in my carry-on and why they are so essential for making any travel day better.

    1. Rapid calming CBD melts
    Over the past couple of years, I’ve developed a little bit of travel anxiety, like getting nervous on planes. Plus, traveling itself can be stressful, whether it’s sprinting across the airport on your (very brief) layover or your flight getting delayed (again). In addition to trying all the things (working with my therapist on airplane anxiety, meditating in the a.m. to calm stress levels, etc.), I love having these CBD Rapid Calming Melts on hand. While Equilibria’s Daily Drops have helped to relieve stress and anxiety over time, these melts work fast and help me feel a sense of peace whether I’m worried about missing my connecting flight or am feeling stressed about traveling alone. They take about 5-15 minutes to kick in and last 3-6 hours, so I’ll take one either when I’m boarding the plane or when I’m feeling extra stressed.

    Rapid Calming Melts
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    2. Greens juice tablets
    I swear by a DIYed green juice to start my day with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that will make me feel good all day long. However, we (unfortunately) don’t have access to a full juicer and fresh veggies like celery, cucumber, or broccoli when traveling and need convenient options that we can take on the go or keep in our carry-ons. Enter: 8Greens. Each tablet is made from eight powerful greens: spinach, wheatgrass, kale, blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and aloe vera, and you just add it to your water bottle to make a green juice on the go. Plus, it naturally contains a high amount of vitamin C and minerals like zinc, making it a way healthier option than other vitamin C or hydration packets, so you can count on it to keep you hydrated and keep your immune system healthy as well. 

    3. Digestive supplements
    All my girls with gut issues get the struggle: You grabbed a bagel sandwich before hopping on the airplane (convenience is crucial!), and you’re 20,000 feet in the air when your stomach starts feeling uncomfortably full, bloated, or crampy. I’ve found myself in an uncomfortable situation with painful travel bloat way too many times, so now I make sure to always have Arrae Bloat on me (like, I even bring it to restaurants when I’m not traveling). With totally natural ingredients (including superpower herbs and digestive enzymes that come from fruit), these powerful little capsules are one of the only supplements that have ever actually worked to help my body digest food it doesn’t usually agree with (looking at you, bagel sandwich). I take it after eating any meal while traveling and it reduces heartburn, gas, bloating, etc., by helping with food breakdown. 

    4. Inspiring read
    Living on the West Coast while our office and my family live on the opposite side of the country means that I am traveling a lot. For a while, I felt annoyed by long plane rides and would pay the $10 Wi-Fi fee to work through them in order to feel productive so I could tell myself it wasn’t wasted time. But I’ve totally changed my perspective and now see plane rides, car rides, etc. as a time to fully dedicate to myself. I believe you can turn any travel experience into self-care (unless you’re traveling with kids–IDK what that’s like, but I imagine it’s not very peaceful!). I slather on my Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, pull out a book that makes me feel inspired, and spend the extended period of time with no phone (very rare!) intentionally. 

    5. Protein bar
    I am one of those people who doesn’t go anywhere without a snack. I will pack some things to eat if I’m out running errands, even if just for a couple of hours, so you bet I have a snack handy when I’m traveling. Sometimes I like to indulge at the airport (read: the aforementioned bagel sandwich) as a way to make traveling feel a little more special, but you should never feel like you have to eat whatever is available (and pay the astronomical airport prices) just because you don’t have options. Sometimes I’ll make my own TSA-approved meals ahead of time, but when that feels like too much work, I’ll pack a few of these Sakara bars to have on hand. While any bar should not be used as a replacement for a meal, they’re a super convenient option to snack on when you get hungry during a long plane ride or you don’t have access to healthier options. These bars are my favorite because they’re cleaner and more nutritious than any option out there, IMO. Plus, they contain superfoods and high-powered ingredients that make you feel amazing (necessary during long travel days). 

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    7 Health Tips Ayurveda Taught Me That Changed My Life

    I’ve always had the reputation around the office as the girl who would try anything: cycle syncing (did it), affirmation training (crushed it), face washing with honey (made it my personal revolution). It’s a well-earned reputation, as I very literally would try anything on the quest to become my best, healthiest, most energetic, and happiest self. I suppose I’m a bit of an over-achiever, or as friends and family might say, too extra.
    But Ayurveda is different. It’s not a trend I heard about on TikTok and will forget about in a few months. I actually first learned about Ayurveda, an ancient medicine system with roots in the Indian subcontinent (stemming from the ancient Vedic culture), years ago in my freshman year of college. A lightbulb immediately went off, and I spent the next few years researching Ayurveda, going to an Ayurvedic practitioner, and even writing my senior thesis on the relationship between Ayurveda and religion. It’s what got me started on my own healing journey and made me interested in health and wellbeing enough to turn it into a career. 
    Before we dive into rituals that you can start implementing into your life today, know that Ayurveda is incredibly complex; it’s an entire system of medicine with spiritual and emotional elements. It cannot be summarized in one article–especially not by me who is by no means an expert. I am sharing tips that I implement in my everyday life, but if you’re new to Ayurveda, I urge you to learn more about the history, culture, and complexities of the form of medicine that’s been practiced for the past 3,000 years—it just might change your life as it did mine. 

    What is Ayurveda?
    Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine that’s still widely practiced today. In Sanskrit, ayurveda translates to “the science of life.” To briefly summarize (but how do you fit 3,000 years into 1,500 words!?), Ayurveda identifies three principal energies of the body: vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth), known as doshas. “If one element is out of balance, they all have the potential to be affected,” explained Tracy Adkins, a NAMA-certified Ayurvedic practitioner. Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, everyone has their own particular pattern and balance of doshas. The practice of Ayurveda is to create a balance of body, mind, and consciousness (according to each body’s individual constitution). 
    “Ayurveda teaches us to have as much respect for our external surroundings as we do for our inner milieu, empowering self-care, personal wisdom, and promoting lifelong health,” Adkins said. Finding your dosha and lifestyle recommendations tailored to your individual constitution is a detailed exploration and extremely complex that can be done with an Ayurvedic practitioner, but there are lots of quizzes online to get you started (I like this one from Sahara Rose).

    Ayurvedic rituals that have changed my life

    1. “Healthy” means something different for every body
    PSA: Every body needs different things, and healthy looks different to everybody. “Ayurveda is based on the premise of balance and individuality,” Adkins explained. “What is balanced for one individual will not be the same for the next person, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.” If you’re working on eating healthy and creating a workout routine, don’t just follow diet and exercise trends because your favorite celebrity or influencer promises weight loss or glowing skin. Instead, Ayurveda tells you to eat and work out depending on your dosha balance.
    For example, “Most Kapha-dominate individuals should follow a lower carb diet, and exercise vigorously most days of the week to feel energized and optimal,” Adkins stated. “If a Vata-dominant person followed the same regimen, they would likely end up depleted and ill. A Pitta person would end up irritable, hungry, and with some skin breakouts.” Bottom line: Eat and exercise based on what is best for your body and dosha. I’ve spent my life eating salads thinking this was “healthy” for me but got consistent stomach cramps and nausea after eating them. Switching to warm, dense foods like stews or soups has relieved my digestion issues because it’s not just “healthy,” it’s healthy for me.

    2. East seasonally
    So you already know that eating foods in-season is better for nutrients and taste, but the Ayurvedic practice goes beyond foods grown at each specific time of year. “Our bodies change along with the weather,” explained Sahara Rose, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Best-Selling Author, and Host of The Higher Self Podcast. “When the temperature cools down and the air dries out, our bodies follow suit. We begin taking on more qualities of the Vata dosha, comprised of air and space energy. Our bodies require more grounding and warming foods to counterbalance Vata’s cold and dry energy. Root vegetables are grown under the ground, so they have the most warming qualities.” 
    Basically, indulge in whatever is opposite of the season to balance out the effects of the weather. For winter, that means eating warm foods with grounding vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, and turnips. In summer, you can have raw salads or cold sandwiches to cool you down. Besides just the temperature, also be mindful of the humidity in your area. If it’s wet (raining or snowing), eat more dry foods like roasted vegetables or nuts and seeds. If the weather feels very dry (leaves falling off of trees, low humidity, etc.), load up on soups and stews.

    3. Scrape your tongue
    Ayurveda teaches us that we can learn a lot from our tongues. Not only can your tongue help determine your dosha, but it can also tell you about your health. “The tongue gives away clues as to what’s going on within the body and where,” explained Adkins. “It reflects what’s happening inside our body, the level of ‘toxins’ or ama, and is a direct manifestation of our diet. Looking at your tongue day after day you will begin to notice changes in the quality and quantity of its coating.”
    Fuzz, film, or bumps on your tongue show up in the mornings if you have clogged organs or undigested food. To avoid re-ingesting the toxins on your tongue, you need to scrape them off. Before I even drink my morning cup of water with lemon–and for sure before any cup of coffee–I always brush my teeth and scrape my tongue to get rid of all the toxins to avoid swallowing them back into my body. I use a tongue scraper, but you can also use the tip of a metal spoon.

    4. Use the six tastes in every meal
    Ayurveda recognizes six different tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. “The six tastes are a guiding principle in Ayurveda, which states that like qualities increase each other, whereas opposites promote balance,” described Adkins. “Each of the six tastes are integral to our diet and physiologic needs. Knowing which dosha (or doshas) are prominent within you helps to determine the proper combination of tastes (or rasas) that you need.”
    Every fruit, vegetable, grain, nut, etc. have a particular taste or combination of a few, and ideally “each of the tastes are present at every meal–or at least every day–to ensure proper digestion,” Adkins said. “Your current doshic balance (vikruti), environment, lifestyle, age, and other qualities will guide you in choosing foods with particular properties to eat in larger or smaller quantities to promote or maintain balance, thereby reducing the chance of illness.” Besides, adding spices, herbs, and lemon juice makes meals so much more flavorful. For most meals I eat, I go through a checklist to make sure there’s a little bit of every taste—not only for the optimal nutrients but also for the optimal deliciousness.

    Sweet: carbohydrates and natural sugars
    Sour: organic acids and fermented foods (probiotics)
    Salty: salts (which contain crucial minerals)
    Pungent: spicy foods (ignites digestion)
    Bitter: dark, leafy greens and herbs (anti-septic and detoxifying qualities)
    Astringent: legumes; raw or dry produce

    5. Don’t just focus on what you eat but how
    Obviously, what we eat is a big part of the wellness equation: Eating a wide range of nutritious foods (specific for our doshas, of course) while avoiding the foods that upset our systems. But the way we eat is just as important as what we eat. The fix to digestive issues could be as simple as making sure your posture is upright and your stomach is relaxed or eating slower and without distractions (read: no TV, phone, or emails).  
    Ayurveda suggests that digestive problems occur because the digestive fire (or agni) is weak, so igniting it before meals is crucial to proper digestion. Adding spices like cumin or turmeric to meals will aid in digestion or taking a teaspoon of fresh ginger with a few drops of lime juice and a pinch of salt before meals can activate salivary glands to produce the proper amount of digestive enzymes. Ayurveda focuses so much on proper digestion as it recognizes that it’s the way our bodies absorb nutrients and feel best. I eat slower, better, and drink ginger tea most days to keep my digestive system on track (literally).

    6. Try self-massage
    Massage is not just a self-care activity or indulgence in Ayurveda; it’s an essential healing practice. Abyanga (or self-massage, also spelled Abhyanga) is a form of medicine that involves massaging the body with dosha-specific oil. “A daily Abyanga practice restores the balance of the doshas and enhances well-being and longevity,” Sandhiya Ramaswamy, an Ayurvedic practitioner, educator, and chef wrote for Chopra. For me, this practice is the most luxurious time of my day. After a shower, I rub oil between my hands to warm it up. Ramaswamy recommended applying oil first to the crown of your head and massaging down to your feet, but I skip the head because otherwise, I’d be walking around with oily hair, and nobody wants that. I start at the neck and make sure to take my time massaging in the oil. 

    7. Schedule your day based on your body’s needs
    Not only do the kapha, pitta, and vatta doshas make up our “selves” as a whole, but they also make up times in the day. Ayurveda essentially tells time through these different cycles of the doshas. “The Ayurvedic clock helps us to determine which activities might be the best for us as individuals throughout the day,” explained Ashley Katzakian, an Ayurvedic practitioner and founder of So Hum Collective. “The clock is split into six sections, each dosha appearing twice within a day. The times of any particular dosha are when those doshas have the strongest presence.” 
    While it’s nearly impossible to follow a strict schedule these days (because life happens), I have made a lot of shifts that have helped immensely. When I can, instead of squeezing in a workout first thing in the morning, I wake up slowly and peacefully. I also schedule checking off tasks and sending emails in the later morning/early afternoon and wait to write articles (like this one) until later in the day when I’m more creative. The slight adjustments have also helped me to understand what’s going on with my energy levels throughout the day and identify what my body really needs and when.
    Katzakian guides us through how best to schedule our days: 

    6-10 a.m. is the time when kapha is most active, meaning you should be peaceful and grounded. Start your day by meditating, eating a light, nourishing meal, and tending to self-care.
    10 a.m.-2 p.m. is pitta time, when you have the most drive or motivation of the day, so try getting your most difficult tasks accomplished during this time or squeezing in a workout. When the sun is at its highest peak (noon), your digestion is at its most powerful, so your lunch should be eaten around 12 p.m. and be your biggest meal of the day. 
    2-6 p.m. is when vatta is the most active, meaning your creativity and ability to think abstractly and problem solve is at its peak. If you can, schedule your most creative activities at work for the end of the day. Try to paint, write, or cook in the late afternoons and evenings.
    6-10 p.m. is the second cycle of kapha time, allowing us to feel more peaceful, grounded, and ready to wind down for a restful night’s sleep. Eat a lighter meal and keep stimulation low. 
    10 p.m.-2 a.m. is another cycle of pitta, the dosha of fire, digestion, and transformation, which resets your system for a new day. This is a crucial time to get in quality shut-eye to allow your body to properly detox and digest. 
    2 a.m.-6 a.m. is the second cycle of vatta, which controls our sensory experiences and begins to slowly wake us back up for another day (also why you might have more vivid dreams during this time). 

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    I’m a Registered Dietitian and These Are 10 Wellness Products I Swear By

    Between TikTok trends and brands that promise their product will cure all your health woes, finding the best wellness products for you can be challenging. It’s no secret that we all want to be our happiest, healthiest, and best selves, but health and wellness is not a one-size-fits-all approach. A product that your favorite influencer swears by might not work well for you (I know I’m not the only one who’s fallen victim to good marketing). 
    As a registered dietitian, I often focus on what foods I eat, but I also believe in using products that make me feel my best inside and out. Ahead, I’ve rounded up 10 health and wellness products I use (almost) daily that keep me feeling my healthiest self, and I hope they will do the same for you. 

    Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
    If you are “Little Miss Never Leaves the House Without an Emotional Support Water Bottle” (me), then you need this water bottle in your life ASAP. The LARQ water bottle uses PureVis technology to self clean and purify, eliminating up to 99 percent of bio-contaminants (like E. coli) from the bottle and your water. I’ve used this bottle for over a year, and I love that, with the click of a button, I have clean, purified water, making this water bottle ideal for work and travel. Although it’s an investment, I can confidently say that having a self-cleaning water bottle makes meeting my hydration goals a breeze. 
    5 colors available

    Natural Deodorant
    Deodorant might not be the most glamorous wellness product out there, but after being on the hunt for an aluminum-free natural deodorant that actually offers long-lasting protection, I finally found the one. If you haven’t tried any of the products from Megababe, I suggest you run, don’t walk to your local Target. I love this deodorant because it’s not only free from parabens, aluminum, phthalates, and more, but it also keeps you smelling fresh all day long with its geranium and lemon scent.

    Yoga Mat
    I personally believe everyone needs a yoga mat, not only to practice yoga, but to roll out for all of your at-home workouts. I use my yoga mat almost everyday either for pilates workouts, yoga, or stretching after a long day of sitting. While there are a variety of yoga mats out there, I suggest investing in one that is both grippy and cushiony. This one fits both of those descriptions and comes at a great price point.
    20 colors/designs available

    Mineral SPF Powder
    If there’s one thing I never walk outside without, it’s SPF on my face. And even though applying SPF is locked into my morning routine, re-applying it throughout the day is not. Enter: Supergoop!’s Mineral SPF Powder. This powder is easy to throw into your work bag or purse and comes in four shades to wear over or under makeup. Did I mention it’s mattifying? Say goodbye to unwanted shine and protect your skin in one easy brush.
    4 shades available

    Bob’s Red Mill
    Chia Seeds
    A strange but true fact about me is that I sprinkle chia seeds onto at least one meal a day. I could go on and on about all the health benefits of these tiny seeds, but I’ll spare you the details and leave you with this: Packed with fiber, chia seeds help keep your gut moving. (See: the viral TikTok internal shower.) I’m here to tell you that if drinking them isn’t your jam, pairing them with your favorite yogurt or sprinkling them over avocado toast just might be. 

    Nathalia Westmacott-Brown
    A Little Book of Self Care: Breathwork
    Perhaps one of the most powerful changes in my wellness routine was becoming mindful of my breath. The breath is truly connected to everything we do and, for me, it’s the key to managing life’s daily stresses. For a deep dive into breathwork, I highly suggest this book. A Little Book of Self Care: Breathwork provides 50 step-by-step practices that you can use at home, each with expert advice on body position, visualization, duration, repetition, and more. I love that the author highlights traditions and different breathwork practices found around the world while also discussing the significant physical and mental benefits breathwork can have. From breathing to relieve stress to boosting your resilience, there’s a breathwork practice for everyone.

    I remember seeing these shoes advertised as walking on a cloud, which of course instantly piqued my interest. After trying them out for myself, I can confirm they are cloud-like. They offer more cushioning than the average running shoe and, quite literally, put a pep in my step. If you’re looking for a new pair of shoes for your next hot girl walk, these are it.
    17 colors available

    Organic Cotton Tampons
    Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic: period products. When it comes to feminine care, it’s important to know what’s in the products you use potentially 5-7 days every month. I switched to LOLA two years ago, and it has put me so much more at ease knowing my tampons and pads will arrive at my doorstep without any chemicals in sight. Founded by females, LOLA uses 100 percent organic cotton in their products, and their applicators are BPA-free. If tampons and pads aren’t your thing, they also have period underwear and menstrual cups.
    4 absorbencies available

    Youth to the People
    Purifying Face Mask
    My Sunday night ritual includes treating myself to an at-home facial, this face mask included. Recognized as a part of Sephora’s collection of clean beauty products, this clay mask absorbs excess oil while exfoliating and supporting your skin’s moisture barrier. I find this mask to be very gentle and helpful in soothing my skin when breakouts occur. I highly recommend this face mask for weekly use, but talk to your dermatologist before bringing new skin care products into your routine. 

    Wellness Journal
    I’m a big fan of journaling to clear my mind and work through hard emotions. But when I discovered gratitude journaling, it completely changed the journaling game for me. In fact, writing down what we are grateful for has been shown to have positive effects on our mental health. Coming in multiple colorways, this wellness journal offers space to write out what you’re grateful for each day and additional prompts to track your goals, daily habits, and more! If journaling hasn’t been your thing in the past, this might be the one to make the habit stick.
    8 colors available

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    The Wellness Essentials That Keep Me Healthy While Traveling

    When it comes to travel, I consider myself somewhat of an expert (humble brag). I’m that girl on the plane with the highly-organized carry-on, filled with every possible essential you could need. I have a go-to travel outfit (sweatsuit and sneakers), packing squares are my best friend, and I am always looking for the best travel deals. All this to say, I have curated a list of wellness essentials over the years that keep me hydrated and healthy. In other words, they are my must-haves while traveling, no matter where I’m going or the length of my trip. So the next time you’re planning a trip, consider packing these 10 products for a stress-free vacay. 

    Immune Support Packets
    It’s no surprise that travel can take a toll on the body. We’re not on our regular routines and probably sleeping less and indulging a little more. For this reason, I always have Emergen-C packets on hand. I want to enjoy every moment of my vacation, so these packets ensure that if I start to feel a little under the weather, I get a quick boost of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. 
    8 flavors available

    Genuine Health
    Greens Powder
    You’ve probably seen the ads for various greens powders and wondered if they’re actually worth trying. I am here to tell you, this one is 100 percent worth the hype. Getting your daily dose of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis can be tricky, and while traveling, it can sometimes be nearly impossible. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve spent searching an airport for a salad or been in a country that survives off of bread and cheese (I still love you, Paris), only to realize vegetables are nowhere to be found. This has made my greens powder an essential item in my carry-on. I simply add a couple of scoops to some water whenever I am feeling tired or craving vegetables, and I instantly feel refreshed.

    Summer Fridays
    Jet Lag Mask
    There’s a reason they call it the “Jet Leg Mask.” Nothing dehydrates your skin more than travel—from hours spent on an airplane to changes in weather. Trying to ensure your skin gives off a Hailey Bieber glazed donut glow while traveling is a feat, but I swear by this mask to help do the trick. Sometimes I will apply it just under my eyes or I will treat it as a face mask and leave it on for the duration of a flight. I may get a couple of side glances from my neighbors, but my skin is always left hydrated when I walk off the plane. 

    Sleep Capsules
    I’ve spent many years trying to conquer jet lag and searching for the best tips and tricks to avoid it. I’ve tried melatonin, magnesium, and CBD for sleep, but my favorite, by far, has been the Arrae sleep capsules. When you’re in a different time zone and can’t fall asleep on your own, it’s useful to have an aid to help you adjust. These sleep capsules help me fall asleep faster and don’t leave me with the lethargic feeling I get from taking melatonin. Lack of sleep can impact our immune system, nervous system, and overall well-being. It’s important to get enough sleep while traveling, and these capsules help do the trick.

    32 oz Bottle
    Remember the days when we all had regular-sized water bottles? We’d have to refill them over and over again, especially in the summer. Purchasing this water bottle has been life-changing for me while traveling. I no longer have to wait for the flight attendant to come around with a tiny cup of water (you know what I’m talking about) or make a pit stop on a road trip to refill. Staying hydrated is so important while traveling. It keeps our skin looking fresh and our immune systems strong, and this water bottle has been a key factor in all of the above.
    16 colors available

    Unseen Sunscreen
    Did you know that every year the UV rays increase and thus, the risk of sunburns? Your skin is your largest organ and protecting it should always be top of mind. There are so many different sunscreens to choose from, but Supergoop! is one of my favorites.  Lightweight and oil-free with an SPF 40 protection, it leaves my skin feeling healthy and, most importantly, break-out free. While I usually opt for a sunnier travel spot, I always have this sunscreen on hand no matter my destination. 

    Beats by Dre
    Wireless Headphones
    I have not once regretted purchasing my noise-canceling headphones. When you are stuck on a plane in the middle of the night and struggling to fall asleep because of all the noise, you’ll be thankful to have them. Sometimes you need to escape the busyness of travel and take a moment for yourself to unwind and relax. Being able to put my headphones on no matter where I am and disconnect is a haven I didn’t know I needed. 
    3 colors available

    Everyday Sneakers
    A good pair of shoes can make or break your travel experience. Comfort is key whether you are flying, driving, or walking. I’ve made the mistake of opting for a pair of sandals while walking through Paris, only to immediately regret my decision and the back pain that followed. The Allbirds Everyday Sneakers are not only designed to be worn everyday but are also versatile enough to pair with many outfits.
    17 colors available

    Meditation App
    I have always viewed my mental health as important as any other part of my body, and one way I take care of it is through meditation. Even while traveling, I plan out some time in my day for meditation. The Unplug App has been a long-time favorite of mine for the diverse meditations it provides, such as a jet lag meditation, anxious travelers meditation, and even a deep sleep for travelers meditation. No matter where I am in the world, I can find time to meditate with this app.

    Cleansing & Exfoliating Wipes
    If my skin feels oily or dirty, it affects my entire mood. In my opinion, there’s no worse feeling than walking around just wishing you could wash your face, and when traveling, it can be hard to find a nearby sink. Enter: these cleansing wipes. Whether you need a mid-day refresh or are without your regular face wash, these will do the trick. They’re hydrating, extremely soothing, and, as an added bonus, 99% of the ingredients are made from natural origins. 
    6 types available

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    Experiencing an End-of-Summer Health Slump? Here’s How To Get Out of It

    PSA: Starbucks‘ Pumpkin Spice Latte is returning on August 30. That can only mean one thing: Summer is on its way out. And bidding adieu to sun-kissed skin, laid-back vibes, and the peak of hot-girl-walk season is a hard pill to swallow. If you’re like me and experiencing the so-called “August Blues” (think: “Sunday Scaries,” but lasting for a month) as summer is coming to an end, the feelings of sadness and anxiety have set in. Your wellness routine is nowhere to be found, and you’re in an in-between funk. Sound familiar?
    Whether it’s the dog days of summer (extreme heat and humidity that leaves you exhausted), your going-out-and-drinking-more summer habits, or the notion that everyone else is on a European excursion while you’re at work, the August Blues are real. The silver lining? There are simple ways to get motivated and prevent playing Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness on repeat. Ahead, seven tips to get you out of your end-of-summer health slump and start looking forward to fall (read: pumpkin spice everything). 

    1. Prioritize your mental health 
    When it comes to health, we often only think of and take care of the physical aspect. But if the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s how equally important it is to prioritize our mental health. It goes without saying that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, so get in sync with your mind and body and listen to what you truly need. Perhaps that looks like seeking help from a therapist, reaching out to a family member, or taking a walk with a friend. Bottom line: Rather than isolating yourself in your slump, turn to your support system. 

    2. Set new goals 
    You know that excitement you get from getting something new—a workout set, an apartment, a relationship, a desk organizer (#adulting)? Goals should be no different. Let’s say your health routine has gone out the window (and that’s OK)–start fresh by developing a new set of small goals to strive for. If your eating habits are bringing you down, make it a point to grocery shop and meal prep over the weekend so you have ready-to-go healthy fare on hand for the week. Maybe your social calendar has been so packed that you haven’t taken any time for yourself. Schedule a self-love date every week where you try a new hobby, volunteer, or re-read a favorite book. 

    3. Make future plans that will bring you joy
    When you have something to look forward to, you look to the future instead of dwelling on what was or should’ve been. So whether it’s booking your dream vacay (or a staycation), meeting a friend for a long overdue catch-up, or nabbing tickets to a Harry Styles concert, pencil in things in the near future that will give you a boost of feel-good energy. Whatever you schedule, make sure it’s out of pure joy and not out of obligation or FOMO. In other words, be intentional with your time and fill it with what you value. The result? You’ll only have plans you’re excited about, and the August Blues will be a distant memory. 

    4. Catch up on your Zzzs
    It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. A restless night or lack of sleep altogether can lead to not only those horrifying dark circles, but also mood swings and anxiety. And let’s face it: Summer has a way of putting us in vacay mode (even when we’re technically not) and keeping us up later at night, making it harder to get quality shut-eye. What’s a girl to do?! For starters, make the last call for alcohol or food 2-3 hours before you hit the hay and cut off caffeine at lunchtime. If your sleep schedule is out of whack (same), try establishing a sleep routine by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Lastly, keep it cool—your bedroom, that is. The temperature sweet spot is between 65-72 degrees.

    5. Get moving 
    If there was such a thing as a cure-all, it would be movement. From enhancing your mood and promoting better sleep to giving your sex life some oomph, I could go on and on about the benefits of exercise (I’ll spare you). So dust off your gym shoes and get those endorphins going again with your workout of choice. And for bonus points, do it outside (you might as well take advantage of the warm weather while we’ve got it). Take to the streets for a hot girl walk, channel your inner Pilates girl, or see for yourself what all the hype is about with pickleball. 

    6. Use your PTO 
    Sometimes a break from everyday life or a change in scenery is all it takes to get out of a slump. Ladies, it’s time to push the, “I’ll take my PTO next year when things slow down” or “I’m saving up my PTO for when I take a big trip,” aside and take some much-needed and much-deserved time off. Take one day to catch up on some self-care or a few days to visit an old college friend. Either way, hitting reset will help avoid burnout, increase productivity, and reduce stress. In fact, according to a study released by the American Psychological Association, vacations can improve mood and reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments that they associate with stress and anxiety. You don’t have to take a week-long trip—even a three-day respite has been shown to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. If you can’t take time off from work, dedicate your day(s) off to breaking away from the day-to-day and doing something that fills your cup. 

    7. Refresh your home and look
    I feel like a new person when I get my hair done (who’s with me?). In the same vein, my home has a renewed energy after I’ve given it a good clean or decorated it with a new piece of art. For a mini-makeover and mood-booster in one, get that haircut you’ve been eyeing, update your wardrobe, switch up your bedding, or add a houseplant to the mix. And if you’re on a tight budget or sustainability is your middle name, you’d be surprised what a difference a little consignment shopping and rearranging furniture can make. 

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