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    Why Are People Taking a Shot of Olive Oil in the Morning, and Should I?

    Every year, there always seems to be a wellness trend that takes the world by storm (CBD and gua sha have entered the chat), and this year, it seems to be taking a shot of olive oil in the morning. If your TikTok algorithm is anything like mine, you might land on videos with juice recipes for PCOS, makeup tutorials, easy breakfast recipes, and the occasional Harry Styles montage (OK, OK—it’s a little bit more than the “occasional” Harry Styles montage). But when I started to see more and more videos on #guthealthtok of people taking a shot of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in the morning, I had to see what the craze was all about. Read on for my deep dive into the fad taking TikTok by storm and whether or not a shot of olive oil and lemon juice should be added to your morning routine.

    happy skin + gut = try it for a week 😮‍💨 #skincare #health #guthealth
    ♬ original sound – Amahree 💫

    What are people saying?
    If your “For You” page hasn’t fed you videos of people taking a shot of EVOO yet, here is a rundown of what the TikToks are saying: If you take a shot on an empty stomach, it can coat the walls of the stomach, improving mobility throughout the colon, and allow smooth bowel movement and digestion. Some people add a splash of lemon juice for benefits like improved digestive health. Even though it’s currently a TikTok trend, taking a shot of olive oil isn’t anything new: Communities around the Mediterranean have been doing this for decades, and the use of olive oil for both nutritious and medicinal properties dates back to as early as Ancient Egypt. 
    If I’m being honest, taking a shot of EVOO doesn’t sound incredibly appetizing, but I’m all about dissecting wellness trends and figuring out ways to improve my overall health. So I asked experts whether or not the shot was worth the hype. If this trend has sparked your interest as much as it did mine, keep reading to hear what the experts have to say about the benefits of olive oil and whether or not we should hop on this trend too.
    Benefits of olive oil
    When it comes to whether or not olive oil is healthy, the rumors are true. Apparently, olive oil is a superfood that contains anti-inflammatory qualities, helps supports the growth of healthy bacteria, and improves brain function. “Olive oil contains polyphenols and a fatty acid profile that may help to diversify healthy gut bacteria and reduce harmful bacteria,” explained Cassie Brown, MS, CHHP. “We need these fats in order to support our cognitive health, proper energy function, and nerve function, and they can help protect against diseases, promote satiety, slow our digestion for proper absorption, help the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and help hydrate and keep our cells proliferating.”
    Like other healthy fats, olive oil can help improve your gut’s microbiome. “Healthy fats help your gut absorb certain micronutrients like vitamins A, D, and K, which are key for optimal health,” agreed Tara Bassi, MS, CNS, LDN. It is also very heart-friendly, thanks to its ability to assist in regulating cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Bassi explained that maintaining healthy blood sugar levels can also impact your weight and overall digestive system.

    this summer we’re getting SNATCHED💅🏼 #summer2022 #oliveoilshot #guthealth #healthtips
    ♬ original sound – Amahree 💫

    So is the trend worth it?
    It is no secret that olive oil is our friend: EVOO makes for a perfect kitchen staple and is great for our everyday diet, but is it necessary to start our mornings with a shot? Brown expressed that there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to treating any symptom, and while there’s a lot of research on the health benefits of olive oil in general, there’s no research backing up that taking a shot of it on an empty stomach is more beneficial.
    Instead, she suggested that you can reap the benefits by pouring it on a salad, mixing it in a dressing, or adding it to a smoothie or meal just like you would any other healthy fat. Bassi agreed that just adding some olive oil to your meals throughout the day would be beneficial. However, every body is different, and just because a ritual is not studied does not mean it can’t make you feel good. If you are interested in trying the EVOO shot, it’s probably not harmful to take it in shot form (unless you have certain conditions that affect fat absorption), so talk to your doctor to identify if the extra dose of healthy fats is right for you.

    8 TikTok Wellness Trends You Can Try at Home More

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    10 Things To Do on Sunday To Set Yourself Up for Your Best Week Yet

    Whether you like it or not, Monday morning is coming. But it doesn’t have to be the stressful bummer of a day we make it out to be. There are productive things to do on Sunday that can not only set you up for success throughout your week but also actually make Mondays—dare I say—enjoyable. In fact, when you spend your Sundays fully recharging, getting ahead, and preparing accordingly, you might even feel excited and motivated to crush that Monday meeting or book a tough workout. Don’t believe me? Read on for 10 ways to give yourself a Sunday reset and have your best week ever. Be warned: You’re about to start enjoying your Mondays.
    1. Grocery shop, meal plan, and prep for the week
    Eating healthy can be as simple as being prepared so you have better-for-you options on hand throughout your busy week. Make a plan when grocery shopping and prioritize nutrient-dense foods like fresh avocados, which can serve as an accessible snack or addition to any meal that doesn’t require a lot of prep (perfect for weeks where you’re tempted to grab fast food on the go). The choices you make for your health and well-being are an expression of self-love, so choosing foods that you enjoy and support your health is an important way to invest in your well-being.
    Fresh avocados are satisfying and refreshing and provide nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients. They’re as delicious alone as they are in a variety of tasty recipes, which makes fresh avocados an obvious add to your weekly grocery run. If you’re looking for avocado-centered recipes, look no further:  Check out this  FREE handout inspired by a Mediterranean-style of eating!

    2. Do a quick tidying
    No matter how busy your week is ahead, it will feel so much more manageable when some of those chores you put off (looking at you, pile of dirty laundry) are taken care of and you start with a clean home. A one-hour deep clean or a quick closet reorganization can make a huge difference in not only your home environment but also how you feel for the rest of the week. If major chores like deep cleaning the bathroom or organizing the hallway closet feel overwhelming, start with a quick cleanup of the kitchen (doing dishes and wiping up counters), tidy up the living room (folding throw blankets and stacking coasters), and declutter your bedroom (that means putting away the clothes on your worn-but-not-yet-ready-for-laundry chair).
    Source: Jennifer Kathryn Photography for The Everygirl
    3. Unplug
    PSA for whoever needs to hear it: You do not have to (and should not) be “plugged in” 24/7. If your weeks feel overwhelming and Sundays are scary, consider doing a temporary digital detox to reduce stress. Mindless scrolling through social media or peeking at your work email may seem harmless, but they could make you feel drained and waste the last of your weekend. Unless your job requires you to be on call, deactivate all work notifications over the weekend to avoid having your phone become a source of anxiety unless you’re going to set aside intentional time to get ahead before Monday (more on that below). Even if you’re getting ahead on work, try putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or putting temporary locks on social media apps so you can truly recharge.
    4. Pick out a week of outfits 
    We make a lot of decisions every single day, even just within the first few minutes of waking up: whether or not to hit snooze, when to turn on the coffee pot, what to make for breakfast—no wonder we all feel exhausted and overwhelmed. No matter how big or small, decisions add up; decision fatigue is real. But good news: You can limit your decision making throughout the week by planning outfits (including which shoes you’ll pack to transition into happy hour on Thursday) in advance. You’ll limit some of the decision fatigue throughout the week so you can spend more time on those really important decisions that come up, but you also might find yourself excited for that power outfit or getting to rock your new pair of shoes instead of dreading the week ahead.

    Source: @waityouneedthis

    5. Clean out your inbox
    You already know unplugging on Sundays is important to recharge, but if you have severe Sunday Scaries just thinking about your Monday to-do list, setting aside some time to get ahead might help. Sundays should feel like Sundays (rather than an extension of the workweek), but spending just 10 to 20 minutes intentionally clearing out your inbox or going through all of your messages will help you start your week already feeling ahead. If emails aren’t a source of stress or you do want to unplug, try planning out your meetings and deadlines for the week instead. Just think about how good your Monday morning will feel when you’re already ahead.
    6. Set an intention
    At the beginning of the week, we’re always focused on to-do lists and goals, but what about setting an intention or a theme to focus on for the entire week? Setting an intention will help us get excited for the week and will also allow us to replace negative thoughts with phrases that can help us feel less stressed or more confident. To try it for yourself, pick an affirmation or “theme” (like staying present, moving more often, or having more fun) on Sundays and write it every day in your planner so you don’t forget it. Then, live your entire week around this affirmation or theme. Sunday Scaries, who?
    7. Check in with your budget and money goals for the week
    Self-care doesn’t always mean bubble baths or face masks. Sometimes, self-care means feeling in control of your finances and independence. While having a detailed financial plan and setting goals can help you reduce money-related stress and achieve what you want in life, feeling in control of your finances doesn’t always require a lot of time and energy. Spend five minutes on Sunday to glance over your bank account and credit card statements. Getting in the habit of frequently checking in can help identify fraud early on and will also give you a good idea of where you’re spending and where you can be saving. Set a financial goal for the week, whether it’s to put a certain amount of cash into your savings account or invest in a course or service that will improve your well-being.

    Source: ColorJoy Stock

    8. Make enjoyable plans for the week
    Got the Sunday Scaries? That’s because there’s nothing during the week that you look forward to (and what a sad way to live!). Schedule your week with more than just work meetings and workouts and make time for things you’ll actually look forward to. For example, schedule in a dinner with friends, when you’ll call your mom, or a couple hours where you want to bake that new recipe you’ve been dying to try. Instead of looking at Sundays like an end to a good weekend, start looking at Sundays as the beginning of a very exciting week.

    9. Schedule workouts
    You schedule meetings, appointments, and plans in advance, so why not schedule your workouts too? Not only will having an 8 a.m. jog or a 5 p.m. workout class on your calendar hold you accountable to make the workouts happen, but when you prioritize your health and well-being just as much as you prioritize a work meeting or coffee with a friend, you’re making a statement that self-care is just as important as every other aspect of your life (because it should be). Treat your scheduled workouts like any other item on your calendar: Show up on time, be prepared, and don’t cancel last minute.
    10. Organize your desk space
    A messy workspace, stacks of paper, or a snack wrapper from last Friday can add to the feelings of stress, overwhelm, and anxiety that come with the start of a busy week, so minimize as much clutter as possible on Sunday. Clean out your desk drawers, organize papers or mail, and even wipe down your computer. If you don’t have a designated workspace or solely work in an office, you’ll get the same benefits from detoxing your desktop (AKA deleting that folder of Christmas decor inspo that’s been sitting there since last December), organizing contacts, or installing any updates (to avoid that annoying notification throughout the week).

    8 Things To Do When the Sunday Scaries Set In

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Fresh Avocados — Love One Today, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    9 AAPI-Owned Wellness Brands That Will Transform Your Health

    Being an American Born Chinese, I believe I have the best of both worlds—melding Chinese customs my parents passed down to me and my sister with American traditions. Growing up, I studied American history alongside learning how to read and write Chinese. On my family’s Thanksgiving table, you’ll find the usual suspects (you know, turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole) interspersed between a Chinese version of stuffing, noodles, and a bok choy dish. 
    In light of the recent anti-Asian racism, I’ve never been more proud to be Asian American. And as May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, I thought what better way to honor and celebrate our cultures than highlighting female Asian American-owned wellness brands that inspire innovation, creativity, and connection in our community and beyond. Keep reading to learn about eight companies to support today and every day. 

    From your skin to your period, Rael has got you covered. Founded by three women from South Korea, including CEO Yanghee Paik, who saw the need for quality feminine care in America, Rael combines high-quality organic materials from the U.S. with cutting-edge Korean manufacturing technology to create clean, sustainable, and cruelty-free products for women. It’s a one-stop shop for women, by women.

    Synonymous with self-care, the act of journaling has become a wellness trend you don’t want to sleep on. Enter: Silk + Sonder. In search of a tool to help her work through her feelings of anxiety and being burned out and unfulfilled, Founder Meha Agrawal discovered the transformative nature of journaling and created a subscription-based journaling model to make self-care a more joyful and personalized experience. Choose from a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription (included in each journal are guided prompts and wellness trackers). 

    Sisters Julie and Connie Kuo grew up in the male-dominated footwear industry and set out to make a mark for themselves and other women by producing sustainable kicks made from repurposed plastic bottles. An abbreviation for authentic, versatile, responsible, and empowered, AVRE boasts a stylish collection for various types of workouts, not to mention a 3D technology that creates precise sizes, dramatically reducing waste. Oh, and did I mention their shoes are machine washable?

    After getting out of a toxic relationship and going through her own healing transformation through self-care and self-love, CEO and Founder Lin Chen started Pink Moon to create a space of empowerment and abundance. Best described as a platform that marries emotional health and self-love with sustainable beauty, Pink Moon curates a unique shopping experience featuring vetted female-led brands and their eco-conscious and ethically minded goods. Talk about girl power. Browse gua sha tools, vegan lipsticks and nail polish, perfume oils, and so much more (they even have workshops!).

    A cup of tea has always been more than just a beverage for Sashee Chandran. Coming from Chinese and Sri Lankan descent, she has always viewed tea as a form of connection, community, and nostalgia, bringing back fond memories of her childhood. Wanting to recreate the magic of a high-quality tea experience she grew up with without the waste of tea bags, she established Tea Drops, an assortment of bagless, organic, whole-leaf teas. Shop by tea type, flavor, caffeine level, benefit (immune support please!), and mood (can I get some stress relief?).

    When CEO and Cofounder Sarah Paiji Yoo became a new mom, she was determined to find a solution to single-use plastic after learning that all disposed plastics were contaminating the water and food she was feeding her baby. Born out of the lack of household products that didn’t come packaged in plastic, Blueland specializes in eco-friendly cleaning supplies that are as safe as they are effective. Their collection also includes hand soap, body wash, and laundry essentials—all sans harmful chemicals, because a clean, non-toxic home equals better health for you and the environment. 

    When Lulu Ge went off birth control and experienced debilitating cramps, bloating, headaches, and sleepless nights, she was determined to change the narrative around menstrual symptoms as an accepted part of just being a woman. Instead of masking the pain with toxic drugs and more synthetic birth control, she turned to herbal medicine and soon after got the idea to create Elix to provide greater access to the holistic approach for menstrual wellness. Through an online health assessment, you’ll get a personalized herbal treatment plan and be on your way to your healthiest cycle yet. What’s more, all Elix offerings are 100% organic, ethically and sustainably sourced, and vegan and gluten-free.

    After years of living off fast food, Julie Nguyen developed a laundry list of health issues. Not until she changed her diet did she realize the impact food can have on her health and well-being. Julie built Methodology, a weekly meal-prep service, to help people take the guesswork out of creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle so they can focus their time and energy elsewhere. Customize your subscription based on your diet preferences, cuisine, days needed, and type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack). The best part besides the convenience and delicious options? All the food is pre-cooked and delivered in glass jars that are picked up for recycling.

    A daughter of a potter and a farmer, Shizu Okusa was influenced at an early age to appreciate and feel a connection to Earth and nature. You wouldn’t find over-the-counter medicines in her household but rather hot stones and herbal drinks. But her career didn’t always match her balanced upbringing. After working as a Wall Street trader for three years, she knew she was destined for more. After leaving her job and traveling abroad where she learned Ayurveda, she eventually founded Apothékary. A plant-based “farmacy,” the brand offers herbal and adaptogen remedies (all organic, fair-trade, and non-GMO) for everything from skin and gut health to sleep and sex drive. 

    20 Books by Asian American Authors You Need to Read More

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    Don’t Let Swimsuit Anxiety Ruin Your Summer—Here are 5 Ways to Love Your Body More

    When you get that first taste of 70-degree days at the end of spring, the excitement of summer begins to build. But it’s also the time of year when I start to become more aware of my body. Through fall and winter, I live blissfully free of the anxious feelings surrounding what my body looks like. But like clockwork, as soon as the warm weather hits, bathing suit anxiety sinks in. Quite frankly, I am over it.
    Bathing suit anxiety is bigger than just not feeling confident in a bikini. The truth is that the way we view our bodies can have a serious impact on how we live our lives, and developing a positive relationship with our bodies is important for our well-being. According to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, women and girls are more likely to opt out of important life activities when they don’t feel good about the way they look, and 17% of women claim they won’t even go to a job interview when they’re not feeling good about their appearance.
    We’ve grown up in an era where talk of having a “summer body” is common jargon, but every body is a summer body. Despite what we may have been told, doing workouts you don’t enjoy or trying trendy diet plans isn’t the path to loving your body more. To have an anxiety-free summer, we have to learn to love our bodies by going inward, and these are the steps to take that will help you get there. 

    1. Connect to your body
    Like most things in life, it’s hard to connect with something we don’t fully understand, and your body is one of them. Our bodies do amazing things for us every single day: They allow us to move, breathe, nourish, and pleasure ourselves, yet we often don’t notice it. There are a lot of different ways to connect to our bodies and appreciate them more. One way is through the breath: Breathing is something we do subconsciously (thank you, body!), but taking time every day to scan the body and notice how breath moves through the body can be so powerful. This practice allows you to further understand your emotions, lets you notice where you feel things in the body, and helps you develop a stronger connection to it.
    Another fun way is through self-pleasure. Masturbating means you value yourself enough to give yourself pleasure and reminds you that you deserve pleasure. It can be one of the most powerful ways to show your mind that your body is beautiful and worthy of love. If you don’t already, start incorporating masturbation into your routine. The best way to develop self-love is by practicing it.

    2. Find a workout you love
    If you dread waking up every morning to go to your workout class, why are you going? Exercise does not have to be (and should not be) something you dread doing. There are so many forms of workouts available to us today, from online classes in the comfort of your home, running groups, spin, pilates, yoga, boxing—the list goes on and on. Similar to food or taste in clothes, not everyone will like the same things and it takes time to find what you enjoy. Moving your body and breaking a sweat should be fun; after all, exercise releases endorphins. Our bodies feel good after we exercise (while maybe a little sore), and changing our mindset around working out to be viewed as something we look forward to will help us love and appreciate our bodies even more.

    3. Change the narrative
    For a long time now, women have been told that they have to look a certain way to be happy, find love, and be successful. So it’s no wonder we have anxiety around what our body looks like. We have to unlearn everything we were taught early on and relearn what body positivity is; we have to change the narrative. Sometimes, this can involve real inner work with a therapist to look at why we don’t love our body or internally replacing critiques with compliments, but no matter where you are on your self-love journey, there are some simple steps you can take to create a healthier narrative around your body. 
    The moment you have those negative thoughts about what your body looks like, push them out. Give yourself a list of affirmations to resort to whenever you are not feeling great about the way your body looks. Some examples are, “I am worthy of love in this body,” “I am beautiful,” or “I deserve to be happy in this body.” Tell yourself over and over again how much you love this body until you start to believe it.

    4. Wear clothes that make you feel good
    Fashion is a great way to boost your confidence, but there are also times when clothes can make us feel less than great about ourselves. Get rid of any item in your closet that doesn’t make you feel good when you wear it, whether it’s because it is uncomfortable, no longer fits right, or doesn’t make you confident. Every time you get dressed this summer, choose clothes that make you look in the mirror and say, “I love my body.” It’s the same when shopping for swimsuits or dresses: Choose items that make you feel good and will not have you worrying about the way you look. Fun fact: I only buy high-cut swimsuits now, after years of being miserable in low-cut ones. Fashion should only ever make you feel better about your body, and if it’s doing the opposite, it’s not doing its job. 

    5. Cleanse your social feed
    Your social feed is yours and no one else’s. It should be a place you go to feel inspired, laugh, and be entertained. If you feel worse every time you close an app, it’s time to cleanse your feed. It’s time to say goodbye to those workout videos that make you feel like you’re not “toned” enough or the supermodels and celebrities who have you thinking twice about how you look. If these posts are making you feel worse, it’s not worth it.
    Instead, build your feed with accounts that inspire you, motivate you, and make you laugh. Find one account you love and build from there. You can even make it a habit to cleanse your feed once a month, so if anything negative makes its way in, you can quickly remove it. If the apps altogether are too much, try taking a break for a little while. Social media has a strong impact on our mental health and the way we view our bodies—make sure it is a positive tool for self-love and not the opposite.

    15 Ways To Have Your Healthiest Summer Ever More

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    The Summer Wellness Trend You Should Try, Based on Your Enneagram

    As a new season fast approaches–one filled with warmer weather, beach days, and hopefully a few long weekend getaways–it’s the perfect time to switch up your wellness routine and add something new to the mix. Wellness trends have been popping up everywhere (#grateful that TikTok introduced us to the Hot Girl Walk back in 2021 and YouTube showed us the 12-3-30 workout that had everyone running to buy a treadmill). The list of wellness trends to try is endless and continues to grow, but not every trend will be the right one for you. To make it easier, we’ve broken down the hottest summer wellness trends and picked out which one you should try based on your enneagram.

    CBD Oil
    Type Ones are all about getting things done. They are purposeful, self-controlled, and rational, and while they are known to excel at the office, they may need a little extra help relaxing and chilling out, which is why CBD oil is the perfect trend for a Type One. Whether you’re adding a few drops to your morning coffee or taking a roller on the go, CBD oil is perfect for helping to ease the nerves and relax a little during high-stress moments. Everyone needs a little help in managing stress, but especially for a Type One, CBD will be their new best friend.
    To try our favorite, use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order!

    Facial Massage
    Type Twos are known to be very caring and generous, but it’s time to put some of that care back onto themselves. The perfect wellness trend for a Type Two involves a little indulgence and pampering, like giving yourself a facial massage. Invest in an ice roller, gua sha tool, or a jade roller, and set aside some time each week for a facial massage. Not only will it feel incredibly relaxing, but these tools can also help with lymphatic drainage, puffiness, and wrinkles. Talk about a win-win!

    12-3-30 Workout
    Type Threes value wellness activities that make them feel good and challenge them to better themselves. As a driven and success-oriented Type Three, the ever-popular 12-3-30 workout is an easy choice for their fitness routine. The workout involves setting a treadmill to a 12 percent incline and walking at 3 miles per minute for 30 minutes. It may sound easy, but do not be fooled–this workout can be intense. Type Threes will love incorporating it into their new routine and feel accomplished after completing the workout and seeing their progress. 

    Guided Journaling
    Type Fours can be sensitive and withdrawn while still being expressive. This combination makes guided journaling the perfect wellness trend for them. It is a creative practice that allows them to express their inner thoughts and emotions in a safe place, with equal parts guidance and imagination. There are many different types of guided journals available: The Five-Minute Journal, gratitude journals, or even Q&A journals, which ask introspective questions. Type Fours will be eager to try out this creative wellness trend. 

    As the perceptive and innovative one of the group, Type Fives are known for being curious and willing to try new things. Adaptogens (the plant-based herb known for reducing stress) are right up their alley. While this wellness trend has been circling on Instagram and TikTok for quite some time now, it has roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic healing traditions. Try adding the powder to juices and smoothies, or find in a tea form as well.

    Meditation App
    The best wellness trend for a Type Six is a meditation app. Sixes are known to be security-oriented, responsible, and sometimes anxious. Creating a meditation practice will help any Six remove anxious feelings and incorporate more zen into their life. There are so many meditation apps to choose from–Headspace, Unplug, SuperHuman–and each one has lots of options for any situation (walking meditations, sleep meditations, five-minute meditations, etc.). Start a 30-day challenge and see how it goes.

    Digital Detox
    Type Sevens are busy, spontaneous, and sometimes a little scattered. With the chaos of day-to-day life, a digital detox is just what they need to unwind and relax. Taking a break from all social media platforms for a week or simply unplugging for an hour every night before bed will do wonders for a Type Seven. In a world that is deeply attached to technology, unplugging for a period of time can have vast benefits on sleep and mental well-being. 

    Cold Therapy
    Type Eights are powerful, willful, and not afraid to back down from a challenge. So naturally, something challenging like cold therapy is a great fit for their confident spirit. There are different ways to practice cold therapy, like plunging into a cold pool or shower or in a cryo-chamber, but either way, cold therapy can boost the metabolism and help reduce inflammation, swelling, and sore muscles. This wellness trend is an intense practice and can have great results, but it’s important to make sure it is done safely, so talk to your doctor about the best cold therapy methods for you.

    Hot Girl Walk
    As the easy-going, agreeable, and receptive type, a Hot Girl Walk was made for Nines. The premise of a Hot Girl Walk is that each day you go for a walk outside for about one hour, and you think about three things: What you are grateful for, what you want to achieve, and lastly, how hot you are (duh!). They are simple and a great way to get into a positive, healthy mindset. The Hot Girl Walk was coined by TikToker Mia and is a wellness trend made for those warm summer days ahead.

    What You Should Manifest This Year, Based on Your Enneagram More

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    On Your Period? Here’s a Self-Care Guide for That Time of the Month

    It’s that time of the month when cramps, bloating, fatigue, and other unglamorous symptoms rear their ugly heads. That’s right–I’m talking about what Cher Horowitz refers to as “surfing the crimson wave” (see: Clueless), otherwise known as being on your period. The good news? With some TLC for your mind and body, you can turn the dreaded week into an opportunity to tune in to yourself and your needs and just go with the flow (pun intended). Read on for period self-care practices to incorporate during the week of your menstruation to honor, celebrate, and get in touch with your body.
    1. Nourish your body with iron-rich foods
    You’ve likely heard of cycle-syncing, or making lifestyle adjustments according to your hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout the month. In other words, The Cycle Syncing Method® suggests changing up your routine to support your body’s needs based on the different phases of your menstrual cycle.
    During your period (AKA the menstrual phase), your hormone levels drop, leaving you feeling anything but energetic. Now is the time to load your plate with nutrient-dense and iron-rich foods and ensure you’re consuming enough calories. For protein sources, think wild salmon, beef, chicken, or turkey. Vegan or vegetarian? No problem! Stock up on lentils, chickpeas, or pinto beans. And we can’t forget veggies, of course. Consider dark, leafy greens like spinach, chard, and kale to be your best friends this week. Finally, add herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, to your dishes for a boost of anti-inflammatory goodness.

    2. Stay hydrated  
    You know that motivational water bottle you’ve been saying you need to get (because a little encouragement never hurts)? Well, now’s the time to “Add to cart” (Amazon Prime FTW) because hydration is key, especially during this stage. Give your coffee maker (or barista, if we’re being honest) a break this week, and swap your cup of joe for non-caffeinated teas, such as red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium. Still not convinced? A study showed that red raspberry leaves may reduce the menstrual cramping caused by the spasms of pelvic muscles (excuse me while I go clear out Whole Foods’ entire inventory of raspberry leaf tea). 
    3. Go easy on your workouts
    Ever notice how enticing your bed becomes with the onset of your period? While cozying up in bed all week isn’t realistic (a girl can dream), listen to your body and avoid putting your body through any strenuous exercise. Hit pause on your HIIT workouts, marathon training, or any Rocky-inspired sessions. Instead, opt for lighter, low-impact forms of exercise, like walking, stretching, Pilates, or restorative yoga. Or get your endorphins going while soaking up Vitamin D by heading outdoors for a low-key hike, jog, or swim. Sure, staying active during your period has many benefits, like lessening fatigue and mood swings, but if you’re feeling especially drained, there’s nothing wrong with taking a rest day or two. 

    4. Schedule time in your calendar for R&R
    When you’re accustomed to a fast-paced, go-go-go lifestyle, it can be hard—even uncomfortable—to allow yourself to rest. You may be used to pulling a 6o-hour work week or double-booking your calendar, but this week is not the time to go full speed ahead. Rather, take the week to slow down and make time for yourself. Lighten your schedule with fewer work meetings and social obligations; block off time to take a warm bath or get a massage; get sexy if you’re up for it, or romance yourself with some self-love if sex isn’t in the cards; step outside and connect to the earth through grounding; and optimize your Zzz’s by keeping your bedroom cool and resisting that “just one more episode” urge. 

    5. Let go of what may be holding you back
    Just as the uterus sheds its lining during the week of your period, it’s time to self-reflect and release anything that’s no longer serving you, whether it be people, habits, beliefs, or a job. According to Alisa Vitti, the creator of The Cycle Syncing Method®, this phase is the optimal time to evaluate your life and process your reflections because your level of clarity and intuition is at its peak. What can you let go of that’s keeping you from being your highest self? And by doing so, what can you create space for? Try implementing journaling, manifestation, or meditation to guide you toward living your best life. 

    6. Consider alternative menstrual products
    As convenient as tampons are, they’re not budget or eco-friendly, and using them seems counterintuitive when the point is to release and let it flow. With many innovative and sustainable substitutes to traditional period products available today, making the switch has never been easier. Before your “Flo” comes around again, consider reaching for feminine care alternatives like period underwear, menstrual cups, or menstrual discs. And if you find yourself in a pinch and scrambling to the nearest drugstore (we’ve all been there) or you just prefer to use tampons, go the organic route (sans chemical additives). Because being mindful of your body and the planet doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

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    I Tried Jennifer Aniston’s Favorite Salad—Here Are My Thoughts

    As a regular content consumer, I’ll admit that I’m easily influenced by most products on the internet. And when it comes to convenient, nutritious recipes splashed across my feeds, you bet I’m writing down the ingredients and running to the nearest grocery store. So it should come as no surprise that when I discovered the Jennifer Aniston salad, it was an immediate “I must make this now” situation.
    You see, I was watching an excessive number of YouTube videos (anyone else obsessed with Vogue’s celebrity makeup tutorials?) when I saw a video recommended for me titled something along the lines of “I ate like the Friends cast for a day.” A “what I ate in a day” video combined with an iconic TV show? Intrigued is an understatement. In the video, I watched as the creator made this delicious-looking bulgur salad and reported that this was what Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow ate together for lunch every day on set for 10 years. I’m not sure I’ve ever committed to anything for that long, so obviously this salad had to be good. I’m never going to turn down the chance to try a new recipe—especially one that came from Jennifer Aniston herself.
    As I scoured the internet for an exact recipe, I learned that this salad was not in fact the one the Friends actors ate for 10 years (that, allegedly, was a doctored up Cobb salad). This salad, now known as the Jennifer Aniston salad, was what she shared when she did a takeover for Living Proof in 2015 showcasing a day in her life, including her meals. Regardless, that didn’t deter me from trying this at home, and here’s how you can too. 

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    How to make the Jennifer Aniston salad  
    Assembling the salad is pretty straightforward. I used this recipe and its measurements, but there are plenty of variations online. First, cook your bulgur according to the package directions. Bulgur is a hearty whole grain with a texture similar to rice. From personal experience, bulgur can be hard to track down at the grocery store, so I think that any other whole grain such as quinoa, brown rice, or farro would work well here. While the bulgur is cooking, chop your red onion, mini cucumbers, mint, parsley, and pistachios. Once the bulgur is finished and cooled, it’s just a matter of throwing all the prepared ingredients together, topping it with a can of drained chickpeas, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss the salad together and there you have it! 

    My review as a registered dietician
    Upon first bite, I was genuinely impressed. I would never have thought of pairing pistachios and mint together in a salad, but both flavors worked really well together. The veggies gave a nice crunch, and the simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil kept the salad feeling fresh and light. I ended up having seconds and then a few more bites after because it was just that good. I know this wasn’t the exact salad that the cast of Friends ate for 10 years, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t eat it every day for lunch.
    I was originally interested in making this salad because not only did it seem super easy, but it’s also a filling, plant-based meal. The veggies and bulgur pack a fibrous punch, the olive oil and pistachios provide heart-healthy fats, and the chickpeas make a great plant-based protein source. Plus, if you want to make it completely vegan, you can omit the feta or use a plant-based cheese instead.
    What I really loved about this salad (aside from the fact that Jennifer Aniston eats it) is that it is completely customizable. While I love all the ingredients as is, I could also switch out the bulgur for a different grain, add additional spices, or throw in some more veggies. Given how easy it is to make ahead of time, it also makes for a great meal prep dish to add to your weekly rotation. 

    The final verdict
    It truly makes me wonder if the secret to Jennifer Aniston’s glowing success is healthy hacks like throwing together this salad. While I don’t think eating this salad daily or even weekly is going to turn me into her, a girl can dream, right? Regardless, I am definitely recommending this salad to everyone I know for an easy, nutrient-dense, meal prep recipe.

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    How to Have a Better Relationship, According to Your Enneagram

    Let’s be real: Relationships can be complicated. The good news? They don’t have to be. Thanks to the Enneagram, we can show up as our best and most authentic selves in our relationships while better understanding ourselves and our other halves, no matter how different they are. And the result is deeper connection, mutual respect, and empathy. Grab your partner and read on to learn the strengths, differences, and motivations of each Enneagram type and find out where you fit. 

    Type Ones are great in relationships because they always have a sense of their priorities. It’s rare you’ll meet a Type One who doesn’t have a grasp on what it is they want in a relationship and where you fall in line with their other duties and identities. They’re also known for being faithful, helpful, and dedicated in relationships, meaning you can expect them to be all-in. 
    On the other side, Ones are known for being perfectionists, which can mean they’re critical and have overly high expectations of a partner. Type Ones should be aware of their expectations and work on finding a medium with their partner. Instead of expecting your partner to have the dishes done when you get home (without asking first) or wondering why they haven’t asked about your weekend plans yet, ask for what you want. I know, this goes against basically everything in your nature as a Type One, but unless your partner can read minds (we’re all jealous), there’s no way for them to know what you want and, in turn, meet your expectations. 

    The Helper is all about doing what they can for their loved ones. They know how to make you feel loved and appreciated, and they’re great at validating the feelings of others (even if it means doubting their own). 
    Because Type Twos are so focused on what the other person wants or needs, they often struggle to get their own needs met in a relationship. Instead of worrying about what your partner wants for dinner or how they’re feeling after a fight, ask for what you need. If your feelings were hurt or you feel like they’re not taking your ideas into consideration, this is your chance to tell them how you feel and exactly how they can support you too. A relationship goes both ways, and because a Two is so focused on their partner, they often forget to prioritize their needs too. 
    Twos can also be possessive at times, causing them to show an excess of love to their partner in an attempt to woo them or keep them in their lives. Talk to your partner about how they personally want to feel love (might we suggest the Love Languages test?) so you can give them exactly what they want too.

    If you’re familiar with Love Languages, Threes almost always feel loved through words of affirmation. They like knowing their partner is proud of their achievements, whether it’s something big, such as a promotion at work, or small, like finding the best new restaurant for date nights. Threes love to feel appreciated, and because of this, they enjoy giving to their partner too. 
    Because Threes put so much of their worth into their career, they often bring that into relationships. Talking about work over dinner, being absentminded when you’re together, and putting your work-related stress onto your partner can make your partner feel like they’re not as important to you as your career. To combat this, create work-free times with your partner. Much like some of us are with our cell phones (guilty), Threes can often be that way about their career. Give yourself two hours when you’re out to dinner or just catching up on Bridgerton where you occupy yourself with your partner. No work, all play. 

    Fours are known for being creative, but in relationships, they are playful, fun, and spirited. They are open to new experiences and love getting to share their creativity and passion with someone else. They are typically emotional and have a strong idea of who they are. In relationships, this means they’re romantic and intuitive. They love sending love notes, cards, and gifts to their loved ones, and they feel loved when their partner understands and compliments their self-expression (such as their art!). 
    In a relationship, a Four can be a little overbearing at times. They can be moody and have a hard time separating their emotions from their day-to-day lives. As a Four, it is important to remind your partner that they aren’t to blame for your emotions. Fours do not like being called overdramatic or being told they’re overreacting in a situation; therefore, it’s important to talk with your partner about your emotions instead of closing them off. You don’t have to be alone with your feelings!

    Fives love to approach situations with data on hand. They’re natural teachers who observe their surroundings and analyze situations deeply before committing or speaking up. Unlike Fours, they take time alone to process and understand their emotions before acting on them, which can make a partner think they’re uninterested or uninterrupted by a conflict (which isn’t usually the case). They have a thirst for knowledge and love to learn, making them a great companion for intellectual dates, such as going to new exhibitions, museums, libraries, and events in your city. 
    In their quest for knowledge, Fives can seem somewhat withdrawn or even contentious or irritated with a partner. While they are generally introverted and prefer to stay in, they can get frustrated when a partner always wants to pull them out of their comfort zone. Similar to Type Three, create times with your partner to discuss your lives without judgment. Your partner wants to know what you’re learning and what is interesting to you at the moment, so don’t be afraid to geek out about your latest project. They love that side of you too!

    We all know Sixes are all about commitment, making them perfect for long-term relationships. They’re loyal and feel content knowing their relationships are safe and secure. They can be introverted and extroverted, so they’re easy to open up to but also to have fun with. Helping others is important to a Six, and they feel irresponsible when they think they haven’t fulfilled that duty. They are also independent, so they’re able to do their own thing once in a while without worrying about their partner.
    Sixes are some of the most trustworthy people; however, they’re not quick to trust others themselves. This can make them seem self-conscious, nervous, and even defensive in relationships where the other person doesn’t feel trusted or accepted. Trusting another person is hard at first, but it takes being confident in yourself and your relationship to get you there. Spend some time every day focusing on building up your own self-confidence. You can’t be the best version of yourself with a partner if you’re constantly worrying about how you look or if they still like you (you look great, and, yes, they do!). Then, start building trust by allowing yourself to be vulnerable at times. Open up to your partner about your insecurities in the relationship, and discuss from there.

    The adventurers of the Enneagram, Sevens are all about a party. They’re upbeat and positive, knowing how to find the good in most situations. They almost always seem happy and carefree, which can sometimes seem stressful to a partner who’s another type. 
    Although Sevens are the life of the party, they can also seem narcissistic and distracted in relationships. They have a short attention span, which is great for having fun but stressful for discussing issues in a relationship. We know it’s hard, but Sevens, you have to slow down. Allow your partner to get serious every once in a while. Being an optimist doesn’t have to mean you never discuss negativity or the stress and anxiety each other goes through. However, make sure you’re letting your partner speak up. While they certainly love your center-of-attention personality, they also want to feel understood and heard too.

    Eights are confident and outgoing, but this can also manifest itself as arrogance and competition. They are natural leaders who view life’s challenges as exciting, and they’re never afraid of conflict. When issues arise in a relationship, they’re the first to be honest and ready to discuss what’s going on with their partner. 
    A reminder to Eights: It’s OK to show your vulnerable side. Eights feel like they have to have everything together all the time, and they can’t share the tender side of themselves without getting angry or frustrated first. To make this easier, practice active listening with your partner. No more trying to come up with a response before the other person is even finished (as an Eight, I totally understand this!). Listen to your partner as they speak, and empathize with whatever they’re going through, no matter how big or small it may seem to you. You’ll be able to relate to them on a deeper level while also prioritizing some quality time.

    Nines can often be mistyped as Twos because they are overly accommodating in relationships and can be people-pleasers. However, what makes them different from Twos is their drive to keep harmony and peace in their relationships. Known as the peacemakers, they are active listeners and sensitive to other people’s emotions. 
    Nines will do anything to avoid conflict, which can sometimes cause situations to never reach a solution (the opposite of Eights!). Instead of your usual, speak up about what’s going on with you and your partner. Whether it’s about your sex life, someone forgetting to take out the trash, or something bigger, be honest with your partner about how you’re feeling and what’s going on. Remember that not all conflict has to be disruptive; there is such a thing as productive conflict. 

    The Enneagram Type You Should Date
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