More stories

  • in

    This Product Helps Me Sleep Like a Baby, and I Can’t Stop Recommending It

    Even Beyonce has trouble sleeping, yet when I started struggling with falling and staying asleep, I thought it was just my problem. ​​You see, the phrase, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” has never been something to come out of my mouth. I’ve just never had an issue with getting quality shut-eye. But with work deadlines, personal responsibilities, and, let’s be honest, too much TikTok keeping me up at night, sleeping like a baby became a thing of the past.
    Since sleep is a form of self-care, I made it my mission to get a better night’s sleep. Along the way, I stumbled upon one truly glorious product that I refuse to shut up about: Equilibria’s Sleep Gummies. And I can’t stop recommending them to everyone I know.

    Sleep Gummies
    Sleep Gummies are formulated with CBD, CBN, chamomile, and L-theanine, so falling asleep and staying asleep are easier.
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 25% off sitewide at Equilibria—both new and returning customers eligible until end of month! Code stackable with subscription savings

    Why I Tried Equilibria’s Sleep Gummies
    When I started experiencing trouble falling and staying asleep, I did what every person does: I turned down the tea aisle of my grocery store to grab the first box of bedtime tea I could find. I made myself a cozy cup of tea, thinking I was sipping my woes away. Yet, much to my dismay, the tea didn’t do the trick.
    I have friends who swear by melatonin to help them sleep through the night. So, on my next trip to the store, I snagged that. Long story short: I now blame melatonin for sleeping through my alarm, missing my workout class, and getting charged a no-show fee. 
    I never used either of those products again. However, since I’m not a quitter, I did a little more research on how to get better sleep and finally turned to Equilibria’s Sleep Gummies. Equilibria’s products are some of my favorites for managing anxiety, productivity, and mood (shoutout to the Softgels). So, I figured their Sleep Gummies would be a reliable bet.

    My First Impression 
    After getting over my fear of sleeping through another workout class, I took one gummy about an hour before bed, knowing that the onset time was 30-60 minutes. (Tip: The longer you chew your Sleep Gummies, the faster they’ll kick in.) As someone who orders a Dirty Shirley with extra maraschino cherries, I immediately loved the Bordeaux Cherry flavor. In about 45 minutes, I was feeling calmer—which I anticipated since that is how other Equilibria CBD products make me feel—but I was hopeful that they would help me sleep, too.
    And they did. My restfulness subsided, my head hit the pillow, and I was out like a light. The best part? I made it to class on time, feeling refreshed and well-rested. I felt on top of the world after a quality sleep and a workout I didn’t dread waking up for.
    Try them out for yourself and use code THEEVERYGIRL to score 25% off sitewide at Equilibria—new AND returning customers eligible until 9/30! Code also stackable with subscription savings.

    Source: @equilibriawomen

    The Verdict
    After about a week of taking one gummy before bed, I increased my intake to the full serving—two gummies. When I say I didn’t move in the middle of the night, I mean it. You know how sometimes you think you had a good night’s sleep, but you remember rolling a bit or waking up for a second? Well, you haven’t experienced a truly uninterrupted, good night’s sleep until you’ve tried these.
    One thing I know calms me down and helps me feel relaxed is CBD, so I don’t know why I didn’t try Equilibria’s Sleep Gummies sooner. After taking them, I fall asleep easier and sleep better throughout the night. They last 4-8 hours, and I sleep better now than I ever have.
    Equilibria states that their Sleep Gummies “help balance a healthy sleep-wake cycle for a luxurious night’s sleep,” and believe me, I feel like a well-rested, luxury-living queen every morning now. And the flavor? It’s the Bordeaux cherry on top. 

    Sleep Gummies
    Sleep Gummies are formulated with CBD, CBN, chamomile, and L-theanine, so falling asleep and staying asleep are easier.
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 25% off sitewide at Equilibria—both new and returning customers eligible until end of month! Code stackable with subscription savings

    5 Things Successful Women Do Before Bedtime

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

  • in

    Is There Such a Thing As “Too Much” Self-Care? It’s Time We Reevaluate How To Care for Ourselves

    We are in the self-care era. The concept is so popular and widely embraced that it seems everyone is doing face masks and daily breathwork. But with so many voices applauding new rituals and practices in the name of wellbeing, it can feel a little overwhelming to keep up with it all. And that sensation of feeling overwhelmed begs the question: Is all of this actually making us healthier and happier?
    When scrolling through #wellness TikToks or my Instagram feed, I’m often reminded of how easy it is to get so obsessive about eating “clean” that it actually becomes stressful. The irony, of course, is that stress is bad for us too–including over-stressing about food. So, where else in our wellness routines do we care so much about hitting the mark that we inexplicably miss it? As it turns out, a lot of places. We can be so rigid with being “healthy” that it becomes unhealthy. So, could the same be true with our culture’s self-care obsession? 
    Before we dive in, you should know that I am pro-wellness. Like big time, it-saved-my-life kinda stuff. But as with all passions, there’s a tipping point. I believe we should all have self-care routines. I believe our bodies deserve (and need!) time, energy, and resources to help them feel their best. But sometimes, we become so mindless with our habits—and get so involved in the latest trends—that the practices meant to help us become harmful. Here’s how to know if your self-care routine is truly caring for you and tips to reevaluate your self-care practices now.

    When self-care becomes damaging
    The wellness industry means well. However, in the name of making money, it can play a little too much into our fears. It can make us feel like we’re not doing, paying, or being enough. Like, “Hey, are you zen enough? Are you going to wrinkle quicker than you should? Are your insides quietly decomposing before their time? Good news! There’s a skin cream, green powder, or alt-therapy for that!”
    It’s like there are two different versions of caring for yourself. First, there are self-care practices you do because you love yourself and know you deserve rest, care, and joy. These practices support a healthy relationship with self-care. They help us feel good, and they don’t suffocate the rest of our lives. Then, there are self-care practices you do because you don’t feel good enough as you already are. This can become a stressful obsession with the impossible pursuit to make your body and mind forever flawless.
    I’ve experienced both forms, and if you’re into wellness like I am, you probably have, too. Thankfully, I’ve learned a few things about identifying self-care practices and whether or not they’re genuinely caring for you. So, read on for some key tips to reevaluate your self-care routine and make sure it’s actually caring for you.

    Tips to Reevaluate Your Self-Care Routine
    Get honest with yourself
    Before you can even begin to protect yourself against accidental self-sabotage, you need to have “the talk.” What kind of relationship do you currently have with self-care? Is it flirtatious and fun? Committed and energizing? Or does it talk down to you and make you feel small? Do you feel pressure to keep it up? Does it feel like a chore? If you feel uncomfortable in your relationship with self-care, you can repair it. Awareness is one of the greatest powers at your disposal. Simply acknowledging where you’re at can give you the power to shift course.

    Name your fears
    Whether or not you have a healthy relationship with self-care, you undoubtedly have some wellness-related fears. For instance, I sometimes fear that I’m accidentally doing something bad for me that I think is good for me—like a health supplement that is actually filled with toxins. Other fears might include that you’re aging too fast, falling behind with your health, or that you have to strive for perfection. Maybe you even have some internalized fatphobia or orthorexic behavior where food that’s not considered nutritious can make you feel anxious. 
    Naming your fears allows you to pause before they get the best of you. Additionally, seek therapy to work through mindsets holding you back. When you feel triggered to start a new self-care practice, consider this: Will it feel good or stressful to incorporate this into your routine? Does the idea of dry brushing your entire body every single morning give you hives or get you excited to assess the results? A little nervousness when trying something new is normal. However, if maintaining a budding practice has become a stressful ordeal, you might be doing it out of fear rather than care. Either reframe your relationship to the practice or reexamine if it should be in your routine at all.

    Reconnect to your “why”
    Your “why” is the opposite of fear–it’s what lights you up! If you are invested in self-care, it’s likely because it feeds something in you that makes you feel good. Maybe the endorphins from your exercise routine make you feel unstoppable, or the after-glow from your evening ritual makes you feel pampered AF. This is what self-care is all about. Connecting to what drives you can reinvigorate your relationship with self-care.
    For example, the reason I want to exercise is to feel strong and powerful. Whenever exercise feels stale for me, I connect to my “why,” and it completely renews my energy. When I connect to the affirmation “I am getting stronger” throughout my workout, it’s less of a burden and more invigorating. The aftermath of the workout is also more enriching because I’m focused on how good it feels instead of checking a chore off of a list.
    Reconnecting to your “why” is also a great tool to reach for if you notice your fears are starting to run the show. Your “why” will connect you to your values. This might expose some of your fears as nonessential. For example, maybe you’re being told the skin cream you love isn’t as effective as a trendy new face oil, and it’s triggering a fear that you’re behind the curve. Is having the most effective solution what’s really important to you? Or is “effective enough” OK? If the skin cream you already have makes you feel radiant, smells amazing, and elicits all the relaxing vibes, isn’t that the goal? You don’t have to chase the trends or latest products if what you’re already doing meets your needs for self-care.

    Eliminate the phrase “I should” 
    When push comes to shove, “should” is a shaming word. When you are connected to your “why,” self-care comes from I want to, not I should. So if you’ve tried all the steps above and still find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your desire to keep up, hunt for the places you tell yourself, “I should.” I’m going to say something radical: When it comes to self-care, you aren’t obligated to do anything. Self-care means making time and energy to care for yourself, and that’s it! When we talk about self-care in today’s world, we have this image that it’s about bubble baths and gym memberships. But self-care can literally look like anything: a nap, a glass of wine with friends, skipping the gym for an hour of TV because you need it more, or going to therapy.
    If there’s something that you know could be “good for you,” but you just don’t want to do it, that’s OK. Feeling pressured to do something defeats the whole purpose of self-care. So next time you hear yourself utter an “I should” about your wellness routine, try swapping it with “I want to.” If that doesn’t feel right, then guess what? You might not want to, and that’s OK! Our desires—and our capacity to carry them out—ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Something that feels hard now might feel rejuvenating later. In the meantime, there are other self-care methods that will strike your fancy. Find what speaks to you, and I give you full permission to drop the rest.

    Make your own definition of self-care
    Ultimately, you are in charge of what self-care means to you. (That’s where the “self” part comes from!) It can be tempting to try keeping up with the trends, but the constant seeking and second-guessing can drag you down. It’s up to you to advocate for your own relationship to care. What feels good for you isn’t going to light everyone else up, and vice-versa. We are so lucky to be living in an era where self-care is applauded and encouraged.
    With an abundance of resources and suggestions at our disposal, it’s up to us to decipher which practices will have the most impact on our minds, spirits, and bodies. And most importantly, you do not have to try them all. When you trust your gut, make friends with your fears, and lean into your “why,” your self-care routine will care for, recharge, and energize you.

    This article discusses obsessive thoughts, but it is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please take care of yourself if these topics could be triggering, and always seek professional help if you are struggling with an eating disorder or disordered thoughts or behaviors.
    Call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 for support, reach out to a qualified medical professional, or, for a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.

    How To Make Time for Self-Care When Your Life Is a Hot Mess More

  • in

    6 Tips To Help You Transition From Hot Girl Summer to Cozy Girl Fall

    I felt it today: the first cool, crisp signs of the cozy fall season to come. After a few brutal weeks of heat and humidity, I’m more than ready for all that’s good and wonderful about this season. Reflecting on falls passed, I’ve always known the September cool-off to be one of the most inspiring transitions. While some hate saying goodbye to the freedom of summer and the easy-breezy beach days that celebrate warm weather, I’ve always felt like my best self wrapped in a fuzzy blanket with a candle lit.
    Luckily, there’s a term for that: Cozy Girl Fall. Like it sounds, the moniker defines the vibe of the season post- “Hot Girl Summer.” The past several months have meant embracing the idea of hotness in every sense—from saying yes to new adventures to embodying your most confident self. And while we can still be “that girl” in any season, designing our wellness routines looks a little different when the leaves start to fall.
    The welcome return of my favorite wellness rituals comes along with Gilmore Girls reruns, knitting marathons, and warm mugs of cider. (I reserve my PSL addiction for candle scents only.) My fall wellness routine keeps my mind settled, my body happy, and my emotional health at peak fall bliss. So, read on for the wellness tips, tricks, and ideas that pair perfectly with a cozy pair of sweats, your favorite fall beverage, and a big embrace of all things Cozy Girl Fall™.

    1. Take time to reflect
    I’m a stickler for carving out time to connect with myself and take stock before making any changes. As we move away from Hot Girl Summer, the push to gather indoors, layer up your wardrobe, and swap out smoothies for soups can feel like a total 180. While it can be exciting to jump right in, first, give yourself the opportunity to set an intention for where your fall is headed. Is this the season you work on yourself? Do you want to socialize more with friends or perhaps make some new ones? Are there major projects or goals you’d like to get after this fall? I’m all for a good theme, and the same is true for my seasons. Seasons can be a helpful reminder to stay on track and accomplish what you’ve set your sights on. So this fall, try identifying one area you’d like to focus on and stick with it. 

    2. Do a life edit
    After I’ve taken the time to reflect, I feel prepared to do a life edit. I first learned about the practice from the Almost 30 podcast. Essentially, the idea is that a key part of manifestation is clearing the space to prepare for and invite what you really want into your life. Because my summer was filled with lots of travel, a packed social life, and—honestly—overcommitting, I’m entering fall feeling more than a little disorganized and scattered. It applies to all parts of my life—both my physical environment and my headspace. 
    Setting aside the time to do a life edit in the fall has helped me infuse my routines and schedule with intention. Instead of being bogged down by old stories, people who drain me, and physical objects that no longer resonate with me, I’ve found that everything moves more smoothly now. The desires I’m pursuing enter my life more easily.
    I followed the Almost 30 program, but there are simple ways you can do it on your own. 

    Divide your life into six different parts: digital, spatial (home life), finance, wellness, mental, and relationships.
    Spend time in each of these areas. Journal about where you’re feeling stressed or blocked in each of them. Reflect on what it would look like for you to feel more confident and at peace within each area. 
    From there, take time to sort through everything that relates to each of these parts of your life. Spend a few days clearing out your phone of old text messages, apps you never use, and contacts you’d rather not “accidentally” reach out to late on a Saturday night. Marie Kondo your apartment, understand where your money is going each month, and make a realistic budget. Are there relationships that have run their course? Tackle it all.
    By splitting up your life into these sections and focusing on each, you’ll end your life edit feeling more confident about what you’re keeping and how you’re spending this season.

    3. Prioritize workouts that align with your shifting energy
    Your body needs different things in different seasons, and we’re meant to adapt—that goes for movement too. Personally, I’m less inclined to do a high-energy HIIT sesh in November than my summer self may have been. Having a Cozy Girl Fall is all about staying true to where your energy, mindset, and emotions are during this time of the year. By all means, follow your natural inclination to get cozy! We’ve ditched the idea that cuddling up and enjoying a good book should be considered lazy. Rest is a key part of wellness.
    That being said, it’s still important to connect with joyful workouts and fitness routines that connect you to your body and mind. During the colder months, prioritize gentle yoga flows, Pilates (everyone’s doing it), and slow walks.

    4. Double down on your immune-supporting routine
    Supporting your immune system is key throughout the year, but with cold and flu season upon us, balancing (not boosting) your immune system is top of mind. I’m not going to lie, though. It feels like everywhere I turn, there’s some supplement or wellness influencer trying to sell me a magical immunity elixir or pill. Needless to say, there’s a lot of info to sift through. We have our work cut for us in trying to separate fact from fiction. So what do I do when wellness feels complicated? I seek out the simplest ways to ensure that my body is getting what it needs. Talk to your doctor about keeping your immune system at its peak this season. Here are some of my go-to tips:

    Eat a whole foods diet that’s rich in vitamins and nutrients. Keep an eye out for carotenoids, B vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc, which are especially beneficial for supporting the immune system. Get your 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies, and prioritize whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
    Explore the wide (and delicious) world of fermented foods. Picks like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kombucha, and yogurt add tang to your daily diet while aiding immunity. 
    Cook with more spices and herbs. Dr. Erin Stokes and Tieraona Low Dog M.D. recommended loading up on flavors like garlic, ginger, basil, cilantro, and cinnamon since they are immune-supporting powerhouses.

    5. Start a mood-boosting routine
    If you are prone to seasonal affective disorder or just feel less energized when the weather gets bleaker, you should start talking to a doctor or therapist now. In addition to seeking professional help, start a mood-boosting routine to help keep you as energized and happy as possible for the months ahead. For example: 

    Try light therapy. Get as much sunlight as possible throughout the day—especially first thing upon waking up. (Even sitting by the window can make a difference if it’s too cold to get outside.) If you’re going through cloudy stretches where there’s limited or no sunlight, order a lightbox or light therapy device.
    Lean on a schedule. As someone who has experienced depression apart from seasonal shifts, I can say that sticking to a schedule has been immensely supportive in helping me keep up with everyday activities when I don’t have the energy or desire. What’s more, a schedule can give you things to look for throughout the week that can boost your mood. So while you’ll want to pencil in your working hours, be sure you’re also setting aside time to see your friends, watch a movie, or do another cozy activity that you love.
    Talk to your doctor about your vitamin D intake. Because we absorb vitamin D primarily through sunlight, the season’s darkness can lead to low vitamin D levels. This can, in turn, perpetuate symptoms of SAD. Check your vitamin D levels and talk to your doctor about whether supplementation is right for you.

    Remember: Any wellness practice isn’t one-size-fits-all. Experiment with the tools that resonate with you to find what works best.

    6. Commit to a weekly self-care date
    We’re calling it now: A weekly self-care ritual is the new morning routine. While I find keeping #thatgirl Reels on repeat an inspiring social media habit, the sped-up videos of my favorite influencers running through their morning routines can be a bit intimidating–especially in the fall when we want to sleep in. Enter: a once-a-week meeting with yourself to weave in some wellness and self-care.
    While you can do this any day you’d like, I’ve found that my natural fall rhythm sets aside Sunday as my slower, self-care-focused day. (It helps that my partner is tied up with football for 12 hours.) I’ve also found this incredibly helpful in terms of getting over my Sunday scaries. Knowing that I have several hours to spend as I want helps me feel set up to dive into the week ahead. Additionally, I feel refreshed knowing I took time to pour into myself without letting the rush of obligations get in the way.
    Some ways you can spend your self-care Sunday during #CozyGirlFall:

    Take your favorite book to a new coffee shop and cozy up for a few hours.
    Take a bath with a stack of your favorite magazines and most luxurious products.
    Hot girl walks are seasonless. Pop in your favorite podcast, bundle up, and get moving.
    Meal-prep cozy and comforting fall meals. I love making soups, cooking grains, and chopping up squash for bowls. (Oh, and don’t forget the dessert.)
    Plow through a few episodes of a new show, and try one of these activities to keep you off your phone while you’re watching.
    Invest some time in a new hobby–punch needle embroidery, anyone?

    Of course, it’s also important to carve out time for your daily wellness rituals. But it can be overwhelming to feel like you have to fit it all in during the 30 minutes you have before you log onto work. Remember: Fall is all about embracing our cozy, quiet, and slower lives. You don’t have to do everything to do enough.

    How To Update Your Wellness Routine for Fall More

  • in

    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

  • in

    I’m a Registered Dietician—Here Are 10 Recipes I’m Making This Fall

    When the crisp weather arrives, there’s nothing I love more than curling up on the couch with a cozy, nourishing meal. As a dietitian, fall is my favorite season to cook and bake. There are delicious flavors like pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and maple. There’s also plenty of in-season produce such as squash, apples, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. All of these are great sources of micronutrients that will nourish your body all season long (think: vitamins A and C for healthy skin, immune function, and antioxidants). If you’re looking to create your own flavorful fall meals, look no further. Whether you’re team pumpkin spice or prefer an apple a day, read on for 10 recipes I’m making this fall!

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    Source: Rachl Mansfield

    Source: Well Plated

    Source: Emilie Eats

    Source: Half Baked Harvest

    Source: Lively Table

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Sally’s Baking Recipes

    How To Update Your Wellness Routine for Fall More

  • in

    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.

    I Tried Blake Lively’s 8 Healthy Habits To Live By—Here’s What Happened More

  • in

    Instagram Finally Got Me—Here’s What I Learned From a Week on Athletic Greens

    My grandfather always said a few words that have guided and haunted me throughout my life: “You have to try something 12 times before you can be sure you don’t like it.” Though the exact numbers vary, there’s some science to back up the adage. I expected this to apply to seafood, wine, and anything else considered an acquired taste. But, I was surprised to discover that it also described my experiment with the wellness supplement du jour: AG1, by Athletic Greens. 
    While I’m not one to fall prey to influencer marketing, I have to say Athletic Greens’ partnering with all my favorite social media personalities worked its strategic magic. If they were hooked, I’d have to imagine that I might also benefit from the stuff.
    So, with one too many aesthetically pleasing Reels of pretty people prepping the green stuff, a few five-star recommendations from friends, and a podcast promo code, Athletic Greens had broken me down. I, too, was curious whether this seemingly miraculous, science-backed blend of 75 vitamins and minerals could do my mind and body some much-needed good.
    I placed my order and dove in, prepared to be amazed—or potentially disappointed. This is my honest review.

    In this article

    What is Athletic Greens?
    To start, let’s break down Athletic Greens’ history. Founded in 2010, Athletic Greens is most known for its flagship product, AG1. The greens powder combines vitamins, minerals, and nutrients designed to promote gut health, support immunity, boost energy, and help you recover faster from workouts and physical activity.
    According to CEO Chris Ashenden, the brand’s focus is on “foundational nutrition.” I assume this speaks to the product’s role in supplementing a healthy lifestyle, helping to fill the nutritional needs our everyday diet might not satisfy. 
    Anecdotally, I began to take note of the brand a couple of years back, when it seemed like every health site and wellness influencer was taking AG1 daily. I can pinpoint the exact moment my interest was fully piqued, and I gave the brand a follow on social media. I was deep into one of my favorite podcasts, The Blonde Files, when host Arielle Lorre (whom I can thank for my promo code) called AG1 one of her “wellness non-negotiables.” And though I felt the power of influence at play, I held onto the memory of that minute-long ad. If all I had to do was buy, mix, and drink liquefied powder for enviable energy, then maybe I was being naive, but I wanted in.

    How is AG1 different from other greens powders?
    While I’m referring to the supplement as a greens powder throughout this article, Athletic Greens is adamant about being much more than simply a substitute for your dark leafy greens. The recommended daily serving—a single scoop—supplies: 
    vitamins and minerals to support immune health and strengthen your nervous system
    prebiotics and probiotics to provide digestive support
    superfood-derived phytonutrients that support the microbiome
    immune-supporting mushrooms 
    adaptogenic herbs and antioxidants to relieve stress and provide metabolic and energy support

    My AG1 ritual
    AG1 is pricey. I purchased the single, 30-day subscription for $79. With your order, you get a month’s supply of AG1, a storage jar and shaker, and five “free” travel packs. On top of that, my shipping cost was $9. While it might not seem like much, I had to grit my teeth in this heyday of free shipping. Thankfully, you can cancel your subscription anytime, so the commitment was relatively minimal.
    I set out to see how AG1 would fare with my already-established wellness routine. That meant working out on the same schedule as I always do, aiming for the same amount of sleep, and not making any major changes to my diet. While my week on AG1 was by no means a deeply scientific study, I wanted to know if I would feel any different by simply adding the supplement to my everyday habits.

    Day 1
    As suggested, AG1 was the first thing I consumed in the morning. Before my coffee and avocado toast, I mixed a scoop of AG1 with eight ounces of water. My package came with a branded wide-mouth water bottle exclusively designed for getting my greens in liquid form. After securing and shaking the bottle, I undid the lid to uncover a frothy, mossy green beverage. 
    Hesitant but curious to consume the vanilla flavor reviews claimed, I took a sip. My first thought? There’s no way I’m finishing this. IMO, the taste was far too sweet. Though it had a slightly fruity, tropical tang, the dominant taste was unmistakably artificial and, frankly, gave me a headache. All in all, it took me about two hours to finish the whole thing (baby sips, folks).
    I carried on with my workout as planned. Because this was my first day, I didn’t notice any shift in my energy or how I felt overall. My main takeaway from the kick-off of my experiment was: How the heck am I going to make it through this week?

    Day 2
    I woke up feeling a little more determined to discover the crave-worthy flavor of AG1 that everyone’s been touting. Adopting a different approach, I shook up my scoop with water and ice. That drop in temperature made a significant difference. When I drank the AG1 this time, it had a clearer, crisper flavor and mouthfeel. It was less sludgy than the day before. (Though I swear, I shook it as hard as I could.)
    Feeling like a wellness girly, I plopped my AG1 down next to my laptop as I started my day sifting through my inbox. Though the placebo effect was obviously at play, something about having that green bottle next to me made me feel a bit more productive. There are worse things.

    Day 3
    At the tail-end of my period today, I woke up and noticed that my skin was significantly clearer than it had been the day prior. It was brighter than it usually is at this point in my cycle. I went to the kitchen, shook up my AG1, and found that I was already beginning to get used to the flavor. My initial impression was that of a slightly thinner green juice. It felt like the flavor had been engineered to mask something particularly unsavory. But I was coming around to it. At this point, I may have even liked it.
    That morning, I texted a few friends who had tried Athletic Greens. They confirmed that the taste takes a little getting used to. For most, they began to look forward to their daily dose of AG1 between their third and seventh day—props to me for being on the early end.

    Day 4
    Athletic Greens’ Instagram is full of ideas for consuming their product beyond the ol’ H20 standby. So, I tried their ultimate summer smoothie bowl recipe to mix things up halfway through my trial. I found that the previously offending flavor was completely masked by adding almond butter, banana, apple, dates, and oat milk. I could see this becoming a go-to breakfast. And while the blood-sugar-balancing enthusiasts might protest this smoothie’s glucose overload, pairing your fruits with the almond butter’s healthy fats is a solid way to mitigate the spike.
    This was the first day I noticed a subtle physiological change. I had more energy during my afternoon barre workout and—day five spoiler—wasn’t at all sore when I woke up the next day. 

    Day 5
    The wake-up this morning was one of the best I can recount in recent history. With little effort, I got up immediately to my 6:30 a.m. alarm and went straight into a few morning stretches and a brief meditation. While I would consider myself a morning person, this level of alertness was out of the ordinary. Mentally, I felt sharp, aligned, and motivated to transition to my to-do list.
    I made the same AG1-infused smoothie as I did the day before and discovered an additional burst of energy after finishing my glass. I made it through my morning to-dos while staying on-task and focused. Thanks, AG1.

    Day 6
    While my wake-up call wasn’t as miraculous as yesterday’s, I did sleep soundly and awoke feeling rested. Craving my usual savory breakfast (a slice of avocado toast with a poached egg), I opted for AG1 and ice water. Interestingly, it took until today to notice that my craving for a second mid-morning coffee had disappeared entirely. Instead, my single cup sufficed in terms of both my energy levels and feeling satiated post-breakfast.
    I often fall victim to the dreaded 3 p.m. slump, but today, I managed to push through all my end-of-day tasks and even enjoyed a 45-minute workout. To say that my energy levels stayed steady throughout the day would be an understatement. I’m not an evangelist of wellness (meditation aside), but when something solves my dwindling energy, I have to shout it from the rooftops. I noticed an easy wind-down after dinner and was able to fall asleep quickly and soundly. That’s a lot to be said for someone who deals with occasional bouts of insomnia.

    Day 7
    I started this journey unsure of how I’d make it to this point. In hindsight, however, things turned out for the better on day three. By now, my daily rhythms came to expect the AG1 before all else, and I have to admit: There is something comforting and ritualistic about sipping on it first thing. 
    While I said I wouldn’t make any significant changes to my diet, I did notice that the supplement naturally inspired me to make nutrient-dense choices. I kept up a consistent pattern of greens throughout the day: a protein-packed salad for lunch, a green smoothie for a snack, and a tall pile of roasted broccoli to accompany that night’s meal. Something about doing good things for my body in the morning inspired me to keep up the momentum all day long. Can AG1 inspire a mindset shift? The correlation likely isn’t strong enough to call it fact, but after a week on the greens powder, I can confirm with confidence: The results I saw this week were enough to keep me going.

    The takeaway
    I still have about 20 servings left in my first shipment of AG1, and I will see it through to the end. Admittedly, a week isn’t enough time to feel the long-term benefits build up. Of course, the price point marks a steep barrier to entry, and as many nutritionists will confirm, you don’t need a fancy supplement to meet your daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. But with the positive results I experienced, I can confirm that it’s worth the hype. 
    Ultimately, this is a convenient product that played into my brain’s positive reward centers—and that’s not a bad thing! The routine of prepping AG1 each morning before breakfast (or as a part of my morning meal) signaled that I was doing something good for my body. It helped set the foundation for those habits to continue throughout the day. A transformed perspective and more energy? That’s what we like to call a win-win.

    How To Recreate the Viral Hailey Bieber Smoothie on a Budget More

  • in

    5 Techniques for Sexual Healing, According to an Embodiment Coach

    There’s no denying Marvin Gaye knows a thing or two about making songs to get you in the mood. (If “Let’s Get It On” isn’t the ultimate sex song, I don’t know what is.) While we all know his thoughts on knocking boots thanks to his hit “Sexual Healing,” each individual’s experience surrounding the process is just that—individual. Whether you’re looking to reclaim and reconnect with your sexual well-being from past trauma, stress, or depression, you’re not alone. In fact, studies show that 40% of women will face some type of sexual problem over the course of their lifetimes. And we all unashamedly deserve to be our healthiest sexual selves. Enter: Alyssa Kuzins, an embodiment coach who guides women into their bodies to express, honor, and be who and how they are. Read on for her four tried-and-true practices for sexual healing. Spoiler alert: They’re as liberating as they are uplifting. 

    Meet the expert
    Alyssa Kuzins
    Embodiment Coach

    What is sexual healing?
    We’re all unique sexual beings, and our sex drives are often dictated by personal events, relationships, and beliefs. Therefore, sexual healing is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can look very different from one person to another. But at its core, the concept centers around reconnecting with your sensuality. “I look at sexual healing as the necessary re-wiring of our nervous system back to our natural state of pleasure, ecstasy, feeling, and intimacy after a traumatic experience or chronic levels of stress,” explained Kuzins. “It comes from an inside out approach which focuses on first addressing trauma held in the body with somatic [relating] practices and then allowing the mind to follow.” 
    To undergo true healing and regain control of your sexuality, you have to dig deeper than the physical body and tap into your inner self. “Our brains are amazing in that they protect us from that which is too horrific to bear as we do everything we can to survive on a physiological level, but the issue is that we stay frozen in a disembodied trauma response moment in time,” Kuzins described. “In this way, you have to reverse engineer the healing process. If trauma takes you out of the body, then embodied healing brings you back in the body.” Bottom line: Kuzins assured us that you could heal from the inside out and reawaken your sex drive with embodiment exercises.

    Practices to promote sexual healing
    1. Dance
    When in doubt, dance it out. Sure, it may feel silly or embarrassing busting a move by yourself in your apartment, but when you dance like nobody’s watching, that’s where the magic happens. (OK, I’m done with the clichés). “This isn’t about perfection. This is about releasing pent-up sexual energy and getting reacquainted with your body-mind and expression,” Kuzins said. “Trauma often makes us feel sluggish, but the body is built to move, so get moving! Try different styles of music depending on what is resonating with your emotions that day.”

    2. Practice breathwork
    Breathing is a natural, subconscious action, but when you bring your attention to it, you connect to the present moment and tune into your body and its sensations. “Breath is the human embodiment of life energy and a key way to a balanced nervous system in minutes!” affirmed Kuzins. She suggested trying box breathing. First, slowly exhale all the oxygen out of your lungs. Next, slowly and deeply inhale through your nose to the count of four. Then, hold your breath for another count of four. And finally, exhale through your mouth for the last slow count of four. No matter the type of breathing method you use, you not only activate the parasympathetic nervous system (read: the nerves that relax our bodies), but you also boost circulation, enhancing your sexual experiences. 

    3. Engage in self-pleasure
    What better way to get to know yourself than to spend some quality time pleasuring yourself? Take matters into your own hands (literally) and discover what your wants and needs are. Discover what turns you on. “I’m a big believer that getting reacquainted with your own body first with embodied self-pleasure is one of the most powerful practices you can do to heal from the inside out,” Kuzins said. Play music, relax, and take your time exploring different ways of stimulating yourself. If you’re considering bringing a toy or two into the mix, Kuzins recommended choosing a crystal wand over a battery-operated vibrator to have more control over your touch. “Go at your own pace,” advised Kuzins. “Truly feel your body from the inside, literally. This can be helpful for women who feel numbness or pain, but just make sure it is done with gentleness.”

    4. Be mindful of your environment
    Whether we realize it or not, our everyday surroundings have a direct impact on our mood and emotions. “Your environment is stronger than your willpower,” cited Kuzins. She emphasized romancing ourselves and our lives: “Clean up your space, light the candles, buy fresh flowers just because, put on music while you cook dinner, wear lingerie to bed for yourself, put on makeup if it makes you feel good even if you’re just working from home.” Especially when you find yourself in the midst of a lull, pay attention to what you wear, how much natural light you’re exposed to, what your desk looks like, and the quality of the air you’re breathing in. 

    5. Journal 
    We’re all guilty of getting in our own heads, and our internal dialogues can keep us stuck in the past. Journaling can flip the script by helping you uncover and process your feelings, notice any thought or behavioral patterns, and regain your sense of who you are. “Journaling helps get our feelings out of our body and onto the page,” Kuzins suggested. Putting pen to paper allows you to confront any traumas in a private, safe space. Not sure where to start? Set a timer for 1-2 minutes and write whatever comes to mind, unedited and free of any judgment. 

    This article is intended to inspire you to live your best life, not to serve as mental or sexual health treatment. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, or chronic stress, it’s important to reach out and get help. See your doctor, get in contact with a therapist, and/or talk to a close friend or family member. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions, get help immediately. 

    I Used To Feel Lots of Shame About Sex—Here’s How I Unlearned It More