Browsing Tag

coronavirus

Angelenos

The Happy Place Just Launched as an Immersive Drive-Thru Experience in L.A.—Here’s What You Can Expect

November 20, 2020

With COVID-19 cases rising as we near the end of 2020, our activities are becoming more limited than ever. With all of the madness in mind, The Happy Place drive-thru launched as a way to temporarily distract us. In doing so, the pop-up provides a safe, interactive, family-friendly L.A. experience at the beloved outdoor Westfield Century City mall.

I was invited for a sneak peak of the attraction just before today’s official launch (Nov. 20). I invited Identify LA‘s Meagan Sargent to join me—we grabbed our masks and hit the road!

Keep reading for everything you can expect at The Happy Place drive-thru.

1. Getting Situated on Site Is a Seamless Process

As mentioned above, THP is located in Westfield Century City’s parking structure (on the third level, to be exact). Before arrival, you’re instructed to proceed through the Avenue of the Stars entrance. From there, you’ll see easy-to-follow signs that eventually lead you to the exact start of the attraction.

Prior to arrival, you purchase tickets on the website for $49.50 per car. Yes, you can have as many (fitting) attendees for just one fee. When you go to purchase your ticket, you’ll also see a calendar that lists open slots to attend. Your ticket includes two hours of free parking at the mall, encouraging you to shop and dine before or after if you want to make a full day of it. The experience is currently listed through Jan. 10, 2021.

2. The Experience Is 100% COVID-Compliant

Despite the multitude of stationary attractions that make for perfect photo opps, no one is allowed outside of their vehicle. Masks must be worn at all times, and any photos must be taken from inside the car. While this part is a bit of a bummer (the decor is just begging to be photographed with you in front of it), we appreciate the extreme safety precautions taken to ensure this lives up to its worry-free-zone message.

3. Kids Will Especially Love It

While my friend and I are definitely drawn to every Instagram photo opp, kids will be more than satisfied just cruising through each of the 18 (!) attractions (50,000 sq. ft.), which include everything from a simulated car wash, to a candy row and “Christmas tree” line. Additionally, upon arrival, we received a box with goodies that coincided with some of the stops. Kids will without question dig the freshly baked cookie, bag of Hershey’s kisses and other sweet treats packed to perfection.

4. It Won’t Take Much Time Out of Your Day

While I can’t speak for how the experience will go on a busy day, our drive-thru lasted all of 20 minutes. Granted, it was just us two, so perhaps if other people had been with us, it may have taken longer. But not being able to get out of the car certainly cut the time down a bit.

5. A Lot of Effort Went Into This Production

From the way we saw it, no expense was spared for this experience. From the lights to the intricate detail, to the variety of attractions, there really is something for everyone here—and it doesn’t appear cheap. You’re basically taken on a simulated road trip, hitting various points that include a beach, a camping area, the super bloom, San Francisco and plenty more.

The experience was conceptualized by Jared Paul, a live entertainment veteran, who has managed the careers of New Kids on the Block, Sabrina Carpenter and Lea Michele. He’s also responsible for America’s Got Talent Live! and GLEE! Live.

Curious about what else is going on in the City of Angels amid the pandemic? Click HERE for the best L.A. lifestyle newsletters to keep you afloat!

Angelenos

This Is What UCLA Sorority Recruitment Will Look Like Amid the Pandemic, According to the VP of Membership

September 5, 2020

Hitting the books again can be a major drag, but one of the perks of going back to school in college is rush week. Especially at an L.A. university, with so many students and so many things to do, Greek life reigns supreme. But as we’ve learned, coronavirus-tainted 2020 is making things quite different in all aspects of life—sorority recruitment included.

Because of the importance this plays at prominent L.A. schools, we just had to know how the process will go down this year. So we reached out to Ryley Holdridge, Vice President of Membership, UCLA Panhellenic Council.

Keep reading to learn about all the changes prospective (and current) Panhellenic sorority sisters will experience during rush this year.

skyelyfe: What is the present living situation with Panhellenic sororities? Given the pandemic, are people currently staying in houses together? 

Ryley Holdridge: The housing situation will differ depending on the sorority. Some have decreased the amount of women living there, so that less people share a room. Others have decided to close the chapter facility entirely, so that no members will be living there in the fall.

SL: Will 2020 recruitment still take place during the normally scheduled time of year?

RH: Fall 2020 recruitment will take place during the normally scheduled time, from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.

SL: If so, what will that process look like now compared to “normal” years in the past?

RH: Clearly, the biggest difference is that recruitment will be virtual. Besides that we are mirroring the same four-round, multiple-theme structure, and emphasizing a values-based recruitment as in past years. The first round is the only significant departure from normal recruitment, and will consist of interview-style videos from both the chapters and the potential new members, answering the same five questions.

SL: What other changes will there be with Panhellenic sororities in general, given the present times?

RH: UCLA Panhellenic has prioritized creating a community of inclusivity. We want to hold ourselves accountable, continue to educate our members, and progress towards a more diverse and welcoming organization. For example, we created an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. Led by two of our Panhellenic Executive board members, they are working on a recruitment recommendations letter, in addition to having regular meetings to discuss crucial issues in our community. Furthermore, for recruitment this year we are providing implicit bias training for all chapters, potential new members, and recruitment counselors. These actions are only a small part of the long term change we are hoping to make in the UCLA Panhellenic community.

SL: Has interest in joining a house decreased due to the present circumstances?

RH: The number of women registered for recruitment is lower this year, likely due to the lack of in-person events and UCLA closing the dorms. However, a virtual format makes it accessible for more women to go through the process and has allowed us to significantly lower the registration fee, which may help spike interest. 

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it’s ALPHA PHIcial ♥️🌹

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SL: How are houses ensuring safety at this time?

RH: As mentioned above, some chapter facilities are completely closing, but even ones that are staying open are limiting who can enter the house, only allowing members living in to eat meals, and other safety measures. For events, chapters are abiding by UCLA and L.A. County regulations, and will hold mostly or entirely virtual events this upcoming fall.

SL: Is there anything else you’d like readers or perspective pledges to know about this matter?

RH: Although the Panhellenic community looks drastically different this year, there’s a reason we’re still operating and engaging our members. This organization is much more than our in-person social events—we strive to empower our women, providing them with a support system as they navigate the challenges of college life, in addition to academic, and professional opportunities. Especially in these uncertain times, I believe Panhellenic will continue to impact the lives of our members and the larger Bruin community.

For more coronavirus-related content, THESE are the five stores we’re most devastated about closing permanently due to the pandemic.

Music Featured

Skyelyfe’s Quarantine Soundtrack, Featuring All New Songs Since Lockdown

July 7, 2020

Since lockdown, there’s clearly been much more spare time to dig through new music press releases and Spotify playlists. So, naturally, I’ve been adding and subtracting to my “April 2020” ever since.

As of today, I decided to officially change the name to “Quarantine Turn-Up” and post this overdue list of songs. This has literally been the soundtrack to everything I’ve done in the last four months.

If this song is on the list, that means it made it through all the ups and downs leading to this publish date. I will continue to update the list as the months of quarantine continue, so feel free to continue checking back for new tunes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CB-hqDGoY25/

For now, here are almost 30 brand new songs that make up the soundtrack to my quarantine experience. From The Magician and Aluna, to Kaskade and even some Migos and Tyga, scroll below for your listening pleasure.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3fBzMt2QAo9PjVgLErqJWq?si=mo1o3qyvQgic-zqSlsvp6A

 

Lifestyle Featured

Relationship Expert Explains the Longterm Effects of Quarantining With Your Significant Other

July 7, 2020

Quarantine and social distancing has done a number on every relationship (romantic or otherwise)—but more than ever, couples who just started dating, or who didn’t necessarily plan on living together just yet have been put to the test.

When lockdown demands first came into play, not only were people quick to cohabitate unexpectedly, but even longtime couples were given their own set of hurdles. Adapting to being with someone literally 24/7 is challenging for anyone, especially depending on the demands of work, allotted living space and individual lifestyle.

More than three months into social distancing and people are reflecting on where their relationship stands. For better or worse, is how you dealt with your partner amid quarantine an indicator of where you stand longterm? We reached out to Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka The Love Doctor®), a professor at Oakland University in Michigan, who explains what the outcome of your quarantine means for your relationship. Keep reading for what she had to say.

(via Unsplash)


skyelyfe: What kind of relationships thrive in quarantine conditions with their partner?
 

Terri Orbuch: There are relationships that were already distressed or not doing well before quarantine. When these distressed relationships are stressed from things outside the relationship—like the coronavirus pandemic, this stress can exacerbate the issues and problems. Also, when distressed relationships are stressed, the stress makes it more difficult to connect with each other, less likely to see the positives in each other and the relationship, and less likely have empathy and understanding for the other partner. However, people who were in relationships that weren’t already distressed—those relationships can survive and even thrive if they do some simple strategies.

SL: What are keys to making these situations work effectively?

TO: A) Share your anxieties, concerns and fears with each other. Whether you’re living together or not, you can share your concerns with each other, because otherwise, the anxieties fester inside of you, and then work on your physical health. Don’t talk about the fears nonstop 24/7, but instead set a specific time to share.

B) Accept that you and your partner may have different reactions to the stress and quarantine. One of you may watch the news all the time, the other partner may not. These differences in how you handle or react to the situation don’t mean that your relationship is in trouble or should end. These differences are common to all romantic relationships.

C) Find fun activities to do together. These are very challenging times, but couples who do fun things together are more likely to thrive. Take a virtual cooking class online together, start a puzzle together, play board games, do an exercise class together online. Or if you’re not living together, make regular virtual dates where you do something you both enjoy together (e.g., take a virtual tour of the local zoo, play Pictionary, watch a movie “together” on Netflix.

D) Give each other space. It’s important in any romantic relationship that each of you have time, space and privacy from one another, particularly now. Don’t say “I need space” because it sends confusing signals. Instead: “I need some time to do X this afternoon”. Enjoy your space and don’t feel guilty.

(via Unsplash)

SL: What does it mean if you and someone you truly love aren’t cohabitating effectively amid quarantine? 


TO: It’s challenging to live with your partner 24/7 amidst quarantine. Most couples have never spent this much time together, just the two of you, with no other distractions or people. This is a very different time. It takes great patience, understanding, empathy and understanding that relationship challenges are inevitable, no matter how much you truly love each other! Remember to share, accept, find fun activities to do together, and give each other space.

SL: What are some ways to take a break from your partner amid quarantine if you’re cohabitating? 

TO: You can walk outside separately. You can read a book in your room or on a couch. You can listen to a podcast, watch a movie, exercise, do an online course, or FaceTime with your friend—separately. It’s okay to take a break from each other, even if you’re living [in a small space].

Lifestyle

The Five Most Devastating Brands Permanently Closing Due to Coronavirus

June 9, 2020

Many stores and businesses around the world have been deeply affected by the current pandemic. Some of them will make it while others simply can’t survive the devastation.

With a heavy heart, we’ve rounded up a few treasured gems we’re truly sorry to see go. Grab your tissues and keep scrolling.

(via Unsplash)

Pier 1 Imports

We’ve always admired Pier 1 for their charming seasonal decor and decorative centerpieces, so we were more than saddened to hear that they’ll be permanently closing their doors. The silver lining, however, is majorly inexpensive furniture deals. They’re currently accepting online orders and will begin blowout sales once stores can reopen for business. Now’s the time to pounce on that nightstand or coffee table you’ve always needed but haven’t found the extra cash to snag yet. 

Souplantation

‘Tis a dark day when you find out your all-time fave buffet is a goner. We would like to take a moment to properly mourn endless salad, soup, crispy bread sticks and, most importantly, mouth-watering pizza bread. It was fun while it lasted 😩.

Victoria’s Secret

As you probably already know, Victoria’s Secret has low-key been on the decline for a while now. The lingerie retailer recently announced that they’d be closing 250 of its U.S. and Canadian stores over the next several months to help strengthen their business. Luckily, you still have the option to buy online, but we’ll definitely miss their adorable giant pink dog in-store displays 🐶😔.

J.C.Penney

Another deep sigh for beloved department store J.C.Penney who’ll be axing 242 locations as part of the company’s bankruptcy. Although they won’t be completely liquidating their assets like Pier 1, we’re not sure what this means for the future of the company. Department stores have taken the biggest hit amidst the panic of coronavirus, but we’re hopeful that Penney’s will be able to rally and push through. Where else will we able to find affordable bedding, furniture and Sephora items all in one place!?

J.Crew

While J.Crew didn’t necessarily fit our SoCal style, we’re still bummed to hear the apparel provider filed for bankruptcy. It’s been a solid mainstay for as long as we can recall, and we really do appreciate the remarkably soft, rich and comfortable fabric of their pajamas, loungewear and sweaters. We’ll remain hopeful for an amazing summer sale to come through. 

Lifestyle Featured

L.A. Job Recruiters Share 5 Ways to Turn Your Layoff Into Your Next Major Career Move

April 14, 2020

We’ve discussed the of impact of coronavirus on mental, spiritual and physical health, but what should you do if your work is also in jeopardy or you’ve already lost your job?

Getting laid-off can be a traumatizing experience on its own, but now it’s even more challenging with the added layer of market uncertainty that comes with a pandemic. Luckily, the Los Angeles career experts at Eleven Recruiting held a webinar last week offering advice to those whose careers have been halted by coronavirus.

Scroll below for their top five tips to turning your job casualty into your next major career move.

1. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

Although this may seem like basic, even elementary advice at this point, it’s still extremely important. Keeping your resume up-to-date and revamping your LinkedIn may just be what lands you the job. If you have certain special skills you’d like to highlight on your profile, see if a few friends are willing to endorse you for them. It can make a world of a difference.

2. Add Highlights to Your Resume

We know by now that hiring managers are looking at thousands of resumes per day, each for only about 10 seconds. Adding a “Highlights” section is a considerable way to set yourself apart from the crowd. This can include everything from your strongest skills (campaign building, influencer marketing, etc.) to a summarized version of any meaningful and relevant career accomplishments.

3. Find Out What Skills Are in Demand

Because we now have more downtime than ever before, make use of it by researching what skills and career experience are in high-demand right now. Making yourself more marketable is the key to landing an interview for any position. A few skills Eleven Recruiting mentioned as a hot commodity are writing, editing, graphic design and web development.

4. Utilize LinkedIn’s Certification Program

In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn also offers one-month free trial access to their certification and higher education programs. Now’s an excellent time to take advantage of these opportunities to further your training in areas including management and software development. There’s also the option to learn Photoshop, WordPress and more.

5. Create an Organized Spreadsheet With Leads and Application Statuses

This may not seem like the most important aspect to focus on, but staying organized and proactive during the job search is absolutely crucial. How many times have you lost track of the applications you’ve sent out or if you’ve already applied to a position? Keeping a spreadsheet will help keep you on track, while feeling accomplished for all the energy you’ve invested in your overall career advancement.

Lifestyle Featured

My Friend Set Me Up on a Blind FaceTime Date—Here’s What Happened

April 8, 2020

Remember when swiping to find your soulmate was a foreign concept? Welp! That’s way old news.

Enter: dating in the era of social distancing. As the coronavirus has everyone quarantined, we’re becoming much more resourceful with how we “get acquainted” with people. It’s like we’re all adults living (hopefully only temporarily) as teens, refusing to communicate by any means other than video chat—dating included.

Woman on FaceTime with string lights surrounding phone
(via Unsplash)

I had my debut bout with the 2020 era of digital dating on the first official weeknight of isolation. A happily married friend of mine has a flowing pool of singles she knows through a variety of avenues. She’s set me up on dates with her friends before—ones in which she eyed as potential matches. This time, however, she said from the get-go this wasn’t someone she necessarily saw me running off into the sunset with. More time on her hands means more energy to arrange things like this apparently, and she thought it would be fun to set some of her friends up on very random FaceTime dates.

After a little bit of thought, I agreed to it. Honestly, what do I have to lose? There aren’t really any ways to meet new people at this very moment, and, for lack of a better word: YOLO. Next thing I knew, my friend sent me *Evan’s phone number, along with a reminder to dress accordingly” and “have fun with it!” I chuckled. Thanks, coach!

Evan’s number had a 503 area code, which was perfect because I went to school at the University of Oregon, so if all else failed, I could ask about… living in Oregon? Boring. But anyway, I made it through my typical WFH office day, but had angst all throughout. I texted a couple girlfriends about my jitters, while nervously getting ready (trying to look nice, but not too nice). Time was ticking. Cue the stress.

On top of that, I did Whole 30 all of March, so there’d be no White Claw to help ease tensions. When 7:29 approached on my phone, I totally felt like I was calling a potential employer for a job interview. I’ve gotta be exactly on time, I thought.

The scariest part of this experience is those three insanely long seconds where it says “Connecting…”—you have so many thoughts running through your head. What will he look like? How should I hold the phone? Should my hair be in front of my ears or behind? Can he see my stray greys through the screen? It’s also important to note that I despise video chats and avoid them at all costs. With the exception of an occasional mandatory work Zoom, you’ll rarely spot me sitting in on these now-common gatherings.

At long last, our faces both made their way to the screen. I was greeted with a jolly, “Hi!” in that “I-know-this-is-awkward-but-here-we-are” tone. While yes, indeed awkward, Evan seemed gentlemanly and could hold a conversation. We shared some laughs, but as FaceTime would have it, sometimes responses and reactions are delayed or have weird echoes. Additional awkwardness.

girl poses with white phone at home with pomeranian dog
(via Pexels)

There’s really only so much you can do on these first-time FaceTime dates. Especially sober. And you really only get a pixelated, headshot-version of the person you’re talking to. Our convo didn’t hit any lulls, but after a while, we both wanted to get to the rest of our evenings. Before I knew it, an hour had gone by. I was shocked! We ended with a lighthearted mutual agreement to hop in the kitchen and whip up a home-cooked meal—one we each sent to each other via text when finished.

I was so relieved when the call was over. Not because of anything he did, but because these things are scary and uncomfortable. Body language is 55% of communication, so there was a lot left undetermined without it. That said, the discomfort was just what I needed. Sometimes (a lot of the time), my nerves get the best of me and I play things too safe.

In case you’re wondering, we agreed we’d meet for a drink in person once we’re set free from quarantine. To be honest, as my friend predicted, I don’t think Evan and I will be a romantic match—but, meeting someone for drinks who I don’t have a lot in common with will be that much-needed step out of my comfort zone!

*name has been changed to protect privacy

Lifestyle

I Started Dating My Boyfriend a Month Before Coronavirus—Here’s How We’re Dealing

April 1, 2020

In the wise words of Avril Lavigne, “He was a boy. She was a girl. Can I make it anymore obvious?”

And that about sums up the story of my boyfriend and me.

Prior to being a couple, we’d been friends for years. We met at a concert way back in 2012/2013, which should not come as a shock to those of you that know me. What’s even less shocking is he was in a band at the time.

We kept in touch here and there. But it wasn’t until 2017 we became really good friends. We texted regularly and I’d go to his shows as often as possible.

There was a point in 2019 when I could sense he had deeper feelings for me, though I was very scared of this being anything more than what it was. I have a terrible track record when it comes to dating. In fact, he’s my first “official” boyfriend, so there’s that. Still, I always wondered, “What if?”

Then 2020 rolled around and we started hanging out constantly, so much so that I knew I couldn’t be just friends with him. In late January, we finally kissed and the rest is history.

silhouette of man and woman about to kiss on beach during sunset
via Unsplash

I know that was a lot of lead-up, but it had to be done. I’m trying to paint a full picture here, alright?

Anyway, back to my relationship. Things have been going really well. In February, I was gone for two weeks on a solo trip through New Zealand (yes, it was magical), and we stayed in touch every single day. He even drove me to and from the airport. That might not seem like a big deal, but I have been with many guys who wouldn’t drive over to my house to hook-up, because they were too lazy. So yes, my boyfriend’s a gem.

Those two weeks away were really tough. Even though I was having the time of my life exploring the north island of New Zealand, I missed him so much. I don’t think it helped that we had finally expressed our feelings, only to have me jet set across the world a week after the fact.

Once I returned, we were pretty much inseparable. We hung out as often as possible, texted, and chatted on the phone whenever we could. So when the coronavirus really started to make its way around the states, we had to decide the safest social-distancing measures for our new relationship.

At first, I stayed with him at his place, as to prevent my anxious thoughts surrounding the pandemic from spiraling, and to also be with him. But, some members of his household were still working, as they were deemed essential. This is when we made the difficult decision to physically stay apart until it was safe to see each other once again.

I was the one to initiate the plan, and while he agreed it was for the best, I know he wasn’t happy with it. It’s not that I was either, it’s the safest thing to do right now.

woman on bike reaching for man's hand behind her also on bike
via Unsplash

That was about a week and a half ago, and boy do I miss not seeing him in person regularly. Our time spent apart while I was in New Zealand was nothing compared to this. Obviously, what made those two weeks easier was how far apart we were and a set date on when we would see each other again.

Social-distancing during corona is tough, given we’re not that far from one another and we don’t know when we won’t need to be quarantined anymore. It could be days, weeks, months, years—who knows?

During this time, we’re staying in touch a lot more through technology. I literally just paused writing this for a sec to respond to his text and Instagram DM. We also make it a point to talk on the phone or over FaceTime at least once a day.

Some days are way easier than others. There have been times where either he or I want to ignore this whole quarantine protocol so we can see one other, but we both know that’s not what we need right now. We’re doing our best to fight those urges, so thank goodness technology exists to help with that.

One thing I really find helpful that we do is go on virtual dates. On these virtual dates, we get ready (I’m mainly talking about me, as I’ve been wearing the same sweatpants and sweatshirt combo for over a week now) and enjoy lunch, dinner, or a nice conversation over FaceTime. It honestly is so much fun, though we’ve only done one so far… well, two, if you count… never mind.

Woman on FaceTime with string lights surrounding phone
via Unsplash

I’ve also been making it a point to do cutesy, romantic things here and there. For example, I made him a playlist the other day of songs that reminded me of him or our relationship. Though entirely cheesy, he truly appreciated the gesture.

The rest of my romantic antics have been much simpler, like sending him texts as to why I appreciate him or passing along sweet relationship quotes on Instagram. He’s dong the same, though I still haven’t received my playlist. Babe, if you’re reading this, please send me a collection of songs that remind you of me.

For now, we’re making do with what we have. It helps that I trust him and am very secure in our relationship, which hasn’t been the same with past flings. Still, it’s so tough being separated. I want nothing more than to hold his hand and kiss his cute little face right about now.

What really puts me at ease is knowing where I stand. We’re both pretty open with our feelings and unafraid to share whatever we’re experiencing with one another. Communication is always key in any relationship, but moreso now than ever before.

This has really pushed me out of my comfort zone, especially given all my past relationships have centered around sex, so I never felt entirely comfortable sharing my feelings with the person I was seeing at the time. I do now, which has made a world of difference.

For other new couples out there who are struggling by being separated from the coronavirus, I feel your pain. My advice would be to communicate as openly and honestly. Keep the conversations fun and flirty, but don’t be afraid to have serious talks every now and then, too.

Still plan on having date nights, as long as they’re virtual or you can maintain a six foot distance at all times. Do cute, spontaneous things for one another like sending a spontaneous “I love you” text or Venmoing them some money for groceries. Now’s the time to really get creative with showing your partner how much you care.

man and woman sitting on rock near body of water and mountain during daytime
via Unsplash

Quarantine (hopefully) won’t last forever, but you can start building the foundation now to make sure your relationship does.

Food

The Only 5 Main Ingredients You Need to Make It Through Whole 30 Successfully

March 31, 2020

Doing Whole 30 during coronavirus-induced quarantine is quite the divisive topic.

Some say it’s the best time to do it because you’re locked away in your home with no outside distractions or temptations, and nothing to do except cook. Others say you’re bored out of your mind and all you want to do is drink, while sitting on the couch, eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, watching Tiger King. Another big issue of discussion is obtaining the necessary ingredients to cook appropriate meals for the program. With grocery stores scarcely stocked, it can potentially be a big issue.

(via Brooke Lark / Unsplash)

But as someone who completed the program (for the fourth time!) all of this March, I can tell you it’s completely doable. Not only did the clearheadedness brought on by the experience help me get through this first month of isolation, but because I cooked almost every meal from scratch, I really got acquainted with my most commonly used foods, what’s most versatile, most flavorful, most immune-boosting and what can last you the longest.

Sure, there are plenty of fun ingredients to have around that you don’t necessarily need. For example, I had a several cans of pumpkin puree lingering from fall. I hopped on to Pinterest (as I did with pretty much all my ingredients) and found out ways to make use of what I had. Suddenly it was a springtime Thanksgiving in my kitchen. But ultimately, there were only a handful of staples I felt it necessary to have on hand at all times.

With the exception of spices (you must carry an array of spices—they’re a game-changer), below are the only five main ingredients you need to make it through Whole 30 successfully.

1. Cauliflower

This versatile veggie is the ultimate breakout star of Whole 30. I went from attempting mashed potatoes cauliflower my first time doing the program, to making cauliflower smoothies and mastering the art of cauliflower rice during this fourth go. The best thing you can do for yourself (mid-Whole 30 or otherwise) is stock up on bags of pre-diced cauliflower. Trader Joe’s has aplenty. I recommend non-frozen if you want to make rice or mashed cauliflower. And then purchase a bag of frozen if you want it for your smoothie. This veggie blends with everything seamlessly, so your smoothie won’t smell like anything but berries!

2. Broth

This brings me to my next ingredient… if you hop on the cauliflower bandwagon, you’ll need broth of some sort by your side at (almost) all times. I personally opted for chicken broth, but really any full-flavored broth will do. This ingredient is crucial to mastering cauliflower rice. I posted a lot about this on Instagram Story, as it’s a very underrated, overlooked necessity. In the past, like many others shared with me, I depended on olive oil to cook my tiny cauliflower pieces, but it was never enough to cook all the way through, and always left the pieces burnt. Additionally, broth can make a fantastic addition to a homemade sauce or sauté recipe, a soup, a mash, you name it. If you have plenty left over, just pop it into Pinterest and see what you can strum up with what you’ve got.

3. A Protein or Mixed Veggies

This is a given, but important to note anyway. Having a meat of some sort or mixed veggies will make up the crop of your heavier meals. These are great to soak up the sauces you make, to slather with spices, to place atop coconut rice or mix in with zucchini noodles. It’s important to remember that soy products aren’t allowed, so if you don’t eat meat, grab on to the most versatile, flavorful veggies (mushrooms, onions and bell peppers were my go-tos this time around). Also, you can use any meat, so take advantage of that freedom (though some are encouraged more than others and you still need to read the labels for nitrates, sugars and other unapproved ingredients). I didn’t touch beef or pork, but I ate a lot of chicken and turkey bacon.

4. Eggs

Much like No. 3, it’s probably a given that eggs are key to this plan. But you’re forbidden from (most) baking, so it’s not like you need eggs for your favorite paleo banana bread loaf. Eggs, during this eating regimen, are like an old reliable friend you can call on either when you’ve got nowhere to turn, or you want to spice up the party. I had my standard moments of whipping up a turkey bacon, mushroom, onion omelette; whereas, other times, eggs were great to place atop cauliflower rice and stir-fried veggies. I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to sit here and explain all of eggs’ uses—just be sure to keep ’em handy!

5. Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk

Much like cauliflower, canned coconut milk isn’t necessarily something we actively seek out at the grocery store unless a specific recipe calls for it. Well, take on a month of Whole 30, and this coveted item will be at the top of your list. If you’re making any rendition of a cream sauce, this is your go-to. But I also found that even an unnoticeable drop here and there was called for in so many recipes.

It’s important to note the difference between Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk—they’re indeed similar, but will alter your recipe if you get the wrong one. If you can’t get both for whatever reason, always go for the milk because sometimes the top layers of the can will have the creamy consistency you can use if a recipe calls for the cream. Also, emphasis on canned and full fat. Full fat cans of these consistencies are what’s required for the majority of these recipes, so make sure you stick to them because they differ immensely from what you typically add to your coffee.

Lifestyle

Your Definitive Guide to the Best FREE Online Workouts Amid Coronavirus Chaos

March 18, 2020

With the coronavirus outbreak causing many gyms and studios to close nationwide, now’s the time to step outside our comfort zones and find innovative ways to stay in shape.

via Pixabay

Many instructors and fitness gurus on Instagram are using this opportunity to provide outstanding new workouts that still work up a sweat, but are easy to do at home and, most importantly, are free.

Below, you’ll find our definitive guide to the best online workouts that will keep you active amidst the chaos.

Hot Pilates

What: A full-body workout in 10 minutes from one of the most challenging mat Pilates studios in Los Angeles.

How: A YouTube class led by the studio’s founder Shannon Nadj

Cost: Free

CorePower Yoga

What: Yoga classes for both beginners and seasoned yogis.

How: A full list of their videos can be found on demand HERE.

Cost: Free

305 Fitness

What: HIIT classes that livestream every day, which you can also watch later if you don’t get the chance to tune in.

How: You can tune into the livestream on their YouTube channel HERE.

Cost: Free

P Volve

What: A long and lean Pilates-inspired workout. You can choose what areas you’d like to focus on, the ability level and more.

How: Follow along by going to pvolve.com or downloading their app.

Cost: 30 day free trial with no credit card required.

Classpass

What: On demand studio fitness classes

How: Visit their website.

Cost: Free with unlimited access for the time being.

 

Bar Method

What: Barre fitness classes that combine ballet-inspired moves with elements of Pilates, dance, yoga and strength training.

How: livestream on their IG-TV at various times during the day (their IG has more information).

Cost: Free

Lia Bartha

What: A fitness instructor offering free, Pilates-inspired workouts.

How: Tune in at 10 A.M. PST daily on her Instagram Live.

Cost: Free

 

Tone It Up

What: Total body workouts on their IG-TV and app.

How: Tune into their IG-TV or download their app.

Cost: Free

 

The Betty Rocker

What: A certified trainer posting ab sculpting, yoga and HIIT workouts on IGTV.

How: Watch on IGTV or her website.

Cost: Free

View this post on Instagram

Today’s Pre-Challenge Workout is ABS 🔥Work your entire core in this fun flow with Team Betty Rocker Coach Nikki! . You can do this 10:00 flow 3 times, or use the link below (open this video in IGTV, then tap the drop down arrow description to see this link, which will be clickable there) to do the full 30 min flow: . 💛https://thebettyrocker.com/yoga-sculpt-your-abs/ . Are you following along with the daily plan? We’ve got you covered here at Team Betty Rocker! . Yesterday’s workout was in my live stories, but you can still watch/do it on my Facebook page, or from inside Rock Your Life if you’re a member of our online home workout studio. . Plus there are tons of Betty Rocker home workout options on my Youtube channel that are from the blog. Along with free workouts, the blog also has great workout, fitness, health and body resources, healthy recipes and more! . Next Monday I’m starting an all new 5-Day Home Workout Challenge – I’m writing it now! Can’t wait to do it with you, here live on IG and FB! . This is Day 2 of your pre-challenge workout plan – follow along daily for what to do! . Here’s a link once again to the full follow along (it’s too long to post on IGTV but you can click over to the blog post): . 💛https://thebettyrocker.com/yoga-sculpt-your-abs/ . We love Coach Nikki! She is a certified yoga instructor, ERYT200, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer and Mat Pilates Instructor. She teaches weekly classes inside Rock Your Life (30 day pass to join us there at https://theBettyRocker.com/coaching/) and you can find more of her workouts on the blog! . . Keep moving, stay hydrated, eat whole foods and give yourself lots of love, grace and kindness. We are all in this together ❤️❤️ . . Xoxx

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Jabs By Gina

What: Fitness instructor Gina DiNapoli posts 15-minute boxing-inspired workouts.

How: Visit her Instagram for a full schedule of her workouts posted live on her IGTV daily.

Cost: Free

 

Erika Hammond

What: At-home boxing workouts.

How: Watch live on her IGTV daily.

Cost: Free