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Beauty

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things—Skyelyfe’s Beauty + Wellness 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

November 25, 2020

Whether the epic year of 2020 has left you feeling high or low, it’s almost over, and you’ve made it through. If there’s one year to reward yourself with something special or show gratitude to the most important people in your life, this is it. Given the unexpected stressors imposed on literally everyone this year, a beauty and wellness gift guide only seems the most fitting.

While 2020 was an angst-ridden time for all of us, there were some material goods that allowed us to temporarily relax and reset. From game-changing skincare to show-stopping scents and so much more, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the things that did elicit a smile during this stressful year.

Keep reading for skyelyfe’s beauty and wellness holiday gift guide (listed in order of price from low to high).

christmas tree and gifts
(via Unsplash)

Beauty

Juno & Co. Junoskin Clean 10 Cleansing Balm: $14.50

I’ve raved about Juno & Co.’s microfiber sponges, so I was every bit curious when the brand forayed into skincare this fall. I was fortunate enough to receive the full line to try (it also includes a CBD + niacinamide soothing mask, and kale + probiotic deep cleansing mask). While I genuinely enjoy all three products (and at unbeatable prices with effective, natural ingredients), the cleansing balm is my standout pick. When it comes to cleansers, what’s more satisfying than feeling a full face of makeup melt into a buttery consistency and off of your skin? This product is packed with Japanese Pearl Barley Magic+ and Vitamin E, which brighten, hydrate and nourish the skin. The perfect stocking stuffer or standalone, this is a foolproof purchase for any recipient.

*Buy 1, get 1 for $1 Black Friday deal (on brushes and sponges)

NAILS OF LA Press-On Nails (The Muse): $16

Among the unexpected beauty trends of 2020 is the adhesive nail. What was once a cheap, one-time-wear, costume accessory, has morphed into a chic, lesser expensive way to up your hand game. Due to the pandemic and salon restraint, brands have emerged with innovative, long-lasting temporary nails. The latest to take the plunge? Celebrity nail artist, Brittney Boyce. With sleek, modern designs and manageable lengths, there’s really no telling these press-ons aren’t straight from the salon. Added bonus? Each pack comes with a set of 24 nails, file/buffer duo, cuticle stick, adhesive tabs and nail glue.

*Black Friday: (11.26 – 11.29) 35% off sitewide. No code necessary.

Cyber Monday: (11/30) 1 free set of press-ons for every 2 sets purchased. No code necessary.

Giving Tuesday: (11/31) 10% of sales from Giving Tuesday will benefit Ken-Mar Rescue, a Los Angeles-based small dog rescue non-profit group, in loving memory of the founder’s late dog Louie.

Sola Look Brenda ❤️ Dylan ❤️ Kelly 90210 Makeup Collection: $20

If you know a fellow self-proclaimed biggest-Beverly Hills, 90210-fan-ever (a la me), this is just the gift for them! Complete with three liquid lipsticks and a six-shade eyeshadow palette with names that speak to the soul, this is sure to tug at the heartstrings, drumming up memories of the most gut-wrenching love triangle in teen TV drama history.

ORLY Mini Gel Lamp: $24.99

As mentioned above, we’re living in a DIY world right now—and yes, that very much includes nails. If someone you know can’t live without their gels, now they can do them from home (and for cheap!), thanks to ORLY’s mouse-sized mini LED lamp. All they need is the brand’s GELFX polish and they’re good to go!

*Up to 60%-off ORLY gel color bundles

Jafra Royal Jelly Radiance Foundation: $31

While foundation may not seem like your quintessential holiday gift, hear me out. I came across Jafra cosmetics this year, and since getting my hands on their Royal Jelly foundation, my skin hasn’t looked the same. This magical, under-the-radar product provides full coverage, while still managing to make me look somewhat natural. It also has added glow, and I get compliments on my “skincare routine” every time I wear it. It’s also affordable and lasts a long time. And with built-in SPF 20, this item is a no-brainer.

Nudeskin Lemon-Aid Detox & Glow Micro-Peel: $34

Nudestix launched its debut skincare line in October—and of the five-piece collection, this clarifying, detoxifying micro-peel is hands down my favorite. When it comes to face masks and peels, there’s nothing more satisfying than watching particles of dead skin instantly come to the surface. Apologies for the visual, but anyone who receives this as a gift will understand the instant gratification—while feeling smoother, softer skin in less than two minutes!

Makanai Pure Beauty Travel Kit: $35

Longtime JBeauty brand Makanai just launched in the U.S., and after only a few weeks of using their deeply hydrating products, I’m totally sold. It’s hard to pick a favorite (it’s a tossup between the 24K gold Skin Jewel Oil Serum and the Kanazawa Beauty Face Cream)—but luckily the brand makes it easy to try everything at once with this handy travel kit. It even comes with a pretty carrying accessory. With chic packaging and luxe ingredients, whomever you’re shopping for will have no idea you didn’t break the bank!

Seiso JBeauty Fuwafuwa Foaming Cleanser: $38

With the unexpected skincare boom amid the pandemic, I tested more cleansers this year alone than in my total lifetime. So, when I say this one tops them all, you know it means something. Packed with coconut amino acids, fermented rice extract and glycerin, this product gently cleans, conditions, softens, clears and hydrates. Applied to dry skin, you can feel the dirt particles disintegrate as you gently use the product in circular motions. Once rinsed, you’ll instantly notice brighter, elevated skin.

*Purchase with Water Velvet Cream and use code CLEANSERFRIDAY to get the cleanser for free. Must add both items in your cart to redeem.

Native Atlas Universal Oil (Nairobi): $39

Native Atlas launched a collection of world travel-inspired universal oils. Omnis, Sanaa, Nairobi and Cocoa Beach are the four offerings, and each is a gender-neutral, plant-based formula made for the hair, skin and body. I’ve been using Nairobi for the last few months, and it’s become a staple in my skincare routine. It gives my face just the right amount of added shine, while keeping my often dry cuticles hydrated.

The Route Beauty Lil’ Skincare BFFs: $42

Whether you’re embracing a girls’ night in with your besties, or you’re having a solo self-care day, you can’t go wrong with The Route Beauty’s full-circle skincare routine. And, lucky for you, they’re making it ridiculously affordable with their gift set of minis. The Lil’ Skincare BFFs collection features five standout products, including a retinoid, primer, multitasking formulas for day and night and their signature glow mask, The Party Peel. Whether a gift for a friend or yourself, it’s impossible to disappoint with this purchase!

Boscia Berry Blend Smoothing Facial With 28% Acid Complex: $44

If you’re looking to give the gift of professional-level skincare at a fraction of the price, I highly recommend this product. Its 28% acid complex is something usually only found in spa-grade products, making this a first for the Boscia brand. This innovative formula exfoliates dead skin cells away, eradicates dullness and resurfaces the skin. While there’s a slight sting upon use, it’s only a sign that the product is working its magic.

RAINCRY Advanced Hair Mist (Blanc): $53

If you spent any time with me this summer, there was no escaping a spritz of hair fragrance, courtesy of RAINCRY’s Blanc scent. The sleek glass bottle from the luxe hair brand is packed with notes of soft floral, heliotrope, jasmine, morning dew and rose. Fitting for either sex, this alluring aroma is the perfect on-the-go addition for everyday use. And don’t expect the formula to dry out your ‘do. It actually infuses and hydrates your locks with amino acids. The line also carries three additional fragrances if you’re yearning for more!

Pureology Strength Cure Holiday Kit: $70

I have thick, damaged, color-treated hair, so it’s been a lot of trial and error finding products that actually make my mane look healthy. Especially with the chilly days of recent weeks, my hair is brittle as ever. I received Pureology Strength Cure shampoo and conditioner by chance in a gift bag, and I haven’t used anything else regularly since. Key ingredients keravis and astaxanthin fortify and repair damaged, color-treated hair—and a signature aromatherapy blend of raspberry, peach and water flowers leaves the locks with a refreshing fragrance. Complete with a multitasking leave-in spray and dry shampoo, this kit, valued at $101, should appease your pal with even the wildest of hair woes.

Pixi Beauty Glow Treatment Bundle: $72

While this year’s holiday season hits a wee bit differently, in a normal circumstance, we’d all have party upon party to prep for. Therefore, this five-part skincare bundle (valued at $90) provides that on-the-go glow we’d need for a night on the town. But whether we’re out and about in normalcy or locked indoors, no one will be disappointed to receive this set that gently exfoliates, refines pores and energizes complexion. Even if it’s solely for the sake of IG, a girl’s gotta glow!

MARA Beauty Sea Vitamin C Serum: $96

What beauty and wellness gift guide would be complete without a solid serum, amirite? When clean skincare brand MARA first launched in 2018 with its Universal Face Oil, I was drawn to its deeply hydrating properties. Fast-forward to a few months ago, the brand launched a Chlorella + Reishi formula that provides the same all-day hydration, but with the added effects of Vitamin C and other powerful ingredients. It’s a perfect gift for the skincare lover worth splurging on, and you can’t go wrong with that sleek glass packaging.

WEN by Chaz Dean Bella Spirit ReMoist Hair Mask: $180

When it comes to my breakout beauty star amid the pandemic, it’s hands down this product. I never understood the power of a hair mask until just one use of this magical formula. And months later, this remains my go-to. I’ve praised this nourishing mask countless times on Mane Addicts—and thanks to its blend of lavender, cucumber, eucalyptus herbal botanical waters, extracts, oils and amino acids, I’m left with good as new hair after each rinse. While the price point is indeed steep, Chaz explained to me firsthand that each tub provides approximately 16 treatments-worth of a $50 in-salon service. While this probably won’t be the gift you buy for everyone on your list, it’s definitely worth it for a special someone.

Wellness

Manna Kadar Hand Sanitizer & Anti-Bacterial Soap Caddy: $24

For the girly-girl in your life, this rose gold hand-cleansing duo not only looks darling atop a beauty counter with its accompanying caddy—but it smells absolutely divine. Featuring a combo of pomegranate scent and soothing sea water, this light, feminine fragrance is sure to please.

SERUMKIND Black Blossom Hand Serum: $27

As a K-beauty brand known for, well, serums, it only makes sense SERUMKIND launched a hand serum to accompany its face products. Fit for the dryness brought on by the winter months ahead, this new, deeply hydrating formula caters to the skin barrier with the healing effects of black tulip from the Netherlands. The result? Instantly silky hands. This product has stocking stuffer written all over it!

Som Sleep Zero Sugar 12-Pack: $29.99

If you know an insomniac (and we all do!), grant them the gift of sleep! I discovered these Som Sleep canned drinks in a self-care essentials kit from PitchBox Media, and I’ve got to say, I wasn’t disappointed. The gluten-free, non-GMO, berry-flavored beverages knock you out easily, without leaving you groggy the next day. While they certainly won’t fix any longstanding sleep issues, they’re perfect for those occasional restless nights tossing and turning sans Zzzs.

Trücup Coffee Pods: $39.95 (48-piece, three-roast sampler pack)

If there’s one wellness routine that got me through 2020, it was waking up early, showering, brewing a hot cup of coffee and taking 10 minutes to cozy-up in bed and meditate before kicking off my day. Coffee is a huge part of my daily life, and I include Trücup here in particular because their low-acid, boutique coffee blends are not only rich in flavor, but they’re less harsh on the stomach, creating a more seamless sipping experience.

Le Labo Body Lotion, Exclusively for EDITION Hotels: $58.65

Unpopular opinion, but I’m not the biggest Le Labo fan. That said, their black tea-infused body lotion made exclusively for EDITION Hotels makes up for any past fragrances that haven’t tickled my fancy. I love tea-inspired scents more than anything else, and this body lotion seriously speaks to me. Much like the vibe of the trendy hotel, this aroma is dark, mysterious and sexy. If you’re not sold by now, welp, more for me!

*Free four-piece Le Labo travel set with every ShopEdition.com purchase.

BX Glow Pure Energy Fitness Kit: $68

With L.A. going into lockdown all over again, you better believe this at-home fitness kit will come in handy for the workout junkie or simply the girl stuck at home with nothing to do. Designed by former Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada, this easy-to-transport set comes with all the essentials: three levels of resistance tube bands, three levels of resistance loop bands and a set of one-pound ankle weights. There’s no excuse now!

Moen Aromatherapy Hand Shower With INLY Shower Capsules: $129

For the loved one who’s still owed their housewarming gift, or for the one who simply needs a shower upgrade, lap them in luxury with this sleek, easy-to-assemble chrome shower head, complete with four aromatherapy capsules to match their mood. Adjustable settings are built into the shower head, so they can use however much of the refreshing fragrance as they wish.

MiHIGH Infrared Sauna Blanket: $499

This detoxifying, mind-calming, calorie-burning blanket is just the trick for your partner or close family member. Now only does the leather material keep you bundled, but you get the benefits of infrared saunas from the comfort of your own home. Complete with infrared heating and waterproof layers, about an hour a few times a week is all you need to be on your way to better sleep, less stress, rejuvenated skin and increased blood flow.

Looking for more skincare purchases this holiday season? HERE are some new CBD-infused beauty products to have on your radar!

Lifestyle

I’ve Started Using Virtual Sound Baths to Put Me to Bed in Minutes Each Night

October 14, 2020

I’m all about natural forms of healing. I struggle with anxiety and I subconsciously hold on to the past, so this affects my day-to-day life. I’ve received reiki many times, I’ve used healing crystals and I’ve even taken a special full moon healing bath which required tons of preparation. And, as of a month ago, I’ve been using virtual sound baths because I can’t fall asleep.

Sound healing is a powerful form of meditation. This is a different turn for me because I’ve never been a meditation kind of gal. It’s hard getting out of my head and sitting still for so long. After completing a traditional meditation session, I’ve never felt any differently—but you need to do it consistently. Recently, the founder of a major meditation studio in L.A. reached out about trying her new app. And that’s when things changed.

(via Pexels)

I likely have more restless nights than the average person, but there was a recent evening in particular that my mind was all TikTok’d out and I would’ve given anything to fall asleep. I downloaded the aforementioned app—and rather than opt for a guided meditation, I clicked on one of the sound healing selections. The 40-minute session required nothing more than for me to lie down, close my eyes and be able to hear. I kid you not, it knocked me out in five minutes. Sleeping pills wake me up in the middle of the night after they wear off; sleepy teas make me have to use the restroom in the middle of the night; CBD products give me crazy dreams. In other words, nothing’s worked up to this point.

I’ve gone to sound baths at various L.A. venues, and I’ve fallen asleep pretty shortly into the sessions. But honestly, I thought my simple snooze-fest resulted from my workplace, which zapped all my energy. The office always left me exhausted, but now I realize I actually fell asleep for a deeper reason.

I’ve been so excited to share my life-changing discovery with others that I reached out to Roxie Sarhangi, better known in cyberspace as @roxiesoundhealing. Keep reading for Roxie’s amazing tips on how to use sound healing to fall asleep.

skyelyfe: How did you get involved in sound healing?

Roxie Sarhangi: The first time I recall hearing the powerful sound of a gong in person was in a yoga class during Savasana. This was about a decade or so ago. It was a momentous visceral experience. I felt the vibration deep within my chest, and it brought my mind immediately to the present moment. I remember leaving, wanting to experience the gong for a longer period of time. 

The first sound bath I experienced was in Ojai with Tibetian bowls, and it felt so calming and deeply relaxing. The ethereal sound really captivated me, so from there, I went to sound baths all over L.A. I decided I wanted to learn how to share it with others, so I became a certified sound healer practitioner in 2018.

SL: What were your initial experiences with it when you were exploring just for fun?

RS: I touched upon this above, but essentially, I always like to stay curious and have a learner’s mind. Sound healing is esoteric, unique and feels powerful. I loved the idea of everyone getting together to better themselves in this unique environment. I definitely wasn’t planning on becoming a sound healer!  

SL: What’s the science behind sound healing and its ability to ease tension and assist with sleep ailments?

RS: Sound healing affects brain waves to slow down to a profoundly relaxing and restorative state. Notes of the crystal bowls are tuned to the seven chakras and energy centers. These help recenter us when we’re out of alignment. They’re also tuned to 432 hertz, the vibrational frequency of nature. If you think about it, everything has a frequency. Every living element in our body emits a frequency. The frequency of the crystal bowls is often described as a sound of the “universe.”

I’ll also play the symphonic gong, one of the oldest instruments. Its roots trace back to around 3500 B.C. The gong is used to release tension and blocks in the body, stimulating a higher functioning of the glandular and nervous system. I’ve heard many attendees share that they have the best sleep after sound healing. They’re in a deeply relaxed state primed for sleep, so that is why. As I understand it, you’re essentially moving from alpha and theta brainwave state. This occurs during sound healing to the next state—delta brain waves—which occurs during sleep. That’s one of the reasons why sound healing feels so magical to me!  

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The next virtual session of 11 Days of Sound Healing begins on the New Moon, next Tuesday, August 18 aligning with the lunar cycle of new beginnings. Thank you for the beautiful notes, kind messages, and love. I am thrilled you want to do this again! Me too! 🙂 It has been nothing short of a beautiful, transformative and profound journey together. Your heartfelt feedback and how these sessions are impacting you, continue to inspire me to do more!🌞 —————————————— What is 11 Days of Sound Healing? Feel deeply relaxed, calm, and cultivate a sense of well-being. For 11 days we begin each session with the profound wisdom of Persian mystics Rumi and Hafez as our guide. We practice five minutes of diaphragmatic breathing, experience 15 minutes of sound healing, and are held accountable for daily self-care activities. Self-care is more important than ever right now! This is a heart centered experience, connecting the mind, body, and soul. The sessions are 35-45 minutes total and a sliding scale: $1 a day to $11 a day. ($11-$121). Attend all 11 Days or as many as you can. Each experience is unique! I love sharing this with you. It is such an honor to connect and share this healing energy all over the world– souls from New Zealand, Vietnam, Romania, London and across the United States. This is powerful! Let’s transcend together to another dimension. 💫 —————————————— What time does it start/How to join? Simply Venmo Roxie Sound Healing and include your email and Instagram handle and you are part of our private amazing group! The sessions begin at 7 pm PST and will be recorded and available the entire 11 days. For those souls in different countries, you can also use Paypal. DM me for details.🤍 —————————————— Who should join? Anyone who wants to feel calm and heal. This is an opportunity to reconnect to your essence. During these 11 days of Sound Healing you will begin to allow more mindfulness into your daily life. You will likely feel your attitude shift as your vibration raises and you become more grounded. This work encourages a free-flowing energy of love and lightness of being from within. 🤍 #soundhealing #soundbath #souljourney #selfhealers #selfcare #rumi #11

A post shared by Roxie Sound Healing (@roxiesoundhealing) on

SL: What’s the best way for a newbie to maximize their experience with sound healing?

RS: One of the many reasons I love sound healing is that it requires very little doing of the participant, mainly showing up! I approach it as easy, effortless, and transcendent. The more you can relax, the more you can receive the sounds. I recommend giving yourself the gift of coming into the experience as relaxed as possible, without pushing. If you go to an in-person session, allow plenty of time to drive to the location, park and get settled. Bring items that can allow you to feel cozy and good. A blanket, pillow, and perhaps an eye mask. Set yourself up to feel your best.

If you do an at-home sound bath, then light a candle, sage, or palo santo. Put yourself in a physical space that feels relaxing and healing. When I do in-person sessions, they’re always at inspiring locations such as the 1 Hotel West Hollywood on their rooftop deck under the night sky. We’re under a stunning large-scale sculpture, Dream Catcher by Janet Echelman. Our brainwaves when we dream is what inspired the sculpture. How perfect for sound healing! 

When you can walk into an environment and feel uplifted, it makes an impact. If the space feels inspiring, you begin to feel inspired. Your space is very important. Another location I enjoy is at a museum style gallery, Barakat Gallery. Centuries-old artifacts, sculptures and life-size Buddhas surrounded us during our event last year. There’s an ineffable sense of depth and soul in a space like that.

SL: Are there any particular sound healing apps or YouTube videos/channels you recommend people listen to as they fall asleep?

RS: I don’t know if there are any apps only for sound healing, but that’s a great idea! I know there are sound healing sessions on Calm app, Insight Timer and YouTube. I also have a YouTube channel and IGTV with free sound healing sessions that I know souls listen to before bed.

SL: Is there anything else you’d like to add about your specific practice or sound healing in general?

RS: I feel truly honored to share sound healing. Sound is primordial. It’s the first vibration ever experienced. It is so powerful. I am constantly in awe of the power of sound. Thank you for asking me to share more about sound healing! See you under the influence of sound.

*Roxie is launching her 11 Days of Sound Healing this Friday (Oct. 16) in honor of the New Moon. To learn more or sign up, click HERE.

For more incredible healing tips and techniques, click HERE.

Lifestyle

I Struggle With Mental Health Like the Rest of Us—Here Are 6 Habits That Help Clear My Head

October 10, 2020

Today is World Mental Health Day, and after a frustrating sleep and dreams that plagued my mindset, I woke up feeling kind of crappy. I generally maintain a positive disposition and have a bright outlook on life. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a victim of thoughts in my head that spiral out of control.

Mental health isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of issue. Sometimes it’s affected by chemical imbalances; other times it’s situational. Sometimes even the slightest occurrence or thought can trigger our minds into a war zone. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts, but I’ve definitely been debilitated by what’s gone on in my mind.

When I was growing up, we were instructed to go to the dentist every six months and get our yearly physical at the doctor’s office. No one ever talked about the other stuff. If you saw a psychologist, you were crazy. If you took meds, there was something deeply wrong. I’m glad that present times have made our mental health an important conversation, because let’s face it—no one is A-OK 100% of the time.

(via Unsplash)

Just because you don’t have a psychological diagnosis doesn’t mean your mental health doesn’t take its toll from time to time. We don’t have emotional memory, so when we’re at a low point, we don’t remember the feeling we had just yesterday, for example, when we were at a high.

There are days when things just feel off and sometimes all you can do is accept the situation and live in it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in bed all day and wallowed lonesome because people have their own lives to live. The harsh reality is I’m no one’s priority but my own. I have some amazing close friends, but no one can be at my beck and call consistently. And let’s face it: People are attracted to vibrant energy. It’s not always easy for someone to set aside their happy-go-lucky afternoon to devote their own energy to your bad day. It’s not because they don’t care, but they have their own stuff to deal with.

As tough as those dark days are, things get better—they always do. As low as I can feel one moment is as high as I can feel two days later. On the days when I feel the world caving down on me and can barely get out of bed, I remind myself that I’ve made it through 30-something years—I can make it one more day. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but it really is possible to crawl out from the darkness.

Whether I’m struggling or not, here are six effective habits that help clear my head.

(via Unsplash)

1. I Keep Instagram Story-Watching to a Minimum

If you follow me on IG, you might think I’m obsessed with the app. I post pretty regularly and engage frequently on photos that pop up on my feed. Simply being on the app isn’t an issue for me. I love having a platform to showcase my skills and passions, and to connect with amazing people and brands I may have not otherwise.

That said, being too consumed with others’ Stories is where the issue lies. I taught myself early on that seeing what everyone is doing at all times of the day isn’t going to get me anywhere. Some people are fulfilled by knowing everyone’s every move. I, on the other hand, feel like being privy to that information only clouds the head more. So yes, while I’m happy to share my life on the app, it’s important for my mental health that I pick and choose what I let into my space from others.

2. I Press the Reset Button Every Six Months

My twice-yearly Whole30 journey can definitely be seen as extreme, and I don’t think it’s for everyone. But in general, I do think it’s imperative to press the reset button from time to time. We all have our vices and distractions that keep us from being our best selves and seeing our goals come to fruition.

By removing some of my biggest roadblocks for 30 days (or two weeks or however long you deem necessary), I’m re-centering myself. It’s a fresh start with a new perspective. Our bodies and minds are like internet or computers—they often stop working effectively until you power down and restart. The reset button doesn’t mean deep-rooted issues dissipate; it just gives you time to work on yourself without the outliers that cloud the mind.

(Photo Courtesy of SweatNSK)

3. I Protect My Energy

Now more than ever, the universe is forcing us to be selective in every aspect of our lives. A pandemic gives you the easy way out to just about anything. But aside from forced mandates, all this time spent at home and not in traffic (hallelujah) has allowed me to restructure my priorities. I no longer feel obligated to partake in something or spend time with someone just because it’s the right thing to do. I’m only doing what feels right for me. I don’t need to do things to “be nice” if it’s only compromising my energy and headspace.

4. I Partake in Activities That Raise My Vibrations

It’s no secret that the minute you put alcohol or any other mild-altering substance into your body, your vibrations go way down (even if you’re having the time of your life). If my mental health is taking a hit or I simply just want to feel my best, there’s no way I can incorporate alcohol into part of my plan.

But outside of that, when I’m cooking, walking, working out, writing, sharing information with people or spending quality time with people who bring out the best in me, I’m naturally raising my vibrations. And those high times are when I attract the best things in life. There are simply those days in which my energy is at a low and I can’t seem to change it. But that’s okay—the more I practice high-vibrational routines, the quicker I can get back up to speed.

On World Mental Health Day and beyond, it's important to acknowledge the struggles that take place in our minds. Here are some effective practices I follow to clear my head.
(via Unsplash)

5. I Take a Shower and Wash My Hair

You may be thinking uhh to this one, but hear me out. Showers and something we take for granted. And a lot of the time they’re super rushed. But the next time you find your head clogged, have a good rinse (including hair) and actually pay attention to how different you feel. It’s pretty awesome to notice much of that angst wash away down the drain with some of your split ends.

6. I Remember That I’m on My Journey and They’re on Theirs

I’m very fortunate in that I’m surrounded by incredibly hard-working friends who are all successful in their own right. And a number of them are not only thriving in the workplace, but in their romantic and domestic lives, too. That can at times be daunting when you stack up your lifetime accomplishments to theirs. But it’s not worth it. Yes, there are days that are hard, or times when I’m like, wait, why wasn’t I handed that deck? But not everything is easy for anyone. We’re all figuring it out. I have to remind myself to just keep doing my best and (No. 5) keep those vibrations high. The rest will come.

 

If you’re feeling a bit down and out, HERE are some of the best ways to heal your energy.

Lifestyle

4 Important Self-Care Tips You Probably Don’t Think About

September 10, 2020

When we think of “self-care,” what initially comes to mind are doctor and dentist appointments, working out, cutting out toxic people and meditation—to name a few.

While indeed our mind and body are of utmost importance, there are actually a handful of lesser considered actions that will not only make you feel better about yourself, but will exhibit to others that you value who you are and how you’re presented. After all, caring about yourself encompasses how you treat the things you own, too.

Because self-care is crucial now more than ever, keep reading for four important self-care tips you probably don’t think about (but should!).

1. Ditch the Cracked Phone

We’re all guilty of walking around with a cracked phone at some point. It’s kind of a rite of passage. Have you really lived if you’ve never rocked a shattered iPhone? But part of “self-care” is properly looking after your belongings (especially expensive ones!). Your phone is almost as prominent of an accessory as your hair. There are times it’ll be tucked away in your handbag, but let’s not kid ourselves—for the most part, our phones are always on full display. Not only does a cracked screen probably stress you out each time you look at it, but it exhibits to others that you may be lazy and careless. Keep your screen (and its accompanying case, for that matter) clean and pristine.

(via Unsplash)

2. Keep Your Car Clean (Inside and Out)

Think of your car as an extended version of your bedroom. Depending on how much you drive, you could spend almost equal amount of time in both! When your living space is cluttered or dirty, it stresses you out, right? Well, likely same for your car. Get rid of the empty soda cans, the old piled-up papers, books, cups, weird cords, whatever the case may be. It doesn’t matter if you drive a brand new BMW or a 2001 Honda Civic—keeping your car completely decluttered clears out energy and gives you a more relaxed mind while you’re on the road, which is stressful enough in itself. And while you’re at it, give that bad boy a regular exterior wash as well. Does it ever feel good looking like you just drove through the Dust Bowl?

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3. Don’t Wear Clothes With Stains, Tears or Wrinkles

How you dress is up to you. While not everyone has the budget to dress to the nines, nor does everyone even enjoy dressing up, there are some things in everyone‘s control. Whether you rock a casual tee and jeans or you’re decked out in designer duds, put in minimal effort by avoiding items with obvious stains, tears or wrinkles. Again, part of self-care is looking after your belongings, not just your mind and body. Your clothes are a part of you, so wear them well. Put in the extra work by dropping things off at a dry cleaner or tailor—and most importantly, always keep a hand-held steamer by your side. These on-the-go gadgets work wonders—wrinkle-free is the way to be!

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4. Make Your Bed Each Morning

You hear this one all the time, but it’s easy to overlook. Based on our hectic schedule or the fact that we live alone or don’t expect anyone to see our bed, we let this task fall to the wayside. But next time you consider passing it by, try making your bed (it doesn’t have to be perfect), and pay attention to the difference you feel when you get under the covers that night to go to sleep. Everything’s in the right place, allowing you to slip under the sheets and rest easy. Additionally, it really throws the whole room together. A clean room with a messy bed is simply a messy room. You don’t want that, right?

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For more tips to bettering yourself, click HERE for best wellness practices suggested by experts during the pandemic.

Lifestyle

Four Simple Ways to Heal Your Energy This Extraordinary Cancer Season

June 29, 2020

Just last week, there were three major astrological events, including the solar eclipse, new moon in Cancer and summer solstice. We have to ask, are you guys okay!? 

This Cancer new moon is quite extraordinary this year, as it’s the first in a duo of consecutive Cancer new moons. Heightened emotions may surface, riding the coattails of the potent solar eclipse and could continue with the next new moon in Cancer on July 20. It’s a fantastic time for healing, purging and releasing as we take a look at where we need true support in our lives. 

Below, you’ll find four incredible practices that will help you ground your energy, release negative emotions or patterns and grow into the awe-inspiring being of light that you are this season!

(via Unsplash)

Take a Crystal Healing Bath

If you’ve never taken a crystal healing bath, it’s time you get on that. Water, itself, is already an incredible healing force, but adding crystals to the mix amplifies the energy tenfold. Using simple epsom salt combined with an amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz stone is our personal favorite way to clear out old stagnant energy that no longer serves. You can also add essential oils like lavender and frankincense for an extra boost of relaxation. You may not feel any different during the actual bath, but you’ll wake up the next morning feeling amazingly refreshed. You can find out more on ritual baths (including what stones shouldn’t be used in the tub) HERE.

Practice ‘I Am’ Affirmations

Never underestimate the effect of a simple ‘I am’ affirmation. By putting these short words in front of any dynamic or positive adjective, you’re reminding yourself of your own truth and divinity. They essentially train your subconscious to release blocks and negativity that may be holding you back from manifesting your dreams. Luckily, YouTube is a beautiful place filled with many meditations and affirmations for different conditions you’d like in your life including success, love, abundance—you name it.

Pay Attention to Emotional Triggers

The nature of Cancer is highly emotional and sensitive. That energy can also be amplified at the time of a new moon. Old emotional wounds may surface during this time that, let’s be honest, you hadn’t planned on revisiting. Instead of trying to bury pain or unpleasant emotions, let them rise to the surface for healing and clearing. Meditate on uplifting mantras to rebuild your confident spirit. Everything we experience is for our personal growth, and there’s no greater form of expansion than deep, soulful rejuvenation.

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♋︎ CANCER SEASON/ SUMMER SOLISTICE/ SOLAR ECLIPSE ♋︎. ⠀ Cancer Season begins today, bringing us a New Moon/Solar Eclipse to begin her four-week journey. The energy of Cancer takes us on an emotional rollercoaster, which starts with feeling, then shifts to understanding, to knowing, until we arrive at healing. This Season is a time to allow our emotions to rise, to see them, to honor them, and to learn from them. It takes courage to feel and first requires we put down our distractions and sit with all the uncomfortableness, which eventually leads to growth. ⠀ Solar Eclipses are powerful times that allow us to see the road we have traveled, what we are leaving behind, and where we are going. It’s a period of reflection when we can fully process the lessons of the past six months. This weekend, sit with any emotions you are experiencing. Set an intention to feel them, but then release them. Notice which ones want to stick around and ask them what they have to teach you. What messages are you emotions bringing you at this time? What are they helping you understand? ⠀ Solar Eclipses are supercharged New Moons. This is the first New Moon of Cancer Season. Set the intention to work with Cancer’s energy from one New Moon to the next, creating daily practices to focus on emotional understanding. Consider writing the statement “I feel” each day and letting your feelings run onto the paper. From emotions comes our intuition. The deeper you feel, the more you unlock your divine wisdom, which will lead you to the path forward. Release any need for a concrete plan. It’s 2020, after all- anything can happen. Instead, learn to trust your intuition and know you can rely on it. You can rely on yourself in the face of any challenge. The energy of Cancer reminds us of just how strong we really are and encourages us to lean into our inherent power every day. As you set intentions this weekend, create them from your intuition. Hold the highest vibration for the future of your life and the world. ⠀ Learn more about this Season/New Moon in the Cancer workbook. Available digitally, link in bio image via @becca_reitz #cancerseason #solareclipse #newmoon

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Make Moon Water 

Yes, moon water is totally a thing and it’s incredibly magical✨🌝. There’s no better way to cleanse and soothe your inner turbulence than by sipping on transformation-infused H20. The moon greatly influences the tides of the ocean, so why wouldn’t it have an effect on our physical bodies? You can make a batch by simply putting out a jar of water under a full moon to charge it with its energy and taking a nice, big chug of it the next morning. Take this practice further by adding a specific intention or something you would like to manifest to it before setting it out.

Lifestyle

Experts Share 5 Simple Foods You Can Incorporate Into Your Daily Diet to Boost Health and Wellness

June 9, 2020

There’s no shortage of information swirling around about what you should do to protect your health during the pandemic.

However, we’re here to share that there are simple and delicious food items you can incorporate into your daily diet that’ll boost immunity without having to go to extreme lengths.

Read on for expert wellness advice from Kroma Superfoods founder Lisa Odenweller, Hello Me founder Julie McClure and beauty supplement brand Hush & Hush co-founder Janna Roberts.

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Vitamins D, C and A

To put it simply, vitamin D, C or A deficiencies equal higher risk of illness. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is necessary for the development of bones and the regulation of calcium in your body. Vitamins D and C also improves resistance against certain diseases. Vitamin A also supports healthy immunity and lowers risks of certain cancers.

Matcha Green Tea

Extremely high in antioxidants, matcha green tea is the superfood to have on hand. Antioxidants are a powerful way to reduce cell damage and lower the risk of chronic diseases. In addition to this ultra superpower, it promotes heart health, boosts brain function, protects the liver and is beyond easy to throw into a shake, latte or even dessert.

Maca Powder

This root has a delicious nutty aroma and is high in vitamin C, copper and iron. This helps keep your metabolism on track, boosts your energy and fights free radical damage. All this in one little powder? Sign us up.

Mushrooms

There are a ton of different brands of mushroom extract to try so its best to find one that’s right for you. Our personal favorite is Om Organic Mushroom Powder. Reishi mushrooms reduce blood pressure, elevate the immune system and are great for the skin.

Turmeric

Turmeric is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and increases your body’s antioxidant capacity. This is crucial as it blocks free radicals directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses. A serious one-two punch.

Lifestyle

The Best Wellness Practices Suggested by Experts During Coronavirus

April 2, 2020

Although there’s no lack of health and wellness information going around right now, it can still be difficult to discern what’s right for you, specifically.

To help navigate this particular problem, clean beauty brand MARA, luxury beauty supplement brand Hush & Hush and The Jane Club and The XX Project recently hosted enlightening webinars on how we should nourish our minds and bodies during self-isolation.

girl in white athleisure workout set does yoga
(via The Form Fitness / Unsplash)

Hush & Hush’s Wellness Wednesday discussion featured adept inner health education from founders Dr. Marc Ronert and Janna Ronert, while MARA Beauty’s roundtable-style Positive Perception panel highlighted the importance of listening to your own body’s needs. Meanwhile, The Jane Club and The XX Project hosted a calm-inducing Interactive Intuition workshop, led by Mindset Mastery Coach, Stephanie Kwong, and Personal Development Coach, Laura Greenberg.

Find the best wellness practices to incorporate into your routine from each seminar below!

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Take 4 per day to keep hair loss at bay.

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Incorporate Exercise Into Your Daily Schedule

This seems like such a simple task, but many people get so caught up in fear that they forget how vital it is to go out and stretch their legs. Dr. Ronert suggests a 30-minute workout in the morning and another in the evening—whatever that may be for you.

Journal at Least Once a Day

During MARA’s roundtable, Natural beauty and skincare writer, Jessica DeFino, strongly recommended taking the time to journal every day. It’s imperative to prioritize our mental health during this time and remember that it’s absolutely okay not to feel okay all the time. Getting your thoughts out onto the page will help you process your emotions in a safe (social media-free) way.

Add More Supplements to Your Diet

If you didn’t already get the memo, vitamins are major key right now. Holistic chef and co-founder of How You Glow, Tara Sowlaty, shared with MARA audiences how important it is at this time to incorporate more vitamin D and C into our everyday diets. Because many are spending more time inside, that means far less sun exposure, which can cause lower back pain and fatigue. Regularly taking vitamin D should help counteract this, along with immunity-boosting vitamin C.

Avoid Meat If You Can

According to Dr. Ronert, meat increases inflammation in the body, which can compromise your immune system. Although we know it’s unrealistic to completely cut meat out of your diet, try eating extra fruits and vegetables or buying impossible meat instead. As tough as this situation is, it can be an amazing opportunity to clean up your diet and discover new, likable ingredients you otherwise wouldn’t touch.

Rethink Your Beauty Essentials

Now that health is a top priority, DeFino reminded us that it’s time to reconsider what are really our skincare essentials. Use this as motivation to check the ingredients in your face wash or foundation, as you might be surprised how many of them are not as organic as you’d like. Now’s a great time to trash those synthetic products and try a new holistic beauty line you think is right for you.

Set Limits For Yourself

We know this is a challenge when those Doritos are sitting five feet away from you all day long. However, periodically creating boundaries with your diet (especially alcohol consumption😅) and news intake will work wonders for you. Instead, stock up on protein-rich snacks that keep you fuller longer, and disconnect from electronics for a while.

Try Cupping at Home

Our favorite piece of guidance came from VIE Healing owner and Chinese medicine practitioner Mona Dan. For increased blood flow and a boost in immunity and chest health, try at-home cupping. VIE Healing offers a guide on this via their website and is also offering TeleMedicine sessions. They’re designed to help you build your own customized wellness kit at home that you’ll receive in the mail.

Practice Breathwork When You Experience Peak Anxiety

Our emotions are bound to get the best of us during these trying times, but when you feel your angst come to a head, Kwong suggests the 4-7-8 technique. Put your tongue behind your teeth in your upper mouth. breathe in for four seconds. hold it for seven seconds and breath out for eight seconds. Do this until your heartbeat slows and you feel more at ease.

Food Featured

I Completed Whole 30 (and Lived to Tell About It)—Here’s Everything You Need to Know

November 7, 2018

(via Pixabay)

Much like our home electronics, sometimes our body is in need of pressing the reset button.

This was the first year in the last six that I didn’t do “Sober March,” my annual designated month of sobriety. By completing “SM,” I’m not only abstaining from alcohol, but am therefore way more mindful of my eating habits, too. It’s a nice way to break things up during the year. Despite not following through with my usual plan, I had no intentions of doing a replacement month. But by the time July rolled around, I noticed my overindulgence across the board was getting the best of me.

Rarely in my life have I had a significantly positive relationship with food, and here I was finding myself back in the place of dread. Come early August, I knew I needed to change things. I knew I needed a break from eating crap, consuming alcohol and going out a lot. Not only that, but with fall approaching, I really wanted a clear head. I wanted to feel good, and I knew I wasn’t doing things to get me to that place.

So there it was. I decided I was going to embark on Whole 30—and there was no way I was cheating. I’m funny like that. Pretty extreme. Like I’m either all in or all out. In addition to no alcohol for 30 days, Whole 30 also requires the elimination of dairy, gluten, soy, chickpeas, peanut products, artificial sugar, added sugar, baking and more. We’re required to read every single label. Like you can’t even have a dash of soy sauce.

Believe it or not, I found every single part of the process enjoyable. In fact, I’m getting a little sentimental writing this. While it was nice to finally be a little more social again, the feeling I had on the program was unlike any other, and I look forward to taking on the experience again.

Are you considering the program? Or are you simply just curious about my experience? Keep reading for eight things you need to know about Whole 30—from someone who completed it and lived to tell. And for a bunch of the recipes I made on the plan, check out my Whole 30 Pinterest board!

1. It’s a Lot of Commitment

While posting all of my recipes on Insta Story, I had several friends become inspired and eager to give the program a try. Well, none of the ones I talked to made it past a week. And quite frankly, I get it. I made it through because I’d been mentally preparing myself for a month leading up to it. It’s not something you decide to do on a whim. It also requires cooking most of your meals from scratch. For people who have around-the-clock jobs and/or kids or roommates/partners, it’s not ideal. I’m single, I live alone and I am gratefully done with work once I leave the office. Therefore, I had time to mosey on over to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods after work and get down and dirty in the kitchen each night. It was a lot of fun for me, but I can see it being too time-consuming and restricting for the average person.

2. It’s Not Cheap

While you’re definitely saving money by not drinking and going out to eat, being on the plan requires you to cook most of your meals from scratch, and with not just any old ingredients. So I was definitely grocery shopping more frequently and buying the cleanest of items. While you can get a lot of Whole 30 staples at Trader Joe’s (coconut products, cauliflower and chicken were my main go-tos), there’s some stuff that can only be purchased at Whole Foods ($$$).

3. If You Follow the Plan Correctly, You’ll Have Skyrocket Energy

No joke, every single day of Whole 30, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. It was wild how my body was up and at ’em. I couldn’t fall back asleep if I tried. I usually did a full face of makeup and felt pretty good about my outfit choices before heading off to work. My level of confidence and excitement while on the program was unlike any other. My head was so clear. The glass was consistently half full. It felt really good. And it lasted all throughout the day. I do miss that empowering feeling around the clock.

via Pixabay

4. The Second You End the Plan, Your Energy Dissipates

It’s pretty crazy that as quickly as your body suddenly develops energy on the plan is as quickly as it can fade. Even just one day off the program (I think I ate a light dressing that had a dash of sweetener in it), I was back to wanting to sleep in.

5. Moving on to Paleo Is the Most Sensible Post-Program Transition

You don’t plan on doing Whole 30 longer than 30 days, and you don’t want to dive right back in to bad habits, so what do you do? Paleo (at least for as long as you can maintain it) is the most sensible option. It was crazy because I was invited to a tasting at Harriet’s in West Hollywood a couple days after I finished the program. While I knew I couldn’t dive back into eating and drinking anything in sight, I did think that a sip here and a nibble there would be ok. Whoa, I was wrong. The food was absolutely delicious (no complaints there!), but my body wasn’t used to eating the dairy, sugar and wheat that I was served, and I could definitely feel it. Since that day, I’ve stuck primarily to a Paleo plan.

6. Whole 30 Isn’t Made to Be Sustainable Longer Than 30 Days

I totally thought I’d maintain Whole 30 longer than 30 days, but really, with how strict it is, the creator of the program does not expect people to extend that time. As I mentioned, it requires reading literally every single label, and for the most part, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you can’t have the product. While I absolutely plan to do Whole 30 again, right now Paleo feels right.

7. You Learn So Much About Food and Cooking

I’ve never cooked so much/eaten so healthy in my entire life. Getting my hands dirty in the kitchen and playing with spices and detailed recipes was so much fun for me. Obviously I love food, so getting a chance to put together delicious dishes that were actually good for me was so rewarding. Like you’d seriously be surprised with how creative you can get. It was so cool. Pinterest was my best friend. I kept all of my recipes and I still plan to make them. Obviously some things turned out better than others, but overall, I was proud of my concoctions.

8. Weight Doesn’t Just Melt Off

Like most people, I thought I’d be like three dress sizes lighter once I completed the plan. Welp, not so! I mean, granted I looked a lot less bloated, which makes sense considering I wasn’t drinking or eating bloat-inducing food. But I’d be lying if I said my clothes fit me a lot differently. I probably lost 5-7 pounds overall. I also didn’t work out as much as I could have (I know, I know), so I think I could have had a different outcome had I done so. That said, I felt really good in my skin during the experience, so a ton of weight loss or not, I was in my most confident state.

Lifestyle

I Used CBD for a Month to Help Me Sleep—Here Are 5 Things You NEED to Know

August 16, 2018

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If you live in L.A. and you’ve left the house in the last three months, there’s no chance you haven’t seen a CBD billboard, CBD products filling up the shelves at all your favorite natural goods stores, and the topic of this of-the-moment product becoming regular discussion among your peers, on radio stations and online.

Sure, hemp-derived CBD (aka Cannabidiol) has been around for decades, but its widestream popularity only took off recently. Legalization of stores like MedMen have definitely been key in introducing the world to this phenomenon, which is said to aid in sleep, anxiety, multiple sclerosis pain and epilepsy.

As someone who generally steers clear from marijuana products (they give me terrible anxiety), I didn’t take an initial interest in CBD, nor did I really understand what it does. It wasn’t until June, when I attended the Bloom Summit wellness expo in Beverly Hills, that I was exposed to CBD products firstand. My extravagant gift bag, worth well over $500, happened to include several products from Plus CBD Oil: drops, capsules and extra strength balm. I didn’t think too much about it, until one day I decided to slather some of the balm onto my body after chatting with a pal who said it helps you sleep.What followed was a month of using the products, mixed in with some use of Botanika CBD + Melatonin sleep spray.

Before you start using CBD products to help you catch some Zzzs, here’s everything you need to know, based on my experience:

1. Not Every CBD Product Works the Same

When I started using the balm at night, I also started taking the morning capsules. After about a month of use, the capsules didn’t make me feel any different. I didn’t feel any less stressed, but I also didn’t feel tired. I felt exactly the same from what I could tell. The balm and spray, on the other hand, put me to bed. I still have yet to try the under-the-tongue tincture drops. But I’ve spoken to other people who said the capsules knocked them out. I think it really is a case-by-case (and brand by brand) basis, so before you purchase or try any CBD product, properly consult with an expert or salesperson (seriously, because you never know!).

2. The Sleep Products Will Knock You Out Cold

In the middle of a movie that you really want to finish? Don’t apply CBD balm or sleep spray until approximately five minutes before you’re ready to get to bed. The products are intense, and once you’re about to doze off, you’re in it to win it. Also, I don’t advise using the extra strength balm for short-term sleep. So, if you have time in between coming home from work and nighttime plans, this is not the occasion to use it. The extra strength balm, in particular, will give you a very deep sleep (which is great), but you need to make sure you have your timing figured out. I’ve been using the balm or spray on weeknights before I go to bed and I’m getting much more sleep than I would have otherwise. I normally have to wake up to use the restroom in the middle of the night, and I find this has prevented me from having to get up as much. And I usually feel refreshed by the time morning rolls around.

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3. Your Dreams Will Be Very Vivid (and Likely Strange—Possibly Disturbing)

Melatonin in general is known to cause very strange dreams, so whenever I use anything that includes it, I kind of know what I’m signing up for. That said, I don’t exactly have the best dreams to begin with, so when I use melatonin or CBD products (which produce greater Rapid Eye Movement), I dream more frequently and more vividly. I’m going to be honest: Most of the time I use these products, my dreams involve death or murder (fun times!). Now, I can’t speak for everyone. I don’t know what your dreams are like (though I have spoken with others who have had bizarre dreams from this). I just know that mine are super intense when I use these products and I always remember them in the morning. It’s weird and a little disturbing, but I get through it. It doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m still getting some decent hours of legitimate sleep.

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4. No, CBD Does Not Make You Feel High

One of the biggest reasons people have their doubts about giving CBD products a try is their fear of being affected by THC—the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. There’s no THC in CBD, which is what makes it its own entity. If I were to get high off these products, I would not be using them.

5. These Products Are Expensive

CBD in any form is no cheap purchase. They must be high quality, because no matter where you go, you’re bound to find them all in the $50-$100 range, depending on the specific item. Balms and tinctures tend to be most costly. It’s only been a month and I’m already out of my balm. The Botakina sprays contain 240 spritzes per tube, with eight suggested sprays per use.

Lifestyle

5 All-Natural Supplements That’ll Get You Through a Hard-Partying Summer

July 5, 2018

With so many pool parties, boat trips and food and booze-fueled getaways galore, how are you really supposed to keep your mind and body in check?

Fear not, because we’re here to break down five different all-natural supplements that’ll get you through a hard-partying summer! Find out what they are below:

Photo credit: Pexels

1. 5-HTP ($14.95)

Ah, the age-old 5-HTP supplement. In case you’ve been living under a rock, this powerful white-powdered capsule is a must for anyone who intends to “let loose,” so-to-speak. 5-HTP is a drug-free, plant-derived source of an amino acid that naturally increases the body’s level of serotonin—the chemical messenger that affects emotions, behavior, appetite, thought and sleep. Magic in a pill!

Instagram / @importadosdajackieemerick/

2. HUM Nutrition’s Wing Man ($25)

Cleverly coined “Wing Man,” HUM Nutrition’s post-party pill will clean out your body’s alcohol-induced toxins, thanks to the help of unique ingredients silymarin (from milk thistle), dandelion root and artichoke leaf. This supplement preps the liver for a “full-on detox,” as described on the bottle. Added bonus? It helps kick those dark under-eye circles to the curb, too!

Instagram / @humnutrition

3. DrinkAde ($24.99)

With red, white and blue as their branded colors, and a trademarked tagline that says “The Official Drink Before You Drink,” it’s very clear the intention of this product. DrinkAde, formerly known as Never Too Hungover, comes in two parts: a limeade-flavored prevention pre-drink, and a berry-flavored prevention or post-party recovery drink. Each liquid supplement is packed with B vitamins, aloe vera, milk thistle and green tea extract, among other all-natural ingredients.

Instagram / @drinkadeofficial

4. Smooth Move ($5.29)

We work hard to achieve those summer bods, only to eat and drink everything in sight once the season finally arrives. If you feel like you’ve overdone it on a particular outing or two, rest assured, Smooth Move’s fennel, coriander and ginger-infused tea has got ya covered. With the intention to “relieve occasional constipation,” this is actually the very tea recommended for people while they do juice cleanses. You whip up a hot cup before bed, and let the magic happen first thing in the morning. It’s not at all as bad as it may seem, but you’ll definitely feel lighter and less toxified (is that even a word?) once the process is complete!

Instagram / @tradmedicinals

5. Genexa ($16.99)

Late, party-fueled nights = stressful, anxiety-ridden days—and Genexa’s all-natural, chewable, Stress Relief tablets help ease irritability and tension, inability to concentrate and sleeplessness and fatigue. They’re non-habit-forming and they’re not overpowering, so they should help you feel just right.

Instagram / @lparilla

Lifestyle Featured

5 Ways to Improve the Work Day That Have Nothing to Do with Your Job

September 29, 2016

Angelenos are blessed with good weather and an endless agenda of fun things to do.

But, we also have to deal with the delights (ha!) of impossible parking, around-the-clock traffic, entitled people who think they’re famous and so on and so on.

That said, it’s easy to get caught up in the crazy energy that is Los Angeles, and sometimes even the slightest annoyance can send our day into a frenzy—and that’s not even considering what stems from our actual job!

After much thought over the years, I’ve learned how to put a positive spin on my day from beginning to end. That is, if I’m willing to put in the effort (ie. sacrificing a few extra Zzzs). Positive energy doesn’t just come with the snap of a finger—but again, if you take the time to follow these easy steps, you can have a grade-A work day that has nothing to do with your actual job.

day-improvement

See what I mean below!

1. Put Effort Into Your Appearance

This is in no way meant to sound shallow—the truth of the matter is, when we do our hair, throw on a little makeup (if that’s our thing) and dress ourselves in an ensemble we adore, we feel entirely different throughout the day. Who doesn’t love walking out of the house feeling fresh, and into the office to the sound of compliments?

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2. COFFEE!!!!

This may seem like a given, because, duh, who doesn’t love coffee? But aside from the AM energy boost that it provides, along with that calming, close-to-home aroma, use coffee as an excuse to have some public interaction prior to hitting the computer, phone and whatever else you’ll need to use at work. This tip is especially recommended if you follow No. 1 on this list. Looking your best, leave your place a few minutes early and jet on over to the nearest coffee shop with the most fun early-morning crowd. There’s nothing like an 8:00 a.m. people-watching sesh to get your day going. And that caffeine kick to top it off? Sounds like the perfect starter to me!

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3. Take a Desirable Route to and from the Workplace

This one can easily be overlooked, but it’s proved to be a game-changer for me. Most of the office jobs I’ve held have been quite the commute from my quaint West Hollywood digs, and it’s taken a great deal of energy out of me over time. My latest full-time job is based approximately 80 minutes away (depending on traffic) and when I first started working there, it (aka good ol’ Waze) took me on a disastrous journey through the grimiest parts of some of my least favorite areas of L.A. I found that I’d come home feeling worn out, energy zapped. Not good. So after much trial and error, I finally navigated my way through a dream route. Don’t get me wrong, I still get massive traffic, and the distance has made it so there’s no such thing as “happy hour” in my schedule, but at least my drive is slightly (well, greatly) more scenic. In fact, it’s also cut out 10-20 minutes out of the commute. So I’d say the new drive is a win all around. Bottom line: Don’t let Waze determine your level of happiness! Don’t do it!

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4.  Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to Each Day

I don’t know about you, but even the slightest things can bring me joy. Whether it’s the release of a favorite artist’s new album, a fun open bar event, a home-cooked dinner from a friend, a cool interview I’m conducting for work, or—best of all—a rainy forecast, I always try to give myself something somewhat exciting to anticipate at some point during the day. It definitely helps me tackle some of the otherwise tedious tasks that come my way.

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5. Do Something Productive Outside of Your Job Duties

We always feel a sense of relief when we’ve completed a lengthy work project or made it through a meeting we’ve been dreading, but there’s such a sense of fulfillment that comes from doing something productive outside of the direct workplace. For instance, completing this blog post when I technically don’t have to, makes me feel like I’ve done something positive for the day. These can be minor things, they can be bigger things. Sometimes I give myself a pat on the back just for making a doctor or dentist appointment that I’ve been putting off for months (sometimes years—shh…). We’re always in need of a good room-cleaning, a trip to the grocery store, a call to a close, but distant relative, and the list goes on. Obviously starting or ending your day with a workout (regardless of the intensity) is the best way to go. But waking up super early can be rough, and sometimes all we want to do after the office is collapse on top of our comforter. So, yeah, it’s not always possible, but either way, taking care of something you’ve been putting off will enhance your day tremendously!

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