All posts tagged: health

Use This Not That: Sunscreen Swaps

Summer is officially here, and according to my Siri, it’s going to be a million degrees with a UV ray index of off the charts. This is what happens when you don’t recycle, people! Mama Earth gets angry at us all and then gets hotter than Hades! All that aside, I’m a delicate little flower when it comes to the sun. My skin is so white, I glow in the dark like a ghost. I really do; true story. I could effortlessly play a Walker on The Walking Dead, especially if I didn’t get any coffee when I woke up.  I’ve never been into tanning (read: the sun and I are genetically incompatible). It takes a lot to keep this Walker skin ridiculously young-ish and protected from the sun’s death rays, so I used to pile on the sunscreen. Then I found out most sunscreens might cause as much damage as sun exposure. I can’t even.  The reason sunscreens are harmful is because most are laden with toxic chemicals. These chemicals get directly applied and then …

Ditch the Sugar, Lose the Weight

  Pour some sugar on me… But not on my food. No way, no ma’am, no thank you. I not-so-secretly adore sugary things. Actually, I love salty foods. Fatty foods. Fried foods. If it is dyed an obnoxious color, I’ll probably like that too. (Those chewy Swedish fish make my day. Some part of my brain knows it’s not a real food, that fish are neither chewy nor bright red nor sweet, but I become 100% committed to devouring the entire box the second they’re in my hands.) I use so much salt on my food, it looks like a literal snow blizzard has descended upon my plate. But out of all my vices, I think my sweet tooth is the worst. Scratch that, it’s not a sweet tooth, but teeth. Like, a mouth full of ’em. I’m pretty sure my body is out to get me. When science is finally confessing sugar is silently killing us and likens it to a hyper addictive drug, what’s a girl to do? Find ways to cut sugar out …

Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics (and how to take them)

Happy New Year! Praise baby Jesus, 2016 is over. …Damn, 2016. You were vicious! Don’t even get me started on all the celebrities we lost, because we lost our humanity for a hot minute and I think that’s a bigger deal. It was like a poop cloud of negativity hung over the entire year in the form of politics, social media, and the news (ok, and celebrity deaths). Most of the time, I felt like I was a very reluctant extra in a HORRIBLE episode of North & South. On a personal level, it was actually a good year for me and my husband. DESPITE the presidential debates, we can’t complain (#DodgedThe2016Bullet), but man, our hearts have been breaking for so many dear friends and even strangers who are hurting from last year. Here’s all I have to say about the Wretchedness Which Was 2016: whatever  personal opinions and views we value, let’s make sure we value people as well. I hope 2017 is marked by our kindness and desire to unite with one another instead …

How to Weekend + Travel Proof Your Health Game

Current situation: living across the pond in London proper for most of the month of September. Health game: Staying mooooostly on point, despite the massive attack (musical pun for you fellow fans out there!) on clean eating by way of incredible dining and wining in one of my favorite cities.  Let’s face it, weekends and vacations do a number on our health, and it can be incredibly difficult to reel ourselves back to reality. Many people, myself included, can testify that the “occasional indulgence” or exception accidentally become the norm. It’s so much harder to get back on track than to stay mostly consistent with our lifestyle. I’m speaking from personal experience of course; in all honesty my will power waffles and wavers entirely for a fancy pants meal, bottomless brunching, and/or an amazing bottle of wine. What’s a girl to do? Never dine out? Skip traveling? Forget it! That sounds like zero amounts of fun. I have major wanderlust and frequently travel both nationally and internationally. When I’m home, I’m fortunate to have a lovely network of friends …

Surprising Foods That Sabotage Your Weight Goals

We can run a million miles a day, do cross fit like an original Spartan soldier, and compete in the Olympics, but if we don’t recognize that about 80% of our fitness success starts in the kitchen, it will be almost impossible to reach our goals. Not only do our food choices contribute to our weight goals, but they make us healthy on from the inside-out. Think of how many skinny-minny people you know with limp hair, dull skin, and lack luster energy levels. Skinny does not equal healthy or strong, and I cannot emphasize that enough. Likewise, being addicted to working out is just as unhealthy as extreme portion control. In fact, relentless working is incredibly harmful for your body, causing adrenal fatigue and even injury. A lack of balance in our eating or workout routine is a symptom of poor mental health. Remember, health isn’t just physical. It’s very much a mental thing. Some of the unhealthiest, unhappiest people I know have gym bodies to die for, but I wouldn’t want to spend …

Morning Habits for Weight Loss

In the words of Anne of Green Gables, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” This little saying holds true for our eating habits as well, and research proves mornings are literally a blank slate to our digestive system. How we start our day calibrates our metabolism and can either aid in our health efforts, or wildly sabotage our goals. The start of our day holds another little trick up its sleeve: it can be a powerful detox session for our body if we play our cards right. It’s not news that a detoxed body= a body primed to lose weight/be a fitness beast. The great news is that we can get the most out of our morning with just a few simple habits.  I hate early mornings with an intensity that borderlines on out of control. I personally, require minimal thinking, breathing, doing, and moving in the AM, so the less complicated, the better. Let us have morning success, and let it be effortless, ammirite? I’ve found these little habits make a …

DIY Glowing Skin Face Mask

THERE ARE ENDLESS BENEFITS TO LIVING A NATURAL LIFESTYLE, but one of the best perks is that when it comes to beauty, it’s a much more frugal option than mainstream counterparts and you know exactly what’s going on your skin. I repeat: you know exactly what chemicals are NOT going on your skin and therefore into your body. The skin is an organ, but we kinda forget this and the fact that it will indeed absorb whatever we slather on it. My skin routine is 100% natural, and ironically, when I switched to natural products, my skin looked so much better than when I was keeping up an expensive face routine. Not only does my health thank me for this, but so does my piggy-bank. You know, if I had one. Which, I guess Chase Bank counts, right? Remember, more expensive isn’t usually most effective. Some of my girlfriends spend a crazy amount of money on teeny tiny face product and treatments at various spas and such. It’s not necessarily to maintain gorgeous, youthful skin. …

Pro-body, Pro-Mind, Pro-health: Probiotics

Researchers and scientists alike agree that we’ve ignored how essential gut health is to our overall health. And guess what our Standard American Diet (SAD) hits the hardest? Our intestines. GMO’s, processed and refined foods strip down the gut of good bacteria, creating an inflammatory reaction that has produced an epidemic of Crohn’s disease, Celiac, and other inflammatory problems as well as causing weight gain. Many of the food inventions of our brave new world are horrible for our bodies. Modern medicine is just too damn smart for its own good, or for our good that is. With all of our wonderful advances through pills, science, and surgeries, we completely ignore holistic health guidelines that have been around for thousands and thousands of years. We seem to think the body incapable of healing itself without the aid of Western medicine. While I don’t think it’s advisable to wholly use natural health alternatives, I think it’s wise to learn what we can and implement simple and yet powerfully effective measures. Remember, just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean …

Yoga Injuries: Now What?

When you end up with a yoga related injury, it’s a little…disillusioning to say the least. But the truth is, it’s not yoga. It’s the way yoga is being practiced. Pain is the body’s way of telling us we’re not properly aligned. Yoga does exactly what it’s supposed to: teach us where our bodies need to heal and how to heal. The key is to just listen.  Yoga is therapeutic. It’s known for it’s almost magical healing properties. It’s basically like the fountain of youth. So when you end up with a yoga related injury, it’s a little…disillusioning to say the least. It’s like finding out Santa doesn’t exist and Rudolph doesn’t even have a red nose all in one day. I mean, it’s actually just a bit offensive. You’re supposed to heal me, yoga! Not hurt me! How dare you! But the truth is, it’s not yoga. It’s the way yoga is being practiced. Pain is the body’s way of telling us we’re not properly aligned. Yoga does exactly what it’s supposed to: teach …

Review of the Dharma Wheel

Yoga falls into that rare exercise category of “no equipment needed.” Other than a mat, all that’s needed is you, yourself, and your open heart. Maybe it’s our complex day to day lives that push us towards making everything more complicated than it needs to be, but sometimes yoga just seems…too simple. Surely I need more gadgets, gizmos a plenty, and at bare minimum some whozits and whatzits galore. (AND YES. I so just referenced The Little Mermaid, thank you fellow nerds and red haired children alike for knowing that.) Back to the point at hand: yoga. I find myself looking for ways to “add on” to my yoga practice. Aren’t there props that I need? Shouldn’t I be investing in more training apps that I may or may not use? I really will do a handstand better if I buy super expensive pants…right? Part of me still feels disbelief at how simple yoga is, and yet how transfiguring it’s proven to be for millions of people, including myself. Now, when I see the random belles …