Every morning, I drink a smoothie. Plastic straws are a NO-GO due to environmental reasons, and paper straws become so soggy. I ordered metal straws a couple years ago thinking that they were the way to go. They’re reusable, which is what I was looking for.
But then my dentist found out that I was using metal straws every morning and told me to STOP. Why? Because metal can chip your teeth and can lead to metal toxicity.
And then I found glass straws (insert hallelujah music).
At first I was scared that glass straws would be too fragile, especially when it came to washing. But they are so sturdy. And digging deeper into how they serve as a vessel vs. stainless steel, I learned that the resistance of the glass to erosion from acidity from foods is so much higher than with metal straws…this is how stainless steel is prone to heavy metal problems.
The icing on the cake is that since glass straws are clear, you can be sure that they are clean.
Confession: Sometimes I lie and say that I forgot to put on deodorant, but in truth, I just hate it. Specifically the conventional, unhealthy kind.
I just can’t get down with putting those chemicals on my pits.
I have blogged about deodorants before, and I found some that did work. But that wasn’t enough. I’m always testing, always trying new things. I went back to unhealthy deodorant for a long time (shameful) because nothing was rocking my world. I needed something PERFECT, natural, with no BS ingredients.
The entire time I was using these “bad” deodorants in between, I was fully aware that they pose potential health problems such as: breast cancer, Alzheimers, hormone disruption, among others. Some studies say that the aluminum used in “bad” deodorants is not harmful, however I’d like to play it safe, thank you very much.
Here’s the problem with so many alternatives available: they are less reliable and many times, very weak.
Conventional antiperspirants work by reacting with sweat to create a temporary plug in your sweat glands; conventional deodorants work by killing the bacteria that live on skin (the bacteria break the fats and proteins present in sweat down into b.o., essentially) with compounds like triclosan.
That said, plugging sweat glands and depositing elements like fragrance, aluminum, and powerful synthetic antibacterial agents right where so many of the body’s lymph glands, critical to the body’s immune system, seems foolhardy to many. “I don’t want to use anything with aluminum because it mimics estrogen and I’m already estrogen dominant,” says Jena Covello, founder of Agent Nateur. “Western medicine is hesitant to say that aluminum causes breast cancer, but this toxic heavy metal is found in breast cancer tumors.”
Back to the story. A few weeks ago, I discovered Kopari’s Deo (that is what it’s called) and I fell in LOVE. Love at first smell. I love everything coconut oil, and Kopari is best known for their coconut oil based products. This deodorant smells just like coconut milk yet it’s very fresh smelling. I did some reading on the ingredients, read some reviews, and then I tested. I tested after running 4 miles on the treadmill, I tested during blistering hot bay area summer days, I tested when I was sitting at home doing work.
The result? NO B.O. I was shocked.
The magic of Kopari Deo is its perfectly calibrated blend of ingredients: coconut oil, plant derived Triethyl Citrate, Sage Oil, and coconut water. These ingredients provide odor protection while simultaneously warding off the bacteria that causes it in the first place. Did you know that coconut oil is antibacterial? Extra WIN.
The icing on the cake? The deodorant is clear, so no white stains on your clothes.
Today’s post is brought to you by a recent funk that I had been in, and I was desperate to snap out of it ASAP. I’m sure you’ve had days like this, yeah? Sometimes it happens for what seems like no reason.
I want to share all of the things that I do to snap out of it quickly. Before I get into it, I’m not implying that I am a professional when it comes to therapy or counseling. I don’t have it all together, but these are methods that really help.
CONFIDENCE. It is the single most important embodiment to own because it makes all the difference in how you feel and what amazing things may come your way…when you attract them. When you have confidence, it radiates.
Yes, it can be hard in 2018 with social media – comparison sucks. But the key here is to DO YOU. There is only one you…let it shine and own it.
It has taken me almost 31 years to feel confident and comfortable in my own skin. Of course I am not all the way THERE, but man have I made progress. Here are five tips/techniques that have served me well in the confidence department…
1. Change your mindset/think positive
This one is so simple yet makes such a huge difference when put into practice. Here’s what has worked very well for me: replace one negative thought with three positive thoughts. Taking part in this practice has massively changed my outlook on everything. Even the bad things in life come with positives, and I love to look at life this way.
I think of this replacement technique as designing my thoughts and future. There is no place for constant negativity.
2. Stop comparing yourself and focus on YOU
Who cares what other people are doing/if someone has a larger social media following than you/is thinner than you…the list goes on. Jealousy does no favors. Take the time to acknowledge these comparisons and how you feel, and then move on and focus on your goals, dreams, and ambitions.
3. Face your fears
Fear can threaten your physical self and our ability to regulate emotions because fear usually means that we do not feel in control…AKA not a good place to be.
It’s clear then how damaging the influence of fear can be, therefore it’s all the more important to realize that you can never truly run from your fears. You can keep running, or you can face your fears and then CONQUER them.
Ladies, this one has been very hard for me, but I practice all the time and I do it in small doses. I had always been that person to push things to the corner, or say “I’ll deal with this later”, but that did not serve me at all. Here is what I have done with every single fear that comes up for me:
+ Identify the fear: This is where you’ll work on the uncomfortable truth. Accept it, it is what it is. Once you accept it, this fear becomes a lot smaller just by beating the mental game.
+ Visualize overcoming that fear: What will it look like once you overcome your fear? How will you feel? Be as specific as possible when visualizing this.
+ Take action: Stay calm and GO! Tackle your fear with a to-do list/plan of action. By conquering your fears and getting extremely uncomfortable, you will feel so empowered. Trust me.
4. Spend time alone and talk to yourself
Getting to know yourself is SO FUN. I love spending time alone, whether it’s going to the gym on my own, running errands, or just staying at home and reading a good book really is the best. It is so important to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself. We cannot always rely on others, we have to be able to pick ourselves up, give yourselves that pep talk, pat ourselves on the back, and reassure ourselves.
And yes, I talk to myself. Try checking in with yourself at least once daily and ask yourself how you feel. Is something bugging you? Are you excited about something? Pause and ask yourself how you feel, and allow yourself to think through your options if a decision needs to be made – a decision that you can feel confident about. Also, trust your gut. 99% of the time, it is right.
5. Dress up for YOU
There’s no denying that slipping on something like a simple and gorgeous LBD gives us that extra pep in our step. Or that wearing a chic blazer during a big meeting helps you own a room. Clothing, accessories, and makeup all play a huge role in confidence. When you look good, you FEEL good.
Speaking of clothes, this jumpsuit is just perfect for owning your confidence. Not only is it RED, but it’s also so flirty & chic. Love how comfortable it is too.
The foam roller is my BFF at the gym. We’re so inseparable that I bring mine with me every time I go to the gym, and look forward to rolling after every workout.
It started with the foam rollers provided at the gym – you’ve probably seen them if you belong to a gym. They’re a cylinder shape. As with most things in life, I wanted to take it up a notch and I ordered this roller with notches on it.
Why do I use it? It releases pain, for starters. It’s a therapeutic tool that is just so important, especially if you are active.
What does it feel like? When you use a foam roller, you use your own body weight against the roller and target specific areas. It feels like a deep tissue massage. Amazing, right? I like to roll my whole body (legs, back, neck, shoulders), however I am usually sore on my mid-low back. I lay on the foam roller on this area for a good 30 seconds at a time to really let the muscle release/relax. It HURTS in a good way. It really helps if you use your breath to manage any pain while rolling.
Let’s dive deeper into the pain relief, AKA Myofascial release. Myofascial relief describes what happens when you apply pressure to the affected areas to eliminate adhesions and release tension, ultimately improving movement and restoring the body back to its natural state. You might wonder what myofascial release means. Fascia is sort of like plastic wrap that covers pretty much every part of your body, comprised of collagen fibers that surrounds and penetrates your muscles, organs and nerves. Fascia essentially holds us together. Of course, sometimes holding everything together can take its toll on your body. It’s no different for our fascia. Through overtraining, it can become sore and restricted. Because of little tears that sometimes don’t heal properly, adhesions develop. If the connective tissue surrounding your muscle becomes restricted, you’ll notice your muscles will also become restricted in their movement. – Source
Not only does foam rolling help with pain relief, they can also help for reducing cellulite. Can we get an amen?! Kayla Istenses talks about this more on her blog: “Improved blood flow can also help with the removal of toxins from your muscles, meaning that foam rolling may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.”
More benefits of using a foam roller include:
♡Improved flexibility and increased joint range of motion
For years, stretching was the standard method to decrease muscle tightness and improve flexibility prior to either working out or performing a sport. Newer research, however, shows foam roller exercises before an activity can lead to an increase in flexibility.
♡ Improved circulation
Because blood carries oxygen throughout the body, good circulation becomes crucial to overall health. Among other reasons, a decrease in our circulation can lead to a whole host of problems like numbness in our limbs, impaired cognitive ability (the ability to think clearly!) and a weak immune system. Myofascial release can help improve circulation by breaking up the tight areas where blood flow may become restricted.
Foam roller exercises can help reduce stress post-workout. One study found myofascial release can lower cortisol, your stress hormone that you want to seriously dial down after a strenuous workout. I’m ALL about this one as I am learning a lot about cortisol and how it affects the body.
♡Reduce exercise-related soreness
Whether you are an experienced athlete or a weekend warrior, you’ve probably experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Research finds foam rolling can substantially reduce the chances of that soreness creeping in so that you don’t spend the day after your first cycling class stuck on the couch wondering why your legs hate you so much.
♡ Prevent injury
Treating an injury becomes much easier when you avoid it in the first place. Oftentimes a consistent routine of proper stretching techniques combined with foam roller exercises can prevent many injuries associated with tightness and overuse.