Grow Your Glow, Part 2: Digestion

Grow Your Glow, Part 2: Digestion

In this 4-part series you’ll learn to amp up your baseline glow, taking your skin to the next level of healthy and gorgeous…

Your gorgeous glow: you know it’s there, but there are some days (weeks even…) when it feels like it’s playing hard to get. A stressful time, a few too many indulgences, a stretch of weather that leaves you feeling blah — these routine life situations influence the way your skin behaves, and in turn what you see in the mirror.

If you missed week 1 on nutrition that will grow your glow, check it out here. This week, we look beyond your meals into the way your body receives food.

Digest to Grow Your Glow

It’s simply not enough to eat for your beauty — if you’re serious about skin glow, you also need to support your body in digesting your food well. The population of bacteria residing in your digestive system (which outnumbers your cells 10 to 1!) has major influence over how well you can utilize the beautifying nutrients in your diet. Cultivating a healthy balance of bacteria in your digestive system is step number one toward great digestion; adding a probiotic supplement and fermented foods to your daily diet will help you do that. But there’s even more that you can do to make sure mealtime — and its after-effects — run smoothly.

First, get in the habit of sipping water about 15 minutes before you begin a meal. If you’re at a restaurant, this could simply mean drinking the water on your table while you peruse the menu. But elsewhere it could require a bit more planning and thought before diving in with your fork. A pre-meal drink of water hydrates your digestive tract and prepares your body for food, improving your assimilation without diluting the digestive acids in your stomach that work hard while you’re eating.

Next, adopt a relaxed mealtime mindset and aim to be present at mealtime. No one sets out to eat a meal under stress, but it happens often — most often as a result of multitasking at mealtime. Shut off the TV, put your phone across the room, and savor your food, alone or with company you enjoy. Take a few deep breaths before you eat, or say a mealtime mantra, like those found in Eat Pretty Every Day. Besides loving your food more (and preventing overeating), this practice gives your body the chance to enter a parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ state where it can devote the proper energy and resources to fully breaking down each bite you take.

Ready to feel and see greater glow? Incorporate these two powerful strategies into your diet, and you’ll be amazed at their glow-boosting effects. Check back next week for two more key ways to grow your glow!

BIO:

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.

Free People Blog

Grow Your Glow, Part 1: Nutrition

Grow Your Glow, Part 1: Nutrition

Beauty and health coach Jolene Hart is back to share with you her tips on aligning your diet with the change in season…

Your gorgeous glow: you know it’s there, but there are some days — weeks, even — when it feels like it’s playing hard to get. A stressful time, a few too many indulgences, a stretch of weather that leaves you feeling blah — these routine life situations influence the way your skin behaves, and in turn what you see in the mirror.

In this 4-part series I’ll teach you how to take your baseline glow and amp it up, taking your skin and your glow to the next level of healthy and gorgeous. We’ll start with nutrition (kind of the foundation for everything glow-y, in my book), and spend some time looking closely at digestion, energy and hormone balance. I promise to leave you smarter and better-prepped to grow your glow, in good times and lackluster times, too.

Nutrition to Grow Your Glow

Eating well is the number one way to put your best skin forward. If you’re still questioning whether or not food matters to your skin, know that it does, in a big way. When I first shifted from my role as magazine beauty editor to that of beauty-focused nutrition coach, my skin had a pretty nice glow, most of the time. I was eating well to support my skin, with plenty of fresh, whole, colorful foods. But over the years I’ve fine-tuned my approach and found that there are even more ways to support your skin not just to be clear, but to be radiant.

First, use more herbs and spices in your cooking. Yes, they’re delicious flavor-enhancers, but there are so many other levels upon which these kitchen staples support your skin. They’re some of the most powerful foods in the world. Their concentrations of antioxidants blow other anti-aging beauty foods like berries and dark chocolate out of the water. Humble cloves, for example, pack 22 times more antioxidants than blueberries! Of course, you’re eating them in much smaller amounts, but be sure not to underestimate their nutritional powers. Herbs and spices also naturally support digestion (the better you digest and assimilate your food, the glowier your skin — stay tuned for next week), and fight off unwanted bacteria and viruses that can compromise your health. I challenge you to find new ways to spice up your smoothies, stir-frys, soups, dressings, and whatever else you’re cooking.

Next, grow your glow by regularly (read: daily) eating foods that specifically support the health of your liver. What’s so important about this organ? Your liver cleanses toxins from the body and supports healthy elimination, an essential for skin that is not only clear, but radiant and thriving. Eat more beets, which cleanse and purify your blood and promote lymph flow (another important mode of waste removal). Eat more cruciferous vegetables (think cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes) which help produce a powerfully liver-detoxifying compound in the body. And drink lemon water with fresh lemons, which help your liver produce helpful enzymes and aid in digestion.

Incorporate these two powerful strategies into your diet, and you’ll make major strides to optimize your skin glow. Check back next week for two more key ways to grow your glow!

BIO:

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.

Free People Blog

Grow Your Glow, Part 1: Nutrition

Grow Your Glow, Part 1: Nutrition

Beauty and health coach Jolene Hart is back to share with you her tips on aligning your diet with the change in season…

Your gorgeous glow: you know it’s there, but there are some days — weeks, even — when it feels like it’s playing hard to get. A stressful time, a few too many indulgences, a stretch of weather that leaves you feeling blah — these routine life situations influence the way your skin behaves, and in turn what you see in the mirror.

In this 4-part series I’ll teach you how to take your baseline glow and amp it up, taking your skin and your glow to the next level of healthy and gorgeous. We’ll start with nutrition (kind of the foundation for everything glow-y, in my book), and spend some time looking closely at digestion, energy and hormone balance. I promise to leave you smarter and better-prepped to grow your glow, in good times and lackluster times, too.

Nutrition to Grow Your Glow

Eating well is the number one way to put your best skin forward. If you’re still questioning whether or not food matters to your skin, know that it does, in a big way. When I first shifted from my role as magazine beauty editor to that of beauty-focused nutrition coach, my skin had a pretty nice glow, most of the time. I was eating well to support my skin, with plenty of fresh, whole, colorful foods. But over the years I’ve fine-tuned my approach and found that there are even more ways to support your skin not just to be clear, but to be radiant.

First, use more herbs and spices in your cooking. Yes, they’re delicious flavor-enhancers, but there are so many other levels upon which these kitchen staples support your skin. They’re some of the most powerful foods in the world. Their concentrations of antioxidants blow other anti-aging beauty foods like berries and dark chocolate out of the water. Humble cloves, for example, pack 22 times more antioxidants than blueberries! Of course, you’re eating them in much smaller amounts, but be sure not to underestimate their nutritional powers. Herbs and spices also naturally support digestion (the better you digest and assimilate your food, the glowier your skin — stay tuned for next week), and fight off unwanted bacteria and viruses that can compromise your health. I challenge you to find new ways to spice up your smoothies, stir-frys, soups, dressings, and whatever else you’re cooking.

Next, grow your glow by regularly (read: daily) eating foods that specifically support the health of your liver. What’s so important about this organ? Your liver cleanses toxins from the body and supports healthy elimination, an essential for skin that is not only clear, but radiant and thriving. Eat more beets, which cleanse and purify your blood and promote lymph flow (another important mode of waste removal). Eat more cruciferous vegetables (think cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes) which help produce a powerfully liver-detoxifying compound in the body. And drink lemon water with fresh lemons, which help your liver produce helpful enzymes and aid in digestion.

Incorporate these two powerful strategies into your diet, and you’ll make major strides to optimize your skin glow. Check back next week for two more key ways to grow your glow!

BIO:

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.

Free People Blog

Four DIY Detox Recipes for ARLO BLAK’s Activated Charcoal Powder

Four DIY Detox Recipes for ARLO BLAK’s Activated Charcoal Powder

This ultrafine powder is like a one-stop-shop for total detox…

Is a shot of pitch-black powder the newest way to supercharge your detox routine? At this point in the wellness game, we’re all pretty familiar with the general benefits of charcoal, the sooty, toxin-attracting particle that has the ability to sweep chemicals and bacteria off their feet — but thanks to a new no-nonsense, back-to-the-basics delivery system, you’re bound to become even more acquainted with the poison-trapping powerhouse.

CHARCOAL IS THE NEW STAPLE:

Meet ARLO BLAK, the Australian-based brand that Alexandra Lawson dreamed up last year whilst looking for an alternative to the chemical-heavy products saturating the beauty market. “In an age of toxin overload, I wanted to create a product that was not only good for me, but also environmentally and vegan-friendly,” says Alexandra of the logic behind ARLO BLAK’s Activated Charcoal Powder, created from burning organic coconut shells in a process that creates the ultra-fine black powder with its famously porous, attractive surface. Fans of the brand like bombshell model Simone Holtznagel are already singing its cruelty-free, 100% natural praises.

THE PURIFYING POSSIBILITIES OF CHARCOAL:

Whether you’re mixing it into a face mask, polishing your teeth with it, or sipping it as a purifying elixir, the name of the game is DETOX. “Activated charcoal acts like a magnet drawing out dirt and oil from your pores, discoloration from your teeth, and toxins from your body,” Alexandra explains of the many uses the brand touts for its packet of unprocessed onyx dust. “Toxins from processed food and environmental pollution can wreak havoc on our bodies, destroying cells, affecting the functioning of our immune system, and contributing to early aging — ARLO BLAK binds toxins to help prevent damage, helping to relieve skin issues, allergies, and digestive problems like gas and bloating.”

 THE SIMPLEST CHARCOAL RECIPES FOR RESULTS:

The odorless, flavorless particles are meant to be mixed, so working them into a regular routine doesn’t require ousting your usual favorites completely, but instead sporadically adding a dose of detoxifying power. “I use it for a number of different health and beauty treatments,” Alexandra shares. “The benefits and uses are endless and I love when customers come up with new treatments.” Below, four of her top recipes for a purified future.

ANTI-BLEACH SMILE BRIGHTENER

Ingredients

Water

Your favorite toothbrush

ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “ARLO BLAK helps to whiten teeth naturally, and get rid of stains by removing plaque and discoloration. Brush with the charcoal 2-3 times per week to kiss expensive chemical treatments goodbye and say hello to perfect pH balance and a big, bright smile!”

Try it in the shower to avoid any spotted mirror problems.

Dip your toothbrush in water and add a layer of ARLO BLAK’s powder.

Brush, brush, brush and rinse well with water.

Follow with your favorite toothpaste to get rid of any excess black residue (and leave a minty finish).

TOTAL POWERCLAY MASK

Ingredients

Water

½ tsp bentonite clay powder

½ tsp ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “My favorite masking ingredient to mix in is bentonite clay. Bentonite clay and activated charcoal are a power couple for removing dirt and impurities from your skin. When bentonite clay is mixed with water it tightens large pores, tones and firms the skin, reduces blemishes, controls oil and exfoliates. Coupling it with activated charcoal results in a super purifying and detoxifying face mask.

Start in the bath, because as your mask starts to dry, it will flake.

Mix half a teaspoon of bentonite clay with half a teaspoon of ARLO BLAK and a bit of water into a paste.

Apply evenly to skin, avoiding eye area.

Lie back and relax until the mixture feels dry to the touch.

Remove with a wet wash cloth and your favorite face cleanser or face wipe.

INKY COCONUT MELT

Ingredients

½ tsp coconut oil

½ tsp ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “Take some time out and treat yourself to an acne-fighting, glowing-face-magic mask as often as 2-3 times per week. Remember, no matter how hard you try to remove your mask with only water, it won’t come off—after all, oil and water don’t mix.”

Mix a half a teaspoon of ARLO BLAK with half a teaspoon of coconut oil.

Apply to skin in a smooth layer, avoiding eyes.

Put your feet up and wait for the mixture to dry.

Remove with a wet wash cloth and your favorite face cleanser or face wipe.

OBSIDIAN ELIXIR

Ingredients

Water

½ organic lemon

1 tsp ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “Get a spring back in your step by using ARLO BLAK as the ultimate detox elixir. Drink 2- 3 times per week to help to remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant.” (Don’t take at the same time as medication or other supplements, and if pregnant or nursing, suffer from irritable stomach issues, nutrient deficiencies or anemia, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. This is not intended as a treatment for accidental poisoning.)

Give yourself 3 hours before or after eating so as not to prevent nutrient absorption from your food.

Stir a teaspoon of ARLO BLAK into a glass of water.

Add a squeeze of lemon for extra detoxifying power and sip at your leisure.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.

+ Keep up with Arden via IG.

Free People Blog

Digital Detox: Getting Back on Social Media

Digital Detox: Getting Back on Social Media

I’m back!! Not that anyone knew I was gone, but still…

This post comes from our blog intern, Faith!

Last week I went on a digital detox. I voluntarily deleted all of my social media accounts, and then documented it for your reading pleasure. This week, I took a trip back to the app store to reacquaint myself with the millennial world and all of its brunch Instagrams and GNO snap stories. You would think I would be really excited about this, yes? Me too! But, oddly enough I had more mixed feelings than a prepubescent girl encountering her first crush holding my finger over the app store button.

It took fifteen minutes of staring and contemplating before I actually hit re-download. I kept having to ask myself: Do I reaaaaalllly need to go back? I decided the answer was yes, and every day since, I have wondered why I couldn’t say no, because somewhere in between the two hours I spent catching up on all of the posts I had missed I thought to myself: help! I am getting sucked back into this sinking hole of social media. 

When I was in sixth grade, my mom refused to let me get a Facebook account, but the rebellious ten-year-old that I was got one anyway. I would secretly make statuses like “GLEE 2NIGHT!!” (which is horrifyingly embarrassing but straying from the point) and when my mom found out she said to me, “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” Maybe you have heard your mother say this to you too? Well, in hour three of my social media spiral I found myself channeling my mother and saying the exact same thing. Why? Because I was unexpectedly so disappointed in myself for not being able to put the phone down. Like, what did I actually just gain from that? I should have spent that time reading a new book, or discovering a new coffee shop, or literally ANYTHING ELSE.

So unlike my post last week in which I explained all of the reasons I couldn’t get off social media, I am now telling you to try to this detox for yourself, because there is more to life than how it appears on someone’s profile page. Don’t know how to start? Here are 7 things (one for each day of the week!) I opted for instead of picking up my phone. And be proud of me, because unlike last week, compulsive online shopping is not one of them.

Read a book

There are so many! Pick one! Magazines count! Did you know it is possible to get news these days from actual newspapers and not 140 character tweets? Look into it.

Clean your closet

Okay so this might not sound fun, but plot twist: it is! Especially if played out like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City: The Movie. You can get friends to help tell you what is cute and what is sooo 2000 and late and, when it’s over, you have room for more clothes! So maybe I lied and this does include online shopping?

Go outside

Run, walk, hike, or just simply lay in the sun. I have the stamina of an 80-year-old man so I opted to tan, but it doesn’t matter… just try staring at something that is not a screen. Who knows, you could discover something you never knew existed.

DIY Spa Day

So self-explanatory. Treat yo self. Don’t know how? Learn here.

Cook

If you are anything like me, then you are mesmerized by 30-second Tasty Videos and always think to yourself “hey, I could make that” but then never do. Find one, and give it your best shot. My chicken parm meatballs may have looked nothing like the video but it’s the attempt that counts, right?  If you are nothing like me and have no recipes saved, check a few out here.

Play board games

Remember those? Yes, they still exist. And yes, they are still as fun as my seven-year-old self remembers! I have a three day-long Scrabble game going on with my mother — as I am still trying to convince her that jawn, is in fact, a word.

Paint 

No, I didn’t personally own an easel, canvases or oil paints, but I did have a car that drove my best friend and me 20 minutes down the road to a paint-your-own pottery studio. We painted next to a 4-year-old’s birthday party and had the best time. No shame.

Maybe you will do all of this, maybe you will do absolutely none of it. Whichever your path, I encourage you to think on this: Why is it that our generation feels a constant need to post about their life and a constant entitlement into the social lives of others? Unfortunately, my time off and back on social media has not given me the answer, but I can say that it has started a conversation with my peers, and brought me one step closer to finding out.

+ Let us know your favorite phone-free activity in the comments below! 

Free People Blog

Wellness Encyclopedia: Blackberries & Smoothie Bowl DIY

Wellness Encyclopedia: Blackberries & Smoothie Bowl DIY

Blackberry season in Maine is not for the faint of heart…

Unlike strawberries or blueberries, both of which can be easily farmed, drawing visitors in with handmade “U Pick” signs proudly staked on the side of the road, blackberries are hard won. Their whereabouts held close to the chest by locals who know. And if you’re lucky enough to be gifted a jar of blackberry jam, or – even better – a blackberry pie? Cherish it. Cherish it and hold onto the knowledge that those berries were likely paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of the person who picked them. Because blackberry brambles are NO JOKE, folks. An impenetrable thicket of thorns typically guarded by mosquitos and blackflies. Sure, you could just buy a box of delicious blackberries at the store and call it a day, but where’s the adventure in that? True blackberry season is a truck parked on the side of the road, a short (though sometimes long) hike into the woods, and your scraped up forearms covered in blackberry juice. A maniacal, if triumphant, grin on your face. I’m speaking, of course, from experience. From being raised by a woman who knows the best blackberry picking within a ten-mile radius of her home – 20 miles even. And I also know also that the miracle of a blackberry pie is not so much the pie itself, but that the person who picked the berries even lived to tell the tale.

Perhaps I sound dramatic… but the lore of blackberries makes them all the more intoxicating. They put up a fight, guarded by thorn and thicket, their juicy, dark flesh giving way to tender sweetness when they’re finally in your hand. And that dark sweetness nourishes the body in more ways than you might expect. Today I’m diving into the benefits of blackberries. They’re in season after all, so if you’re not inclined to bushwhack, getting your hands on a box of them is as simple as visiting the farmers’ market. No blood, sweat, or tears required.

What are they? Not surprisingly, thorny blackberries belong to the same family as roses, Roseceae. Native to Europe and North America and especially plentiful in the northern states, blackberries are technically not a berry but an “aggregate fruit”, which means their flesh is made up of “drupelets” or smaller nodes with a kernel and seed housed inside — in fact, blackberries are more similar to peaches than they are to berries! There are over 375 different species of blackberries, ranging in size from very small to the large varieties often found in markets.

What are the benefits? Blackberries and other dark-skinned berries and fruits are typically lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants than other fruits, making them a good choice for those looking to keep their sugar levels low while still enjoying fresh fruit! The high levels of antioxidants — specifically anthocyanins, which are found in dark-skinned fruits and berries — present in blackberries could have some anti-aging effects by promoting natural collagen production and cellular turnover. These same anthocyanins have also been found to benefit the cardiovascular system. Blackberries are also an excellent source of fibre, which aids in digestion; manganese, which has been found to boost cognitive function; and vitamins C and E, which boost immunity and aid in skin health.

 

How do I use them? Personally, I think blackberries are best consumed as-is or baked into a blackberry pie (if you’ve never had blackberry pie, I implore you to go out and try it). But I’ll admit, they’re pretty good tossed into smoothies, used to top raw desserts, and added to smoothie bowls too. The recipe below packs the goodness of blackberries into one delicious bowl, and combined with other dark-fleshed fruit and dark, leafy greens, will help give collagen production a boost too!

Blackberry Smoothie Bowl

{Serves 1}

Ingredients

½ frozen banana

1 cup frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)

1 generous handful baby spinach or kale

2 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp almond butter or coconut butter

¼ cup coconut water

Toppings: Fresh blackberries, fresh strawberries, granola, unsweetened shredded coconut

Method

Place banana, frozen berries, greens, hemp seeds, almond or coconut butter, and coconut water in a blender and blend until smooth, adding more coconut water, if needed. Scoop into a bowl and top with blackberries, strawberries, granola and unsweetened shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Any favorite blackberry recipes to pass along?

Check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts…

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

+ See more Wellness Encyclopedia posts here…

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

Free People Blog

Digital Detox: A Week Without Social Media

Digital Detox: A Week Without Social Media

No double-tapping, posting,snapping for one week. Here’s what happened… 

This post comes from our blog intern, Faith!

As a millennial with Instagram and Facebook ever only a tap away, it is weirdly hard to remember a time when social media did not exist. When I do, I often ask myself: how did I let people know I was having fun with friends? That I had friends at all? Today, I realized how sad those questions may seem. I also realized that I am often seated at dinner tables where the conversation is centered around what image I should post. I like to think that I am the one pulling for phone piles and face-to-face conversation, but I also recognize that I,too, have an obsession with my social media presence. Which is exactly why I volunteered to sign off of all of my social media accounts for the week. I thought: if I could just unplug, maybe my frustration with our generation’s constant tendency to be glued to their screen would cease, and that this digital detox was an alternative I could eventually get all my friends behind?

Wellllll….

When Monday came I was excited to start my detox, but I couldn’t help but wonder: would I miss it? Would anyone on social media miss me? The answer to the former was yes, so much so; while the answer to the latter, in-a-good-wake-up-call-kind-of-way, was absolutely not.

The rule seemed easy:

No Instagram, no Facebook, and no Snapchat (except to keep my snap streaks!) for one week.

Is that like going on a juice cleanse but still having a slice of pizza once a day? Maybe. Is it sad that I refuse to let go of my 246 day snap streak with one of my closest friends because I think it means that somehow our friendship will also end as soon as the fire emoji disappears? Most definitely, but more on that later.

Monday

Twelve. That’s how many times I opened my phone only to find a Facebook and Instagramless screen. The empty space where the apps used to be on the bottom bar of my home page seemed to scream at me each time, “stop looking for me, I’m not coming back!” Which, for lack of a better word, sucked. But I refused to hit the re-download button in the app store, because I am not, if nothing else, a quitter.  

My best friend offered to check my Instagram for me, but I decided that would be cheating and proudly declined. I did, however, secretly hope that one of the 684 people I follow would post something outlandish that would end up being the topic of my 11-girl group chat discussion. This did not happen. I came very close to texting in the aforementioned group chat to ask what had happened on Instagram today, but I quickly realized how stupid that would sound and decided against it.  I knew that 1) it would defeat the purpose of my Insta detox, and 2) that nothing really happens on Insta, but I still couldn’t help feel like I was missing out, so I created the following mantra for myself: live your life, and not vicariously through others. I invite you all to steal that one for yourselves.

Tuesday

Social media is, without a doubt, my greatest procrastination tool. Where else is there to go but Facebook when you need to get lost in the hundreds of thirty-second cooking videos and political comment wars? I actually typed the letter “f” in my Safari search bar purely out of reflex today. I got so nervous when I saw Facebook start to automatically load that I quickly slammed my laptop screen shut. I told you, I’m taking this seriously! The point here? I need to find another way to waste my time. Enter, online shopping: the least economically efficient method of procrastination ever to exist.  

I ordered four muscle tees (one in each color) and a suede jacket, although the forecast will not drop below 75 degrees for the next three months. I am not proud of it.

Wednesday

Have I felt more in tune with the world after not being on social media for three days? Absolutely not. Am I completely regretting this? You betcha. I almost entitled this post “I Tried to Digital Detox and only Lasted Three Days” but I like I said, I am not, if nothing else, a quitter.

Thursday

Okay yes, I am still very bored. BUT, I am no longer resenting myself for taking on this detox.

In some ways, I think attempting to disconnect with social media to connect with the world provided me the opposite of its desired effect. If you think you have FOMO when you watch a snap story of an event you are not attending, your FOMO completely grows when you have no idea what you are even missing out on. In other ways, I don’t miss it at all! Something happened between last night and this morning that made me realize it is a-okay to get out of touch for a moment. In fact, it is kind of nice. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are. I was prepared to be cynical all the way til the end of the week, but today I woke up not wanting to check to see if it is the birthday of a girl I went to camp with six summers ago, or if my most recent Instagram got me my most likes ever. I didn’t even care that I had lost two of snap streaks (don’t worry, it wasn’t the 246 day one), but still, maybe this is a start of a new me?

Friday

False alarm. There’s no new me. It’s Friday which, in my head, signals the end of the week as well as the end of this detox! Huzzah! I am frustratingly too happy about visiting the app store this afternoon. I have come to terms with the fact that I will not miss this detox. However,  I will remember the five days I spent doing this, partly because it taught me a few things about myself and partly because it was the longest five days of my life. As much as I hoped this detox would affirm my beliefs that I am an old soul, I am without a doubt a product of my generation. I now know, more than I did before, that social media is my crutch in times of boredom and procrastination. I also know, that there is no place in the near future where I see that changing.

Ultimately, I think life is just better with all of the digital distractions. But like my mom says when I try to order dessert after dinner, everything in moderation. So let me just preach for a moment on the lesson this week has taught me: it’s important to know that there is a time and place for posting and snapping. Being out with your friends should never be one of them.When you’re at a concert, actually listen to the music and don’t worry about getting it all on your snap story. When you’re out to dinner, stop letting the phone eat first! Talk about your day, and not the day as it looked via your friends’ feed. I’m not saying to stop taking photos — of course, your best memories should be captured — but wait until you’re at home to run them through your VSCO filters.

Okay, I’m done now, and with all of that said, follow me on Instagram!

Free People Blog

4 Ways to Detox Your Life During Your Commute

4 Ways to Detox Your Life During Your Commute

Too busy to breathe? These simple tips from the lady bosses behind Career Contessa will get you sane and help you stay there…

This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag.

ARE WE THERE YET? said no one ever on their way to work. The downtime before a long day can offer much needed time to chill, but it could also serve as so much more. These simple mind-body tips from Career Contessa — a career site built just for women — are guaranteed to upgrade a standard commute to full-blown wellness-status, and can make a world of difference for work-life balance

There are endless wellness bloggers, Instagram fitness fanatics and juice companies telling us to go on some kind of detox, whether it be dietary, cutting out iPhone screen time, or the old standby, Dry January. But while these health gurus surely have the best of intentions, they aren’t accounting for one little thing that gets in the way of most detoxes: time that’s not your own.

For many busy working women, and trust us, we get working women, perfect meal planning, not checking phones after work, or not indulging in a glass of wine on Friday night, is not an option. Especially that last one. But there is a way to sneak a detox into even the busiest of schedules. You can do it on your commute.

For Your Mind 

Your public transportation of choice is no Canyon Ranch, we get that. But you can still find a little mental clarity during your commute. After a busy day, try clearing your mind with a guided meditation app and feel all the stress of the day start to melt away.

If meditation isn’t your thing, you can still enrich your mind with a little education on the go. If you commute by train, use the time to watch an educational video or webinar. If you’re the career climber-type, try one that will help you with your career. By car or on foot? Listen to a wellness audiobook or even a self-help podcast like “Help Me Be Me”. You’ll feel more productive knowing you spent your commute learning something new instead of counting the minutes until it’s over.

For Your Body 

Be real with yourself; it’s unlikely that you’ll successfully pull off a juice cleanse on days you have back-to-back meetings scheduled and being hangry isn’t an option. But you can start your day off by skipping the caffeine and squeezing in a few servings of fruits and veggies.

Blending up a healthy smoothie or picking up a green juice in the mornings means you can start the day with a real breakfast and make up for all the hydration you lost in the night. Plus, drinking it on-the-go saves time sitting at the breakfast table.

For Your (Digital) Soul

If you take public transportation, your phone is your saving grace, whether you prefer listening to music that blocks out the people coughing next to you or getting lost in an Instagram scrolling session to pass the time. We know you aren’t going to turn it off in favor of journaling or reading every day, but you can do a digital detox without parting from your handheld companion. This way, you won’t miss any incoming emails.

It’s time to clean up your digital life. Go through your phone and delete any old contacts so you never accidentally Facetime your ex again. Do the same with all those photos that weren’t worthy of posting. Delete apps you never use, old text-message chains and podcasts you’ve already listened to. You know you need the extra storage.

+ Read more collaborations with The Chalkboard Mag here

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

Free People Blog

Wellness Encyclopedia: Spirulina & Make A Green Galaxy Elixir

Wellness Encyclopedia: Spirulina & Make A Green Galaxy Elixir

Learn more about one of nature’s most nutritious superfoods below and read on for a simple and soothing recipe…

In the realm of wellness, few things are more revered as the power of green and blue-green algaes. What we may all take for granted as pond scum — yes, really — could have the power to detox, energize, and ultimately heal some of the most common ailments. And isn’t that always the case? What we as humans are quick to write off as undesirable — algae, fungi… — often turn out to be nature’s most powerful healers. Today I’m diving in, so to speak, to the powers of spirulina. While it may be a close cousin to chlorella, this beautiful, blue-green powder deserves a post all its own. 

What is it? Another algae to love, “spirulina” describes two species of  blue-green algae: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima. Also known as a cyanobacteria, which describes spirulina’s beautiful color, spirulina is rich in chlorophyll and protein and could have a number of positive effects on the body. While it’s similar to chlorella in the sense that it’s also an algae, spirulina isn’t single-celled, making it more bio-available for the body, and it boasts higher levels of iron, thiamin and Gamma-Linolenic Acid.

What are the benefits? Naturally high in iron, spirulina could be beneficial for vegetarians, especially because of its high levels of protein and amino acids, and could work well for those deficient in these nutrients or when the immune system needs a boost. Though it should be noted that while spirulina’s protein level is equal to eggs gram-for-gram, it shouldn’t be used as a the sole protein source. Spirulina has also been found to assist the body in detoxing from heavy metals by binding to metals present in the body and flushing them out — chlorophyll has also been shown to help usher these metals from the system. If you feel your energy levels dropping, the thiamin (a.k.a. B vitamins) present in spirulina could help bring them back up. Thiamin has also been linked to improved nerve and brain function, as well as eye health. Spirulina could also be effective in treating candida overgrowth, boosting levels of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting growth of candida.

How to use spirulina: While the flavor isn’t much to write home about — it is algae, after all — the good news is that spirulina blends easily into smoothies, elixirs, salad dressings, tea and water. It’s also sold in convenient tablet form. Try the easy recipe below, which blends spirulina with nourishing matcha for a soothing coffee-replacement.

Green Galaxy Elixir

Serves 1

Ingredients

½ tsp spirulina

1 tsp matcha powder

1 tsp raw honey

½ tsp organic unrefined coconut oil

8 oz nut milk

Method

Heat nut milk on the stovetop until hot but not boiling. Place heated nut milk in a blender, along with matcha powder, raw honey and coconut oil. With the cap held on securely (be careful) blend until frothy. Pour into a mug and swirl in spirulina. Enjoy!

+ See more Wellness Encyclopedia posts here…

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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

Have you used spirulina? Any good recipes to pass along?

Check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts…

Follow Julie on Instagram + check out her blog.

Free People Blog

Eat Pretty: Spring Detox, Week 4

This week, we look at the detox that begins outside your body…

This post comes to you from Jolene Hart.

Over the past three weeks, we’ve explored some of the most effective nutrition and lifestyle shifts that you can make to rev up your body’s natural detoxification during the spring months. This is the key moment of the year to support detox, ensuring that your energy soars, your skin glows, and your body naturally lets go of any winter weight that you’ve been carrying. Spring detox can be an annual ritual that’s refreshing, delicious, and gentle—no stress and no juice cleanse necessary. In case you missed the earlier posts in this series, check out why you’ll want to eat green this season, use hot water for hydration, and pare down some specific foods that make detox more difficult. This week, we look at the detox that begins outside your body—within your daily environment— and can help make your spring detox last all year. The goal, as always, is for you to look and feel your best, from the inside out.

Week 4: Detox Your Environment

Your body is constantly detoxing unfamiliar, unnecessary and unwanted compounds, in the interest of keeping you at your healthiest. But that natural detox process has become increasingly more difficult for our bodies, given the frequency of daily exposure to environmental chemicals, in our beauty products, and our food supply. In the US, about 700 new chemicals are introduced every year, adding to the approximately 84,000 chemicals already in use. It’s become hard to calculate the number to which we are exposed on any given day (that number is likely to be several hundred). This spring, commit to some easy shifts in your routine that will lighten your body’s exposure to unnecessary compounds that could negatively impact your beauty and health. This is where little changes really add up, so it’s just fine to start small.

If you’re wondering where to begin, look first at personal care. Rather than stressing out about the need to go 100% organic overnight, look at the big picture– make sure the top five products you use most often, or over the greatest area of your body, are as safe and natural as possible. Body lotion, deodorant and lipstick are some of the top products I recommend switching first, to cut down unnecessary exposure to hormone-disrupting phthalates and parabens that truly impact our health and hormone balance. Just a note: Free People has a great selection of natural and organic personal care products, from brands like Maya Chia, Zoe Organics and Vapour Organic Beauty.

Beyond your beauty routine, think about the products used in the places you spend most of your time. Are there cleaning products, detergents or room sprays you use at home or in your office? Plastic products or Teflon pans that you use regularly? Walk through your day with fresh eyes, taking note of some of the places you may be able to switch to chemical-free or -reduced alternatives. An easy change with a big impact? Cut synthetic fragrances, which are a source of phthalate exposure, from your home. Skip the scented trash bags and plug-in air fresheners and try an essential oil diffuser instead. To detox your environment even further, bring air-purifying green plants like peace lily, philodendron and ferns inside to clean the air. As well, consider removing your shoes when you enter your home, which can prevent tracking pesticides into your space. The goal isn’t to live a completely chemical-free life; but, a few small changes can make a major difference. You’ll be supporting balanced hormones, radiant skin, energy, good mood and a healthier body with every change you make.

For more spring detox and nutrition inspiration, check out the Eat Pretty book series.

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teach women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out. 

Text and recipes ©Jolene Hart. All rights reserved.