But I wanted to show you what I wore for V-Day!! These pictures were taken in LA but I ended up packing this exact outfit & rocking it in Sedona, Arizona.
I’m ESPECIALLY in love with these nude pumps because they seriously look JUST like super expensive ( think $700 Jimmy Choo’s ) shoes but they’re Charles David and under $100:
By the way, if you’re looking for the shoes I’m wearing, check out these babies for A REAL steal.
I’m also a big fan of SALES! So when I saw this floral blouse I’d been eyeing on sale, I snagged it immediately.
Lately I’ve been so in to black, nudes, greys, & whites that I realized I was neglecting color. So I went on Forever 21 & bought this floral top & the one I’m wearing.
Ok, let’s talk about this white bag (!!!) I MEAN!!! It’s from Forever 21 & again…in person looks full-on designer. This white bag is different & super fun, right?
I’m a total fan of buying trendier pieces at places like Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, &/or Urban Outfitters.
Ok so lastly, these BLACK JEANS ARE MY FAVORITE! And they’re under $50 bucks. They fit me like a glove & just really go well with everything. Remember I talked about them here? I’m strangely obsessed with them. Like if you saw my obsession with these jeans, you’d think I was weird.
If you want to check out how I ended up doing my hair & makeup, click here.
In other news- I really hope you guys all had a badass Valentine’s/Galentine’s. Sending good vibes from Sedona!!
Later this week I’ll be sharing a girlfriend V-day par-tay, BUT TONIGHT I’M TALKING ROMANTIC, MUSHY GUSHY STUFF…
So ta-da: how I set up a quick ( AKA I DON’T HAVE TIME ), sexy ( shit, I need to buy more lingerie ) Valentine’s for my sweet lover, Michael.
We’re going to be out of town for V-day so we had a little date night last week & I had to think FAST.
Real talk: the actual date night began when the cameras left & I put away my camera ( SHOCKING! ). But this is what I ACTUALLY set up for him ( I know, isn’t he lucky?! I kid, I kid ).
Here’s a quick visual:
Quick, easy Valentine’s date night tips:
♡ Have cookies on hand. I found cute ones at Whole Foods. Next time I’ll go to my nearest bakery because I have a hunch they’re cheaper ( can Whole Foods get anymore expensive? GEESH. ). Or, if you’re a babe on a budget, check out my 2 Minute Flower Cake!
♡ Set the mood with music. As you guys know I LOVVVVVEEEE Brazilian music. I always have it playing around our house so it makes perfect sense for a little Sergio Mendes to be playing on V-Day.
♡ Champagne. Duh. If you don’t drink, then add Kombucha to a wine glass with a little ice & lemon. YUM.
♡ Look HOT! Put some effort into it. This one is hard for me because I’m either in workout clothes or I’m working or…you get it. BUT if you’re hosting a date night, add a little red lip, throw on a dress ( mine usually has wrinkles ), & add a couple curls to your hair.
♡ A little gift never hurt a flea. Nudge, nudge, winky-winky, babe! But really, something cute ( last year I made Michael a scrapbook ) is always fun. Each year he also gets one ( yes, one only ) Conversation Heart that describes him. This year he got ‘WICKED COOL.’ LOL. Last year he got ‘SWEET CHEEKS.’ HA. For some reason this tradition makes me happy.
♡ Candles, lighting, diffusers…the usual suspects around my home. Keep it festive.
♡ Lastly, don’t forget the spicy lingerie. Forever 21 has some INSANE pieces now for under $10 bucks. MEOW!
And well, honestly, the experience ended up being A LOT more intense than I initially anticipated. LIKE IT WAS NOT EVEN CLOSE to what I anticipated.
Really though, it’s taken me a few days to muster the courage to write this post…
I went to the Tibetan healing doctor expecting…I don’t know? Herbs for stronger nails? Something to make my hair shinier? Maybe even a little something, something to fight fatigue ( lately I’ve been working a lotttt, so anything to give me a little energy kick, right? Besides crack, of course LOL )?
Anyway, I entered the facility & it was quaint, sweet, & simple. Lately, I’ve been really in to energy & the space had GREAT energy. ( I can’t explain why. It just did ).
I looked around, curious why the other people were there. One man was on a medical ventilator for breathing, another woman was very overweight, & another girl was with a friend and her young child. So, all different kinds of people, basically.
Immediately I checked in, filled out some quick Q & A’s, & got on my phone to text/Instagram/e-mail/etc. in the waiting room. ( And really, who doesn’t do this while waiting for the doctor? )
My name was called & ta-da, I met Mr. Healer ( << his name wasn’t really Mr. Healer, but you get my drift ). I immediately liked him.
Not to brag, but I guess I will? He told me I had a ‘good spirit.’ This made my week year coming from him.
Ok so, after his spirit remark I started blabbing about hair, nails, skin, beauty benefits of herbs, blah, blah, blah…I’m sure you can imagine.
He stopped me.
He said “give me your arms” & proceeded to take my pulse on both arms. For about 20 minutes straight.
Now to sit for 20 minutes without my cell phone/computer/etc. is RARE ( I’m trying to get better, guys. Really, I am ).
So, I took the time to try to sit still & actually practice sitting still ( HARD ).
Ok…Here’s the difficult part to share on TSC. I’ve thought long and hard on whether or not to share this, & I’ve decided I’m going to GO FOR IT because there’s a POINT. If there wasn’t a point, I wouldn’t normally share something so personal…
When he was done, he looked at me and said “you have very, very bad anxiety. It’s affecting you emotionally, very deep inside.”
…OUT OF NOWHERE: I burst out crying.
It was like a projectile cry out of my mouth. The craziest cry I’ve ever cried. The weirdest cry I’ve ever cried. And it came from DEEP within me.
Here’s the thing guys: I couldn’t believe that I cried like this ( totally, totally unexpected…I’m not a crier unless something is VERY wrong ) AND I didn’t write anything about my anxiety on the Q & A form.
Point: the experience was emotional because, here I was, going to an herb doctor for superficial, vain-ish reasons: hair, nails, skin, etc.
I mean it never occurred to me to talk about anxiety…ever.
Also, I should note: I don’t really talk about anxiety. It can be crippling at times— like I’m anxious but you wouldn’t know it by speaking to me in person. I’m anxious inwardly, I guess.
It’s internal. I’m in my head. A LOT.
And to have someone acknowledge my inward-type of anxiety? LIFE CHANGING. A lot of people would tell me to take a hike, go to church, get outside. I’m so used to suppressing the anxiousness in me that it was pure relief to have someone tell me it’s ok & it’s real.
You know how you feel when you’re on a plane & your ears need to pop? And you try to un-pop them & you just can’t? You know how you do that? And then they un-pop & it’s pure relief?
That’s how I felt. Like my ears had un-popped.
So the unexpected, deep cry was relief that someone acknowledged my anxiousness just by feeling my pulse.
The healer was not shocked at all.
He asked me why I was anxious & we talked about things that contribute to my anxiety— past, present, & future. But that’s between me, Mr. Healer, & his goldfish…BUT YA it was an unbelievable experience.
He told me all about how the Tibetan culture works ( << they’re very zen & not as stressed as Americans apparently ). And then we talked about what I should do to heal the anxiousness deep inside me.
Mr. Healer said that in my case ( remember: this is MY case, everyone is different ):
I need more unsalted real butter in my diet…I’m not mad about this. Today I woke up & ate a huge chunk of butter on my oatmeal. YUM. The butter will help balance out my hormones & nerves, he said.
I need more red meat in my diet…interesting because I’m not a red meat fan. This past week, I’ve eaten grass-fed red meat & my energy levels have DRASTICALLY improved. The meat will help my fatigue & hormones, he said.
He gave me herbs to take in the morning 1/2 hour before breakfast with a glass of water. You chew them ( they’re not available online ) & they taste very herb-ish. Also, they’re specific to each person. He told me these herbs would help my nerves & hormones. They’re also full of amino acids. Also, these were $30 for two months, so it’s not like he was trying to rip me off. Reasonable right? Supposedly, they’ll take effect in about a week.
Lastly, he told me to buy this powder & put one scoop in my daily oatmeal or smoothie. I didn’t buy this through him, I bought it on Amazon. So again, no cons. This product is full of rice/pea protein, amino acids, nutrients, & contains highly bioavailable grape seed phytosome for added antioxidant/vascular support.
This was MY experience. Maybe yours would be different. Maybe you’ve gone to an herb doctor & you thought it was BS.
I don’t know.
BUT me? I loved it. I will go back 100%.
If you’re in San Diego & want his info, here ya go ( the visit was under $100 ). He has no idea I’m a blogger, so no, no one is paying me to say this.
What’s your opinion? Thoughts?
By the way, this post made me feel weirdly vulnerable…so I think it’s time for me to go to bed & watch DVR Celebrity Apprentice ( can he fire Brandi already? ) with mint tea & ice cream. Or maybe a cookie. A dark chocolate chip with almond cookie to be exact.
If you don’t know who she is, RUN to Google and do some fitness research ASAP.
Jillian is a frequent face on The Biggest Loser, on every cover of every fitness magazine ( Shape Magazine ring a bell?! ), & an amazing celebrity fitness trainer. Oh…& NBD she has at-home fitness DVD’s. It’s safe to say she’s sort of winning at life.
She’s for sure one of my fitness idols— anyone else with me? So to say I’m excited she’s on The Skinny Confidential today, is kind of the understatement of the year? Of my life?
Ok, here ya go- meet Jillian:
| Ok so, tell us all about your new kick ass program |
JM: My program, Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED™, is a 30-minute group exercise class that is essentially a hybrid of the most cutting-edge fitness philosophies integrated into one comprehensive system. I designed BODYSHRED to target every muscle in the body and maximize athletic performance and metabolic potential.
We’re granting opportunities to fitness professionals all over the country to become trained and certified in the Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED™ Program so they can offer the 30-minute group class at their respective fitness facilities. Our next Certification Workshop is in San Diego on Sunday, February 8th at The Gym Del Mar ( more details here ).
| Why is it different than anything out there? |
JM: BODYSHRED classes are comprised of four circuits utilizing what I like to call my “3-2-1” interval format approach: three minutes of strength with two minutes of cardio & one minute of core work for thirty minutes of intense conditioning.
With my Certification Workshops, I’m hoping to share with local fitness professionals the training techniques and philosophies I personally use to transform millions of bodies and lives.
| And you’re going to be in San Diego…what can we SD-er’s expect? |
JM: To become certified, trainers must sign up online at jillianmichaelsbodyshred.com & find a training workshop near them. This 9-hour course will prepare fitness professionals to teach a group class in this method, introducing them to new concepts, teaching tools and motivational delivery style that will set them apart from others and expand their growth. In addition to the in-person Certification Workshop, trainers must pass a practical exam administered on-site, as well as a web-based at-home written exam, achieving a score of 80% or higher.
From there, certified trainers can get the class on the schedules at their respective gyms and the people of San Diego will be able to experience it for themselves in no time!
| What’s your favorite pre/post workout snack ( we totally need to know before coming to your workshop! )? |
JM: I don’t believe in pre and post workout meals. I eat every three to four hours! Breakfast, lunch, snack dinner. I make sure I don’t work out on an empty stomach and I also don’t eat within an hour of exercise.
| Best workout for a woman? |
JM: There is no such thing. Ideally, a well-rounded workout regimen encompasses all fitness modalities- strength, power, speed, agility, balance, endurance, etc. We are proud to say that BODYSHRED does just that. It hits every muscle in the body from every possible angle of push and pull with all possible modalities & uses the most cutting edge fitness techniques to do so.
| Gotta ask: if you’re going to have a cocktail— what do you recommend? |
JM: I’ll usually opt for a glass of red wine, but if I’m really in the mood for a cocktail it’s a tequila on the rocks.
| Favorite quick, easy, healthy meal? |
JM: I don’t eat a ton of meat. I prefer ocean caught salmon— it’s healthy and quick and easy to prepare.
If you follow Niki Connor on any of her social channels, then you know she’s one healthy, holistic babe. She’s completely dedicated to living her life as healthy as possible. And it’s pretty damn inspiring.
And after talking with her, I gotta say I was suppperrrr impressed. She really, really knows her stuff. Plus she’s a Holistic Health & Nutritional Counselor and Plant-Based Personal Chef, doesn’t drink alcohol, works out religiously, AND meditates!! I mean!!
You guys will love Niki & her inspiring health/fitness journey:
+ Oh hi! Introduce yourself & tell us what you’re about!
Niki Connor: My name is Niki Connor, I’m originally from San Diego and moved to New York from Los Angeles a few years ago to start my business and continue my education. I’m a Holistic Health & Nutritional Counselor and Plant-Based Personal Chef specializing in gluten-free vegan cuisine. I’ve been into health and fitness all my life and am a former professional athlete ( nationally competitive show jumping & American football ), so I absolutely love what I do, though there’s still much to learn!
I’m starting my studies in Ayurveda this fall and am saving for culinary school right now to become certified there as well. I’m a self-taught chef! It all started when some of my clients came to me complaining that the food options at their offices were terrible or they didn’t have time to prepare enough of their own meals.
Due to the fact that I’m a health and nutrition practitioner and my family and friends love my dishes, I decided to start preparing food for clients as well. I now make portion-controlled meals ranging from snacks and office lunches, home-cooked dinners for families and catering small events.
Though I only prepare gluten-free vegan meals, many of my clients are not vegan, so I let them do what they want with the dishes once I’m done with them, though most end up enjoying them as they are because they don’t taste healthy or vegan, including their kids! I’m currently working on creating a site to share some of my recipes, so stay tuned! The reason my company is called TheH3 ( Healthy * Happy * Hot ) is because my whole message for my work is becoming beautiful from the inside out physically, mentally, & emotionally.
Health and fitness is just as mental as it is physical, so I spend 6 months to a year with each client because its about making a permanent lifestyle change, not ‘get thin quick’ schemes. To get that glow you don’t just need to look good, you need to feel good too!
+ Ok so what’s the deal with the mushroom powder? I tried it & I’m obsessed ( << post to come! ):
NC: Aside from my own business, I also work for the company Matrix Healthwerks. We grow certified organic medicinal mushrooms in North County San Diego to create the products & they’re improved my health & overall well-being dramatically. We take different species and turn them into powder form so that we can package them on their own as well as blend different species together to provide a range of nutritional benefits.
The Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps helped me get off of medication completely, and with the Beauty Matrix blend, I have to cut my nails every week and my hair is growing like crazy! Since I started taking the Mushroom Matrix products, I’ve only been sick once in three years because mushrooms are a true superfood & boost your immune system like crazy. All of the products are certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, raw, & full of powerful antioxidants to help reduce free-radical damage. Taking a scoop of NRG Matrix or Fit Matrix in a bottle of water or juice prior to a workout is an absolute must, and I like to follow that with a post-workout smoothie containing Beauty Matrix.
+ Favorite ways to get healthy proteins?
NC: I don’t usually call myself a vegan because I can’t give up my precious leather pants, but I do eat vegan and though I haven’t been diagnosed as gluten-intolerant, I avoid it as often as possible because I feel much better without it and know that’s the healthier way to go for everyone. The first thing people ask me when they find out that I eat vegan is “how do you get your protein?!”
How do you think gorillas get their protein? Plants!
Wow, I just compared myself to a gorilla….great. Anyways, I’m obsessed with E3Live, a blue-green algae that is the most protein-rich nutrient on the planet. It contains 40% more protein than animal protein, over 65 vitamins and minerals, and nearly five times more chlorophyll than a shot of wheatgrass. It must be kept frozen, so I like to freeze mine in ice trays so that I can pop a cube into my daily juices and smoothies. I can assure you that it doesn’t taste bad and will make you feel full and energized every day.
I’m also a fan of protein-rich hemp, chia seeds, flaxseeds ( it’s better to get them ground so that your body doesn’t have to break them down ), veggies, nut butters, & legumes.
+ Gotta know: what’s your favorite healthy fats?
NC: Clients often ask me if they should go on a “low-fat diet.” Hell no!
That word “diet” alone makes me shudder. Just like there are good carbs and bad carbs, there are good fats & bad fats. I make my own nut butters ( almond, cashew, peanut ) & I love avocados and beans. Though I eat vegan, I avoid soy products aside from the occasional tofu or edamame, because too much soy can cause excess estrogen exposure & over 90% of the soy in the US is genetically modified ( AKA GMO’s ).
The reason I’m not a fully-raw vegan is because I’m not meant to be, with my heritage ( White Mutt ), my body goes out of whack if I only eat raw for over two weeks straight. Instead of doing juice cleanses, I’ll add raw dishes to stay energized, full, & active during the process.
I’m not one of those hardcore vegans, because it would break my grandmother’s heart if I refused to eat at least one of her cookies when I visit, and if I go to a birthday party & I’m offered cake, I’ll take a bite or two. If I only ate at vegan restaurants, I wouldn’t have much of a social life because most of my friends and family are carnivores. How I am in my everyday life alone is not always the same as how I am with family and friends, because there are times where I’ll be stuck dining at a steakhouse, so I learned how to “order smart”, a method I teach clients as well.
Why do we love restaurants? Well, for one, someone else is preparing the food for you, but its also usually better than the food that you make at home. The problem is how the food is prepared in restaurants, because that egg white omelette you’re eating tastes better than the one you make at home because it was cooked in nasty, fatty butter. Yuck!
I ask for all of my cooked dishes to be prepared in olive oil instead of butter and tell the waiter that there’s no need to bring bread to the table to tempt me. I also travel with my own snacks and eat at home before going out to eat, which helps a lot! I’ll make a filling salad or green juice so that I spend less and stay fuller longer when I’m out and about. When you live in an expensive city like New York, you’ve got to know how to spend smart!
| Thoughts on meditation? I know you’re big on it! |
NC: I’m obviously a busy bee living in the most stressful city in the country, but I maintain a healthy balance through meditation and maintaining a positive attitude. I used to think that it would be too difficult to meditate because I have ADHD, but its so simple! I meditate one to three times a day for at least ten to twenty minutes each time. The best times to meditate are sunrise, noon, and sunset. I don’t always get to do it at those times, but I try my best. Now that I meditate more often, I don’t need as much sleep anyway; I recently met with Tony Robbins’ healer in Hawaii, and he only sleeps three to four hours a night because he meditates so much – yikes!
I for one love sleep, but now that I’m sober and meditate more, I’ve become more of a morning person. Doing yoga is a great introduction to meditation, especially doing so afterwards. Sit on the ground with your back straight ( you don’t have to sit like Buddha ), and focus on your breathing. The way I start is by counting ten breaths in, & ten breaths out. It slows down your heart rate almost immediately and gives you this beautiful feeling of floating in your body. Once you’ve slowed down your breathing, you can focus on relaxing every part of your body from your toes to your eyes. By focusing on your breath, all other worries are eliminated from your mind, & you come out of it with a big smile on your face.
| Go-to green drink? |
NC: I’m going to share my favorite green juice and post-workout smoothie recipes, green juice is my favorite way to start the day after consuming a cup of hot water and fresh squeezed lemon on an empty stomach. This juice gets rid of bloating and keeps you full and energized for hours! Its important to consume a high-protein meal within thirty minutes of completing a workout to feed your muscles properly. It doesn’t mean you’ll bulk up, it will just help maintain a fit physique and keep you fuller longer. I name my juices and smoothies after my favorite albums and songs because I’m weird like that. All ingredients are certified organic, of course!
+ TheH3 “PEACE FROG” JUICE
- 1 handful of kale
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 green apple ( I prefer to juice with green apples because they’re more bitter )
- If you can get your hands on dandelion, add that as well, its a great diuretic!
- 1 lemon squeezed
+ TheH3 POST-WORKOUT SMOOTHIE
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop of Mushroom Matrix Beauty Matrix
- 1 scoop of raw vegan protein powder (Garden of Life or hemp protein)
- 1/2 water, 1/2 almond milk
- 1 handful of medjool dates
- 1 cube/tablespoon of E3Live
- 1 dash of cinnamon
- 1 scoop of raw cacao powder ( some hemp protein powders already have it )
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
+ TheH3 RAW SLAW:
- 3 carrots
- 1 1/2 lbs. asparagus
- 1 green zucchini
- 1 yellow zucchini
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/3 cup sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Directions: Use a vegetable spiral slicer to slice the carrots and zucchini into a bowl. Add asparagus ( sliced in half ). Add mint. Add sliced red onion. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, raw honey, and dijon mustard and stir well. Add dressing, salt and pepper to the veggies. Mix and enjoy!
| Weekly workout schedule? |
NC: As far as workouts go, I am an absolute beast in the gym. Not one of those bodybuilders who grunts and struts around barely clothed, but I take it very seriously. I have a trainer who I see once or twice a week, and other than that I do workouts on my own. Friends think its ridiculous that I have a trainer because I practically grew up in a gym, but for me it’s important to maintain proper form and avoid injury.
I did CrossFit back when I lived in LA, and it totally ruined my body. Luckily my trainer specializes in physical therapy as well, so he helped “fix me”. I’ve been working out with trainers since I was twelve years old and Dariusz Garko of GarkoFit- he’s the best! He taught Hugh Jackman how to use Kettle Bells and taught me how to get strong without getting buff by using my entire body in workouts & also writes me workout plans for me to use while traveling.
I’ve been doing yoga for about fourteen years, but I have no desire to do a headstand, I do it at my own pace and use it as my time to stretch and focus on my breathing. I do bikram yoga two to three times a week, weights three times a week, and cardio for thirty to forty five minutes four to five days a week. I always allow a few days of rest.
I absolutely love Pilates, but unfortunately its very expensive in New York, so I haven’t done much here. I’m planning on starting a weekly fitness boot camp for friends in the city using workouts that I learned from football that blast fat & get lean muscle faster. I don’t do them by myself because its a group effort, but it can be done on a beach or in a park anywhere.
For makeup I love Josie Maran, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay collection, & RMS Beauty. I have very sensitive skin and suffered from cystic acne as a teenager, so these products work great for anyone! I have naturally wavy hair and am lazy with it, so I usually air-dry my hair, but sometimes its fun to blow-dry it straight or throw it up in a top knot.
My daily beauty routine is facial oil, eye cream, sunscreen, curled lashes, mascara, under-eye and spot concealer, tinted moisturizer, blush, and a loose setting powder that won’t dry out my skin. I learned recently that applying concealer before foundation or tinted moisturizer helps it last longer too! I have some of the worst eyebrows ever, though they look full in photos, most of that is from makeup! Ever since childhood, my eyebrows didn’t grow much past the midpoint and get blonde easily, so I use makeup and have them tinted. Applying castor oil with a Q-tip to them nightly and taking Beauty Matrix has helped them grow in more though, that’s for sure!