10 Wellness Practices To Keep You Sane During Quarantine

by
LAURYN

With everything that’s going on right now, wellness is on the top of everyone’s minds. Michael & I recently recorded a podcast episode ( solo- just us ) where we share how our wellness has pivoted with today’s circumstances.

I said I’d put together the top 10 wellness posts on The Skinny Confidential so it’s all in one easy place for you guys. So, as promised, here it is. These are things that I think really help at a time like this.

If you guys have any of your own wellness tips or things that are helping your keep your shit together, leave them below. The more the better.

The Skinny Confidential’s Top 10 Wellness Tips:

1. MATCHA LATTES

Matcha matcha matcha. It’s a thing.

You’ve seen it everywhere, you’ve heard about it everywhere & it looks…erm…interesting?… until you try it.

If it’s prepared right, let me tell ya, it’s DAMN GOOD.

When I got pregnant I cut down on caffeine & became a matcha fanatic. Actually, in the last 9 months I feel like I’ve become a bit of a matcha connoisseur.

I like to drink it in my clear Bodum mug….which if you haven’t heard about yet….YOU NEED.

They are TRÉS MOTHERFUCKING CHIC. This was a recommendation from Ingrid & she really delivered. They’re light-weight, chic, fun, BPA free, easy to wash & look so cute on Instagram. Never going back to ceramic mugs EVER. Be sure to follow my new Instagram account @and.the.skinny.was.like for more gems like this.

Anyway, back to matcha. So, like I said, you can catch me drinking it out of my Bodum glass with a Softy Straw, some inulin & a cinnamon stick.

Just pour some almond milk & inulin into a milk frother, add 1 scoop of matcha into your glass, then pour the milk over it & add a cinnamon stick. You should know that this drink is good hot or cold too.

Side note: if you’re in the market for a milk frother, THIS IS IT, let me tell ya. Having a milk frother at home is the best way to make sure you’re not drinking nasty-ass sweetened almond milk. How many times did you go to your local coffee shop for an almond milk cappuccino, only to find out later they’re using sweetened almond milk. No thank you. My very own milk frother? Yes plz.

If you don’t want to buy a full blown milk frother, this little handheld one does the trick. You’ll just have to heat your milk first.

Anyway, matcha gives you a little zing without the comedown. Mimi, who’s on The Skinny Confidential team, actually got me addicted to matcha after her trip to Japan. She raved about this little stand where a man would make warm, delicious matcha right in front of you with homemade marshmallows in it. She said it was the best thing she ever had & she would go every single morning for this heavenly drink.

After she told me that story, I was drooling, so I started trying all different kinds.

The one I’m loving right now is from Rootz Nutrition & is a matcha, collagen, superfood mix.

We’ve talked about Rootz Nutrition on the podcast before ( use code SKINNY for 20% off your order ) & I just really feel like you’re getting all your nutrients in with this stuff.

It contains ceremonial grade matcha for sustained energy, collagen for healthy skin, hair, nails, joints & bones ( YES PLZ ), MCT oil & coconut milk powder so you know you’re getting in your healthy fats. Not to mention it also has adaptogens to fight stress & increase vitality.

The other one I like is by SunLife Organics. It’s a ceremonial grade matcha, handpicked by my friend ( & owner ) Khalil ( << check out his amazing story on the podcast ). He has traveled all over to find the best matcha powder & this one is legit. So if you’re in LA go to SunLife & order a matcha latte. They use coconut cream & it’s out of this world.

The whole concoction is amazing. Throw in a delicious cinnamon stick? You can’t go wrong.

The Benefits of Matcha:

♡ rich in fiber & chlorophyll ( more on chlorophyll here ).

♡ lowers cholesterol & blood sugar.

♡ boosts metabolism & burns calories.

♡ enhances mood & concentration.

♡ contains vitamin c, selenium, chromium, zinc & magnesium. { via }

You really want to try to get ceremonial grade matcha when you’re shopping. These are 4 boxes that need to be ticked in order for matcha to be ceremonial grade: { via }

♡ Is it from Japan?

♡ Has it been shade-grown?

♡ Is it produced from pure tencha tea leaves?

♡ Has it been traditionally stone-ground? ( Authentic matcha is ).

Now that Zaza is here I’m still drinking matcha. I really thought I’d go back to coffee but now I have one of each. Matcha makes you feel energized but calm & even-keeled at the same time.

Matcha is a really good alternative to coffee if you’re feeling anxious over the coronavirus pandemic. As I said, it give you energy, but not in the jittery, anxiety-inducing way coffee can.

2. CELERY JUICE

If you’re on Instagram, you definitely will have seen & heard everything there is to know about celery juice. It became popular because Anthony William aka Medical Medium started discussing all the benefits on multiple podcasts. He raved about how celery juice is healing & magical. His one stipulation was that it has to be consumed on an empty stomach, totally alone, first thing in the morning.

Being the human guinea pig that I am, I’ve tried this over the last few months & while I don’t have super powers, I can see why he raves about it. On the other hand, my girlfriend Ingrid from Monaco is a big fan of actually eating & chewing your food opposed to drinking it. So instead of drinking celery juice, she’s always finding ways to add more celery to meals.

So to lay it all out for you, there are definitely two sides to this coin. I like both, & will continue to do both. But ultimately Anthony & Ingrid have both encouraged me to add more celery to my diet, & I have.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty on why celery has super powers.

The Benefits of Celery:

♡ anti-inflammatory

♡ reduces high cholesterol

♡ high in antioxidants

♡ lowers high blood pressure

♡ cleanses the liver

♡ low in calories but rich in electrolytes, antioxidants, potassium, B vitamins & Vitamin C

♡ fights infections with antibacterial & antimicrobial properties

♡ helps with bloating because of a diuretic effect

♡ aids digestion

♡ reduces the risk of UTIs ( yes please )

{ via }

How I add celery to my diet is by drinking it on an empty stomach, adding it to my smoothies, or as Ingrid does, chopping it up & adding it to salads & pastas. There are so many ways to get creative with it because it doesn’t have a very strong taste. The main benefit of it that I’m OBSESSED with, is that it’s really good for your skin. Definitely a skin food.

It’s full of Vitamin C which we mentioned, but because it’s a detox tonic it really helps with acne. Since fiber has been such a hot topic lately, you should also know that celery is filled with fiber ( when you eat it whole, not when you juice it ).

So to give you a little back story, Medical Medium says: “For decades a grassroots global healing movement has been building: drinking 16 ounces of straight celery juice on an empty stomach every morning. Today, millions of people around the world are participating and experiencing the benefits for themselves.

Why? Because celery juice, when consumed in the right way, is a powerful and miraculous healing remedy and people are noticing the benefits it provides, such as clearer skin, improved digestion, less bloating, sustained energy, better mental clarity, weight loss, and stable moods, just to name a few.

People are healing from all kinds of acute and chronic illnesses, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, SIBO, constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome, blood sugar issues, migraines, acid reflux, high blood pressure, addictions, adrenal issues, gout, allergies, autoimmune conditions, and countless others, from drinking plain celery juice daily.”

People all over the world & even celebs are healing themselves. You may might have even seen Kim Kardashian on Keeping Up With The Kardashians using it to spike her psoriasis. & if we’re going to get specific, Anthony was actually on the show. He deems it as one of the most powerful medicines of our time.

TSC Hot Tip: Make sure you’re have organic celery. Also, if you’re going to order it at a juice bar, I suggest bringing your own cup & silicone straw. This way you know you aren’t getting a gross plastic cup & straw filled with BPA. If the area you’re in right now even has juice bars open, I also recommend bringing your own cup & straw for other reasons right now too.

If you’re on a diet or weight loss plan, this is a great thing to add in. Celery & celery juice will also help any gut problems, will help your digestion think faster & keep things moving more efficiently- if ya know what I mean.

Anyway like I said, if you’re going to try the juice route, drink it as soon as you wake up, on an empty stomach & wait 20-30 minutes before you eat anything else. & if you’d rather add it to your food just chop it up & throw it in a salad or pasta sauce. & smoothies too. Of course, make sure you’re always washing your veggies first too!

How to Make Celery Juice in a Juicer:

♡ Grab a bunch of celery then cut off the base & the top of the stalks.

♡ Wash the celery thoroughly.

♡ Feed the celery through the tube of your juicer.

♡ Drink juice immediately.

sidenote: one bunch of celery will make about 1.5 cups of juice.

How to Make Celery Juice in a Blender:

If you don’t have a juicer to make celery juice, don’t sweat it! You can make it in a blender too.

♡ Grab a bunch of celery then cut off the base & the top of the stalks.

♡ Wash the celery thoroughly.

♡ Cut the celery stalks into quarters.

♡ Place all the celery in the blender with 1/8 cup of water.

♡ Blend until smooth then strain out the juice with a nut milk bag or a very fine mesh strainer.

♡ Drink juice immediately.

Personally, I feel like a fucking goddess drinking celery juice every morning. There’s just something about it. The whites of my eyes are whiter & I have more energy. I just feel ‘healthier’ & that’s the only way I can describe it.

3. MORNING SPA WATER

Really riveting. I have hot water in the morning. I know right? Me & every one else. I’m consistently showing my hot water on Instagram Stories in the morning & I’ve had tons of questions on what I do because I do add lots of good stuff to it.

Furthermore, I wanna talk about the glasses & kettle I use because surprise, surprise, it’s specific.

I’ve talked about my morning routine so many times so you know I wake up with light, movement, & hydration. Right away I open the shades, make the bed & go right upstairs to have a hot water. I like to do this for two reasons >>> 1.) It gets things moving right away. When I don’t have water in the morning things aren’t on the way out as quickly ( wink wink ). Of course I have my Hydro Flask next to my bed, but there’s something about hot water that just goes through your body. 2.) Cameron Diaz ( whose book is amazing btw ) says, “Once I drink the water, I feel it immediately, I go from being a wilted plant to one that has been rejuvenated by the rain.” & that’s just how it feels. Hydrating in the morning is just so necessary…

The Benefits of Drinking Water on an Empty Stomach:

♡ helps clean the colon

♡ flushes toxins from your body

♡ good for elimination & gut health

♡ increases body’s efficiency in fighting infections

♡ rids your body of sodium from salty foods the night before

The Skinny Confidential Morning Spa Water

First things first, I turn on my white Smeg kettle with a measly flick of the wrist- we love things for the lazy girl. Then I pull out my Bodum glass mug ( as I said in tip #1 – SO FUCKING CHIC ) –  all the French girls use these for their coffees. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a white mug after using this.

Very much into this kettle too. It’s chic & looks so pretty on a kitchen counter. I highly recommend. Some features are:

♡ 1.7 Lt / 7 Cups capacity.

♡ 3D SMEG logo. Temperature display LED.

♡ Soft-opening lid. Anti-slip feet 360° swivel base. Chrome handle. Stainless steel spout

♡ Double water indication Lt/Cup. Removable stainless steel lime scale filter. Acoustic alarm Switch-on, switch-off, start of cycle and end of cycle.

♡ Auto shut-off at selected temperature and when no water is detected.

This is very efficient because my dogs like a little bit of hot water in their kibble, along with pumpkin & glucosamine.

Back to the morning spa water…. I’ll pull out Meyer lemons, fresh mint, cloves & ginger- love a dash of cayenne too. It’s nice to lay everything out.

Then I add fresh mint leaves ( I don’t know how much, I just throw a bunch in there ) into my Bodum glass along with half a squeezed Meyer lemon- sometimes I cut some of the rind off & toss it in there too- then I cut ginger to put in with some cloves too.

It’s just nice to sit down for 5 minutes with my hot water & a page of wisdom to start off the day. If you’re interested in stoicism, check out this post for more details.

NOW, if you’re in a hurry, like you GTG, then put it all in a Hydro Flask & take in on the go.

The Benefits of a Hydro Flask:

♡ keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours

♡ keeps hot drinks hot for 12 hours

♡ made of BPA free stainless steel

♡ vacuum insulation stops condensation

If you’re more into a cold water situation in the morning, check out this post on my pomegranate water.

The point is you should always be sexing up your water. There are lots of things to do to make sure you get your water in. I feel so much more alert, tight, thin & energetic when I drink water.

Water can be a real basic bitch sometimes so the more you can mix it up the better. Would love to know how you guys add some spicy flare to your water…it keeps me on my toes to mix it up.

It’s important to note, a big part of the ‘wellness’ benefits of making these 3 drinks is the RITUAL. Taking 5 minutes to make something nice for yourself is such a great practice of self-care & I think that’s really important while we’re all quarantined & going through this pandemic together.

4. ADD MORE FIBER TO YOUR DIET

Danielle Hamo came on the blog not too long ago to share all her tips for getting more fiber into your diet. She is beautiful, smart, has charismatic energy, & is a Registered Dietitian & Licensed Nutritionist.

In her post on The Skinny Confidential, Danielle SERIOUSLY laid it out. Below are her tips on easy switches you can make to your diet to make sure you’re getting in all your fiber. But first, let’s just quickly go over fiber & the benefits. Danielle says….

By now, you probably know that you should be getting more fiber in your diet. Yet, most of us still don’t! The average American has 15 grams per day while the recommendation is 25-30 grams per day ( I personally think 35 grams per day is a better goal ).

Fiber is the indigestible part of a carbohydrate, which means it’s only found in foods that contain carbs, so staying away from all carbs is not something I recommend. The health benefits are MAJOR.

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FIBER:

♡ high intake is associated with longer life span.

♡ it helps control blood sugar & therefore sugar cravings.

♡ it helps keep you regular & combats constipation.

♡ it lowers cholesterol, risk for colon & breast cancer.

♡ helps keep you full so you can eat less, naturally.

The trick with fiber is to get enough of it without going overboard with the amount of carbohydrates that we consume, which is probably what most Americans do to even get to that 15 grams per day. That means choosing high fiber carbohydrates in favor of carbohydrates that contain little or no fiber ( think whole grains over white flour or highly processed foods ). To make it easier to follow, I gathered the highest fiber foods below. Remember to choose whole, real foods as much as possible.

Finally, some fiber is soluble, which means it holds on to water in our stomach. This means you have to increase your water intake to avoid bloat & constipation when increasing your fiber intake. As a goal, you should drink 3 liters of water per day, which is around 10-12 cups. Also, pay attention to serving sizes- just because a food has fiber doesn’t necessarily mean you should have an unlimited amount of it.

Highest Fiber Veggies:

♡ 1 cup raw jicama – 6 grams fiber

Jicama is great for crudité. I mix it with baby carrots, celery, radishes, & cucumber sticks & dip in a mixture of plain Greek yogurt & ranch seasoning mix.

♡ 1 cup raw kohlrabi – 5 grams fiber

If you’ve never tried this veggie, I highly recommend it. It has a bulb-like shape & firm texture. I grew up eating it raw in a salad – peel the outside, slice into thin strips, & mix with fresh lemon juice, salt, & a little oil. Let it sit a little for better flavor.

♡ 1 artichoke – 6 grams fiber

1 medium whole artichoke has 6 grams of fiber! It is the highest fiber non-starchy vegetable. I love ordering globe artichoke as a starter in restaurants for this reason. It’s delicious & filling! And as an added bonus, the act of eating it leaf by leaf slows down your eating.

♡ ½ cup cooked asparagus – 3 grams fiber

Asparagus is a great addition to a salad. Most people don’t think of adding it to salads, but if you steam or boil it & then chill it, it can make a salad much more satisfying. It pairs well with cherry tomatoes & avocado too.

♡ 1 cup broccoli – 2.5 grams fiber

When I am lazy, I make a 20-minute dinner of oven-baked fish ( I choose cod or seabass & I simply brush it with olive oil & top it with lemon slices & bake on 450 F for 20 minutes ) with a side of broccoli. I take fresh broccoli, cut it down to florets, steam it until tender when sticking with a fork. I then quickly sauté it with a small amount of garlic & olive oil just to add flavor. And voila! Dinner is served. 

♡ ½ avocado – 6 grams fiber

Most avocado toasts have at least one avocado in them, which is more than a serving size. Instead, at home I make my own version of avocado toast by using half an avocado mashed together with hard-boiled egg whites, which will boost the protein content. You can then choose different bases for your avo toast like high fiber GG crackers, Flackers ( gluten-free flax seed crackers ), or Dave’s Killer Bread in Powerseed which will further boost the fiber content & make for a very filling breakfast or snack.

Highest Fiber Fruit:

I like to eat my fruit either at breakfast or for a snack & avoid eating it at dinner time. I also like to combine my fruit with a protein or healthy fat source for a more filling meal/snack. At breakfast, I will eat the fruit paired with Greek yogurt & high-fiber cereal from the list below. Or I will make apple or pear ‘nachos’ by topping slices with PB2 or PBfit ( peanut butter powder, available at wholefoods & is all natural ), coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips, & chia seeds.

♡ 1 cup raspberries – 8 grams fiber

♡ ¾ cup blueberries – 5 grams fiber

♡ 1 cup blackberries – 8 grams fiber

♡ 1 medium apples – 4 grams fiber

♡ 1 medium pear – 4 grams fiber

Highest Fiber Grains & Beans, & Seeds:

♡ ¼ cup dry Shiloh farms fine wheat bran – 6 grams fiber

Perfect to use in baking to boost the fiber content. You can substitute some of the flour in any recipe for this wheat bran or use it to make waffles & muffins.

♡ 1 tbsp flaxseed – 3 grams fiber

Buy flaxseed meal for better absorption by the body. Sprinkle on top of salad, yogurt, & soups.

♡ 1 tbsp chia seeds – 5 grams fiber

I love making overnight chia pudding for breakfast by mixing 2 tbsp of chia seeds with ½ cup of plant milk. Top in the am with fruit, nuts, almond butter, & shredded coconut for a yummy breakfast.

♡ ½ cup cooked bulgur – 4 grams fiber

Bulgur is cracked wheat & is a much better alternative to brown rice. The same serving of brown rice has only 1 gram of fiber. Bulgur works great in salad recipes.

♡ ⅓ cup cooked quinoa – 2 grams fiber

Try food prepping by making quinoa ahead, according to instructions on the box. It then lasts in the fridge for up to a week & can be quickly added to salads at lunch or be a side dish at dinner.

♡ ½ cup cooked chickpeas – 6 grams fiber

I love putting chickpeas into my veggie soup. I use weight watchers zero point vegetable soup as my base recipe, & I add chickpeas & whatever veggies I have in the fridge at that time. Adding chickpeas to soups makes it a much more satisfying & filling appetizer or snack.

♡ ½ cup cooked lentils – 8 grams fiber

Lentils are perfect in a salad. If I see it on a menu at a restaurant, I love getting it as an appetizer with dressing on the side. My favorite lentils are black beluga lentils or French green lentils.

♡ ½ cup cooked black pinto beans – 7 grams fiber

Beans are not only a great source of fiber, they’re also high in protein, so it makes for a great meatless or vegetarian meal ( like for ‘Meatless Mondays’ ). I like to use them in tacos by taking either lettuce shells or high fiber tortillas & filling it with black beans, pico de gallo, Greek yogurt, guacamole, & grilled fajita veggies ( onions & peppers ). For added protein, you can also use firm tofu, pan-cooked with fajita seasoning mix.

♡ 3 cups air-popped popcorn – 3 grams fiber

Great for a snack. You can make it yourself or have some Skinny Pop in the pantry for easy snacking.

Highest Fiber Specialty Products:

These products were put on the market to make it easier for us to reach our daily fiber needs, & also keep overall carb intake low. I try to not ‘over-rely’ on these products to get my fiber, since whole, real food will always be better than processed products. However, they are useful & offer convenience. As a general rule, I will only use one to two of these per day, & not every day.

♡ Raw Rev Glo bars – 14 grams fiber

Tip: the highest fiber flavor is ‘creamy peanut butter.’

♡ 4 plain GG crackers – 16 grams fiber

Great alternative to bread. Use it to top with things like avocado, almond butter, turkey & mustard. ( More on GG crackers here ).

♡ 1 No-Cow bar – 18 grams fiber

♡ 2 scoops of protein powder – 20 grams fiber

You can use this in a smoothie or in fiber waffles.

♡ ½ cup Julian’s Bakery Pro Granola – 12 grams fiber

I top Greek yogurt or unsweetened nut milk with this granola, or snack on it straight out of the bag! ( I usually pre-portion the whole bag into ¼ or ½ cup servings into snack bags to make sure I don’t go overboard & have a visual for serving sizes. ) 

♡ ½ cup Nature’s Path Smart Bran cereal – 13 grams fiber

The high-fiber cereals make a perfect, delicious & quick breakfast. I top plain Greek yogurt ( I buy single serve yogurt & just peel off the top, I don’t even use a bowl ) with a serving of the cereal & fresh fruit. For additional sweetness drizzle with Sukrin fiber syrup or agave syrup.

♡ 6 Flackers Flaxseed crackers – 7 grams fiber

A gluten-free alternative to bread. Great with mashed avocado for a snack. I eat about 5-6 crackers at a time.

♡ 1 Maria and Ricardo’s Fiber-Rich wrap – 6 grams fiber

Perfect for taco nights ( as described under black beans ).

♡ 1 bag Smart Sweets – 28 grams fiber

I don’t really use this towards my fiber intake, but I use it as a replacement for traditional gummy bears which are just pure refined sugar. ( Hey guys, it’s Lauryn. Check out why I love Smart Sweets here & use code SKINNY for 15% off your order at smartsweets.com ).

♡ 2 tbsp Sukrin fiber syrup – 28 grams fiber

Same thing with this syrup. I don’t count it towards my fiber intake, instead I use it as replacement to maple syrup on top of fiber waffles or yogurt.

5. BREATH OUT OF YOUR NOSE

Recently I was listening to Laird Hamilton on The Joe Rogan Experience. & they had THE most interesting conversation. They talked about cryotherapy, ice baths, saunas, muscle recovery, working out in the pool, & steam rooms. They also discussed BREATH.

They really dove deep & got into it. If you don’t know who Laird Hamilton is: he’s an American big wave surfer, co-inventor of tow-in surfing, & considered the major influence behind stand up paddle boarding & hydrofoil boarding. Surfer Magazine named him ‘The World’s Most Complete Surfer.’

Anyway, he went on & on about how important it is to breathe, obviously duh, we all know that. But he took it a step further & said it’s so much better for you if you breathe out your nose. In fact, he said that breathing through your nose could strengthen a deviated septum & really got into some benefits:

♡ Can help reduce the incident of colds. 

So those tiny little hairs ( that I’m always trying to shave off ) can trap pathogens, so when you’re breathing in & out, you’re reducing the risk of colds because it’s moving those hairs.

♡ It improves your stamina, so you’re able to workout harder & longer.

The next time you’re on a treadmill try breathing only through your nose & notice how much better you’ll feel. 

♡ The nose is meant for breathing!

The nose hair filters out the particles in the air.

The mucous has an enzyme that kills viruses & bacteria

The turbinates & sinuses warm & condition the air & produce nitric oxide—> which improves lung function ( & overall lung volume ), sexual health & cardiovascular health.

♡ A bit more on nitric oxide….

Nitric Oxide is made in the nostrils of humans. When we breathe IN, the nitric oxide will go all the way through the airways & into the deep lungs. It contributes to relaxation & expansion of the blood vessels & nitric oxide can kill bacteria & viruses.

So, after learning all of that a few months ago, OF COURSE I’ve been trying to breathe out my nose, & it’s something you really need to practice & think about. It doesn’t just come naturally.

If you think about it, most people breathe through their mouth when they sleep. Michael always makes fun of me because I sleep with my mouth wide open ( catching flies, you know? LOL ) & when you breathe with your mouth wide open you’re getting bad oxygen. Actually it has been found that people who breathe heavily out of their mouths will see these 3 problems:

♡ Lower Co2 levels in the lungs.

♡ Lower Co2 concentration in the blood.

♡ Restricted o2 flow to the brain & other tissues.

If you’re breathing out of your mouth for 8 hours, you want to use the other hours in the day to breath out of your nose. It only makes sense.

Laird says that breathing through the mouth causes your blood vessels to become inflamed & enlarged. Sometimes people end up taping their mouth shut at night so they breathe through their nose, WHICH IS JUST CRAZY, but after knowing all the benefits how could you not?

You should also know that nose breathing causes you to slow down naturally & if you’ve ever been to a Bikram yoga class you’ll know that they encourage nasal breathing through most of the postures.

It’s also incredible calming to the mind & body. This is something I really noticed when I started to pay attention. When you’re upset or feel emotional about something, it’s very calming to breathe through your nose & tap into the mind body connection.

If you’re interested in breathing better like I am, there are some specific yoga poses that can help with this: camel, seated twists, & gentle backbends that open up the lungs.

Personally, I’ve really started thinking about breath, whether it’s in meditation, or sitting still, or dealing with something upsetting. The other day, I had something jarring happen to me, & instead of reacting to it, I practiced Tony Robbins’ 90 second rule where you only get upset about something for 90 seconds then you move on. & through his 90 seconds rule, I used my breath ( through my nose ), & calmed down. ( I’ve noticed that when I’m anxious I hold my breath, as I’m sure many do ).

As I said in a recent Instagram post, I’ve been exploring the William Hoff breathing method too. Stay tuned for a post on this soon.

6. TONGUE SCRAPING

Tongue scraping is just something that needs to happen. Everyone should do it. It’s just as important as brushing your teeth. Simple as that. Think of all the food you eat & all that bacteria just sitting there at the back of your tongue. The tongue is an easy place for all this bacteria to attach & GROW.

So when you’re talking to someone or French kissing, all that bacteria is just sitting there like a nasty rat.

I like to use my tongue scraper in the morning & at night. Very first thing in the morning is ideal because I want to scrape all the bacteria off before I have anything to drink ( like my matcha latte ). Like, I’m not trying to swallow tongue bacteria over here. I do it again at night for good measure.

This is totally an Ayurveda thing- in fact, we had expert Sahara Rose on the podcast & she breaks down why you NEED TO BE CLEANING YOUR TONGUE the second you wake up. A toothbrush isn’t cutting it – sorry guys.

Stainless steel is the way to go AND your breath will smell 234023984 times better when you clean your tongue. I like this one because it’s adjustable, made of surgical grade stainless steel, & it just works. It takes 5 seconds & you won’t believe what comes off. You’ll be floored.

It’s great to travel with & even Michael has been hanging around the bathroom doing it too. Once you start, you won’t stop. Promise.

7. SOCIAL MEDIA BLACKOUT

Last year I realized that I was experiencing kind of a burnout. & this isn’t me complaining – I’m just acknowledging that I felt burnt out. It’s ok. It’s part of the job. It’s part of life. In all areas of life whether it be your job, relationship, being a mother, WHATEVER, it’s normal to experience burnout.

Creating content 7 days a week for 9.5 years gave me burnout.

I’ll never forget when I was a bartender, there was always this guy who used to sit at the bar. He was a really major, successful real estate agent, & he would always tell me that I was crazy for working 7 days a week. He would always say how you need at least 1 day off to recharge & rejuvenate. Here I was, in my early 20s, laughing at him in my head- thinking that I was this badass who could take on working 7 days a week. In reality, I needed to check my ego.

Sure, that works for a while. It works until it doesn’t anymore. It works until you’re getting headaches from looking at a screen, or carpal tunnel from typing on a phone or computer, or fatigue, or lack of creativity.

Anyway, it did work for me for a very long time. I was creating content 7 days a week & then, like I said, a couple months ago, I felt totally drained. Instead of taking a huge break & going back to it, I thought it would be strategic to take 2-3 days off a month where I had a complete social media break. I go dark. Let the phone die. Spend time with what’s in front of me. Read a real book. Spend time with my husband & Chihuahuas. We cook, catch up on our shoes, walk our dogs, meet friends at the beach. Its’ really rejuvenating. Sometimes I even sleep. Ha!

It’s nice to give yourself that break from the pressure of feeling like you constantly have to create, whether it be a blog post, or Instagram Stories, or scrolling through DMs, or letting yourself be a slave to your email inbox.

Anyways, that’s my story. I know I can be intense at time, & I’m certainly not telling anyone to emulate exactly what I do- it’s just what works for me. It’s important to have those days that are free of social media. 2 days in a row on a Saturday & Sunday works really well. I’ve been finding it makes me a better creator.

BUT ALSO… WHO needs to be watching the news & consuming content 24/7 right now?

Sure it’s important to keep up with the news & what’s happening during this pandemic, but if you find it’s increasing your anxiety, try to unplug for a bit. Give yourself a few days off or implement some boundaries in your household. For instance, only watch the news at a specific time, once a day for 30 mins. Just an example – but you do what works for you.

Here are the top 3 reasons you should try a social media blackout:

♡ RECHARGES YOUR BATTERIES

At times, I feel like I AM A CELL PHONE. When I’m at 1% I’m not helping anyone. Not my audience, my husband, my family or my friends. When I feel that I’m on 1%, that means it’s time to check myself before I wreck myself. It means it’s time to recharge. How I do that is by letting my phone die, turning off the TV, grabbing a REAL BOOK, & hopping into bed with my Kardashian blanket ( btw, you need one of these blankets, they’re insanely soft >> more here ). I conserve my energy very carefully & that means being of aware of the people I surround myself with & the content I consume. It’s so important that you take the time to recharge that battery so you can function as your best self.

As Tim Ferriss says: “Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner. So what if you return a phone call an hour later or the next morning? As one reader put it to a miffed co-worker who worked 24/7 and expected the same: “I’m not the president of the US. No one should need me at 8pm at night. OK, you didn’t get a hold of me. But what bad happened?” The answer? Nothing.”

♡ ALLOWS YOU TO CONNECT WITH WHAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU

My dogs, my husband, my daughter, my books, my family, my friends- these are all things I want to make sure I connect with & don’t neglect. When It comes to being present & being in the moment the phone is such a distraction. When it’s in your face all day, you aren’t connecting in a meaningful way. When I go out with my friends, I make it a point to put my phone away & not look at it. It would be SO PREDICTABLE for me to pull it out & be on it all the time in front of my friends & I don’t want to be like that. Sometimes I read on my phone, but it’s just not the same as reading a real book. The smell & feel of a real book really gets me off. Also, when I read on my phone I end up scrolling, & I’ve found that when I scroll I end up a little bit depressed. That’s why I keep the content I consume very minimal- I have a wellness person, a beauty person, a fitness person & about 2 others I follow on Instagram. Besides these 5 people, I don’t watch anyone’s Stories or scroll profiles. On Facebook, I’m part of my group & that’s it, because I want to stay in my own lane & I don’t want to be served SO MUCH CONTENT all the time. Mark Manson in his book Everything is Fucked, talks about why we’re all so unhappy despite having more than ever before & what’s contributing to this paradox.

♡ IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL ( & YOUR EYES )

It’s just good for your soul to get the fuck off your phone. There’s not a lot to say here except it’s therapeutic, & cathartic. It’s just good for you. It’s good for your eyes, wrists & neck. ( If you’re having issues with your neck & back from staring at your phone, you need to try cupping & acupuncture– life-changing ). & if you have carpal tunnel in your wrists like me, then try doing some stretches a few times a day. If your wrists are really bad try out this wrist exerciser.

8. OPTIMIZE YOUR SLEEP

Here’s the deal: you sleep 7-9 hours a night. That’s A LOT OF YOUR LIFE. So that part of your life should be as seamless & optimized as possible. Like you should think about your sleeping conditions. I mean you should do you. But for me, I spent time really thinking about HOW I slept. I very much want the experience optimized.

Let’s get into the details. First off, you should know that with any blog post or content creation I never want to waste anyone’s time. Like I want you to actually get tangible, valuable advice that you will utilize in your everyday life. So my goal here is to provide you with VALUE- so much value that you will optimize your own sleep experience. You know what I mean?

Ok. So we are ready to get into it.

SALT ROCK LAMP:

LIFE-CHANGING. Get one, or get a night light. The orange light signals to your brain to go to sleep. You should know I absolutely use this EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.

But let’s get specific.

When I was in London for Christmas not too long ago, for the first few days I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling weird, then I realized it was SAD. For anyone who doesn’t know, SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder & is a mood disorder primarily affecting sufferers in the winter months.

I literally couldn’t believe how much I felt like a totally different person. It was a mixture of very few hours of sunlight, not working out, jetlag, & not being on a normal schedule. It’s like there was wool over my eyes & I had this super heavy energy.

From teaching Pure Barre & Pilates, I became very in-tune with my body, & still have that mind-body connection. Something was off- I could tell. I hopped on Google, started researching, came across Seasonal Depression & realized…this always happens when I travel somewhere that’s dark.

Immediately I went into finding solutions for this problem. One of them was a happy light ( which I immediately bought ), supplementing with St. John’s Wort, dawn alarm ( an alarm that wakes you up with light instead of beeping ), exercise, journaling, aromatherapy, & a salt lamp.

To be honest I didn’t have immediate access to a salt lamp so I kinda forgot about it.

After Christmas was over, we went to Gstaad, Switzerland.

There is the most magnificent spa at the hotel we stayed at in Gstaad. The spa had all these different saunas & steam rooms…I mean ALL THE SAUNAS…wet, dry, wood, herbal, bio, stone, Turkish, Finnish, infrared, steam- like all of them.

Ironically, they also had a salt room. Basically, you go in your hotel robe & sit there & stare at this huge salt lamp. On the wall there was a list of all the benefits & on that list was good for mood, & great for depression & anxiety.

So I sat there for 20 minutes, staring at this salt lamp, waiting for it to work it’s magical powers. After 20 minutes guys…I kid you fucking not, I felt 99% better. LITERALLY couldn’t believe it. I was out of my mind over it & almost wrote a blog post right there, on the spot. But I figured I’d wait & do some more research & get access to my own before I talked to you guys about it.

It’s known to lift depression & anxiety immediately, especially for people who live in dark, rainy areas.

YOU SHOULD KNOW IT HAS TONS OF OTHER BENEFITS TOO:

♡ natural antihistamine
♡ good for digestion
♡ improves metabolism
♡ reduces stress hormones
♡ lowers cortisol
♡ good for vascular health
♡ balances electrolytes
♡ prevents muscle cramping
♡ supports a healthy nervous system
♡ improves sleep

It’s said that positive ions can really drain your energy, but a salt lamp releases natural negative ions which can bring your energy back up.

More info here. & if you’re into this salt rock lamp idea, you’re going to love this post on red light therapy.

START WINDING DOWN 1 HOUR BEFORE BEDTIME:

WHIP OUT THE MUSHROOM TEA or mint tea or lemon water. Dim the lights, get your cortisol down, step away from electronics, matte black diffuser goes ON. Get the vibe right. All these tips help with the vibe, but make sure you’re getting yourself dialed out an hour-ish before bedtime.

DIMMED LIGHTS:

Dim, dim, dimmity, dim. The lights getting dimmed happens at like 8 PM. It signals our brain that it’s time to wind down. I dim the lights & the dogs love it. Of course they also expect their leopard Kardashian blanket to come out too.

LIMIT ELECTRONICS:

I KNOW, I KNOW. But we need to discuss this. First off, & this one is very important, I HAVE TO LIMIT ELECTRONICS. Now this has been VERY difficult for me. I am a night owl & work best at night in front of my computer, with Bossa nova, & a cup of mint tea. This comes from my days of bartending until midnight. I’d come home after an extremely long shift & get to work until 3 AM. However lately, I have found the sooner I get off the electronics, the better sleep I have, the better the next day. You know, it’s kind of a Domino effect here. Which again is sort of devastating because I love working at night.

To be completely transparent we are kind of a work in progress here.

So instead of shutting down at 12:30 PM, I’m aiming for 9 PM now. Getting off electronics doesn’t just help sleep guys! It’s good for the libido. No really, Michael likes the bedroom to stay as a sleep/sex room. HA.

AS FAR AS WINDING DOWN OFF ELECTRONICS: I use my blue light glasses or computer software called f.lux, or A BOOK LIGHT TO READ a real book, ALL of which help block the blue light that stimulates the brain. I usually throw on my obnoxious but necessary glasses around 8-ish. And of course, CALM or peppermint tea is nearby. Quick tip: lately, instead of tea bags I’ve been using actual fresh mint over hot water & it’s DIVINE!

elemis oribe la mer glam glow herbivore skincare winter essentials tsc

shower plants beauty skincare hacks tips spa by tsc

CBD, SKINCARE, & EUCALYPTUS SHOWER:

CBD: so, so fab. Winds you the hell down! I do two puffs of my gold pen OR I do drops in my fresh mint tea. So easy.

Skincare is always happening- you can find my whole night time routine here.

And of course, a eucalyptus shower. Really calms me down to have a hot shower before bed- especially under eucalyptus leaves with a salt rock glow.

OIL DIFFUSER:

This is a must.

First, get the right oils. Tangerine or lavender or valor is always going in our house. Sometimes I mix in grapefruit too. They’re all delicious.

As my sister says ( she loves oils too ): Tangerine is very good for purifying your house and making it smell clean, it is very citrusy ( of course & Lauryn’s all time favorite ). Tangerine oil is an antiseptic & an immune booster as well. It is also a digestive aid and helps with insomnia & memory support. The best part about Tangerine is it regenerates new cells while purifying the blood! That being said, I would buy it as a “Vitality” as well as an oil, so I could put it in my drink to digest!” I AGREE.

When my favorite diffuser is misting, the scent comes out it in the most SEXY way. It’s hard to explain over the computer but like the flow of the essential oils reminds me of the smoke that comes out of the hot-tempered, blue caterpillar’s hookah in Alice In Wonderland– you know what I mean? Like the mist just creates this very therapeutic, sexy situation- very feng shui-y. This is on the pricer side ($108) but worth every penny because it’s a pretty fixture that creates good energy in the home. ALSO, it also comes in matte white. Other pluses: time setting option, runs for 7.5 hours, easy to clean, & it has a little light around the bottom that gives off more delicious ambience. cord isn’t overly chunky which we love. AND. It comes in matte black, white or pink- more here. LOVE.

SO THAT’S THAT! Optimize your sleep. Create a sleep den. Make it peaceful, romantic. And most importantly make sure it lowers your cortisol. It’s easy to create a zen-like bedroom if you make it a point.

Sleep is your friend. It’s a huge part of your life! Pay attention to how you’re sleeping.

Let’s be real here, I NEED MY BEAUTY SLEEP OR ELSE. Michael knows this.

9. WORK ON YOUR POSTURE

You guys might already know that I’m in love with chiropractor, Dr. Patrick. Patrick is QUITE popular with the girls ( and guys! ) on Snapchat.

Patrick is good-looking & all but I like him for other reasons. Like what? Well he’s helped me BIG time with my neck.

When I was 18 years old I got into a major car accident & got lateral whiplash on the right side of my neck. Between holding my heavy laptop bag & literally working off my phone every second of the day, the whole situation is a medley for disaster. Pretty much: my neck was fucked.

stretches for better posture chiropractic health benefits by the skinny confidential

Now enter: FIX BODY GROUP in Hillcrest where Patrick works.

You should know Fix Body Group is a one-stop shop for body pain. Whenever my neck hurts, I’m there. My favorite part happens to be the traction & stretching. When Patrick stretches my neck a million endorphins release- it’s crazy. If chiropractic work isn’t your thing they also provide massage services, acupuncture, Active Release Technique, therapeutic exercise, & stretching. They also very much will help you with a Dowager’s hump- we don’t want these, yet women everywhere are getting them younger than ever because we’re all hunched over our phones.

( ALSO this Chinese herbal medicated oil that I apply on sore areas like my neck or shoulders HELPS A LOT ( they sell it at FIX ). Sometimes I’ll apply it after a workout or anytime I have sore joints. It’s magical- really OBSESSED with the smell of camphor & this has the same scent.

You can also try an acuppressure mat & pillow too. I BEG YOU TO READ THIS POST if you haven’t- this set-up is so inexpensive & sooooo amazing. It stimulates the whole body in a few minutes. Our Chihuahuas even like it.

Ok ok, Dr. Patrick was on the blog a while ago to answer all my burning questions & talk all about posture, specifically, a ‘Dowager’s hump.’ Here’s what he had to say:

+ What is this hump you speak of? Can you elaborate?

Dr. Patrick Cucarola: A Dowager’s hump is the fatty tissue build up on the back of the lower neck which leads to pain. It forms over time due to bad posture. Basically, the head and shoulders roll forward, you lose the natural spinal curve then a fatty hump forms in the back. Think of the hunchback of Notre Dame, but not quite that bad. You get the point.

+ How do us girls avoid the hump? Like we don’t want it- ya know?

PC: Dowager’s humps form and sneak up on you over time. The best approach to prevention is stretching, exercises, chiropractic treatments and limiting forward head posture activities. Another way to avoid having the hump is to take some time away from the phone, computer and look up at the rest of the world. That’s a difficult concept due to work, addictions to phones and social media but there are ways to prevent and fix the problem.

+ What’s a mid day trick to help avoid the hump situation?

PC: Stand up, stretch the chest and give your neck a rest from holding up your head in a stressed position. Imagine holding a bowling ball in front of you all day. That’s a lot of pressure on the joints and muscles in the back. Your head weighs approximately the same as a bowling ball so your neck has a big job to do.

+ What’s a tool we can all use at home to help with posture?

PC: The easiest tool you can use at home or work is a doorway. By standing in the doorway and placing your hands and elbows on the walls, you can lean forward and stretch your chest and shoulders. If we are stretching the front, then we want to strengthen the back. Using a resistance band to do pull a parts and rows are perfect and easy tools to use.

+ Three stretches that are quick and easy that make all the difference.

  1. Doorway chest stretch.
  2. Upper trap/neck stretch.
  3. Lying on foam roller with arms outstretched.

+ One resource for better posture? Could be anything.

PC: Intelliskin is a great resource for posture improvement. They make undershirts, bras or even bodysuits that help pull your shoulders back naturally, compared to other harnesses that hold your back in an awkward, forced position.

The sports bras are great for daily use and helps your body maintain a good posture while exercising or while doing other daily activities. They have elastic bands on the back and shoulders that help pull your shoulders back and open up the chest and make you use your own muscles to hold that position. Personally, I haven’t used the bra for obvious male reasons, but the science behind them is solid.

10. THE MORNING PAGES

Wake up.Tongue scrape. Water with lemon. Sip matcha latte. Meditate. More water with lemon. Add some apple cider vinegar. Diffuse oils. Morning Pages. Make bed. Listen to a podcast.

Things are therapeutic over here in the mornings.

They have to be.

I realized with all of life’s chaos, I NEEDED MY MORNINGS TO BE TRANQUIL.

My life is go, go, go. 230948209384 questions every day. I am putting out fires, returning e-mails, DM’s, on conference calls, editing, writing & making decisions. Throw in a new baby & MY GOD! So i need my mornings to start off soft.

( HINTS TO MICHAEL HERE! PLEASE DON’T ASK ME ABOUT BUSINESS BEFORE 9 AM BABE! ).

ANYWAY. I love the book The Artist’s Way– if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. I know I recommend a lot of books on here but I love books. THIS ONE happens to be a perennial seller. However, maybe you can’t get around to reading this one. So I pulled one of the most valuable tips ( my opinion of course ) from the book for YOU.

Enter: ‘Morning Pages’

Known as one of the most profound and empowering tools for cultivating creativity, personal growth, & change are the Morning Pages- this is a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that helps you basically purge your thoughts before you start your day.

Think of it as getting all your thoughts on paper before you need to tackle your to-do list.

I’m the type of person that will be legit distracted if I don’t do this in the morning. My thoughts are so chaotic & I want to get everything done that I literally can’t form sentences if I don’t write them down in the morning.

When I first started a business I did this thing ( which I still do in my Morning Pages ) called TOP 7. TOP 7 is your top 7 priorities that NEED to get done for the day. Again, I still do my TOP 7, I just do them within my Morning Pages.

You can really write whatever you want in your Morning Pages- the only catch is this: YOU HAVE TO WRITE THREE PAGES AND YOU CANNOT STOP. My pages include my to-do list, TOP 7, what’s bugging me, where I want to take my business, what I am grateful for ( I do this one everyday! ), ideas, visions, dreams, quotes, funny sayings, things my husband says to me, etc. You can have your three pages be anything you want really.

Just write three.

As this source states: “Morning Pages is a practice introduced by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Waya book designed to help blocked creatives get unblocked.

Although it’s disguised as a book for “artists”—  it’s really a guide for anyone who’s feeling stuck, unfulfilled in their work, or believe that their best music is left unsung ( even if they don’t know what song they’re meant to be singing ).

It’s a book to help people deal with that sonofabitch Steven Pressfield calls out by name in The War of Art“The Resistance”: 

Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.” – Steven Pressfield

Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is meant for anyone who wants to tap back into their creative selves. Which frankly could be any of us. Because, if we’re honest, we’re all creative. Even if we’ve managed to forget that somewhere along the way.” { via }

YOU, YES YOU, ARE CREATIVE.

And Morning Pages will showcase your creativity in ways you can never imagine.

Here’s the catch: there’s no stressing, no exceptions, no erasing- JUST WRITING. PEN TO PAPER. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. It can be about NOTHING or it can be about SOMETHING- get rid of all judgement. Write whatever is on your mind whether it’s stupid or not- JUST WRITE.

THIS IS FOR YOU. Not even to re-read really. It’s more of a mind-dump. Write for no one. Do not become attached to the outcome, become attached to the mind-dump.

You can use the rest of the day to be chaotic & crazed & hard on yourself- just do not do it during MORNING PAGES!

IT’S KIND OF LIKE A WRITTEN MEDITATION.

The author & creator of Morning Pages, Julia Cameron says: “Morning pages bring our hopes, dreams, fears, & confusions into focus. They point us toward areas that need attention. While some people may use the pages to face an addiction, others may find the pages leading them toward dreams they had never articulated. As we come into focus, our size and shape are often surprisingly large.”

“THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO DO MORNING PAGES,” CAMERON WRITES.

After a bunch of reading & researching & interviewing hundreds of successful people, I have found that successful people form daily habits. They know that success does not happen overnight, it happens in your daily habits. SO- what are you doing daily that’s contributing to your overall success?

For me, doing Morning Pages represents something I do daily, call it a ritual, that has become a healthy habit. I believe this habit will open doors for me that would not be available had I not picked up this new routine. It’s also one that relaxes me, sets the tone of the day, keeps my mind sharp, & comes with a reward. I feel accomplished early in the morning with clear thoughts while I make the bed. In fact, I feel peaceful.

I share this with you all not to preach but to showcase how much these pages have helped me- I have more clarity than ever. For a while ( this is another post ) I was feeling overwhelmed. This is one of the things that has brought me back to crystal clear thoughts. My vision is stronger than ever.

Honestly I would go as far to say that Morning Pages shifted my focus.

Anyway! You have to try it, k? Trust me here!

OH AND OF COURSE YOU KNOW I AM VERY SPECIFIC about the type of notebook I write in ( it has to be spiral- I don’t want to have to hold it open BUT it also needs to be cute- SEE HERE ), the pen I use ( this white one is the ONLY pen I can ever write long form content with- SOMETHING ABOUT IT, I have 10 of them everywhere ), & music I listen to while writing ( Bossa nova jazz or smooth jazz PLEASE, volume low but not too low ). Also, I keep mine private- they’re very personal.

PHEW! That was a long one. But, in the latest podcast episode I promised to compile my favorite wellness tips that have made all the  difference, so voilá!

Since community is so so SO important right now, I hope you’re all part of The Skinny Confidential Secret Facebook Group. It’s a good place to be if you’re feeling lonely.

Sending a big virtual hug to everyone with lots of hand sanitizer of course.

x, lauryn.

+ if you missed my favorite tips for immunity, scope it here.

++ If you’re looking for a kick in the ass, definitely check out this post on red light therapy.

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  1. AvatarLyndsey Ribble

    I’m reading The Artist’s Way for the first time (I started when quarantine started) and its LIFE CHANGING! So good! One of my friend’s recommended it and I was like “hey, my fav blogger said that was a good one.” Its the #1 best thing I’ve done for my health and wellness this quarantine and its AMAZING. Thanks for the rec!

    Reply
  2. AvatarElena Peter

    I really appreciate your posts every time! I was not aware of tongue scrap by Ayurveda, it seems that it has a great health benefit. I will also buy one. Thank you for your great posts.

    Reply