• Tools You Can Use To Overcome Anxiety Right Now

    UPDATED April 13, 2017: new video at the bottom of the post!

    I’m an anxious person by nature. I recently suffered from a period of depression and anxiety that stemmed from serious vitamin deficiencies (you can read that article here), but anxiety is part of the framework of who I am. I’ve always worried about something bad happening to my loved ones when they leave the house, I can send obsessive text messages to make sure someone is okay, and facing my own day is a challenge in and of itself. I sometimes think of anxiety as different kinds of monsters that follow me around the house and down the street.

    Being paralyzed by fear, or the unknown, or a physical discomfort is so debilitating – it makes normal things, like taking a walk, or grabbing dinner with friends difficult at times. Not every day is bad, that’s for certain, but go through a period of stress, and the inflamed mind can take its own vacation into a land of discomfort, a place it knows very well.

    I’ve been learning and practicing different tools to help me overcome my moments of anxiety for a while now. The following list is certainly not extensive or complete, but simply my go-to toolbox when my mind starts to race and I’m feeling like I could use support beyond just a tight squeeze from my Mom. Some of these things are quite obvious, and some I’ve picked up in therapy.

    Stop “What IF-ing”

    My fabulous therapist told me a long time ago that I do a lot of “what if-ing”. Thinking about anything that is not the here and now is essentially that. Say the words “what if” out loud followed by some thoughts and you’re doing it. In essence, this is anxious worrying about things that have not materialized and are simply conceptual. It can apply to literally anything: finances, sleep, picking your kids up from school, relationship woes, etc. Instead of “what if-ing” all you have to do is replace the “if” with “is”. Say the words “what is” out loud now and follow them up with exactly the position you’re in. What is real, what is now, what is around you. For example, if I can’t sleep and my mind begins to wander into what my schedule looks like the next day, essentially turning on my brain power and putting sleepiness to the side, I try to get into the headspace of “what is” instead of “what if”. What is really happening right now is simple: I’m just laying in bed. The moment is now. Being present, and not worrying about the future or fantasies does something to stem the anxious thoughts that flood through a stressed-out mind.

    Create a Scheduling Pattern That Works For You

    Whether it’s by journaling, using a to-do list app like Evernote, or leaving a Post-It next to your bed, create a small to-do list for the next day. As someone who works from home and has a fairly open schedule, just tackling the day is one of the hardest things for me to do. It sounds really simple – just go be a human, but for someone with anxiety and free-time on their hands, it’s a problem. I’ve found that creating just a small list of things I’d like to accomplish the next day can be incredibly powerful in releasing your mind from thoughts about what’s to come (essentially “what if-ing”), allowing you instead to ease into a nice book, TV show, or the attention of your partner. 

    This list does not have to be stuck to. The exercise of getting your thoughts out, and providing yourself with some structure to follow, is what’s really helpful here. I’ve woken up plenty of mornings without a clear feeling on what to do with myself. It can be pretty painful to be honest. It should be easy to get up and get moving, but it isn’t for everyone.

    For me, taking my dog to the dog park for a morning romp, followed by exercise and a steam bath are how I like to start my days. Creating behavioral patterns helps me to get up and go like most people do. Knowing I have a responsibility to my pet to get out the door and face the day is a great way to avoid morning thoughts of discomfort.

    Do One Thing Every Day You Don’t Want To Do

    This exercise is new to me, but lets face it, there are of course things in our daily routines we don’t want to do. Recently the lightbulb went off in my mind, allowing me to see that the things that I don’t want to do are generally tied into some sort of social anxiety. I don’t love the idea of going to the gym, because being around a bunch of strangers I’m not brave enough to speak to can feel daunting. However, I recognize now that when I get that feeling of “no” I must, at least once a day, turn it into a feeling of “yes”. I don’t want to go out to the dinner with friends that’s been on the books for weeks? It would be easier to sit at home alone? Bingo, but I MUST do it. Getting into the habit of driving yourself through your discomfort to your destination, at least once a day, can provide relief on the other end. Being able to recognize that feeling of “no” as anxiety, instead of just sitting in it, can help lead you to make positive changes for positive change.


    Feeling anxious? Not feeling anxious? Cool, either way. Have you started meditating yet? I learned the practice of transcendental meditation 3 years ago, and though I don’t do it everyday, I certainly rely on it when times are tough. There are a few apps I like for guided meditation – my favorite being Headspace – that take the hard part out of focusing inward and releasing your body of stress. That’s what meditation does – the stress literally seeps out of your brain and your body, leaving you feeling much more aware, in control of your emotions, and in control of your thoughts. Meditation requires you to train your thoughts to a certain degree, so you can connect the dots with how it helps with anxiety as well.


    This is just a short list of things that help me. Do you have anxiety? What helps you when you’re feeling stressed out? Leaving your thoughts in the comments!



    Image via CargoCollective

  • An Infrared Sauna Kicked My Panic Attack in the Ass

    Cut to Wednesday of this week. I was stresssssseeeedddd out and could feel that feeling of discomfort in my throat when I know that my brain is doing an uncomfortable dance of thoughts, round and round. I have a lot of shit going on right now, and I’m not totally in my Zen place. I went to yoga and that helped at least during the Vinyasa flow, but when class ended I felt agitated again.

    I had made a date with my friend Blair to try HigherDOSE, this new Infrared Sauna place that all the health nuts (me) have been raving about. A traditional sauna is one of those wooden rooms that’s heated – great for heart health – you basically sit quietly and sweat out your sins. I personally prefer a steam bath to a sauna, but I prefer baths in general so perhaps that’s why. You can find me in the steam room at any number of Equinox gyms most days of the week.

    So heat therapy of any nature is right up my alley – plus, I just read this article in Elle that says you can burn 600 calories if you take a super hot, hour long bath (shout out to beauty editor Julie Schott). How crazy is that? So, I guess I’ve been doing things right all along without even knowing it. I’m def going to eat a donut today.

    Anyway, lets get back to HigherDOSE (yes, that’s how the company has identified themselves – one word, DOSE in all caps). The one I went to was off of Bowery, and it’s not exactly easy to find. It’s in the basement level of this restaurant/health shop called The Alchemist’s Kitchen, and if the front door to the restaurant is open, you’ll definitely enter the wrong building and be directed by the nice door lady that you are in fact in the wrong place. SO! Enter The Alchemist’s Kitchen. Enjoy the people watching – lots of models in there, guys. LOTS. Lots of tinctures and potions with turmeric in them and quinoa salads. I absolutely loved this place. It does not feel like New York City upon entering.

    So you finally reach HigherDOSE downstairs. You check in like you would at a fitness studio and there are two small Infrared Saunas for use – reservations a MUST. You can either heat up for a 30 or 60 minute session, and the nice girls walk you through the process. They suggest you get naked, but there are towels for modesty (and sweat), along with a robe to cool off in after your session. There’s a funny shower situation next to the bathroom so you can rinse off after your sauna (funny in that you’re showering behind a plastic curtain in the middle of a restaurant – but hey, New York). Everyone is totally polite and totally into it, so I get into it too.

    She explains what Infrared is all about, saying that it’s a way to “workout without working out” and that it will totally “de-stress” you. I went with the goal of getting rid of my mounting anxiety, so I hope she is not telling me lies. They heat up the sauna with “infrared heat” instead of traditional heat and I still can’t quite figure out what that means.  Without any scientific proof (that I can find but feel free to prove me wrong in the comments), the claims HigherDOSE make on their site regarding Infrared Sauna also note that a 45 minute session is akin to a 7 day juice cleanse detox, burning as many calories as you would by running 3-4 miles, decreases cortisol and chills you out, and is great for anti-aging because infrared heat stimulates the skin and creates collagen. I’m game for all of this, so into the sauna I go.

    Once you’re in there you can choose which “LED light”color to sweat to. My friend and I choose blue, because it’s noted that blue is a mentally relaxing color. A lot of babes that go to HigherDOSE go between red light for anti-aging benefits and blue light for chill time. We plop down in the tiny sauna with our towels on, the heat set to a 157 F. It gets hot pretty quickly. I get so hot I have to leave to re-fill my water glass a few times (kindly provided by the service). We basically talk about our problems and love lives and start SWEATING. Mind you, I’ve already done hot yoga and maybe snuck into the steam room at Equinox so I’m pretty concerned about my water intake. I make sure to drink about 9 glasses of water.

    All of a sudden, there are 2 minutes left in our 30 minute session and I decide to pop out of the 157 F box a little early. We put on robes, grab our clothes and trudge over to the bathroom area/shower. After a quick rinse we’re ready to go, having had the full HigherDOSE experience in 45 minutes flat. And can I tell you something? My anxiety has been reduced.  The feeling in my throat slowly melted back in to my body. I feel calm, and exhausted.

    Perhaps it was the conversation with my friend, perhaps it was the intense sweating, perhaps it was the soft blue light – but something about the session allowed me to get out of my brain long enough to calm down my nerves and make me feel a little bit better. At least temporarily. 

    The HigherDOSE chicks recommend coming between 1-5 times a week if you’re going through the shit, as more sessions will become more helpful over time. I’m already a believer in saunas and steam baths being excellent for health, so I’m totally into what there doing there, LED lights and all. I will be back, and soon.

    You can check out HigherDOSE online and visit one of their 3 locations across NYC.

  • The Items You Need To Kick-Start a Diet

    Like most people, I aim to eat healthy, cook nutritious food, and make good food choices in general. There is a total food revolution happening, a lot of new research emerging about what’s good and bad for you, and so many good food options available at most grocery stores these days that it’s not as difficult to get on the right path.

    Since I went to culinary school and really learned how to cook, I’ve also been able to assess the types of food I’ve been eating and figure out how to make healthy dishes that still taste remarkably delicious and satisfying. It’s pretty easy to reduce salt and fat when you learn to replace those things with fresh herbs, lots of spices, and thoughtful cooking techniques. Don’t get me wrong – I still love a good piece of fried chicken cooked up in old fashioned Crisco, but imagine enjoying a piece of chicken that’s air-fried in bison tallow instead? Yes, bison tallow is a real thing – I get it from Thrive Market! And air-fryers are dope, man.

    With that being said, I’d like to share with you the discoveries I’ve made in the kitchen regarding specific foods and tools that have made eating healthy that make easier and more delicious. Onward ho!


    Oh, the joys of ghee. Really just clarified butter, ghee is what’s left after you remove the milk solids from liquified butter. I know you’re probably giving me the side eye right now because BUTTER, but hear me out. Ghee is a great source of Vitamins A, E, and K – very important when it comes to getting your nutrients in (I should know). It’s also heart-healthy, believe it or not, because it can lower your cholesterol.  Finally, ghee is full of antioxidants, and those antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body, making you healthier inside and out. Final benefit – it’s VERY tasty. Final, final benefit – it’s really easy to cook with. It comes soft in a glass or plastic jar and melts really easily into your pan. You can also make it yourself. Melt a stick of butter on very low heat and scoop off all the milk fat that comes to the top. Reserve the clarified butter in a glass, air-proof container and bam – homemade ghee.



    A mandolin is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It makes taking down veggies an absolute fucking BREEZE so that you can do a big food prep when you get your groceries home, allowing yourself to simply go into the fridge for pre-sliced cucumbers or what have you whenever you want. I find that the prep is a huge obstacle for most people when it comes to eating healthy. If it’s already ready, you’ll eat it. If it’s not, it’s a mind over matter type of situation. Hello, pizza delivery.  Good for all kinds of veggies, it easily allows you to cut them down with the simple swipe of the wrist in about 15 second flat.



    I got turned on to this specific type of plastic container in culinary school and have been hooked every since. I love them. You can write on them, they’re easy to wash, and loads cheaper than Ziploc and other brands. Plus, because they’re tall you can really pack food into them without taking up too much space in your fridge.



    I’ve spoken about my absolute LOVE for the Vitamix, and while it’s definitely an investment piece, it’s the best utility tool I have in my kitchen. It’s not just for smoothies, no, no, no. You can put a piece of beef in there and end up with tar tar! Throw in beans and hummus comes out. Put in warm pieces of butternut squash and chicken stock and you’ll get butternut squash soup. Seriously, it’s amazing. I find that I use it for so, so, so many things beyond just a morning smoothie. Getting creative with food is the best way to keep things interesting when you’re trying to eat healthy. For me, that means taking food in it’s original form and literally turning it into something else. I’d marry my Vitamix if I could.



    Probably the most important thing I bring with me into the kitchen is an open mind. Being willing to experiment, get my hands dirty, mess something up and start over again – all really important when creating healthy and balanced dishes. Never tried an ingredient before? Do it! Never shopped at an online health food store? Why not? I love Thrive Market – take a look around. Even more mainstream groceries stores are stocking their aisles with healthy options that before were really only available at your neighborhood co-op market. Trust that the choices you make will turn out delicious. 

    Good luck!


    chef lo

    Images via Earthbound Farm, Daily Health Post, Serious Eats, Williams Sonoma




  • How To Not Look Thirsty At The Gym (not, like, H20 Thirsty)

    Whether you’re discovering the miracles of exercise for the first time, are getting back into a workout routine (like me – I’ve been having lower back problems, ugg), or are a fitness freak, the right gear is a critical part of getting motivated, feeling comfortable, and looking your best. Let’s not deny that last part – everyone wants to look kinda sexy at the gym. Or, at least I do. But not thirsty, definitely not thirsty. 

    Instead of going for crazy, strappy sports bras that don’t actually provide support, and see-through, paneled leggings for your first week in a new routine, here are my personal selections for great activewear that will also make you look fly. There’s definitely a middle road between totally cray and totally boring.  That’s exactly where I like to live.  Let’s start from the feet and work our way up.


    Shoes, no matter your fitness level, can be totally fun, wild, and colorful (or not colorful in my case). They’re the exception to the “outrageous” rule we’re trying to avoid here. What’s most important is that they provide good support and that you choose the right shoe for the right activity. If you’re going to start running, choose running shoes, obvs.


    All the pants here are not too crazy, beautiful colors, a lil’ jazzy when it comes to the design, and obviously quite supportive of the bum and tummy. I love a high and tight pant that flatters everything from the belly button down. I really like the high-waisted Nike ones in particular.



    Sports bras have gone from totally lame to totally insane in the past two years. I prefer the ones that are stylish but still functional. I’m between a C and D cup so something supportive is important, and it’s also fun to let the girls look shapely and nice, too. I’m very much digging everything that’s a pseudo-crop top that’s also functional.



    My favorite kind of top is a tank, one that can be tied up in the back if you want, thrown over your bike handles if you want, and loose/comfy. I’m not super into crazy colors or weird embellishments. Ugly tops can totally kill a gym look. 


    I hope you like my moderate, yet totally sexable choices. It’s easy to feel comfortable, feel supported, and look good all at the same time. Now all you have to do is say “HI” to that cute guy doing plank pose next to you in yoga. Go, go, go!!!!!!

    Image via @Bandier

  • The 100 Workout

    Hey, hey!

    Find a 100 dollar bill? Get 100% on a test? Both will make you extremely happy, correct?

    The number 100 is always linked to greatness, and that is why I wanted to create a workout based around the number. This workout will get your heart rate up and help you burn a ton of calories in a short amount of time. Sounds amazing, right?

    Set your timer and see how long it takes you to complete the workout below. I then challenge you to beat your time the next time you complete the workout!

    Strong, stronger, strongest.

    Well, here it is:

    100 WORKOUT

    100 Jumping Jacks

    90 Squats

    80 High Knees

    70 Mountain Climbers

    60 Butt Kickers

    50 Russian Twists

    40 Plank Up/Downs

    30 Full Sit-Ups

    20 Lunge Jumps

    10 Burpees

    1 Minute Plank

    Go all out, and get down with the number 100.

    Peace & Love,
    Emily Burkhardt

  • 2016: The Year Of My Great Depression

    the worst year ever.

    2016 wasn’t only just the worst year ever, it was also the year I turned 30, founded my own feminine wellness company, and brought an amazing puppy home. So not all bad. Light does find a way of shining through the darkness. And what is the darkness I’m referring to? Crippling anxiety and depression at the hands of a severe vitamin deficiency that went undiscovered for 16 months.

    Read More

  • How I Left My Dairy Life Behind (And How Doing So Did Wonders for My Skin)

    Hi, everyone. I’m Eliza and I used to be a self-proclaimed dairy addict. In fact, I always took my coffee, extra light, with cream. Whenever I could, I would season my meals with an overabundance of cheese. And, truth be told, I had this special bond with full-fat dairy yogurt. But, one day, I decided to leave that life behind in pursuit of a dairy-free diet. This is my story.

    Read More

  • March MABness Your 4-Week Journey to Rock-Hard Abs!

    Hi, Guys!

    I’m a few days late to the start of the month, but boy do I have a four-week AB challenge for you!

    To compliment March Madness, the showcasing of America’s strongest college basketball teams, I’ve come up with March MABness, a month-long exercise routine guaranteed to get you your strongest core!

    Here are the 6 moves you will use throughout my challenge. Get yourself familiar with them before you rock and roll!

    Read More

  • 4 Steam Room Etiquette Tips You Must Know

    Like many of you, I really love a good steam room. I find steaming to be an almost meditative practice, one that allows me to slow down the rapid-fire train of thoughts whirring through the Penn Station situated in my head. It also grabs the toxins sitting underneath my skin out, and allows any excess water weight and bloating to pour out of my skin. A good sweat is life-changing, a way to break through a nasty hangover or simply change your outlook on your day. If you’re not steaming, add it to your beauty routine STAT. You will look and feel better because of it.

    Read More

  • Exercise on the Go! Because You Can, You Know?

    Hey, Busy Bee!

    Time to focus on your body all day every day without anyone knowing you are getting your workout on!

    Here are eight exercises  you can seamlessly incorporate into your daily routine!

    1. Stay confident with your posture
      Your trunk, or core, is the center of your body. Start to constantly engage it. This will not only help keep your core tone, but it will give you a nice confident posture!
    2. Commercial break workouts
      Watch TV and workout! Here is a link to my last article that has a fun challenge for you to complete every time you watch your favorite show.
    3. Grocery bag bicep curls
      Evenly distribute the weight of your groceries in each hand and give a little love to your biceps!
    4. Squats while you brush your teeth
      Many dentists say you should spend 2 minutes brushing your teeth—that’s at least 4 minutes of squats a day!
    5. Enjoy the scenic route
      Take the long way to each and every destination, even if that means you have to park at the back of the parking lot.
    6. Lunge down hallways
      At home or in the office.
    7. Calf raises while you are waiting
      Whether you are waiting for your favorite salad, or for the bathroom get those calf raises in!
    8. Dance and laugh as much as possible.
      Get your groove on and giggle until your abs are on fire to burn a few extra calories.

    Dance, laugh and stay confident with these eight moves all while creating the best version of yourself!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhard

    Feature image via Bjoern Ewers.

  • The Commercial Break Workout You Have to Try!

    Hey, TV Heads!

    Yes, you! Don’t have enough time to hit the gym because your favorite TV show is on tonight? Don’t worry, I totally get it! That’s why I created this special workout just for you!

    Presenting, Emily Burkhardt’s Commercial Break Workout!

    A 30-minute show typically has two to three commercial breaks, each lasting roughly two to three minutes. That’s six to nine minutes of free time for you to get your heart rate up!

    I’m challenging you to complete the following three circuits during the commercial breaks of your favorite show. Watching a 60 minute show? Repeat the workout!

    Commercial Break #1:

    20 Couch Up/Down
    Step up and down off of the couch. Alternate which leg leads each time you step up.
    10 Decline Push-Ups
    Plank position with your hands on the floor and feel on the couch. Keep your back flat and push-it-up!
    25 Russian Pillow Twists
    Sit in a V position, grab the pillow of your couch, hold it close to your chest with your elbows out, and swing your torso from left to right keeping your arms stable.
    Repeat 2x

    Commercial Break #2:

    25 Jumping Jacks
    Go big with these!
    20 Couch Squats
    Feet shoulder width apart, squat your booty down until it touches the couch, and come back up.
    20 Couch Sit-Up
    Lay down on the ground with your feet under the couch to stabilize you while you do your sit-ups.
    Repeat 2x

    Commercial Break #3:

    25 High Knees
    Stand up, and get your knees as high as you can.
    10 Couch Dips
    Tricep dips using the couch.
    25 Couch Climbers
    Hands on couch in plank position, drive your knees one at a time to your chest.
    Repeat 2x

    Time to turn on the TV and get your sweat on!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhardt

  • Please Stretch! It's Really for Your Own Good

    Hey, hey!

    Do you feel tight before, after, or during your workouts? It’s your body’s way of telling you to give your muscles a good stretch!

    Because there are SO many different ways to stretch, I wanted to share some of my favorite techniques!

    Whether I am teaching a bootcamp or working one on one with a private client, I always begin the workout with dynamic stretches—moves that get their bodies moving while also loosening up their muscles. Once we are finished with the workout, I implement a series of static stretching to target specific muscle groups and to bring their heart rate down.

    If the studio or the client has a foam roller on hand, I will use one of my favorite forms of stretching, myofascial release, before and after their workout. Foam rolling applies pressure and really releases any tension in the muscles.

    As an ACE Certified Personal trainer, I love to use their definitions to help you understand the different types of stretches.  

    Dynamic Stretching:
    Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching requires the use of continuous movement patterns that mimic the exercise or sport to be performed. Generally speaking, the purpose of dynamic stretching is to improve flexibility for a given sport or activity.

    An example of dynamic stretching would be a sprinter doing long, exaggerated strides to prepare for a race.

    Static Stretching:
    The most common stretching technique, static stretching is executed by extending the targeted muscle group to its maximal point and holding it for 30 seconds or more. Usually performed after your workout.

    There are two types of static stretches:

    • Active: Added force is applied by the individual for greater intensity
    • Passive: Added force is applied by an external force (e.g., partner or assistive device) to increase intensity

    Myofascial Release:
    Through the use of a foam roller or similar device, myofascial release relieves tension and improves flexibility in the fascia (a densely woven specialized system of connective tissue that covers and unites all of the body’s compartments), and underlying muscle. Small, continuous back-and-forth movements are performed over an area of 2 to 6 inches for 30 to 60 seconds. The individual’s pain tolerance will determine the amount of pressure applied to the target area.

    Enjoy your workouts, and don’t forget to stretch before and after!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhardt


  • Why You Should HIIT! (+ A HITT Workout)

    Hey, hey!

    To HIIT or not to HIIT?

    If you want a quick workout that you can do anywhere (no equipment necessary), is super efficient, and boosts your metabolism to get you on an all-time endorphin high, then you HAVE to try HIIT workouts!

    What does HIIT stand for? High Intensity Interval Training.

    During this type of interval training, you will get your heart rate up multiple times by pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. The idea is to give quick pushes of extreme energy (all-out) before resting in short (or active) recoveries.

    While equipments aren’t necessary, you can also do fun HIIT workouts on a bike or even a treadmill!
    For example, I am an instructor at Flywheel Sports, and all of our workouts are HIIT workouts. Riders push through speed or resistance for short periods of time and recover between each push (or interval). I am obsessed with and believe in our workout, because riders must give the ride their all! 

    Are you ready to rev up your metabolism and burn fat for hours after your workout?

    Well, your wish is my command! Complete this following workout ANYWHERE!


    Do Anywhere HIIT Workout
    45 seconds – Jumping Jacks
    Rest 15 seconds
    45 seconds – Squat Jumps
    Rest 15 seconds
    45 Seconds – Mountain Climbers
    Rest 15 Seconds
    45 Seconds – Burpees
    Rest 15 Seconds
    45 Seconds – Lunge Jumps
    Rest 15 Seconds
    Repeat 3X

    Get in this quick workout so you can enjoy the rest of your day!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhardt

  • Try This 5-Minute Morning Warm-Up!

    Good Morning and Happy Monday!

    What better way to start your day (and your week) than waking up, moving your muscles, and getting your blood pumping?

    Forget the sugar-loaded coffee from your favorite barista, these moves will get you fired up in no time!

    Complete each move for 30 seconds
    Jumping Jacks
    Squats (or Squat Jumps)
    High Knees
    Butt Kickers
    Plank Up/Down
    Bicycle Crunches
    Jumping Jacks

    Turn on your shower, start your stopwatch, and before you know it you will be fueled with natural energy to start your day strong!

    Oh, and don’t forget to HAVE FUN!

    Peace & Love,

    Emily Burkhardt

  • TheLoDown