Why I Fast on Mondays

Why I Fast on Mondays

Monday: oh, the duality of it. I love Monday and I also hate it with a deep passion. I hate that it will take a full 5 days for the weekend/nachos to arrive. I hate that I have to answer my emails. I hate that my alarm goes off and wakes me from my Sunday slumber. Yet, once I'm conscious I remember that I love waking up early on a summer Monday, hitting the streets before 8am when the city is still sleepy and heading out for a slow sweat at SLT. I love hitting the re-set button and having another chance to do and be. I also love fasting on Mondays, my chosen day of the week to detox until dinnertime (if you're forced to begin your week, you may as well dive in head first).

How To Cure Your Hangover FOR Your Big Meeting

How To Cure Your Hangover FOR Your Big Meeting

Everyone knows they should drink their body weight in water when they get home from a sloppy night out, drink some coffee the next morning, and gorge on greasy pizza. But what about the tricks of the trade that are lesser-known aids for helping quell a hangover that is so impending that the Homeland Security Advisory System switches the danger zone from orange to red (sorry, guys - the times are a'troubling me)? Here are my personal tricks that truly, honestly help me move through a hungover place to a less hungover place when I wake up at the crack of dawn after a night out, stumbling around my room looking for something to save me from myself...

Hydrate On Your Commute With This Tasty, Hot Bevvie

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Y'all know I'm no stranger to Liquid I.V. - my favorite way to maximize hydration when I first wake up, after a workout, when I'm sick, or after a late night out (who me? never). I first wrote about their non-GMO, electrolyte drink mix last year when I discovered it, but I've gotten a bit more creative since then about how I mix it up, especially with the cooler weather!

If you're not familiar, Liquid I.V. is a hydration maximizer delivered as a powder drink mix in individual packets. The technology behind Liquid I.V. utilizes Cellular Transport Technology to deliver hydration to your bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water alone. So, if you mix up 1 Liquid I.V. pack into 16 oz of water, it's like drinking 2-3 bottles of water! Pretty cool, right?

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I'm a fan first and foremost because I feel like this is a product that actually works. After a particularly wild night out the other weekend, I drank a Liquid I.V. before I went to bed, and one when I woke up and seriously, I felt a-okay the next morning. Normally, I have to peel myself off the floor because #OLD.

Along with the obvious night-out benefits, the hydrating effects of the product really help keep my skin moisturized nicely, especially throughout this past winter. Like I mentioned above as well, I've been drinking Liquid I.V. as a hot beverage in the morning to get those max hydrating benefits.

I love a hot lemon water in the a.m. and it dawned on me that I could really maximize the benefits of that clarifying tonic by adding 1 pack of Liquid I.V. to it. All you do is combine 16 ounces of warm/hot water with the juice of 1 small lemon, and then mix in your packet of Liquid I.V.  The result is a tangy, hot, ultra-healthy morning beverage that's perfect for your to-go cup!  It's a hydration/detox double whammy. Plus, if you want 15% off your Liquid I.V., my pals over there have provided a code for just that: LOBOS15. Shop the goods here.

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I'd love to hear about creative ways you drink Liquid I.V. since I love to try new kitchen experiments. Leave your comments below with your best idea!


Love Yourself: Bring This Healing Vegetable Soup To Work For Lunch

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February is for lovers, right? Ha. No. While I've practiced and enjoyed a Valentine's Day in my life, and will certainly do so again, I find that February is actually one of the best months out of the year to practice self-love rather than consume yourself with romance.

It's an even better month to do it than January frankly, because too many of us make resolutions too lofty to keep. February is when reality sets in again, the snow is blowing, and the time to self-reflect, heal yourself, and fall in love with who you are all over again is happening.

I practice self-love through cooking, which I try to do many days a week. I find that feeding myself a meal cooked from scratch brings a fulfillment that ordering in simply cannot match, even in the most hungover of moments. I like to make big batches of food - whether it's chicken meatballs or a delicious soup, so I can feed myself for days.

Today I'm sharing my recipe for Seasonal Vegetable Soup, a hearty and filling soup that's packed full of nutrients to keep your personal engine running smoothly. I say "Seasonal" because the same cooking method can be applied with any vegetables you choose. 

I went with Romanesco, Broccolini, Yellow Squash, and the classic onion, celery, and carrot. My chicken broth is flavored deeply by adding a chicken carcass from a roasted chicken made earlier in the week - doing so adds flavor because it's pulled from the bones, along with vitamins and minerals to enrich the stock even more for good health. You can make this soup in about an hour, but it always tastes better the next day.

Seasonal Vegetable Soup

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 small head of Romanesco, chopped
  • 2 yellow squash, halved and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 small head of broccolini, with most of the stems removed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • chicken carcass (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • handful of parsley stems
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper

Procedure:

  1. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat and cook onions until they start to become translucent. Adding a tiny bit of salt at this point helps to open them up and speed up the cooking process.
  2. Add carrots and celery and cook veggies, stirring occasionally until brown. Add the rest of your vegetables and cook for 5-10 minutes, browning a bit and adding flavor to the pan.
  3. Deglaze your pan with white white and let reduce for a minute or so.
  4. Add your chicken stock, and your optional chicken carcass, along with your bay leaves, thyme, and parsley stems. Boil for about an hour.
  5. Remove the carcass, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Why These 3 Incredible Herbs Should Be a Part of Your Daily Routine

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In the New Year, like everyone, I like to re-assess my life. Am I seeing friends enough? Am I doing enough squats? You get the picture.  

And like many of you I've taken a keen interest in my own health and wellness over the past few years as we make the shift towards natural products, holistic remedies, and generally cleaner and more thoughtful ways to look and feel our best.

You may be aware of my vitamin obsession if you're a regular reader of TheLoDown but if not, you are now!  I had a pretty serious health scare in 2016 over what was discovered to be severe vitamin deficiencies due to a genetic issue (though I eat a primo, healthy, varied diet) that resulted in some unexpected depression, anxiety, and general malaise. There are many opinions out there regarding the need for supplements, but in my case, I'm an advocate as taking vitamins may have saved my life once I discovered I had such a severe deficiency. There are tons of brands to choose from when it comes to vitamins and supplements, and I can tell you through personal research and experience that they are not all made equal when it comes to quality and brand values. My favorite affordable and accessible brand? Nature's Way. They make high-quality formulations for a reasonable price and always have what I'm looking for. Even cooler? They're the first herbal brand that's Non-GMO Project verified and Tru-ID certified (meaning you know the herbs listed on the labels are actually found in the bottles).

Since going down the vitamin rabbit hole, I've moved beyond my weekly B12 injections (that I require for the rest of my life) and Vitamin D with K12 (another one I need) and have had my eyes opened to just how much other formulations can help maintain a healthy body. I've moved as far away as I can from drugstore remedies, prescriptions, and over the counter painkillers, trying to find holistic alternative to support overall health.

I used to pop ibuprofen like candy, take an antibiotic for acne, and regularly reached for drugstore diuretics when I felt bloated - but no more, and it's all because of a bit of personal research and development that I was able to give those goodies up...for good.

It's important when taking turmeric to find a formulation with a high percentage of curcuminoids. This is the active part of the ingredient. Avoid a product with a bunch of fillers, and it's a good idea to take it with a meal as black pepper helps it to be absorbed better into the body.  

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Turmeric is now my go-to for overall health support. When I forgot to take them for a week or so, I really noticed the difference.  

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Next, let's move onto Fenugreek, one of the world's best kept secrets at helping soothe stomachs everywhere.* I discovered this herb through my friend Hannah who swears by it when she eats dairy to help aid in the reduction of bloating.* I incorporated it into my routine, and agreed that it really helps!

One note - it can make your urine smell kind of funny. BUT, it's worth it. I take them almost daily when I eat.  

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Ashwaganda, known as Indian ginseng, is an herbal supplement that has become a part of my daily regimen that supports my Instagram-ready lifestyle.  It can help even out your cycle (hello, Vitality Tonic) so when Aunt Flo comes a'knockin' you're ready for her. If you want natural beauty, I suggest a natural herb! It smells funny, but whatever! It's the price you gotta pay so you can delete FaceTune from your phone.

Now that I've shared three of my favorite herbs with you, I'd love to know some of your favorites and how they support your overall health and wellness journey! You can get all three herbs I mentioned (plus the loose turmeric powder and Curica Turmeric Drops) from Nature's Way.

These Affordable Wellness Finds Will Change Your Life in 2018

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Starting to take your wellness resolutions seriously yet? It's almost mid-January so the time is def upon is. I even included this gorgeous picture of a soothing beach resort to remind you that travel is a huge component of being healthy and well, and with President's Day Weekend coming up in February you have a perfect opportunity to get out of dodge on the cheap for a few days, do some yoga, and clear your head.

If you're like me and need some motivation to help push you back into the swing of things, allow me to introduce you to some of the best wellness finds you can buy that are actually affordable too. From gear to books and retreats, there's no time like the present to get moving on this new year!

 

TRAVEL SOMEWHERE MEANINGFUL ON THE CHEAP

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Get to Holbox, about 2 hours outside of Cancun, before everyone else does. It's the new new Tulum, and still relatively affordable, while being insanely gorgeous and perfect for some downward dog and cucumber bevvies. My very cool New York friends Jilly, Elise, and Marissa were just there and they loved it. Trust them.

If you want to attend an actual yoga retreat, check out Omm Retreat (the next one is in May) at the Villa Flamingo's hotel in Holbox for 5 nights (plus 2 yoga classes a day, daily breakfast and a farewell dinner) for $900. YEA. $900. Book it now.

 

READ THIS BOOK BY KELLY LEVEQUE

At only $17 on Amazon, nutritionist to women you love in Hollywood, Kelly LeVeque hands over the keys to healthy, lean bodies in her book Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama ForeverKelly is a master at approaching the kitchen with a sane sensibility, plus her recipe suggestions come from nutritionally-sound science which I'm a big fan of. Her food is delicious, creative, and easy to make (I know first hand because I've tried it) - like great comfort food made with healthy ingredients.

Also, pretty great client list she has going...just check out her Instagram to see some of the famous bods she gets into shape (hello, Jessica Alba and Molly Sims).

 

DOWNLOAD THIS APP

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Tone It Up girls, you know who you are! I'm starting the Tone It Up program in early February once I get another steroid injection in my back for a herniated disk (fun) and I can't wait to get my body moving. The app has like, a billion 5-star reviews from women just like you who want to get after it at the gym, Karena and Katrina (the co-founders) are fellow Southern California goddesses, and they really like pink (like me). At $12.99 a month, it certainly is a more affordable choice than a personal trainer and having looked over the incredible content, definitely looks to be worth the spend.

 

GET THE KINKS OUT WITH THESE YOGA BALLS

I discovered Yoga Tune-Up balls through my ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend (that's a mouthful). I never met this nice gal, but the introduction to the Yoga Tune Up ball was like a gift sent from heaven. These round, rubber balls can be placed under the body at various pressure points, or where you have aches and pains and used to essentially massage the discomfort away. I LOVE THESE things, and at $18 on Amazon you'll want to buy a set for everyone you know.

 

GET HEALTHY FOOD ONLINE

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It's probably sick-in-the-head for how often most of us shop online, but if we gotta do it, at least there are businesses out there that cater to our better nature. Enter Thrive Market, a newish online grocery that brings niche and upcoming wellness brands across food and wellness to the masses. In essence, they cut out the middleman to bring you great food at affordable prices. 

I even like their own brand of products - you gotta check out the Coconut Aminos. Yum!


So - that's my list of affordable wellness finds that will certainly change your life in 2018. What are some your faves? I'm always on the hunt and would love to see your lists below in the comments!

XOXO

LB


How to Detox This New Year and Not Lose Your Mind

 Bring it on, 2018. Gently.

Bring it on, 2018. Gently.

Okay. It's January 2nd. I'm still feeling a little bit mushy, and you may also wish that your legs were wrapped in Juicy Couture faux-velvet pants. I've seen the memes on Instagram - everyone has been eating and drinking their faces off since about December 20th and fat-cow syndrome is upon us. 

It's really not about the weight for me, and it shouldn't be for you either. Weight comes and goes and a few pounds melts off rather easily when you eat veggies for a week or so. It's really about the sluggishness that sets in, the desire to crawl into bed at like 6pm and watch episode after episode of Parks and Rec or The Crown. Your skin looks tired and unless you jump right into the gym for GYM 2018 on the morn of January 1st, it can be daunting to get back into a routine.

Let me make it easy for you. Let's get back at it, feel better, look smokin', and allow ourselves to be focused on work and our loved ones without completely depriving yourself of the good things in life. I find that crazy detoxes simply don't work, because after a few days of losing your mind, you're over it.

With that in mind, here are my 5 tips for how to detox into the New Year and not go bananas. I'm calling it the "Totally Tame Detox for Sane People." Here we go!

Breakfast: Go For Greens and Fiber

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It's really easy after the holidays to want to reach for the last Rice Crispy treat when you wake up. When you're eating sweets day after day you start to crave them like an addict, so I GET IT. Starting your day off in the right way however is the hardest yet most important part of the detox to get through, so here's how to make it easy.

Choose a breakfast of vegetables, fibers, an avocado, and an egg if you so choose (I'm trying to avoid eggs bc of a food sensitivity). The combo of the healthy fat from an avocado, with the protein of clean veggies, and the fiber in a GG Cracker will leave you full and satisfied. Making the right food choice for breakfast isn't just about keeping your waistline trim - it's about getting the right nutritional elements into your body so you don't LOSE YOUR MIND. Put good things in and you won't feel deprived. When I eat a robust breakfast of this nature I don't get hungry again until 2, and I really don't get cravings for snacks either.

Drink Water All Day

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If you're still drinking soda, like, get out of here. Or stop drinking soda. It's fucking killing you. That is the absolute truth. If you MUST drink a flavored liquid, make it alkaline water that's been flavored with fresh organic fruit, veggies, or herbs. Lemon water is nice, especially hot, first thing in the morning before breakfast, and a cool cucumber water is a great afternoon pick-me-up.

Point is, drink water, not other crap. Water is our lifeblood, and drinking tons of it not only keeps you hydrated but also moves all the shit you put into your body along until it's excreted in your pee or your sweat. Get an enormous BPA-free bottle you can re-use and fill that baby up again and again throughout the day.

If you're doing Sober January, dats cool. If you want a glass of wine at the end of the day, dats cool. But water > booze.

Eat a Carb

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This one may feel counter-intuitive for a detox, but trust me - the body's preferred source of energy are carbohydrates, so eliminating them completely from your diet is just whack. Don't go eating bowls of white flour pasta or smash pizza into your face, but good lord, a sandwich on whole wheat bread will do your body some good. Make smart choices = feel good.

If you can't eat gluten, then eat an apple. They're surprisingly high in carbs. Feel that energy boost coming on!

Go To Bed 1 Hour Earlier Than Usual

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Ya the holidays were just here and you probably got plenty of sleep, but turns out that if you sleep more you will live longer. It's a fact. Plus, sleep is delicious so this is part of the detox that you'll be really digging. Why not hit the hay an hour earlier than you usually do all of 2018? You'll be less stressed, have better skin, more energy, and most likely be nicer to your friends because you're well-rested.

If you're not sure where to get that extra hour, here's a tip: your devices are stealing it from you. Put your phone away and on night-time mode and don't look at it again until the next day. Instagram can wait, and that guy that's crushing on you can DEF wait. Happy Snoozing!

Read a Book

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Along the same lines of going to sleep an hour earlier so your body can get the rest it deserves, it's time to put your phone down (see above) so that your brain can get a little rest too. I find that doing this old-school thing that lotsa people don't do anymore really has this magnificent way of quieting the chatter that seems to be ever-present these days. I'm currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt.

You could even go for an oldie but goodie and re-read all the Harry Potter books. Just read something besides the news on your phone once a day, everyday.


SOOOO - my "Totally Tame Detox for Sane People" sounds pretty OK, right? It's not about food deprivation - it's about good nutritional choices so that you can come off your sugar and salt-binge relatively unscathed. It's about quieting your body and mind with rest and reading. It's about clearing your body of all the toxins it encountered on NYE with crazy amounts of H20. And mostly, it's about getting back on track in a reasonable way that doesn't make the New Year feel like the biggest moment of suffering all year long. Good luck! X


Where To Buy This Hydrating Elixir of Youth

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I think it's been determined that until scientists discover some crazy plant that reverses aging, the best elixir of youth we've got is water, right? Or I suppose it's less about the water itself and more about the benefits that come from your body being appropriately hydrated.

The benefits of staying hydrated cannot be overlooked, and you certainly can feel and see the difference in your body when you're getting the hydration you need.

Now imagine being 2-3x more hydrated after drinking 1 bottle of water than you typically would be. Your skin would glow and feel so supple, you could exercise for days, and your digestive system would flow smoothly, keeping extra lbs at bay. It's possible, and all thanks to this crazy popular electrolyte drink mix that's blowing up on Amazon right now: the Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier.

I first saw this product being touted on Instagram and was curious - I'm a slave to my water filter and go back 8 or 9 times a day for fresh glasses of water. I have to pee CONSTANTLY, and generally get up twice every night. I'd love to able to drink a bit less water just to skip the constant bathroom line wherever I go. Sleeping through the night also sounds dope.

I got the lemon lime flavor, which claims to double or triple your level of hydration in a single packet through it's "Cellular Transport Technology", and was surprised to find that even though I really don't like flavored bevvies, this electrolyte drink, especially shaken into icy cold water, is surprisingly tasty and refreshing.

I also had no idea what "Cellular Transport Technology" was or why this product could hydrate to the degree it does, so I'll share what the Liquid I.V. company says on their website about it: 

Based on science pioneered by the World Health Organization, Liquid I.V.’s Cellular Transport Technology (CTT)™ uses a specific ratio of potassium, sodium, and glucose to deliver water and other key nutrients directly to your bloodstream, hydrating you faster and more efficiently than water alone. The specific ratio of electrolytes used in CTT creates an osmotic force that allows water to be absorbed in the upper digestive tract. Typically, fluids pass through the entire digestive system, losing water and vital nutrients along the way before being absorbed into the bloodstream. Think of Cellular Transport Technology as an expedited water delivery system in your body. The result: rapid hydration and a wholesome feeling for you.
— https://liquid-iv.com/science/

So there ya have it. A bit of potassium, salt, and sugar make hydration through water that much more effective. Pretty cool science if you ask me. And athletes, listen up: there's half the sugar in these babies than traditional sports drinks, but 3x the electrolytes! 

Read more about Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier here and to shop their products (they gave me a 20% off code LOBOS20 for ya).

Why I Kissed My Dating Apps Goodbye

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DELETE, DELETE, DELETE.


Historically, I'm the type of woman who bounces back after defeat or a let-down, energized by the blow to make changes for improvement. This though, this moment of alone-ness, has felt different than all the others that came before. I guess true heartbreak does that to you - it changes you to the core, forcing itself through your body like a parasite until you reach a tipping point: you become quiet and sweet and submissive, like a whimpering puppy, until another kind soul lifts you out of your fog, or you spill over into yourself, and make the decision one day to give up on the pain and move forward on your own. I've reached the tipping point, and instead of going quietly into the ease of another relationship, I'm choosing instead to save myself, so that the next time around isn't simply a by-product of my current discomfort.

That's the true lesson here, right? That through great discomfort comes great strength. You feel stuck in glue long enough that it's no longer humanly possible to be stuck in glue. So you make a change. You make a decision. You pull one leg out of the sticky mess and then the other. 

The last stage of grief is acceptance, and I'm warming up to the idea that I've arrived. Finally. And what I've realized more than anything else lately is that I don't need anyone else to save me, help me, love me, or do the work of taking away my pain for me. I need myself. It's like the Russian-doll version of me that sits within my soul has finally been opened up, and I'm seeing myself clearly for the first time in a while.

Recognizing that at times you must choose yourself over everything and everyone else so that you can get back to a place of opening your arms up wide to embrace the world is a powerful thing. After 8 months of seemingly constant sorrow, I've made the choice for myself to put my pain behind me. What a relief it is.

And with that decision comes more decisions. Exciting ones, ones that feel uplifting, and empowering, and confidence-building. What shall I dare to decide upon next?!

Surprisingly enough, one of those decisions has been to put dating on hold for the time being. I'm freezing my proverbial subscription to love til 2018. I even deleted my dating apps, you guys. That is some serious cord-cutting right there. And can I tell you something - I'm excited about it. Happy even, with my decision. Fuck, I feel like I'm coming into my twenties again, the first time in my life I made real decisions without being fearful of the consequences. I don't feel afraid anymore - to be alone, or put myself first, or say NO to that upcoming first-date on Thursday that already feels exhausting in every way.

Turns out that there's a difference between loneliness and being alone. You control your loneliness, and you're only lonely if you don't consider yourself to be very good company. Trust me, it's taken ages to reach this point of enlightenment, where I alone am simply good enough to be around.

So, if you've texted me or called and I haven't hit you back yet, I apologize. I hope you read my blog, lols. It's just that I've figured out finally what it is that I'm supposed to be doing right now: making me my own priority.

XO/LB


Adventures in Botox in New York City

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So you want to shoot some Clostridium botulinum into your face? Great, me too. Join me today as I take you on an Adventure in Botox in New York City, arguably the best place in the world to have a stranger stick a thin needle in your forehead with fabulous results. Like most women and some men in this city I tend to FAN GIRL out over fancy doctors with recognizable names and their own lines of products at Sephora (shout out to Dr. Gross and your Alpha-Beta Peel). There are many that fit the bill, most with practices in glowing offices lining Park Avenue, Lex, and 5th. But any good New Yorker knows that when you really, REALLY want the best - from botox to technology far beyond - you make an appointment at the practice of one Dr. Patricia Wexler - dermatological surgeon to the stars, royalty, and the very, very wealthy.

Since it's my FACE we're talking here and because I undergo wellness treatments not just for your reading pleasure on TheLoDown, I made the decision that for a piece on botox, Wexler Dermatology was really my only option. So, I made an appointment and sat on my hands until the day finally arrived last week for my special moment in the sun with the botox needle. Having not been the first time to get injected with this miracle toxin (this round would be my second go), I had an idea of what to expect ahead of time, but my nerves were not entirely quelled by experience.

First and foremost I was running late to my appointment. The traffic on 3rd Avenue was ridiculous and my Uber driver wasn't tuned into Waze in the way I was from the back seat. I get seriously freaked out when Irving Place is totally open and instead we're in gridlock one block over. I hate being late, so my anxiety was building solely from being branded as the naughty patient whose tardiness would hold up the schedule at the practice for the rest of the day.

Next, needles. I like to pretend they don't bother me at all from my experience with Accutane and the required monthly blood draw that comes with taking the skin clearing medication. And they don't bother me THAT much, but still, I do have to look away when the sharp end plunges through my flesh to do my doctor's bidding. Add in the fact that the needle is not being directed into the arm but instead above the eyebrow and nervous energy tends to experience a minor uptick in severity.

Happily, when I arrived at the practice nobody gave me the death stare and instead I was happily guided into a room to wait for Dr. Francesca Fusco, a fabulous medical and cosmetic dermatologist who is a master in her own right with the needle. Even happier still, when she walked in she was a breath of dermatological fresh-air: warm, lovable, and quite soothing with her friendly and approachable tone. Safe to say she calmed whatever remaining pre-treatment worries I was still harboring.

curious about Botox and other things you may want to shoot into your face some day? I was lucky enough to get some "baby" Botox done (KEEP MY SECRETS, y'all) at the legendary NYC practice @wexlerdermatology and you can read all about it about my adventure on the blog today ---> link in bio! 💉💉💉

A post shared by Lo Bosworth (@lobosworth) on Jul 24, 2017 at 9:47am PDT

 

As a 30 year old, I've made the decision to include botox in my skincare routine as a way to prevent existing wrinkles from settling in deeper, and to help quiet wrinkles and signs of age that are beginning to form as we speak. I'm less interested in the pulled "look" of botox that you see with many women, though it does refresh the entire face nicely. I'm using botox in the same way I'm using sunscreen: not to fix existing issues so much as prevent new ones from occurring. And I think that most practitioners would agree with me - at my age, botox is much more preventative than anything else.

So, Dr. Fusco asks me which areas of my face are troublesome and I don't hesitate to zero in on the Glabullar Region, better known as the "elevens" in between the eyebrows. I've always had a serious case of resting bitch face and it causes me to furrow my brow at absolutely nothing more often than not. Strangers often stop me on the street to ask me what's wrong or to make the very kind recommendation that I smile more.  I suppose, despite my intention in these moments to send icicles  of death from my eyeballs to their necks, I'd like to not look quite so serious for the rest of my days so I ask her to please shoot the good stuff into this area right here. We also discuss crows feet as she makes delicate marks on my face with a white pencil, dancing around my skin with precision and dexterity.

And then finally the moment is upon me - the needles removed from their disposable, plastic cages - as Dr. Fusco hands me stress balls to squeeze in case the pain is too much to bear. Mind you, I've declined the offer of a numbing cream because I'm just so bad-ass, and thoughts of regret immediately race through my mind as she approaches my face with her steady hand, needle in tow. Despite silent pleas, PRICK goes the first injection, directly into the middle of my brow line.

The feeling of pressure! The slight pinch! The lingering of the needle in the skin! And then, the relief of the first poke being over as Dr. Fusco withdraws the thin device of pain and pleasure and carefully asks me if I'm alright. And, yes actually, I'm quite alright. It truly doesn't hurt very much at all. It's simply a nervous situation to have a stranger push a needle with muscle-freezing material into ones face. After another prick or two, I'm riding high on the experience, the stress balls an unnecessary comfort.

10 touches in total, the experience is quick and relatively painless. I can feel the botox taking effect rather quickly as it becomes more difficult to move some of my go-to R.B.F. muscles. They feel as though they're wading through thick mud in an effort to look displeased. And I'm absolutely thrilled by it. Who wouldn't be?

I leave the office 15 minutes later after Dr. Fusco artfully applies cooling gel pads to my skin instead of ice packs. By then, I've fully recovered and we've moved on to discuss epilators and the best way to remove dark spots from the skin (she recommends Lytera 2.0 from SkinMedica). I leave with some free product because she is a baller and I'm on my way to my next appointment, refreshed and looking just friendly enough to keep strangers-with-opinions at bay as I cruise towards Lex to hail a cab.

Want the goods from Wexler Dermatology? Make an appointment with one of the physicians by calling 212.684.2626. Pricing for Botox begins at $500-$1000.

 

Egg Flowers: The Healthiest 15 Minute Make-Ahead Breakfast Ever

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In the morning making breakfast is absolutely the last thing I want to do. I don't eat it often out of pure laziness. I know, right? Succumb to apathy, slow down your metabolism, and eat something nuts for lunch to make up for the lack of protein in the A.M.  Shame on me. Shame on you. Let's solve that dilemma, yes? Enter the make-ahead breakfast of true champions everywhere: egg muffins without the carb factor. Yes, just straight up baked eggs with a veggie or two thrown in along with good fats to start your day right. No reason to get bogged down with a gluten out the gate. Trust me - eating clean in the morning will have a remarkably kind effect on your cravings the rest of the day.

I'm going to call these "Egg Flowers" because of the nice way the zucchini cups the egg like the petals on a flower. Don't worry about your design skills however as these Egg Flowers are so easy to bake even a child with a supervising adult could make them, lols. You'll just need a mandolin to slice the zucchini into thin pieces to create the flower that will hold each egg inside of it. Add tons of fresh herbs and you'll have a flavor festival in your mouth you won't soon forget. If you make a batch of 12 or 24 you'll have enough Egg Flowers to keep your appetite in check for at least 5 days (I'd toss any leftovers after that period for food safety).

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[recipe id="12268"]

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What Kind of Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipe do you want to see next on TheLoDown? Let me know in the comments!

The 5 Wellness Apps I Actually Use

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There's a ton of absolute ca-ca out there in the app world for wellness, dieting, and fitness. You know what I'm talking about - junk bond apps with countless ads, video content that doesn't stream properly, weird lists of routines that don't actually provide you information, and jarring meditation apps that could actually spiral you into an anxiety attack. THE INTERNET IS FUN, AMIRITE?! However, once you wade through what first pops up when you type in "gluten-free" to your search bar and get to the apps with true street cred, it is possible to find digital bliss online. I find that the apps I enjoy the most have one purpose and perform that purpose very well, rather than trying to do 12 things at once. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses. So, on this Manic Monday, allow me to share with you the 5 wellness apps I actually use in an effort to pay it forward technologically - for meditation, sleep, fitness, and diet.

FOR MEDITATION:

HEADSPACE

This is an app that teaches you how to meditate and be mindful, and the voice of the man who guides the meditation here is truly soothing. During the bite-sized sessions, the app easily switches from speaking to silence without snapping you out of a deep moment of transcendence. You can pick meditations on a range of themes: from anxiety to sports.

 

FOR SLEEP:

RELAX MELODIES

So I emergency downloaded this app in the middle of the night during a recent weekend vacation in the Hamptons as the hotel I was staying in did not have exactly sound-proofed walls and when the party in the next room over was still going on at 3am Monday morning I started to lose my shit. I didn't bring my back-up Ambien and was truly kicking myself when I remembered I DID have earbuds and a cellphone that could help make the moment a bit less painful.

I downloaded Relax Melodies and totally jazzed out to a combo of white noise and rain for the remaining 4 hours of sleep I did get. The sounds on this app are plentiful and they seem to go on forever. The tracks on some noise apps start over after a while which can bring you out of sleep but they don't on Relax Melodies which is a nice benefit.

FOR FITNESS:

MIND BODY

If you live in any urban center you gotta download Mind Body! I book 90% of my workouts through this app and the discovery feature is a really neat way to find new studios in your area, especially ones promoting good deals. Chances are high your favorite studio is on there and you can eliminate any clunky booking system they still rely on from your routine. I like to book a week in advance with the apps because it's just so easy and it automatically adds your classes to your calendar and sends you little reminders too. 

 

SWEAT WITH KAYLA

If you haven't heard of Kayla Itsines by now, where the eff have you been the past 2 years? This trainer from Australia has amassed a remarkable Instagram following of 7 million fitness fanatics who love her BBG programs. I myself have dabbled in the app often and like to think I've slimmed down because of it. 

A back injury side-lined me for some of 2016/2017 but I'm slowly getting back into the program and it really does work to change bodies fast. Coupled with the meal plan and shopping list her team also provides it's hands-down the best overall fitness app I'd recommend to anyone looking to transform the way they feel and look.

 

FOR DIET:

FAT SECRET

My endocrinologist turned me on to Fat Secret, y'all. It's a pretty basic calorie counter but I love it for it's ability to tally net carbs you consume every day. For anyone with a slow metabolism it's a great way to track just how many you're putting into your body. You'd be shocked at the count in some foods - type in apple and be blown away.

 


Tell me, pals - what are you favorite wellness apps that actually work? I'm always looking to app new ones to my rotation! Let me know in the comments below!

Image via WIRED

My 3 Minute Morning Skincare Routine!

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Get glowing with me, get ready with me! My skincare routine only takes about 3 minutes in the morning, as long as I move my hands quickly and my products are readily available! I'm super focused on evening my skintone, keeping fine lines at bay, and eliminating acne at the moment - basically the same #skingoals every woman on planet earth has. I've found some AMAZING products lately that I think you'll love just as much as I do. Links are below the vid! 

 


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Cut Serious Sugar and Carbs From Your Adult Beverage with Truly

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Imagine you want a delicious cocktail or two at the end of the day. It's a hot summers eve. You sidle up to the bar and order an exquisitely delicious Greyhound (grapefruit juice and vodka). YUM!!! Tasty! Fun!

Now, rather than continue to color your Happy Hour fantasy I'm instead going to stick a knife in it and get straight to the point: mixers are bad for you, honey bunny. Yes. Juice is THE ENEMY. Why it's been billed as a "healthy" choice for decades is beyond me, but the truth of the matter is that bottled fruit juice contains scary amounts of sugar and carbohydrates - secret killers of health and waistlines everywhere. Just ONE Greyhound cocktail contains 198 calories, 26 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of carbohydrates.

The American Heart Association recommends that women intake a maximum of 20 grams of sugar per day, but a single 8 ounce glass of orange juice, for example, can contain a whopping 21 grams of sugar and 21 grams of carbohydrates in a single serving. Add that to all the other hidden sugars you could be consuming and you can see why juice is a big problem if it's your go-to with an adult beverage.

SO, delicious drink loving pal - what's a guy or gal to do when they want something tasty but without those excess sugar and carbs? I have some suggestions of course and let's get to them ASAP because it's possible you're reading this as you prepare yourself a beverage.

REPLACE YOUR COCKTAIL WITH SPIKED SPARKLING WATER

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A mixed drink is nice and all, but what about a sparkling water that's been spiked? A personal fave of mine is Truly Spiked & Sparkling (SPIKED and SPARKLING, people), a drink that's sure to please. If you love a Greyhound, try their Grapefruit & Pomelo, the perfect drink to get your groove on and feel good about it the next day. For those looking for the nutritional info, a Truly Spiked & Sparkling has 100 calories, 1g of sugar, and 2g of carbohydrates in a 12 ounce serving.

Compared to your typical Greyhound, a Truly Grapefruit & Pomelo is a spiked, sparkling drink with 98 less calories, 25 fewer grams of sugar and 30 less grams of carbohydrates. Now that's a beverage I can get behind.

If you're curious about their other cocktail-replacement offerings, try Pomegranate, or the Sicilian Blood Orange. They're all 5% alcohol by volume and pretty refreshing with all those bubbles.

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AVOID DRINKS WITH "NAMES"

Love a Long Island Iced Tea? Or a Margarita? Or a Pina Colada or White Russian? Guess what? You don't anymore! Now you enjoy a skinny vodka or a tequila on the rocks or a glass of Champagne. Forget what you thought you loved in the name of your health and waistline.

RELY ON LEMON + LIME

Need to cut through the strong taste of whatever it is you're drinking? Rely on freshly squeezed lemon and lime to make your cocktail exceptionally palatable. I love a clear tequila with a pour of Truly Spiked + Sparkling and a generous squeeze of lime to finish it off.

Thank you, Truly for sharing your Spiked & Sparkling drinks with me! I love the flavors and am happy to share them with the readers of TheLoDown as a health-conscious alternative to traditional cocktails.

How To Take The Most Brain Soothing Bath Ever

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You're going to start reading this thinking it's a beauty and wellness post but really, it's all about #MindMatters when it comes to taking a bath. At least for me - and here's why:

A bath is soothing, healing, and calming. It centers your body and mind. It releases toxins from your body that slow everything down and make your brain feel cloudy. It relaxes your muscles and allows your body to enter a state of rejuvenation. The body and mind are directly related - calm body, calm mind, calm body, calm mind.

#TubTime also happens to be my FAVORITE time of the day. I love taking a bath so much I often start my day with one and end it with another. I know that two baths in a single day can seem extreme to some, but there is a good reason why I like to rise and shine with a deep soak in addition to doing it again before jumping in the sheets. More than anything else, taking a bath is a time that I move far away from my cell phone and the world around me - the emails, the Instagram posts, the city noise coming from outside my living room window - to be at one with myself and my thoughts. It's meditative these days to simply BE, to have 20 minutes of quiet without external stimuli driving our brains absolutely nutters. I actually take it a step further and practice Transcendental Meditation in the morning bath to help get my day started, and it's game-changing for me when combined with a warm soak, holistic salts, fragrant bubbles, and chilled lemon water.

So here's how I make my bath the best one ever - feel free to follow suit and let me know how you feel afterwards (I bet $250 that you'll soon become as obsessed as I am).

Make It Hot

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You want the water as hot as you can possibly stand it. Why? Because you want to sweat. When you sweat it releases toxins from the body that are slowing you down, making you feel like shit, and keeping you bloated. You actually burn a few hundred calories when you take an hour long bath, so make that temperature rise, honey!

Add Magnesium Salts, Baking Soda, and Lavender Epsom Salts

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Magnesium is like nature's candy for calming frayed nerves and helping an anxious individual reach sleep more easily. It helps to regulate the nervous system and when magnesium salts are placed into a bath, your pores open, allowing the mineral to seep directly into your blood system for a quick, calming effect on the entire body. Baking soda is a great add because it neutralizes acids, resulting in smoother skin and cleaner hair. Finally, Epsom salts soothe tired and achey muscles so any aches and pains you're experiencing may be bathed away.

Add Rose Bubble Bath to Calm Your Mind

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I love adding a scent based on aromatherapy that helps to calm and quiet the mind. If you don't have a rose bubble bath, you can simply add a few drops of rose oil to the tub to help.

 Leave Your Phone on Silent in Another Room

Forgetting your phone is my #1 rule to taking a bath that will ACTUALLY change the way you feel. Your brain MUST release itself from the grip of the phone and all the stimuli that come with it. Seriously, it needs a break to just process how you're feeling, thinking clearly, and be creative.

Bring Plenty of Water With You

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If you're taking a long, hot bath you will get thirsty. The most annoying thing that may happen is that you get so thirsty you feel like you need to grab a glass of water just so you survive in there. I like to bring in a pitcher of fresh lemon water with me so that even though I'm sweating out all the toxins, I'm constantly replenishing my body with alkaline water so I stay hydrated and feeling great.

Dim The Lights

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If we're trying to relax here, we might as well set the mood. Turn the lights out or turn them down low. Enjoy yourself.

Light a Candle (or 2)

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Along the lines of setting the mood, I like to light a candle or two and place them in the bathroom with me for some extra scent-sational moodiness.

Embrace the Silence

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Finally, take a deep breath in and out. Do that 10 times. Do that 10 more times and then again. You've reached silence. Your bath has begun and you can work to soothe out all the kinks going on upstairs in your mind.

TELL ME - what are you favorite tips for taking a bath that soothes the mind? Let me know in the comment below! :)

VLOG: How to Heal a Broken Heart

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Y'all know I'm going through the shitttt right now, but am truly getting better day by day. It's been a weird 2ish years health-wise with some depression and anxiety, and now that I'm single there's a whole slew of painful moments and emotions to contend with. The reality is that you have to go through difficult moments to move forward into adulthood and to grow into the human you're supposed to be at the end of the day. I know this lesson, it just sucks to be living that moment. I've started to VLOG a bit more on my YT channel per my viewer's request so my newest one really comes from the heart - and is about how I'm actually working to heal mine. Enjoy and leave your comments below!



4 Really Easy Things You Can Do To Help Your Brain Chill Out

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Today's suggestions in my new #MindMatters vid is really simple - and that's the point! Sometimes it's the most basic, mundane activities that allow our minds to slow their roll. Enjoy!


Tell me - what are the things you like to do around the house that help you get your mind off of whatever "it" is? XOXO