Athleisure Favorites

I'm so excited about this post, because I going to talk allllllll about my absolute favorite thing: workout clothes! Athleisure has been my thing lately - I don't know if its the cold weather, but I've been wearing leggings and cozies to work more and more (oops!). Don't even try to argue with me - leggings ARE pants. If you know me at all, you'd know that I'd spend my entire salary on stores like Lululemon, Outdoor Voices, Bandier, Carbon 38 and Kit & Ace if I could. I am all about wearing thick, soft, cashmere blend sweatpants that look so good you can throw them on with flats to travel in.. or a wrap that you can throw on after yoga or wear to work... or super soft, amazingly fitting black leggings that would work for an HIIT class or under boots in public.

This isn't any new trend. Girls have been living in workout clothes/athleisure type clothing for a while now. Why not be comfortable and stylish at the same time!? I'm also really lucky that I don't need to get dressed up for work, so I can get away with a Kit & Ace type look on a daily basis. Below are all my favorites and things on my wish list right now as well as my recos from my current closet - there is a range of pretty much everything from my favorite gym tops, to what I love to lounge in.

Bottoms:

  • Lululemon Align Pant: I LIVE in these like an embarrassing amount. They are by far the best leggings on the market right now, easily. They're so so soft, hug you perfectly, and are the best weight. I'd recommend sizing down.
  • ADAY Throw and Roll Legging: I feel like this brand is a bit of a newcomer, so not many people know about them. They make a gorgeous super unique legging that fits like a dream and looks SO good on. 
  • Alo Yoga Moto Leggings: THE #1 gym to street staple on the market right now. I love the high rise version - I own both rises, and the high rise tend to stay up much better. 
  • Kit & Ace Cashmere Sweat Pant: My biggest splurge of the winter, and worth every penny. These are insane. So flattering, so cozy, and so chic.

Tops:

  • Gap: For workout clothes, I really like to invest in my bottoms, and get cheap tops from the Gap. These simple tanks that are super flattering and last. I have two favorite styles: this one, and this one.
  • Outdoor Voices Featherweight Tank: I recently discovered this tank and I'm hooked. It's the softest material ever, and it's such a perfect fit.
  • Athleta Criss Cross Sweatshirt: I wear sweatshirts on a daily basis - its the first thing I throw on when I get home from work. This one has gotten so much use that I literally need to order a new one soon...
  • Kit & Ace Brushed Top: Honestly, I could list the entire Kit & Ace website on here because I love it all, but their Brushed Miskace material is just ridiculously good. It's like a fleece lined tee - but not as heavy as a sweatshirt. I'd take any piece of clothing in this material.

Shoes:

  • Nike Air Zoom Strong: I guess I'm a Nike girls through and through, because all my active shoes are Nike. These are what I use for training, and I LOVE them.
  • Adidas Ultra Boost: I actually don't own this specific pair (I own an older version), but I am lusting after these so hard. I love my older pair - they are so comfortable and the colors are great.
  • Frye Ivy Slip: These are my go-to every day shoes. I saw them a couple weeks ago and had to have them. They are perfect with pretty much everything - you can wear them with dresses, leggings, jeans, you name it. I LOVE these.

16 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Get Healthy FAST!

It's that time of year where everyone jumps on the healthy bandwagon. Detoxes, cleanses, fasts, and so on are selling like crazy as everyone is trying to get themselves back on track after the holidays. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of the crazy strict cleanses. I believe in getting back on track and cutting out the bad stuff, but a full cleanse where you need to follow a program, drink juice at every meal, or shakes three times a day is usually too tough on your body and does more harm than good. In saying that, I'll let you guys in on the little secrets I do to get myself back on track after indulging in too many desserts and sugary drinks. These are all little tweaks you can make to your diet and lifestyle for the long term, which will benefit your body and overall health way more than a 3 day juice cleanse would. 

  1. Start your day with warm water and fresh squeezed lemon. I will usually make a detox tea in the morning (I like this one and this one), and will just add fresh lemon to the tea. I also include some Chlorella and collagen powder, both of which add a bunch of protein, help to detoxify the body, and aid in digestion. This is my favorite drink to start the day with. Super nutritious and filling!
  2.  Oil pulling is another super beneficial detox method. I do this a couple times a week, but try to do it more during times like this when I'm needing the extra help. You want to do this as soon as you wake up, and for about 15 minutes. For more info, check out my oil pulling post here.
  3. Sweat it out as often as possible. I HIGHLY recommend using an infrared sauna if you have one available to you. If you live in NYC, there is Higher Dose (a bit pricey), or I go to UWS Yoga and Wellness (super cheap!), and you can also go to yoga that is heated with infrared heat at Y7, which is incredible. Kill two birds with one stone and get a workout and sauna session in one!
  4. On the same sweaty note, get a workout in. It doesn't matter if it's just a brisk walk around the block... Just move your body. I love to mix is up with some good hard cardio, hot yoga, pilates and weight lifting. Anything that makes me feel good I'll do. Don't force workouts that make you miserable or drain you. You'll just kill your adrenals, especially if you're already stressed in work and life.
  5. This is a given, but drink a TON of water. I carry a water bottle with me at all times. Buy yourself a cute bottle that makes you want to use it! I own this one, this one (that keeps liquids cold/hot for up to 24 hours!), and also just picked up one of these which is my new favorite! You can also amp up your water with some aloe (only add a bit as it doesn't taste great), or chlorophyll, which I love, because it tastes minty fresh!
  6. Eat whole, organic foods. Don't touch anything in a package. Load up on veggies, high quality protein, and good fats. If you're really into it, try the Whole30 challenge. I did it last year, and it's life changing. 
  7. And on that note, you guys will not like this one, but to really fix things, you should be cutting out gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. This is SUPER important. Removing these from your diet will help improve almost anything. You'll have more energy (none of that brain fog/sluggish feeling), you'll feel lighter, you'll most likely lose weight (if you stay consistent), you'll sleep better, you'll be in a better mood, and the list goes on. As you know, sugar is just terrible for you, so if you want to pick one of the three things to cut out, I'd do that first.
  8. While we're at it, I'll add caffeine to the list because that really is another trigger food you should eliminate (I did it almost a year ago now, and haven't looked back!!). Swap it out with the detox tea I mentioned above, or try a Matcha tea latte, which is another favorite of mine.
  9. Meditate at least once a day, even if only for 5 minutes. I love this app and this app to help you start if you've never done it before. A guided meditation is a great way to learn how to do so!
  10. Take activated charcoal. This is especially great to help cure a hangover. Activated charcoal binds to toxins in your body, but be careful, because it'll also bind to any supplements you take so don't take it within a couple hours of taking supplements or eating healthy. You can read more about all the different benefits here.
  11. Dry brushing is the best for skin exfoliation and detoxification. It boosts circulation, stimulates the lymph nodes, improves digestion and the appearance of cellulite, and more. To do it, you should always brush towards your heart, so I start at my feet and work my way up using long strokes. This is the brush I use, which works great.
  12. Try intermittent fasting. This one isn't for everyone, especially if you have issues with blood sugar, but for a lot of people, it is a great way to give your body a break. You can do two different types: one 24 hour period every week, or two 16 hour periods a week. Obviously, I'd chose the later because I'm a hungry hippo most of the time and 24 hours sounds extremely challenging.
  13. Go green with your household products as well as beauty products. I've swapped out pretty much all of my toxic household cleaners, hair sprays, face cleansers, nail polishes, make up, you name it, for eco-friendly, non-toxic, and natural products. And to tell you the truth, I haven't looked back once. Not gonna lie, the amount of compliments I've gotten on my skin since I've made the switch is ridiculous. Some of my favorites include Leahlani, Acure, and Tata Harper for skin care, and Honest Company for household products.
  14. Get a massage! I know, these are pretty pricey and something most people don't consider doing on the regular, but getting one of these as frequently as possible is a really good idea.
  15. Take magnesium and/or a cleansing supplement, as LONG as it is from a certifiable company and has ingredients you can recognize. I'd be very careful about this one, as there are so SO many things on the market that can be harmful to you. To be safe, I'd stick with a magnesium supplement (especially if you are feeling a little "blocked", it'll help move things along - if you catch my drift). I take this one whenever I'm feeling a little backed up and it's incredible. It utilizes the amazing properties of bentonite clay, which absorbs toxins, and magnesium, which helps you to eliminate them immediately! I take this on a daily basis, and also use a magnesium lotion. You really can't overdose on magnesium - it's one of the nutrients that people are the most deficient in too! Some other reputable companies I'd recommend are Metagenics and Be Well (by Dr. Lipman). I cannot stress ENOUGH to not buy supplements from a grocery store or GNC. Don't do it!!!
  16. SLEEP. At least 8 hours a day. This is so important. Your body will not repair and reset itself if you are not getting enough sleep! By the way, the magnesium supplements mentioned above will help to improve your sleep also.

If you're not a member already, you can purchase all of the above at a discount at Thrive Market (my favorite health website EVER).

Collagen

Oh collagen... My go-to health secret. I'm addicted to this stuff, and have been for quite a while now. I take it religiously every day, and I've really begun to see the benefits, mostly in my skin, but it does a lot more than just improve your appearance. Collagen has become pretty big in the recent months and has really taken off due to all the health benefits it offers. To summarize it, collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, and is really important for healthy skin, hair and nails. It's pretty much the main ingredient in bone broth, a recent fad I'm sure you've all heard about lately. So just like bone broth, it also helps to heal your gut.

Collagen is full of amino acids, ones that are normally produced by your body, but when you're sick, stressed, or just exposed to outside toxins (like we all are), your body may not produce these amino acids completely by itself... Hence supplementing with collagen or bone broth. Below are the lengthly benefits of collagen. I was sold by the time I read the first, and I'm sure you guys will be too! Here's why you all should be adding collagen to your daily routine:

  1. Strengthens and adds elasticity to skin, hair and nails, and can also actually reverse the signs of aging.
  2. Decreases cellulite: weakened collagen can cause cellulite to be more apparent, so supplementing with this will help to eliminate it.
  3. Boots your metabolism: it increases energy levels and helps with muscle development
  4. Gut healing: helps with leaky gut by soothing and helping to heal and repair the intestinal lining.
  5. Improves sleep: Gylcine (in gelatin), has a anti-stress action, which promotes natural sleep.
  6. Balances hormones and thyroid function.
  7. Lubricates and heals your joints, as well as builds stronger bones.

What I love about collagen powder though, is that it is entirely tasteless (you can even put it in tea and you won't notice it), odorless, and dissolves completely in both hot and cold liquids. So unlike a lot of other supplement powders and such, you can add it to a variety of drinks, tonics or recipes and you won't even notice it. I love this because it allows me to get it into my diet daily, no matter what. Whether I'm drinking a smoothie, coffee or tea for breakfast, a scoop of collagen powder is always added! You can add it to many recipes to maximize the nutritional value too, and you'll reap the benefits. Some of my favorite recipes are below.

  1. Tulsi Tea Jello
  2. Ginger Honey Gummies (another flavor here)
  3. Matcha Latte
  4. Cake Batter Protein Bars
  5. Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars

So what's the difference between collagen peptides and gelatin powder? Not a lot, but collagen is not exactly the same thing as gelatin because of the way it's processed. They both have the same amino acids, but different chemical properties. Collagen peptides are processed so that it will not gel when you add it to liquids, so it's great to use in both cold and hot liquids (smoothies, juices, tea, etc.). Gelatin turns into a gel when added to liquids, so this is great to add to recipes like I listed above, especially the jello and gummies. I have added it to hot tea before and it did dissolve, but I prefer to drink the collagen peptides because of the consistency. 

There are a couple different good brands that make these powders, but I highly recommend Vital Proteins. I have gone through about 4 cases of their collagen peptides already, and am thinking about trying the beauty greens one next! They also make a marine collagen version, for those of you who don't eat meat (but still consume seafood of course). The other great brand that makes this is Great Lakes. I own their beef gelatin, and this is what I add to recipes to make gummies and jello (or the occasional hot tea). If you're trying this out for the first time, I do recommend going with the collagen peptides as it is more versatile.