Amazon

this week on Amazon: 10.20.17

Week two of this blog already! This week’s recommendations are much more random than last week, but they’re even better IMHO. Anyway, here are this week’s Amazon recommendations from an self-diagnosed Amazon addict:

Sun protection: I actually bought this on Sephora, but it is much cheaper on Amazon, and totally legitimate. It’s a great daily sunscreen by a Korean company (K-Beauty is the best) and is amazing. It is lightweight but works great. Wearing sunscreen on your face and neck (and décolletage if visible) every day is the best thing you can do for your face!Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sun Screen 50ml/1.65FL.OZ. SPF50/PA+++ Intensive Defense Against UVA/UVB Rays

Exfoliation: This works better than a face mask at exfoliation and moisturizing, and it smells like wine. Enough said? It’s another K-Beauty success story and another product sold for much more $ on Sephora.Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine, 200ml, 30 Count

Insect repellent: If you are planning on visiting anywhere with Zika, or going camping or to anywhere insect-prone, this is a must. It is super strong, much stronger than most insect repellents because it actually has permethrin in it. Make sure you are spraying this directly on your tent or clothing and not on your body. It works!

For kids: Looking for a present for a child? This is the coolest thing I’ve seen lately. It’s Lego-compatible tape! You can line a wall, a box, a bed, a table – whatever you want with this tape. Fostering creativity, etc, etc. They even have more color options if you’re trying to match a room.

Water shoes: These are great water shoes. I have them in black, but this color is great too. I cut my foot on some lava rock just walking on the beach in Hawaii, and immediately bought these online for further water-related adventures. Ouch.

poetry

let it go.

This is one of my favorite poems by E. E. Cummings. I think it’s important to recognize and prioritize what truly makes you happy and fulfilled in life. It is equally important to avoid what is toxic and negative – whether that be people, places, or things. Emotional or physical clutter, negative individuals, and unnecessary stressors should be eliminated whenever possible. Life is too short and too precious. … All that is just me speaking in general, not directed at current events.

Regarding current events, Kate Beckinsale shared this poem today on Instagram as part of the “me too” movement of empowering “victims” and acknowledging the widespread issue of sexual harassment and abuse. While I haven’t really experienced anything significant enough to warrant me saying “me too”, I do want to re-share this poem and add a message of love and solidarity to all the brave women and men speaking out. Keep fighting the good fight. ❤ I love you guys.

let it go – the
e.e. cummings

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear

so comes love

health

The Gut Diet.

There are more and more studies coming out that show that the vast and diverse microbiome present in our intestines affects our health and bodies in numerous ways. Google “microbiome and weight” and you will find plenty to start with, but they affect even more than weight. One particularly interesting one I found was that certain artificial sweeteners were found to trigger alterations in the gut microbiome increasing appetite and increasing fat storage – was the non-fat trend in the 90s which resulted in a spike in artificial sweeteners and strange additives a huge trigger for obesity because of it’s affect on our gut microbiome?

There are literally dozens of interesting journals/articles/research studies about gut microbiome that I came across just today. I think we will be seeing lots more treatments and studies with regards to this in the future. In the meantime, I found out in Menorca, Spain they have a “Gut Makeover Retreat” that costs thousands of dollars to help reset your gut from all the toxins it has been accumulating and help them regrow healthy, good bacteria. Reading into these makeovers, they can be simplified for [affordable] at-home use. The nutritionist behind this is Jeannette Hyde, and she summarized her diet for DailyMail as follows:

WEEKS ONE AND TWO

The focus is on building a wider array of bacteria. The key principles here are:

1. Plants: Try to get different plants (vegetables, herbs and fruits) into meals. Think a minimum of seven cups of plants — five as vegetables, two as fruit. Aim for 20 to 30 varieties a week — a shopping cart exploding with color and textures.

2. Buy the best protein you can afford (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds) to include at each meal. [Apurva advice: limit meat protein to once a day, max.]

3. Relax and chew properly: Try not to eat on the run or ‘al desko’.

4. Fast: Get into the habit of a 12-hour fast between dinner and breakfast. A long stretch without food improves the microbiome.

5. Avoid snacking. Have three meals a day.

WEEKS THREE AND FOUR

The second half of the plan is ‘planting season’, introducing the following into your gut:

1. Prebiotics: Increase your intake of prebiotic foods that contain fiber, which feeds bacteria in the gut and make friendly species bloom. These include: apples, asparagus, bananas, chicory root, cold potatoes (after cooking they form a fiber called resistant starch), fennel, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, legumes (allowed if you are vegetarian to boost protein).

2. Probiotics: These contain friendly bacteria and include: kefir milk, Roquefort cheese, fermented live miso and fermented tempeh (both made from soy beans and found in Asian supermarkets; add miso, a paste, to stir-fries and soups, buy tempeh in blocks to add to stir-fries and salads).

JUST SAY NO TO…

Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, sweeteners, dairy (although in weeks three and four it is included in small amounts because foods such as fermented milk kefir can boost gut flora), grains (particularly gluten-containing wheat, rye and spelt), beans and legumes (they contain high levels of lectins which can cause bloating), and dried fruit (due to high fructose sugar).

KEEP OFF THE WEIGHT

When the month is up, transition to the maintenance stage, a gut-friendly version of the real Mediterranean diet: plants — vegetables, seasonal fruits and wild herbs — supplemented with fish, nuts and grains, extra virgin olive oil, artisan, slow-matured cheeses teeming with friendly bacteria, and moderate amounts of quality meat.

The diet in general is similar to your standard, but proven, plant-based, whole foods, Mediterranean diet that should be highly recommended right now by all nutritionists and physicians, but it kind of explains why from a gut-related perspective. So considering that my diet is kind of exactly the opposite – lots of snacking, dairy, sugar, caffeine, beans, grains, legumes, and occasional alcohol, I feel as though my gut is pretty unhappy. Last May I lasted 3 weeks of the month without any added sugars in my diet, and I felt great. I think even if you can make small changes towards a diet like this, you’ll feel better, but if you are willing to take the plunge and commit to this diet, I don’t think you’ll regret it. Happy gut, happy life!

More books to look into:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

inspirational

Dalai Lama: words to live by. ❤

  1. Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.
  2. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
  3. Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
  4. Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
  5. My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
  6. This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
  7. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
  8. Sleep is the best meditation.
  9. Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
  10. The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
entertainment

moviepass!

Image result for moviepass

I brought this up to many people in the last couple of months, and only a few have heard of it – so I must share! MoviePass is a new(-ish) company made by a handful of brilliant people (including one of the creators of Netflix). It used to be $50 a month (I think, maybe $40) but is currently $10 a month. With it, you can see one movie a day in theaters for the entire month!

Looking for the catch? Well you can’t see 3D or IMAX movies, and you can only see each movie once, but other than that – no catch!

Every movie theater around us accepts MoviePass. You can check on their website (scroll to the bottom) to see what theaters around you accepts it. My husband, Mark, is a big fan of seeing movies in theaters, so this is something he will be doing by himself when I just want to cuddle on the couch with the pup. With prices of seeing a movie in theater being ~$10 a ticket, this is a such a great deal.

xoxo

P.S. For anyone that dabbles in the stock market, I have been playing with the stock for this as well. While its own IPO isn’t planned until next year, it’s majorly owned by a company called Helios and Matheson Analytics ($HNNY), which did some crazy things last week and probably will next week again. It’s really great to day-trade if you have the guts for it.

clothes

Banana Republic: October 2017.

Banana Republic is one of my favorite stores to find comfortable, stylish work-appropriate attire that can be reworked for almost any occasion. They’re having an extra 50% off sale at the time of writing this. I’m going to share some of my favorites from the sale and some cool newer items.

Sale:

product photo One-Shoulder Flare-Sleeve Top. Appropriate for work in the right setting, otherwise so fun for date night or out with friends. Currently $22.49 down from $88 with an extra 10% off if you have a Banana Republic card.

product photoWide Brim Straw Hat. After wearing a hat like this in Hawaii this year for the first time, I’m sold. These hats are so great for sun protection, especially on vacation. And the price right now – $8.98 down from $48 – is so crazy!

product photoFloral Medium Flat-Zip Pouch. This canbe used alone or inside a larger purse or work tote. It’s a nice little burst of color. Currently $18.99 – down from $48 originally.

product photoOff-the-Shoulder Maxi Dress. This dress would be great for vacation or summer-time, pretty versatile. $38.49 – down from $128.

 

Not on sale [at time of posting, but BR often has 40% off entire site sales]:

product photoSparkle Circle Bracelet. This comes out pretty much every other season at Banana Republic. Options for it are silver, gold, rose gold, and black. It will inevitably go on sale (as will everything), but keep your eyes peeled because they get snatched up quickly. They are so sparkly and look much more expensive than they are. They quickly dress up any outfit. I have gifted them to people and have a few of them in almost every color for myself. I stock up when they go on sale. They are $49.50 each right now, but like I said, these are regulars and they do go on sale.

product photoSeamless Layering Top with Built-In Bra. I haven’t seen this before at BR, but basically built-in tops are amazing for lazy and comfort-driven dressers like me. This is so great layered or just simply with high-waist jeans or skirts or underneath a button-down or cardigan. It comes in black, white, and nude and is meant to be tight-fitting so that it can be layered. Currently $34.50.

product photoMetallic Brocade Military Skirt. I do not have this nor have I seen it in person yet, so don’t judge me if it is actually horrendous, but it looks great online. It would be something really fun to wear with a bodysuit for a Christmas party or with a white button-down to work. Currently $198 and part of Olivia Palermo’s collaboration with BR.

Amazon, books

this week on Amazon: 10.14.17

Something easy that I’m going to try and do weekly (or monthly if I start to drag on recommendations) is share some of my favorite Amazon finds. Amazon Prime is my BFF, and we are constantly discovering new things that I think other people would enjoy too.

Read: The Book of Joy which is the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu’s brilliant views on finding joy in this life and this world, pieced together by author and interviewer Douglas Abrams. So real talk – I haven’t finished reading this. It’s dense with insight, so it’s hard to binge-read. I bought a copy for my sister, and even in my own copy I’ve highlighted “words to live by” that I want to remember. It’s a great way to refocus yourself on the important and joyful things in life in the cloud of negativity that seems to be around lately.

Eat: Matcha! This is my favorite matcha. I am not a coffee drinker, but this matcha is just the caffeine boost I need to last all day. The difference between the caffeine in this versus coffee is that it’s a slow steady release in your body, which doesn’t result in you crashing when it wears off. The great thing about matcha is the versatility of it. You can drink it alone, or mix it into smoothies/protein shakes, or my favorite – mixing it into my overnight oats. Subscribe-and-save is the best way to get this ordered -15% if you are subscribed to 5+ items. We have dog food, protein bars, matcha powder, chia seeds, flax seed, and a few other things on subscription from Amazon, so we always hit that extra 15%.

Wear: Invisibobble hair ties. There must be other brands of these that are just as good, so get whichever one you want since these are the only ones I have tried. I’m sure they’re sold in a store somewhere too, but secret: I hate shopping. I like shopping from the comfort of my couch, AKA online, but otherwise I only go to a store if I need to. But anyway, these are such a good alternative to any other hair tie I’ve tried. Last weekend I wore one of these in my hair for the entire day, and when I let my hair down, there was no ponytail indentation! It was magical. That’s the big benefit to these hair ties. They come in black, clear, and brown. I have black and clear.

xoxo