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Wellness

Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend? Some of the highlights of mine included shopping for autumnal decorations for the apartment (really into fall right now if you can’t tell) and taking an insane 90 minute dance class that was a total blast. I’m not the best dancer at ALL, but I couldn’t help but feel 1. exhausted and 2. grateful after taking the class. Why grateful? Because gratitude is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m trying to journal more as part of my daily routine, one part which consists of writing down what you are grateful for.

There are so many surprising benefits to journaling – cultivating self awareness, boosting creativity, helping with memory, and keeping track of goals. Of course, all habits take time to build. One habit I heard time after time to add to my routine is journaling.

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

Here’s why and how you should keep a gratitude journal:

Journaling is an incredibly personal activity that looks very different for everyone. How much and what I write depends largely on my mood and current emotional and mental state. My boyfriend suggested The Five Minute Journal as a way to ease into journaling. I love this journal because it is clean and organized, and already has the various sections I need to fill in every day laid out for me. Oh, and it only takes five minutes a day (sometimes less!).

My favorite part to fill out everyday is the section on gratitude. I’d like to think that I don’t take things for granted and focus only on my problems, but the truth is ever since I started practicing gratitude on a daily basis, I’ve noticed a shift in my mentality and mindset. It’s so easy to do – there’s no right or wrong answer, it’s just what you’re grateful for that day, in the moment.

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

 

It doesn’t have to consist of the most profound thoughts you’ve ever had. But the simple act of writing down three things a day you’re grateful for can help improve your overall well being and happiness. Think about how often we compare ourselves to others or take what we have for granted. Oftentimes it isn’t until something unfortunate happens or we see something in the world that triggers certain emotions that we stop to appreciate what we have.

So yesterday, the three things I chose to be grateful for were looked something like this:

  1. Having the physical ability to run and move freely for 90 minutes.
  2. Surrounding myself with people that lift me up and inspire me – especially good friends, which can be hard to find.
  3. A weekend to myself with my dog that allowed us to bond and spend lots of time together.

Today, I am grateful for:

  1. New beginnings at work – a new opportunity to learn and grow.
  2. Having a platform that allows me to reach others with my message and connect with them in ways I never thought would be possible.
  3. Coffee. Because it’s Monday.

Practicing gratitude allows you to focus on the positive in your life, realize even the negative is not always so bad, and that there’s always more to be grateful for. Each new day is a new opportunity to reflect. I’m so happy I started this exercise and have found it has really helped me approach every day more positively. Even when I’m having a bad day, stopping for five minutes to think of three things I’m grateful for allows me to pause.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” < one of my favorite quotes, and so true! 

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

Starting the Week by Practicing Gratitude | by The Luxi Look

And yes, I know it’s officially fall – but it still feels like summer and I’m holding onto every last sun soaked day I can. Wearing a two piece set by one of my all time favorite brands, Spell.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

PS – If you’re loving these more

xx, Amy

All too often, we hear about the importance of taking vitamins. But with most things in life, consistency is key. I can’t even begin to tell you how many half full bottles of different vitamins and minerals are laying around my apartment. Many of which are probably way past their expiration date. It’s too easy to read an article about some hot new supplement you need to take, and thanks to one-click shopping and my Prime membership, get a package on my doorstep in two days.

Typically, what ends up happening is this: I get excited, take previously mentioned supplement for a week, and then forget about it. With that sort of behavior, it’s no wonder I never really saw any benefits from most of the vitamins I was taking! However, recently I tried Care/of, a new service designed to help make taking your vitamins fun and easy and couldn’t wait to share with you guys.

[ Full disclosure, this post is not sponsored – Care/of was kind enough to offer and send me a month of vitamins to try, but I really wanted to share my experience with you guys! ]

A New Way of Taking Vitamins with Care/of | by The Luxi Look

Why should you take vitamins?

First, let’s talk about supplements. There’s a bit of debate as to whether or not we need to be taking supplements at all. While I agree that it’s probably best to get our vitamins and minerals in their natural form through food, the truth is most of us don’t get the right amount of everything in our daily diets. Vegans and vegetarians especially. Once you start cutting out certain food groups, it becomes easier to be deficient in certain essential nutrients if you’re not careful. Even if you’re eating a balanced diet, you may still benefit from taking supplements.

Although health and wellness is something I’m very passionate about, I am fully aware that I’m not a doctor. SO – be sure to talk to one or get their advice before starting a supplement regime! With that said, if you are interested in trying vitamins, you may want to consider a personalized approach by the way of Care/of.

What makes Care/of different?

Care/of asks you questions about your lifestyle, diet, and personal needs in order to determine what supplements may be beneficial to you. They offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, herbs, probiotics, and more. The personalized approach helps you take only the supplements you need, with a wide range of benefits. A lot of the science behind supplements is debatable. Although, Care/of does the work in assembling the research and traditional uses behind all of the supplements available, so you can have the most accurate assessment of the products and read the evidence first hand for yourself.

In addition, Care/of takes the mess and fuss out taking your daily vitamins. They the whole process fun and easy. You get deliveries of a month’s worth of vitamins at a time that come in pre-portioned daily packages. So you really have no excuse to skip your vitamins.

A New Way of Taking Vitamins with Care/of | by The Luxi Look

What was in my pack?

Based on my personal assessment, Care/of created a recommend pack of 5 different vitamins. You can also add or subtract other supplements based on your personal needs and preferences (packs range from 2-14 pills/day). Here’s what came in my recommended daily vitamin pack:

Digestive enzymes – although I was taking a daily probiotic before anyway, I’m glad I get one in my Care/of package as well. These help keep your gut healthy and happy and help tremendously with digestion and bowel movements. A healthy digestive system is so important for ridding your body of toxins!

Ashwagandha (try saying that 3 times fast!) – this was a new to me and exciting addition to my pack. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that is meant to support a healthy stress response. Although I’d like to think that I’m pretty chill, the truth is anxiety and stress can get the best of me at times. Ashwagandha is also known as “Indian Gingseng” and has been used for thousands of years in traditional Indian medicine.

Rhodiola – another herb used to help combat stress and fatigue. Apparently I said I was feeling burned out?! Anyway, this is a traditional Chinese herb that has been shown to relieve stress and promote feelings of well being.

I grew up taking traditional Eastern medicine, so Ayurvedic herbs don’t phase me. If you’re less sure about these types of supplements, you can totally pass on them!

These two recommended vitamins are much more established in the states.

Vitamin D – even though I live in Southern California, I don’t always get enough sun. Did you know a majority of Americans aren’t getting enough Vitamin D? Vitamin D is essential for strong and healthy bones!

Vitamin C – supports your immune system!

A New Way of Taking Vitamins with Care/of | by The Luxi Look

All of this comes to $34/month (just a little over $1 a day). The daily packages are pre-portioned and come in these adorable little pouches. The pouches are personalized with your name on them and are so easy to throw in your bag and go. I’ve been keeping a couple in my desk at the office in case I forget to grab a pack on my way out in the morning (depending on whether or not I’ve had coffee, I can be very forgetful!).

Also, V IMPORTANT tip. Always take your vitamins with a meal. I’ve made the mistake of downing 5 pills in the morning before ingesting any food. It leaves me feeling nauseous and queasy.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my experience with Care/of. I love the convenience of having pre-portioned packages that are easy to carry around with you and dispose of afterwards. Also, I love that I can customize the packets easily.  I can ensure that I am getting the nutrients need for my body.

If you’re interested in trying, Care/of kindly offers a discount code for my readers – use LUXILOOK50 at checkout for 50% off your first month of vitamins.

Would love to hear with you guys think!!

xx, Amy

Remember the 90s when fats were the devil? Well, now it’s sugar’s turn. Except the negative effects of sugar are well documented and research has shown that healthy fats are actually good for us! Unfortunately, all signs point to sugar having ZERO health benefits. There’s no silver lining when it comes to sugar. That’s why doctors, scientists, nutritionists, etc. are telling us to stay away from it – probably more than any other ingredient or food group. Not only is it fattening, horrible for energy, more addictive than drugs, and slowly killing us, it’s also processed like crazy. Bottom line, it provides zero goodness to our bodies and instead does a lot of harm.

But the problem is complicated: 1. It’s really, really good (looking at you, donuts!) 2. It’s proven to be as addictive as hard-core drugs (our brain responds similarly), and 3. It’s in everything. So even if you aren’t buying ice cream, you’re still consuming sugar regularly – at least I am – in things like condiments, salad dressings, etc. that you would never even think it was in! 

With summer travel and a busy schedule overall, I’m trying (key word, trying) to limit sugar, and more specifically, sugar cravings – which go hand-in-hand. To not eat as much sugar, at least consciously, it’s important to get a handle on cravings first.

If you’re in the same boat and either want to eat less of it or be more conscious of sugar, we’re in it together.

Here are my tips on how to cut down on sugar cravings and sugar altogether:

Watch your fruit intake. Fruit is so tricky. Yes, it should be part of a nutritious diet, but it still has plenty of natural sugars in it (different from processed sugars found in candy, cake, etc., but still a sugar). Natural is way better than added, but it should still be monitored. Try to eat your fruit early – that way your body has time to break it down rather than at night when it will likely get stored and turn into fat. “Healthy” breakfasts like acai bowls have a ton of natural sugar, so even though you’re getting nutrients here, save the fruit-heavy meals to once or twice a week – at least when you’re trying to cut back.

Know the hidden names. There are at least 60 names for “sugar” on food labels, so even when you think you’re eating something with zero sugar, check the ingredients. Some examples: sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, barley malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup. Anything that ends in the letters “-ose” is typically a form of sugar! 

Speak with a dietician. When you’re making big life changes, especially ones that could affect your long-term health, you should always consult a health professional. A dietician can walk you through how much sugar someone your age and weight should have and where you should be getting it from, etc. And this is different from your general medicine doctor – you want a certified dietician or nutritionist. They are FULL of knowledge, motivation, and help.

Avoid processed food. Processed foods like spaghetti sauce, cereal and dressings (and a million more) can appear to be healthy but actually contain loads of sugar. Switch gears and start focusing on buying whole, natural foods at the grocery store. Your best bet is to buy foods with limited ingredients. Items with 5 or less ingredients rarely are processed enough to contain sugar (except fruit). And if you can’t pronounce something – chances are you probably don’t want to be eating it! I also rely on making my own salad dressing. A little lemon, olive oil, red wine vinegar, local honey, and salt & pepper go a long way.

Find an alternative. If you love baking or can’t imagine life without cookies, find an alternative to sugar. There are tons of non-refined and natural options like coconut palm sugar and stevia, although I try to steer clear of these as much as possible as well. Sugar is sugar, you know?

Eat one less thing. Going cold turkey is hard, so I try for one less sugary thing a day. This actually helps for any elimination-type diet and is proven to be much easier to handle. One less cookie, one less sugary condiment, one less sugary drink. In my experience, when you say I can’t have something I just want it more. And TBH, a life without dessert isn’t really one I want to be living! I’m taking baby steps, ok?

Change your drinks. Speaking of sugary drinks, unfortunately, a lot of the best kinds of drinks are loaded with sugar. It might make them taste good (and look pretty), but they’re leading to sugar spikes, calories, and hangovers (I’m looking at you, alcohol). Cut out wine, champagne, tonic waters and sodas, and generally anything darker (like rum). Clear alcohol tends to have the least amount of sugar, so try vodka or tequila (< my drink of choice!) on the rocks with lots of lemon, lime and cucumber.

I’m not saying you have to cut out sugar entirely – I’m not a total monster! And let’s be real, I’m still going to indulge when I can because life is about #balance. Sadly, my sweet tooth is probably here to stay (and if you don’t have one, lucky you!) – but that doesn’t mean I won’t make a more concerted effort to check my labels, say no to dessert more often, and limit the booze (sad).

How are you staying healthy this summer?

I started researching copper water bottles and was so intrigued by all of the reported health benefits of using one. I knew right away I had to go straight to the source and learn more – luckily, I was able to meet up with Jessica, the owner of Copper H2O, who was kind enough to tell me more about copper bottles and all of their amazing benefits.

Read on to learn more about copper water bottles!

Introduce yourself.

Hi! My name is Jessica, and I’m the founder of Copper H2O! Copper H2O is a small business based on the west coast that makes beautiful handmade copper water bottles with amazing ayurvedic health benefits. We’re a bit unique in that we’re a “social enterprise”. In short, that means that our primary goal is to do our part to make the world a better place. We do that by donating a very substantial portion of our profits to non-profit organizations that work to supply clean drinking water in developing countries.

How did you get the idea to start your business?

I came upon the idea while researching ayurvedic medicine. According to ayurvedic medicine, drinking water stored in a copper water bottle or other copper vessel (which is known as “tamra jal” in ayurvedic medicine) balances the three doshas in your body (vata, kapha and pitta) << (will do a post on doshas soon!)by gently infusing the water with the positive health properties of copper. When I learned that, it occurred to me that copper might be the perfect medium for water bottles. Especially since the world doesn’t need another disposable plastic bottle!

What are the benefits to using a copper water bottle?

There are so many reasons to use a copper water bottle! Copper is anti-bacterial, acts as an effective anti-oxidant, improves immunity, supports good health, prevents aging, eliminates toxins and free radicals, and stimulates the brain. In addition, water stored in a copper water bottle will also become natural alkaline water, which helps balance your body’s pH levels. Also, because copper is naturally anti-bacterial, copper water bottles are naturally self-sterilizing and do not require as much cleaning as other water bottles.

In addition to the health benefits, our copper water bottles are also beautiful pieces of functional art. We believe that copper is the best material from which to make water bottles and have worked hard to produce an aesthetically pleasing product that suits an active lifestyle, supports the maintenance of good health, and helps the environment by avoiding the use of disposable plastic bottles.

How do you care for a copper bottle?

Caring for a copper water bottle is easy! Our copper water bottles are made of 100% pure copper, so they will naturally patina over time. Many people love having the exterior of their bottles age gracefully into a beautiful copper patina.

If you prefer the shine of copper, it is very easy to remove. Simply sprinkle a pinch of salt on a slice of lemon. Allow the salt to dissolve. Then gently rub it on the surface of your bottle. The lemon and salt will form a mixture that will naturally remove the patina and restore the copper’s shine. Once done, rinse with water and dry well. The inside of a copper water bottle will also patina over time, but this has no effect on the quality of the water stored inside the bottle. We recommend cleaning the inside of the bottle every now and then with warm water and a drop of liquid soap, and then rinsing it well.

What’s the hardest part of running your own business?

I think the hardest part of running your own business is also the best part of running your own business! In particular, running your own business generally means you sacrifice the stability of a traditional career path. It can be daunting. At the same time, not being locked into the usual “9 to 5” means you have much more flexibility to be creative and follow your passions!

Any advice for new entrepreneurs?

My best piece of advice for new entrepreneurs is to work hard, be patient, have faith in yourself, and never give up! Every entrepreneur faces hurdles, so don’t be discouraged by them – they are a normal part of the job description! Instead, look at the hurdles as opportunities to grow your entrepreneurial muscles. Just like trees, entrepreneurs are made stronger by bending in the wind!

Check out Jessica’s copper bottles here for yourself! So far I am loving mine : ).

Helloooo Monday! The weekend is over and it’s the start of a new week. If you’re anything like me, the morning after a sushi or ramen dinner, too many carbs, alcohol, or not enough sleep, you wake up looking…puffy. This is especially the case after an indulgent day or weekend. My face is notorious for retaining water and it doesn’t take much for it to swell up, especially in the morning. My eyes, around my nose, even my lips get extremely inflamed. It’s pretty embarrassing, to be honest. All too often, I’m thinking about how to get rid of a puffy face on a Monday.

Since the whole puffy face look isn’t my thing – and I’m not sure it’s anyone’s – I’ve tried a million different things to solve the problem. Some work better than others, but in general, these are the best tips to de-puff my skin. A few of these exercises can be done daily, or they can be perfect for the puffy face mornings once the damage is done.

Here’s how to get rid of a puffy face (for real)

Hydrate like cray. Hydration seems to be the answer for most skin issues, and a puffy face is no different. A puffy face is a sign of inflammation and fluid retention, aka you’re not detoxing properly or keeping things moving. If I know I’m going to be drinking or eating a dinner full of sodium or carbs, I’m diligent about drinking water that day – a ton of it. This will help your skin overall and will flush out the sodium.

How to Get Rid of a Puffy Face | by The Luxi Look

Use a jade roller. A jade roller is one of the best tools when it comes to depuffing skin, specifically faces. Jade rolling comes from 7th century Chinese culture. Today, spas everywhere use the technique. Jade rolling helps cells turnover, so it’s smart to jade roll daily, but it can be used in a pinch if you’re puffy, too. Simply apply lotion – or oil, whatever – then roll. Here’s an easy tutorial on the exact technique.

How to Get Rid of a Puffy Face | by The Luxi Look

Ice, ice, baby. Kate Moss would famously dunk her head in an ice-filled sink before photo shoots, and the girl was on to something. Just like you’d use ice on a swollen injury, you can use it on your face to help with swelling. If you’re not into sinks full of ice, an ice roller is ahhhmazing. I leave it over my eyes for about 20 seconds each, then roll towards two areas specifically helpful for lymphatic drainage: your ears and collar bone.

How to Get Rid of a Puffy Face | by The Luxi Look

Rely on a mask. If it’s just your eyes that are puffy, or at least the worst, throw on some chilled eye masks. I actually keep these guys in my fridge. Putting them on feels stellar and the coldness helps wake that sensitive skin up. If you’re not a morning person these are GREAT for waking up.

Massage. Another ritual borrowed from Asian cultures, you can give yourself a detoxifying face massage to promote drainage. Here’s how!

How to Get Rid of a Puffy Face | by The Luxi Look

Stay away from certain foods. Pretty obvious, but if you know you have a big event or want to look your best, limit certain things the days leading up. Sodium, excess carbs, and booze tend to puff us up, so focus on water-dense foods like cucumbers, and other lean proteins. Again, water is your BFF!

Fix allergies. Believe it or not, allergies play a huge roll in puffy faces – or can. In the springtime, take an OTC allergy pill if all else fails. I like to use essential oils to purify the allergens in my home as a more natural solution. An air purifier machine helps too!

PLEASE let me know your tips for getting rid of a puffy face! I’m dying to hear.

Want more anti – inflammatory beauty tips? Check out this at home spa day & these clean beauty products.

xx, Amy

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