Prep For Your Summer Trip

By,

Natalie Holbrook

The Pre-Party

The Vacation Proclamation

Hear Ye, Hear Ye…  it is about time you took that trip and blissed out in some glorious and much deserved you time! Whether that means an adventure with the girls, your significant other, family or a solo journey, congratulations on giving yourself the time to do what life is all about: ENJOYMENT! To prep for a holiday to remember, we’ve got 3 tips to do pre-vacay to keep you feeling and looking your healthiest:

  1. Sweat!

They say the best things in life make you sweaty, ain’t that the truth! Plus, there’s way more benefits to exercise than dropping a few lbs or tightening up. Sweating will not only detoxify and clear your organs, including your largest one, ahem, your skin, it will also help you to be more focused. It could be anything: running, weight-lifting, spin class, barre, whatever your forte. Just try to sweat once a day for one full week before your trip.

  1. Detox Pre-Retox!

One of the best things about vacation is the food and drinks you’ll delightfully and guiltlessly indulge.  To enjoy and still feel fantastic with absolutely no regrets, make sure your body is a clean slate prior to the trip. I recommend Dandelion Root Oil.  The root of flower has been used in Korea, Mexico to detoxify the liver, improve digestion, strengthen your immune system and maintain blood sugar levels.I recommend adding 2-3 drops to full to a liter of water. 

Also try out Lemon Oil. I suggest lemon oil vs. the actual lemon, because it is highly concentrated, and the pressed oil includes the peel, which includes more potent benefits. This will help your body eliminate toxins, add brightness to your complexion and even lift your mood. How do you think Queen Bey looks so fierce and called her album Lemonade? Add 1-3 drops into a liter of water for one week.

  1. Hydrate!  

You remember that your body is made of 65% water, right? But what does that actually mean and why do we need to drink so much of it?  Water builds your cells, metabolizes your food, regulates your internal body temperature, insulates your brain, spinal cord and organs and lubricates joints. If we get to just a 1% dehydration level, our mental and physical coordination becomes off balance. It’s important to stay as hydrated as possible before we gear up for a big event, and drinking water can be easy.

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Get a one-liter water bottle (I slurp my daily liters up with a bottle that has a built in straw like this) and aim for three liters per day. Add in fruits and veggies that are water based: greens like spinach, arugula and celery, and benefit glowing skin and improved joints with watermelons and cucumbers.  

*Bonus tip: Avoid alcohol for a few weeks leading up to your trip to remove bloat, have a clearer mind, increased productivity and all around healthier, happier you!

Natalie Holbrook is a wellness expert. You can follow her on Instagram at @Livinggypset.

Edited by Nicole Fallert.

 

 

 

3 Ways to Find More Joy

By, Leslie Wong

I spent this past weekend with my boyfriend’s family in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve visited his family before, so I can safely say all nerves have subsided and I’m finally reaching a point of familial comfort. Comfort is great, but it can also cause me to behave in ways I know I shouldn’t. For example, scrolling on my phone and lazing around the house while wasting a gorgeous sunny day.

I found myself practicing these habits this weekend and quickly checked them at the door. What was to be gained was laughter, learning and more joy! Putting people and moments first is surely a skill that my boyfriend’s family has down pat. Here are 3 easy activities I discovered that keep me in the present, form deeper connections and capture joy.

Ditch your phone

The quickest and easiest way to be more present. If you run a business, you know how difficult this is. You feel like you literally need to be on your phone. My first tip for this is to determine what is absolutely necessary to do that day (replying back to customers, time-sensitive emails to suppliers, social media posting) grab a cup of joe, stay focused and then do it early before you embark on whatever excursion is planned.

For Instagram, Planoly is a game changer. Carving out just one hour on a Sunday to plan posts and comments reduces my daily posting time to just a few minutes per day. I also try to leave my phone at home as often as I can. Ask yourself, “What will go wrong if I don’t respond immediately?” If the answer is nothing, you’ve given yourself the peace of mind to let it wait.

Play a Game

Challenge your body and mind with a stimulating game that requires all your attention to win. When your opponents or teammates feel your presence, you might play more strategically and the moment will be more fun for everyone. Summer is the perfect time for an outdoorsy game like this adorable bocce set, or even poolside scrabble. Plus you’ll never have to worry about screen glare 🙂

Take a trip

Pick a new country, city or even a neighborhood you haven’t fully explored. For an alternative to Yelp or Open Table, do a hashtag search for trending locations within the city (i.e. #ChicagoCafes #WickerParkBars). Hashtags are my favorite way to search for cafes, restaurants, parks, bars and hotels that are both aesthetic and authentic. bar_melusine_hires-4My next destination is this delicious green and white gem called Bar Melusine in #Seattle 😉

Once you’ve mapped out your destinations, go back to Rule #1 and ditch your phone. Let yourself wander and soak it all up.

 

How to Pack Next-Level Summer Picnics

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Need an up-level to a boring macaroni or fruit salad? Here’s your guide to swapping the allergen, bloating, sugary and starchy foods for new picnic staples: nourishing, energizing, and even aphrodisiac-inducing foods for you, your friends and your boo.

The Go and Love Yourself Picnic:

Self-care is essential to our health and happiness, and that starts with the fuel we put in our body. Treat yo’self to a restorative afternoon in nature! Each ingredient helps to ground, enhance clarity and deeply connect our mind, gut and intuition.

TSC Pink Detox Drink from The Skinny Confidential

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Red Ace Beet Shot, found at Whole Foods and most health food stores  

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Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Kale, Cranberry Salad from Delish

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Raw Chocolates from Yummy Mummy Kitchen

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Chakras being fed: root, solar plexus, third eye

The Lean on Me Picnic:

The more the merrier, picnics can be more fun when there’s more than one! Munch on these meals for more energy, improved communication, and boosted self-confidence so you can bring the best you (and food!) to the table.  

Cucumber Basil Lemongrass Lemonade from Serious Eats

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Brussel Sprout Chips from The Kitchn

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Arugula Grapefruit Salad from Reboot with Joe

Grapefruit-Salad

Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Food Charlatan

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Chakras being fed: sacral, throat

The Let’s Get It On Picnic:

There are few things more romantic than eating outside in a gorgeous setting, appreciating the little moments and indulging in passion-producing delectables with your loved one. Feed yourself and bae these aphrodisiac, heart-opening and stimulating goodies. We recommend making sure you’re not too far from one of your homes!    

Strawberry, Blueberry, Goat Cheese Salad from The Good Mama   

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Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus from Eat Drink Paleo

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Pineapple Coconut Champagne Cocktail from Pineapple and Coconut

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Smoked Salmon Crostini from Ciao Florentina

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Bourbon Soaked, Chocolate Cherries from Food52

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Paleo Chocolate Strawberry Coconut Butter Cups from 40 Aprons

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Chakras being fed: sacral, throat, heart

5 Easy Recipes for Healthy Summer Cooking

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine…we’ve rounded up five of our favorite dairy and gluten-free recipes to keep your body and mind lookin’ and feelin’ just as fine. 

Coconut Water Berry Popsicles  

healthy-and-refreshing-red-white-and-blue-popsicles-made-from-just-coconut-water-and-fresh-berries-perfect-for-the-4th-of-july.jpgRehydrate, feed your skin, and chill – serves 6   

  • Grab some popsicle molds (we love these BPA-free kind!) and fill with your favorite coconut water, blueberries, raspberries and chopped strawberries.
  • Check the nutrition label for a coconut water that does not have added sugar
  • Freeze overnight and impress your guests with this berry festive treat  

Recipe courtesy of Back to the Book Nutrition

Watermelon Vodka Cooler

vodka-watermelon-cooler-1Detox while ya Retox – serves 6

  • 1 large watermelon
  • ½ cup preferred vodka
  • ¼ Triple Sec
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • 6 mint leaves for garnish

Blend sliced watermelon pieces with ice and ½ cup of water, option to strain blended smoothie to a juice into a large pitcher. Stir in vodka, Triple Sec and lime juice. Serve chilled and garnish with fresh mint.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

Grilled Veggie Quinoa Salad

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Get your red, white and green on – serves 4

  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 2 med. red peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Black pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • 4 oz. Pecorino cheese – optional

Heat grill to medium high. Brush red peppers, portobello mushroom caps, and lemons with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with ½ of salt. Grill mushrooms 15 minutes or until tender, turn once. Grill lemons, 8 minutes. Grill peppers 6 minutes or until softened, turn once.

Mix arugula, cheese, quinoa, the rest of the olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt,  ¼ tsp pepper. Thinly slice peppers and chop mushrooms; add to arugula along with juice from lemons. Toss vigorously with pride!

Photo courtesy of Cookie + Kate

Sweet Potato and Plantain Chips + Pineapple Guac

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How Sweet it is to Dip You in Guac – Serves 2-3

  • 2 avocados, cut in half, pits removed
  • ½ pineapple, diced
  • 1 skinny yam or sweet potato, sliced thin into chips
  • 1 plantain, ends removed, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch pieces, smashed with the bottom of a mug (use a ripe one-brownish color)
  • ½ jalapeno, finely diced
  • ¼ red onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 tablespoon cilantro, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • Aluminum foil

Heat grill to low-medium. Place sliced sweet potatoes on aluminum foil and brush coconut oil on each sweet potato and sprinkle with salt. Place on grill to let cook and flip them after about 8-10 minutes, keep a close watch to ensure you don’t burn the chips!

Heat up a large skillet under medium heat and coat the coconut oil at the bottom on the pan. Once oil is very hot, add plantains and let cook for 3-5 minutes per side. Once they are cooked brown on both sides place on a paper towel and soak oil.

Mash avocados then add pineapple, jalapeño, red onion, garlic, cilantro, spices, and salt and pepper.

Credit: PaleOMG

Berry Fruit Tarts

berry-fruit-tarts-with-chia-seeds-1200x800.jpgBecause it isn’t a holiday without dessert – Makes 3

  • ¼ cup dates
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup dried figs
  • 1-2 bananas
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds – optional
  • ¾ cup chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¾ cup chopped kiwis
  • Any of your favorite toppings!

For the crust – Mix dates, raisins, figs in blender or food processor and pulse until everything is in small pieces that stick together – let it get to a crust-like consistency and watch that it doesn’t get too sticky. Press into three lined tart tins and refrigerate.

For the filling – Mush the bananas with a fork and add the chia seeds.

For the topping – Take the crusts gently out of the tins. Spread the banana chia mix into the crusts and top off with blueberries, strawberries, kiwis and any other toppings. 

Credit: This Rawsome Vegan Life


About The Author

11950733_1188001001216305_1563641912_aNatalie Holbrook is a health and wellness contributor for Burgundy Fox. She has a background in nutrition and on her way to becoming a health coach. She is a trained reiki healing practitioner and is undergoing her 200 hour yoga teacher training where she resides in San Francisco, California. Her lifelong passion has been to help others thrive by finding their authentic selves through practiced intuition and healthy living. Look out for her wellness retreats coming at the end of 2017!

Nature is the New Black

Nature is the New Black

Disclaimer: Increased levels of Vitamin D, improved clarity, vision, mental health and abundant joy may occur while taking in the outdoors.

 

Ah, summer is finally here. The earth wakes up on the bright side, the sun is up by 6am, rivers run wilder and flowers are in full bloom. Our toes and shoulders emerge in our long-awaited summer outfits, and absolutely nothing compares to magically warm, summer nights. Summer is fulfilling my Vitamin D prescription while the hot sun beams on my face, weekends are spent hiking or lounging on the beach, and I get to be a kid again, taking in endless adventures, getting lost and exploring new places, both on solo expeditions or shared with smiling friends.  

Life, however, doesn’t usually slow down. Rather it feels like it speeds up, sometimes the planning aspects of summer events and vacations can be so stressful that we miss out on the whole point. But instead of viewing summer as a hassle, try looking at the season as the ideal time to enjoy nature–let it help you defeat stress, and utilize some techniques to keep it at bay. We can take advantage of the warm weather, the longer days, and unplug, step outside and soak up our ability to reconnect with nature. When we tune in with our natural world, we are brought back to connect with ourselves on a deeper level, and have more control over our minds, bodies and spirits.

In an age where we check on social media more than we do with our gut and intuition, and where spending 9-12 hours inside an office is considered normal – imagine what our cavewoman ancestors would’ve thought of that! – getting outside is crucial to our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. “When compared to rural folk, people living in cities have a 40 percent higher risk of mood disorders and a 20 percent higher risk of anxiety disorders. They’re also twice as likely to develop schizophrenia,” reported Peter Dockrill, whom has studied the link of nature and our well-being extensively. Do not fear, oh, city dwellers. Other research has found that living on a block with 10 extra public trees than others, made people feel 1% happier, which is the same result that earning $10,200 per year more brings, and the same as being seven years younger.

Don’t have quick access to nature around you? Here’s some ways to receive similar effects:

Add more green to your space

Succulents, plants and flowers can bring an instant feeling of life to your home or office. Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 11.58.32 PM.pngAccording to a survey in Queensland, Australia, greenery in a work environment makes staff happier and can boost productivity by 15%. Businesses are boosting greenery, the Vancouver Convention Center has a six-acre living roof for a green break, and Facebook’s HQ installed a 9-acre green-roof for it’s employees and visitors to bask in. If your office doesn’t offer this, try suggesting it! Guaranteed, you will not be the only employee to benefit.

Green Screen

Save that Instagram-worthy beach, mountain or your favorite nature shot as your your phone or desktop screensaver. Try setting your travel photos to rotate as background images on your computer during sleep mode, or check out a site that provides it, like Webshots.com. Just looking at green or outdoor images has even been proven to lower our stress levels.

Find Your Outdoor

It’s very possible that nature is closer than you think. Most cities have parks, so take advantage of your city’s greenery and take a day to yourself, grab a tangible book or your journal, and disconnect from the internet for a few hours.

Take a hike!

Don’t know any trails around you? Check out, All Trails, an awesome app that gives you all the information you need for nearby trails and butt-kicking outdoor stair-master hikes. I personally love Weekend Sherpa, a weekly outdoor-guide for Northern and Southern California. Most cities and states have guides like this, and can be found in a few seconds by searching things like “hikes near (your city)”

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 11.56.57 PMThink back to a time when you felt most at peace, most connected to your true self. A time that you felt completely calm, serene, and not bothered by anything in your external world. Maybe you were on a hike by yourself in a forest, watching a sunset, or listening to the waves crash on the beach. Meditate with that scene in mind each morning, and make a plan to spend time outside at least once per week. Nurturing ourselves in the outdoors, will allow us to nurture ourselves within: leading us to think more clearly, act more effectively and decisively, gain confidence in our personal purpose and experience more happiness, overall.

Summer offers us this chance, quite literally, to get grounded, but only if we make, and take the time to accept this inherent gift. So, grab your sunnies, give some thank you’s to Mama Earth, and get out there!

Lastly, feed your body and soul with a bit of green nature in your glass

Kimberly Snyder’s Green Glowing Smoothie:500xNxglowinggreensmoothiemainjpg.jpg.pagespeed.ic.7DzxliU1fW.jpg

  • 1 cup very cold, filtered water.
  • 3 cups spinach, chopped.
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped.
  • 1 cup organic cucumber or organic celery, chopped.
  • 1 organic green apple, cored and chopped.
  • 2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice.
  • Liquid stevia, to taste – optional if you want to add a little sweetness

Nature photographs by Taryn Grey Photography 

Smoothie photograph by Kim Snyder


About the Author

11950733_1188001001216305_1563641912_aNatalie Holbrook is a health and wellness contributor for Burgundy Fox. She has a background in nutrition and on her way to becoming a health coach. She is a trained reiki healing practitioner and is undergoing her 200 hour yoga teacher training where she resides in San Francisco, California. Her lifelong passion has been to help others thrive by finding their authentic selves through practiced intuition and healthy living. Look out for her wellness retreats coming at the end of 2017!

How to Avoid Energy Slumps & Productivity Dumps

Until now, I’ve never had the luxury of getting a ton of things done and not speaking with a single human all day. As an eCommerce entrepreneur, I can spend 90% of my work day without live human interaction, just communicating via email and social networks. I reference this luxury like the time I ate a pound of jello, you can have too much of a good thing (I was 15).

Before this, I worked for a startup with a winning office culture and all the accoutrements: organic gummy snacks, nerf guns, fishbowl meeting rooms, whiteboards galore and communal desks. This environment worked well for certain interactions and personality types, but I often found myself craving solitude and worse, felt like I couldn’t focus enough to be as productive as I needed to be.

I’m 40% introvert and 60% extrovert, so I consider myself an ambivert and experience different struggles dealing with both types of environments, how I work through information best and how I maintain a productive energy level. See if you’re an ambivert. Having been on both sides of the grass, I can some offer 3 tips avoiding energy slumps as an extroverted solopreneur, and productivity dumps as an introverted creative.

Avoiding energy slumps when you’re hustling from home

Put on a podcast

I love podcasts, because they give me the feeling as if someone is working along side me, teaching and cheering me on at the same time. I actively discipline myself from multi-tasking when I’m working, so I only listen to podcasts when I’m doing work that is more passive for me–cleaning up my inbox, sending simple replies, designing graphics, Instagram curating, etc. Here are list of the 5 I’m listening to right now:

  • Reid Hoffman’s Master of Scale
  • The Creative Empire Podcast
  • Project Entrepreneur’s #TheTools
  • Gary Vee’s Audio Experience
  • Optimal Living Daily

Get some face time

When it’s 3pm and you can’t believe you haven’t left the house all day but still have more to get done, this is a great caffeine-free pick-me-up. Call a friend that you feel comfortable having a quick conversation with, best friends and industry friends are my go-tos, and switch up a phone call for some good ol’ fashioned Facetime. I host mastermind and advisor calls by Facetime or Google Hangouts as much as I can.

Jump around

Okay, you don’t have to jump, but I’ve found that moving fresh oxygenated blood through my body is the best mental reset, especially when I’ve worked alone all day. Scheduling 20-30 minutes of movement a day is ideal, but if you can’t that day–take some deep breaths and stretch wherever you are. My favorite stretch is called the ‘ragdoll’. It’s exactly how it sounds. Stand with your feet hips width apart, knees bent as much as you need, and bend at the waist towards your feet. Let your head hang loose and hold onto the opposite elbow. Remember to take a few slow, deep breaths through your nose, then roll up slowly, all the way back up. Your face will be red and your hair out of place, but it’s great way to get energy without caffeine, and maybe a good time to apply some dry shampoo, too.

Avoiding productivity dumps in a busy work environment 

Claim your space

Don’t work against your natural tendency, listen to it. If you’re feeling like you need to retreat and find a certain space that makes you most productive, do that. I always admired a colleague who went to the same spot every day, when she need to crank out work, this was her productive spot. We are creatures of habit, and if you have a place you can revisit which signals ‘work’, your mind will reliably follow suit. The same goes with time. If you need uninterrupted time, carve it out on your calendar, and let others know you’re unavailable. To create space, you must draw some lines.

Break routine

Regardless of personality type, having one day to break routine, can make a big difference. especially when you are normally surrounded by people and interruptions. Giving your team one day allows for independent space to cross items off lists and can give introverts a day to recharge their battery. If you’re working solo and need more activity, I’d recommend one designated day a week to work from a coffee shop, a co-working space, a friend’s studio, or even a hotel lobby. Simply observing new people and behaviors can provide creative inspiration and allow you to be more productive, not just busy.

Get a buddy

This might sound contrary, but finding one good co-working buddy can focus you more and allow work to flow easier. I find it helpful to get a high level understanding of the tasks each of you want to accomplish during this work session and how much concentration is required, before agreeing to co-work. A good co-working buddy will fill in the gaps when you want to take a break or have someone to ideate with.  

Lastly, a big key to managing your energy effectively depends on the people you surround yourself with. Know your team-your employees, contractors, office mates and collaboration partners.  Knowing my colleague’s Myers Briggs personality types and common characteristics, allows me to approach situations more prepared with what to expect. Analyze your traits here! If you have a team, you’ll want to have a good sense of people’s work styles to help you understand when and why they need alone time, how to approach group brainstorming and who has strengths that complement your weaknesses.


About the Author

One time (11) copyLeslie Wong is the Founder of Burgundy Fox, a subscription lingerie brand on a mission to celebrate all bodies and empower women to love themselves. Burgundy Fox strives to create a more inclusive shopping experience and a kinder message about beauty for women now and in the future.  

Our Favorite Self-love Graphics

We can all get down sometimes, but the key is in getting up fast, taking a deep breaths, and giving yourself a (physical or verbal) hug. Here is a round-up of some of our favorite graphics that’ll give you that verbal hug, and remind you to love #1.

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Photo credit: @letterbliss

Funny and true. This is important to remember in our busy lives when we feel like we’re being pulled in every which way. Trust me, I used to feel this exact way all the time. Ask yourself, how would it feel, to ‘let something go’? I actively must ask myself this when I began to feel overwhelm. Be realistic and try to manage expectations. Just like the oxygen mask adage (and TSA rule) tells us–you’ve got to take care of yourself, before you can take care of anyone else.

 

 

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Photo credit: @designcrush

Mmm-hmm. We are much more than our physical bodies and capable of so much. We are on this world to ‘do’, to make, to affect change. There is nothing more empowering. In my experience, the busier I am, the less I ‘dress up’. This isn’t to say the two cannot co-exist, but whether intentionally or not, I’ve shifted my energy from my exterior to my interior. What’s important is that my own self-confidence is not tied into the world’s view of my physical appearance. See the entire slideshow that made me stop and say ‘wow’ on the @bodyposipanda feed click here.

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Photo credit: @tarascheller

I cannot stress this enough. It’s one of the hardest lessons to stick to, but an invaluable and necessary one in learning to consistently love yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone is likely fighting a battle you don’t see. See more inspiring illustrations, save them and add them to your home screen, here.