Self Care

How To Find A Therapist

I’m so excited to get back to regular programming with my Wellness Wednesday posts. I’ve let them take a back seat these past few months as I’ve been busy sorting out my move, but they’re actually one of my favorite parts of the blog so it feels good to be writing them again. Today’s post is a topic I’ve touched on briefly through my “Self Care” and “How I Got Over My Breakup” posts, but I wanted to delve into it further and share my own experience with therapy! My dad has been a psychologist for over 30 years, so therapy was never taboo or something I was unfamiliar with growing up. I’m incredibly proud of the positive impact my dad has made on hundreds of people’s lives so I’ve always been very open and supportive of therapy. Within this post, I’m going to talk about a few of my own personal experiences with therapists, and of course, how to find the right therapist for you! How To Find A Therapist I’ve used two different methods to find a therapist; I’ve gone through my insurance company’s website, and I’ve done an independent search on ZocDoc. The benefit of going through your insurance company initially, is that they list out doctors within your area that accept your insurance. Some insurance plans cover a therapist’s fee, others cover part of it, and some cover none of it – so be sure to check online and call your insurance company to confirm. Once you’ve created a login through your insurance company’s website, click on the psychologist/psychiatrist section, and then type in your area. Browse through the list of names that pop up, and copy and paste the names that jump out at you into Google. Many therapists today have reviews from other patients online or have written articles which will give you a sense of their reputation and style. After you’ve settled on a therapist or two, call them to check that they do in fact take your insurance, ask what their fee is, and book an initial consultation. If it’s your first time going to therapy, it’s probably a good idea to book consultations with 2-3 different people, and then see which one you like best. If you don’t want to go through the insurance route, or you already know your insurance doesn’t cover therapy costs, then I like to use ZocDoc. You can narrow therapists down by neighborhood (pick somewhere close to work or home because if it’s far away, you’re not going to go – trust me!) and read over their patient reviews. Once you’ve found a few potentials, reach out to them and ask what their rate is, see if they happen to take your insurance (they just may!), and schedule your appointment(s.) How Much Does Therapy Cost?Therapy can be really expensive. But it’s an investment in yourself. Therapy has made me happier, more positive, more thoughtful, more accepting, calmer, wiser, a better daughter, a better sister, a better girlfriend, a better friend, a better boss, and a better human. Therapy costs vary widely by city, insurance plan, and doctor, which is why you need to call both your insurance company and the doctor you’re interested in to find out. Online articles state that therapy can be anywhere from free (or a small co-pay like $15) to $600 a session. I’ve personally paid everything from a $30 copay for an in-network therapist to a $300 fee for an out-of-network therapist. This article does a great job explaining why therapy costs so much in case you’re curious. Therapists have to pay for; malpractice insurance, office space (which in NYC is $$$), office supplies/furniture, advertising, and of course their own health insurance, rent and other expenses. Often times, if they do take insurance, filling out that paperwork and filing claims becomes a full time job in-and-of itself thus stopping them from having time to see more clients so it’s extremely generous of a therapist today to take insurance. Bottom line – do your research on both in-network and out-of-network doctors – and set up appointments with the one that feels right for YOU. Sometimes out-of-network doctors will give you a break on their fees depending on your income, so don’t be afraid to ask! How To Choose The Right Therapist For YouThis all comes down to a gut feeling when you’re one on one with the person. Again, if you’re new to therapy, I suggest seeing a few people so you can compare them and think about how you feel after each session. Every therapist has a different style. Some therapists are more hands on, interactive and vocal, while others are more hands off, observant, and ask a few poignant questions per session. I’ve had therapists who I don’t vibe with at all – and therapists who I totally clicked with and who felt like mentors/friends. After seeing both male and female doctors of all different ages over the years, I have found that I work best with a female who is relatively close to my age. Being relatively close in age has been helpful when communicating about current social situations, social media, social norms, dating in the modern world, etc. AKA they just get me more! How Often Should You See A TherapistThis really depends on you and your situation, but most people go once a week. I’ve gone more than once a week in the past and didn’t like it because I like having a few days to process and decompress after each session – sometimes they can be really intense! Many New Yorkers, due to their busy schedules, make it to therapy 2-3 times a month which is totally normal/fine too. You can also do phone or Skype sessions if you’re out of town. Again, everyone’s schedules, needs and preferences are different so do what works for you + your life. Lastly, if you’re wondering what period of time you should go to therapy – this is also solely based on the individual and situation. I’ve gone to therapy anywhere from 2 months at a time, to pretty consistently for a year. Again, it just depends on what you’re going through. Sticking with therapy consistently for a long period of time has definitely been the most beneficial for me. I hope this post helped answer some of your therapy questions!Remember you don’t have to be depressed to go to a therapist – therapy is for anyone and everyone – and can be a great place to just vent, bounce ideas off of a neutral person, or process changes! The right therapist will have such a positive impact on your life and give you the tools you need to get through anything. Therapy is a safe place, free of judgement – where you can just be yourself. I encourage you to give therapy a try if you haven’t already – and feel free to leave me any other questions you may have below!
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My Valentine's Day Self Care Rituals

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Whether you like this holiday or not, it’s a nice reminder to pamper yourself!  I wanted to share a few things I plan on doing today – and that I like doing in general to treat myself ;) Self Care Rituals Face Mask My all time favorite face mask is the Sisley Black Rose mask.  100% splurge worthy.  I ran out of that one though, so I plan on using this Eve Lom radiance mask.  It feels really good on, but it’s not nearly as moisturizing as the Sisley one feels if I’m being completely honest! Hydrate I start every morning with hot lemon water, then my signature green juice.  The recipe is; celery, cucumber, fennel, broccoli, and 1/2 a green apple.  If I can’t find fennel I use parsley and swiss chard. Lymph Drainage After I shower, I put a drop of Vintner’s Daughter serum (another splurge worthy item that makes my skin glow and totally minimizes your pores so you feel more confident wearing less makeup.)  I layer that with one of my face oils, and use the Clarisonic Firming Massage Head to de-puff my face. Makeup I wait to put makeup on until I have to – so I often try to go 3-4 days a week without wearing anything.  Tonight, Derek and I have plans to cook at home, so I won’t be doing a full face of makeup, but I still want to do a little something to look more awake!  I’ll put on a bit of Cle de Beaute concealer, Armani foundation, Bobbi Brown bronzer, Charlotte Tilbury highlighter, Laura Mercier caviar eye stick, and Bobbi Brown mascara.  This is my go-to everyday makeup routine that creates a really subtle, natural look. Candles I’ve been burning Goop #2 during the day in my kitchen, but for a more romantic evening, I love Diptyque Vanille, and Byredo Bibliotheque so I’ll probably light either of those! Bubble Bath I love taking a hot bath in the morning or right before I go out at night.  I use epsom salt from Amazon (I buy it in bulk.)  It’s the perfect way to get the magnesium we all need!  I also love the Goop bath salts – particularly these 3 scents. Comfy Clothes I like to be as comfortable as possible when I’m getting ready to go out, or working from home, so I wear either a terry cloth robe, Eberjey pajamas – or these Cuyana sweatpants that I just got from their new loungewear line.  Seriously they’re my new favorite sweatpants.  As a top, I’ll wear this cute grey Sol Angeles sweatshirt. Beauty Sleep At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than a goodnight sleep – and getting to bed early!  I’m a total night owl (most creatives are!), but I love falling asleep before 10PM when I can.  Bliss!  I wear this silk eye mask every night, and sleep in Restoration Hardware linen sheets.  Once you go linen, you won’t go back – trust me!  I also love these sheets from The Citizenry.
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10 Books Everyone Should Read

I’m chuckling to myself thinking about when I first started reading self help books – it all started about 3 years ago.  I got SUPER into them and like, wanted to read every self help book under the sun for about a year straight.  Every week it was a new Amazon box full of self help books!!!!  I spent my weekends holed up in the bathtub or curled up on my couch, reading and reading and reading. I had been single for about a year, and dated a TON prior to that, and was just over dating and all of the bullshit in general.  Instead of constantly going out, I buried myself in my books and went on a deep soul searching dive.  I was sooooo curious – absorbing everything I was reading about and learning like a sponge.  I had some really eye opening, enlightening moments after reading excerpts from these books – and I still utilize a ton of what I’ve learned in my life today, so I wanted to share these life changing books with you! On a side note – I now go in waves of reading self help books and reading in general.  I feel like you do need to be in the mood or in the right headspace to get into some of these books.  Keep an open mind and just see which books connect with you and draw you in.  Not every best selling, self help book that I’ve ordered has jived with me – and that’s ok.   If a particular book doesn’t jive with you, please don’t throw in the towel for all self help books!  Skim through a few different ones and feel ’em out! Self Help Books1 – DVF’s The Woman I Wanted To BeThis is such a quick read and super inspiring especially if you love fashion/are in the industry and idolize Diane Von Furstenberg like I do.  She’s an extremely resilient woman and embraces the ups and downs she’s faced in life.  I love that she has made it her life mission to empower women – she’s one of my greatest role models and I am still pinching myself that I got to meet her inside her apartment! 2 – The SecretThis is a book that I truly think everyone should read and will enjoy.  It’s also a fairly quick read and shares simple life principals that we can all be more aware of and implement in our lives to thrive! 3 – The 5 Love LanguagesHoly crap talk about awakening and a-ha moments!  This book does not only apply to romantic relationships but will help you have a better understanding about your relationships with friends and family.  A definite must. 4- The Drama of the Gifted ChildThis book really helped me work through some unresolved feelings I had in regards to my childhood and my relationship with my parents.  I had a great childhood and I have a wonderful relationship with both of my parents, but of course, like anyone – there’s always family drama or sometimes uncomfortable family dynamics that go on.  No one’s family is perfect!  Everything made a bit more sense after I read this – it’s a classic in the self help, family relationship world. 5 – Lean InI really enjoyed this book and felt empowered knowing I wasn’t alone as a woman in the workplace.  Sheryl offers some great insight and tips with regards of how to carry yourself and handle certain situations at an office. 6 – Daring GreatlyBrene Brown is one of the #1 best selling self help authors.  Her books are incredible and really helped me open up and become more vulnerable. 7 – The Gifts of ImperfectionAnother Brene Brown book that I loved.  This is a great one especially if you are a perfectionist, type A personality like I am. 8 – Men are from Mars, Women are from VenusThis book possesses all of the answers to understanding and communicating with the opposite sex!!!  It’s so on point.  An absolute must read for interpersonal relationships. 9 – Eastern Body Western MindThis book took me a while to get into.  It’s so thick and starts out slow and is kind of serious at first…lol.  But I am so glad I stuck with it, and slowly worked my way through it.  I had some major wake up calls, enlightening moments and can honestly say this book changed my life.  Highly recommend. 10 – Love Style LifeThis is a coffee table book/autobiography/short and sweet self help style book.  Another great book for any woman – but particularly if you have an interest in the fashion industry and love Garance Dore as much as I do!  She’s so real, so cool, so laid back, and her journey to success in the fashion industry is truly inspiring.  I love the way she makes fun of herself and of other bloggers – she will make you laugh and give you honest insight into the world of fashion blogging!!! Other books I love; 10% Happier, I’ll Drink To That, and Grace.   The last two are not self help books, but just quick, fun reads that are great to travel with, will make you laugh and inspire you.  Speaking of Grace – my dear friend Grace of The Stripe always has the best book recommendations!!!  What are some of your favorite self help books?  I’m looking for a new one to dive into! xx
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What I Buy At The Grocery Store

I’ve thoroughly come to enjoy grocery shopping.  I used to loathe it, but with all of the fresh produce here in LA and my newfound love of cooking, I have really come to love it! Today I wanted to share how I navigate the grocery store, how I decide what to get, and a few rules I live by. Honestly, I know grocery shopping can seem overwhelming for some. There are so many options and so many labels jumping out at you. “Buy me! I am healthy! I’m gluten free! I’m low in calories!”  It can really be quite confusing – like what is actually healthy?!  So here are my tips for grocery shopping and everything to look out for/steer clear of! I buy as many fruits + veggies at my locals farmer’s market as possible before going to the grocery storeThis allows me to eat fresh, seasonal produce and get the maximum amount of nutrients and flavor from my fruits + veggies.  Farmer’s market produce tastes 20 million times better because it’s truly fresh.  Most of the farmers pick the produce that morning or a few days prior to selling it .  Have you ever bitten into a farmer’s market peach and then a peach from the grocery store?  The difference is HUGE.  Did you know that some produce at grocery stores such as apples, could be a year old?  Yep – that’s right – do a little research and see for yourself.   wild caught fishI was getting a salad with delicious salmon on it from one of my favorite restaurants here in LA for lunch a few times a week, but felt sick and inflamed every time I ate it.  I couldn’t figure out why – the salad was so healthy with minimal ingredients, but then I asked them if their fish was wild caught and they said no it was farm raised.  Farm raised fish is bad for you – I don’t care how someone spins it and says they were humanely raised or raised in a “nice farm environment” – whatever – the facts are the facts; farm raised fish is full of toxins.  Most restaurants serve farm raised fish because it’s cheaper, so when I eat out, I only eat fish at restaurants that say it’s wild caught, otherwise I order something else.  Yes wild caught fish is significantly more expensive, BUT you cannot put a price on your health.  I often buy fish at my local farmer’s market and I’ve heard Costco has great wild caught fish! organic produce and meatI don’t eat red meat, so I only buy organic chicken which has fewer/to no antibiotics and hormones, and then organic fruits + veggies have fewer pesticides. I don’t buy a ton of pre-packaged, processed stuffBecause most of it really is crap!  I don’t care how healthy it says it is on the box, how few calories it says, how gluten free it is – whatever – if it’s in a box, it’s been processed which instantly diminishes the nutritional value and is probably loaded with chemicals that will make me bloated.  If something is in a box that I need/want like crackers or pasta – I always read the ingredients.  If something has more than 5 ingredients I usually won’t buy it and if there are any ingredients/chemicals like guar gum or carragenean which are known gut irritants I stay far away from it.  You will find fillers like this in “healthy” yogurts, almond milks, gluten free baked goods, etc too so BEWARE.  As consumers, we must be more savvy because the food industry is soooo sneaky!  You can check out my favorite snacks with under 5 ingredients here! I steer clear of gluten free baked goodsThey seem so tempting and healthy, but honestly, most of them are not healthier than a regular ol’ baked good and often make my stomach hurt more than just eating the real deal!  So don’t let these fool you and always look at the ingredients.  Common gut irritants like brown rice syrup and gums/filllers are often in them.  If you really want a croissant, I say, just eat the real thing every once in a while!!!!  And go to a delicious, high quality, authentic bakery to get one – and savor it! I don’t buy pre-made lunch/dinner items from the deli counterWhy?  Have you ever looked at the ingredients in any of the side dishes that are in the case at somewhere like the Whole Foods deli counter?!  Here’s what’s in something a simple like their mac and cheese: Pasta (durum wheat semolina, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Alfredo Sauce (milk, water, cream, romano cheese [pasteurized cow’s milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, powdered cellulose (anit-caking)], parmesan cheese [pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes], modified cornstarch, enriched flour [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], garlic, butter [cream, salt], cultured dextrose, salt, parmesan cheese flavor [parmesan cheese (pasteurized milk, cultures, salt, enzymes), water, salt, disodium phosphate], spice, citric acid), Whole Milk, Cheddar Cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, microbial enzymes, annatto [for color]), Monterey Jack Cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, microbial enzymes), Panko Bread Crumbs (unbleached wheat flour, natural cane sugar, yeast, sea salt), Cream (heavy cream, carrageenan, mono & diglycerides, polysorbate 80), Parmesan Cheese (pasteurized part skim cow’s milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, powdered cellulose added [to prevent caking]), Salt.  WOAH all of that crap – just for simple mac and cheese?  NO THANKS!!!!  Beware of “simple” seemingly harmless meat and fish sides too – most grocery stores or delis cook with canola or sunflower oil because it’s cheaper than olive oil, but canola and sunflower oil are not good for you.  I get that not everyone has the time, money, or desire to cook – but seriously, buy an Instant Pot and you’ll have a full blown, delicious meal – minus all of these crazy ingredients – in 15 minutes or less. Here’s what I DO BUY!Basil – for my easy 2 minute homemade pesto Pine nuts – for my easy 2 minute homemade pesto Olive oil – high quality – check your labels/research the brand they’re not all the samePink sea saltYellow popcorn kernelsCoconut oilMaple syrup or coconut nectar (my two sweeteners of choice)Gluten free soy sauce Dijon mustard Lemons Ginger Sweet potatoes (not yams) Romaine lettuce (if I don’t eat it as a salad, it can go in my juicer so it’s never wasted!) Organic chicken breast Wild caught salmonWhite basmati riceKelp noodles Chicken broth (make sure to check the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t have sneaky cane sugar in there!) Coconut milk Jicama, rice paper wraps, or corn tortillasNohmad chocolate Zucchini Carrots Artichokes Asparagus (dip them in little mayo mixed with soy sauce – sounds gross, but trust me it’s a delish aioli) Fennel Broccolini Broccoli Celery Cucumber Parsley Green apple Broccoli sprouts (one of the most nutritious, anti cancer things you can eat) Bok choyFlackersSeaweed seasnaxCoconut butter cups When I’m on my period I eat a ton of butternut squash.I make butternut squash mac and cheese with this yummy 1 ingredient gluten free rice pasta (which btw is not this expensive at my local market Erewhon!)  If you are wondering why – it’s called cycle syncing and I think every woman should read Flo Living.  Other than that, I just rotate what I make for lunch and dinner with the items listed above. I’ll have things like chicken noodle soup with kelp noodles from my Instant Pot, or zucchini noodles with pesto and salmon, teriyaki flavored salmon bowls with white rice and veggies, or chicken tacos.  For breakfast I always have a green juice with broccoli, fennel, celery, cucumber and green apple (sometimes I throw in sprouts or parsley.)  If I’m hungry an hour later, I’ll have a sweet potato with coconut oil and pink sea salt.  For snacks I have any of these options. I really try to listen to my body and if I am craving a particular thing that week I get it.  If I want a glutenous loaf of bread I eat it.  If I want a huge chocolate chip cookie I eat it and truly enjoy it.  I just make sure anything I eat is made of REAL, whole ingredients!  What food items do you love picking up at the grocery store?!
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