Wellness

How To Be Your Authentic Self

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde It’s taken me 30 years to fully embrace my authentic myself. It has certainly not been easy getting here, but it feels so liberating to be where I am right now. Today, we are constantly bombarded with an influx of messages and images telling us everything from what to say, to what to eat, what to wear, and even how to feel. It can be extremely challenging to weed through all of the incoming stuff – and just get down what WE as unique individuals, actually WANT. So, What Do You Want? That’s the first question I ask myself everyday. What do I want to do? What do I want to wear? To eat? To read? Who do I want to see? Where do I want to go? I prioritize and put myself and my needs first before anything else. I put my mental and physical health above everything because I know that will help me be the best version of myself, and will allow me to think clearly and logically, and most importantly make decisions based off my intuition. Intuition Is Everything We all have an inner voice and a sense of intuition, however most of us sadly don’t listen to it. We listen and do what others want us to do, or what we THINK other people want us to do. We are influenced by magazines, ads, social media, our parents, our friends, coworkers, significant others – hell, even strangers! When was the last time you took a step back, and made a decision completely based on YOUR intuition without caring what anyone else thought? It’s not easy to do, is it? It’s so brave – and you have to be extremely strong, but exercising this muscle will ultimately allow you to become your authentic self. Stop The People Pleasing Doing solely what YOU want to do, can sometimes result in others disapproval. It may even cause an uproar, and be looked down upon – but would you rather have other people’s thoughts and opinions dictate your life from afar, OR would you rather live the life YOU want right here, right now? I have a friend who became a lawyer just because both of her parents were lawyers and they forced (OK strongly pushed) her to be one. They basically made it clear that any other job wasn’t good enough or acceptable. She went through YEARS of law school, internships, and jobs working insane hours and after all of that, is absolutely miserable today. She is always complaining about her job, her coworkers, her hours, lack of a social life, etc. I’ve known her my entire life and to see her so unhappy and drained truly breaks my heart. She’s a 30 year old grown woman, and yet she’s allowing her parents’ opinions to dictate her life which is stifling her true self. Her parents aren’t bad people, and at the end of the day they only want the best for her, but only she knows what’s best for her. You cannot let anyone, even loved ones, tell you how to live your life. It is your responsibility and duty to your SOUL to listen to and follow your intuition. You Do You If I had listened to, followed, or been swayed by every ad, article, friend, family member, and/or stranger that I encountered, I would not be where I am today. I cannot tell you how many people thought that blogging was a silly, frivolous hobby when I started it 9 years ago!!!! So many people looked at me like I was an ALIEN when I told them I had a blog in 2011. And do you know how many so called “industry experts” and managers I’ve met with over the years who have compared me to other bloggers they felt were relevant and encouraged me to do crazy/outlandish/new things to stay “cool?” They actually DISCOURAGED me from being consistent, classic, relatable, and well, MYSELF! If I had listened to ANY one of them I would not be in this position! It has NOT been easy to drown out the minutiae – especially as a young woman in a new industry that is still not taken very seriously! But, I am thankful for the doubters, the naysayers and the boxes that people have tried to put me in. I am thankful for every struggle and adversity I’ve faced because it helped me develop grit and determination which every single entrepreneur needs. Over the years, I dug deeper and leaned even harder into myself, my desires and my dreams. Doing so helped me cultivate a strong inner voice. I’m here to tell you; Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t let anyone try to push you to be someone you’re not. Don’t let anyone put you down, belittle you, or manipulate you. And remember, take nothing personally. Hurt people only try to hurt other people period. Purge The Negativity One of the most important things I’ve done for myself is heavily filtering out the people I surround myself with. Gone are the days of “the more the merrier”, and in are the days of “quality over quantity.” People come in and out of our lives for many reasons. Some relationships don’t always last forever, and some go in ebbs and flows depending on where we are in our lives. Learn something from each and every relationship, and cultivate a positive, uplifting tight inner circle. Pull away from anyone who drains you, makes small digs/backhanded compliments, or simply can’t be happy for you. Life is too short! Be clear about what types of qualities and characteristics you want in friends, business partners, coworkers, and significant others – and you will slowly start to meet more people with those exact qualities. This is called manifestation and something that I do on a daily basis. Ask, visualize and you shall receive! Love Your Uniqueness We are all unique and we all have something special to offer the world. When we hone in on that, surround ourselves with good people, and listen to our intuition – everything starts flowing from there. That’s not to say there won’t be hard times, hiccups and barriers along the way. There will always be ups and downs in life, but if you create a solid foundation for yourself you’ll be able to handle anything that’s thrown at you on your own terms, with grace. “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” -Dr. Steve Mariboli
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10 Things That Improved My Life

Looking back at 2019, all I can say is WOW. Profound, I know haha. But truly, this year surprised me in the most wonderful ways… There were SO many unexpected twists and turns and I am so grateful for what it taught me! I wanted to share 10 things that improved my life this year with you. These things all deeply impacted me, inspired me, and changed me for the better. 10 Things That Improved My Life Meditation I’ve spoken about how beneficial meditation has been for me several times, but in case you’re new here, I have an entire blog post outlining my journey to meditation. I’ve been meditating everyday for almost 4 years now and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I know it will be a lifelong practice for me. Therapy I’m a huge proponent of therapy and have been going weekly since I moved back to NYC. It has helped me process so many things that have gone on this year and made me a more level headed, clear, calm person. I wrote a blog post on How To Find A Therapist here! Personal Trainer I have a standing appointment once a week with a personal trainer. We box on and off, and do short circuits on and off for an hour. Having that weekly appointment holds me accountable and honestly is some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I’m so much stronger than I was when I was doing classes and cardio, and have way more energy than I did last year. I only workout once a week, unless I squeeze in a yoga class. Podcasts Listening to podcasts regularly has kept me inspired, taught me SO much, and helped me think outside the box. My favorites are; The Skinny Confidential Him + Her podcast, the Highest Self by Sahara Rose podcast, the Skimm’d from the Couch podcast, and the Second Life by Hilary Kerr podcast. Taking Social Media Breaks Social media is a powerful tool that comes with both positive and negative side effects. This year, I’ve made more of a conscious effort to live in the moment and be present! While I love sharing parts of my life online, not every single thing needs to be shared or documented. I encourage you to relish special moments – uninterrupted and phone free – with your loved ones! Permission To Relax Speaking of living in the moment and being more present…I’ve never been good at relaxing, sitting still, or straight chilling. As an older child, type A, over achiever, I’m always working, striving and achieving toward something. While those qualities are great and have no doubt helped me throughout my life and career, they can also lead to burnout and exhaustion. This year I gave myself permission to relax and surrounded myself with people who had a healthy work/life balance. At first I felt guilty for not being hyper productive 24/7 (sounds crazy I know!), but then I realized that some of my best ideas actually came during that down time. The Quiet Book This book has truly changed my life for the better! As someone who is half introverted and half extroverted, I’ve always struggled with understanding and embracing my introverted side. Society doesn’t celebrate the introvert. Introverts are often labeled as socially awkward or shy, but wanting a few hours of alone time to recharge and think doesn’t make you either of those things! I love that this book breaks down what makes an introvert an introvert, why it’s crucial to brainstorm solo, and celebrates introversion! Regular Closet Clean Outs I’ve always been an organized person, but living in NYC you have to be even more organized due to limited space. Living in an apartment again has pushed me to really evaluate what I need vs want. With less stuff I’ve been able to think more clearly and I just feel lighter. I have to be OBSESSED with something to buy it or bring it into my apartment these days, which honestly is great for my bank account haha! I wrote a post on How To Clean Out Your Closet here with some helpful tips. Selective With Time I’ve never been more selective with my time – and I’ve never been happier. I used to say yes to almost every incoming request and answer almost every email, DM, and comment. Week after week, my calendar would be packed with appointments, coffee meetings, events, parties, and calls that would drain me. I would spend HOURS answering DMs and comments and then barely have time to run a simple errand, create content, or even have a social life. Luckily, I learned how to delegate and Jesse from my team now does an amazing job filtering and answering the majority of correspondence. Don’t worry – I still get to read thoughtful personal comments or answer specific questions you send via a daily summary she creates for me – and btw I’m so grateful for them! Being more selective with my time has allowed me to think bigger picture, longer term, and create more meaningful content. Embrace Compliments As women, we often downplay ourselves – our achievements, our brains, our abilities. At least I have – especially in male dominated situations. I really started to think about this in the last year. I reflected on how, throughout my life, I’ve constantly filtered, downplayed or withheld my true self in an effort to be “socially appropriate” or not “outshine” anyone. I used to never be able to accept a compliment or comfortably talk about my career in a casual, conversational setting! For example, if someone would come up to me and say, “Your skin is glowing it looks so great!” I would awkwardly laugh, shake my head and look down, then say, “Oh it must just be the lighting, it’s not usually like this, but your skin looks incredible!” I deflected the compliment, instead of accepting it. I now say something like, “Thank you so much – that’s really kind of you!” I am happy that I can confidently and graciously accept compliments as well as openly talk about my career with enthusiasm and pride. My advice to you – is know your value, and own it! Be proud of it and let it shine bright! Thank you! *Lastly, how can I not mention one of the biggest things that has happened to me this year… I met my soulmate, my other half, the love of my life! I have so much more to say, share and talk about on that subject, but for now I will just say that it really does happen when you least expect it! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and successful 2020! Thank you as always for reading, supporting and sharing. It’s going to be the best year yet!
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What Is A Histamine Intolerance?

It’s been 1 year since I found out I have a histamine intolerance. My life, body and digestion have completely changed in the BEST way possible since finding this out so I wanted to share exactly what it is with all of you. For 3 years I struggled with horrible stomach pains, bloating, and weight gain for no apparent reason. I visited countless doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists and gastroenterologists to try and find out what was wrong. My Journey of Histamine Intolerance I spent thousands of dollars only to end up frustrated and sicker. Eventually, I gave up and decided to take matters into my own hands. I read and researched EVERYTHING I could about what causes stomach problems and bloating. I learned a TON and became more and more interested in health, wellness and digestion. Through sharing my struggles, I found out so many of you – and so many women in general suffer from stomach pains and bloating too! It’s something that not many people talk about, but instead silently suffer from. It makes me so sad to think about how my stomach problems negatively effected my life. I had brain fog for years and couldn’t fully focus like I used to, I was constantly inflamed/puffy, I started gaining weight despite eating super clean/healthy and working out almost everyday, I felt depressed/down way more than usual so I started canceling social plans, I was always tired/low energy. I felt self-conscious because my stomach would expand and I would look pregnant after eating just a few bites of food, I never had hunger pangs/signals like I used to, and overall I felt completely out of tune/out of whack with my body. Now, I wake up clear-headed. I have hunger signals and am able to listen to my body’s cravings, I have energy, I pretty much never get bloated, and my digestion is 100% back to normal – if not even better than it was 3 years ago. So what changed? The Discovery A friend of mine; Bianca Cheah of Sporteluxe, told me she had been struggling for years with the same issues and had been misdiagnosed with IBS, and all sorts of other digestion problems. She finally visited a nutritionist who asked her what she ate in a week and realized that while she was eating a TON of healthy food, the food was all high in Histamines or released Histamines. The nutritionist told her to eliminate all Histamine food for 1 week and see how she felt. Thank goodness she shared her journey on Instagram, because I realized I ate pretty much the same exact healthy food as she did (smoothies, probiotics, coffee, fruit, nuts, avocado, spinach, the occasional glass of wine etc.) I immediately researched Histamine Intolerances and couldn’t believe that no doctor had ever even mentioned this as a possibility! Essentially, I had all of the symptoms and my entire diet pretty much consisted of only Histamine food! I realized I had nothing to lose by eliminating high Histamine food from my diet for 1 week so I did – and within 3 days I felt like a new person. The brain fog was GONE. The bloating was GONE. The lethargic/tired feeling was GONE. The sluggish digestion was GONE. IT WAS A MIRACLE. I do want to mention, of course I am not a doctor and you should consult with your doctor before making any drastic diet or health changes! I love sharing what’s worked for ME/my body on here, but everyone’s systems are different! Is There A Test for Histamine Intolerance? Yes there is, but I’ve never taken one. I’ve taken SO many tests over the years and I personally have found many to be inaccurate or inconclusive. For example, I took a food sensitivity test (an igG blood test which tests the protein in your blood against certain food items to see if they’re inflammatory for your specific body), and many high Histamine food items came up on the “Anti-Inflammatory” aka “Good” list, but in reality they completely bloat me and make me sick. While some of the food items they did list as “Anti-Inflammatory” or “Inflammatory” were accurate (for example “Inflammatory” aka “Bad/No-No” items were things like shellfish that I’m allergic to and always hated as a kid), I would say about 25% of the items were just not accurate at all. Like I full on get hives when I eat walnuts, but they oddly came up as “Anti-Inflammatory” or “Good” for me. Health journeys can be really, really frustrating for this reason. We all want either a “YES” or “NO” “POSITIVE” or “NEGATIVE”, definitive answer, but sometimes it’s pretty tricky to get one. There are several things that could be interfering with 100% accurate results… you could have had a high dose of a certain food item days before the test which could alter it, or, if you’re combining certain types of food in high amounts, the test may not take that combination into account and say that each food item is individually “Good” for you. The only way, I feel, to truly find out what works or doesn’t work is through trial and error. Eat something and see how it makes you feel after. This is also known as the Elimination Diet. What Foods are High in Histamine/Release Histamines? There are several different lists floating around the internet. Most of them have the same “No-No” food items listed. But some of them have items others don’t, and some also are a bit contradicting. For example one list I found says Probiotics are GOOD for you. And one list said they’re BAD for you if you have a Histamine Intolerance. I personally trust Dr. Amy Myer’s list the most. And I have found that Probiotics only contribute negatively to my stomach issues. So I have eliminated them completely as of 1 year ago – and my digestion/health is great without them. The high Histamine/Histamine releasing food items that I found to effect me in high doses are (and again everyone is so different so this may not apply to YOU!); avocados, tea, coffee, wine, champagne, bone broth, nightshades, garlic, onions, probiotics, collagen and protein powders, nuts, spinach, kale, fermented food, vinegar, fruit, and anything that’s not super fresh/has been sitting out because the older a food is, the more histamine it develops over time! What Can You Eat? Surprisingly, since eliminating high Histamine/Histamine releasing food I can actually eat WAY MORE than I used to! Because I was always bloated I pretty much eliminated; dairy, gluten and alcohol, but since I am no longer constantly in pain/bloated and have healed my digestion, I can enjoy a little bit of dairy, gluten and alcohol here and there without any negative side effects. It brings me SO MUCH JOY to be able to indulge and eat yummy pizza and pasta dishes, desserts, and cocktails like I used to!!!! Before finding out I had a histamine intolerance, I always felt deprived. I was SO full from eating “healthy” food that was actually toxic for me/my body. Do I stay away from foods high in Histamine 100% of the time? No of course not. It’s just not realistic/or feasible with my lifestyle. Luckily, since I’ve worked hard at healing my gut, I can enjoy things like 1 glass of wine occasionally. Or I have a little soy sauce with my sushi without feeling totally sick, bloated, and in pain. But I certainly do not eat copious amounts of high Histamine food anymore. What Exasperates A Histamine Intolerance? Combining multiple food items that are high in Histamine/release Histamine, eating them everyday, and/or eating them in high volume. For example, if there’s a raspberry fruit tart that I REALLY want I will eat it, but I’ll just make sure I don’t have other high Histamine food with it or on that same day. For me, it’s just about being more aware and varying the levels of Histamine food items that are going into my body. Are Certain People More Likely To Have It Than Others? Yes. If you have Candida, SIBO, leaky gut, or other stomach issues you’re more likely/vulnerable to having a Histamine Intolerance. Dr. Amy Myer’s talks more about this on her website. She has a lot of great resources should you be interested in learning more about that. I used to have Candida, but when I was recently re-tested it said I didn’t have it. Yet I do still have a sensitivity to Histamine. So, I know I’m still sensitive – despite having a healthy gut. Now, I choose to pretty much stay away from high Histamine food inevitably. I hope this helped answer any questions you may have had on the topic. I’m so passionate about creating awareness about Histamine Intolerances because doctors don’t talk about them enough! Simply eliminating a few food items CHANGED MY LIFE. I now start the morning with a green juice and eat a balanced diet (mostly free of histamines) throughout the day. I don’t take any pills, supplements or vitamins and have more energy than I did in my 20s. If you’ve ever had a Histamine Intolerance or do try eliminating them and feel great after – please let me know! I would love to hear about your experience below!
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How To Clean Out Your Closet

I’ve been cleaning out my closet regularly since I was 10 years old. I remember my mom sitting me down at the beginning of every season to go through my toys, desk and wardrobe. She would have me create 3 piles; Keep, Donate, and Trash. When people ask how I stay so clean and organized today, it is without a doubt because of this system which began at such a young age! Marie Kondo has made cleaning out your closet a “thing” and shown a light on the importance of de-cluttering. I love that she’s made it mainstream and helped me so many people feel more light, organized and SANE! It’s amazing how you can feel so unproductive, stressed, and foggy surrounded by clutter and junk isn’t it? I always say, I can never get anything done until everything is put away and my house feels neat + tidy. Having less STUFF of course makes cleaning WAY easier. Being a blogger, I am constantly inundated with STUFF so I have to be really strategic about how I utilize my space, which is why I routinely clean out my closet. Living in NYC, and being short on space makes being neat, organized, and selective even more crucial! I wanted to share tips on How To Clean Out Your Closet and what specific things I’ve learned over the years! How To Clean Out Your Closet How Often To Clean I clean out my closet every 4 months at the beginning of a season. This allows me to get rid of anything I didn’t wear, make note of anything I’ll need for the upcoming season, and push pieces to the front or back of my closet depending on the weather/frequency they’ll be worn. I usually spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. So about 5-6 hours really sifting through everything. How To Physically Do A Clean Out I go through everything one by one on hangers, in drawers, and on shelves. Anything that I’m not 100% sure of, gets draped on my bed/chair near a mirror so that I can try it on once I’m done. I place everything in 3 piles: Keep, Sell, or Donate. The Keep pile gets immediately hung up again and put out of the way. The Sell pile stays in the corner until I have enough natural light to photograph them for Poshmark, and the Donate pile goes in a shopping bag that I put by my front door which reminds me to get it OUT of the house! How To Decide What To Get Rid Of If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it. I used to hold onto things and make up scenarios of when I would possibly wear it, and 99.9% of the time, those scenarios never happened. Be realistic with yourself and your life/lifestyle. Seriously though, if you haven’t gotten use out of it in a year then sell it and make room for something you will wear regularly! Also, if you’re holding onto things that are too small, you should probably get rid of them. I’m all for motivation, but I don’t think staring at a closet of clothes that are too small is healthy. Trust me, I know! Embrace your figure and be proud of your body. It is beautiful. Outfit your wardrobe with pieces that celebrate your size and body right NOW, not the body you wish you had or you used to have. As women, our bodies and sizes do fluctuate depending on hormones, the time of the month, holidays, etc. so I’m not saying throw everything that’s a little snug out, but if it’s 2-3 sizes too small, it’s probably time to let them go. Lastly, this is a Marie Kondo tip, and something that I’ve always adapted. Ask yourself if that item brings you joy. If it doesn’t feel good or brings up negative feelings for WHATEVER reason – get rid of it. I did a MAJOR closet purge right after my breakup and it felt AMAZING!!!! What To Do With Unwanted Items I first ask my sister, mom or friends if they want my Sell/Donate items. I sell whatever is left on Poshmark. I’m obsessed with Poshmark and LOVE how easy it is sell things. I also love My Sister’s Closet consignment store in my hometown Scottsdale, The Real Real for luxury designer items, and Buffalo Exchange. Anything that’s not in selling condition, gets placed in shopping bags and I ask my cleaning lady if she wants it, or I donate it to a local shelter. I’m a huge supporter of Dress For Success, Goodwill and Salvation Army. Less Is More I’ve always held this philosophy when it comes to both fashion and decor. Like I said, I can’t think straight if there’s clutter around me. I try to be really conscious and mindful about everything I have and bring into my home. It’s so important to invest in fewer, better pieces, rather than tons of trendy, cheap items that will go out of style immediately the next season. Not only does this save you money in the long run, it really teaches you to appreciate what you have, and get creative by mixing and matching items together. Do you ever look at your closet full of clothes and exclaim, “I have nothing to wear?!” If the answer is yes, it’s time to do a major clean out so you can actually SEE what’s in your closet and put together thoughtful, beautiful outfits. Storage Tips I love the Ikea Billy bookcase for storing bags + shoes, these black velvet hangers for clothes, these lucite bins for accessories, old shoe boxes for office supplies, and wicker baskets/bags for miscellaneous items and as decor. I use these Serena & Lily baskets as my hampers and they’re currently 20% off! Professional Organizers It wasn’t until this past year that I realized how AMAZING professional organizers are!!!! I personally love organizing my own closet/wardrobe, but hate organizing my pantry, so for my LA kitchen I used The Home Edit team (they were incredible!!!!), for my LA to NYC move I used Straighten Up by Janelle (she was soooo gentle with my fragile/expensive handbags, hats, and shoes), and for my NYC pantry I used Louisa Roberts from The Neat Method. I highly recommend all of them. Importance of Closet Clean Outs I truly cannot stress enough how important it is to do regular closet clean outs. Don’t get bogged down with junk and clutter! Chaos in your home creates chaos in the mind. Also, being surrounded by things that aren’t enhancing or adding to your life, but are just taking up space, is just not healthy. It sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth. Get rid of anything that has negative memories attached to it, donate the stuff that’s too small and making you feel bad about yourself. Basically, purge anything that doesn’t make you HAPPY. Your closet should be full of things that make you smile when you look at them! Life is too short to have it any other way!!!! Summary Out with the old and in with the new. Less is more. Fewer, better. Say goodbye to the clutter! Let’s all be more mindful about what we buy and allow in our homes! Happy spring cleaning!
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