Category Archives: Heath & Wellness

Shanti Shanti Frustration: On Yoga & Gratitude

Hannah Hart Beat

I lost my yoga mat last week. My mom and I had just arrived at Grand Central Station after riding Metro North from Southeast station. It was raining and snowing at the same time and we stood on 42nd street without umbrellas for ten minutes trying desperately to hail a taxi. When we finally ducked into a free cab we were soaking wet and I remembered all the reasons I hated living in New York. When we arrived at the hotel where we would be spending the night before our five am flight the next morning I cursed the city again when our cab driver didn’t get out of the car to help me wrestle our suitcases from the trunk of his cab.

In my frenzy to get to shelter I left my mat there, laying in the trunk of the rusted, piss smelling cab and it wasn’t until the next morning that I realized my mistake. I cursed the city(again), the cab driver, the rain, my forgetfulness, and the universe in general. I’ve had that mat for five years. When I moved to Brooklyn I borrowed my mothers mat and when I started going to a few Yoga to the People classes in Williamsburg I left the mat there so I didn’t have to cart it back and forth on my bike (#classicbrooklyn). I’m almost one hundred percent sure that my mother’s mat that I originally left there was eventually switched out for another mat. They were both purple okay, Hart Beat! I just grabbed the closest purple mat! Regardless I’ve had that purple mat for a while and I loved it. I don’t even know what brand it was but I do know that it was extra long and squishy and forgiving on my inflexible muscles and bones.

Flash to 2018 the mat has followed me in a semi yoga revolution. over the summer I started a daily yoga practice. Four-year-ago Hannah is cringing at that sentence but it’s true. In true me form something that I swore countless times I hated viscerally has become one of the best things to come out of leaving the city last year. Since I moved back home to the Berkshires to commit to writing this G.D. book I’ve found that this area is a mecca for yoga. The Kripalu Center is less than three miles from where I live and some of the best yoga instructors in the world are only five minutes away. I’m addicted. I go to yoga every day and when I miss a class I feel genuinely sad, like part of me is missing.

Enter my frustration at losing that purple mat. The next morning while waiting in the Delta check-in line I took the only shot I had and sent the NYC TLC an email claiming a lost item, pleading them to send it back to me if they found it. They didn’t find it. Undeterred I practiced yoga the entire week on vacation on a pile of towels and extra hotel blankets. It wasn’t horrible but it’s not something I’d recommend when you’re trying to perch in crow.

When I got back to the Berkshires this week I walked myself into the Kripalu store and bought a new mat—a different mat. It’s green, thin and, flexible, kind of like me now and I realize now that it’s a good thing I lost my mat. I love my new mat. And so instead of cursing that taxi driver and New York and the universe, I’m grateful. When I step onto the vaguely plastic smelling mat I smile and breath deeper into my down dog.

———

This is the first post in what I hope is a series on yoga and my feelings toward it. The G.D. book’s first draft is done so instead of writing new words every day I’m editing words already written. Half of the words in the manuscript are wrong but I try to remind myself that that means half are right. Talk to you soon Hart Beat, and until then, Shanti Shanti Namaste. (Excuse me while I go chill in extended child’s pose and think about how four-year-ago-Hannah just threw up a little in her mouth.)

Top picture is of my new green Jade Yoga mat. I can’t recommend them enough, Hart Beat.

Hannah Hart Beat

New Year

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat! Happy New Year! How’s your No Plan Jan going? It may be only day three but for me, it’s been going pretty well. I’ve been in my studio the last three days and it’s more than December so, there you go. I thought about doing a big post a la 2017 but it felt like too much, and honestly, my time is better spent writing my book. You can get the juicy details when (if) it comes one.

I do want to talk about something else though. First, a disclaimer. This is not a diet blog and those of you who know me, know that I hate diets and/or talking about food in general. Eat what you eat, make sure it’s delicious, and no one wants to hear that you’re starving yourself or if you hate your body. THAT BEING SAID. Lots of people on my social timelines have been posting that they’re doing the Whole30 for the first time this month. January man, what a time to be alive. As I mentioned here on the blog, I did my first Whole30 this past October/November. I’m not sure exactly what made me want to try it but I suspect it was because in one day I had two coffees with three sugars in each and two sugar cider donuts which two days later made my face break out into the worst pimples I’ve ever had. Whomp whomp.

The Whole30 was very, very difficult at the beginning (lots of sugar withdrawal headaches) but I did end up loving it in the end and have kept up most of the diet since then. I still don’t eat dairy (most of the time), added sugar (adios ketchup), or grains. I know I had tons of questions and looks for any tip I could find when I started it so I thought I’d share a few things that really helped me. Maybe they’ll help you too, Hart Beat!

  • Almond butter. Almond butter. Almond butter. Nuts are not included in the Whole30 except almonds. There’s a great natural food store in the Berkshires that makes homemade 100% single ingredient almond butter and I lived off it. On apples, on bananas, on spoons, it really saved me!
  • Green Mountain Salsa. A friend of mine told me on about day three that she had done the Whole30 and discovered that Green Mountain Salsa, while technically not allowed on Whole30 (it comes in a jar) doesn’t contain any added sugars or anything else not Whole30 approved. I ate this almost every day as a replacement for what I would usually use ketchup on. Burgers, potatoes, eggs, carrots are all delicious with this stuff.
  • Stop complaining, just drink your coffee black (and add an ice cube to it). Almond milk lattes are horrible, trust me. Coconut milk ones aren’t much better and even though it took me about two weeks to get used to it, three months later I still drink my coffee black. A coworker gave me a GREAT tip to adjusting to the drink. Add an ice cube to hot black coffee. There’s something about liquid slowly melting into the coffee that feels like milk and hot black coffee tastes horrible while semi lukewarm black coffee tastes much better. IDK why it is but there you go.

I’m doing the diet again this month strictly and it is WAY easier the second time. The hardest part this time around are avoiding the cookies left over from the holiday season. All I can say is thank god for dried apricots.

And because it is the start of a New Year here are my resolutions if you’re interested:

  • Recieve one rejection letter every month (from anything; submissions, grants, writing residencies, requests for mentorship…)
  • Read a book a week (follow me on Goodreads and we can do it together! My first one, which I’m loving is Call Me By Your Name.)
  • Pull my shoulders down more often, do yoga, stretch more, run, get massages bi-monthly, literally DO ANYTHING to relieve the constant stress balls that live in my shoulders.

P.S. My resolutions from 2017, 2016, 2014. Apparently, I didn’t have any in 2015 and didn’t feel like sharing them here in 2013, 2012 or 2011. 🤷‍♀️

Photo via Kristen Cesiro on Instagram.

Hannah Hart Beat - Beach Body

How to Get a Beach Body in Two Easy Steps

Hannah Hart Beat - Beach Body

Hi, Hart Beat! It’s finally summer and I think we can all say THANK GOODNESS THE SUN IS FINALLY HERE. I know I wait all year long for this season (maybe I should be living out west?) and am so glad I have time this year to go to the beach.

I know that this time of year isn’t always the easiest on our self-esteem. It’s easy to look at your Instagram feed or Pinterest boards and feel like the rest of the world is light and tight and ready to rock any bathing suit style. What do I have to say about that? Well, I know the secret trick to getting your dream beach body. It’s honestly so easy Hart Beat and I’m going to give it to you straight right here. Ready?

How to get a beach body in two easy steps:

Step one. Have a body.

Step two. Go to the beach!

Boom! There! You did it! You know have a 100% authentic and beautiful beach body. See you out in the waves, Hart Beat. 

P.S. My summer bucket list this year.

Illustration by Christopher Delorenzo.

My Summer Bucket List

Summer - Hannah Hart Beat

Morning, Hart Beat! As the internet made very clear yesterday, we are finally in summer! I am so so happy, Hart Beat. Summer is my favorite time of year and the only problem with it is that it usually goes by too fast. I’m happy this year that I’ll be spending most of the summer with my Grandmother and Aunt on our family’s summer house in Maine so I’ll be able to enjoy (hopefully) every minute.

That being said, like winter resolutions, I decided to compile a list of summer bucket list things that I want to get done before this time slips away. Maybe this is something all of us should do every start to a new season. It’s much easier than trying to remember New Years resolutions in August.

  • See the friends that I haven’t seen in the past few years (hi sister wives).
  • Find a song that I like as much as Malibu (highly doubtful).
  • Win a sailing race in the Berkshires.
  • Skinny dip in the ocean.
  • Read a book a week (should be easy for someone who’s daily responsibilities include watering my Grandmother’s flowers and going to the beach..)
  • Play in my family’s August tennis tournament. (It was started the year I was born and my entire family plays in it every year. I have never competed.)
  • Write every day.

What do you think, Hart Beat? If you were to make a list for the summer what would be on it?

Hannah Hart Beat - K Beauty

K-Beauty Ten Step, what are you and do you work?

Hannah Hart Beat - K Beuty

Great title for this post, right Hart Beat? No really, in all seriousness that’s an honest to god question I have. For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing this “K Beauty ten step” pop up everywhere in my life. From blogger Instagram stories to ads served to me from Nordstroms to posters plastered over Subway walls, K-beauty is (apparently) everywhere. But what is it? And what is a “ten step”?

After rounds and rounds of late night searching, I think I have found us an answer. K-beauty, according to Mr. Google, is an “umbrella term for skin-care products that derive from South Korea. The fad gained popularity worldwide, particularly in the U.S., in 2016 and focuses on health, hydration and a preferred lack of pigment.” Now that I’ve read that I feel like an idiot because Korean beauty products have been everywhere. Friends at my office have been touting Korean style face masks for months and even our girl Jo has tried out the Snail Masks. Now, let’s go one step further and figure out what exactly K-Beauty ten step regimens are.

Again, after consulting Senor Google, I found this really detailed graphic on SokoGlam that explains what each step of this “ten step” program is and what the benefit of each one is. Here’s a breakdown of what I learned the exact ten types of products you need to really do the K-Beauty ten step program,

  1. Makeup Remover & Oil Cleanser
  2. Water-Based Cleanser
  3. Exfoliation
  4. Toners
  5. Essence
  6. Serums
  7. Sheet Masks
  8. Eye Crean
  9. Moisturizer
  10. Sun Protection

Mannnnn is that a lot of product. But, what I’m getting from the process is that it all boils down to proper cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and liberally using SPF to keep your skin out of the dangerous sun’s way. Aka P\pretty much what my dermatologist has been telling me for years.

That doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to trying. Currently I’m about one click away from buying the SokoGlam full treatment. Have you tried any of these things, Hart Beat? I would love to hear from an insider!

P.S. Into the Gloss did a great write-up on the routine if you want to read more.

Photo via Korean Model.

Hannah Hart Beat - Red Wine

How much do you spend on red wine?

Hannah Hart Beat - Red Wine

Hi Hart Beat. How’s your week going? We’re half way through, right? I’ve been seeing so many posts, articles, and videos around ye old internets about the price of red wines. So many things have been calling out expensive wines and how unless you really know (and care) how expensive a wine is the taste is honestly not that different from a cheap bottle.

What do you think, Hart Beat? Does that sound right to you? The entire video made me think about the great documentary Somm which was amazing to see. If you haven’t and you like wine I would 100% recommend it. I loved seeing how people become a Master Sommelier and all the work it goes into learning about wine.

Personally, my favorite red wine is always a rioja and when I need to buy a bottle I almost always buy this one. It’s almost at every wine store, it’s mid-level price, and the label isn’t the worse thing I’ve ever seen. Cie la vie.

Photo via @sfawnd.

Do you get enough sleep?

Hannah Hart Beat

Happy Sunday, Hart Beat! Can you believe that it’s already daylight savings? It’s freezing in New York but I’m still taking it as a sign of hope that Spring is coming and it might be Summer soon. This weekend I found this great article from The New York Times that was published with a corresponding online quiz for people to take. I thought it was so cool (and so well done) that I wanted to share it here with you, Hart Beat.

I took the quiz and found that apparently, I’m a ” Moderate Morning” person. I guess that didn’t surprise me, if I have my coffee and am not hung over then morning really is my favorite time of day. Too bad this morning I slept until 10 because my body is all thrown off with this daylight savings day change. What I also learned from the article was that I am not getting my optimal sleep cadence. Apparently, I go to bed at 11:45pm every night (true) but should be going to bed at 10:30pm (dreamland) to actually get the best rest I can for my body. I guess I always kind of knew that. It’s so hard though to actually be in bed and fall asleep by that early time. I don’t get home from work until 7:30 or 9, depending on if I go to exercise class after work. By the time I make dinner, eat, and do some dishes it’s already like, 10pm. Leaves no time to wind down or hang out with Pedro. Blah. Maybe in this new year I can figure out a better way to live my best sleeping life.

What did the quiz tell you, Hart Beat? And don’t forget, today is not the day to beat yourself up for getting enough sleep. Our bodies are still one hour behind what they should be. At least that’s what I’ll be telling myself all day..

Photo via Flikr.

Hannah Hart Beat

A Secret Cost Free Blemish Trick

Hannah Hart Beat

Hiya Hart Beat! How’s your Monday going? Things are pretty quiet here in New York and I feel like we’re all kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop with all this nice weather. I can feel a snowstorm just waiting in the wings for the next day we’re all wearing sneakers and Spring jackets.

Anway, in other news, I have a secret trick to share with you! This, like all things secret, comes from my boyfriend Pedro. To be fair, this one comes from his Grandmother so it gives the secret, even more, alure.

Growing up I was blessed with blemish free skin (thanks, Mom!) but now that I’m in my mid/ late twenties I’ve been seeing more and more pimples and the like pop up. I never know how to deal with them and have tried everything. Enter Pedro’s Grandmother’s advice. It sounds gross but bear with me because not only does it work but it’s free! That’s right, a blemish trick coming at you with the low, low price of FREE.99.

All you have to do is take your (clean) index finger, spit on it a little, and rub the saliva into the burgeoning pimple/blemish, let it air dry and… that’s it! Follow this a few times a day, especially before sleep, and in days your skin will clear right up. I swear! I think it’s some combination of your own pheromones combined with the drying effect of spit.

And hey, if it doesn’t work, it’s cost you nothing because this little trick is easy, free-zy, beautiful (and not sold by Covergirl). Let me know if you try it, Hart Beat! I would love to hear from the field…

Photo via Refinery29 of Zoe Posen.

Hannah Hart Beat

Do or Don’t: Ice Cold Showers

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat. Guess what? I’m finally over the flu! So many happy dances happening in Bay Ridge right now. This week of bed rest has gotten me thinking about ways I can (try) and boost my immune system this winter in Brooklyn. One thing that I’ve read a few times in the last month is the benefit of an ice cold shower. An article in The New York Times presented the idea as a way to get something really difficult out of the way early in the day. I’m not sure that reason for cold showers makes me want to take the plunge (ha) but other health benefits I’m reading seem pretty valid.

Apparently, turning the water all the way to ice ice ice cold for the last thirty seconds of a shower can help with the following,

  • Increased alertness A way to wake up hella faster in the morning than three cups of coffee? Sounding promising.
  • Clearer skin and healthier hair The acne trick that I wish I knew years ago. Plus shinier hair!? Sign me up.
  • Improves immune system Yes, okay, I need help finally curing the flu but TBH I can’t really imagine ducking under an ice cold shower when I’m this sick. To each her own I guess…
  • Stimulates weight loss ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Not something I’m looking to do but I guess it should be added to the list.
  • Eases stress …… I’ll take it. I’LL TAKE IT. I’ll try anything that helps ease stress. My shoulders are continuously in a state of painful tension.
  • Relieves depression This is a huge statement that is hard for me to believe. I prefer to think of this benefit as cold showers “can help boost your immediate mood” which I personally, always can use. Winter is a hard time for me. Anything that I can find to help boost my mood is a good thing.

All of this info is coming from the internet (sites like Fast Company and Medical Daily so please know I didn’t consult a doctor writing this. Take all this with a grain of salt and NOT as an official medical suggestion. After reading all of this. turning the water all the way cold for the last thirty seconds of every shower is something I’m going to start this week. What about you, Hart Beat? If this is something you’ve ever even considered I would love to chat.

Update. I tried it. It is painful as hell but I’m gonna keep at it. Anyone else given it a try?

Hannah Hart Beat

Top photo of a house tour by Remodelista. Illustration via The Jungalow.

 

2017 Resolutions

How and why is it already 2017?? I thought I would be excited for the year but tbh it’s off to a rough start. The weather is bad, a misogynistic crazy and sickening reality TV celebrity is our incoming president, and everyone I know is sick. It could be better.

But, I’m channeling Baddie Winkle and going to try some resolutions anyway. The biggest takeaway I have on resolutions every year is to pick very small, very concrete goals instead of huge grandiose statements. The bigger the goal the more you’re setting yourself up to fail and aren’t giving yourself anyways to actually succeed. It’s a lot easier to plan and accomplish the second than it is the first. For example here are my resolutions in impossible terms,

  1. See my friends more.
  2. Stop being late.
  3. Cook more often.

Impossible, right? Here are my goals translated into actually attainable things.

  1. Text my friends back right away.
  2. Leave 15 minutes earlier than I think I have to.
  3. Cook from one new recipe once a week.

Much easier, right? I’ve started already. Right now I’m making my famous pasta with meat sauce. Not new but, a girl’s gotta try.

Photo I took in northern Spain.