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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Top photo of a house tour by Remodelista. Illustration via The Jungalow.
Hi Hart Beat! I hope you’re week is going well. As I said earlier this week, I’m on break this week from work and the city and am spending time relaxxxxiiiinnnnng. It’s amazing. One thing that I’ve noticed this week not working is how much better my back feels. For years I’ve had what I call “chronic shoulder stress syndrome.” This is 100% self-diagnosed and something that I’ve always attributed to having larger than normal breasts. I’ve seen chiropractics and doctors and they’ve all said that the reason my shoulders are so tight is because of they way I slouch at my computer. ** Currently straightening my back to the sound of cracks and one “oof” ** This is probably true but other than randomly reminding myself to sit up straight nothing much helps ease the pain.
But eureka! Last week I heard great news from a massage therapist that I went to see (thanks mom!). As soon as I walked into the room she told me that the reason my shoulders were so tight wasn’t because I slouch (although that obviously doesn’t help) it was because the muscles in my chest are scrunched so tight. She said instead of working on my shoulders I need to work on opening up my chest and that that will then trickle all the way down to my lower back. Ever since then I’ve been trying a few different stretches and MAN MY SHOULDERS ARE LOOSENING UP.
I thought maybe this might help some of you others out there so here is what I’ve been doing,
- Massaging my jaw. This sounds really weird but whatever. I’ve been just rubbing my jaw lightly every night or so and what it’s been doing is opening up my neck and then, the secret to all, my chest.
- Arching my back. Um, I do this all the time. And every time I do this huge CRACK comes out of my chest. Hopefully a good crack.
- Arm stretches. This one has been a game changer. Every time I’m in the shower and my body is all warm from the water I place my hand on the side of the shower wall with my fingers pointed behind me. Then I straighten out my arm and gently stretch out my chest as much as I can. My arms are super tight but I can feel my chest getting looser and looser every time.
So, hopefully this will help. Obviously I am not a doctor and if you’re really having shoulder pain/problems go see your doc and get some serious medical advice. But, if you’re just wanting to help your posture try these! And please pass on other suggestions. The holiday season is coming and I can feel my stress level rising with each passing day.
Photo by Allan Grant, 1947.
Here we go Hart Beat, on to the fourth thing that I’ve learned since turning twenty-five. I would like to say that this one came directly from me but, I have to give credit where credit is due. This lovely little sentence actually comes via by brilliant boyfriend, Pedro. Apparently he doesn’t remember saying it but, what can I say, he did.
4. A woman’s body is like a rubik’s cube.
Introduction disclaimer: I don’t talk about of body stuff her on the blog. One, because this is not a food or health blog and two, because I think that body stuff is such a sensitive topic with so many woman that I never want to impose on anyones inner thoughts. My general opinion about women’s bodies and our feelings around them is this: Women of the world! We have bodies! They are amazing and they take us to work everyday, allow us to laugh, and are the perfect structures to put all of our clothes on!
Aside from that I really hate it when women talk about their bodies (in a negative or positive light). As long as your body is working (see criteria above) then whatever comes after is a moot point. I’ve had a lot of female roommates in my life, and for each and every one, including all that commons eating in college, I’ve made a conscious effort to not talk about what food we’re eating or not eating. I don’t care that you had three hamburgers for dinner last night, I don’t care if you gave up gluten because it makes you fit into your party dress. Good for you! Now let’s move on to better and more important topics.
All this being said, when Pedro said “A woman’s body is like a rubik’s cube” it made me stop. Why? Because our bodies are like rubik’s cubes. Everybody’s different, every body is different, and it takes trying different combinations to look and feel your best. Even more so, once you do figure out what works for your body then there you go! Rubrik’s cube solved.
Both photos via @naninstudio.
Oh hello, Hart Beat. I’m home this weekend visiting my parents (and their adorable dog) before I start my new job soon. When I got home my mom shared the best health trick with me and I’d thought I would share it with you. This winter my parents have both started drinking a tall glass of water with every meal. I know it sounds pretty dull and intuitive but it’s actually not as natural as it sounds. Everyone knows they’re supposed to get eight glasses of water a day but I often forget to drink while I’m running around the city. Now every time I sit down I’m mindful to drink enough.
The best part? It’s free! Not only does it make eating more enjoyable but I feel like I eat less since my body is also taking in tons of liquid. What do you think, Hart Beat? Want to try incorporating it into your day?
P.S. Another trick of mine is to add cut up lemons and limes to my water and I feel like I’m on vacation all the time. That was a little trick, voila.