life · nutrition

Skincare Routine

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Let’s talk skin!
Your face is the first thing everyone sees so who wants to walk around with a broken out face or dark circles under their eyes?! Not me that’s for sure. I feel so confident when I have glowing clear skin.
BUT….that wasn’t always the case and I owe that to the amazing Katt at Grafin Skin and Beauty. I met Katt almost a year ago after coming across her spa on Yelp and on a whim I made an appointment. This was the best thing to ever happen to me! Going into my first appointment my face was broken out so bad that I was embarrassed to take off my hat to show her. She made me feel so safe and took so much time with me. We went through EVERYTHING from my eating habits to every ingredient in my makeup. She has been on this journey with me and I rarely ever get a pimple anymore. So I guess we can say she’s just magic hahaha. My acne was being caused by something as simple as the products I was using. I had tried everything in the books from medication to the crazy tricks like rubbing alcohol…YIKES! By changing my products, watching the amount of dairy, chocolate, and fried foods I ate my face has taken a complete 180.

My facial routine is quite simple (which I love for just that reason)

  • In the morning I wash my face with the Vivier-Hexam wash and then I use the Vivant-Allantoin lotion. (I have the Vivant with SPF as well!-prevent those wrinkles) 
  • Before bed I remove all of my makeup, wash again with the Vivier-Hexam wash, and then moisturize with Vivier-Lexxel. 
  • About once a month I get a facial with Katt where she does her magic.
AND THATS IT!!!!
I now have no excuse because ONE I know it works and TWO it takes maybe 1-2 minutes out of my day. I still stuffer from what I now know is Excoria, which is where I pick the smallest of bumps on my skin. But since there aren’t any to pick I have basically been cured.  She has done wonders to my face this past year. Best money ever spent!! Head over check out her blog, buy some products, or even make an appointment.

Buy any of these products:

https://petalandherb.com

Make an appointment below:

vagaro.com

Read Katt’s Blog to learn more:

http://blog.grafinskinandbeauty.com/

fitness · nutrition

Know Your Vitamins

 

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I wanted to share what vitamins I’m currently taking. So here it goes!
Fish oil 🐟

Omega-3 fatty acids are amazing and do so many things! A few examples are make your hair shinier/stronger, lower your blood pressure and help lower cholesterol levels!!

Women’s Multi-Vitamin

This can be any brand you want, right now i’m using Lifetime Fitness! This particular one has biotin, folate, calcium, and magnesium. These are specific for women and I take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. Each capsule is taken at a certain time during the day depending on its function. Vitamins and minerals work together so always make sure one isn’t depleting the function of another. The bottle calls for a few more than this, but my doctor lowered my dose. Don’t forget to take your vitamins with food to insure proper dilution and absorption.
Now let’s break it down:

Biotin-This vitamin is well known for being responsible for giving you stronger hair, skin, and nails. It is less known for its function as a co-enzyme for the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose.

Folate– Helps produce and maintain new cells, specifically help treat and prevent anemia in women. This is an essential vitamin for the production of DNA and other genetic material.

Calcium-Strengthens brittle bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Not only is calcium great for your bones but it helps with blood coagulation and nerve impulses.

Magnesium-Helps aid metabolism and activation of more than 300 enzyme reactions. It is also important for energy production and muscle contraction. This is one of the minerals that you want to take in the morning or you will be up all night!!

Vitamins are expensive so if you can get your vitamins and minerals from your diet do it!! Always make sure to check with your doctor before adding a vitamin or mineral to your diet.

fitness · nutrition

What the heck are BCAA’s?

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What are BCAAs and should I be taking them?

•First off BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acid. The main job of this supplement is to reduce the rate of protein breakdown AKA build muscle!

-Now why would we want to do that?

When protein breakdown is greater than protein synthesis you lose muscle mass and we DO NOT want to lose our gainz.

•Next! They decrease the production rate of serotonin which makes you able to resist fatigue longer meaning a better workout!

•Added bonus of collagen and glutamine aid in healthy hair, skin, and nails. (Sorry guys this one is meant for the ladies)


•LASTLY-Hydration complex does just that helps rehydrate the body and repair damaged muscle proteins. Read my blog about water to see how important drinking water is for your body!!

Take one scoop before, during, or after your workout and see for yourself!

life

Plant Dreams and Pull Weeds: Garden Beds

I love gardening. There is just this special feeling when I see the vegetables and fruits grow into edible treats! Plus it’s super convenient to walk outside to my own garden and grab my produce for my meals. Last year I constructed my very own garden bed and guess what! Its a pretty easy process!! If you aren’t into the DIY projects many hardware stores sell pre-made raised garden beds.

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Here’s how to make your own:

Step 1: Go to a hardware store and buy your wood. I went to Loews because they would cut the wood for me. I chose black locust wood because it lasts and is untreated to prevent any transfer of chemicals to my produce. For my frame, I used six 6-foot boards, six 3-foot 9-inch boards and ten 10-1/2-inch support posts.  The pre-physical therapist in me even added boards on top to sit on while I garden.

Step 2: Choose a spot to plant! Outline your garden with the wood boards then start removing your grass! If your wood isn’t rot-resistant make sure to put a liner along the inside before filling your garden.

Step 3: Fill your garden with a mix of dirt and compose. I used organic because it helps prevent grubs and is better for my crop.

Step 4: Now plant! Grow whatever your heart desires and don’t forget to water your crops. The best time to water is in the morning. You can even add some miracle grow to give your bed a bit of help. 🙂

This year I planted:

  • Red, green, and orange peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes: Early girl, Cherry, and Big Boy
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries

I also have a small herb box growing:

  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Green Onion
  • Rosemary

Let me know if you have any questions or other gardening tips! Happy Gardening everyone!!

life

Walking for a Cause <3

This Mother’s Day was a bit different for me this year because I spent it being incredibly thankful for my IMG_0199Mom. My mom is the strongest person I know and I absolutely don’t know what I would do without her in my life. Last October my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was the scariest phone call I’ve ever received. Since then she has had surgery, went through treatment, and as far as we know she is cancer freeSo this mothers day weekend we spent it walking for the Living Well Center! It is 100% philanthropically run and gives cancer patients and their families resources. Anything from massages, wigs, workout classes, counseling services, and art classes this center has it all. I couldn’t ask for a better organization to support that has been so amazing and helpful to my family. The guidance this center gave us made the storm a little easier to bare. The weather was amazing and my whole family came out to support my mom as we walked our 3 miles. This has truly been a life changing experience for me and really makes you open your eyes and enjoy life!!! This October I will be running the Chicago Marathon for my momma and an amazing organization called bright pink which supplies resources to woman in the Chicago area to prevent cancer. So cheer me on as I take on the easier (26.2 ) challenge than my mom did this year. I’d love to hear other stories or answer any questions, so feel free to comment below!! Also the importance of checking your breasts for lumps and seeing your doctor regularly!

 

nutrition

Water: Your New Best Friend

Growing up everyone has always told me to drink water. I was never a pop drinker because of my soccer years, so water was usually my only option. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned actually how important water is for my body. After a few painful experiences with kidney stones water really is my Best Friend.

So why is water so important to the body?

  • Weight Loss-Probably the main reason anyone would increase their water intake. Water has no fat, no sugar, no, carbs, no calories…should I keep going? Water is also an appetite suppressant, so before you grab for that snack drink a glass of water. You might just be thirsty.
    • TIP: Drink 1 glass of water before each meal to minimize appetite.
  • Energy-Dehydration zaps your energy! It can make you feel sluggish, weak, or dizzy. When you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated. Chapped lips-you got it dehydration!
    • TIP: Drink 2 glasses of water when you wake up to jump start your internal organs.
  • Headache Prevention/Cure: I am so prone to headaches and its not even funny! Mainly because of not drinking enough water, I’m guilty too!! Drink your water and you never know those headaches might disappear too.
    • TIP: Drink 1 glass of water before taking a shower to. lower blood pressure.
  • Beautiful Skin– Ok who doesn’t want beautiful skin and guys it’s not just a girl thing! Water helps clear up skin and give you that natural glow.
    • TIP: Try increasing your water intake over a week and watch the magic happen.
  • Digestive Health– Everyone poops and if you aren’t pooping try increasing your water intake. haha Water can help cure stomach acid problems and constipation.
    • TIP: Buy a fun water bottle it will encourage you to drink more water. Plus its green!! Adding fruit especially lemons can make water more fun if you love your juice like me!
  • Kidney Health: Water flushes toxins and waste from the body. The more water you drink the better your kidneys will function.
    • TIP: Find an app that will remind you to drink water or track your intake for you. I use Drink Water Reminder: Daily Hydration Tracker. Its apple watch friendly! Try it out.
  • Better Workout: Being dehydrated can seriously tamper your workouts. It can slow you down and just make your workout 10x harder!
    • Tip: Drink water 2 hours prior to your workout, during and after for the best results.

So now that we know so much about water we can start increasing our intake together. Try some of my tips and tricks and even comment below if you have your own!

fitness

Should I take Pre-workout?

This is all up to you!!! Currently I’m taking Jym in strawberry kiwi 🥝 🍓 I only take about half a scoop 15-20 minutes before my workout with water of course. I don’t always take pre-workout only when I absolutely need it (like when I don’t want to go to the gym or on leg day). Relying solely on pre-workout to get through your workout might mean a few things: you’re bored of your workouts, you are dangerously raising your level of additives in your body, and finally you might have a caffeine addiction…Try to avoid becoming reliant by only using it when you absolutely need it!

Now let’s get to the science behind pre-workout!

•First off what’s in it?!

Usually caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, and amino acids.

•What do they do?!

1)increase blood flow to increase endurance levels throughout workout. This gives you that muscle pump 💪🏻

2) increased focus—-I might take this to study sometimes shhh don’t tell haha 🤓

3) boost energy production in muscle cells. This gives you that tingly feeling. 🏋🏼‍♀️

4) draws fluids from the blood plasma which improves muscle performance and helps prevent injury.

•let’s not forget that pre-workout can be dangerous when taken in high amounts frequently. It’s not regulated by the FDA so make sure you research your brand before you buy!! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Happy lifting 🏋🏼‍♀️

A post shared by lauren 🦄 (@findingesky) on May 11, 2017 at 1:51pm PDT

fitness

Conquering Muscle Soreness

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 12.29.03 PMRecovery!!! Working in physical therapy I can’t explain the importance of incorporating recovery into your workout plan. 29.3% of injuries are caused by overuse. I am even included in that percentage! In my previous posts I’ve mentioned stress fractures, peroneal tendonitis, it band syndrom, and runners knee. All of these from overuse and not using my tools to reward my muscles. ALL ARE PREVENTABLE!!!

So here are some tips!!!

1. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. Try for at least 8 hours. 😴

2. Roll out sore muscles with a foam roll. I know it hurts!!!

3. Hydrate hydrate hydrate 💦

4. Stretch everyday to break up that lactic acid and keep muscles loose

5. Don’t go into a workout cold warm up for at least 5-10 minutes.

6. Cool down exercises are key! Don’t shock your muscles and just stop ✋

7. Finally don’t forget your vitamins! Vitamin C aids in collagen production and repairs damages to tendons and ligaments aka soreness. 🍓🍅🍊

What do you guys do to prevent injury and recover from your workouts! Comment below 👇🏻

A post shared by lauren 🦄 (@findingesky) on May 11, 2017 at 9:58am PDT

life

I quit my job…

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 10.12.58 PMHey guys…so some huge news clearly from the title you can see I quit my job! This was the scariest ,yet most invigorating, decision I have ever made and possibly the most dumb! You see I don’t have another job lined up…but I decided it was a leap I had to make. Let me explain before you start to judge!!!

When I first started my job it was full of new concepts, people, and challenges. After two and a half years at ATI physical therapy I have gone as high as I can with my current education level. More importantly I have begun to despise a job I used to love. Physical therapy is my dream job and it stunk being so close yet so far away. I felt like I was only staying because I was being imprisoned by my student loans and maybe a few guilty shopping trips…hey a girls gotta shop right?! haha  Being stuck at a job comparing myself to all my friends who love their jobs made me feel like a failure.  I was beating myself up everyday, acting cranky for no reason, and just felt like I was losing my happy self. I was lost.

It was even more tough because I had such a good relationship with my boss!! She has always fought for me and encouraged me to continue my education so telling her I was quitting was extremely scary. Is it just me or does anyone else completely freeze up talking to their bosses!? I instantly want to cry anytime I talk to my bosses about anything serious.  But can I say that conversation made me so proud of myself! I held my own, remained professional, and ultimately maintained my relationship with my boss/ATI. ATI has been so good to me and I hope one day I can head back as a physical therapist, but right now I need a game plan and to apply to a ton of jobs!! Yikes!!

Job applications.. so I haven’t applied for a job in the longest time. I was so comfortable at my job that I hadn’t even updated my resume. With one more week left at ATI I feel a weight lifted off my shoulder. My resume is updated, I have applied to numerous jobs, and again I feel alive. I’m free and I can do anything! I might struggle financially and feel like a loser without a job. My family is the most amazing support system I can ask for and I feel a little safer in my decision knowing they have my back. So wish me luck guys! I’m on a wild goose hunt, so feel free to reach out if you’re on the same path as me. You aren’t alone!

A post shared by lauren 🦄 (@findingesky) on May 10, 2017 at 9:00pm PDT