Are you drinking enough water? Prevent dehydration with these simple tips

As much as we all like to think we’re drinking enough water–most likely, we’re not. Your body constantly expels water through sweat, saliva, peeing, pooping, and even tears. It’s important to constantly rehydrate to replenish the fluids in your body. 

Being able to spot the signs of dehydration can help you become more aware of your water intake and focus on maintaining healthy hydration. It’s easy to forget to drink water. It could be working on a project and forgetting what time it is. Or, it could be that you’re out and about and don’t have access to a clean water source. 


  • Illness – We’ve all been there. Fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, and colds can cause you to lose more water than usual and results in dehydration. That’s why doctors are always reminding us to drink more water when we’re sick. 
  • Excessive sweating – Whether it’s due to exercise or from an anxiety-inducing work presentation, you will lose water from sweating. This explains why you get thirsty when you’re nervous or when you’re working out.  
  • Peeing a lot – Your body absorbs water wherever it can, including in foods and drinks. Drinks like coffee and tea can hydrate you, but they’re also diuretics, which means they make you pee more frequently. This makes you lose water at a faster rate, so you should drink regular water more often. Certain medications and diabetes can cause more frequent peeing as well. 
  • Lack of access to safe drinking water – When traveling, hiking or camping, it’s difficult to access safe drinking water. There is always a concern for potential bacteria and viruses that could be in the water such as E.coli and Giardia, among others, that can get you sick. Ever heard of “Bali belly”? It’s not fun. The LARQ Bottle contains non-toxic UV-C LED technology that eliminates bacteria and viruses from the bottle. The LARQ Bottle’s Adventure Mode activates a 3-minute cycle that applies a longer dose of UV-C bacteria-eliminating power. 
  • Forgetting to drink water – Leading busy lives can leave little room for drinking water, and it’s easy to forget if we’re constantly on the move. Keeping a water bottle with you at all times is a great reminder–something you enjoy drinking from.

How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?

Great you asked. When dehydrated, you’ll exhibit these symptoms:

  • Thirst 
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Not peeing very much 
  • Dark yellow pee

Dehydration can even lead to more severe symptoms like:

  • not peeing or having extremely dark yellow pee
  • extreme dry, cracked skin
  • Sunken eyes, dark eye circles
  • Lethargy, fatigue, irritability, brain fog
  • Fainting

With severe dehydration, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. This is especially important for children and elderly people. 

How the LARQ Bottle can help prevent dehydration

It’s easy to stay hydrated when you have access to safe drinking water. The LARQ Bottle is a great way to have water purification anywhere you go. 

UV-C LED technology allows you to purify water on the go

This gives you peace of mind when traveling, hiking or camping. Just fill up at a water source, press the button on the cap, and let the UV-C LED work its magic. Voila! After 60 seconds, you’ll have pure drinkable water–free of bacteria and other bio-contaminants. 

It can prevent you from getting sick

When was the last time you washed your reusable water bottle? If it’s been a while, chances are bacteria are growing inside of there. Funky smell? That’s an indicator that bacteria have already started growing. As humans, we’re wired to detect harmful bio-contaminants based on smell or other senses. That’s why it’s important that you use your good instincts and keep things clean. 

The LARQ Bottle’s UV-C LED technology intelligently activates every 2 hours to eradicate bacteria and bio-contaminants from the inner surfaces of the bottle and from the water. This prevents harmful bacteria, viruses, and other bio-contaminants from getting you sick! What do we say in the face of germs? Not today! As we’ve learned, getting sick can make you dehydrated from all of the excreted moisture. So, we’re winning if we can prevent that from happening aren’t we? 

Plus, no smell means no more fear of drinking from your water bottle. If this isn’t winning, we don’t know what is. 

Access safe drinking water anywhere

If you’re traveling or living in an area where water is not safe to drink, UV-C LED is effective in eliminating the bio-contaminants in the water that can cause GI issues or illness. 

Adventure Mode can eliminate 99.9999% of bio-contaminants in water. Pushing the button on the cap twice activates Adventure Mode, which is a 3-minute cycle that basks the inner surfaces and water with purifying UV-C light, killing bio-contaminants in the process. It’s like having lightning in a bottle. 

More peace of mind means you can stay hydrated with the water you have access to instead of buying bottled water (which is extremely wasteful) or getting dehydrated because of the lack of access. 

It lights up to remind you to drink up (and to let you know it’s cleaning) 

When activated, the ring on the top of the LARQ Bottle will light up in a blue color to indicate that it’s working. Every 2 hours, LARQ will activate automatically for 10-seconds to maintain the cleanliness of the bottle. This is also a happy reminder to drink water if you’ve forgotten. Nifty, huh? It’s also great as an icebreaker, so don’t forget to bring your LARQ Bottle to any party. (We’re only half kidding.)

When it comes to hydration, we think it’s important to #DrinkBrilliantly. Staying healthy and hydrated is easy with LARQ. See for yourself. 


6 Adaptogenic mushrooms and their health benefits

Mushrooms are magic–but no, not the psychedelic kind. Mushrooms have been used in ancient Chinese medicine as well as in Ayurvedic practices originating in India to cure ailments and to offer health benefits and nutrients that are more effective or accessible than any other food. 

These magical fungi are known as adaptogenic mushrooms and they can have health benefits such as improved brain function, energy, balance hormones and improve the immune system. 

To preface, adaptogenic mushrooms are not meant to be cure-alls. Always consult your physician before introducing a new supplement to your diet and lifestyle! 


Use it for: immune health, reducing inflammation, lowering blood sugar, reducing blood pressure, alleviating arthritis. 

Chaga is an antioxidant-rich adaptogenic mushroom that’s effective in aiding your body in reducing inflammation and defends against free radicals by regulating the immune system. Research has shown that Chaga may also lower blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, alleviate arthritis, and even prevent or slow the progression of cancer–particularly in the liver, lung, and the brain. 


Use it for: immune health, relieving stress and anxiety, improved sleep

Reishi is one of the most commonly used adaptogenic mushrooms because of its benefits to overall wellness. It works to boost the immune system, relieves stress and anxiety, helps one feel more balanced and get deeper sleep. 

Reishi stimulates the immune system to prevent infection. In addition, triterpenes and beta-glucans found in reishi may help reduce overall cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol). 


Use it for: increased energy, improved stamina, immune health

Cordyceps will give your pre-workout formula a run for its money. This adaptogenic mushroom works to support your adrenal glands and helps your body produce and maintain consistent energy levels. 

Cordyceps increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which increases cellular oxygen absorption. Overall, it improves the flow of oxygen throughout the body, especially during exercise. 

On the topic of energy, cordyceps have been used in Eastern medicine to reduce fatigue, boost strength and sex drive. The antioxidant-rich mushroom fights cell damage by neutralizing free radicals that contribute to aging


Use it for: cognitive and brain support, energy boost, immune health, stress management, improved sleep

Ashwagandha has been used in many applications in herbal medicine and is native to India, the middle east and parts of Africa. It’s also known as Indian ginseng. This magical mushroom has been shown to help regulate cortisol levels and function of the nervous system, so it proves useful in easing stress and anxiety. Furthermore, it helps support cognitive function as well as supporting healthy sleep patterns and deeper sleep.


Use it for: immune health, antioxidants, anti-aging, heart, and liver health. 

Shiitake mushrooms are rich in B vitamins, vitamin D and zinc. This nutritious ‘shroom has even more to offer. There are three main compounds in shiitake that help lower cholesterol: eritadenine, sterols, and beta-glucans. Studies have shown that it may reverse age-related decline in immune function. The improved effect on immune function from shiitake can be attributed due to one of the polysaccharides in them. 

Lion’s Mane 

Use it for: cognitive and brain health, reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms.  

Lion’s Mane has shown to improve immune function and is beneficial in treating anxiety and depression. Studies indicated that after consuming lion’s mane, mice displayed fewer depressive behaviors. 

It may be possible that lion’s mane can also have positive effects on cognitive health. One study reported that lion’s mane was effective in improving mild cognitive impairment. In addition, compounds found in lion’s mane stimulate the production of NGF (Nerve Growth Factor), a bioprotein that plays a critical role in the maintenance, health, and regeneration of neurons in the brain. A low amount of NGF is usually associated with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases like dementia. Lion’s Mane helps improve memory, boosts creativity, helps with concentration and improves mental clarity. 

Turkey Tail 

Use it for: immune health, cellular regeneration, digestive health

Talk about an immune-boosting powerhouse. Turkey Tail is equipped with strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties which makes it effective in preventing and treating the common cold or the flu. Packed with antioxidants, it can help inhibit or reduce damage caused by oxidative stress which can cause inflammation or cellular damage. Oxidative stress is linked to an increased risk of developing health conditions such as certain cancers and heart disease. 

Studies have shown that turkey tail boosts immune function in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, continued research still needs to be conducted. Turkey tail also contains prebiotics, offering gut-healing benefits that nourish the good bacteria in the microbiome. This can result in smoother digestion. Who doesn’t want that? 


As with all health-related information, usage and effects may vary from person to person. Experts recommend consulting with your physician before taking any kind of supplements. The compounds of mushrooms may react adversely with prescription medications or pre-existing health conditions. 

It’s also good to note that adaptogenic mushrooms need to be consumed consistently in mild to moderate doses (depending on potency) to see any effects. So if you think you’ll get a jolt of energy from drinking one dose of cordyceps, think again. Some people have recorded that they felt the effects after a few days to a week of daily intake with the recommended dosage. 

Four Sigmatic coffee sachet with two glasses of coffee with cream
Photo by @livingwells_ via Instagram 

If you’re weird about mushrooms, you’re not alone. The flavor of these adaptogenic mushrooms can be offensive to many palettes, especially on their own. Luckily, adaptogenic mushrooms can be taken as capsules or can be purchased in powder form and blended into smoothies or other beverages. Their earthy flavor can be complemented with hot chocolate, coffee, or even stronger flavors like chai. Add your favorite plant-based milk to round out the flavors, and enjoy! 


8 Easy ways to boost energy

If you’re feeling sluggish lately, whether it’s from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), or just from burnout, you’re not alone. On that fifth cup of coffee and still no sign of that lively, energetic person you once knew? You’re not alone. If you’re in dire need of an energy boost, these tips for boosting energy are worth a shot.

Manage stress 

Your body reacts when you’re feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and downright stressed out by making you feel fatigued and tired all the time. It could also be preventing you from getting better sleep quality which makes you tired throughout the day. In order to get better sleep, try meditating, exercising, reducing caffeine intake, or whatever helps you unwind



When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, natural hormones that give you a boost of energy. On top of that, exercise has been proven to improve the quality of sleep, mood, and overall wellness. Instead of waking up and grabbing your coffee, go on a walk or run or do some yoga to boost energy and start your day off on a good note. Plus, you’ll get added benefits of cardiovascular health–it’s good for your heart. 


Get better quality sleep 

Getting a full night’s sleep is everyone’s goal, but let’s face it–it’s hard. Getting restful sleep is a surefire way to fight that midday fatigue and urge to grab another coffee. Luckily there are easy ways to get better sleep. To get better sleep, exposing yourself to daylight during the day and shutting off electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime will help you regulate your body’s circadian rhythm which will regulate your body’s melatonin production in order to get you sleepy in time for bed. 


Eat nutritiously

It’s no secret that diet and exercise are the keys to a healthy life and it’s no different when it comes to energy. Eating nutritiously will get your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to operate at its full potential; it’s literally fuel for your brain and body. 


Similar to what’s recommended on from the EAT-Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Diet, a plant-based diet with low amounts of meat can have significant benefits to health. Eating nutrient-rich foods like whole grains and nuts will help you reach your daily recommended value of magnesium and folic acid (300mg for women and 350mg for men). 


You’ll also get B12 from animal-based foods like meat and dairy–for those who don’t eat meat, you might be deficient in this vitamin that is only found in animal products, but you can take supplements to get your daily recommended amount. Just remember meat-eaters: you won’t get extra energy from B12 if you already get an adequate amount. 


Low levels of iron can also leave you feeling tired and weak. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from your lungs to the organs and tissues in your body. You can find iron in foods like edamame, lentils, spinach, clams, and mussels. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C as well to maximize your absorption of iron. 



Caffeine is not always the answer (especially at odd hours of the day), but there is a way to optimize its powers. According to this study, you should be drinking coffee between 9:30 am and 11:30 am, the time frame which your body secretes the highest levels of cortisol (the hormone that helps you regulate metabolism), to reap the most benefits from the caffeine. 


If you’re an avid coffee and it’s just not affecting you anymore in the way that it should, try weaning off of it and swap for matcha. Matcha has caffeine to keep you alert and boosts energy, but it also contains L-theanine which is an amino acid that promotes well-being and relaxation. L-theanine has the added benefit of helping with memory and learning as well as inhibiting the possible side-effects of caffeine. It gives you that energy boost without the jitters, and it has a slow-release effect that gives you energy for longer periods of time, contrary to coffee. 

Drink water 

If you’re feeling fatigued, ask yourself if you’ve drunk enough water. If you’re dehydrated, one of the things you’ll feel immediately is tired and lethargic. Drinking water will give your body what it needs to be alert. Try to avoid just chugging a ton of water when you realize you haven’t gotten enough. Instead, keep your reusable water bottle with you throughout the day so you always have easy access to water. The LARQ Bottle is a self-cleaning bottle, so it doesn’t need to be cleaned after every refill like others do (it’ll prevent bacteria and mold growth with UV-C LED technology!), so you won’t forget it in the sink at home or get sick from this water bottle. No bacteria or funky smells here. If you prefer something lightweight with high water capacity, try out the LARQ Bottle Movement. It cleans and purifies water on-the-go too, with an ultra-lightweight non-insulated stainless steel build so you can carry more water without the added weight. 



If essential oils are more your speed, peppermint is a great one for focus. Dab or roll-on a bit of this for a fresh minty scent that will wake you up. Scents are effective because they travel through the olfactory nerves that connect to the parts of the brain that dictate emotions, mood or memory. Your body will react to the smell of peppermint by feeling more invigorated and alert. 


Get some sunshine

The sun boosts serotonin levels, also known as the ‘happiness hormone’. You’ll feel calm and more alert, so if you’re sitting inside with no sunlight, take a moment to walk outside and you’ll come back refreshed. 


Sunlight also helps regulate your circadian rhythm–your body’s sleep schedule. Getting an appropriate amount of light throughout the day keeps you alert when you should be alert, and sleepy when it’s time for bed. 


These easy tips for boosting energy are extremely attainable and can make a huge impact on your daily life. When it comes to your well-being, don’t cut corners. 


15 ways to sleep better


How many of us are actually getting the required amount of 7 or more hours per night? Show of hands? That’s not a lot of hands. About 35% of adults don’t get this required amount, according to the CDC. We don’t need to tell you how detrimental sleep deprivation can be. It can take a toll on your mental health as well as your physical health. Constant lethargy, foggy mind, and stress can all be results of sleep deprivation. To feel more energized for your days, think more clearly, and to manage stress, there are many mistakes you may be making that prevent you from getting quality sleep.


Here are some ways to get better sleep or fall asleep faster: 

Increase exposure to light during daylight hours 

Exposure to light during the day helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. If you do no expose your body to light (artificial or otherwise), your body will feel tired and sleepy throughout your day and into the night. Because the sunlight helps our bodies differentiate between daytime and nighttime, a lack of light exposure during the day will make you sleepy and make it difficult to sleep later when your melatonin levels drop. This is part of the reason people get jet-lagged on long flights


Do not nap for longer than 30 minutes during the day

Heavy napping throws off your body’s sleeping cycle–especially in large durations–because the adult body does not need that much sleep to operate. Napping for longer than 30-minute intervals will make you less tired by the time bedtime rolls around, making it more difficult to fall asleep. If you want to fall asleep faster, avoid naps during the day unless you truly need it. 

Reduce consumption of caffeine

Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages are great for staying awake (obviously) but not great for when you need to sleep later. Resist the urge to grab that second, third or fourth cup of joe in the late afternoon. 

Wake up consistently every day 

Setting an alarm to wake up at a consistent hour of each day regulates your body so you’ll fall asleep or get tired around the same time too. If you work inconsistent hours or days of the week, this may be a bit more difficult, but try to find a window where you can wake up consistently and fall asleep faster and more consistently for your bedtime. The same goes for your days off! We all want to sleep in on our days off, but avoid sleeping in more than 3 hours past the time you usually wake up. This can throw off your sleeping schedule too and make it more difficult to sleep on time that night. 

Limit eating and drinking alcohol right before bed

It’s recommended to eat at least 2 hours before bed to allow your body to digest. You’ll find that if you eat too close to bedtime or snack late in the night, it may be harder to fall asleep or have a great sleep. 

Alcohol right before bed could also affect your quality of sleep. If you want to get to sleep faster, make sure you’re not consuming alcohol 2-3 hours before bedtime. Studies show that alcohol negatively affects the quality of sleep in many ways–reducing the secretion of melatonin in the body resulting in disrupted sleep patterns. Drinking alcohol before sleep can also cause sleep apnea and oxygen desaturation. 

Take a warm bath or shower

We’re not ones to deny a nice warm shower or bath in any case, but taking one 1-2 hours before bed will help relax your body and mind to prepare for bed. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a spa-like experience that has calming effects. Making this a part of your nighttime routine can help you decompress after a long stressful day. We’ll talk more about essential oils’ effect on sleep later.  

Have a routine

Speaking of nighttime routines, having one helps a ton with sleeping. Going through the motions helps your body prepare for bed since there is a sequence involved that your body gets used to. It’s also like checking off a mini-list (if you’re a list person), so mentally you’ve checked everything off and are ready for bed. 

Keep your room dark during nighttime hours

Having light on in the room while you’re trying to sleep can lead to bad quality sleep and grogginess during the daytime–yes, we’re talking about the TV too. Referring back to your body’s circadian rhythm, your body needs to differentiate when its daytime or nighttime which is affected by light. If you are used to falling asleep to the sounds of the TV, try a white noise machine instead. 

Use a white noise machine 

A white noise machine plays soothing, repetitive sounds that help some people fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep. This ranges from waterfalls to birds chirping, or even the crashing of waves in the ocean, and creates an environment where your mind can relax and drift off without the disruptive blue light of your TV.

Reduce exposure to blue light at least 2 hours before bed

Blue light from devices like phone screens, TVs, tablets and more, are known to delay the release of melatonin, and in contrast, increases alertness disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm. See a pattern here? We’re probably all a little guilty of this, but putting your phone away from your bed could have many benefits. It’ll keep you from grabbing it and browsing for another hour past your bedtime, and when your alarm rings (assuming you use your phone’s alarm), you’ll have to physically get up in order to turn it off–no more hitting snooze. 

Exercise during the day

Exercise, as we all know, has many health benefits, so it’s a must to incorporate into your daily routine. Studies show that exercise can even help sleep by deterring symptoms of insomnia in adults. In fact, one study showed that in people with severe insomnia, exercise reduced the time it took to fall asleep by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30% and anxiety by 15%–increasing total sleep time by 18%. It’s quite possible that if you exercise right before bedtime, your body might need some time to adjust, so if you’re having this problem, try exercising during the day instead to improve sleep and benefit your body’s circadian rhythm. 

Use a humidifier or aromatherapy diffuser

Humidifiers are great for those with sinus congestion, when you’re sick, or if you live in a dry climate. They relieve congestion by adding moisture to the air and helping the hairs in your nose to move freely so they can filter out bacteria that can cause colds or allergies. They also prevent dryness that may lead to bloody noses or irritation in the nasal passages that may disrupt sleep in addition to keeping skin hydrated so you don’t toss and turn from irritated dry skin. Ever get that dry, scratchy feeling in your nose and throat that makes you wake up in the middle of the night? A humidifier will provide relief by adding moisture into the air in your room, resulting in better quality sleep. 

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to relieve stress which promotes better sleep. If you prefer holistic approaches, this may be worthwhile to try. Scents and smells that travel through our olfactory nerves connect to the brain, sending signals to different paths like the limbic system and the amygdala, which dictate emotions, mood, and memory. This indicates that scents can trigger physical reactions in the body proving effective in various ways–including sleep.

You can use aromatherapy for your benefit in several ways: topically when diluted with water and rubbed gently into acupressure points on the body, with reed diffusers, candles, or even with aromatherapy diffusers (some are a combination of humidifiers and aromatherapy diffusers!). The six types of essential oils proven effective for sleep are lavender, lemon or yuzu, bergamot, ylang-ylang, clary sage, and jasmine. All have properties that relieve stress and have calming effects to help you achieve better quality sleep. 

Keep your room cool

Keeping your room cool encourages deeper sleep. Your body naturally drops in temperature before bed, signaling that it’s time to get some rest. Keeping your room cool will trigger this response, but when a room gets too hot, it will block this signal or disrupt your sleep. 

Your body temperature naturally drops before bed as we mentioned, but it also naturally gets warmer when you’re closer to waking up, which can make you feel like you’re sleeping hot or make you wake up sweating profusely. Keeping your room cooler can prevent this and regulate that optimum temperature throughout the night. So–what is the optimum temperature? It’s recommended to keep your room between 60-68 degrees to stimulate the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. 


Meditation has been growing in popularity for good reason. It’s the practice of emotional wellness, caring for the mind, managing stress and promoting overall happiness. Practicing meditation is great for people who tend to be restless at night and have trouble clearing the mind before bed. Meditation is a practice, so it takes some time to get it right, but the benefits are worthwhile. Once you practice how to meditate, you’ll be able to use it to destress after each day and use your practice whenever you need to. 

Take supplements

You’ve heard us talk about melatonin throughout this entire read, so you probably know by now how important it is to have healthy levels of melatonin in your life. If you feel like none of the above methods are helping, it might be worth it to look into taking melatonin supplements. Always consult your physician before taking supplements to see if it is the right option for you.


Getting good quality sleep is so crucial for your wellness and worth investing the time and energy in for overall better quality of life! It’s your source of energy, anti-aging, and recovery. Try these tips for getting better sleep for yourself and see how life-changing great quality sleep can be. 


8 Life-changing wellness habits to kickstart your new year

For many, entering into a new year is the time for a clean slate–to start fresh no matter how unhealthy (physical, mental, or otherwise) your previous year was. 2020 is the turn of a decade which means many bigger shifts in habits, health, and overall wellness. If you’re having trouble kickstarting your new year, try shifting your mindset. It’s not about reinventing yourself or making major changes in your life, but rather, a series of small ones and changing your attitude for overall wellness–mind, body, and soul.


Whether you’re jumpstarting the new year with some hardcore fitness goals or pining for a big promotion at the end of the year, here are some healthy habits that will help you stay sane no matter how crazy life gets. To us, sustainability isn’t just about the planet, it’s about personal health too. 



You’re thinking about it anyway, so might as well put this at the top of the list. Exercise is important on so many different levels (so you’ve heard), but we’re not talking about weight loss goals or hitting your benching PR. We’re talking about cardiovascular health and mental health. 


You don’t have to commit to 6 days at the gym or running 5 miles every morning. 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week of any physical aerobic activity will help maintain overall cardiovascular health. If you wanted to, the American Heart Association suggests that breaking these up to 10-15 minute segments of your day will provide benefits too. This can be anything from a brisk walk to a jog or a swim to get your heart rate going. 


In addition to cardiovascular health, exercise can relieve stress. Exercise reduces cortisol levels (the body’s stress hormone) over time and increases the release of endorphins, which help boost mood! It’s also a great way to get better sleep. 


Eat well 

balanced healthy meal via Unsplash
Photo by Brooke Lark

Trust us, we love our In-n-out just as much as the next guy, but it’s really easy to overdo it. Eating well comes to the top of our list for many reasons; our diet can affect our health, mood, and even the planet. With disease and cancer rates increasing and fertility rates dropping, we’re not too far off from a Handmaid’s Tale type situation. 


The EAT-Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Diet is shifting thought on what it means to eat in a healthy way that doesn’t accelerate the degradation of the Earth. Eating well means increasing our intake of fruits and vegetables (by almost triple) and reducing our consumption of meat, namely red meat which requires significantly more resources than any other food, and releases the highest number of greenhouse gas emissions than even their animal-based counterparts. If you’re a meat-eater, try eating less than 50g of red meat per day to reduce your impact. 


For better health, the Planetary Health Diet also recommends eating more plant-based foods that provide more nutrients to the body for optimum health and reduced risk for diseases and certain cancers. This means eating more whole grains, less refined sugars, more legumes and nuts, and colorful fruits and vegetables. With more conscious food choices, you’ll live longer, better, and prolong the life of the Earth for generations to come. 



This is no joke. With the volume of stressors that modern life throws at us, it’s increasingly difficult to completely shut off for the day. The practice of meditation takes time to get down, but can be extremely beneficial for mental health and even sleep. 


Reduce phone time 

Our smartphones are usually on us 24/7–it’s practically impossible to not be around your phone for more than a few minutes at a time. They’re tied to work, play and everything in-between so how could we possibly unplug? 


Exposure to light is healthy throughout the day because it regulates your body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. However, when exposing yourself to light even in nighttime hours–for example, before bed–you more often than not will have trouble falling asleep and have poor quality of sleep to boot. Light exposure is not limited to just your phone though; your TV, laptop, tablet, and everything of the sort, expose you to blue light which has the same effect on your melatonin levels. For the betterment of your health, it’s recommended to avoid all electronics at least 2 hours before bed. 


Keep living spaces and workspaces neat

If you’ve ever seen the show Hoarders, you’ll know why this is important. Cluttered spaces can lead to stress, fatigue, reduced productivity, and can even put a strain on your relationships. Keeping your living spaces and workspaces neat prevents you from losing important documents and prevents cloudy thoughts from clutter. It makes for a messy mind. 


Drink more water

This might not come as a shock to you, but most people are probably not drinking enough water. Requirements for how much water to drink aren’t one-size-fits-all because everyone’s body has different needs. What we do know is that chronic dehydration can take a toll on a person’s body since our cells and organs depend on it. Adult humans are made of 60% water and blood is 90% water, hence the need to constantly replenish. Not sure how much to drink? Drink enough water so that your pee runs clear–and if it’s on the yellow to the dark yellow side of the scale, you’re dehydrated. 


Dehydration also has negative side effects on your kidneys. Your kidneys filter fluids that flow through the body, so water is essential for the kidneys to function. Without water, waste products and excess fluid can build up inside the body leading to chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, or kidney failure–yikes. They can also lead to urinary tract infections (the second most common type of infection in the body). The solution to all of this? Drink plenty of water.


If you haven’t done so already, invest in a reusable water bottle that you can carry with you to have water on you at all times of the day. Among many other reasons, people are choosing a sustainable self-cleaning water bottle–the LARQ Bottle–because it uses UV-C LED technology to eliminate harmful, odor-causing bacteria all day long. This creates a more convenient approach to using reusable water bottles so you don’t need to wash it after every refill (the recommended amount to prevent bacteria growth). It even purifies water on the go so that you can drink from most water sources with peace of mind. No Bali belly here. 

Ditch fast food and takeout

Not only is it better for the planet, but it’s also better for your health. Making your meals at home lets you control what ingredients you’re putting in and puts you in control of your weight and your health. Plus, you’ll only put in things you love to eat, so why not right? 


In addition, less takeout means less waste. Those styrofoam boxes, plastic containers, and plastic utensils are not recyclable and go straight to the landfill after you’re done. Instead, make your own meals at home or dine in. You’ll enjoy the experience more and you won’t be contributing to the growing waste issue. 

Go zero-waste

One thing we really need to put an end to is this culture of single-use waste. Dependency on plastic single-use products is accelerating the degradation of the Earth and poses health risks to both humans and wildlife. In this new decade, if there’s anything you should resolve to do–it’s reducing waste. This means reducing packaged food purchases, single-use plastic waste (disposable straws, utensils, plastic wrap, sandwich bags, etc.) and spreading awareness of this issue to others. There is no action too small! Check out this list of things we’re ditching in 2020 for inspiration on what to swap out in place of some of the most wasteful everyday products. 

Keep a journal 

Journaling is an excellent way to unpack the day’s events, vent, or keep your thoughts in order. It may help you sleep better too because you’re not just going to bed with your thoughts. If you’re the type of person who has trouble going to sleep because you’re thinking about a million things a minute, the act of writing something down–we’re talking about taking pen to paper here–is the most effective method of clearing those thoughts. Set aside time at the end of your day to detox. Preferably a couple of hours before you plan to sleep. This allows you enough time to write and think about what you’ve written down before going to bed. 


A great way to conclude your journal entry is to also review the positive highlights of the day, what you’re grateful for–whether that’s from that specific day or overall in life. Sometimes we can get caught up in the curveballs that life throws at us, but it’s important to also reflect on the things you’re grateful for. Regularly writing down what you’re grateful for can meaningfully increase your well-being.

2020 is the year for growth, wellness and overall happiness. Ditch those old unhealthy habits, and step into a new you this year. Your body and the planet will thank you.


How to clean your reusable water bottle (if you don’t have a self-cleaning one)

So you’ve been stuck with a persistent funky, musty smell in your reusable water bottle. You think you wash it enough (you’re supposed to give it a soapy scrub every day), but no matter what you do the smell is still there. Ever try to subtly do a sniff test when you’re at your desk at work and smell the atrocious funk that is coming from your water bottle? You’re not alone.

The great thing about reusable water bottles is that they are environmentally friendly–a far better alternative than buying single-use plastic water bottles. But the only downside is that people are not washing them properly, leading them to develop a stench that puts people off from using them, or worse, buying new ones–which can get expensive over time and creates more waste. Knowing how to properly clean and care for your reusable water bottle will help prevent this, and better yet, keep you from getting sick.

Depending on what type of material your water bottle is made of, your bottle may be more difficult to clean. Plastic and glass tend to cling to odors. Fortunately, food-grade 18/8 stainless steel (like the kind used to make the LARQ Bottle) is usually a better alternative, but don’t be fooled–reusable bottles without self-cleaning technology can get so filthy they’ll make you sick.

Now, odor aside, there are some pretty nasty things that can grow in your water bottle when you don’t clean it properly. Things like bacteria, mold, and viruses can breed exponentially in dark, moist areas–especially in something like a water bottle. After even one day, you’ll see bacteria growth in a regular water bottle, so it’s important to clean it every single day, if not multiple times a day.

Hopefully, this doesn’t deter you from using a reusable water bottle; they’re still the most sustainable alternative to avoid getting a plastic cup of water from Starbucks or buying bottled water. Mother nature will surely thank you! So here are some easy ways you can care for your reusable water bottles and get rid of that funk so you can keep using your reusable bottle.

How to get rid of that smell from your water bottle:

  1. Soap and lukewarm water
    Good old soap and water can do the trick if you’re diligently washing your water bottle every day. This regular cleaning will prevent odor-causing bacteria from growing too quickly. Scrub with a sponge and a bottle brush to get into all the crevices. Sometimes bacteria and mold can grow on the bottom of the bottle because it is a difficult place to reach when washing.
  2. Soak in boiling water
    A good overnight soak in boiling water should get rid of a slight funk after forgetting to wash the bottle for more than a day. Wash with warm soapy water the morning after and do a sniff test to see if the smell has gone away. If it’s still smelly, try the next option.
  3. Soak in baking soda solution
    Baking soda is commonly used for many cleaning applications because it deodorizes. Scoop 2 heaping teaspoons of baking soda into your water bottle and fill it with warm water. Let it sit for a couple of hours or better yet–overnight–for the best results. Rinse your bottle thoroughly and do another sniff test. Does your bottle still smell funky? Try the next method.
  4. Soak with white vinegar
    Vinegar surprisingly does well by neutralizing odors because of its astringent properties. Fill your water bottle with white vinegar (you can also opt to dilute with warm water if you don’t have enough vinegar on hand), and let it soak overnight. In the morning, rinse with warm soapy water and reassess. Sometimes the soak can leave a vinegar smell but don’t worry, another overnight soak in hot water should get the vinegar smell out.

Don’t have time for all that? There’s a better solution.

If that stubborn stench persists even after all these methods, or if you just don’t want to go through the trouble–it’s okay, you have way better things to do with that time–it might be time to upgrade to a LARQ self-cleaning water bottle.

You probably know as much as anyone that scrubbing your water bottle every day or soaking it overnight isn’t always convenient and you might have even experienced reaching for single-use plastic water bottles as a result of forgetting your water bottle at home because it was soaking all night. Counterintuitive, don’t you think?

We’re here to offer you a solution–a self-cleaning water bottle that remains odor-free after every use. No more scrubbing, jamming your gigantic hands in the tiny mouth of your bottle, hand yoga, or musty smell, ever. The UV-C LED technology built into the bottle’s cap zaps away odor-causing bacteria and harmful viruses so your bottle never smells, your water is purified, and you can drink confidently anywhere you are in the world.

The LARQ Bottle activates self-cleaning every 2 hours so you don’t even have to think about whether or not your bottle is clean, but if you want, you can press the button for on-demand cleaning and water purification. Press twice for Adventure Mode which activates a 3-minute cleaning cycle for those “is this water safe to drink?” moments.

There are a bunch of methods for cleaning your water bottle, but the best way is prevention. You should always wash your bottle with soap every time you use it. If this is not feasible for you, join the club! The LARQ Bottle is your best bet for a stink-free sip every time. No daily cleanings, no scrubbing, no fuss–and no need to attempt discrete sniff tests again. Because your water and bottle should smell like–well, nothing.


9 Essentials to build your own home gym

​Every fitness journey is different and the most impactful thing you can do is to find a workout routine that works for you so you’ll stick with it.

Easier said than done, right?

Working out at home makes training accessible which is why a lot of people opt to invest in their own equipment. It can even be more cost-effective than getting a gym membership you’ll never use. There are great ways to get a good sweat in without having to go to a commercial gym.

First, always start off with a plan, whether that’s a list of sets & reps to complete for each of your workouts, or the type of workout you’ll be doing for a certain duration. If you go in with no game plan, chances are your workout won’t be as productive and will deter you from trying it again. Establish goals for yourself–whether that is to lose weight or gain muscle mass and do your research on the types of muscle groups you want to work on, follow some fitness Youtubers, or download fitness apps that can help guide you if you’re stuck.

Setting up your own at-home gym and don’t know where to start? Here are some home gym essentials that will motivate you to continue working out in the comfort of your own home.

Exercise Mat

If you’re exercising indoors, you might want to protect your flooring from weights and jumping with an exercise mat or yoga mat. Choose something with more or less cushioning depending on what you’ll be using it for; thicker mats are great for floor exercises on harder surfaces, and thinner ones where you need less cushion but still need a clean designated area to do your workouts.

For exercising in a garage or outdoors, extra-thick interlocking exercise mats are perfect to fit your space. Let’s say you drop your dumbbells–you won’t chip them on your floor. It acts as a space for yoga and strength training alike and it’s a little easier on the knees if you’re doing jump squats or HIIT.

Buy it hereProSource Interlocking Protective Cushioned Exercise Mat


If you’re planning to do some strength training to build muscle and tone, dumbbells will be a staple in your new at-home gym. You can use them for isolated workouts (bicep curls, shoulder raises, etc.) or compound movements (weighted walking lunges or weighted squats). Go with a weight you’re comfortable with–they shouldn’t be too light for you and should tense up your muscles after 1-2 sets of reps.

Depending on your fitness goals and types of workouts you may want to do lighter or heavier weights. For example, if you’re looking to combine yoga movements with high intensity, opt for 5lb or 8lb weights, or if you’re looking to gain more muscle mass, go with an adjustable dumbbell set so you can increase weight as you get stronger.

Buy it hereCAP Dumbbells

Bench (incline or flat)

A bench (or a really stable chair) can be helpful for tricep dips, step-ups, leg lifts and a whole lot of other workouts. The benefit of a fitness bench is that it’s built for working out and will be more stable than your most stable chair–which tend to be more weighted on one side.

Buy it hereMarcy Utility Training Flat Bench

LARQ Bottle

The LARQ self-cleaning water bottle is an essential for staying healthy and hydrated. You never want to be without a water bottle, especially without the LARQ water bottle, because it self-cleans to keep your bottle and water bacteria and odor-free. Powerful UV-C LED light breaks down the DNA of bacteria and viruses to make your water safe to drink and keeps your bottle from smelling–that’s why you never need to wash it! That means less time prepping for the gym and more time actually working out.

Buy it hereLARQ BottleLimited Edition LARQ Bottle Sleeve


Add a bit of cardio to your at-home workout routine with a kettlebell! You’ve probably seen people swing these around–the swinging motion builds a bit of resistance as you’re doing each move so you’re working out in a different way than you would with dumbbells.

Buy it hereCAP Fitness Kettlebell

Resistance bands

Resistance bands are super versatile for adding resistance to bodyweight exercises to help tone and strengthen your body. Intensify your squats, target your biceps, to strengthen and tone your back muscles and even for pilates movements.

Buy it here:

Jump rope

A great way to get your cardio in is jump roping. You always want to do a warm-up before jumping into your workout to get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles. A light jump rope is ideal for speed to get your heart rate up–boxers and MMA fighters use these to maximize cardio sessions.

Buy it hereSurvival Cross Jump Rope

Medicine ball

This soft weighted medicine ball is used to add weight to exercises like sit-ups or side lunges to increase intensity. They’re a little easier to grip for certain workouts opposed to dumbbells or kettlebells–you’ll find weighted Russian twists easier with these too! You can also incorporate workouts like a squat-press-throw, v-ups, and rolling push-ups to your workouts with ease.

Buy it hereA2ZCARE Toning Weighted Medicine ball

Fitness apps

If you’re planning on working out at home and need some direction, there are some great fitness apps out there that can help guide you! Nike Training Club or NTC is one of our favorites because it’s free, has a ton of variety in terms of workouts that you could do, has video tutorials in the workouts so there won’t be too much downtime in-between moves, and sets the interval times for you so all you need to do is listen for the next move.

The gym equipment you may need will be different depending on the type of workouts you’ll be doing so plan accordingly! We think these are great basics to get you started on the right foot–or should we say… sneaker?


Why You Should Switch to Natural Deodorant

​You’ve probably heard the buzz all around the internet about natural deodorants, and you’re probably wondering–what’s the hype about? Natural deos have been on the scene longer than you think, but are gaining quite a bit of attention due to a couple of studies that may have found a correlation between chemicals used in conventional deodorants and diseases like Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.

Although results are not quite conclusive, studies have shown a possible correlation between aluminum on diseases like Alzheimer’s and breast cancer, leading to the rise of natural deodorant. Many wellness experts are urging people to put down the aluminum-laden antiperspirants and pick up natural deodorants.

Note the difference

To learn more about conventional deodorants/antiperspirants, we sat down with JP Mastey, CEO of Corpus Naturals, an all-natural deodorant company founded on creating artisanal scented deodorants that are effective and environmentally friendly. “Conventional skin products contain ingredients that are potentially harmful. Deodorants are a leave-on product meaning that you remain exposed to the ingredients for a lot longer than you would with a product you rinse off” Mastey explains. Antiperspirants–what we’ve used over the last few decades to ensure that our pits were dry even after stress or activity–use aluminum-based compounds to temporarily block your sweat ducts and stop the flow of sweat to the surface of the skin.

Deodorants, on the other hand, aim to neutralize body odor and do not control or block sweat from releasing. For this reason, some people are hesitant to try natural deodorants, but news flash–sweating is natural and we shouldn’t try to stop it from happening if it means potentially harming our health. In fact, by using antiperspirants, Mastey says “there’s a concern that [chemicals in conventional antiperspirants and deodorants] can bioaccumulate. And more concerning is that deodorant is applied near anatomy (lymph nodes, breast tissue, vital organs, etc.) that is particularly sensitive to endocrine disruptors. When you’re considering switching to natural products, deodorant is a very good place to start.”

Years of studies on the effects of aluminum-based compounds found in conventional antiperspirants have shown a potential risk for the development of Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. However, the studies do not provide solid evidence of causation, but many still prefer to err on the side of caution by using natural aluminum-free deodorants. I mean, why introduce more chemicals do your body if there are so many natural options out there?

Sensitive skin

In addition to being aluminum-free, natural deodorants are gentler on the skin so people with skin sensitivities may want to try a few natural options out if conventional deodorants aren’t working out.

Corpus Naturals, which launched in October 2018, has quickly become our favorite all-natural deodorant–even after trying out a ton on the market. It is a completely naturally-derived, effective vegan deodorant with refined, natural fragrances. It is a water-based, has a long-lasting formula using sustainable manufacturing practices, and it’s made in the USA. There are 5 scents available: No. Green, The Botanist, Santalum, Cedar Flora, and Third Rose. To make selecting the perfect scent easy, they even include a detailed description and video about each one including a chart of the notes in each scent.

Baking soda in deodorants

Baking soda is used in some natural deodorants because it is an effective natural remedy for combatting body odor but gets a bad rep for causing skin irritation and rashes. While some have exhibited such side effects, the cause is not the ingredient itself but the concentration of baking soda. It can cause rashes and irritation due to its alkaline pH if used in high concentrations. When a formula with baking soda is done right, the baking soda should not cause a reaction although a small number of people can’t use baking soda on the skin due to impaired skin function. There are natural deodorant companies who are aware of this subset that can’t tolerate baking soda though, like Corpus Naturals, that substitute baking soda with tapioca starch instead to mitigate the likelihood of irritation or rashes.

If you notice a rash forming on your underarms, discontinue use of any underarm products and seek medical attention.

Not all natural deodorants are created equal

If you’re new to natural deodorants, you’ll want to do a bit of research on the ingredients before you get started. It is quite easy for companies to get away with slapping the word “natural” on their products and this word is not regulated with household or personal hygiene products. Some natural deodorants contain fragrances (the term fragrances is typically used for artificial perfumes), or other additives that aren’t natural at all. Let’s face it, if you’re not getting the real thing, then what’s the point in shopping for “natural” in the first place?

The great thing is there are some brands out there that are all-natural and did the R&D to make their deodorant safe, effective, and environmentally friendly. Corpus Naturals’ CEO, JP Mastey (former CEO of Baxter of California), spent years developing their natural deodorants. “We have pushed the bounds of what people have come to expect from natural. Every detail is carefully considered. Even down to our green box which had to be custom made just for us to get that perfect tone of green. Our container and packaging are made in factories powered by hydroelectric energy and our fill is made with solar power”, Mastey explains, and the quality speaks for itself.

Right down to the scents, Mastey has set the bar for artisanal fragrances with scent complexities that mimic high-end perfumes without being overbearing. The result is a light scent with layers of aroma that feel like you, but without the B.O. No single-note essential oils here (because we don’t want to smell like a yoga studio). What’s more, the fragrances are created with resins, distillates, concretes, extracts, and more–nothing synthetic.


To find out more about the process of how natural deodorants are created, we took the liberty to ask JP Mastey, CEO of Corpus Naturals–why natural deodorants?

JP: My motivation was personal. In 2015 I was expecting my first child. In the process of preparing our home, I went from someone that read ingredient panels to obsessing about the idea of clean and safe ingredients. All of the “natural” product I found was either not really natural, or felt like you were making a sacrifice on aesthetics, scent, texture or performance. I was prepared to do it better.

I have a lot of experience in the industry (I was the owner of Baxter of California for over 10 years before it was acquired by L’Oreal in 2013) and in the mid-2000’s we made several futile attempts on creating natural formulations and gave up since we just could not get it right. Move ahead just one decade later and natural + effective has been established. The science has delivered on the promise. The major ingredient suppliers have put major effort into making safe and bio-based alternatives and that has made product formulation easier and effective. This is what made CORPUS possible and the time was right.

There’s a lot of love that went into creating the scents that are so unique to Corpus. We asked Mastey to walk us through the process of creating these signature scents:

JP: It is not synthetic, and it’s more than essential oils. How did I create natural fragrances that smell like fine fragrances?

Let’s start with the differences. Synthetic fragrances are made of a variety of substances many of which are derived from petroleum-based chemicals. Chances are you spent most of your life spritzing the compounds on your skin unknowingly exposing yourself to potential health risks (carcinogens, allergens, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins and more). The term “fragrance” can mask numerous ingredients that you might be trying to avoid, but end up consuming and wearing due to the cryptic nature of the term “Fragrance” on the ingredient you read.

Next, you have essential oils (oils extracted from plants). These are surely natural but are very limited in variety when it comes to perfume ingredients. They tend to lack complexity, longevity, and consistency (due to weather).

That brings us to natural fragrance and why we use it. Natural fragrance is also limited in variety, but greater options than essential oils. So while it is somewhere in the middle of synthetics and essential oils, it’s much closer to the limited range of essential oils.

Natural fragrances start with essential oils. In addition to essential oils, natural fragrances also use oleoresins, distillates, fractions, concretes, absolutes, and extracts. All of these materials are extracted directly from the plant source, but each plant releases its fragrance materials differently. So, for instance, Rosemary essential oil can be easily extracted from a plant through steam distillation, but true Vanilla comes only in an absolute.

The use of natural fragrances gives us a wider palette to work with, however, it is still very limited and challenging in comparison to the world of traditional perfumery and chemical compounds (synthetic).

Right now we are still not able to duplicate many synthetic notes with their natural equivalent. The typical Musk and Aldehyde notes that are used in perfumery are only available in synthetic form. Natural perfumery could be compared to the Vegan baker or the sugar-free confectioner. Possible, but only with a great amount of research, development, creativity, and experience can you compete with the expectations set by conventional chemistry.

Lastly, we wanted to know, what is Mastey’s favorite scent from his collection?

JP: You know it’s a little bit like asking a parent who their favorite child is. I love them all the same but in different ways. Cedar Flora was the first iteration and maybe the hardest to get right, so maybe the scent will always remind of how much effort went into the process.


Intrigued? Check out Corpus Naturals for more information about their all-natural deodorant line!


8 Tips on How to Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle with Fitness Gurus @SweatsandtheCity

Summer is just around the corner and we’re starting to feel a little guilty about all those workouts we missed… So naturally, we invited two of our favorite fitness gurus, Elizabeth and Dale from Sweats and the City to give us the inside scoop on how to get fit and stay fit.

Sweats and the City originated as a fitness review platform and has since expanded to all things health and wellness from the perspective of two 20-somethings living in NYC. Their website and Instagram (@sweatsandthecity) serve as inspiration for us to get fit and live healthier lifestyles. Their passion for fitness grew with the launch of Classpass, an app that makes finding and booking studio fitness classes easy. “It inspired us to try a variety of workouts we would have never previously explored. As our eyes opened to the boutique fitness scene, it quickly became a part of our lifestyle.”

Elizabeth and Dale from @SweatsandtheCity in New York City
Courtesy of @SweatsandtheCity

#1 Don’t compare yourself to others

“Originally, we were pushing ourselves in ways that we felt we had to versus what we actually enjoyed and worked for our bodies. It took some time for us to figure this out. Trial and error!” Comparing yourself to others or listening to any of the “fitness scene” noise out there is not the way you want to go, according to E & D. Instead, do what’s right for your body.

#2 Develop a sustainable fitness practice

“More isn’t always more! It’s important to listen to your body, take rest days, and know that just because something is “high intensity” doesn’t mean it will always yield better results. It’s important to think long term. If you’re just starting out, try something lighter like yoga or a slower pilates class … anything to get your body moving and into a routine! If you go from hardly ever working out to Barry’s Bootcamp several times a week, you will likely burn out.”

#3 Find something you enjoy

“If you want fitness to become part of your lifestyle, it’s so critical to find something you enjoy, otherwise, you won’t stick with it!”

#4 Restriction and diets are not sustainable or health

“We keep it [our eating habits] simple and balanced, focusing on lots of whole foods and cooking at home when we can. At the same time, we also see value in enjoying meals out and making sure to treat ourselves!” Some of E & D’s go-to meals during busy schedules are alternative pasta (chickpea or lentil ‘noodles’, hearts of palm pasta, etc.), oven-baked fish, and air-fried vegetables. Check out some of E & D’s easy recipes!

#5 Work out your core

“We love a core workout! Working your core is so important for the long term health of your body and muscles, and is not just for aesthetics. Pilates is amazing for the core–all the planking, pikes and moves on the reformer takes tons of effort to stabilize your core, and can really strengthen it.”

#6 Weight loss starts with what you eat

“We don’t believe in any quick workout fixes or crash diets to lose weight…our focus is on sustainable practices! We believe it’s important to properly nourish your body and keep things balanced. Everyone’s base weight looks totally different, too, so it’s important not to buy into any machines or equipment that tell you you’ll get a 6-pack in 30 days.” Having a balanced diet lays the foundation for weight loss, while workouts will help burn calories and build muscle tone.

#7 Cardio may not be the answer to weight loss

But it can be the answer to a healthy heart according to E & D. “In regards to cardio, we don’t do this for weight loss. Personally, we’ve actually found it to actually make us hungrier! We incorporate it in our routine because 1) it makes us feel good to really sweat, and 2) for other amazing benefits like your heart.”

#8 If you get bored with workouts

Boredom can make you unmotivated to continue your fitness journey. The remedy for this, according to E & D, is to keep exploring different types of studios. “We love dance cardio to bring us out of a workout funk, it keeps things fun and makes the time pass so quickly.”

While we’re all on the edge of our seats for a huge secret here, trust us, the secret to getting fit is being mindful of what you eat and doing what’s right for your body. It can become a fun thing for you to do to break the cycle of eating, sleeping, and working. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take some fitness classes to find what suits you!


How to Reduce Stress

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Overworked? How about just plain exhausted mentally and physically? Yeah, we feel ya. Stress is a part of life–there’s no avoiding it given all of life’s nuances, but what we can do is manage stress in a healthy way. If we don’t it’ll just eat us up inside. For the sake of mental clarity, mental health, and wellbeing–and in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are some ways you can not only manage stress but hopefully reduce it and its negative impacts on your day-to-day life.

#1 Sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to reduce stress. When you keep your mind from resting, it’s getting overworked and overstimulated to the point of getting overwhelmed. Ever heard of the phrase “sleeping it off” or “sleep on it”? Well, getting quality sleep can help your mind to recuperate and can help you solve any glaring issue–no matter how long you’ve been trying to figure it out. Next time you catch yourself spending restless nights on a wall you’ve hit in a project, get some much-needed shuteye–you might just be overthinking it. And you might just be amazed how quickly you can solve it after some rest.

If you’re having trouble getting quality sleep at home, try a sleep vacation!

#2 Exercise

Photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash

Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are less likely to exhibit anxiety or stress. Ergo, science shows that physical stress can help relieve mental stress.

Exercise lowers the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, over time. It increases endorphins which are mood-boosters resulting in an overall happy body and a happy mind. Exercise can also help you sleep better!

#3 Essential oils

Photo by Drew L on Unsplash

Think about everything that makes up a spa, aside from the amazing massages. Some essential oils, in particular, can help reduce stress. Invest in an aromatherapy diffuser of some sort–we love this one from Vitruvi–add a few drops and curl up with a good book. The scent will permeate the room and help you decompress after a long day.

Some relaxing scents include:

  • Lavender – known to soothe and relax you, and help you sleep
  • Ylang Ylang – contains uplifting properties and can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Bergamot – helps to treat stress, depression, and insomnia
  • Chamomile – known to have calming properties and used as a natural anti-depressant, eases worry, irritability and reduces anxiety
  • Vetiver – used most effectively in trauma situations to help ease a person’s nerves; it calms and reassures–best for people experiencing panic attacks and hypersensitivity
  • Rose – helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression

If you don’t have a diffuser on hand, some essential oils can be used topically (they usually come in the form of rollerballs), but make sure you aren’t allergic before use. A great substitute: candles that contain one or more of these soothing scents.

#4 Reduce your caffeine intake

High doses of caffeine can cause jitteriness, irritability, restlessness, and overall can increase anxiety according to studies. This can vary among people and dosages, but if you are experiencing that caffeine is making you anxious or jittery, consider reducing your intake.

#5 Don’t procrastinate

We all do it–sometimes things just get shuffled down our list of priorities and things just getting piled up. To avoid procrastinating, make a task list, either digital or written down, that you can refer to and follow. Schedule in time in your day to take care of a couple of things that are way overdue. The best policy is to do 1-2 tasks per day instead of doing them all in one go–which can be daunting enough to just avoid doing them altogether. Make sure you also schedule in some ‘me time’ to relax and not do anything. It’s all about balance and creating a sustainable lifestyle.

#6 Journal

Writing things down can be therapeutic if you have a lot on your mind. It can be a great option for those who don’t want to share with another person and just need to release some pent-up stress.

If what you’re jotting down is mostly negative, remember to also write some positives about your life, or things you’re grateful for. Being mindful, having gratitude, and reflecting on positive aspects of life can help you alleviate some stress and focus on the bright side even when things seem bleak.

#7 Spend time with loved ones

Photo by Jennifer Regnier on Unsplash

As humans, having a sense of belonging plays a huge role in overall happiness–it’s our nature. Even for you introverts out there (myself included), being alone all the time can take a toll on you. If you’re feeling stressed, consider asking a friend or family member to grab a bite or go out on a stroll. Some quality time, and getting a chance to vent about what’s stressing you out may do a great deal for your mental health.

#8 Practice mindfulness

Part of achieving mental clarity is being mindful–the practice of being present and reducing negative thoughts. This can help relieve stress and grant you clarity.

Meditation is one of the best ways you can start your practice and learn to be present. Don’t overthink it–just be. Check out our walk-through on how to meditate and be mindful.

#9 Physical touch

Aside from being one of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, physical touch is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. A simple hug, kiss, cuddle or even intercourse can help you find release. A weighted blanket can also reduce stress and anxiety as well–without needing another person.

#10 Relax with music

It’s no secret that music can stimulate the brain, but it can also calm the noise in your mind. Listen to soothing jazz or classical music–anything that can help you relax. Some people might even enjoy ambient noise instead of music to decompress. Just find what fits for you, plug in, and relax.

#11 Focus on your breathing

If the stress is overwhelming you, practicing your breathing can help relieve some of that tension. Take deep breaths–this is where meditation can help as well–and try to be present instead of focusing on the stressor.

The scientific explanation? Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system that helps you relax even in periods of stress allowing you to find peace and to be present.

#12 Spend time with your pet

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

If family and friends aren’t within reach, spending time with your pet can help reduce stress and improve your mood. When you care for a pet, your brain releases a chemical known as oxytocin that promotes a positive mood.

#13 Do something you love

Do you love to play music? Do you enjoy bowling? Do you love to play volleyball? Doing something you love can help reduce stress and release endorphins that boost your mood. If you don’t have a hobby, it might be time to find something you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

#14 The power of “no”

Taking on too much and constantly saying “yes” when anyone needs anything can wear you down. We’re human–we can’t do everything. Sometimes you need to say “no”; it doesn’t mean you don’t care or that the task isn’t important enough, and people will understand. You’ll find there is power in being able to say “no” and in being in charge of your own wellbeing.

#15 See a professional

Sometimes stress isn’t just stress; it can have underlying issues or morph into something greater. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your stress, having negative thoughts, or need someone to talk to, seeing a therapist might help. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health–if not more. Knowing when to seek professional help is the best thing you can do for yourself, your wellbeing, and for improving your quality of life.

For information about Mental Health Awareness Month or help and resources, visit: