Reuters’s research experts conducted a survey in 19 super-major cities in the world, concerning protecting women from sexual and cultural abuse, women & health care, women & economy, and women & education.

According to the survey, women living in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, have the worst situation, followed by Karachi, the capital of Pakistan, Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and New Delhi, the capital of India. The best cities for women’s living environment are London, then Tokyo and Paris.

Every aspect of City Women®’s daily post tells them how to care for and care for themselves.


Many people will compare City Women’s fashion with the general fashion trends, but this should not be the case. The range of fashion trends is very limited, and city women’s fashion pursues an “art of life.” Its realm should be to extract the essence from the fashion trend, to refine the true meaning of city women’s fashion, to enrich women’s aesthetics and taste, and to create their own beautiful temperament. City Women’s fashion pursuit is not a passive follow-up, but a rational and skilled control. City Women’s fashion is an all-encompassing concept. Its tentacles penetrate into every aspect of city women’s life. Generally speaking, city women’s fashion should bring them a pleasant mood and elegance, pureness, taste and extraordinary feelings, giving women different temperament and charm, reflect the extraordinary taste of women, exquisite, and reveal personality. Every woman has her own fashion, and city women fashion is a cyclical change.


At a time when work and life are getting faster and faster, what health problems are plaguing our busy city women? What are the similarities and concerns of people living in different cities at different ages?

The over-expenditure of physical strength and mental strength is threatening the health of city women. the survey suggests 73.2% of the respondents were in poor health or worried, and the proportion of women with poor health was 10% higher than that of men. This situation is related to (some) women’s own weak body condition and most women are often involved in housework in addition to work. The survey also showed that sub-health has been growing a clear trend of youthfulness, and the health status of young people was far worse than that of middle-aged people. Young City Women need more planned fitness routine and health tips.

  • Has Sex Been Weird Lately? 5 Ways The Pandemic Is Affecting Sexual Desire
    May 23, 2020 at 03:05PM
    If you’ve noticed some stark changes in your libido since this pandemic started, you’re absolutely not alone. Chronic stress, such as what we’re all experiencing right now throughout the topsy-turvy phases of this pandemic, can significantly impact sexual desire. And interestingly, stress can actually affect different people’s libidos in pretty different ways: Some people can’t stand the thought of sex when they’re stressed, while others seek it out more than ever. And beyond just the stress, spending so much time at home with our partners (or without access to any partners) has created a unique environment that’s having a powerful effect on our libidos. Here are just a few ways the pandemic has affected sex and how to best navigate the changes.

    1. You don’t want sex, period.

    For many people, the overwhelming stress and chaotic emotions triggered by this pandemic have totally drowned their sexual desire. “It takes up a lot of our bandwidth,” explains AASECT-certified sex therapist Jessa Zimmerman. “Just like people might have thought—great, now I’ll have time to clean out that closet or finally plant that garden—they probably aren’t doing it. We have more time but way less motivation and capacity to apply to things that might matter to us.” Some studies have found that, in general, having a stressful life is linked to lower sexual arousal. Part of the problem is that we can’t turn off our worry and get present in the moment, Zimmerman explains. If you’re not paying attention to physical stimuli, it’s hard to get spontaneously turned on. More troublingly, Zimmerman says the type of ongoing background stress many of us are experiencing right now can contribute to what’s called the allostatic load. The allostatic load is the “wear and tear on the regulatory systems in the brain and body” as a result of stress. Essentially, when we’re exposed to prolonged, chronic stress, our body’s alarm system—aka our neural and neuroendocrine responses to stress—remains at a heightened state without returning back to normal, which may over time cause psychological consequences and even make us more susceptible to illness. “It drains us physically, depleting our energy,” Zimmerman explains. “Our brains are engaged with issues of survival and not available for pleasure.”
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    What to do.

    Cut yourself a little slack, says AASECT-certified sex therapist Holly Richmond, Ph.D., LMFT, CST. Your sexuality is a part of you as a whole, and if you as a whole are feeling low, so will your sexuality. “We like to think that self and sex are dualistic,” she explains. “We externalize sex. [We mistakenly believe] it’s an act we do, rather than really seeing it as a natural and a holistic piece of our well-being.” Think of it like this, Richmond says: If you had a bad cold, you probably wouldn’t be surprised at all that you’re not in the mood for sex. Think of your mental health the same way you’re viewing your physical health. You wouldn’t expect yourself to want sex if you were physically sick, so similarly, try to adjust your expectations when you’re mentally under the weather.

    2. You’re hornier than ever.

    Not everyone responds to stress the same way. For many people, sex is a form of stress relief. It’s a way to distract yourself from all the bad that’s going on and get some pleasure and good feelings flowing, both physically and spiritually. A small recent study found that women are having more sex during COVID and have been experiencing generally higher sexual desire. Some past studies have also found a link between stressful days and higher odds of having sex. “People differ in how their brains react under stress. Many people have a withdrawal response, but others have an approach response,” Zimmerman explains. “So while many people feel shut down in our period of shut in, other people are going to experience more desire.” For people who are quarantining with a partner, spending all that extra time together might naturally lend itself to having more sex. Now that being said, the aforementioned recent study also found that women’s overall quality of sex was lower during the pandemic than it was before it, despite the increased frequency of sex. Even though they’re having more sex, women’s sexual functioning (which includes ability to get aroused, lubrication, and ease of orgasm) was found to be significantly lower. That may be because of all the physical and psychological effects of stress on libido previously mentioned. We also might be having more sex to cope with our feelings, but still so stressed out that we’re not really able to enjoy it. And of course, for single people or those quarantining without a partner, you might find yourself really missing physical touch—perhaps more than you normally would. One recent study found single people are taking dating more seriously because of COVID, and dating apps have seen a lot of increased activity since the pandemic started.

    What to do.

    If you’re having a lot of satisfying sex with your partner these days, great! Nothing to change there. But if you’re having a lot of unsatisfying sex, as the above research suggests, Zimmerman suggests taking some pressure off it. Get out of the mindset that every sexual experience needs to involve intercourse and mind-blowing orgasms; expectations and performing a routine just for the sake of it are exactly what will make sex feel unsatisfying. Instead, lean into what your body is really craving. Focus more on that, whatever it is. “Create some room just to share pleasure and connection,” she suggests. “It may look different than it used to or than you want it to, but lean on each other, stay connected, and use your relationship as a resource and a respite from the storm.” And if you’re single, there are so many ways to make virtual dating great—and don’t forget the joys of phone sex and good sexting.

    3. You’re not feeling your body right now.

    A lot of people right now are struggling with their body image, says Richmond. Many people aren’t getting the same amount of exercise and movement they usually do, she points out, and many of us are also indulging in comfort foods to help us cope. There’s nothing wrong with either of those things, but if you attach a lot of your confidence to your body size, then the weight gain you might be experiencing right now may be affecting how you feel about yourself. Plenty of research shows poor body image affects sexual desire and satisfaction. “If you’re not feeling good in your body, it also makes sense that you wouldn’t want to be intimate because you’ll be in your head and thinking about what you look like instead of what things are feeling like,” Richmond explains. It also doesn’t help that, because many people are working from home and seldom leaving the house, a lot of people aren’t getting dressed or grooming themselves the way we normally do. Our hair is overgrown, our skin is breaking out, and we’re wearing sweatpants 24/7. That’s bad news both for our own sexual desire and our partner’s desire, Richmond points out. If your partner isn’t putting much effort into how they look, you might simply be less likely to get turned on by them. Again, no one is doing anything wrong here—it’s just what’s happening.

    What to do.

    First of all, it’s worth interrogating why you’re attaching so much of your confidence to your body’s appearance in the first place. It’s a great time to learn how to love your body exactly how it is. As far as the sex goes, if you’re interested in having more of it, find ways to make yourself feel good about your body. Exercise certainly does that for a lot of people, so if that’s you, it may be worth trying to prioritize going for that run outside or doing one of those workout videos at home. But it also may just be about putting a little effort into your presentation the way you would for a normal day out, Richmond says. It helps both partners tap into their libidos again when both people are going out of their way to look good for each other. “Pay a little bit of attention to how we look and present ourselves,” Richmond recommends. “I know that probably sounds a little objectifying, but I think for all of us … we appreciate how our partners look. We love finding our partners sexy.”

    4. You have no alone time.

    Contrary to what you might think, spending every waking moment with your partner is actually not conducive to sexual desire. When you’re living in such close quarters with your partner, no matter how much you might love them and find them attractive, that lack of alone time will mostly just make you want to get away from them—not get closer. “That idea of missing each other and longing for each other, yearning for each other, that’s shot. That’s out the window because nobody’s going anywhere,” Richmond explains. “We don’t have time to miss our partner.” As renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel often says, “fire needs air.” Being able to have time away from someone—to feel yourself as a separate person from them—is part of what creates desire. “A lot of us see our partners as their sexiest when they’re doing their thing, when they’re in their element, whether it’s going off to work in a suit or whether it’s working out or something that makes them uniquely them,” Richmond says. “We’re just not getting that now.” The problem of lack of alone time is further exacerbated if you’re parents. You have no alone time from your partner and your kids. You’re also overburdened with childcare responsibilities and have no break from your desexualized role of “parent.”

    What to do.

    Carve out space for yourself, Richmond says. It might seem counterintuitive, but spending more time on your own away from your partner can be the key to you experiencing sexual desire for them again. If you’re working from home together, consider working in different rooms so you have plenty of hours a day away from each other. You can also try to go on frequent walks or take on hobbies that are exclusively yours, not shared with your partner. If you have kids, it’s up to you whether it’s important to you to try to work on your sex life right now. You may feel that it’s just not a priority of yours right now, which is totally fine. “Do what you can,” Richmond suggests to parents. “If you feel like you can put the kids in front of a movie and they’ll stay there or their tablets and they’ll stay there for an hour, go with your partner to your room. You don’t have to have sex, but just cultivate intimacy some way that’s not focused on wrangling the kids or something kids-centric.”

    5. Your routines are killing your desire.

    Many people gravitated toward a daily routine to try to create some structure in these unpredictable times. But routine isn’t conducive to desire either, Richmond says, especially for people living with their partners. Research tells us that couples who engage in novel experiences tend to have a better sex life. When we’re doing new things and having variety in our daily lives, we have more energy, an improved mood, and more to connect over and share with our partners. It’s having that new, fresh stimuli that sparks the excitement and energy necessary for getting turned on. “Novelty is the seed of human desire,” Richmond notes. Instead, we’re eating dinner in front of the TV and watching two hours of Netflix before heading straight to bed every single night, stuck in the same pattern for the last two months if not longer.

    What to do.

    In the midst of a pandemic, we have less access to variety and self-expansion, but there are still ways to mix things up and keep things fresh. Anything you can do to change up your daily or nightly routine a few times a week can make a big difference, Richmond says. It might mean eating dinner together outside, in a park, or even on your fire escape. Or perhaps it’s just turning off the TV at night and forcing yourself to have an interesting conversation. “Anything we do that adds newness or freshness to our relationship has a good chance of creating our libido,” she says. “It’s really about changing the environment.”

    How important is sex during a pandemic, anyway?

    The answer will depend on how important sex is to you in general and how you in particular respond to stress. “If people are facing issues of survival—housing, finances, health—sex may well fall to the bottom,” Zimmerman says. “But sex is also a lifeline, an enlivening, pleasurable aspect to being human—and we may not want to throw that away or neglect it while we’re navigating the situation. We could choose to grab moments of pleasure and aliveness when we can; perhaps that’s an antidote to the fear and despair we are feeling.” Pleasure matters, even in times of hardship—perhaps especially in times of hardship.
    Author Kelly Gonsalves | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Why Coconut Flour May Be The Very Thing Your Baking Projects Need
    May 23, 2020 at 02:32PM
    1 What is it? 2 Benefits 3 How to use 4 Bottom line
    Whether you’re on a mission to cut gluten from your diet or you’re just trying to get more creative in the kitchen, you might be slightly (if not totally) overwhelmed by the vast variety of flours on the market these days. From oat and buckwheat, to almond and amaranth, there is a seemingly endless array of options out there. One type of flour in particular that’s been popping up in everything from baked goods to gluten-free breads and pastries is coconut flour, but some wonder if the sweet, textured powder is the right option for them.

    What is coconut flour?

    “Coconut flour is an allergen-friendly flour that is derived from the dried meat of a coconut,” says dietitian-nutritionist, Dana K. Monsees, MS, CNS, LDN. The texture of coconut flour is soft and light, while the flavor has a subtly sweet coconut flavor. The flour is a byproduct of making coconut milk; the coconut meat is soaked, then the pulp is dried out and ground into the flour. “It’s gluten-free so that’s great,” says New York City–based holistic nurse practitioner Victoria Albina, N.P., MPH. “It has a delicious natural sweetness, allowing you to use less sweetener in your baking.” Coconut flour is naturally gluten-free, which makes it an ideal option for people who either can’t tolerate gluten or are seeking out ways to reduce their intake. The nutritional info for coconut flour is as follows:
    • Calories: 120
    • Carbs: 18 grams
    • Sugar: 6 grams
    • Fiber: 10 grams
    • Protein: 6 grams
    • Fat: 4 grams
    • Iron: 20% of the daily value (DV)
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    5 health benefits of coconut flour

    There are a variety of reasons coconut flour might make a solid option to integrate into your diet:

    Additional nutrients:

    “Coconut flour is dried and finely ground coconut meat,” says registered dietician Danielle Fineberg, M.S., R.D. “Per ¼ cup, it’s a great source of fiber (10g), has 6g of protein per ¼ cup, and boasts 12% of your daily recommended iron.”

    Digestion benefits.

    Most of the fiber included in coconut flour is insoluble, meaning it can help food move easily through your gut and it adds bulk to your stool. Coconut flour also includes small amounts of other kinds of fibers that can feed the good bacteria in your gut and improve digestion.

    May promote weight loss.

    Coconut flour itself should not be considered a magic bullet for weight loss by any means, but because of its higher protein and fiber content, some experts believe it may help keep you satiated.

    May support heart health.

    Research has shown that eating 15–25 grams of coconut fiber a day can help lower total blood cholesterol by 11%, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 9%, and blood triglycerides by up to 22%.

    May support healthy blood sugar.

    Because of its high fiber content, coconut flour may help keep blood sugar levels stable by slowing down how quickly sugar enters the bloodstream.

    How does it compare to other flours?

    Coconut flour can be used in just about any kind of baked good, but it’s worth noting that it may take some experimentation to get the ratios just right. “It is high in fiber and naturally gluten and grain-free for those with food allergies or for special diets,” Monsees says. “It generally absorbs more liquid than other flours, so it cannot be substituted one to one for other flours.” Some home cooks find that substituting just a ¼ to ⅓ cup coconut flour for every full cup of all-purpose flour does the trick, and some say adding an egg to coconut flour helps bind the flour together and promote rising. If coconut flour isn’t available in your local grocery story, but you’d still like to try subbing in a gluten-free option in standard recipes, you might consider alternatives like buckwheat, sorghum, teff, or brown rice flour. One option that’s particularly popular is almond flour, made from from ground, blanched almonds. Like coconut flour, it contains small amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium, and is rich in vitamin E. However, it has more calories, higher fat content, and a different texture than coconut flour, so it may not fit into every recipe. The nutritional profile of almond flour per quarter cup is approximately:
    • 150 calories
    • 6 grams of protein
    • 11 grams of fat
    • 6 grams of carbohydrates
    • 3 grams of fiber
    • 1 gram of sugar
    • 60 mg of calcium
    • 2 mg of iron

    Recipes that use coconut flour

    Ready to start experimenting with coconut flour but don’t know where to start? Here are some suggestions:

    The bottom line

    Whether you’re looking for a gluten-free option or just need to shake things up in the kitchen, coconut flour can be a healthy, nutritious baking option. You may need to experiment in order to get the proportions just right, but once you figure out how to work with its distinct texture, coconut flour can enhance your recipes with added fiber, protein, and yummy sweetness.
    Author Michelle Konstantinovsky | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Dealing With Hip Pain From Running? Here’s What You Can Do About It
    May 23, 2020 at 01:38PM
    You’re gliding towards the final mile of that epic run, when you start to notice an annoying pain in your hip. What gives? You may have experienced general tightness or discomfort in your hips after sitting in the same place for too long. But hip pain from running is different, and may require more specific measures for treatment and recovery. Whether you’re a new runner or a seasoned one, hip pain is common. Here’s what you should know about recognizing and managing it, according to experts.
    In This Article
    1 Symptoms
    2 Causes
    3 Treatment
    4 Prevention

    What are hip pain symptoms?

    Common areas you may experience hip pain include the front of the hip, the sitz bones (the very bottom of your pelvis), or on the outside of the hip where the iliotibial (IT) band runs, says physical therapist Meghan Cass, PT, DPT. The symptoms can vary depending on the tissue or structure involved, Sarah Kostyukovsky, PT, DPT, OCS explains. For example, some hip problems may cause sharp pain inside the hip joint, while others can lead to dull, achy pains. “Even if you’re feeling pain in the hip, it might not necessarily be caused by the hip,” Cass says. “It might be because your calves or your core aren’t quite as strong.”
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    What causes hip pain?

    One of the most common causes of hip pain is overuse. This is especially common in runners, Kostyukovsky explains, since it’s a repetitive, high-impact movement. Mechanics (aka how you’re running) can also play a role in hip pain, as can external factors like footwear or your running surface, says Cass. If you’re wearing shoes that are too old, or not suited for your feet, it could have an impact. “Some great running surfaces are wood chip trails or groomed grass as they will absorb more of the load and take strain off of the body,” Cass says. “Concrete is the hardest, most dense surface to run on.” If you live in a more urban area, she recommends running on asphalt or over concrete sidewalks when safe. The body itself also plays a significant role in potential hip pain, says Cass. Some things are out of your control, like the height and arch of your feel. “Flat feet or pronation with running which can lead to the hip muscles having to work harder to support the body,” she explains. While others factors can be addressed, like your hip strength, flexibility, and balance.

    How can you treat hip pain?

    There are several specific injuries that may lead to hip pain (hip strain, stress fractures, tendonitis, etc.), and it can be difficult to identify which one you’re suffering from. In order to do so, Cass recommends reaching out to a medical professional—especially if the pain is interfering with daily activities. If you find it difficult to reach down and pick up your young kids, a basket of laundry, or sleep well, you should probably seek help from a primary care doctor, Cass says. If your pain is minor, however, there are a few ways you could try treating it at home. For starters, it’s important to rest and limit the amount of pressure on your injured hip. If your hips feel tight, but not injured, you may benefit from yoga practices or hip opening stretches. Stretching, strengthening, and building a routine is important for runners, Cass says. “Dynamic stretching is what we recommend before running. That’s where you’re moving your muscles. It helps promote blood flow and a little bit more elasticity and flexibility to the muscles,” she says. Dynamic stretches may include a walking hamstring stretch or a walking lunge. After running, Cass recommends static stretching. “That’s where you’re holding a stretch for a long time—it’s usually what you picture when you think of stretching.” Working with a personal trainer or physical therapist can also help you figure out the best way to manage your hip pain.

    How can you prevent hip pain?

    When it comes to preventing hip pain, Cass refers back to the three main causes: overuse, mechanics, and external factors. “If you have mechanical difficulties, problems with footwear, and a weak core, you have to address all of it,” Cass says, “but prioritize what’s going to make the most impact.” If overuse is your biggest concern, cross-training in addition to running can reduce the impact. “The biggest way to prevent hip pain is to stay strong throughout the hips, core, and ankles,” she says. Some great options include supplemental yoga or Pilates workouts, to increase strength in areas you’re noticing deficits. If the soles of your shoes are run down and lacking support, it may be time to buy a new pair. Generally, you should swap them out after 300 to 400 miles of wear. Since everyone’s feet are different, it’s nearly impossible to recommend a “best” running shoe. Instead, Cass suggests finding a small, local running store to find the best shoe for your needs. Overall, listening to your body by stretching, resting, or cross-training when necessary, can help prevent injury.

    Is it okay to run if you have hip pain?

    “Muscle soreness or a slight strain is okay to run through,” Kostyukovsky says. “This type of pain will typically get better with a light jog.” If the pain continues for days or weeks, and is sharper and more significant, you should stop. Running coach Elizabeth Corkum primarily recommends rest and medical assistance if your hip pain persists. “Sometimes hip pain could be corrected with the help of a physical therapist.”
    Author Abby Moore | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • We Predict: These Will Be The Quarantine Cocktails Of The Summer
    May 23, 2020 at 12:09PM
    While a lot of the country is still self-isolating, it’s also Memorial Day weekend and while we’re honoring our service men and women, we hopefully are also taking some time to relax and kick off the summer, even while we’re sticking close to home. So whether you’re stepping out onto your porch, waving to friends at the end of your driveway, saluting passing servicemen and women, or leaning out your window or onto your fire escape, we’re wishing you a start to a safe and healthy summer. In that spirit, we reached out to some of our favorite R.D.’s and food experts to tell us what healthy cocktails and mocktails they’ll be sipping on this season. You heard it here first, these are the quarantine cocktails of the summer…cheers!

    Blueberry-Infused Gin Spritz

    Blueberry Infused Gin Spritz
    Image by Jill Chen / Stocksy
    One of my personal favorite hacks is to infuse spirits. My fiancé works in the spirits industry and likes to tinker around with different recipes. He recently made a blueberry-infused gin by soaking frozen wild blueberries in gin overnight and then straining the berries out the next day. This makes a delicious base for warm-weather drinks—I personally enjoy it with sparkling water and a generous splash of lemon or lime juice. It also plays well with watermelon juice or a homemade blueberry syrup (so easy to make with water, frozen blueberries, and your sweetener of choice—I have been using allulose in mine). You could also do this with vodka or tequila, if preferred. Another favorite is a strawberry-infused bourbon made with frozen strawberries for a summery twist on cocktails made with darker spirits. I also really enjoy a Campari spritz, which is made with Campari, prosecco, and club soda. It’s a bit less sweet than an Aperol spritz, but still light and refreshing. All that said, most of the time I actually prefer a mocktail, and I think this summer we’ll be seeing a lot of simple and delicious mocktails. My go-to is sparkling water with flavored butters or a shrub—it’s like a healthier soda. —Jess Cording, R.D., author of The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits For Managing Stress & Anxiety
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    Watermelon Mint Cooler

    Watermelon infused water with lime and mint
    Image by Ellie Baygulov / Stocksy
    It’s refreshing, hydrating, easy on the stomach, and tastes like the Fourth of July in a glass! To make it, add 3 to 4 mint leaves to a highball glass, then top with 1 ounce Tito’s or your favorite vodka, 1/2 can Watermelon Waterloo (6 ounces) and 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or to taste, also optional). Use a fork to gently crush the mint leaves at the bottom of the glass and stir a few times, then top with a few ice cubes and a few chunks of seedless watermelon. You could also use the Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions Watermelon & Mint, with the juicy watermelon flavor already added. —Chef Laura Lea, author of Simply Laura Lea

    Hibiscus Ginger Fizz

    Sparkling Pink Cocktail / Fizzy Beverage
    Image by Cameron Whitman / Stocksy
    I love this Hibiscus Ginger Fizz because it’s light and refreshing. Hibiscus is rich in vitamin C and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals to support skin health, and ginger kombucha supports digestive wellbeing, which is important for glowing skin. Brew double strength hibiscus tea: add two tea bags of hibiscus tea (I like Traditional Medicinals) to 1 cup boiling water and let steep for ten minutes. Carefully squeeze out teabags with a spoon. Add two ounces of the tea to a tall glass with ice. Add 1/2 cup ginger kombucha and stir. Taste and if you wish, sweeten with just a touch of maple syrup, but I like it unsweetened so it has more of an herbal flavor. Top with sparkling water (passionfruit or mango flavor is great here!) and a sprig of mint or slice of lime. And if you want to add a shot of rum, that might be delicious too 🙂 —Desiree Nielsen, R.D., author of Eat More Plants Cookbook

    The Kombucha Mule

    Moscow Mule
    Image by Martí Sans / Stocksy
    I learned about this concept from my friend Talia Pollock who has a recipe in her new book, Party in Your Plants. It’s essentially a Moscow Mule but using ginger kombucha instead of ginger ale. It’s a really easy healthful swap, and while plain Jane kombucha is great and all, I think many of us could use a little vodka in it right about now. To make it, combine 4 oz ginger kombucha, 1 1/2 oz vodka, 1/6 oz lime juice, and mint to garnish. I’ve been using some mint from my mother’s garden and it’s excellent!
    Author Olessa Pindak | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • We’ve Found The Secret To Soft, Hydrated Curls (It’s In Your Kitchen!)
    May 23, 2020 at 11:32AM
    Curl community, gather. If you’re on the hunt for soft, frizz-free strands, allow us to introduce you to the common ingredient that may be missing from your vanity: flaxseeds. You might be familiar with sprinkling them over a cozy bowl of oatmeal or as a vegan egg-substitute in baking recipes. But for hair care? Not so much. Lo and behold, these superfood seeds can do so much for our strands. Here’s why hairstylists love a good flaxseed gel, plus how to make one yourself for shiny, hydrated curls no matter your type.

    What is flaxseed gel?

    Flaxseeds are abundant in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a great plant-based addition to any breakfast. And the benefits persist in gel form: Flaxseeds yield a natural, strong hold gel that provides your strands with plenty of good-for-you nutrients. “It’s an ingredient that the curl community really loves,” says Michelle O’Connor, texture specialist and artistic director at MATRIX.
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    What are the benefits?

    For those with curly or natural hair, you’ll want to have a flaxseed gel in your hair care arsenal. Why? Because it offers the perfect balance of moisture and definition. “The biggest concerns for curly hair are dryness, lack of growth, and frizz,” explains O’Connor. Flaxseed gel targets each hair care woe, without any fear of flaking or becoming too stiff. That’s because flaxseeds are rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which can nourish dry, damaged hair. Fatty acids have been touted for their ability to provide moisture (for your hair and your skin, it turns out). Check their molecular makeup: Fatty acids have a hydrophilic end that aids in moisture retention, and a hydrophobic end that boosts shine. Vitamin E, on the other hand, has a significant role in fending off damage; a popular antioxidant, the vitamin can combat free radicals as well as reduce scalp inflammation. When used topically on the hair shaft, it can “create greater elasticity in the hair while adding shine,” Austin-based hairstylist Sarah Lund tells us about vitamin E in hair care. So for those with damaged curls practically screaming for moisture, a flaxseed gel can quench those strands and give them just the right amount of bounce. Celebrity hairstylist and Biolage brand ambassador, Sunnie Brook, agrees: “It will give your curls all over definition,” she tells mbg.

    How to make your own DIY gel at home.

    While there are plenty of flaxseed gels on the market, it’s just as easy to whip up your own mixture at home (really!). To start, here’s what you’ll need for the recipe:
    • 1 ½ cup purified or distilled water
    • ¼ to ½ cup aloe vera juice
    • 3 to 4 Tbsp flaxseeds (depending on how strong of a hold you’re looking for; the more flaxseeds, the stronger the hold)
    • Fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or pantyhose (work with what you got)
    • Measuring cup
    • A jar with a lid
    • Essential oils (optional, but recommended for a sensorial experience)
    Once you have your supplies, follow the six-step guide:
    1. Place the water and flaxseeds in a small pot on medium-high heat, stirring often. You’ll want to be vigilant here, “otherwise, the flax seeds will stick to the bottom,” explains product formulator and founder of LOLI Beauty, Tina Hedges.
    2. Keep stirring until the mixture forms a gel-like consistency (it usually takes just a few minutes).
    3. Remove from the heat when the liquid starts to boil and a film of thick, white foam comes to the surface.
    4. Filter the mixture through your cheesecloth or strainer (or pantyhose), saving the liquid in a bowl. You can discard the flaxseeds after you’ve strained all the liquid. “There should be about ½ cup of liquid left over,” Hedges explains. If you have more liquid, that’s fine! Just measure out ½ cup and either save or discard the rest. If you have too little, you can add aloe vera juice to bring it back to ½ cup.
    5. At this point, you can add in eight drops of the essential oils of your choice (we love rosemary for its antifungal properties or lavender for its calming sensation). Shake or stir the mixture super well, then pour it in a clean, glass jar.
    6. Store the gel in the fridge, and allow to completely cool for a few hours before using.

    How to apply flaxseed gel.

    Have your gel at the ready? Don’t just slide it through your hair and call it a day. Rather, mind the prep work: Because the gel works best for curly-haired folk, you may want to begin with a deep condition in the shower. After all, coarser hair may require heavy conditioning to keep the texture soft and frizz-free. You also want to make sure your hair is super clean—you may want to go the extra mile and remove any buildup or product residue on your scalp. (Here are some great physical and chemical scrubs to choose from.) Once you step out of the shower, use your fingers to rake the product through your hair in sections. Make sure your hair is thoroughly coated, says O’Connor, as using too little product won’t maximize the moisturizing benefits. “It should have a slimy feel to the touch,” she notes. Then just style as you please, or let your curls air-dry.

    Hairstylist tips and warnings.

    First thing’s first: Always apply flaxseed gel on wet hair. That way, it’ll be much easier to work with and render the best results. “It’ll glide through your strands and deliver an ease of application. This will give your curls all over definition,” Brook adds. While you can totally use the gel for precise edging or styling needs, for that all-over moisture you’ll want to use it post-shower. And on that same note, don’t run your hands through your hair after you’ve applied the gel. As with all air-drying products, trust that the flaxseed gel is working its magic. “The more you touch your curls, the more likely your hair will frizz,” Alicia Miller, hairstylist and national master trainer for Davines North America, tells us about a stellar air-dry game. Of course, you can use hot tools if you so choose—O’Connor is partial to a diffuser in order to set the curl. In terms of layering products, be mindful what you pair with flaxseed gel. Using it alone is best, but if you wish to layer, O’Connor recommends only using water-based products to avoid flaking. To preserve your style while you sleep, feel free to wrap your hair in a silk or satin headscarf at night. There are tons of benefits to sleeping on silk anyway (outlined here, for your viewing pleasure), one of which is waking up to shiny, frizz-free locks. Especially if you wash your hair at night, “you’ll get the most benefit from your application,” Brook says.

    The takeaway.

    Flaxseed gel is perfect for all varieties of curl: Coiled, coarse, even wavy-haired tresses can fare well with a little light hold. And the best part? This all-natural gel is DIY-friendly and super easy to use. Consider flaxseeds another breakfast item making its way to the bathroom shelf.
    Author Jamie Schneider | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Trying To Cut Back On Sugar In Your Coffee? Use This Skin-Supporting Sub
    May 23, 2020 at 10:04AM
    For coffee devotees, there’s little more important in the morning than getting your perfect cup of coffee. For some that means adding a scoop of sugar, a splash of syrupy flavoring, or a packet of artificial sweetener. While these get the job done, they’re not exactly the healthiest things to be putting into your body—especially first thing when you wake up. Might we suggest an option that is subtly sweet, clean, and will make your skin glow?

    A healthier option to add to your morning cup: mbg grass-fed collagen+ in chocolate.

    One easy way to improve your skin health is to add a collagen supplement to your routine. Collagen supplements provide a host of beauty benefits, like supporting firm skin, strong nails, and thick hair. Research shows that hydrolyzed collagen powders are able to be absorbed by the body (as they are broken down into smaller, more digestible amino acid peptides). Once absorbed they are able to support your body’s fibroblasts, or what makes collagen and elastin; doing so, they enhance your body’s natural collagen production.
    Sounds like a no-brainer, no? But to go back to the morning sweet treat: if you are someone who likes to add a dash of sugar into your brew, mbg’s grass-fed collagen+ in chocolate is excellent in coffee. Not only is the collagen powder providing you all the benefits of the above, but it’s also made with premium Peruvian cocoa powder and coconut sugar. The cocoa powder adds a rich, smooth chocolate flavoring, but it’s not overpowering nor decadently saccharine. Not to mention, cocoa powder packed with flavanols, a special antioxidant often used in skin care. The coconut sugar provides a subtle, sweet touch with no unpleasant aftertaste (like other sweeteners tend to do). The result: A morning brew that tastes like the comforting morning cup you are used to—just without the bad stuff, and a whole lot of great stuff. We’d be remiss not to mention all of the other ingredients and actives in mbg’s powder: Along with the collagen, cocoa, and coconut sugar, the blend is packed with the antioxidants vitamin C (read more about why that’s important here), vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and biotin. The result is a supplement that will provide all the tools you need for glowing, youthful appearance.
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    The take-away.

    Your morning cup of coffee is a special thing. If you want yours to optimize your skin and beauty routine, add collagen powder—and to make the experience downright indulgent, go for the chocolate variety.
    Author Alexandra Engler | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • A Hospice Doctor On What End Of Life Looks Like & Dealing With Grief
    May 23, 2020 at 01:46AM
    In times of illness, we are drawn closer to those in need and endure tragedy through gestures of compassion and concern. The global calamity of the coronavirus has not just brought death—it has also separated us from each other and from those we love. We are disconnected, helpless, and fearful that our dying loved ones are not only suffering, but also distant and alone. Grieving family members say the news of loss has become even more devastating since they’re unable to hold hands with their loved ones or provide a familiar presence in their final days. To truly understand the dying process requires listening to those facing the end of life. As a hospice doctor, who’s spent decades at the bedside of dying patients, I have come to realize no matter how physically alone patients are, few of them die entirely alone.

    What end of life actually looks like

    End of life is more than a medical treatise and dying is more than the physical suffering we observe. When medicine can no longer defy illness, nature assumes its rightful place and dying becomes what it has always been: a human experience. It’s not just the closing of a life, but a vantage point which draws people inward. Toward the end of life, people usually recall the best parts of living. For some this occurs consciously through conversation, for others it comes unconsciously through dreams. The dying process includes altering levels of alertness and progressively deeper sleep. These states are distinct from confusional events. The dying describe, with clarity and insight, a peaceful end of life that includes comforting subjective experiences, such as vivid pre-death dreams.
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    How death brings peace

    According to recent studies documenting experiences of the dying, majority of patients reported seeing faces of predeceased loved ones, not tubes or monitors. These observations are more than clinical lore and have been noted throughout history and across cultures. These experiences don’t deny the reality of death. Instead, they affirm the joys of the dying person’s life. They return them to what and whom they loved the most. The dying rarely talk of existential insights, exuberant pronouncements or epiphanies. Instead, they talk of love. Hospice chaplain Kerry Egan writes “Mostly, [the dying] talk about their families: about their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters. They talk about the love they felt, and the love they gave…This crucible of love is where we start to ask those big spiritual questions, and ultimately where they end.” I am reminded of this when elderly patients experience the return of the mother or father they lost in childhood. When children speak of dead pets that have come back to comfort them. When women cradle babies long lost to their touch.They visualize a world where our relationships define our purpose and true accomplishment.

    Beverly’s experience

    For Beverly—an 89-year-old patient dying of chronic obstructive lung disease—her end of life experience reconnected her with past sources of love. Her childhood had been dominated by a distant and abusive mother, but at death’s door, she experienced unconditional love from her father. She saw herself reliving a childhood ritual—hand in hand, she joyfully joined her dad on his mail delivery route. As Beverly neared death, all that mattered was the warmth of her father’s love. It took her from present to past and back again.

    Jack’s experience

    After a lifetime of torment, some people find peace and solace from a salutary dream on their last night. Jack for example, a patient who was tormented by PTSD since the war. Finally near death, his distressing dreams stopped. In their place, Jack described final peace, as he was now able to rest in his foxhole and let others stand guard. As a doctor, I do not need to be able to explain these events or interfere medically. Instead, I have learned to show reverence for the strength of the human spirit in its quest to heal what is harmed or broken.

    Why death doesn’t feel lonely

    While we may envision ventilators and ICUs, the dying experience love, presence, and even touch of predeceased loved ones. They revisit the memories of being held and cherished, the apotheosis of a life rather than its demise. They teach us that the best parts of having lived are never truly lost. The lesson seems clear: the totality of our human experience can never be defined by or reduced to its last moments. This may be small consolation to those left behind—whose grief would indeed have been lessened by their ability to hold their dying loved one’s hand—but it may ease their pain. Knowing that dying is more than the suffering we observe, and it may not be as isolating as they fear. Where one form of presence may be lacking, another emerges and compensates for the isolation of illness. Where medicine can no longer mend a broken heart, other less known processes often step in to do so. Ultimately, how we witness or imagine the death of a loved one greatly impacts our bereavement. While there are no words to lessen or detach us from the realities of loss, those of us who work at the bedside of the dying can attest that patients do experience love, meaning, and even grace in their final moments. The dying often experience a summation of their life’s best moments, feeling more connected than alone. Today, we also take comfort knowing that strangers behind gowns and masks place themselves at the bedside. They substitute for family and friends who cannot. Perhaps, during these dark moments, we are again reminded that it is in times of need that we are often at our best. We are bound together by our common humanity and never truly alone.
    Author Christopher Kerr, M.D., Ph.D. | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Is It A Lip Pimple Or A Cold Sore? Here’s How To Tell Which One You Have
    May 23, 2020 at 12:32AM
    Picture this: You look into the mirror and find a gnarly bump on the corner of your lip. You might panic-grab for your trusty spot treatment, but wait—is it truly a lip pimple, or could it be a cold sore? A valid concern, as they can look pretty similar upon first glance, yet require completely different treatments. Here, we consulted dermatologists to finally get to the bottom of the cold sore versus pimple debate, plus how to tell which one you have and how to get rid of them both.

    What is a cold sore?

    Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). “The virus typically lays dormant in the underlying nerve, but when there’s a triggering immune event (such as stress, sunlight, or trauma) to the skin, it can cause the virus to flare in the nerve,” says board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare Purvisha Patel, M.D. The lesions then appear as a response to the infection. A word on the virus: HSV is incredibly contagious, and it’s caused by skin-to-skin contact—things like kissing or drinking after a person who has active lesions, touching the person’s skin, or sharing objects like silverware, lip balms, or razors. And while there’s a certain stigma around them (“they can affect a person’s confidence and self-esteem, especially for those who get them several times a year,” says board-certified dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, M.D., FAAD), cold sores are actually more common than you think: In fact, the World Health Organization reports that an estimated 3.7 billion people under age 50 have HSV-1, which translates to 67% of the global population—well over half. And for some, the virus may lay dormant entirely; for example, you might have contracted the virus as a child or drinking after a friend and not even know it. It’s important to note that some people can be contagious even without an active outbreak, a condition known as “asymptomatic viral shedding,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D. That’s not meant to scare you from kissing or sharing gloss ever again (after all, you may already have the dormant virus yourself), but an important word of caution nonetheless.
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    What is a pimple?

    Allow us to explain what really happens under the surface of your skin: Pimples occur when bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil become trapped inside the hair follicle, triggering an inflammatory response and causing a zit. Unfortunately, everyone faces pimples, and they can happen anywhere on your body you have hair follicles (aka, everywhere except the palms of your hands and bottoms of your feet). Which, as it turns out, includes the lip area. While pimples can also crop up due to stress, sun, and trauma, they aren’t caused by a viral infection, like cold sores.

    How to tell which one you have.

    See a lip lesion popping up? Check its make-up: Is it a blistered, fluid-filled bump on the skin? Or is it a fleshy bump with a white or black head? Cold sores tend to look like the former, while lip pimples have that distinguishable white or black top (hence the term, whiteheads and blackheads). While they might look similar in the beginning, cold sores usually take on the appearance of a cloudy blister, says Patel. That’s because they’re typically mixed with a clear fluid, which gives them that “cloudiness.” Of course, “If you have a lip skin lesion that is not healing, see a board-certified dermatologist,” she adds. Cold sores can also come with flu-like symptoms (some to note are headaches, achiness, fever, and swollen lymph nodes, especially along the neck) as well as what’s known as a prodrome—a tingling or burning sensation on the skin before any actual lesions appear. People who experience cold sores may recognize this pain and treat the virus before any lesions even arise (more on that later). On the other hand, “pimples do not have this sensation, as they do not involve the nerves under the skin,” says Patel. While zits themselves can become rather sore (ever had a cystic pimple that’s painful to the touch?), it’s the burning sensation before that’s a tell-all sign.

    How do you get rid of cold sores?

    If you have a cold sore, chances are you’re looking to rid those painful pustules as soon as possible. Good news: There are plenty of natural ways to prevent these painful sores—keep stress to a minimum, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and maintain a sharp immune system by practicing healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits. But if your lesions appear frequently—say, six times per year or more—you might want to look into oral antiviral medication. Gabriel agrees: “It can be a life-changer for those that get frequent cold sores,” she notes. “I also like daily L-lysine, a common amino acid supplement that can also decrease the occurrences.” That’s because L-lysine can block another amino acid called arginine, which HSV needs to replicate and grow. In terms of topicals, zinc oxide and essential oils have shown effective: One study showed that patients who applied a zinc oxide-based cream experienced less severe symptoms, even shaving one and half days off their healing time. It makes sense, as zinc oxide has a rather soothing effect on the skin. Another study found that applying lemon balm essential oil to lesions can help reduce the size of blisters and allow patients to heal faster. Without any sort of treatment, topical or oral, the flare-up should heal on its own: about one to two weeks, says King.

    How do you get rid of pimples?

    For pimples, rely on your skin care routine. “An effective acne regimen is the best way to prevent and treat lip pimples,” Gabriel states. Yes, that regimen does include topicals (and we’ll get into the specifics), but it also means reducing stress and optimizing your lifestyle habits to prevent acne flare-ups. After all, acne is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body: The best prevention methods may just be internal. Now, onto the topicals. For lip pimples in particular, retinoids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide can be super helpful: Gabriel recommends using benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in the morning and retinol at night to rid inflammation fast. Also be sure you’re not using any comedogenic makeup products, as those could be causing that buildup around the lip area.

    The bottom line.

    Pimples and cold sores may have their similarities—they can be painful, there’s no “cure” for either, and both can greatly affect your self-esteem. But in terms of treatment, they require totally different plans of action; that’s why it’s important to distinguish which flare you really have. Of course, if you’re still not sold, it’s always best to consult your dermatologist—especially if you notice it spreading or not going away. All in all, pimples and cold sores don’t have to be so scary; with the right treatments, you’ll boast clear skin in no time.
    Author Jamie Schneider | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • To Kick Off MDW, May We Suggest An Expertly Curated Cheese Board?
    May 23, 2020 at 12:02AM
    Creating the perfect cheese board is nothing short of an art form. Done well, and you’ll have a curated platter that (almost) looks too good to eat. But chuck all the produce haphazardly onto the board, and it’ll resemble more of, well, a hot mess. To master the artistry, we enlisted the help of Toria Smith, founder of UK-based grazing catering company, GRAPE & Fig. Here, we pick her brain on how to build the best cheese board, every single time, plus some gorgeous pairing ideas for you to try out.

    First, what you’ll need.

    In terms of the board itself, Smith is partial to a square, wooden platter. She’s a stickler for the sophisticated, sharp edges, but any platter you have will suffice, no matter the shape. Even a standard dinner plate will work; if you’re serving two to four people, a dinner plate may be just what you need, especially if you’re using rich ingredients. “You’d be surprised how far a dinner plate of dense food goes,” Smith notes. You also don’t necessarily need to have “cheese knives”—just a standard knife will do if that’s all you’ve got. Sure, a proper cheese knife may give the board a certain sense of grandeur, but it’s not end-all-be all; you can still create a fancy-looking platter with any tools you have in your kitchen.
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    5 steps to cheese board artistry.

    Ready to place your produce? Here are the steps to cheese board success.

    1. First, fan out your cheeses.

    The first tip is to show off the star of the board—the cheeses, of course. Smith suggests having at least three options—a soft, cow’s milk cheese (like brie), a crumbly blue (like stilton or cambozola), and a hard cheese (like manchego). But instead of plopping down your cheese wedges and calling it a day, Smith recommends cutting and fanning them out into a triangular shape. “It instantly fills up the board and makes it look more appetizing and creates a little bit more of an intrigue,” she says. You can even swap the cheese for something else that’s fan-friendly, like creamy avocado. Just slice a few halves and fan them out on the platter. “Instead of putting half an avocado down, it instantly makes the board look a little bit more intriguing,” Smith explains.

    2. Create your edges.

    Here’s the biggest mistake people make when creating cheese boards: They pile on a bunch of loose or oily ingredients (think blueberries, pistachios, or sun-dried tomatoes) that fall or drip off the edge as soon as you transport your platter. Not to mention when people start digging in: “Things just start falling everywhere and it gets really messy really quickly,” Smith says. The solution? Create an “edge.” Grab produce that’s a bit more sturdy, like oranges, grapefruits, cucumbers, even round cured meats. Cut those slices in half to create a sharp edge, and place them around the perimeter of the platter. “You’re essentially creating a little barrier between the rest of the platter and the outskirts,” says Smith. That way, you don’t have to worry about your precious olives rolling off the edge; everything will stay intact, even as you move the board from room to room.

    3. Make mini mountains.

    With what you have left (cured meats, fruit, sun-dried tomatoes, and the like), make mini piles on the board. Style them into little florets, sectioning them out across the platter. For vegan and vegetarian folks, you can pile on your falafels, your sweet potato pakoras, your artichoke hearts—whatever you have on-hand to transform into mini mountains. No matter what produce you use, “create whole, dense sections with one type of produce and one type of color,” Smith adds. It’s the key to keeping your cheese boards stylishly cluttered, rather than messy.

    4. Fill in the gaps.

    Even with those mini mountains, you’ll likely have small gaps in between your piles. That’s where your looser objects come into play; think olives, blueberries, blackberries, nuts, pomegranate seeds—choose your own adventure here. Place whatever you have in those gaps to make the board look super dense and stunning; “The idea is not to have any space left on the board that you can see so everything is completely fit, but it doesn’t look like a mess,” Smith advises. Perhaps the finest line in the art of cheese board making.

    5. Make it pop.

    As for the finishing touches, there are a few extra ingredients to sprinkle on if you really want to go the extra mile. While not completely necessary, “it makes the platter go from an 8/10 to an 11/10,” says Smith. Grab your delicate ingredients—figs, honeycomb (or a drizzle of honey, if that’s all you have), some cut strawberries, ground pistachios—and place them on top of contrasting colors. If you have edible flowers or herbs, that’s stellar—it’ll give the platter quite the sensorial experience. “It just elevates your graze, taking it from normal to something that looks really gorgeous,” Smith notes.

    Pairing ideas.

    OK, so you’ve got the basics down. But to really make your cheese board stand out, why not experiment with some mouth-watering flavor combinations? Smith’s go-to is to pair honeycomb with brie. “It’s an absolute must,” she gushes. Of course, if you don’t have fresh honeycomb, a drizzle of regular honey will work just as well. You can definitely opt for themed boards, if that’s more your jam. You’ll follow the same method, but with a certain list of ingredients. For example, if you wanted to go the Mediterranean route, you could load up on feta and throw in some gorgeous antipasti. If you wanted to follow a certain color scheme—an orange hued platter, perhaps—opt for citrus, dried apricots, and oranges cheeses like cheddar or red leicester. Let your creative juices flow however they may; with Smith’s method, you’ll have an artfully curated board every time, no matter the ingredients.

    To serve.

    According to Smith, refrigerated cheese should thaw for about an hour in order to reach room temperature (which is the ideal temperature for serving). Creating the board takes around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how adept you are at assembling. So by the time you finish the platter, the cheese should be at the perfect serving temperature. That said, you’ll want to serve your cheese platter straight away to keep it as fresh as possible. “Show it off!” Smith advises (presentation is technically the sixth step in the method, after all). Even if that means snapping a picture to share on your next Zoom call before digging in.

    The takeaway.

    As with all forms of art, cheese board-building is inherently subjective. You might love an abstract, Jackson Pollock-esque cheese board—and that’s OK! There’s no reason to agonize over where to place your manchego. But for those looking for some expert-level ideas, this works-every-time grazing method is fail-safe, and it’s a great activity to keep you occupied over the weekend. Even if you aren’t gathering for a dinner party, there’s certainly no harm in a cheese board for one.
    Author Jamie Schneider | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Kefir Has A Number Of Gut Health Perks—Here’s How To Make It At Home
    May 22, 2020 at 11:07PM
    Studies continue to come out about the gut microbiome and its role in digestion, healthy skin, cognitive functioning, and even immune support. As people become more aware of these connections, probiotic-rich foods are becoming more popular. If you’re already sipping kombucha and eating yogurt, you may also want to check out kefir.
    In This Article
    • 1
      What is kefir?
      Kefir vs. yogurt
    • 3
      Health benefits
      Side effects
    • 5
      How to make kefir

    What is kefir?

    Kefir is a fermented dairy product similar to yogurt, but thinner and meant for drinking. Similar to sourdough, kefir is made from a starter. The starter is primarily made of probiotics (called kefir grains), yeast, and milk proteins. The dairy beverage originated in Eastern Europe and has since been commercialized in other regions of the world, including the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Brands that evolved from kefir’s growing popularity include Wallaby Organic Kefir, Lifeway, and Cultures for Health, which even provides starters to help you make your own kefir at home. Integrative gastroenterologist Martin Singh, M.D. tells mbg, “just make sure to avoid kefir with added sugar and flavorings.” Instead look for plain, full-fat varieties. And while not technically kefir, there are aqua kefirs or water-based kefirs, which are a good dairy-free option if you’re extremely sensitive to lactose. You can make your own water kefir at home or purchase the sparkling beverage from brands like GT’s Living Foods.
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    Kefir vs. yogurt

    Both yogurt and kefir are fermented foods that are high in probiotics. These beneficial bacterias have been proven to reduce risks of metabolic diseases, heart disease, and support weight management. Though they’re both rich in probiotics, kefir has a larger range of the beneficial Lactobacillus bacterias.  In terms of flavor, registered dietitian Ali Miller, R.D., L.D., CDE tells us plain dairy kefir is relatively similar to the tang of non-strained plain yogurt. Both yogurt and kefir come in fruit flavored varieties, but those may contain added or excess sugar. Texture-wise, dairy kefir is thinner than yogurt—especially Greek yogurts—and water kefir will often be effervescent, like seltzer water or kombucha.

    Health benefits of kefir

    Kefir has a wide range of health benefits. For starters, it contributes to better gut health by delivering good bacteria to the microbiome and helping to synthesize vitamins B12 and K, says registered dietitian Kayleen St. John, M.S., R.D. The beneficial gut bacteria can aid in digestion and help reduce bloat. According to one study, consuming kefir has also been linked to inflammation management, better cholesterol levels, and healthy blood pressure. Unlike most dairy products, kefir is low in lactose and relatively easy to digest. In fact, research specialist in oncology nutrition L.J. Amaral M.S., R.D., CSO says it’s about 99% lactose-free. If that’s still too much, you can opt for aqua kefir. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one bottle of kefir contains:
    • Protein: 11 grams
    • Fiber: 12% DV
    • Calcium: 30% DV
    • Vitamin A: 10% DV
    • Vitamin D: 25% DV
    These values may vary depending on brand.

    Possible side effects of kefir

    Introducing probiotics to your diet can have varying effects, depending on the current state of your gut microbiome. “If the gut is in a balanced state, it should be well tolerated,” Miller says. If it’s in an unbalanced state (dysbiosis), you may notice side effects. These side effects may include irregular bowel movements, bloating, distention, skin irritation, migraines, or other inflammatory responses, she says. If you start experiencing these symptoms, stop drinking kefir and consult your doctor. A physician or a registered dietitian may help you work towards a healthier gut.

    How to make kefir

    Making kefir at home is relatively simple. “If you have time to spend in the kitchen, making plain kefir can be cheaper than buying it at the store,” registered dietitian Nour Zibdeh, M.S., RDN tells mbg. All it takes are two ingredients and a few supplies.

    Ingredients and equipment

    • 2 cups of fresh milk (full-fat, grass-fed cow’s milk, goat’s milk, coconut milk, or even coconut water)
    • 2 teaspoons active kefir grains
    • Clean glass jar
    • Wooden spoon
    • Cheesecloth
    • Rubber band
    • Airtight pitcher with lid


    1. Pour the milk into the glass jar and gently stir in the kefir grains with a wooden spoon.
    2. Spread the cheesecloth over the rim of the jar. Use the rubber band to secure it in place. (Don’t seal the jar with a lid or the container could burst).
    3. Place the jar on your kitchen counter away from direct sunlight.
    4. The mixture should sit at room temperature (65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 12 hours (no more than 48).
    5. The warmer the room, the faster your kefir will ferment. You can taste test your kefir every few hours until it’s just as thick and sour as you like it.
    6. Once you’re happy with your kefir, turn the cheesecloth-covered jar upside down over a pitcher. Strain the kefir and catch the grains.
    You can save the kefir grains in a small container of fresh milk in the fridge until you’re ready to make another batch. Store your kefir, with the lid on, for up to one week in the fridge. If you notice any separation, use a whisk to mix your kefir back together.
    Author Abby Moore | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Coleslaw Can Be Boring, But Not This Easy Veggie-Packed Raw Slaw Recipe
    May 22, 2020 at 04:03PM
    Coleslaw is a classic summer side, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it a little more fun. Where standard recipes are all cabbage and carrots, this recipe adds some additional produce and flavor to make the idea of a slaw feel fresh and new. For The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook, Elisa and Robert Bildner teamed up with chef Brian Alberg, formerly of the Red Lion Inn, to bring together recipes from family-run farms from around the Berkshires of Massachusetts. The book is full of inspired ways to use homegrown veggies, and this updated recipe for slaw from Et Cetera Farm takes a crisper full of fresh produce and a few carefully picked condiments to make a perfect slaw—one that can be made vegan, too. The book calls out the recipe as light and slightly sweet, particularly thanks to the inclusion of antioxidant-rich beets and a touch of fresh orange juice in the dressing. That plus a little spicy sriracha and soy sauce makes for the perfect balance of spice, sweet, and salt.

    Raw Slaw Recipe

    Serves 4 to 6
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    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
    • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons sriracha
    • Juice of 1 orange (about ¼ cup)
    • 2 cups finely ribboned cabbage
    • 2 cups finely ribboned kale
    • 1 cup shredded carrot
    • 1 cup shredded gold or Chioggia beet
    • 3 scallions, chopped finely
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • ¼ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or any preferred nut)


    1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, sriracha, and orange juice in a large bowl until a smooth dressing is achieved.
    2. Add the cabbage, kale, carrot, beet, scallions, and cilantro. Using tongs or your fingers, mix together the slaw, pinching to soften the vegetables.
    3. Pour on the dressing to fully coat the vegetables, scatter the chopped nuts on top, and serve.
    Author Eliza Sullivan | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Thousands of Years Later, Castile Soap Is Still The Best Choice
    May 22, 2020 at 08:00AM
    Eat your greens, move your body, wash your hands—learned behaviors from childhood that we rarely stop to question…until we’re asked by the littlest learners at home. For everyone who can’t confidently answer “how does soap clean and keep us safe?” we’re stepping in to explain why your best bet for multipurpose scrubbing is Castile soap, especially now that cleaning is a part of our daily, and sometimes hourly, lives. But first, a very brief history of Castile soap. Today’s version is an evolution of a cleaning product made in Aleppo, Syria—a city best known for being the endpoint of the Silk Road. Aleppo soap made its way to Europe, where the process of production was organized, and a high-quality cleaning product made with olive oil from Spain emerged: Castile soap (named after the region in Spain with the same name). In short, it’s been keeping people clean and safe for thousands of years and is best known for its superior ingredients and formula. Earth Mama’s Castile product is cut from the same cloth, and the proof is in the details.

    Shop now:

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    Simply Non-Scents Castile Baby Wash

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    Simply Non-Scents Castile Baby Wash

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    1Simply Non-Scents Castile Baby Wash
    Earth Mama Organics $7.99
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    Sweet Orange Castile Baby Wash

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    2Sweet Orange Castile Baby Wash
    Earth Mama Organics $7.99

    1. Soap > Detergent

    While detergent requires something to make it foam (surfactant), something to keep ingredients blended (emulsifier) and something to keep it from growing mold and bacteria (preservative), real soap keeps it nice and simple with ingredients you can trust and recognize. Earth Mama Castile soap takes it to the next level, guaranteeing pure, organic ingredients (certified by Oregon Tilth). Simply put: There are no mystery ingredients to irritate or harm your skin (and surfaces)—just organic acids (like oils) and base (potassium hydroxide).
    Article continues below

    2. Soap > Sanitizer

    Thousands of Years Later, Castile Soap Is Still The Best Choice
    Image by Earth Mama Organics / Contributor
    Here’s the thing about sanitizer: It’s helpful when you’re on the go and can’t wash immediately, but soap and water is the better choice, 100% of the time. Why? According to the CDC, sanitizers only reduce the number of microbes on hands, while soap is able to pry certain microbes and viruses apart thanks to pin-shaped molecules that wedge themselves in the potentially harmful lipid layer. Essentially, soap gets in the way (between the virus and skin surface), and the virus falls apart. Though helpful, sanitizer doesn’t get the same results.

    3. Safe suds

    With Earth Mama’s Castile soap, you get an organic sudsy solution (thanks to the foaming pump) *and* a pH high enough to deter bacteria, yeast, and mold. In case your basic science is a little rusty, pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid, more specifically, the hydrogen ion concentration. So with Castile soap there’s no need to add potentially caustic, irritating chemical preservatives. The cleaner the soap, the less concern there is for use on sensitive and baby skin alike. Who doesn’t love a little foamy fun while cleaning? It’s all about the little things these days. Even better: The foaming pump makes it easy to keep soap out of baby’s eyes, a common mistake we all hate to make.
    Thousands of Years Later, Castile Soap Is Still The Best Choice
    Image by Earth Mama Organics / Contributor
    The key takeaway? Treat the ingredient list on your personal care products as you would the nutrition facts on your everyday grocery haul. You’d think twice about eating something with all kinds of additives and ingredients you’re not familiar with; the same should go for what you clean with. You want to be sure what you’re using on your surfaces, skin, food, and furniture is effective, efficient, and SAFE. Earth Mama’s Castile soap checks the boxes—something you can be sure of.
    Author Meg Phillips | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • So You Moved In With Your Partner Because Of COVID — What Happens Next?
    May 22, 2020 at 02:07PM
    Moving in with your partner is typically a long, carefully thought-out decision. But when shelter-in-place orders were mandated, many couples threw caution to the wind and decided living together was better than spending an unknown amount of time apart. Now as lockdown measures around the world begin to ease, couples are forced to decide what’s next: Do we continue living together? Do we go back to our individual apartments? What if we’re not actually right for each other?

    Do we continue living together?

    Inevitably, every couple and even every individual in this situation will have to decide the answer to this question themselves. There’s no right answer that will apply to everyone, says relationship therapist Linda Carroll, M.S., LMFT. Deciding to continue living together may be the right decision for some, whereas deciding to go back to living separately might be the right decision for others. Importantly, whichever option you decide is not a reflection of the strength of your relationship. Your relationship may be strong and healthy, but you still want to take things slowly and have time to live apart again before fully committing to cohabitation in a more permanent way. Overall, just be sure to take time before making major decisions. Moving in together may have been a rushed, almost survival move. But now is the time to slow everything down, including your decision-making. “You have to figure out who you are going to be in the new world and who your partner is going to be,” Carroll says.
    Article continues below

    Thinking through your next steps.

    You’ll need to figure out what you want your life and your relationship to look like in this next phase of COVID-19 and after the pandemic finally passes. Creating this vision for yourself is a process of patience and mindfulness, but here are a few questions to get you started:
    • How has your relationship progressed throughout this pandemic (or not progressed)?
    • What did you find out about your partner under stress?
    • Are you happy with who you’ve been as a couple throughout this time?
    • Would you benefit from having some space from your partner at this stage in your relationship?
    Whether your relationship evolved for better or worse throughout quarantine, you have to be willing to let it go. That doesn’t mean breaking up, mind you. It just means you have to relinquish the linear, idealistic version of your relationship and allow it to stretch and take new forms. “You had a relationship, and you thought it was one way. Then, the pandemic came, and the relationship was totally different because of stress, limitations, and being locked up,” she says. “Now you’ve got to let all that go and see who you are in the new world together.”

    What if we want different things?

    At the end of the day, you can’t force someone to live with you if they don’t want to. If one of you has an instinct to seek space and feels held back, it will eventually lead to resentment. Carroll says the issue will play out in several scenarios—I love you more than you love me; you don’t really want to be here; you’re not committed. If one person feels strongly about going back to living separately, go with it. This doesn’t mean you need to break up or that your relationship is taking a step backward. Your relationship has been affected by a completely unprecedented global crisis, so accept that your relationship will not move in the typical trajectory you’d usually expect. “For some people, they’re going to get closer. For other people, they’re going to feel like this is not the right relationship,” Carroll says. “Know that you have been deeply affected by seen and unseen stress.” Whether you break up after COVID or make it through stronger than ever, cut yourself a little slack. These are weird times, and we’re all just doing the best we can.
    Author Abby Moore | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • What Van Life For A Family Of 5 Looks Like During Quarantine Times
    May 22, 2020 at 01:04PM
    My family’s van life journey began 11 months ago when we decided to sell our house and leave New York to travel and find a new place to eventually settle down. We never quite felt at home there, and one day we looked each other and decided it was time to do something about it. Fast-forward and we’re traveling the country in a van with three kids under the age of 13 when a global pandemic hits. In March, my husband and I made a conscious decision to park our home and stay put in Arizona until things calmed down.

    What home-schooling in a van looks like.

    COVID-19 has actually made some parts of van life easier: Our three kids, ages 7, 10, and 12, are better about focusing on school now that the playgrounds and RV parks are closed and there are no friends running around wanting to play a game of tag. It took a while to get into our home-schooling rhythm, and I feel for the parents around the world who are suddenly needing to jump into it quickly. Here’s what works for us: I usually sit with my kids individually on Fridays and review their work for the week. We started this home-schooling adventure using a certified teaching app, but with the kids coming from a more self-directed Montessori background, they weren’t used to that regimented approach, and it lasted only about three months. We ended up ditching the app and going with books I ordered online that touch on math, language arts, science, reading, and writing. (Up until now, we’ve left the history lessons for when we can visit historic sites close up.) Every day, we’ll clear off our kitchen table, which doubles as the kids’ workspace. It’s not a very large table, but it honestly feels nice to all sit around each other—and if one child has a question when I’m in the middle of teaching another, there’s no yelling required. We’ve also found it helpful to loosen the rules a bit since COVID-19 started, so if the kids feel like doing their work while hoverboarding (yes, that really happens), we let them.
    Article continues below

    How we’re staying mentally and physically healthy.

    While having no children to play with has made home-schooling easier, it has also created one of our biggest challenges of the pandemic. Some of our kids’ most cherished moments from this journey have been spent on the playground or in pools with other kids we meet on our travels. With that gone, the entertainment falls to my husband and me, who both run full-time businesses. To say we’ve got a little added stress on our plates would be an understatement. To cope with the stress without running to food or alcohol as a release—which, as we all know, can be far too easy to do—we’ve been making it a point to get outside every evening before dinner to re-center and regroup. Staying flexible during this time has been key: If we’re feeling more tired than usual, we’ll skip the longer hike we had planned and do a quick walk instead. We’re also learning to tap into our intuition more. We had a family meeting in early April to decide what to do next…keep traveling when the country opens back up or find a house, register for school, and take travel breaks? The whole family was all for finding a home and traveling when we can, so we trusted that instinct. The kids are excited to make new friends and go to the local charter school we just applied to.

    Learning from isolation.

    Reflecting on this crazy time, my husband and I feel like the rest of the country is being forced into a lifestyle that we consciously chose last June. We specifically embarked on this slow, simple, contained life because we wanted to get to know one another more intimately and work through the rough patches we knew we had as a family. When you live in such close quarters, you learn to address problems quickly. I’m sure that proximity is something a lot of people are having trouble adjusting to right now—but we’ve found that it can actually lead to something really beautiful.
    Author Jenn Edden | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • 14 Semi-Brilliant Stay-At-Home Vacay Ideas For The Long Weekend
    May 22, 2020 at 12:04PM
    Memorial Day used to be the perfect excuse for a getaway: The first signs of summer weather plus an extra day of weekend time simply calls for an escape. And no matter where you are located or your situation, the idea of an escape probably sounds pretty intriguing right now. Since we can’t exactly do that, we’ve rounded up the best stay-at-home tips, activities, DIY projects, and advice we’ve learned so far to take you into the long weekend:

    1. A Memorial Day classic: Have a picnic.

    “Use your backyard, your balcony, your fire escape, your roof—get creative! You can even set out your picnic blanket right in the middle of the living room floor and just open up all the windows in your house to really get the breeze going,” writes mbg’s sex and relationships editor Kelly Gonsalves in her guide to date nights during quarantine. “Make all your go-to picnic favorites (the cheese, the sandwiches, the fruit salads, and the like), put on a summery outfit, and have a lazy spring afternoon together.”
    Article continues below

    2. Redecorate.

    A long weekend is already a great time for a home renovation project, and now it just feels even more relevant given how many of us are spending more time than usual at home. If you’re looking for inspiration from interior designers, go straight to the source with these five tips that will help your home feel more comforting and cozy right now.

    3. Visit the National Parks—virtually.

    “At the same time, national parks across the U.S. are closed, and it’s unclear when and how they will be reopening. Yet, we need the healing power of nature now more than ever: Countless studies show the benefits of spending time in the outdoors, from lowering blood pressure to anxiety to cortisol. Even looking at photos of nature can help reduce anxiety, and sounds of nature can limit stress,” writes conservation policy and green living expert Heather White. “Here are five ways to connect to beautiful parks and wild places from afar and create your own healing journey from home.”

    4. Start a journal.

    For the creative-minded and writerly among us, create your own writers’ retreat. You don’t need to come out of the weekend with a short story collection—simply starting a journaling habit will do. “Journaling is a great exercise for reflection and fostering gratitude,” writes mbg contributor Tanya Carroll Richardson. “Looking for silver linings in difficult times doesn’t minimize the suffering but rather makes it more bearable. These 26 prompts can help inspire that, and you certainly don’t need to work with all of them at once.”

    5. Create a DIY spa.

    “In the throes of this pandemic, the notion of a spa day has a bit of a different meaning. Whether it’s to help quell some COVID-induced anxiety or to quite literally dip your toes into fun products you finally have the time to get your hands on—this quarantine is, at the very least, an excuse to lather up,” writes editorial assistant Jamie Schneider. “But even if you don’t have a handy collection of clay masks to slather on, we’ve got you covered. Here, 11 of our favorite DIY beauty treatments so your self-care day becomes as easy as walking into the kitchen. Cue the spa music.”

    6. Bar hop in your own home.

    One way to emulate a vacation vibe is to create a “night on the town.” Recreate your favorite haunts in various rooms or areas of your home, complete with venue-inspired snacks and signature cocktails or mocktails. Then travel your home tasting and trying various bites and sips. Or try all-new ones: Google the hot spots of a city you want to visit, look up their cocktail menu, and try to recreate a drink from it. (Another hack: Don’t be afraid to DM bars on Instagram for recipes and tips—they may not give away all their secrets, but they can point you in the right direction if you’re stumped on how to make a specific drink.) Then, when we’re allowed to travel again, see if your homemade version matched up.

    7. Host a game night.

    “There are plenty of virtual board games available on your phone (like Scrabble or Clue) and online (try Jackbox digital games or Cards Against Humanity online). You can also go old-school with games like Truth or Dare, Mafia or Werewolf, Never Have I Ever, and other party classics,” writes editorial assistant Abby Moore. “Here are some instructions for how to set up a trivia night or scavenger hunt remotely with your friends.”

    8. Recreate a meal.

    “Recreate a favorite meal from a special vacation,” Carley Schweet, author of Holistic Self-Care Guided Journal tells us. “Bonus points if you have old pictures to look at from your time away.” Our advice: Pull up those old photos and let them jog your memory: Was it a pasta dish in Italy? A taco truck masterpiece in L.A.? Do a little Googling and see if you can find a near-match recipe (if the place is famous enough, you just might be able to find the real deal). Then try your best at making it in your kitchen. Of course, you may not have every single, unique ingredient, but you just might be able to come close.

    9. Improve your meditation practice.

    “With everything going on around the world, it’s likely many of us are looking for ways to de-stress and come back to ourselves as we navigate this unprecedented pandemic. Meditation is an excellent way to do so,” writes editorial assistant Sarah Regan. “In its many forms, meditation has been found to reduce anxiety, increase overall feelings of well-being, and even positively affect brain structure. And while you don’t need anything to meditate, designating a meditation zone in your home and incorporating certain objects and tools can elevate your practice.”

    10. Skip screen time.

    Given the rise of telecommuting, Zoom hangouts, and just generally more time on your phone, use the weekend to at least try to disconnect. “This one seems obvious, but it’s worth stating: Try going without your phone for an extended period of your time away. Maybe start by shooting for 24 hours and see what happens,” writes Cyrena Lee in her guide to a minimalist vacation. “If the idea of it freaks you out—even more reason to try! [I find that it’s] amazing how quickly my brain and body shifted from instinctively reaching to constantly check if I had some sort of notification to just being in the moment.”

    11. Create a vision board.

    “Vision boarding is an excellent way to get clear on your goals and motivated to bring them to life. Not to mention, it’s a fun and relaxing activity,” writes Regan in our guide to making a vision board. “A vision board is essentially a physical manifestation of your goals. Vision boarding involves collecting images or objects that speak to the future you want to create and arranging them on a board for a tangible and aesthetically pleasing reminder of where you’re heading.”

    12. Make focaccia art.

    “For whatever reason, the quarantine has turned a lot of people into bread bakers. The latest bread trend, following banana bread and sourdough, seems to be focaccia gardens. Cropping up all over social media, these creations involve artfully placing vibrant vegetables and aromatic herbs atop a carb canvas. The end result is an edible garden that tastes as wonderful as it looks,” writes Moore. “While the project may seem like something for pros, you can easily do it at home.”

    13. Start a new habit or hobby.

    Starting a new project or craft can feel daunting.” Bringing something into your life that’s new—even if it’s something you are excited about—can feel like change, and change is scary,” says Kelsey J. Patel, a certified reiki master. But just remember how good it feels to complete a task or master a new skill. Use that as your motivation to start. And if you need help kicking off, Patel recommends actually writing down how you know you will feel after completing the task (or trying it for the first time). “Acknowledging all those good feelings will help you motivate yourself to try it,” she says.

    14. Get ready for your next real escape.

    This Memorial Day weekend may be a mandatory staycation, but you can always start the planning process for when you can actually travel safely again. “Planning for the future gives you something to look forward to, makes you feel more in control, and can make you feel closer as a couple because you’re spending time thinking about a shared future together,” writes Gonsalves. “Plan your next vacation that you want to take once this pandemic eases. Pick out a dreamy location and scout out hotels, Airbnbs, and activities you’ll want to do there together.”
    Author Alexandra Engler | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Glow On: The Best Natural Healthy Aging Tips For People In Their 30s
    May 22, 2020 at 11:34AM
    Your 30s can actually be a really good skin time. Wrinkles and fine lines generally aren’t too pronounced, and hopefully, acne issues have eased, if not completely subsided. But it is an ideal time to start smart prevention. “[This age] is when collagen production naturally begins to slow down, and stressors like UV exposure and dietary factors can speed up its breakdown and prevent new collagen formation,” says holistic and board-certified dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D. Here, a few tips on how to take care of 30-something skin:

    1. Understand your basics.

    Ideally, you developed good skin care habits when you were in your 20s (teens even!), but if you’re late to the skin care game, that’s OK. There’s plenty of time to catch up. But here’s the baseline: You need to care for your skin morning and night, no days off. The most basic of routines goes as follows: cleanser, moisturizer, SPF. The specifics from there are often highly tailored to your skin type, needs, price points, and personal preferences. But as long as you have some skin care plan in place, you can start building off of it with smart, age-specific skin care recommendations.
    Article continues below

    2. Treat your melasma.

    These are changes in pigmentation (usually darker patches of skin that show up on your forehead, nose, or cheekbones) that can start to appear in your 30s thanks to sunbathing in your teens and 20s. “It isn’t painful and doesn’t present any health risks but can cause significant emotional distress for the estimated 6 million American women who develop these dark patches on their faces,” says Barr. “Because it can be difficult to treat, minimizing triggers, like sun damage, is important.” “Around the age of 35, I always advise patients to add antioxidants like vitamin C in the morning,” says board-certified dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, M.D. She also explains that due to hormonal changes, like pregnancy, many women are more likely to develop melasma. As for vitamin C, Biossance Squalane Vitamin C Rose Oil is an elegant option.

    3. Quit smoking now.

    The effects of smoking—not just on health but on your complexion—are beyond well-documented. However, if you can break the habit before your 40s, you can seriously mitigate some of the damage. One prominent study showed that quitting by age 35, could help you regain your health as much as someone who never smoked.

    4. Mind your diet.

    “In addition to boosting your daily sunscreen habit for sun protection, add in whole foods with UV-protective benefits like tomatoes, spinach, pomegranate, and wild caught salmon, which are rich in lycopene, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids respectively,” says Barr. “All of these nutrients help combat the free radicals, oxidative stress, and inflammation generated by UV exposure.” She also recommends minimizing processed foods and added sugars, as the latter is a big culprit for contributing to skin sag and wrinkles. “Consumption of excess sugar contributes to formation of proteins called ‘accelerated glycation end products (or AGES), which bind to collagen, making it stiff and brittle leading to its degradation.” In several studies, researchers found that eating a high-sugar diet made it more difficult for collagen to repair itself, resulting in accelerated collagen decline and premature aging.

    5. Take a smart supplement.

    Your younger years are all about preventive care—making sure your body has all the tools it needs to fight things like inflammation, UV damage, pollution, late nights, you name it. One vital way we should be doing that is from the inside: mbg’s nr+ supports your body’s ability to neutralize oxidative stress.*
    If you don’t know, oxidative stress is what happens inside the body when you’re exposed to internal or external aggressors, and it wreaks havoc on all parts of your body. For the skin, it depletes our natural levels of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid and just generally contributes to premature cell aging. If you are better able to manage oxidative stress in the body, you’ll fare better long term. The supplement does so with its mix of nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3 that supports cellular energy and longevity, rhodiola, which manages inflammation, and astaxanthin, a highly potent antioxidant.*

    6. Slough it off.

    If you haven’t gently incorporated exfoliation into your skin care regimen, the time is now. Many dermatological studies have confirmed that regular, gentle exfoliation is an effective way to accelerate cell turnover, promote collagen production, and so on. Choose a gentle formula that you can use semi-regularly without redness, irritation, or inflammation. And what that means for you will be very different from what works for someone else, as we each have differing levels of tolerability with exfoliators. But a natural, simple option is Tatcha The Rice Polish, which uses rice bran and papaya enzymes to encourage cell turnover. And always avoid harsh ingredients like microbeads or large, scratchy particles, which can cause microtears in the skin—leading to damage.

    7. Consider an oil cleanser.

    Your skin barrier is essential for skin health. And all the things that make your skin barrier strong—ceremonies, hyaluronic acid, elastin, collagen—start diminishing around your 30s. What does this mean? You need to tend to your barrier function above all else. And one of the major ways that people damage their barriers is through harsh cleansers that disrupt the skin’s microbiome and therefore trigger inflammation. “Oil cleansers are perfect for almost all skin types,” says holistic esthetician Elle Feldman. “Oil cleansers don’t strip the skin and gently exfoliate, soften, detoxify, and tone. They’re really great for dry, dehydrated skin yet concentrated enough for all skin types.” One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme cleanser is the ultimate makeup remover that effortlessly lifts away impurities while restoring skin’s natural moisture barrier and pH balance. “Not all oils work well with all skin, though; for example, olive oil can be irritating for some people, but argan oil and grapeseed oils have been found to be well tolerated by most, though, so before you slather any oil on your face, do a test spot in an inconspicuous area first,” notes Barr.

    8. Make friends with serums.

    Incorporate serums, which deliver high concentrations of active ingredients, into your arsenal. According to Feldman, “The molecules in serum are small enough to penetrate into the skin to strengthen cellular walls to repair stressed skin, balance hydration, and brighten uneven skin tone.” Given that in your 30s, your skin’s range can vary between oily and breakout-prone to dry and sensitive, consider a good multitasking option, like Good Skin Day Barrier Restore Squalane. Feldman says ideally you’ll find something that can check all the boxes, “Find plant-based ingredients that soothe, smooth, plump, hydrate, and tackle anything that’s ‘off’ with your skin.”

    The takeaway.

    If you’re going to learn one thing on your skin care journey in your 30s, make it this: Enjoy the the skin you’re in. Once you learn to appreciate your skin, you’ll learn to care for it. Coincidentally, your 30s are just the time to start thinking about serious skin care—if nothing else but as a preventive measure.

    Shop the routine:

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    Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil

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    1Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
    Biossance $72
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    Tatcha The Rice Polish Gentle Foaming Enzyme Powder

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    2Tatcha The Rice Polish Gentle Foaming Enzyme Powder
    Tatcha $65
    <img class="is-lazy article-shop__product-image lazyloaded" title="

    One Love Organics Botanicals B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

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    3One Love Organics Botanicals B Enzyme Cleansing Oil
    One Love Organics $42
    <img class="is-lazy article-shop__product-image lazyloaded" title="

    Good Skin Day Barrier Restore Squalane

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    4Good Skin Day Barrier Restore Squalane
    Good Skin Day $25
    Author Erin Flaherty | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Calm On Demand: How To Do The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
    May 22, 2020 at 11:04AM
    Breathwork is an active form of meditation that allows us to disconnect from the mind and be guided by our body and heart. When we engage in conscious breathing, we activate our parasympathetic nervous system and flood the body with oxygen, presence, and peace while releasing worry, stress, limiting beliefs, and energy that does not serve us. There are many types of breathwork techniques. Each has a unique purpose and creates a different effect. Today, I’m sharing my favorite breathwork techniques to use when I’m feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or triggered. It’s called Relaxing Breath from Andrew Weil, M.D., also known as 4-7-8 breathing.

    Why does the 4-7-8 breathing method help with?

    This breath slows down the heart rate, brings our consciousness to the present moment, and balances the nervous system, promoting feelings of calm and peace.
    The 4-7-8 technique also teaches the body to take in less. In a culture where we saturate the mind and body with external stimulation, this is a powerful lesson! In pushing us to create space between our inhales and exhales, it can also train us to take a moment to pause after being triggered instead of impulsively reacting. Finally, it shows us how to release excess energy and negative thought. While it can sometimes difficult to drop into meditation, a breathwork technique like this can be done on demand. Try it out the next time you are stressed, feel emotional or unsettled, or have trouble falling asleep.
    Article continues below

    How do you do it?

    1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
    2. Rest the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Your tongue will be right behind your top front teeth. (Note: It can take a bit of practice to keep your tongue from moving. If you notice this happening, just continue to adjust and breathe.)
    3. Completely empty the lungs of air. Then, breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale out of the mouth for 8 seconds.
    4. Repeat at least four times. You can set a timer for 1 to 2 minutes to start and gradually build to 5 minutes.
    I also like to add an element of visualization and intention setting to this 4-7-8 breath. As I inhale over the count of 4 seconds, I imagine the grounded and nourishing energy of the earth, mountains, trees, plants, coming up into my body. As I hold my breath for 7 seconds, I visualize that energy spiraling up the center of my body (through the seven energetic chakras) and extracting any energy or thought that does not serve me. Then, as I exhale over 8 seconds, I imagine that excess energy-releasing out of the mouth and visualize light pouring through the top of my head back down to my feet and the earth below me. Think of the breath as the inherent healer and guide inside of you. It is your connection to universal energy force, life force, prana, chi. Your breath is your primary relationship with being alive, and it has the power to support you as much as you are willing to have a relationship with it.
    Author Gwen Dittmar | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • 3 Ways This Former NBA Player Finds Purpose (Even When Life Feels Scary)
    May 22, 2020 at 10:01AM
    Ask Jay Williams 17 years ago if he’d be playing basketball the majority of his life, and the answer might have been a resounding absolutely. But after sustaining serious injuries from a motorcycling accident, Williams’ life was put on hold: He’d severed his pubic symphysis, dislocated his knee, and tore his peroneal nerve—he didn’t know if he would even walk again, let alone secure his spot back on the Chicago Bulls. While he experienced his fair share of ups and downs during his recovery process, he touts one thing as paramount for his survival: a sense of purpose. “I’m a firm believer that regardless of how difficult times are, there is a purpose,” the current author and ESPN analyst tells me on this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast. “If I didn’t find purpose in those difficult times, I would’ve been doing a disservice to myself.” A sense of purpose, it turns out, quite literally gave him something to live for. As Williams finds himself back in an unprecedented time, he’s still holding on to that sense of purpose; even more so, he’s sharing what he’s learned so others can practice what took him years to discover. Here, Williams’ three tips to find purpose, no matter what you might be going through. Accidents, grief, you name it: A sense of purpose can help make coping a little easier.

    1. Focus on other people.

    To find your purpose (your “why,” if you will), Williams recommends removing yourself from the situation. Although we can’t quite do it physically at the moment, you can shift your energy toward others rather than focusing on yourself—be it the ones you’re isolating with or simply sending virtual support to your loved ones. By retranslating that energy from yourself to others, you’ll be able to create that sense of purpose. And who knows? It might alleviate some of the anxiety you could be subconsciously placing on your own shoulders. It certainly helps Williams: “It gets me outside of my own funk,” he mentions.
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    2. Focus on the present.

    It’s true: We’re all experiencing some sort of loss right now. Whether it’s losing a loved one, a job, or the ache of a past life, grief can take many forms during the novel coronavirus. And that’s OK! However, according to Williams, it’s important to reflect on what you do have: “Moments of grief and anger had taken me away from the things that were present and right in front of my face,” he explains. “I was so focused on what I had lost, I wasn’t paying attention to what I had gained.” That said, try your best to focus on the present. What do you have in this moment you can be thankful for? Whether you sit down for a formal gratitude practice or simply reflect on the little things that bring you joy, lean into those moments. You’ll likely fare better in the long run.

    3. Focus on a growth mindset.

    “You can allow a moment to define you, or you can allow a moment to help you grow,” Williams states. Meaning, we might not be able to control what happens to us in life, but we can control how we react. That being said, approach a situation with a “What can I learn from this?” mentality—reflecting on the ways you can grow will ultimately help you find the purpose you need to keep going. And to help the process work twofold, be sure to surround yourself with people who also share that growth mindset. “The more I focus on the ways I can grow and surround myself with people who challenge me to grow…helps me become a better father, husband, and be more self-reflective,” Williams says. Find what works best for you, and lean into that practice; make sure you’re cultivating a sense of purpose, no matter how scary or bleak a situation might seem. If nothing else, just be thankful for the fact that you are here, alive: “Shit happens to everyone, but shit builds me. I’m lucky enough to be here on this earth for the shit to happen to me.” Couldn’t agree more, Williams.
    Author Jason Wachob | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • The One Chocolate Treat You Need To Have In Your Freezer Right Now
    May 22, 2020 at 01:04AM
    When warmer weather rolls around, cozy, gooey sweets make their way to cool, airy desserts. Enter, this simple, four-ingredient chocolate fudge, bound to be your sweet summer staple. It’s decadent, rich, and oh-so-easy to whip up, yet it’s packed with a whole lot of healthy nutrients. Dates provide natural sweetness, the almond butter adds in healthy fats and protein, but the key part of the foursome is mbg’s grass-fed chocolate collagen+—so you can support glowing skin with every bite.*
    Collagen supplements have been shown to support skin hydration and smooth the appearance of fine lines, and the hyaluronic acid and vitamin E in mbg’s formula help enhance those benefits twofold.* And in terms of taste, the flavor is unparalleled: Made with organic cacao from Peru, collagen+ yields a premium, chocolaty treat with no bitter aftertaste. This luxurious freezer fudge is wildly good for you—and it takes less than 10 minutes to make.*
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    4-Ingredient No-Bake Chocolate Fudge

    Yields 4 servings 



    1. Place your dates and almond milk in a saucepan on low-medium heat. Stir frequently until the dates soften into a paste (you may have to smash them a little with the back of the spoon once they soften). Be vigilant as you stir, lowering the heat if necessary—you don’t want it to burn. After around five minutes of stirring, it should form that paste-like consistency.
    2. Take the saucepan off the heat, then add in your chocolate collagen powder and almond butter. Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are incorporated; there should be no clumps, but the consistency should still be pretty thick.
    3. Pour the mixture into a baking dish (mine was a small square casserole tray, but any dish will do—just know the thickness of your fudge may vary depending on the size of your tray).
    4. Cover and set in the freezer for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
    5. Slice, eat, and enjoy!
    A final note: You can always double (or triple) the recipe to make more servings. Trust us; after taking one bite of the chocolaty goodness, you’ll want to.
    Author Jamie Schneider | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • Researchers Find Exercise Can Improve Memory — Even If It’s Already Fading
    May 21, 2020 at 12:10PM
    Aerobic exercise is beneficial for just about everyone and may be especially important for the aging population. For years, researchers have identified a link between exercise and brain health—even in small doses. Finally, scientists from the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center have figured out why exercise may improve memory and cognitive functioning. A recent study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found aerobic exercise boosts blood flow to two regions of the brain connected to memory function. These findings prove, once again, aerobic exercise may lower risks of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

    What did the researchers find?

    The researchers analyzed 30 participants, 60 years old or older, with preexisting memory problems. Brain-imaging scans and memory scores were taken at the start of the study, and the participants were split into two groups. One group engaged in aerobic exercise training for a year, while the other group routinely stretched. Both groups trained for 25 to 30 minutes, three times per week. After analyzing new brain scans and memory tests at the end of the 12-month period, researchers noticed a 47% improvement in the exercise group’s memory scores, and they had a clue as to why. The group who participated in aerobic exercise showed increased blood flow to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the hippocampus. The ACC plays a role in attention and memory, while the hippocampus affects both short- and long-term memory functions.
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    Why does this matter?

    The study reveals that exercise not only affects brain health but that it may be able to improve or even reverse existing memory loss. “We’ve shown that even when your memory starts to fade, you can still do something about it by adding aerobic exercise to your lifestyle,” senior researcher Binu Thomas, Ph.D., said in a news release. The study also pinpoints the mechanisms responsible for improving memory and brain health, which can lead scientists one step closer to understanding neurodegenerative disorders. “Cerebral blood flow is a part of the puzzle, and we need to continue piecing it together,” Thomas said. “But we’ve seen enough data to know that starting a fitness program can have lifelong benefits for our brains as well as our hearts.”
    Author Abby Moore | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • How To Navigate The Convo Around Unemployment, From A Financial Expert
    May 22, 2020 at 12:08AM
    You aren’t alone if you are experiencing some odd feelings around unemployment. Whether it is you who has had to take advantage of the program or someone close to you, claiming unemployment has either felt like a relief or has been laden with some feels. Because we don’t talk freely about our money, navigating conversations around unemployment can feel equally awkward, but they don’t have to.

    Let’s reframe how we think about unemployment.

    Unemployment is a program that is built to lend help when individuals are in need; there’s just one big problem with that; most of us aren’t good at asking for help and avoid it at all costs. In our modern world, asking for help means we are waving the white flag and reluctantly taking off our Superhuman cape. Consider unemployment as natural as paying taxes or putting money into a flex account. It’s there to lend support when you need it. We don’t feel embarrassed receiving a tax refund, so this should be no different. Asking for help has nothing to do with your success as a human.
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    So, how do we maneuver conversations around unemployment when they pop up?

    First, we have to normalize the conversation. As humans, we often fear having tough conversations, not because of the actual topic but because we are anticipating the other person’s reaction. If you’ve ever experienced a conversation where the response was not what you were expecting (good or bad), it completely changes the vibe. Think of this when you are talking about your unemployment or someone is sharing that they are on unemployment. Your reaction greatly matters. You can help someone feel more comfortable when you receive the information without a strong reaction. If you are the one sharing that you are unemployed, recognize the other person’s reaction, thoughts, and feelings are not yours to take on. If you are someone in this pandemic who hasn’t experienced big shifts and aren’t concerned about your job or money security, you might find yourself tiptoeing around conversations with others that are going through hardship for fear of saying something wrong. That might be sprinkled with a bit of guilt for your good fortune. First, know your awareness goes a long way. Being mindful and sensitive to whom you are speaking and their situation is key. If you find yourself in a conversation and are being asked questions regarding your situation, you don’t have to lie. Be honest and acknowledge your gratitude. It changes the dynamic of a conversation when we know someone has awareness of their circumstances. That little gesture alone will allow for more natural conversation that is open and honest.

    Here are 3 tips to help you navigate tough money conversations.

    Even in a pandemic, our natural reaction will be to avoid any topic around money, but those conversations are hard to ignore because of the state of economics we are currently living through. As with all things that are uncomfortable, they become comfortable as you get more practice. Just as managing your money is a skill that you can improve, you can also improve your communication skills around hard conversations. Here’s how:
    1. Listen. At the foundation of any conversation, but especially a hard one, listening is going to be your most valued tool. Holding space for someone and listening as they communicate their stress is a gift that many don’t receive. Resist the urge to think of what you will say in response and focus on hearing the other person’s words.
    2. Let them know you heard them. As humans, we love to hear our names, and we love to know that we were heard. It is powerful to know someone gets what you are going through. And you can do that by letting someone know you heard them. The best way to do this? Simply repeat what you heard like, “I hear you are stressed” or “It seems you are sad”—that’s it. Potent stuff.
    3. Resist problem-solving. We hate to see others around us struggling. It’s uncomfortable, and we don’t like to feel uncomfortable! Our natural reaction will be to try to solve the problem. It comes from a good place but can often not be received well, especially if someone is still stressed out and processing a situation. Not sure what the person you are having a conversation with needs? Ask! “Would you like for me to help you find solutions, or is listening what is best?” This simple phrase can help ease most conversations forward.

    The takeaway.

    Right now, many are experiencing circumstances that are new to them, unknown, and financially challenging. It’s the first time for many individuals needing to go on unemployment or even losing a job. As with all conversations, and especially with your money, you have the power to normalize the discussion by how you show up and how you react. Keeping those two things in mind will help you move through these tricky topics.
    Author Brianna Firestone | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC
  • How To Make Your Own Delicious Almond Milk At Home + Health Benefits
    May 21, 2020 at 11:04PM
    In recent years, nondairy beverages have slowly started popping up in grocery stores and coffee shops around the U.S. Even if you appreciate the nostalgia or flavor of cow’s milk, plant-based and lactose-free options may better suit your dietary needs. If you’re considering switching to almond milk but still have a few questions about it (i.e., health benefits, how it compares to dairy milk, and how to use it), some advice straight from nutritionists should help.
    In This Article
    • 1
      What is almond milk?
      Is almond milk healthy?
    • 3
      Almond milk nutrition.
      Almond versus cow’s milk.
    • 5
      Benefits of almond milk.
      How to make almond milk.

    What is almond milk?

    Almond milk is a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. Similar to oat milk, macadamia milk, or hemp milk, it’s made by blending almonds and water together and straining out the excess liquid. The beverage might not taste exactly like dairy milk, but the consistency is comparable enough to make it an effective substitute. If you’re patient enough to soak your almonds overnight, making your own almond milk at home is easy enough. Otherwise, you can buy almond milk from brands like Califia, Elmhurst, SoDelicious, and Almond Breeze at the grocery store.
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    Is almond milk healthy?

    Almond milk is made primarily of water and, in a minimally processed, unsweetened form, can be healthy. But according to registered dietitian Willow Jarosh, M.S., RDN, the word healthy varies depending on your personal dietary and nutrition needs. If you’re looking to manage weight, almond milk may be a good option. “Unsweetened almond milk is naturally lower in calories per serving than traditional skim cow’s milk,” registered dietitian Emily Kyle, R.D., says. Just be sure to look out for added sugars and preservatives. If you’re lactose intolerant or following a plant-based diet, almond milk is a great option to have on hand. With a low carb count, this milk can also keep you in ketosis if you follow a keto diet.

    Almond Milk Nutrition

    • Calories: 36.6
    • Fat: 2.68 g
    • Sodium: 173 mg
    • Carbohydrates: 1.42 g
    • Sugar: 0 g
    • Fiber: 0 g
    • Protein: 1.44 g
    • Calcium: 481 mg
    These nutrition facts are based on 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    How does almond milk compare to cow’s milk or other nondairy milks?

    One major distinction between almond milk and cow’s milk is, of course, the dairy. For anyone sensitive to lactose or following a dairy-free diet, almond milk is a nutritious alternative. Cow’s milk is a better source of protein (about 8 grams per cup), while almond milk only provides about 1 gram. However, there are plenty of other ways to add protein to your diet, and most Americans already get more than they need, registered dietitian Maggie Moon, M.S., R.D., once told mbg. “Cow’s milk, in general, has a wider profile of vitamins and minerals,” Jarosh says. However, “some [almond milk] brands add calcium and vitamin D in quantities similar to what is found in cow’s milk.” If someone depends on those nutrients specifically, a fortified almond milk would be just as beneficial. Almond milk is relatively similar to other nondairy milks. “With the exception of soy and pea milks, which have more protein,” Jarosh says. If you are allergic to tree nuts, oat milk may be a better alternative.

    What are the benefits of almond milk?

    Almond milk is incredibly hydrating since it’s made mostly of water and is safe for anyone with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. “Compared to other plant-based milks, almond milk is naturally a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin E,” one study says. Unsweetened almond milk is also low in calories and sugar while high in calcium. It has a slightly nutty flavor, Jarosh tells us, which can play well with granola or cereal but is muted enough to not alter the taste of baked goods.

    How to make almond milk.

    Making almond milk at home is simple enough and is a great way to make sure your milk is free of additives. If you’re not patient enough to soak your almonds, this is a simple no-soak recipe that produces a similar flavor. Otherwise, this homemade almond milk recipe from Abigail Hopkins, R.N., proves you can make almond milk with just almonds, water, and a sweetener of your choice.


    • 1 cup almonds
    • 4 cups water
    • 3 pitted dates
    • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
    • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


    1. Soak almonds in water for 8 to 12 hours. Drain and rinse.
    2. Blend almonds and water for about 1 minute or until smooth (Add in dates if you’re using them).
    3. Over a large bowl, strain the pulp using a cheesecloth.
    4. Optional: Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
    5. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
    “The higher the number of almonds per cup, the creamier the milk will likely be,” Jarosh says. So if you’re looking for a less watery almond milk, experiment with adding more almonds.

    How can you use almond milk?

    Almond milk has a smooth and mild taste. This makes it a versatile alternative to dairy milk, and you can use it as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes. “It’s great for use in coffee drinks, as a smoothie base, making overnight oats,” says Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, “or as a substitute for cow’s milk in baked goods, sauces, and other recipes.” It also works well in chia puddings and oatmeal.

    Bottom line.

    For anyone who can’t consume dairy or soy, almond milk is a great milk alternative. Just remember, while almonds are high in protein, almond milk is primarily water and not a great source of protein. Check that your almond milk is fortified with vitamin D and calcium if you’re looking for more of those nutrients in your diet.
    Author Abby Moore | Life by Daily Burn Selected by CWC

  • Dermatologists and Celebrities Swear By This Affordable Skincare Brand

    May 28, 2020 at 04:00PM

    Skincare can be really expensive. In fact, I’m kind of fed up of tip-toeing around the fact that in so many cases, we’re all being painfully overcharged for certain skincare products. Brands know all too well the price that we’re willing to pay for great skin, and they’re not afraid to take advantage of it. However, as our skincare priorities have shifted, not only are brands charging obscene amounts of money for efficacious products, but they’re also driving up prices on products that look more aesthetically pleasing. As a result of this, it’s safe to say that when it comes to skincare, price does not always reflect quality.

    So when a no-frills product range comes along that doesn’t have a gimmicky name, doesn’t come housed in Instagram-worthy bottles and generally lacks fancies, it can be very easy for it to be overlooked. If you ask me, that is exactly what happened to CeraVe. For years, CeraVe had been heralded as one of the few U.S. brands that British beauty editors couldn’t wait to get their hands on. So when it finally launched in the UK a few years ago, I bought almost everything in the range.

    As a beauty editor, barely a day goes by where I don’t talk to a dermatologist about one thing or another, and over the years, I’d go as far to say that CeraVe has been one of the most highly recommended brands. And it’s not just skin experts that love it either—it also has some celebrity fans. Rumour has it that Blake Lively loves the SPF and Olivia Wilde swears by CeraVe moisturiser. Above all of that, every product comes in at under £20, and honestly, there isn’t a single product in the lineup that I can fault.

    Sure, CeraVe products might not be the prettiest to look at or even the most luxurious to use, but they work, which is more than can be said for some products triple their price. The brand creates products that work to protect and restore the natural skin barrier to prevent irritation, dryness and even breakouts. By providing the skin with three essential ceramides (moisture-retaining lipids which are naturally found in skin), CeraVe products have become my go-to for when my skin doesn’t want to play ball. I might not wake up in the morning with a whole new glowing complexion, but they are the only products I really trust to restore moisture, calm breakouts and generally get my complexion back on track.

    So if your skin is prone to dryness, breakouts or just simply struggles to behave itself, keep scrolling for the very best CeraVe products out there.

    Lightweight and not even a little bit greasy, this face lotion with SPF is ideal for those with sensitive skin who usually react to suncream. Made with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and CeraVe’s famous ceramide complex, it soothes skin as it works. 

    If you have eczema-prone skin that you struggle to look after, this super-hydrating cleanser is perfect. Unlike other formulas, it’s not heavy and doesn’t leave the skin feeling coated. Instead, it just soothes and hydrates as a deeper level. 

    For dark circles, puffiness and general dehydration, this deeply moisturising eye cream works wonders. It’s a real all-arounder. 

    If your dry skin has become cracked and flaky, a generous layer of this moisturising cream will do the job. Plus, it delivers 24 hours worth of hydration so you don’t have to worry about constant reapplication.

    Caring for skin that sits somewhere between oily and sensitive can be really tricky, with most products catering to one or the other. This ever-so-light gel-to-foam cleanser fights against excess oil while delivering hydration at the same time. My favourite bit? It is also formulated with niacinamide to reduce irritation. 

    If it’s breakouts and congestion that you suffer with, look no further than this salicylic acid cleanser. Great for sloughing away at dead skin cells, not only is it great at fighting blackheads, but it also works wonderfully on rough bumps on the backs of arms and legs. 

    Next up, makeup artists swear by these £10-something brushes for a flawless look.

    Author Shannon Lawlor | Whowhatwear
    Selected by CWC

  • 28 Wedding Guest Dresses We’re Already Eyeing Up for 2021

    May 28, 2020 at 08:10AM

    Wedding ceremonies might be currently on hold, however this means that for many the invitations are already stacking up for next year—and here at Who What Wear we can’t help but plan our outfits far ahead. Especially when so many dresses are heading into sale, and these days wedding guest dresses can also be styled in more relaxed way. We are certainly not opposed to wearing a fancy dress for a socially distanced walk. 

    There are many factors to consider when choosing an outfit for an important event, which means many of us start browsing as soon as the invitation hits our letterbox. Who will be there? Will you be caught off-guard in a candid snap? What about the pictures that last forever and ever in everyone’s photo albums? And then there’s what you really want to opt for in your heart of hearts. Lace? Pastels? Florals? Designer? High street? So many options. That’s not to even mention choices other than dresses (of which there are many, but we won’t go there here).

    Sometimes, the answer comes in the form of an elevated, beautiful gown that wins in one swish of a hem. We think it’s never too early to start planning for a wedding, so we’ve scoured the latest collections to bring you a fashion editor’s selection of the greatest pieces to invest in.

    Click through to see the dresses you can wear (and wow with) on repeat.

    A classic and flattering dress style for all ages. 

    The prettiest shade of green. 

    Well played, & Other Stories. 

    Dress up with heels or add chunky boots for the weekend. 

    Such a beautiful colour.

    One of the prettiest dresses we’ve seen in ages. 

    Make it extra fancy with gold jewellery.

    Just add clashing pink mules. 

    This will look great with boots in the winter too. 

    Perfection does exist. 

    Just so gorgeous. 

    This silhouette is a little sassy, but that’s why we love it. 

    Add strappy sandals. 

    We’re in love.

    Green is one of the colours of the upcoming season. Trust us.

    Sorry, Miranda, we’re all about the florals.

    Perfect for flouncing around the dance floor come evening.

    If you’re into ’90s minimalism, this one’s for you. 

    Team with clashing pink heels and big earrings.

    Add a white sandal to complete. 

    So elegant. 

    The length is perfect for all seasons. 

    Perfect for a wedding in the countryside. 

    On a budget? Opt for black in a structured shape to give off the expensive outfit vibe. 

    One shoulders are creeping back in again, and we’re not mad about it. 

    Yes, you can go maxi without having to be the bride or bridesmaid. 

    Great for a wedding next year, great for the summer right now. 

    Next up, the biggest S/S 20 fashion trends you need know. 

    This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

    Author Joy Montgomery | Whowhatwear
    Selected by CWC

  • I Think I’ve Found the Perfect Shampoo for Every Hair Type

    May 28, 2020 at 07:00AM

    “Hair is everything. We wish it wasn’t so we could actually think about something else occasionally, but it is. It’s the difference between a good day and a bad day.” Truer words were never spoken than in Fleabag’s speech to maligned hairdresser Anthony.

    But how do you avoid that bad hair day? As someone who’s been blessed (and sometimes cursed) with naturally curly hair, my theory is you need to start with the basics and by that I mean a great shampoo. As I’ve got a particular sort of hair, I decided to ask the rest of the Who What Wear editors about the shampoos they rate.

    Among our team are women with curly, straight and wavy hair. We’ve also got blondes, brunettes, greys and highlights. So you can guarantee that we’ve got a lot of areas covered. Whether you’re looking for the best shampoos for dry scalps or just want to make your fine hair feel thicker, I’ve found some of the best around. Keep scrolling for our edit.

    My personal favourite for dry scalps is The Body Shop’s ginger shampoo, but there are so many other brilliant ones on the market that range in price. 

    Overdone it with the blow-drying or straighteners? Try some of these repairing shampoos. 

    Blonde hair—whether natural or highlighted—can always benefit from a great lightening shampoo. Olaplex No.4 is one of the recommended products for a reason: It repairs bonds while also cleansing the hair. Ideal for dyed hair. 

    Even brunettes need a bit of a help with boosting colour. Try any of the four products below to give your brown strands a high gloss. 

    These shampoos are great for all-over hair gloss but also smell incredible. You can skip your perfume the day you use these. 

    There’s a range of curly hair from loose waves to Afro. Below, you’ll find shampoos that cater to every kind. Vernon Francois is a celebrity hairstylist (Lupita Nyong’o is one of his clients) and specialises in Afro hair and has created his own hair brand. 

    Want to give your fine hair volume? We’ve got you covered. 

    Thick hair is brilliant, but sometimes it needs a little help to keep it under control. See our pick of the best shampoos for smoothing thick hair below. 

    Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends you need to know.

    Author Elinor Block | Whowhatwear
    Selected by CWC

  • I Love This Subtle Blush Nail Varnish, and It’s the Queen’s Favourite Too

    May 28, 2020 at 06:30AM

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: My biggest beauty gripe is chipped nail varnish. And I’m saying this as I sit here typing away with bright, poppy red nails that are well overdue removal (I’m a hypocrite, okay?!). However, the first thing on my agenda this evening when I clock off is to get this varnish off my nails and repaint them so that they look fresh, neat and, well, polished.

    You see, the problem with opting for bright nails is that it doesn’t wear particularly well. And that is the very reason that around two years ago I swapped my signature red polish for a more understated look. I discovered that opting for a blush shade that is close to my natural nail colour creates a fresh, pretty, glossy finish that, most importantly, doesn’t show any obvious chips or smudges.

    Since discovering my love for bare-look nails, it’s fair to say that I have amassed quite the collection of blush nude polishes. However, there is one particular polish that I find myself reaching for more often than not, and that is Essie Ballet Slippers (£8). Glossy, long-lasting and incredibly easy to apply, Essie formulas have been a favourite of mine for years, and Ballet Slippers is no exception.

    A little bit pink but a little bit beige at the same time, I find Ballet Slippers matches the natural colour of nails almost perfectly, like a custom nude. For when I don’t have the time to perform a full-blown manicure, I always reach for Ballet Slippers. The natural-looking blush pigment means that application doesn’t have to be particularly precise and any mistakes are barely visible.

    And it turns out that I am not alone in my love for Ballet Slippers, it’s a royal favourite too. Always opting for a natural-looking blush polish (presumably for the same reasons I have outlined above), rumour has it that Ballet Slippers is also the Queen’s go-to. And when it comes to Ballet Slippers, it’s a full royal affair, with both Meghan and Kate also opting for it on occasion.

    So although I fancied experimenting with a brighter look this week, you better believe that the unsightly chips I have been left with will have me reaching for that well-loved Essie bottle this evening.  

    Next up, I rarely wear foundation, but this is the product I turn to for a glowing complexion.

    Author Shannon Lawlor | Whowhatwear
    Selected by CWC

  • I Speak to Dermatologists Every Day, These Are the Brands They Always Recommend

    May 28, 2020 at 06:30AM

    The best thing about being a beauty editor is that I get the opportunity to speak with some of the world’s top beauty experts basically every single day. From celebrity makeup artists to Harley Street surgeons, I am forever picking the brains of experts in a bid to learn everything there is to know about beauty. And, while picking up different makeup tips and tricks is wonderful, the one thing I am always most fascinated by is the sort of products skin experts swear by.

    There’s no doubt that shopping for skincare can be daunting and often frustrating, and not just because of the abundance of choice. All too often we are let down by miracle claims that don’t live up to their promises. And, while most medical skin experts and dermatologists insist that if you have serious skin concerns, you should always seek expert advice, there are a handful of accessible skincare brands that they wax lyrical about.

    From super-affordable cleansers and SPFs to clinical-grade serums, there are a number of brands and products that come highly recommended time and time again. With expert-approved ingredients, when it comes to the skincare brands that derms love, you better believe you’ll see results. Keep scrolling to discover the brands and products that dermatologists always recommend.

    French skincare is known for its glowing results, but La Roche-Posay really is in a league of its own. Much like all of the products to follow, its formulas are fuss-free and contain very few, what I like to call, “luxe additions”, meaning there’s little fragrance and no expensive-feeling slip to the products. They just work.

    Possibly the most highly-recommended skincare product of all time, this moisturiser is regularly recommended for those that suffer with blemish and breakout-prone complexions. With niacinamide to reduce the redness and appearances of blemishes, it also contains lipo hydroxy acid and salicylic acid to unclog pores. Great for sensitive skin too, it’s virtually impossible to have a conversation with a dermatologist about breakouts without this moisturiser cropping up at least once.

    If you’re experiencing any sort of skin problem (with the exception of perhaps extreme dryness and sensitivity), this cleanser always comes highly recommended. Simple yet effective, it works to deeply cleanse without drying.

    If you struggle with wearing SPF daily, this is one to add to your radar. It’s lightweight, seriously protecting and, most importantly, a wonderful choice for sensitive skin types. As someone with naturally oily, congested skin, every time I moan about greasy SPF formulas, a dermatologist pulls out the Anthelios card to show that really, there is no excuse.

    For years, dermatologists raved about CeraVe as the affordable skincare brand that everyone should know about, but it was only available in the U.S. Now though, you can buy the hero products on British soil too. Again, incredibly simple formulas that promote skin health in every way, it’s hard to go wrong.

    For those with dry, irritation-prone skin, this hydrating cleanser shouldn’t be overlooked. With essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid, it’s designed to repair and protect the skin barrier while removing daily build up.

    This tiny little tube holds one hell of a formula. It’s deeply nourishing and hydrating, but is also fragrance-free and non-comedogenic so you can use it without the risk of irritation or blocked pores.

    When dry skin needs a real helping hand, this hardworking moisturiser comes highly recommended. Again, relying on CeraVe’s signature ceramide and hyaluronic acid combination, it offers serious non-irritating hydration that, over time, will have skin looking and feeling its best again.

    While most of the other brands on this list can be purchased either in store or via mainstream retailers, Exuviance is very much a clinical brand and you may have to hunt a little harder to find it. It’s likely that you may not have heard of it before, but the shelves of some of the best aesthetics clinics around usually boast an impressive selection of Exuviance products.

    This stuff means business. If you suffer with congestion and blackheads, a thin layer left on for one minute will do the trick. With professional-grade crystals, glycolic acid and papaya enzymes to slough away at dead skin cells, dissolve build up and minimise the appearance of pores, it can’t be beaten.

    Vitamin C is one of those ingredients that every dermatologist insists everyone should use (as well as retinol and SPF). Unlike so many other vitamin C products on the market, these capsules ensure that the formula remains potent and stable for maximum results.

    You may notice that this pot looks a little different to the others. Recently, Exuviance had a rebrand and this is just its old packaging. You see, this particular product is so amazing that it’s hard to catch it in stock. The renamed Skinrise Morning Glow Pads are already sold out, but the same formula in the old packaging is (thankfully) still available in some places. With poly hydroxy acids which work to deeply exfoliate with minimal irritation, these simple pads will have skin youthfully glowing beyond belief.

    While dermatologists do have some seriously great affordable recommendations up their sleeves, that’s not to say that the more expensive options are no good. In fact, SkinCeuticals is a brand that dermatologists continue to recommend despite its eye-watering prices. Loved by doctors, aestheticians and facialists, its highly potent formulas are some of the best that money can buy.

    Probably one of the most well-known products in its offering, the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum delivers a hearty dose of vitamin C which gives skin a glowing radiance that has beauty editors and celebs weak at the knees. Beyond that, skin experts rave about the antioxidant benefits of this serum which work to protect skin from ageing aggressors.

    Another universally-adored SPF. Not only is the protection factor on this stuff great, it’s also really lightweight and gives skin a lovely subtle glow, making it a great everyday option.

    Similarly to C E Ferulic, this serum also contains vitamin C and ferulic acid, but this time with the added antioxidant benefits of phloretin. While C E Ferulic is all about protection from the signs of ageing, this serum is more about improving the skin’s overall appearance, minimising pigmentation and improving texture.

    If you haven’t already guessed, French pharmaceutical brands are a big hit among dermatologists. With simple, fuss-free formulas, they are a go-to for those with problem skin. Bioderma might be best known for its makeup-artist-approved micellar water, but dermatologists and skin experts also swear by its Sebium range for controlling breakouts.

    Bioderma’s famous Sensibio H2O micellar water is a great non-irritating way to remove makeup at the end of the day. Simply apply to a cotton pad and swipe over the face to dissolve makeup. Just be sure to cleanse properly afterwards too.

    Ideal for those with breakout-prone, oily skin that still requires a bit of daily moisture, not only does this moisturiser regulate sebum production and shine, it is also non-comedogenic so won’t contribute to any further breakouts.

    From the same range is this foaming cleanser. Ideal for oily skin types, it cleanses and purifies the skin and limits sebum production at the same time. The best bit? While it’s foaming, it’s also soap-free so doesn’t overly dry out the skin either.

    Next up, this new affordable French skincare brand is seriously good.

    Author Shannon Lawlor | Whowhatwear
    Selected by CWC


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