Astrology 101: How To Sync Your Monthly Cycle With The Phases Of The Moon

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Just like the moon, women’s cycles have four phases each month. And it turns out that understanding both lunar cycles and menstrual cycles can be the ultimate ladies’ life hack. We recently sat down with Alisa Vitti, hormone expert, functional nutritionist, and menstrual maven, to talk about living in sync with your cycle.

If you’re a woman who gets a period, you need this info.

Men’s bodies, women’s bodies: understanding the difference between 24-hour and 28-day cycles.

Here’s some hormone science I learned from my conversation with Alisa: Men and women operate on completely different schedules. (She wrote about this in her best-selling book, WomanCode, and this has been a key part of the FLO Living system for years.)

Did you know that men’s bodies were designed to be most productive on a 24-hour cycle? Women, on the other hand, operate on a 28-day cycle, with four unique phases.

Because men make most of their testosterone while they sleep, they wake up in the morning ready for “power breakfasts” or intense workouts that fuel them to go “crush it” in the world. Then by about four or five o’clock, their T-stash is depleted and they’re done for the day. (Lather, rest, repeat.)

Women, on the other hand, go through four distinct hormonal trends every month. (Yup—just like the moon, which also has four phases!) Each phase makes us especially good at a different kind of productivity. Some weeks we’re more creative; others are best for planning. Depending on the phase, we’re in the mood for different kinds of love and sex, and we can even optimize our health by eating specific foods.

Women make up 57 percent of the workforce, and most of us are forced to adapt to a testosterone-dictated model in order to stay gainfully employed. Now that we’ve learned these secrets from MyFLO, we’ve started shifting our own schedules, working on strategy during the follicular phase and doing more of our writing during the ovulatory phase, when high estrogen levels grant us improved verbal ability. Hello, lady-powered life-hack!

Moon phases and menstrual phases:

The quality of each menstrual phase corresponds with the energy of a moon phase. Although they don’t always sync up, knowing which phase you’re in can help you with everything from which foods to eat to what kind of romance and sex you’ll crave and how productive you’ll be.

The four phases:

1. The menstrual or new moon phase:

This phase is when you should take initiative and prepare for action.

2. The follicular or waxing moon phase:

Begin taking the action you planned, and initiate creative projects you’ve had on the horizon.

3. The ovulation or full moon phase:

Put it out all out there! Speak up, pitch, collaborate, and shine. Show the world what you’ve been working on.

4. The luteal or waning moon phase.

During this phase, you should wrap up tasks you’ve started, put your energy toward staying focused, and finish projects you’ve started.

While your period may not necessarily sync with the corresponding phase, there are things you can do if you want to start your cycle at the new moon (called the White Moon Cycle) or the full moon (Red Moon Cycle). Read Alisa’s explanation here!

Want more insights on how to level up your life? Check out your love horoscope, then find out why holding on to past relationships is the worst thing you can do for yourself.

Running Season Is Here. If You Want To Get Faster & Stronger, Read This

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If you want to become a stronger, faster runner and lower your risk for injury, incorporating strength training into your exercise routine is a must.

Unfortunately, many runners leave out strength training from their workouts or only do it occasionally—which is unfortunate because strength workouts are crucial to endurance training. Running alone just isn’t going to provide you with the strength and overall fitness level you need to improve your times. Adding the following five exercises to your weekly workouts will not only help you minimize injury and gain strength but will help you achieve peak running performance:

1. Standard body squats.

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing forward. Sit back like you are sitting on a chair. Be sure to keep your knees directly over your ankles. Do three sets of 12 repetitions. If you need, you can hold 5- or 10-pound dumbbells for extra resistance.

2. Perfect walking lunges.

Stand upright, and take a large stride back with your right leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to perfect 90-degree angles. Don’t let your knee hit the ground. Repeat with your left leg. Do four sets of 12 repetitions on each leg.

3. Full-body push-ups.

Start in plank position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart. Make sure your fingers are spread outward. Engage your core and begin to lower your entire body toward the ground, keeping your head, neck, and back in a straight line. Don’t allow your torso to drop down or stick out. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Push yourself back up. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions each.

4. Traditional abdominal crunches.

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Keep your shoulders back with your chin up. Don’t tuck your chin into the neck. Lift the upper half of your body while slowly exhaling, and then inhale going back down. Do four sets of 25 repetitions.

5. Bicycle crunches.

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, your feet on the ground, and your hands behind your head. Bring your right elbow to meet your left knee; repeat on the other side. Do three sets of 25 repetitions on each side. This is a great exercise to increase oblique strength and build a stable core.

Finally, be sure to spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching all of the major muscle groups after any workout. Some of my favorites include lying hamstring stretches, standing quad stretches, lying piriformis stretches (allows the hip to rotate), standing calf stretches, and ITB (illiotibial band runs outside the thigh from the hip to the shin) stretches.

Incorporate this exercise sequence into your running routine two to three days per week for at least six weeks, and I promise you’ll see improvements in your flexibility and strength. Other great workouts for runners include yoga, high-intensity interval training, and boxing. Good luck!

Love running? Read about the woman who’s beating cancer one run at a time.

5 Hacks To Optimize Your High-Fat Diet

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I love hearing from and seeing women practically glowing, feeling amazing, and finally reaching—or at least nearingtheir goal weight. This is especially rewarding when they started out very differently: sluggish, not sleeping well, with a history of diabetes or other disease, and a near-zero sex drive.

Within months on a high-fat ketogenic diet, so many of my patients feel and look fabulous. Even their blood work looks better and they are no longer cursing the scales. Studies confirm that a ketogenic diet can create those and other benefits. Originally designed for epilepsy, studies today show ketogenic diets benefit numerous conditions including weight loss, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and energy levels. When you’re in ketosis, you’re not eating enough carbohydrates to provide your body glucose, its primary fuel. Instead, your body shifts to an alternative fuel called ketones, which are derived from fat breakdown. You’re literally burning fat to fuel your brain, heart, and other organs.

Addressing safety concerns and risks of ketosis.

Let’s be clear: Ketosis is not dangerous. Some people still confuse nutritional ketosis with diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes. Nutritional ketosis involves the regulated, controlled production where blood pH remains buffered within normal limits. While perfectly safe, ketogenic diets sometimes have drawbacks that can make staying the course difficult. For one, they can increase acid load that shifts urinary chemistry, putting you at risk for problems like kidney stones.

Too many acidic foods create a “chronic low-grade acidosis,” depleting precious minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium while adversely affecting your bone health, increasing inflammation, and paving the way for chronic disease. In essence, your body scavenges minerals to balance your blood pH, but with adverse consequences. I saw these and other limitations within traditional ketogenic diets, which is why I created an upgraded version.

Adding alkaline foods to your ketogenic diet.

My plan juxtaposes a ketogenic diet’s many benefits with a focus on alkaline foods. I emphasize testing, not guessing, with urine keto pH strips because what we eat is only a part of what gets us keto-alkaline. Diets fail because the focus is typically on what you eat and how much you exercise. Yet that’s only a few pieces of the puzzle, and the principles in my plan go beyond this limited perspective.

Before shifting dietary focus into ketosis, my patients focus on alkaline-rich foods, eliminating many problems ketogenic diets potentially create like bad breath and constipation, helping them easily stay in ketosis. I also incorporate lifestyle practices like meditation, gratitude journaling, and long walks in nature, which lower your body’s stress hormone cortisol. Once you’re alkaline, you’ll shift into ketosis by eating about 56 to 70 percent healthy fats, 20 to 25 percent protein, and about 5 to 10 percent healthy carbohydrates (mostly alkaline vegetables). Women tend to need the higher end to really stay alkaline while in ketosis.

Taking your high-fat diet to the next level.

In short, this diet is perfect whether you want to reverse or prevent disease, lose weight, break a weight-loss plateau, or any combination of the above! Whether you’re focusing on alkaline foods or doing a traditional ketogenic diet, these five hacks will optimize and upgrade your plan:

1. Bump up alkaline foods.

Those include green leafy veggies like kale, beet greens, spinach, chard, and a great-tasting veggie-blend powder. Don’t forget to drink plenty of toxin-flushing filtered water!

2. Eliminate acidic foods.

You might love alcohol, coffee, and dairy, but they can knock you out of an alkaline state. That doesn’t mean you’ll never eat them again (I love my dark chocolate), but you’ll need to ditch them temporarily as you shift into alkaline territory. If in doubt, check your Keto pH urine test strips to find out if you’re actually alkaline.

3. Be patient with yourself.

I give patients a week to become alkaline (don’t worry: You’ll lose weight while you’re shifting) and then we focus on ketosis. Most patients see results almost immediately, but any lifestyle transformation can require a few days or weeks to adjust.

4. Try intermittent fasting.

Your ketogenic diet can get an instant upgrade with intermittent fasting (IF). I ask my patients to fast 13.5 to 15 hours between dinner and breakfast. They sleep about eight of those hours, so this modified IF version is (figuratively) a piece of cake!

5. Remember that it’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

Beyond just what you do or don’t eat, focus on reducing stress, getting great sleep, increasing movement, having healthy daily bowel movements, reducing environmental toxin exposure, and cultivating positivity. If you want to lose weight and cultivate glowing health, you’ve got to do all of these things, too.

Low libido? Here’s why the ketogenic diet can transform your sex drive.

THIS Is The Next Wave Of Hygge (And It Could Save You Some Major $$)

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Who could forget the great hygge obsession of 2017? The Danish philosophy gave us all an excuse to get a little cozier in the name of our health. And now, a new Scandi buzzword is on the horizon: lagom, the art of having “not too little, not too much.” Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living, a new book by Niki Brantmark, tells you everything you need to know about this frame of mind.

According to Brantmark, lagom is all about conscious unselfishness—the idea that we all have the responsibility not to overconsume so that there’s plenty to go around for everyone. Let’s take a peek at how the Swedes adopt this innately eco-friendly mentality at home and how we can steal a page from their book.

In Sweden, wind, hydro, and solar power account for 52 percent of the electricity used, which places it at No. 1 in the world for sustainable energy use and puts it firmly on the path to becoming the first fossil-fuel-free nation. The Swedes have challenged all other countries to join the race.

These days, we’re in the fortunate position of being able to choose between different energy providers. You can help your country join the movement by checking where your electricity comes from and, if necessary, switching to a company that uses more renewable sources.

How to keep your house warm (and cool), Swedish style.

In a climate where (in the North) temperatures can plummet to -30°C (-22°F), preventing heat from escaping your home is essential. A well-insulated home has a big impact on the amount of energy we consume—not to mention keeping you toasty when the snow falls outside.

Heating accounts for 42 percent of energy use in the average U.K. home. The escalating cost and environmental impact of this means that it makes sense to follow the Swedish example of checking that we’re retaining heat (and in warmer climes, keeping our homes cool) in the most efficient way. Sometimes investments are required, but they pay off in the long run. Even small steps can help turn your home into an energy-efficient household, and it will save you pennies, too.

Layer it up.

If you’re not ready to make a larger insulation investment just yet, or you’re lucky enough to live in a climate where extreme measures aren’t necessary, adding curtains, blinds, carpets, and rugs help keep the cold at bay and your home draft-free. They amp up the cozy factor, too. After all, the philosophy of lagom isn’t about making things perfect; it’s about putting in just the right amount of effort to ensure you’re comfortable!

Wrap up.

According to a report for the U.K. government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, dialing down the thermostat by just 2 degrees (from 20ºC/68ºF to 18ºC/64ºF) is the No. 1 thing you can do to save energy at home. The report also recommended that you delay turning on your heating by one month (from October to November) and turn off radiators in unused rooms. Woolly jumpers at the ready!

Shut the door on goodbyes.

Whenever guests leave our house in winter, my husband shuts the door the moment their heel passes the threshold. I’m not kidding. As a Brit used to long goodbyes, I find this excruciatingly embarrassing, but for my husband it’s a force of habit. He explains that having worked tirelessly to establish an ideal temperature indoors, he’s not going to let all the well-earned heat escape during a lengthy farewell! I have, of course, kept my tradition of long goodbyes, but I do it inside instead.

How to adopt new energy-saving habits.

I’ve spoken to many Swedes about their engagement in saving energy at home, and more often than not it’s a learned behavior from their parents and grandparents, driven by economic reasons. Now, I’m not saying you should start feeling your way around in the dark (although, of course, a Swede will tell you a few candles would be nice…), but there are simple, energy-saving habits we can all develop that will not only lead to a healthier planet but also help save money for a rainy day (or that next adventure).

Make the change.

The right lighting can create a wonderful atmosphere at home. It’s little wonder that the average home now has 42 lights. But traditional light bulbs come at a cost. According to a report by the Swedish Energy Agency, they represent one-fifth of global electricity use, most of which comes from nonrenewable resources. Experts advise that by changing from a traditional incandescent light bulb to an efficient LED, CFL, or halogen incandescent, you’ll use 25 to 80 percent less energy, and the bulb will last up to 25 times longer.

To reduce the amount of electricity you use, shine a light on the Swedish way of doing things—and make maximum use of natural light. Arrange furniture used for tasks requiring plenty of light nearer the window and keep the glass as unobscured as possible. Not only will your efforts be gentler on your wallet, but they’ll reduce your impact on the planet, too.

If all American households changed from traditional incandescent light bulbs to LED, CFL, or halogen incandescents, the decrease in pollution would be the same as removing a whopping 1.3 million cars from the road.

Flip the switch.

In our rush to get out of the house in the morning, it’s easy to leave the lights on. And really, what difference do a few light bulbs make, right? Wrong! A whopping 90 percent of the energy used by traditional incandescent light bulbs is released through heat, and the higher the wattage, the more energy (and money) you’ll save by switching off.

Unplug at the source.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75 percent of our electrical output from household appliances is consumed when they are not in use. To put this in perspective, if every U.K. home switched off its set-top box at the source each night, the energy saved would be the equivalent to the annual output of a power station. That’s the equivalent of making 80 billion cups of tea. Yikes!

Boil what you need.

The U.K. Tea Council calculates that Brits gulp down 165 million cups of tea per day. With 67 percent of people admitting to overfilling the kettle each time, it’s estimated that by only boiling what we need, we could save enough over a year to power half of the U.K.’s street lighting.

Stain-spot clothes.

In “the good old days” when clothes were hand-washed, people would get more wear out of them. Why not remove spots with a wet cloth and air your clothes to limit the number of washes? You could even give them a good steam by hanging them beside your shower.

Skip the dryer.

Save energy by drying your clothes on a clothesline in the garden or on a drying rack rather than using a tumble dryer. It helps your clothes last longer, too.

Looking to snag more healthy living secrets from Scandi? Check out this game-changing parenting philosophy from Denmark.

This Fettucine Alfredo Has A Secret Ingredient That Makes It SUPER Healthy (And Vegan!)

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Half Baked Harvest has long been one of the most drool-worthy blogs on the internet, and Tieghan Gerard’s long-awaited first cookbook, Half Baked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes From My Barn in the Mountains, carries on that same tradition with stunning aplomb. It’s bursting with colors, exciting but accessible flavor combinations, and just-this-side of healthy recipes that are still completely crave-worthy. This genius twist on Alfredo subs the classic cream sauce for a surprising ingredient: chickpeas. Say what? “Combining hummus with a little of the pasta cooking water creates the creamiest, most scrumptious, and truly alfredo-like-tasting sauce ever, and yet there is zero cream,” explains Tieghan. You can also easily make it vegan. “Just omit the butter and use an equal amount of extra-virgin olive oil, then omit the Parmesan and use and equal amount of nutritional yeast,” says Tieghan. Voilà! Your new favorite dinner is served.

No-Guilt Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 2 small heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound fettuccine pasta
  • 1 cup plain hummus
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (sub olive oil for vegan version)
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (sub nutritional yeast for vegan version)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • Fresh parsley, plus more for serving
  • Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli with the olive oil, cayenne, garlic powder, and a big pinch each of salt and black pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing once, until lightly charred.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and immediately return it to the pot. Add the hummus, about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, and Parmesan. Toss until a creamy sauce forms. Thin the sauce with more pasta cooking water, a little at a time, as needed. Add the basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Taste and season as needed with salt and black pepper.
  4. Add the broccoli to the pasta and toss gently. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan and fresh basil and/or parsley on top.

Exactly What To Eat For A Happier, Less Painful Period

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Menstrual pain is a common complaint from many of my patients. It can actually be debilitating for some women, causing them to miss work or important events, which can negatively affect their quality of life.

Traditionally a physician will prescribe pain medicine and birth control pills to ease the pain, but you can actually make a huge difference in the health and happiness of your periods simply with the food you eat. Try following these dietary guidelines, and see if it makes a difference before resorting to more drastic tactics.

Eat more healthy fats.

I encourage patients to incorporate a more anti-inflammatory or Mediterranean diet into their lifestyle. You can easily incorporate more foods containing omega-3 fatty acids into your overall diet or take a supplement if approved by your medical provider. Omega-3s decrease inflammation and the pain associated with menstrual cycles. You can get enough by eating two to three servings of cold-water fish (like salmon, sardines, or herring) per week, as well as enjoying plant-based sources like walnuts, green leafy vegetables, chia seeds, and eggs.

Top up your magnesium consumption.

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Photo: @Kativ

Magnesium is a mineral many women are deficient in. Magnesium is one of my favorite recommendations to patients because it helps improve anxiety, sleep, and headaches in addition to cramping caused by menstrual dysfunction and pain. Magnesium helps relax the uterine muscles, which is where menstrual pain occurs. Foods rich in magnesium include cashews, soybeans, spinach, almond, halibut. Try incorporating a few of these foods the day leading up to and during your menstrual cycle.

Check for Vitamin B deficiency.

Many women also have a B1 or thiamine deficiency, which manifests in muscle pain, cramping, and sometimes fatigue, which are all symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Lean pork, fish, dried beans, peas, and fortified cereals are all rich in vitamin B1, so eating them could help to alleviate these symptoms.

Vitamin B6 is also another vitamin that tends to be low, which can cause menstrual pain. Vitamin B6 helps get the magnesium into the cell, helping the uterus relax more. Fortified cereal, potatoes with skin, bananas, chicken breasts, and pork loins are also high in vitamin B6. Sometimes your medical provider will recommend a good complete B-complex vitamin, which includes both vitamin B1 and B6. But talk to your doctor before starting one on your own.

Add extra Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is a great anti-inflammatory supplement to include in your regimen. Its anti-inflammatory properties are actually what help ease period pain and can help balance your hormones and menstrual flow.

Try incorporating vitamin E-rich foods a couple of days before your cycle to prevent cramping and anxiety. Foods that are high in vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli, kale, sweet potato, and avocado. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which fights free radicals that cause aging, which is why it’s also one of my favorite anti-aging secrets.

Want to see a day in the life of a period-friendly diet? Hormone expert Alisa Vitti takes you through the details, here.

New Study Proves This One Thing Could Have A Huge Impact On Your Self-Control

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Ever feel like health news is too overwhelming, fast-paced, or hard to decipher? Us too. Here, we filter through the latest in integrative health, wellness trends, and nutrition advice, reporting on the most exciting and meaningful breakthroughs. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know—and how it might help you become a healthier and happier human.

If you’ve ever given in to a not-so-wise shoe purchase while on a spending fast or taken a bite out of a delicious baguette while trying to test your gluten sensitivity, you’ve probably wondered if there’s a magic pill for increasing self-control. The answer is no, but research indicates that exercise could help.

For a recent study published in the journal Behavior Modification, researchers decided to take a closer look at what they had long suspected: that mastering something difficult, such as a strenuous workout routine, could lead to feelings of greater control in other areas of people’s lives. For the first part of the study, researchers had a very small sample size (just four people) take on a two-month walking and jogging regimen that they considered difficult. By the study’s end, three out of four participants had developed greater self-control.

Wanting a larger sample size, researchers decided to conduct a similar experiment on 12 women of different ages, fitness levels, and weights. Again, they found that the more exercise sessions these women attended, the greater their self-control. And these feelings of self-control didn’t just end with the exercise regimen: The self-control continued for a month after the experiment ended, even after they stopped exercising as much.

While this study is a small one, the results aren’t that surprising. Other recent research has found that running with a group makes it easier to quit smoking thanks to a combination of peer support, endorphins, reduced stress, and triumphant feelings of mastering something difficult.

Interested in increasing your self-control? Here’s how to get over food cravings and take control of your life.

What Your Favorite Essential Oil Says About You

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When I went to my first aromatherapy workshop, everyone was asked to share the smell they loved most. Many shared their favorite essential oils, but some loved the smell of freshly cut grass, ground coffee beans, and their childhood detergent. While often overlooked, our sense of smell is more powerful than most of us ever realize. And with the ability to detect more than one trillion scents, it’s an entertaining and sometimes spiritual game to explore what smells resonate with us and why.

Love the smell of cinnamon but hate peppermint? Perhaps you had an adverse childhood experience with some smells or positively associate them with friends, home, and fond memories. If you want to dive deeper into what your favorite essential oil says about you, read on for a fun take uncovering what your favorite aromatic scents reveal about yourself.

Lavender:

Loving lavender makes you just about the best friend that anyone could ever have. You’re powerful yet gentle, but you’re also so naturally gifted at many things that others may be jealous of you. In the plant world, lavender is probably the most well-known essential oil, and it’s used for a multitude of reasons—relaxation, skin care, wound healing, and so much more. Many resonate with the herbaceous, feminine scent, and if you do, I bet you’re strong-willed, a tad flexible and laid-back, and popular—think Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. Even though you’re direct and honest, sometimes you need to pump the brakes and give yourself some TLC. For those of us who know our Myers-Briggs Personality type, ESTJs, this is for you.

Cinnamon:

Warm and invigorating, cinnamon promotes a masculine, yang energy that is hard to resist. In fact, cinnamon repeatedly earns a top spot on the most-loved scent list. Like any ENTP, cinnamon is lovable and charismatic. Just one whiff can make you feel warm and fuzzy. If you love cinnamon, there’s no doubt that fall is your favorite season, and you’ve had a countdown to Halloween since, well, last Halloween. You’re most likely a sharply focused scholar as well. In fact, clinical research shows how cinnamon boosts brain function, even attention span. Beyond that, cinnamon is also known as one of the sexiest scents, which certainly comes in handy for you as a cheeky debater who loves to play devil’s advocate.

Tea Tree:

If you gravitate toward tea tree, you’re most likely an INFP soulful Earth mama. Tea tree is one of the most medicinal essential oils— boasting unparalleled antimicrobial and antiviral properties—but it’s also so gentle that it’s one of the only oils a healthy adult can use neat on the skin. The balsamic scent is known as a formidable immune booster that reminds us that groundedness is one sniff (or call!) away. Tea tree is the friend that everyone needs in their medicine cabinet—giving you that needed reality check while having the knack for doing so mindfully.

Rose:

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Photo: @SilviaJansen

Resonating with rose makes you a queen bee. It’s no secret that you like the finer things in life—romance, luxury, and beauty. You are a social entertainer and may align with the ESFP Myers-Briggs personality type. Rose lovers often see the bigger picture and meaning of life events, even when experiencing immense pain and sadness. The scent of rose helps ease depression and drives away anxiety.

With scent, it’s not uncommon to have affairs. You may love some oil one day, and next month, you might have a new favorite. So, if the energy of rose speaks to you right now (I’m looking at all you fire signs—Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius), invite in what it has to offer. Perhaps you need confidence, strength, or feminine energy. Take what it gives you.

Helichrysum:

Helichrysum is my favorite essential oil. The first time I ever smelled a batch distilled from Corsica, I knew I had smelled it before in my childhood. This essential oil is an all-around healer, and a Vedic astrologer once offered an explanation as to why I connected so deeply with the aroma. In my birth chart, I have some Chiron, which symbolizes the wounded healer. It makes sense that I really love the essential oil connected to that aspect of my astrology.

An underrated oil, it’s one of the best for skin care (an answer for woes like acne and eczema), and if you put it on a bruise overnight, it will look 10 times better in the morning. If you like helichrysum, you likely enjoy bringing others comfort and joy and also have an innate ability to deeply connect with almost anyone. Not to mention, you’re highly creative and mystical—exhibiting the free spirit nature of an ENFP.

Peppermint:

When you think of peppermint, think activation (aka ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs). Peppermint lovers are upbeat and refreshing—often creative thought leaders looking to change the status quo. If you like the cooling, tingling sensation of peppermint, it’s no secret that you’re a go-getter (dare I say, most likely a Pisces or Virgo?). You like instant action and immediate results, which is why you’re a productivity powerhouse. As a friend, your loyalty and levelheadedness make you a go-to pick-me-up because you quickly assess any situation and are also able to mindfully move on from it.

Lemon:

We all have that one extroverted friend with the ability to pull us out of bed to get us to go somewhere or do something. This friend, with boundless energy and a zest for life, is undoubtedly a lemon lover. A self-proclaimed ENFJ (like me!) on the Myers-Briggs, you enjoy inspiring others and have a knack for seeing the silver lining when dealing with disappointment. The citrusy aroma of lemon is truly sunshine in a bottle, which has been clinically demonstrated to have an antidepressant-like effect. You are the good energy that can change the vibration of a room.

Frankincense:

If frankincense speaks to you, I bet you’re a Zen introvert who enjoys spending time in solitude. After all, this is where INTJs do their best creative thinking. Throughout history, frankincense has earned a spiritual reputation while also becoming known for its powerful expectorant and carminative properties. Most notably, frankincense is calming and a cellular regenerator, so it’s no coincidence that it’s a go-to meditation blend oil. A little bit of frankincense may help you gain clarity on riddles, paradoxes, and contradictions that wise, intuitive introverts (INFJs, too) enjoy pondering to help make the world a better place.

Inspired to start building out your own aromatic arsenal? Consider this 101 guide to essential oils required reading.

Your Bulletproof Coffee Fix Just Got Super Convenient. Here’s What You Need To Know

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Your daily coffee routine just got a major boost. Most of us already know and love Bulletproof coffee–which is made by blending grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil into your morning cup of joe to help kick cravings, boost energy, and make you feel great (plus it tastes great, too). But let’s be real—sometimes we just don’t have the time in the mornings to make our beloved Bulletproof. Enter this godsend: ready-to-drink Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew that you can pick up at your local Whole Foods to fuel up in a few seconds flat. Here’s everything you need to know about this awesome new upgrade.

It’s made from clean ingredients.

One of the benefits of making your own Bulletproof coffee at home is that you know exactly what goes into it. But thankfully, you can also trust this Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew ready-to-drink product; each bottle contains zero sugar and no artificial sweeteners, plus it’s filled with Brain Octane oil, grass-fed butter, and toxin-free cold brew coffee. It’s a coffee drink that gives you steady, all-day energy by powering you with so much more than just caffeine.

It gives you quality fuel.

Say it with us: Fat is NOT a bad word. In fact, fat is actually really good for high performance!

Fat is a key component in cells both as a structural component of cell membranes (including in the brain) and the myelin sheath that insulates nerve fibers so they can transmit messages to one another. Fat is also an important nutrient for supporting proper hormone production and making sure your hair, skin, and nails are healthy and strong.

With 9 calories per gram, fat is an efficient source of energy that digests slowly, which lends staying power to your coffee. That means you’ll feel mentally sharp and satiated for hours on end.

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Photo: Bulletproof

You’ll get the same Bulletproof benefits in a more convenient form.

First, let’s break down what Bulletproof coffee actually is: Bulletproof is a blend of clean coffee, butter from grass-fed cows, and Brain Octane oil, a brain-boosting fat derived from 100 percent coconut oil. It’s great morning fuel because the high fat content in this drink boosts satiety so you’re not distracted by gnawing hunger or energy crashes. Basically, Bulletproof makes you feel like a superhero.

So we’re all aligned on the benefits of Bulletproof, right? With the release of this new ready-to-drink version, you can get all of the same benefits in a quick, easy, and ultraefficient way. Lots of ready-to-drink coffee beverages you’ll find at your local grocery store are loaded with sugar—even the supposedly “healthy” ones—but Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew relies on grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil to provide sustainable energy from high-quality fats instead of from the sweet stuff.

Your brain will get a major boost.

Brain Octane oil, the official ingredient in Bulletproof coffee, gets its “brain food” reputation because it is quickly and efficiently converted into ketones in the body, which the brain can use for energy as an alternative to glucose. This process is called glyconeogenesis—making energy from noncarbohydrate sources like fatty acids. What’s better, unlike excess energy from carbohydrates, unburned ketone energy can’t be stored as fat!

Aside from providing filling fat and vitamins A, D, and K, butter (also found in Bulletproof coffee) contains butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that’s been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties and potential benefit to brain function and gut health.

It’s the easiest way to enjoy Bulletproof coffee.

Making Bulletproof coffee at home requires measuring and blending your ingredients until perfectly emulsified and frothy. While the benefits are definitely worth the hassle, sometimes it’s difficult to prepare when in a time crunch and makes it harder to stick to your healthy living routine—especially when you’re on the go or traveling. For those who don’t have time to spare but want to take a step toward a sharper, stronger mind and a more steady stream of energy, ready-to-drink Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew offers the same benefits of homemade Bulletproof coffee in a pre-made beverage that’s ready when you are—simply shake and enjoy.

Wellness Leaders Are Obsessing Over These Workouts. Here’s What You Need To Know

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What makes a good workout? Ask wellness leaders, and they’ll probably tell you that it doesn’t come down to one big thing but a combination of tiny factors that come together to create a perfect heart-pumping, soul-satisfying hour of movement.

But here’s the thing: Just because you enjoy healthy food, tend to get enough sleep, and have a solid meditation practice doesn’t mean you’re inspired by the same workouts that your friend is. Which is why we asked three important leaders in the wellness world—Alicia Archer, Sophie Jaffe, and Jordan Younger—what workout they’re most inspired by. We caught up with them at the Kohl’s workout at mbg’s revitalize event: Here’s what they had to say.

Alicia Archer’s Fave: Circus Arts.

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Photo credit: Miachel Breton

For Alicia Archer, who spends a few hours of her day stretching, circus arts are particularly inspiring. “I love training my contortion and hand balancing, because it encompasses strength and flexibility,” she says. “Even with the extreme flexibility, there’s a huge amount of control involved. Improving my body’s control and articulation is important to me, and building stronger shapes feels incredibly satisfying.”

How she makes it happen:

When it comes to actually making these difficult workouts (which require intense concentration) happen, Alicia believes a versatile wardrobe is key. “Having the most popular brands in one place makes for easy shopping,” she says. “Kohl’s creates a seamless experience in purchasing activewear for a variety of workouts. Teaching body weight workouts doesn’t require me to always wear sneakers. It’s nice to switch it up with comfortable sandals that are still walk-friendly.”

So, what are her top choices of activewear? She says that whether it’s summer or winter, Nike’s power-training workout tights are her No. 1 choice for exercise. “And no matter what the activity, having a sweat-wicking sports bra ensures comfort during any workout,” she says, adding, “Layering can prove helpful when dealing with different climates and studio temperatures. Becoming too hot or cold can be handled with pieces that are easy to put on and take off.”

Last but not least, Alicia makes sure to stay hydrated. “Staying hydrated is key, and having a durable bottle that can be refilled throughout the day takes care of that necessity.”

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SHOP HER LOOK

Sophie Jaffe’s Fave: HIIT Workouts.

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Photo credit: Miachel Breton

As a mother of two, it isn’t exactly easy for Sophie Jaffe, founder of Philosophie, to fit in a workout—which is why she loves jumping rope so much. “My hubby and I have been using a jump rope to squeeze in a workout whenever we have some spare time in between the busyness of our day-to-day lives,” she says.

How she makes it happen:

For Sophie, it’s all in the gear. “I love getting cute fitness gear from Kohl’s and totally think it makes a difference in my workouts,” she says. “When you look good you feel good and perform even better. These adidas pants and bra are so cute that I can transition from a yummy yoga flow to a nourishing lunch meeting or walk in our neighborhood with the kiddos.”

As for the jump rope, Sophie says it doesn’t get much easier than tossing one of those into her bag so she has it on hand whenever she has a spare moment. Preparation is half the battle!

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SHOP HER LOOK

Jordan Younger’s Fave: Yoga.

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Photo credit: Miachel Breton

Formerly a huge fan of high-intensity cardio, Jordan Younger started slowing her workouts down and immersing herself in the world of yoga when she found that it was exactly what her body was craving. “These days, my favorite workout is a sweaty vinyasa yoga class because it gets my heart pumping and also gets me deeper into my body and my heart center,” she says.

How she makes it happen:

Ever since then, Jordan has been doing everything she can to create the perfect conditions for herself so she can do yoga whenever the mood strikes. “Who doesn’t want to be comfy and feel cute when they are working out? I always find that when I don’t have as much activewear on hand—like when I have a lot of laundry to do, or I’m on an extended vacation—I am less motivated to get on my mat or go for a run. I love my activewear from Kohl’s because it couldn’t be comfier, and I love how I can mix and match all of the items!” We love how she paired these Under Armour sneakers with this ombre sports bra for a chic active look.

And as a lover of yoga, there’s almost nothing Jordan loves more than her mat. “This Gaiam mat is one of my faves because I love the print on it, and it’s perfect for practicing at home or keeping in my car when I want to pop into a studio.”

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SHOP HER LOOK

Alicia, Sophie, and Jordan each got a chance to share their favorite type of workout during the 3-in-1 fitness class (livestreamed here!) that they co-led at mbg’s 2017 revitalize event. Jordan started things off with a juicy yoga flow, Sophie got everyone’s heart rate up with a pumped-up HIIT workout, and Alicia cooled the class off with some serious stretching and flexibility action.

Decked out in head-to-toe activewear from Kohl’s, each woman felt (and looked!) her best. The guests even sweated their way through the class on Gaiam mats from Kohl’s, proving that the brand’s massive selection of active and wellness gear truly helps you live your healthiest life and reach your fitness and wellness goals. Shop their full selection of clothing and accessories from top activewear brands like Nike, adidas, and Under Armour here.