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Lifestyle

Empathy and Unity
Lifestyle

Empathy is Unity

This past year has been, well, a ride.  No matter what your opinion on any of it, no doubt you have encountered someone on the other side who you just did not understand. Or maybe someone who was unkind to you about your opinion.

This can take a toll on your mental health, relationships, and self-esteem.  So where do we go from here?  A great place to start is with empathy or trying to put ourselves in someone else’s position emotionally.  All of us have probably felt the same way about this year: fed up, misunderstood, maybe angry at some point. Start there.  Start with an emotion you know is universal regardless of peoples’ opinions. Likely even the people who have gotten under your skin the most have felt these emotions as well, and knowing this common ground may help soften some of your frustration.

Take a minute for the relationships that matter most to you that have been strained. Family members, long-time friends, or people you expected to always be close to. Write down their best qualities, or better yet, write down a time they were there for you that meant a lot to you. Remember that this is why you have a relationship, and why you want it to stay strong regardless of differing viewpoints.

Remind yourself that you are not a mind-reader.  We have all been guilty of assuming we know why people have chosen to believe what they do.  Sometimes they tell us out loud, but often they do not.  Try to notice when you are making an assumption about a belief and remind yourself you would not want someone to do the same to you.  This might help you feel more at ease with a differing opinion. Just like with anxiety when we jump to the worst-case scenario we tend to feel overwhelmed and emotional, but when we think of the many other possibilities of why something is happening, it becomes a much more manageable situation emotionally.

Expression is okay, aggression is not.  When you feel yourself start to get aggressive with your own opinion, check yourself.  It is good to be passionate, however often when we are aggressive with our thoughts and feelings, we tend not only to not convince others, we tend to alienate others.  Think of this especially when talking with loved ones. With the many difficult subjects on the table in the last year, this may take patience, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.  So thinking for a moment about how others feel is the key to coming back together.  In order to bridge the divide, we have to do the work of remembering how it feels to read an upsetting comment before we post our own comment.  

Let’s talk about the uncomfortable truth: some of us may be so frustrated and exhausted we have stopped caring how others feel to a certain extent. It is okay to feel this way for a time.  This is human. Emotional fatigue is real, so take a break.  Turn off social media, don’t engage with someone who triggers you, limit your headline intake, whatever you need to restore that side of yourself. Be very honest with yourself so that you can take care of yourself if you need that.  When you start to feel less frayed, you can re-engage with more empathy and less frustration.

Take care of yourself. If you have had to forget yourself during this difficult year because of a job loss, a death, a difficulty of any kind, remember you deserve self-care. Find small ways to nourish yourself; a short meditation, a walk in the sun, a nice cup of hot tea at night, and build that habit back. Caring for yourself will allow you to feel more love for others.

Metta Meditation is a practice in sending peace and kindness to yourself and then others that helps remind you that we all essentially desire the same things in life.  Check out a nice guided beginner meditation for Metta that can help build empathy for others in your life.

This past year has been, well, a ride. No matter what your opinion on any of it, no doubt you have encountered someone on the other side who you just did not understand. Or maybe someone who was unkind to you about your opinion.

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Downtown Miami YMCA
Lifestyle

5 Running Tips to Stay on Pace While Live Races are Still on Pause

Live races may be paused but the Downtown Miami YMCA Running Coach, Ally Robinson, shares five ways you can stay motivated and focused.

This post is powered by the Downtown Miami YMCA

Hey runners, I see you. I know you are bummed that live running races have been canceled. If things weren't already stressful enough, you might be struggling with the motivation to stick with your training - ask Ally Robinson, founder of Something Runderful and the new Downtown Miami YMCA Running Coach. As an athlete, certified personal trainer, and running coach, she gets it.

“We thrive on goals and finish lines,” says Robinson, “I know it's frustrating, but you can switch your mindset to think how much more time you have to plan, prep, and train for your next race. Utilize this time to become the strongest, fastest, and best version of yourself so when the next live event comes around ... you'll be ready to crush it!”

Here’s Ally’s list of how to stay motivated and focused on your fitness while live races are on pause:

1. Run a virtual race - Live races might not be happening, but the Miami Marathon has gone virtual. So put on your running shoes, grab your Camelbak, and recruit a couple of close friends or family members to cheer you on as you conquer 26.2 miles (without the crowds of people).

2. Switch it up - Start to add different types of running workouts and drills to your weekly routine. Include intervals, fartleks, hill repeats, stair sprint, progression runs, long runs, and recovery runs. Broaden your running skills and make yourself a more rounded athlete.

3. Set a new PR (personal record) - Take this time to improve your speed. Focus on running your fastest 5k or 10k. Once live events can happen again, you'll be flying to the finish line.

4. Incorporate strength training - Adding just a couple of days of resistance or strength training will prevent injury, aid with weight loss, build lean muscle, and make you a stronger runner.

5. Join a running program – There’s nothing like having a coach to hold you accountable. Look for a run training program to keep you motivated on track toward your goals.

Looking for a program to join? The Downtown Miami YMCA is kicking off an all-levels, 8-week running program on January 23rd to help you get on the road to your best 5k. It will include socially-distanced, small group training along with a personalized training plan and one-on-one run coaching sessions. Open to YMCA members and non-members!

There are so many more benefits to running than just getting a medal at the end of a race. Exercise in general has been proven to boost your immune system, and there has been no better time to prioritize your health. So keep on running!

National Keto Day January 5
Lifestyle

10 Tasty Snacks to Celebrate National Keto Day

If you’re interested in trying the Keto Diet, you can kick it off on National Keto Day, which is January 5. The Keto Diet principles are based on a low carb, low sugar, high fat, moderate protein consumption. There are plenty of keto calculators online that can help you figure out your ratios, if interested. We’ve dabbled in Keto and found success with it. There are many different ways to “do keto”, but we prefer to keep it ‘clean’ focusing on high-quality organic, grass-fed meats, wild, fatty fish like salmon and sardines (yes, sardines!), healthy oils, nuts and seeds, and getting our carbohydrates and fiber from lots and lots of low-starch veggies and leafy greens.

There are many different diets, or as we prefer to say ‘ways of eating.’ Truth be told, we’ve tried A LOT of them in a quest to discover what works best for our own body. And that’s the key, not every style of eating is for everyone i.e. there is no one size fits all when it comes to food.  Whether it be based on your lifestyle, workouts, dietary restrictions, level of commitment, or other factors, finding what works for YOU, not your friends, not your partner, not your sister’s-cousin’s-co-worker’s-aunt, but you. 

With all that said, if you’re interested in trying the Keto Diet, you can kick it off on National Keto Day, which is January 5. The Keto Diet principles are based on a low carb, low sugar, high fat, moderate protein consumption. There are plenty of keto calculators online that can help you figure out your ratios, if interested. We’ve dabbled in Keto and found success with it. There are many different ways to “do keto”, but we prefer to keep it ‘clean’ focusing on high-quality organic, grass-fed meats, wild, fatty fish like salmon and sardines (yes, sardines!),  healthy oils, nuts and seeds, and getting our carbohydrates and fiber from lots and lots of low-starch veggies and leafy greens. Eating a plate of bacon, greasy burger, and creamer-laden coffee, while yes, still Keto, yet violates our personal health ideology. But again, if that works for you, you do you!

While eating whole fresh foods is always our goal no matter what way of eating we’re adhering to, let’s be honest, snack attacks hit. In honor of National Keto Day, we’re sharing some of our favorite keto-friendly snacks and treats that are keto-compliment and downright delightful. 

Savory

Prevail Jerky - The combination of protein and fat will keep you full so when hunger strikes, grab a bag of PREVAIL Jerky, which we love because it is devoid of harmful additives like soy, preservatives, sugar, nitrates, and MSG.  Using premium 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, it is gently sweetened with coconut sugar making it Paleo-certified, Keto-certified. Plut it is gluten-free and Celiac Certified, non-GMO, with no added antibiotics, no added hormones, no added nitrates or preservatives. They have unique flavors to choose from too, like Lemongrass and Umami. https://prevailjerky.com/ @prevailjerky

Fat Snax - Having a hard time giving up your cheesy cracker addiction? No problem. Simply swap them for Fat Snax, low carb crackers made from a base of almond flour, coconut flour, and butter. They are available in three flavors - Original, Cheddar, and Everything (But the Carbs!), are gluten-free and do not contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, or sweeteners. https://fatsnax.com, @eatfatsnax

Biena - We’re already a huge fan of Biena’s Chickpea snacks so when we found out about their new Biena Keto Puffs we had to give them a try. These new puffs are the first plant-based Keto Puff on the market, made from chickpeas and lentils and  5 grams of plant protein per serving. They have a satisfying crunch and texture but don’t expect a cheesy flavor like other artificially, toxic orange ones on the market, rather a mild and pleasing flavor. BienaSnacks.com  @beinasnacks

Daily Nuts & Fruit - We’ve never met a nut we didn’t like (some might say it’s an addiction), so grabbing a handful of roasted almonds has always been our go-to. What we love at these 72 hour Just Roasted Almonds is that they dry roast the almonds in small batches, steam roasted, which means no chemical processing once they receive your order, so they are as fresh as possible. Place your order, and they get to roasting and ship them to you all within 72 hours so you can get snacking. https://dailynutsandfruits.com  @dailynutsandfruits 

Lemonette - If you’re looking to dress up your veggies try Lemonette’s refreshing lemon-based gourmet salad dressing. These lemon-based alternatives to vinegar-, cream-, or soy-based dressings, Lemonette Mediterranean-inspired dressings are vinegar-free, gluten and dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO Project Verified, and contain no sugar (or sweeteners of any kind), no artificial colors or preservatives, and no MSG’s. Choose from four flavors including Mediterranean Herb, Italian Herb, Lemon Garlic, and Zesty Cumin, which can be used on warm or cold salads, as well as marinades for grilling sauces. https://lemonettedressings.com  @lemonettedressings

Sweet

Lily’s Sweets - If you think that you can’t indulge in chocolate while following a Keto diet, think again. Lily’s Sweets has a line of chocolate that is stevia-sweetened allowing you to get your fix. The company sources non-GMO and gluten-free ingredients harvested through Fair Trade practices and ensures every product is free of refined or processed sugars. From Chocolate Bars to baking essentials, and even dark chocolate peanut butter cups (our favorite), you’re sure to find something that satisfies your sweet tooth. https://lilys.com @lilys_sweets

So Nourished - Granola is our Achilles heel so thankfully we found  So Nourished, which offers low-carb, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, and sugar-free granola snacks in four delicious flavors, Maple Pecan, Coconut Cashew, and Blueberry Almond. Snack on them out of the bag (our preferred method) or grab a spoon to eat as a cereal because no matter how you eat it, know you’re indulging in a good-for-you treat. https://www.sonourished.com @sonourishedinc


The Cookie Department - As much as we love these cookies, the story behind them is what got us. Founder Akiva Resnikoff had a successful line of functional cookies that contained protein, superfoods, caffeine, probiotics, and antioxidants. However, his wife, who had to adhere to a strict gluten-free and ketogenic diet as a result of traumatic brain injuries, couldn't eat them. So he formulated a line of gluten-free, ketogenic cookies in three irresistible flavors, Champion Chip (chocolate chip), Mint Condition (double chocolate mint), and Cake Walk (birthday cake).  This line is soy-free, GMO-free, corn-free, Allulose free, IMO free, and Kosher certified and have 1 gram of sugar and between 3-4 net carbs, depending on flavor. www.thecookiedepartment.com @cookiedept

Sweet Logic  - Like many, if it’s there we’ll eat it, which is great when it comes to fruits and veggies, but keeping a full cake around the house can be dangerous. Luckily, Sweet Logic offers single-serve Mug Cakes that allow you to exercise some self-control while digging into deliciousness. These keto-friendly mug cake mixes made with coconut and almond flour are gluten and dairy-free, have 1-4g of sugar, no artificial sweeteners or flavors, and are fun and easy to make. Try Triple Chocolate, Carrot Cake, Lemon Poppyseed, Red Velvet Cake, and others. https://eatsweetlogic.com @eatsweetlogic


Tidbits Keto Fun Bites Meringue Cookies - Sometimes you want a light yet sweet sensation and Tidbits Keto Fun Bites Meringue Cookies hit the spot. These sugar-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free, cholesterol-free, and non-GMO bites available in flavors like Cookies and Cream, Chocolate, Strawberry Mint Chocolate, and more, offer a melt-in-your-mouth delight. https://www.tidbits.fun @tidbitsfunbites

Dry January
Lifestyle

5 Non-Alcoholic Alternatives for Dry January

Wondering how to avoid a hangover? Put down the cocktail, stop reaching for the wine and skip the Sangria. It’s a surefire way to not wake up with a pounding headache and feeling sluggish. We know it might sound crazy after the year we had, but why not usher in 2021 focused and feeling your best by making it a dry January. 

Wondering how to avoid a hangover? Put down the cocktail, stop reaching for the wine and skip the Sangria. It’s a surefire way to not wake up with a pounding headache and feeling sluggish. We know it might sound crazy after the year we had, but why not usher in 2021 focused and feeling your best by making it a dry January. 

We turned to Hilary Sheinbaum, Trend journalist, on-air host, lifestyle expert author of just released book,  The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month, to learn about the benefits of giving up alcohol for a month (or more). Hilary told us that “some major benefits include saving money, losing weight and evaluating how you use your time (likely in a more productive manner when you aren't tipsy).”

Hilary notes that by not spending money on drinks (hello $20 South Beach cocktails), you can use that money toward paying off debt, or putting it towards something you’ve been working towards like saving for a house, or a dream vacation. 

Also, “Alcohol is also full of empty calories. A glass of wine can contain about 125 calories (and it's unlikely you'll be drinking one), so this can certainly derail fitness and diet goals when you are drinking. When you aren't drinking, however, you aren't taking in unnecessary calories, which can ultimately help you lose weight. (Also, hangover foods aren't exactly "good" for you),” says Sheinbaum.

If giving up the sauce seems like a challenge, here are some of Hillary's tips to help make it easier:

  1. Put away the booze. You can hide them, store them with a friend or toss them away -- but, "Out of sight, out of mind" will usually help you avoid alcohol, at least at home.
  2. Recruit a friend to partake in The Dry Challenge with you! Your Sober Month Support Squad can offer help, encouragement and keep you accountable along the way. (And you can do the same for them!)
  3. Try something new! The nonalcoholic beverage industry is booming. Now, more than ever, there are a variety of nonalcoholic beers, wines and spirits to help you sip without a buzz. 

Speaking of non-alcoholic alternatives, we found five for you to consider. 

Sunwink Herbal Wellness Tonics - These fizzy, refreshing beverages with real ingredients like, whole herbal plants, fresh lemons and mint, provide a delicious and healthy alternative that not only will keep you hydrated, but also help to reduce stress, boost mood, and fight fatigue. https://drinksunwink.com @drinksunwink 

Ritual ZeroProof Tequila Alternative - You won’t have to miss your margarita thanks to this tequila alternative. With the flavor, aroma, and bite of tequila, you can mix up your favorite tequila-based libation sans alcohol or calories. https://www.ritualzeroproof.com@ritualzeroproof

Damrak 0.0 Virgin Gin - Handcrafted in the heart of Amsterdam, Damrak Virgin 0.0 is distilled from 10 botanicals, including Valencia & Curacao orange peels, ginger, lavender, cinnamon, and lemon peel. With these gin-inspired flavors you won’t miss your Gin & Tonic.https://www.damrakgin.com @damrakgin

Sipp - Skip the hard seltzer and reach for Sipp, USDA-certified clean soft seltzers, infused with Camu Camu, the world’s most Vitamin C-rich fruit loaded anti-inflammatory compounds. Choose from fruit and herb flavors like Vanilla Spice & Everything Nice, Berry Mint Condition and Sweet Ruby Riot. https://enjoysipp.com  @enjoysipp

101 Cider House - If you’re looking for a natural buzz, open a can of 101 Cider House, juices pressed in small batches and then fermented and aged for 3 months until they evolve into a naturally alcohol and certified probiotic, cold pressed beverage. So while not technically alcohol-free, 101Cider House creates cans of refreshing flavors like Cactus Rose (apples, cactus pear, basil, hibiscus, lemon peel) and Gunpowder Guava(apples, green tea, guava) that are still healthier alternatives. https://101cider.com @101cider

Dry January
Lifestyle

Ask Yourself This Question For Long-Term Success with Dry January

Dry January dates back to January 2013, Alcohol Change UK kicked off their first campaign with 4,000 participants. Fast forward seven years later, 100,000 participants signed up and 4 million took part in January 2020, and it could grow in 2021.

This post is powered by the Downtown Miami YMCA

In a 2021 world, the tried-and-true New Year’s resolutions seem to hit a little different. As you reflect on the past 365 days and look to an uncertain start to 2021, there’s no better time to decide what you’re ready to leave behind and how you want to move into the New Year. While some people took the COVID-19 quarantine as an opportunity to better their health, the stress, loss, anxiety and grief that affected us all didn’t always lead to the same result.

So, where do you start?

In a world full of quick fixes and fad diets, Jessica Santiago, Downtown Miami YMCA Healthy Lifestyle Specialist & Trainer, is far too familiar with these conversations. In addition to being a group exercise instructor, personal trainer, and wellness coach, Jessica has over 15 years of experience in the food and beverage hospitality industry. One resolution she has seen time and time again? Dry January.

RELATED What Happens When Rose-All-Day Becomes Rose-Every-Day?

Dry January dates back to January 2013, Alcohol Change UK kicked off their first campaign with 4,000 participants. Fast forward seven years later, 100,000 participants signed up and 4 million took part in January 2020. The intent behind the campaign was created with the best of intentions, urging people to abstain from alcohol for a month to reset after the holidays. Although the big question of the matter is “can a month alcohol-free really make a difference long-term?”

“You might notice better sleep, an increase of energy, more money in your pocket, the list goes on, but in 31 days you will not improve your overall health outcome,” Santiago says. “With the likes of fad diets, cleanses, and detoxes you can’t expect to figure out what works best for your body if you aren’t educating yourself first to a healthy, balanced, mindful lifestyle.”

“My challenge for you, instead of going from all to nothing in a Dry January challenge, look at your current lifestyle,” says Santiago. She encourages you to ask yourself questions such as, “Do I have a healthy relationship with alcohol, my body, with food, my work/home life balance? What can I do to improve it?”

Jessica recommends to start by creating SMART goals for the next 30/60/90 days and even as far as six months and one year goals. “Once you experience your first few wins, the longevity of your health should outweigh any instant gratification because you know where you started, how hard you worked to get there. Building a strong foundation for a healthy, balanced lifestyle takes time, more than the month ofJanuary.”

Wellness doesn’t have to end after 30 days. Limiting your potential is the first mistake we make when evaluating our goals and taking on new challenges. Rewrite the conversation, see how far it takes you.

Need help setting SMART goals? Every new member at the Downtown Miami YMCA receives a complimentary Healthy Living Orientation to assess your current body composition and movement patterns to help you create a personalized pathway to lasting change.

For more information, visit https://ymcasouthflorida.org/downtownmiamiy/

DashBar Brickell
Lifestyle

Glam Up Head-To-Toe in 60 Minutes Flat at DashBar in Brickell

When it comes to feeling good, looking good plays a major role. And after the year we’ve had, we can all use a little pampering. There is a new beauty destination in Brickell, that gets you glam head-to-toe in 60 minutes flat, under strict safety protocols. At DashBar you receive three treatments of choice all at the same time. 

When it comes to feeling good, looking good plays a major role. And after the year we’ve had, we can all use a little pampering. There is a new beauty destination in Brickell, one that gets you glam head-to-toe in 60 minutes flat, under strict safety protocols. At DashBar you receive three treatments of choice all at the same time. 

DashBar is an oasis on the second floor of the Brickell Heights building that is an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Before stepping into the elevator you are greeted downstairs for a protocol check. First, hand sanitizer is given, then your temperature is taken, followed by an extensive list of questions regarding your health. This is to ensure the health and safety of the DashBar team as well as your own. 

*RELATED 5 beauty Products For Your Booty and Your Body

After a quick ride up to the second floor the doors open and we’re pretty sure your mouth will drop at the incredibly chic decor. It’s hard to know where to look first as everything is so eye-catching. From the pink and gold diamond pattern wallpaper, the pink and white striped wall with the words Fast, Casual, Beauty illuminated, the Future Is Female and angel wings neon signs, to floral wall installations, everything screams to be photographed for the ‘gram. Every last detail has been thought of down the pink towels and even the pink caps on the nail polish remover bottles, no detail was overlooked here.

Upon checking in for our services, we were informed that DashBar is equipped with hospital-grade HEPA air filters, that UV-C lights have been installed in the HVAC system along with Aroma360’s innovative AirBioTech360 formula that reintroduces probiotics back into HVAC post electrostatic spraying that occurs each night with hospital-grade disinfectants.

With the modern, busy women in mind, DashBar offers three services at once. Speed and efficiency is kind of our thing so we were excited to check it out. We chose the Blowout, Manicure Pedicure combo and truly felt that like we got the royal treatment with 3 stylists tending you at once. (They are all masked and wearing face shields).

*RELATED Add These 4 Customizable Beauty and Wellness Products to Your Cart

The treatments are done in, yes, you guessed it, pink, patent-pending salon-spa chair, PollyDashBar™, which are incredibly comfortable and allow for the stylists to easily maneuver around each other and from side to side to get from your left hand to your right for the manicure. Additionally, we love that all products used are non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly and they carry products with the safest ingredients. 

Blowout services with manicure and pedicure included start at $115, Lash Extension with manicure and pedicure included start at $195, Facial with manicure and pedicure included start at $155. Each service menu has a plethora of upgrades like a reparative foot mask or deep conditioner or you can stick with the Collective options, the basic service, though nothing is basic about it.

So if you’re in need of a pick me up, are pressed for time, or simply don't have the patience to sit for multiple beauty treatments, and want to ensure that you’re in a safe space, dash on over to DashBar. 

DashBar is located at 25 SW 9th Street. For appointments, which are required, call 786-633-0336 or visit www.theDashBar.com or @theDashBar.

Modern ŌM
Lifestyle

Are You Prioritizing Your Mental Health? Try This 31-Day Challenge

Modern ŌM's Mindful January Challenge features 31 mindfulness professionals from around the globe that will give you the perfect mental reset for the new year.

“Pandemic” or “Lockdown?” The former being Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Year” for 2020, the latter being the top word for 2020 according to Collins Dictionary.

But in the middle of the the pandemic lockdown, the phrase many individuals became pretty familiar with was “Mental Health Awareness.”

Stress, anxiety, uncertainty - you name it, came crashing down all around us. Finding ways to manage all of those uncomfortable feelings was certainly top of mind. We’ve discussed in the past on how things like pets, art, or simply getting outdoors can help with mental health. But meditation is something many folks tried in 2020.

*RELATED We Asked 17 Miami Trainers How They Practice Mental Health

If you’re new to meditation or are experienced and looking to mix things up, Modern ŌM’s Mindful January Challenge is something we are recommending you give a chance.

*RELATED 5 Tips on How to Achieve True Emotional Gainz

The 31 days of mindful practices challenge from Modern ŌM will feature over 31 expert facilitators from around the world. The professionals, curated by Modern ŌM founder Myk Likhov, will give participants insight into mindfulness and is perfect for those looking to: 

  • Get better at managing stress in an uncertain world
  • Start a daily ritual of self-care that improves your quality of life
  • Learn new tools that will help you access joy and ease more regularly
  • Grow with a community that supports your personal transformation
  • Help raise the planet's vibration, starting with yourself

If it wasn’t already apparent prior to 2019, 2020 made us all realize that being healthy isn’t just the physical, it's the mental as well.

For more information on the Modern ŌM Mindful January Challenge, visit https://www.modernom.co/products/january-challenge

Wellness with the Wades
Lifestyle

Wellness with the Wades: Relax and Recharge with Dwyane and Gabrielle

Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union have teamed up with Chase for a quick guided meditation session featuring wellness guru Logan Browning.

2020 has done a number on us all mentally, and that includes Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade, and A-list actress Gabrielle Union. The two have teamed up with Chase for a quick guided meditation session featuring wellness guru Logan Browning. The session was filmed live back on November 17th, but we have the replay for you to watch below.

Although we wish the session was filmed here in the 305, the Wades join Browning on a serene back patio overlooking what most likely is Los Angeles given the hills in the background.

Before the session begins, Dwyane opens up about his first experience with meditation in 2010 during the first year of the "Big 3." Wade shares that meditation was a helpful tool in blocking out the outside noise.

Enjoy the meditation session with Dwyane, Gabrielle, and Logan below, and remember to take care of you mind as well as your body.

*RELATED Meditation Tips for Beginners from Miami Meditation Experts

Stay Fit 305 Holiday Hustle Challenge
Lifestyle

Join the Stay Fit 305 Holiday Hustle Challenge

It’s the most wonderful time of year! December is finally here and over the next four weeks we are going to stay on track with our goals, support local businesses while still enjoying what the holidays have in store. Drink all the cocktails, eat all the delicious holiday cookies, and get ready to CRUSH our Holiday Hustle Challenge!

It’s the most wonderful time of year! December is finally here and over the next four weeks we are going to stay on track with our goals, support local businesses while still enjoying what the holidays have in store. Drink all the cocktails, eat all the delicious holiday cookies, and get ready to CRUSH our Holiday Hustle Challenge!

This challenge is all about keeping you up to date with local workouts, trying some new weekly rituals to carry over into the new year, and supporting local businesses. It’s easy to fall off a routine during this time of year but with this challenge you can have your christmas cookies and eat them too!

Staying on track during the holidays.
Lifestyle

5 Tips For Finding Balance And Staying On Track During The Holidays

Below are five tips to keep yourself in check this holiday season while still making lasting memories and enjoying the delicious food that’s prepared.

The holiday season is here and everywhere we turn, temptation is there. There is sweet treats and peppermint mocha everything, not to mention the boozy get-togethers and the big dinners we embark on.

Below are five tips to keep yourself in check this holiday season while still making lasting memories and enjoying the delicious food that’s prepared.

1. Eat in moderation.

The first holiday cookie always tastes better than the tenth. To make sure you eat the right amount, practice mindful eating techniques. Chew your food slowly, take smaller bites and enjoy the experience. Always remember to pace yourself and take a sip of water in between every bite.

2. Eat your greens first.

We are aiming for the perfect plate this holiday season, so first thing is fill half of a small to medium size plate with your vegetables. Then fill a quarter of the plate with protein and the other quarter with carbs. Fewer calories and more fiber is the name of the game.

3. Satisfy the craving.

Don't fight it, invite it. If you are craving a specific sweet treat, allow yourself to enjoy it. If there are sweets but you are craving it don’t eat it. Try to turn mindless eating into mindful choices.

4. Limit your holiday plans.

Try to choose only a few get-togethers to attend that mean the most to you and schedule your workouts in advance around them to offset the drinking and eating. Creating memories with the most important people in your life are the top priority for the holiday season.

5. Honor your body with movement.

Don’t punish your body with a workout over things that you ate. Mindset it key when coming out of the holidays and into the normal grind. Enjoy your holiday season with your family while keeping these tips in mind and then crush a nice sweat sesh after.

Remember that the holidays are only once a year, so have fun. Use these tips to stay on track this year. Happy Holidays!

Magic Mushrooms
Lifestyle

5 Mushroom Must-Haves for Magic Health Benefits

Funky, funny fungi. No, we’re not talking about those kinds, though a recent study has shown that magic mushrooms in small doses might help with depression. We’re talking about the kind that you can safely ingest without psychedelic effects, but that are loaded with health benefits. 

Funky, funny fungi. No, we’re not talking about those kinds, though a recent study has shown that magic mushrooms in small doses might help with depression. We’re talking about the kind that you can safely ingest without psychedelic effects, but that are loaded with health benefits. 

We turned to Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, Doctor of Chinese and Integrative Medicine, and our go-to for all things health, who shared her mushroom mastery with us well as reasons why we should consider adding mushrooms to our health and beauty routine. 

“As we go into winter, cold and flu season and another possible lockdown, one of the best botanicals are the fungus among us. Mushrooms pack a punch for so many reasons. Medicinal mushrooms are a source of many beneficial phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins in Western countries," says Trattner. 

“In recent years they have become extremely popular in the West, so much that now coffee like drinks are made from them and other food and beverage products. They have tremendous efficacy treating diseases while not conflicting with western medicine protocols. Mushrooms have been used in Chinese Medicine for thousands of years before they became popular here. Mushrooms are also prized for their longevity giving properties," Trattner continued.

There are many different types of mushrooms and to find out more about each individual type, check out Dr. Trattner’s post, which breaks them all down. Keep reading for our mushroom must-haves. 

Further Food Vanilla Collagen Peptides Plus Beauty Mushrooms - Drop a scoop in your coffee, tea or even into your recipes while cooking to give yourself a boost of beauty and health. Collagen may help strengthen hair, nails, bones, joints and improve gut health, and Tremella mushroom which is loaded with Vitamin D and antioxidants helps nourish skin, brighten complexion and deeply hydrate skin from the inside out. Use code DRELIZ for 15% your order. $29.99, Furtherfood.com, @furtherfood 

MUD\WTR, We are self-confessed espresso addicts, but we were willing to swap out of daily coffee beans to try this coffee alternative. While we will admit to being a bit skeptical at first, it was love at first sip. MUD\WTR has 1/7th the caffeine of coffee, yet provides natural energy, focus without the jitters and as for the taste it’s heavenly. The blend of Cacao with Masala Chai,  Turmeric Sea Salt Cinnamon along with four different mushrooms including Lions Mane, Chaga, Reishi, and Cordyceps, brilliantly mixes to deliver a cup of chai with hints of chocolate and cinnamon. And added bonus, the packaging is really smart, and we’re a sucker for that. The 30-day starter kit comes with a 30-serving tin, USB rechargeable frother, free guidebook, free sample of MUD\WTR dairy-free creamer, free stickers. $40.00, https://mudwtr.com/, @drinkmudwtr

We all (should) know by now that keeping our bodies hydrated is essential, but if you’re struggling to get in your ounces, try adding in  BareOrganics Energy Superfood Water Enhancer. This unique blend includes Organic Cordyceps Mushroom along with other adaptogens like Organic Ashwagandha, Organic Maca, Organic Siberian Ginseng, combined with a proprietary green boost bend of Organic Japanese Matcha, Organic Green Bean Coffee Extract and more. $4.99 / 5 pack, https://bareorganics.com, @bareorganicssuperfoods

Mushroom scented cologne? Yup! It exists and it's shockingly delightful. Demeter, the scent makers that have a library of more than 300 different fragrances inspired by everyday objects and experiences, delivers a fragrance that is earthy yet sweet, and we’re into it. $2.40 - $24.00, https://demeterfragrance.com, @demeterceo 


No need to worry about smelling like a funky fungus when using Each & Every Geranium & Snow Mushroom Natural Deodorant, a natural, aluminum and baking soda-free (also free of all other ingredients that can harm the body) deodorant that is infused with Snow Mushroom extract, which works to keep underarm skin nurtured. This unisex scent marries sweet and floral top notes with warm, woody base notes to create a fresh herbaceous scent. $15.00, EachandEvery.com, @eachandevery

Rilde Leon
Lifestyle

Try This 45-Minute HIIT Workout - No Equipment Required

Miami fitness instructor takes you through a 45-minute HIIT workout for all levels that can be done anywhere - no equipment required.

Mixing things up in the gym is often easier said than done. And now that things have more of a virtual twist to them, motivation is even more of a factor.

New workouts led by inspiring instructors are at a premium, and we have one for you today. Rilde Leon is a Miami fitness instructor that can be found all over town including Equinox, not to mention streaming live on platforms like Echelon. Leon has hosted several STAY FIT 305 virtual workouts and we can't wait to have him back for more.

Try this 45-minute HIIT workout from one of Leon's latest classes.

Follow the pattern below for each round:

  • One minute per exercise (three minutes of work) ⁃ 30-second rest.
  • Three-minute AMRAP with 10 reps per movement ⁃ 30 second rest.
  • Round 1: Low Squat Jacks, Burpees, Air Jacks
  • Round 2: Low Squat Fall Forward, High Jumps (B-Ball Shot), Donkey Kicks
  • Round 3: Skaters, Pogo Hops Single Leg, Push-ups
  • Round 4: Lunge Hops, Mountain Climbers, Plank Jack Tucks
  • Round 5: 180° Squat Jumps, High Knees, Down Dog Military Push-ups
woman jumproping
Lifestyle

3 Fitness Apps to Download for Virtual Training

Virtual training continues to dominate fitness in 2020. Here are three apps offering different options for virtual training.

Virtual training continues to dominate fitness in 2020. Not only is it a convenient option, allowing you to join any time and anywhere, but it offers variety and allows you to stay connected with your local studio and find motivation from new trainers. Here are three apps offering different options for virtual training.

1. Mindbody Flex

Bring your favorite classes into your living room and find workouts to fit the space and equipment you have at home. Mindbody has a new membership that offers 10 virtual classes per month for $59. Tapping into the wide variety of studios that are already on the platform, this recurring membership allows you to attend classes from participating studios around the world. If you hop on the waitlist for this new membership now, you can get two weeks free.

2. FlexIt

FlexIt has a network of trainers and fitness experts ready to provide you with personalized, one-on-one sessions using the equipment you have available. Prior to your first workout, FlexIt offers free consultations where you can submit your fitness goals, injuries or limitations, and the equipment you have available to find the best trainer for you. You can also use the app to visit local participating gyms and fitness studios and only pay for the time you are there.

RELATED 6 Local Trainers Share Their Thoughts on Teaching Virtually

3. Motify

Tap into a library of virtual workout classes with Motify. There are programs to suit everyone's skill level and preference, with trainers hosting one-on-one sessions including unique offerings like stretching, meditation, and pre-and post-natal specialization. There are also nutritionists available to offer guidance and help you reach your health goals. Subscriptions to Motify start at $9.99 per month.

Download one of these apps and start training today!

Holding phone
Lifestyle

6 Products to Help You Battle Blue Light

Blue light is the light that emits from our devices. So how do you battle blue light? We found six products for the job.

Who remembers the childhood game, Red Light, Green Light, Go? When it comes to blue light, however, it would be a no. Most of us know that we should be protecting ourselves from UVA/UVB rays which have been proven to contribute to skin cancer, but there is a lesser-known ultraviolet light, blue light, that can have detrimental effects on your body and we are all being exposed, now more than ever.

Blue light is the light that emits from our devices - computer screens, phones, tablets, even energy-efficient light bulbs - and it can have negative effects on our vision, skin, moods, sleep, hormones, and weight.

Blue light is stimulating, which can be helpful during waking hours, however, when over exposed, especially after sundown, it throws off our circadian rhythm as it fools our brain into thinking that it’s still daylight. This messes with our melatonin production and leads to restless sleep, which affects our bodies in more ways than one. Additionally all that screen time causes our eyes to strain and even damage our skin. So even if you’re working from home, apply your sunscreen.

So how do you battle blue light? We found six products for the job.

Protect Your Eyes

When you’re in front of a screen protect your eyes with Barner Blue Light Blocking glasses that have lenses with a coating specially developed for people who spend a lot of time indoors and are exposed to the blue-violet and LED light of digital devices. These super stylish glasses, with high quality, organic CR39 lenses block 40% of the blue light on the 430-450nm spectrum and 100% of the blue light at 410nm, are one of our top picks. $72.00, https://barnerbrand.com, and on Instagram (@barnerbrand).

While we personally won’t sit down in front of our computer without Blue Light blocking glasses, if you don’t feel like rocking the “four-eyes” look, there are a number of vitamins to enhance your eye health. Radio Foresight is a proprietary blend of nootropics and vitamins crafted to not only protect your eyes from blue light but also boost your energy levels, concentration, alertness, cognitive function and focus. Improving mental clarity while helping to keep your eyesight and mind sharp as a tack, we’re here for that! $59.99, https://turnonyourradio.com, and on Instagram (@turnonyourradio).

For those with children, their little eyes are seeing an abundance of blue light thanks to virtual school and increased screen time during the pandemic. Thankfully, Viteyes.com recently released a version of their popular Blue Light Defender+ for children, Blue Light Defender Kids, which contains Lutein & Zeaxanthin to naturally filter blue light and AstaReal® astaxanthin to combat tired eyes. These berry soft chews are for ages 4 and older. $21.95, https://www.viteyes.com, and on Instagram (@viteyes).

Protect Your Skin

If applying daily sunscreen is not already part of your daily skincare routine, your Florida card should be revoked. What might surprise you is that even if you’re working from home and inside most of the day, you still need protection. Sun can filter through windows and now you know that blue light can damage your skin you’re going to want to apply daily.

We discovered a simple solution to add in SPF and block blue light in Coola Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops Organic Face Sunscreen SPF 30. A few drops of this organic sun silk can be added to your favorite moisturizer or foundation, or use on its own and allow the proprietary blend of antioxidants and specially harvested plant-cell cultures to help lessen your exposure. $46.00, https://coola.com, and on Instagram (@coola).

Another skin protector that we recommend is The Better Skin Co.'s Super Shield Anti-Pollution Serum, a liquid defense system, which is designed to fight this and other silent aggressors while nourishing the skin with ingredients like Turmeric, Eggplant, Aloe, Henna, and Pearl Powder. $38.00, TheBetterskinCo.com, and Amazon.com. Follow on Instagram (@betterskinco).

You can battle skin-damaging wavelengths by applying makeup with SPF, like Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Fluid Powder Foundation SPF 20. This liquid-to-powder foundation reveals a soft-matte finish. We especially love this SPF formula as it not only offers sun and blue light protection (though we still recommend wearing sunscreen), but it is also sweat resistant, transfer-resistant, and non-acnegenic aka won’t contribute to maskne. $40.00, https://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com, and on Instagram (@bobbibrown).

Resilience CBD|Resilience CBD|Resilience CBD
Food,Lifestyle,News

3 Pre and Post-Workout CBD Recipes You Need to Try

Resilience CBD, a CBD brand designed specifically for athletes, has a growing library of healthy recipes that incorporate their CBD.

The food you eatbefore and after exercising is crucial to get the most out of your workouts,and to stay on track with your fitness goals. Pre-workout: You’re fueling yourbody up. You need to prep it for the physical stress you’re about to put itthrough. Post-workout: You need to replenish your body so it can recover andrebuild from the workout you just crushed. 

Resilience CBD, a CBD brand designed specifically for athletes, has a growing library of healthy recipes that incorporate their CBD. Not only do they taste great, but they also add an extra anti-inflammatory boost that you may not be getting enough of otherwise. Below are a few great pre/post-workout recipes to get you started!

PRE-WORKOUT: Orange Honey CBD Overnight Oats

Unless you eat a few hours before working out, you should try to stick to something on the lighter side, that’s also high in carbs. Oats are especially great pre-workout food because they release slowly, keeping your energy levels high throughout your whole workout. The CBD oil is an awesome addition to keep you focused and feeling refreshed after. If you’re a morning gym-goer, this is perfect to grab on the go.

Resilience CBD

Ingredients: 

½ cup oats
½ cup preferred milk
1 mL Orange Rise CBD Oil
1 tsp raw honey
½ tbs peanut butter for an extra protein boost
1 or ½ banana

Instructions: 

Add oats, followed bythe wet ingredients into a bowl or glass. Stir lightly so the Oats arecompletely wet.

Store in your fridge overnight. Top with bananas and/or other fruit in the morning.

*Yields 1 largeserving* 

POST WORKOUT

Eating immediatelyafter a workout is a must. You need to restore your depleted glycogen levelsand load up with protein so you are able to recover and build muscle. 

Recipe: Strengthening CBD Smoothie

Smoothies are a quick, easy, and effective post-workout meal. This one is packed with protein and stabilizes your sugar levels, while the CBD works to fight inflammation. The greek yogurt also makes for a creamy, indulgent treat!

Resilience CBD

Ingredients: 

1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
½ cup preferred milk
¼ cup chopped peaches
¼ cup mango
1 banana
1 mL Citron Zest or Orange Rise CBD Oil
1 tbsp hemp hearts
¾ cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt

Add ingredients to a blender, mix, and voilà!

*Yields 1 largesmoothie* 

Recipe: CBD Lemon Pepper Chicken Bowl

If you’re feeling something a little heavier than a smoothie, this easy meal provides an awesome source of recovery boosting nutrients that work with the CBD to promote muscle growth and healing, so you can go just as hard in the gym tomorrow.

Resilience CBD

Ingredients: 

1 chicken breast
¾ cup broccoli
¾ cup chopped zucchini
¾ cup chopped brussel sprouts
1 mL Citron Zest CBD Oil
1 tbs olive oil
¼ lemon
⅔ cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp salt, pepper, lemon pepper
1 tsb lemon juice

Instructions: 

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes
  2. Set chicken aside. Cut half of your lemon into thinly sliced pieces.
  3. Add veggies, CBD, and thinly sliced lemon to the pan. Stir and sprinkle lemon pepper, salt, and pepper.
  4. Turn skillet to medium-low, add quinoa, the juice of the remaining lemon, and the chopped chicken.
  5. Stir until fully mixed, and pour into a plate or dish.

*Yields 1 largeserving* 

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Lifestyle

Lift Off: We Tried A Lash Lift, Here’s What To Expect

We sought out Miami’s premier lash experts, Lash Society Miami to help us give our lashes some love with a treatment known as a Lash Lift.

Whether or not you’ve learned to smize through your mask or not, it’s time to highlight the feature that is most exposed when you’re covered up, your eyes. There are a multitude of ways to keep your lashes looking long and healthy such as mascara, false lashes, lash extensions, or a treatment known as a Lash Lift. The only service we’ve yet to explore is a Lash Lift so we sought out Miami’s premier lash experts, Lash Society Miami to help us give our lashes some love.

Nestled in The Roads (1110 SW 18th Ave), Lash Society Miami was founded by spa industry veteran, Melina Cespedes, who while living in Los Angeles went to a lashing seminar as a way to step outside the traditional spa industry services at the time. It was love at first lash and lashing became her therapy.

Cespedes moved to Miami five years ago to open Lash Society Miami, which offers the best “lash care” to those in-the-know including many of Miami’s TV news personalities, celebrities, and now you, our Stay Fit 305 readers.

Since we’ve already had our run with lash extensions, and while love them, can’t handle the maintenance, a Keratin Lash Lift and Tint, which in essence is a perm for your lashes, seemed to be the best fit. Cespedes explained the step-by-step process which includes cleaning your lashes and them gently tapping your bottom lashes down. Next, she gently adheres your top lashes to what is called a rod. Don’t be fooled, it’s a small silicone-like piece, not some kind of metal. Your lashes curl around it and then she applies a “perm” solution, followed by a keratin setting solution, which gives you the curl and the lift.

Next, she finishes with a tint in order to give you the darkest lashes. It's quick (we chatted the entire time so it really flew by) and a totally painless process with totally eye-opening, literally and figuratively, results. We were shocked to see the dramatic curl and lift.

The results last 8-12 weeks, which is the natural life cycle of the eyelash. You need to keep your lashes dry for 12-24 hours and the only other post-care is keeping lashes hydrated, with an eye area friendly oil like Castor or Coconut Oil. The treatment costs $120.

In addition to the Keratin Lash Lift and Tint, Lash Society Miami offers Lash Extensions and Eyebrow design. For more information on Lash Society Miami, visit http://www.lashsocietymiami.com and follow @lashsocietymiami on Instagram.

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Lifestyle

5 Products to Help Raise Your Vibration

If you need assistance finding your inner peace, we found these products will help give you and your aura a boost of calm and quell stress and anxiety.

From a global pandemic, lockdowns, racial unrest, political turmoil, and our environment being ravaged, 2020 has been a doozy. While we all are doing our best to get through this historical year of hardships, trying to find a glimmer of hope in all the despair will not only help you get through your day but can help raise our collective vibration. In case you need a little (or a lot) of assistance in finding your inner peace, we found these products will help give you and your aura a boost of calm and quell stress and anxiety.

1. Skinesiology Auric Mist

Skinesiology’s entire line is dedicated to raising your vibe and offers an online quiz to help you find your personalized, mindful beauty products. Taking sight, smell, hearing, touch along with organic ingredients into consideration, this collection of face and body increases your energy and decreases stress. Auric Mist Bliss (others include Female Warrior, Blossom, and Peace of Mind) instantly boosted our mood and has become a part of our daily routine. @skinesiologyskincare

2. I’m Outside

Craving the outdoors, but the heat, humidity, and fear of catching Covid-19 keeping you in? Well, now you can get outside in an instant with I’m Outside, a mist that gives you the benefits of being in nature without having to leave the house. Infused with Tree Oil Phytoncides, which are linked to lowered stress and boosted immunity; Vitamin D3, which has helped elevate mood, increase immunity, and reduce inflammation; and Fulvic Acid, which has been linked to a healthy microbiome, free radical protection, and shields from indoor pollutants; along with Microalga, it’s like forest bathing in a bottle. This self-care mist for your face and body has a subtle blend of cypress, hinoki, spruce, Japanese mint, and pine that leaves you feeling calm and grounded. 

3. Mazz Hanna Clarity Mist

Align your aura, your face, and just about your entire life with this clear quartz crystal infused mist that combines a hydrating blend of organic aloe leaf juice with the calming scent of organic lavender. 

4. Bathing Muse Auric Cleansing Soul Bars

Instantly clean your aura while you're getting clean with these newly launched Auric Cleansing Soul bars. Created by Francesca Cruz, a Miami-based, award-winning journalist, who has studied with diverse spiritual practitioners during her travels around the world, has created these soul bars with a variety of organic ingredients including, potent herbs, oils, and flowers bars to clear your energy field. Depending on your spiritual needs there is Clean As a Whistle (Hex Remover) to remove negative energy, La Reina (also el Rey)  for love, lust, and attractions, and Mo’ Money Honey, for wealth, esteem and success. Just be sure not to share your bar with anyone else, protect yo’ self! @bathingmusesoulbars

5. Annie The Alchemist Protection Pouch

Annie Vazquesz, Miami’s Queen of Good Vibes, Reiki Certified, and founder of the award-winning blog, TheFashionPoet.com, launched her collection of T’s, crystals, candles, and other accessories to spread her wellness and positivity through energy-enhancing goods. This evil eye protection pouch is the perfect place to store everything from your makeup, essentials, or even your crystals. 

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Lifestyle

5 Beauty Products for Your Booty & Your Body

We searched out some booty (and body) enhancing creams that will help enhance, smooth and tighten to keep your bum looking its best.

Bubba Sparks wrote a song about it (Ms. New Booty). GluteHouse created a workout just for it. While an extra set squats won’t hurt (well, maybe just a little) paying more attention to your derriere by way of your beauty routine is a simple way to keep your bum looking and feeling it’s best. We searched out some booty (and body) enhancing creams that will help enhance, smooth, and tighten

Miami Beach Bum Signature Bum + Body Cream

If you’ve ever stayed in your bikini or sweaty workout clothes too long chances are, you may have experienced bum bumps or blemishes. Miami Beach Bum’s soothing plant-based cream with aloe and oregano is designed to eliminate unwanted skin conditions folliculitis, acne, eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris, and more. You can also check out Vanessa DeSilva for a Miami Beach Bum “Booty Facial,” which is just like it sounds, a facial for your booty. @themiamibeachbum

Soap & Glory Sit Tight 4-D

Developed to help stimulate skin around the thighs, hips, and bottom, it delivers slow-release microencapsulated ingredients that optimize while you sit, which is perfect while working from home. The combination of ingredients including Sweet Orange Oil help revitalize and tone skin and the fragrance blend of aromatic essential oils including Petitgrain, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Elemi, Lime, and Palmarosa, will help to firm and smooth the appearance of stubborn problem areas.

NakedProof End Of The Line Stretch Mark Minimizing Lotion

If you have stretch marks, like 99.9999% of women, this Shea Butter and Pomegranate extract infused cream can help reduce their appearance by helping to stimulate natural elastin production and visibly reduce stretch marks. @avoninsider

H20+ Detox White Clay Body Butter

Infused with White Clay and a proprietary Detox Blend of plant extracts, this ultra-hydrating body butter will help revitalize and illuminate the skin while providing a healthy dose of hydration. @h2oplus

June Jacobs Intensive Age Defying Body Emulsion

Formulated with a powerful patented antioxidant blend of white, red, and green tea extracts combined with goji berry, pomegranate, and grape seed extracts, this body emulsion helps to neutralize free radicals, protect skin from environmental toxins and combat the visible signs of premature aging. @junejacobsspa

Lifestyle,Uncategorized

How Coffee Protects The Brain and Supports Memory

There are more good effects than bad when coffee is consumed in moderation. Plus, coffee may have benefits later in life.

It's no secret that drinking coffee can affect energy levels, digestion, and even athletic performance. While these physical effects are generally fast-acting, coffee consumption also has some long-term effects on brain health. Different bodies of research have suggested coffee may even support memory function and lower neurodegenerative disorders, like dementia.

Coffee and brain health

In 2017, Boukje van Gelder and her colleagues reported on 676 elderly men they had studied over 10 years to see if coffee protected them from cognitive decline. They found men who drank coffee had less cognitive decline than those who didn't.

The greatest effect was seen in those who drank three cups of coffee a day. Those who drank more or less saw less dramatic effects.

In another 2009 study, Marjo Eskelinen and her colleagues reported on a group of people they had followed over 21 years to see if coffee helped cognition. They found coffee drinkers at midlife had a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease later in life, compared with those who drank no coffee or up to two cups per day. The lowest risk of dementia was found in people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day.

3 ways coffee supports the brain

There are a number of ways in which coffee might protect the brain. These are just a few:

  1. Caffeine: Caffeine increases serotonin and acetylcholine, which may stimulate the brain and help stabilize the blood-brain barrier.
  2. Polyphenols: Polyphenols in coffee may prevent tissue damage by free radicals, as well as brain blood vessel blockage.
  3. Trigonelline: High concentrations of trigonelline are found in coffee beans, which may also activate antioxidants, thereby protecting brain blood vessels.

Is some coffee better than others?

Despite the benefits, not every substance in coffee is helpful. Unfiltered coffee contains natural oils called diterpenes, which increase LDL cholesterol levels. These can potentially result in a thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries in the brain (though they do have some helpful anti-inflammatory properties).

Acrylamide, a chemical formed when coffee beans are roasted, can inhibit neurotransmission, destroy dopamine neurons, and increase oxidative stress. The amount of acrylamide in coffee can vary, but dark-roasted, fresh coffee beans generally have the lowest amount.

Bottom line.

Because there's a wide range of chemicals in coffee, researchers can't say definitively whether coffee can protect against dementia. However, there are more good effects than bad when consumed in moderation. Plus, it may have benefits later in life.

Two to four cups per day, or less than 400 mg/day is recommended, and drinking dark-roasted, freshly ground coffee beans may decrease unwanted chemicals.

This story was originally published on MindBodyGreen by Uma Naidoo, M.D. and can be found here.