Everyday Face Ritual

Morning:

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Night:

 

Why I wear sunscreen all year round…

Summary of The Wall Street Journal‘s article on how to prevent the signs of aging: 

  1. Start wearing earplugs to concerts when you turn 25. Also, it’s probably best to plug your ears when the subway goes by or there’s construction nearby.
  2. Hearing is best until 25 and at 50 hearing loss becomes noticeable, prevent it using above step.
  3. Memory and processing peak in your 20s, so start writing a journal. It’s nice to look back and read about important events in your life that you can no longer remember.
  4. In your early 30s, you should start taking Vitamin D for bone mass health. 
  5. Sarcopenia, a progressive loss of skeletal muscle, occurs in your 30s. So start doing pilates to build core and postural strength. Core strength contributes to balance, which is crucial for going up and down stairs in your 60s and 70s.
  6. Loss of muscle mass is 10% per 10 years.
  7. After 40, learning new information is difficult. This means read, learn, and grow in your 20s and 30s.
  8. Eyesight and health declines starting in your 40s. The worst issue is age-related macular degeneration, which can’t be cured. So for prevention, eat a diet of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc and copper, and other vitamins found in leafy greens. Also, don’t smoke.
  9. In your 50s, lower-body strength and balance decline so start doing those squats and yoga now!

Takeaway: Take care of yourself now, even if you don’t feel or see signs of aging yet. 

5 questions i asked myself before getting a tattoo

  1. When I’m 80, will I still like this skull/zodiac/quote on my forearm/lower back/ankle?
  2.  How will the skin age where I placed my tattoo? (weight gain, wrinkles, etc.)
  3.  Is this a whim? Have I thought this through?
  4. How big do I want it or how dark? (Removal is not not painful.)
  5. Is the story behind the tattoo too personal or long that I would start to get annoyed by people asking about it?

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Advice: Healthy (Beach) Vacation Without Deprivation

I am just back from a 4 night, 5 day vacation in Ibiza, Spain. This place is renowned for all-night partying and Moet day-drinking on day-beds (say that 5 times fast). Sounds amazing, right? It was. However, I’m one of those (possibly rare) people that have a hard time “letting go” a hundred percent. I worry too much about the after. You know what I’m talking about- that post-vacation sadness (like Summertime Sadness, but shorter and more intense). Therefore, I try to maintain some of my good habits as a preventative measure.

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This is not to say that I ate veggies out of the sun and only stayed out until 2 am. (Because let’s be real, people don’t start going out in Ibiza until 2 am.)

Below are some Morning to Early-Morning Tips and Tricks that I practice while on Vacation to maintain my health (and sanity):

1. Breakfast Buffet: I LOVE buffets. I’m indecisive;  I get giddy over all the options. But no one wants to go to the beach bloated, so I ignore the simple carbs (pastries, bread, cereals) and dairy (cheese and sugary yogurts). Literally, I don’t even look at them. And instead opt for fruit (there is usually a plethora) and protein (eggs, smoked salmon, or unsweetened Greek yogurt). Buffets rarely have foods that you can’t find when you’re at home. So I eat light, knowing that more #eeeeeats goodness is to come.

2. Beach Drinks: Everyone has a different drink preference. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, so sugary cocktails aren’t really my thing. I love mojitos, so I’ll ask for a lightly sweetened version. My go-to drink is tequila and lime. On the beach, I’ll make it a tequila soda with lime (for that extra hydration). And a non-negotiable is DRINK A LOT OF WATER. It’s a given, but sometimes when you’re lying out for hours at a time you can forget to hydrate to compensate for how much you’re sweating.

3. Beach Eats: Eating in a bikini is great motivation to opt for the salad instead of the burger. HOWEVER, fries or nachos never seem to “count” as real food when eaten outside of a formal dining setting. My advice? When the fries come (because someone always orders them), take that time to take in your surroundings. Breathe in, breathe out. Go for a swim in the Mediterranean. Problem, solved. The days that I was eating on the beach, I had a lot of seafood. Eating local is always a safe bet wherever you are. Hello, Mediterranean diet benefits anyone?

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4. Exercise: This is the one part of my “routine” that always falls off the wagon/boat during a beach vacation. Thankfully, dancing can take the place of cardio. In fact, vigorous dancing can burn up to 443 calories/hour. So don’t be shy, you’re on vacation, move that body! If you are in dire need of a real sweat session or heavy-weight lifting, most hotels have gyms. And they’re usually empty in vacation spots because, well, most people are just vacating.

5. Late Night Snacks: My sister forewarned me that I would be hungry when we got back from Pacha/Amnesia Clubs at 6 am. She was not wrong. So I prepped by picking up trail mix, rice cakes, apples, and coconut water. The trick to eating well when (slightly) inebriated and physical tired (dancing!) is to give yourself no option but to eat well. I bought snacks before my night commenced. This seems counterintuitive, but it’s better than picking up a King Cone and a bag of Lays at the Supermarket on the way back to your hotel. My trick to avoid hangovers is WATER and two Advil. I try and chug a liter of water for every drink.

6. Plane Rides: Healthy traveling should be simple, but eating out of boredom always happens. I bring oatmeal packets, unsalted nuts, apples, and drink lots of water. Sometime, I’ll even bring mint tea packets for the plane. If you ask, flight attendants will be kind enough to bring you some hot water. Peppermint soothes the stomach and aids digestion.

This advice is just that – no need to follow everything or be strict with yourself. Most of these habits are second nature to me. But I always let myself off the hook a little when there’s an amazing seafood paella or a fun cocktail that you just have to have while you’re in Ibiza.

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IMO: Nespresso’s Cafecito De Cuba Espresso (Limited Edition)

Along with chugging a liter of water upon waking (thank you Cameron Diaz), coffee is one of the first things I consume in the AM. An almond milk cappuccino specifically. I use Nespresso pods and Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (it foams the best).

In June (2016), Nespresso announced that they will “sell Cuban coffee in the U.S. for the first time in half a century” (fortune.com).  There had been a permanent ban on Cuban coffee since 1962, up until President Obama ended the Cuba embargo.

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But enough politics, how does it taste, you ask. These Cafe de Cuba pods ( made from Arabica Cuban beans). Upon first sip, I realize that this pod is no Bukeela ka Ethiopia pod (intensity 3). I would put Cafecito up there with Kazaar or Dharkan (intensity 11-12), but with a caramel or Carmelito aroma. It’s a little spicy and definitely has a distinct flavor profile.

I would suggest this coffee for anyone who likes caffeine or the strong taste of coffee generally. I recently learned that some people drink coffee and don’t like the taste? *shakes head*

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About

 

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Name: Lydia
Occupation: Model/Blogger/Cook(er)/Fitness and Wellness Enthusiast
Location: New York City

College: Smith College
Major: Art History

Favorite work outs: Yoga or Kickboxing at Equinox, SLT, Barry’s Bootcamp, Shadowbox, Kayla Itsine’s BBG
Favorite activities: rock climbing and volleyball
Favorite smoothie: PB & J at Barry’s Bootcamp
Favorite food: salmon
Favorite drink: Casamigos Blanco tequila on the rocks with lime or a Kettle One Dirty Martini
Favorite dessert: vanilla cone with chocolate sprinkles or tiramisu

Sunglasses: Garret Leight
Designer: The Row
Shoes: Aquazurra
Favorite store: The Line, Barney’s New York, Zara

For Dancing: Acme or The Blond in New York City
For brunching: Seamore’s, Egg Shop, Jack’s Wife Freda, Café Henrie, El Rey
Coffee: iced coffee or almond milk cappucino
Coffee Places: Blank Slate, Joe’s, La Colombe, Eataly
Quick lunch: Sweetgreen or Sashimi (at Whole Foods)
Date Night: I sodi, Café Select, L’Artusi, Lil’ Frankies
Dinner with the parents: Upland, Gato, ABC Cocina
Drinks with friends: Tijuana Picnic, Mr. Purple
Bakery: BREADS and Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Rooftops in New York: Boom Boom Room, Hotel Hugo
Favorite location in New York: Lower East Side or Tribeca
Last place traveled: Ibiza, Spain
If I could live anywhere else: Los Angeles or Sydney, Australia
Most valued: friends, family, health

Saying: “what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail”
Blogs: The Blonde Salad, Because I’m Addicted, Into The Gloss, The New Potato, Friend of a Friend
Favorite book: whichever one I last read and finished, so “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara

 

Why Not Walnut

I thought I’d begin this blog with a post on one of the more obscure food products on the market: walnut oil. Ugh, I know, you were just getting used to putting coconut oil in everything (and all over your body and hair). But hear me out. I’m not suggesting that walnut oil is the next coconut oil/hair-mask/oil-pulling oil, nor (god forbid) the next extra virgin olive oil. Rather, I would like to suggest using walnut oil for salad dressing. I know, crazy.

The nuts are dried and then cold-pressed. The oil is a good source of antioxidants, including ellagic acid. What is this ethereal-sounding “acid” you ask? Ellagic acid has the ability to reduce oxidative stress on cells and has antiproliferative properties that are said to inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens (cue cancer-prevention benefits). This acid is also found in blackberries, cranberries, pecans, pomegranates, grapes, wolfberries (?), strawberries, and raspberries. Like whole walnuts, walnut oil provides your body with those much needed healthy fats.

The primary reason I eat/make salad dressing with it, though, is for its wonderful nutty-umami flavor. Here’s a simple recipe- combine the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ cup walnut oil. Or another: drizzle on salad plain. Because it is G-O-O-D.

Other benefits according to MedicalDaily.com:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Lowers heart disease risk
  • Cuts inflammation
  • Maintains hormone levels
  • Improves skin
  • Prevents eczema (The Night Of, anyone?)
  • Anti-ageing (Sold!)