My oh my. Can you believe that we're already halfway into 2019? Yeah, me neither. If you're anything like I am, you probably told yourself somewhere before Valentine's Day that you were gonna do (or not do) certain things to get your body together, just in time for the summer season. But spring seems to be flying by and now, here you are—trying to figure out what you can do to be, at least a little health conscious, before Thanksgiving.
Luckily, when it comes to the current health trends that are specifically aimed at women, I did some of the research for the both of us. The good news is a lot of them are affordable and not super stressful to implement into your daily routine.
Whether you want to shed a couple of pounds, desire to have more mental or emotional tranquility or you simply want to find a relatively simple habit that will improve your immunity and make you feel better overall, here are some proven and popular things that will definitely help you to reach your goal(s).
Mindfulness is a word that's used so much right now that I think it's important to take a step back and think about what it truly means. To be mindful is simply to be aware of what you're doing, preferably before you do it. How it fits in when it comes to food is it's all about avoiding being an emotional eater, thinking about what will and what won't benefit your health before consuming it and even meditating, if need be, before preparing or purchasing a meal.
What are the benefits of eating this way? From what I've read, not only can mindful eating help you to maintain your preferred weight, it can also reduce stress, anxiety, depression, insomniaand reduce the urge to binge eating. In short, mindful eating is not a diet; it's a way of life.
A couple of weeks ago, I was craving a milkshake. After eagerly downing about half of it, I started to feel stomach cramps. I know what it was too. Other than a scoop or two of ice cream from time to time, I can't tell you the last time I've had cow's milk; I'm avoiding it on purpose. If you're still on the fence about why you should wean off of it yourself, check out "12 Reasons to Stop Drinking Cow's Milk", "Why We Shouldn't Be Drinking Cow Milk, According to a Gastroenterologist" and "12 Frightening Facts About Milk".
If after reading those pieces, you're a bit freaked out but you're not sure what moves to make next, no worries—there are all kinds of great milk alternatives including hemp milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk and, of course, almond milk. But guess what kind of milk is turning out to be even better than all of these? Oat milk.
The health benefits of oat milk include that it will give you 50 percent of the daily requirement of Vitamin B12 per serving. Oat milk also contains a high amount of riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A and D. Some other great things about oat milk is it's soy-free (leave soy alone, y'all!), lactose-free and nut-free, it lowers blood cholesterol, it fights off common allergens and even boosts skin health. All of this definitely explains why it's one of the hottest women's health trends.
Do you currently take a probiotic supplement? If you don't, you definitely should. Whether you take it in capsule or liquid form, probiotics are live microorganisms that introduce friendly bacteria into your body; especially your gut. Probiotics can do everything from boost your mood and relieve eczema to strengthen your immune system and help you to lose weight.
If for some reason you'd prefer to not take a supplement, there are fermented foods that can give you the probiotic surge that you need as well. Some of them include yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, miso and gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese.
Online WorkoutsFitness Workout GIF by socialbynmGiphy
If you've been saying ever since New Year's Day that you're going to start a workout regimen but you've yet to begin, take some of the pressure off of saving up for a gym membership and sign up for an online workout class instead. It's affordable, it's convenient and it's private too.
If you're interested but you're not sure where to begin, Gaia has some great yoga courses, Booya Fitness has a cool cardio class and Ballet Beautiful will let you get your Misty Copeland on from the comfort of your own house.
Apparently nuts have trends just like everything else. While the "top nut" has been almonds for a while now, cashews are what's currently all the rage. For starters, they are high in copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C, E and K, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. If you snack on them regularly, they are the kind of nut that is good for your heart; can help to prevent diabetes; will strengthen your immune system; can fight premature greying (thanks to the copper that's in them); will lower the risk of amnesia, can help to prevent gallstones and, if you or someone that you know is currently undergoing chemotherapy, cashews are able to lessen the side effects associated with that too.
Cashews are dope. No wonder they now come in the form of milk, dips and even ice cream. Just make sure that if you'd prefer to eat them straight out of a container that you go the no or lightly salted route and that you consume no more than 16-18 nuts each day. Since they pack 160 calories per ounce, snacking on them is a really easy way to pack on the pounds, if you're not careful.
Food Sensitivity TestingDietary Restrictions Food GIF by Hyper RPGGiphy
If you've been experiencing bloating, migraines, a runny nose, coughing or hives, while on the surface it might seem that all of those things point to seasonal allergies, it could actually mean that you've got some sort of food sensitivity going on.
There are all kinds of things that can trigger a food allergy in your system—histamines, chemicals and/or toxins in the food, missing enzymes in your body or a few other underlying causes. The only way you can get to the root of what's making you sick is to get a skin prick or blood test from your doctor. Make the time; it's worth it.
When we were first learning how to brush our teeth, we were told about how important it is to brush our tongues. Be honest—do you still do it, though? If you don't (or you don't as much as you should), let's first talk about what could happen. For starters, your breath could wreak. Not only that but your taste buds could become dull. If those two things aren't enough, you could end up with oral thrush (which is basically a yeast infection in your mouth) or worse, a "black and hairy tongue" which comes as the result of leftover particles of food giving your tongue a dark and hair-like appearance (GROSS). Another problem that arises from not brushing your tongue is it creates a biofilm of bacteria on it; the kind that doesn't go away with water or even mouthwash.
So yeah, if you want to avoid having a "yuck mouth", brushing and flossing after every meal isn't good enough. You also need to scrape that tongue of yours. (A brush is cool, but an actual tongue scraper is so much better!)
Less AlcoholNo Way Omg GIF by E!Giphy
It seems like ever since the beginning of time, there has been conflicting information on whether alcohol and coffee are good for you or not. On the alcohol tip, let's look at red wine as an example. It's loaded with antioxidants. It raises the level of omega-3 fatty acids in your system. It helps to prevent cavities, fights allergies and is a great libido booster. Red wine even strengthens your heart and keeps your blood sugar levels under control. Shoot, even the Good Book sings wine's praises (Ecclesiastes 9:7, I Timothy 5:23). But then there are articles like the one that was published on NPR's site a couple of years back—"No Amount of Alcohol Is Good for Your Health, Global Study Says".
I've never been a big drinker, but I am known to have a shot of honey whiskey or a cocktail from time to time. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. But, as far as current health trends go, if you want to be "trendy", a lot of health experts are recommending that you ditch the alcohol and go with a mocktail (a fake cocktail) instead. (If you want to read about how excessive amounts of alcohol affects our health as women, click here.)
The xoTribe is such a big fan of travel that there's an entire section on our site that's entirely devoted to it! Traveling with your boo is romantic, traveling with your girls is fun, but there is something very powerful and yes transformative, about traveling solo. You're able to get some much-needed downtime, you're able to meet new people and try new things, you can rest for as long as you want and it's a great way to take your self-confidence up a notch as well.
Now that I've done my little commercial for what you should put travel on your annual itinerary, does it surprise you that transformative travel is also on the women's health trend list this year? What the heck is transformative travel all about? It literally consists of planning a trip for the sole purpose of changing your life for the better. Y'all, it's so serious that there's even an official The Transformational Travel Council to help get you started.
Out of all the trends I shared, try and not let this one fade. Make it a part of your life now and for the long-term foreseeable future.
Being a SovereignFamily Vacation Fox GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Out of all the women's trends that I checked out, to me, this one exceeds them all. As you probably well know, being healthy isn't just about what you do physically, it consists of being proactive as it relates to mental and emotional well-being too. That said, something that's a really big trend right now is not putting everyone and their grandma's needs before your own. This year is all about being what is known as a "sovereign".
What exactly is that? In the context of relationships, being a sovereign is all about being highly-selective about the people you surround yourself with, spend time with and share your resources with. It's about honoring your time, your heart and your energy. It's about creating boundaries and cultivating the kind of relationships that will truly benefit you.
A sovereign is a monarch. A sovereign takes authority. A sovereign reigns supreme. BE ONE.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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In a conversation about her latest role in the Lifetime movie Abducted Off the Street: The Carlesha Gaither Story, The Real Housewives of Atlanta personality opened up to PEOPLE about her “next chapter” following her divorce from ex-husband Marc Daly.
The reality TV star shared that she is currently on a journey of embracing self-love, letting go of self-criticism, and focusing on embracing every part of herself.
"I've never given myself that before; allowed myself the freedom to just let go and walk through life fully embracing every part of myself," Moore says. "That's what I want to do moving forward because I'm tired of holding myself back. This 'next chapter,' as I'm calling it, is all about flourishing, removing myself from those burdens and stepping into me.”
Over the years, Moore, 53, has been open about the criticism that she’s endured from the maternal figures in her life and the impact that it has on her self-esteem. Now, the 1993 Miss USA is releasing herself from the constraints that have been placed on her in the past for a more free and open approach to life.
"I've always judged myself with my grandmother's eyes," Moore says. "She was old-fashioned and very religious, and while I appreciated that and appreciated her morals, I feel like I've been wound a little too tight in the past. I've always contained myself, especially in my personal relationships. And I'm done doing that."
While coming to terms with the end of her marriage, Moore shared that she has long held herself responsible for the divorce and her tendency to self-judge. However, she has since decided not to burden herself with unnecessary blame and guilt around the separation.
"For years, I blamed myself for my divorce — in the same way I judged myself, that was my default," Moore says. "But recently, I looked back at text messages between us, emails, listened to voice recordings, and it finally hit me: It wasn't me. So I said, 'I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do this to myself.'"
"The only thing that I can say with me is that once I did see the red flag, I should have gotten out then," Moore says in hindsight. "I needed to stop being Captain Save-a-Hoe. Some hoes can't be saved!"
Now, the mother and entrepreneur has her sights set on the overall growth of her hair line, Kenya Moore Hair Care, as CEO; and if it’s in the cards, she’s open to entertaining new love in her life — although it’s not her top priority.
"If there's an amazing gentleman that pops up on the horizon who wants to take me to Monaco, and we have a yacht ride or something, then yes — yes. I will," she says jokingly. "Don't ask me twice! And no, I'll not apologize for it either."
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