FALL INTO SIMPLE HEALTHY HABITS FOR BODY AND HOME

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Just as spring is a time for rebirth, autumn is also considered a transitional season. The weather turns brisk, the leaves on the trees change from dull brown to a firestorm of color,  and darkness settles in a little earlier. For many, it is a favorite time of year, but for others, it can be a trigger to falling off the health and fitness wagon. After all, how can you be expected to ignore pumpkin spice lattes? The key is to set goals BEFORE the new year, not over a drink as the clock strikes midnight.
“Fall … is a great time to start a (health and) fitness program because you’re going to create good habits for the holiday season and the upcoming winter months,” says Justin Price, owner of Biomechanics a personal training and wellness facility in San Diego.
Not only is Fall a good time to plan a strategic exercise regime, but also to change your summer skin care, eating habits, and stress management. Take a look at our four most important “wellness” points you can focus on this Season to help keep you energized, healthy, and happy.

TASTY & TRIM

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It’s so hard to resist those spicy pumpkin lattes or warm delicious hot cocoas. Well, you can still enjoy your favorite cold weather beverage. Our helpful tips when you are out:
(1) Use milk (3% milk fat) rather than the heftier half-and-half (18% milk fat)
(2) Opt for the “skinny” version, made with skim milk rather than whole
(3) Forgo the calorie rich whipped cream
(4) Order a small, rather than large

Or, make your own at home with our favorite low-cal pumpkin spice latte recipe:
You need:
1½ cups unsweetened cashew milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 teaspoons regular vanilla
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1 pack Starbucks VIA instant coffee (or favorite brand)

Directions:
(1) Place cashew milk, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin a small saucepan and bring to a simmer
(2) Stir in instant coffee
(3) Transfer to a mug and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

CLEAN HEALTHY MEALS

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While we all look forward to Halloween’s scrumptious candies and the holidays’ luscious turkey, ham, and pumpkin pie, there is a way you can still indulge yet stay trim throughout the entire Season. The key is to not deprive yourself so much that you overcompensate later. We like model Gigi Hadid’s motto: “Eat clean to stay fit, eat a burger to stay sane.”
On your regular days, start with a small healthy breakfast like whole grain oatmeal, fruit, eggs, or cereal to kick start your metabolism. Curb your mid-day slump with a healthy salad of greens and protein. Finish the day off with a light dinner of chicken or fish, and vegetables. Maintain this daily routine on normal days.

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When you are out on the town, no need to sacrifice your regime. You can still order your favorites, just order dressings on the side, limit heavy breads, opt for lean meats or salads, and stay hydrated with water. Spending a little extra time on what you eat throughout your normal routine, means you can indulge a little on the special days without “falling off the bandwagon.”

KEEPING SKIN CLEAN

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As the warmth of summer’s sun fades and we go into the “hibernation” Season, sometimes our skin takes a backseat to the busy-ness of Fall’s activities. With the crisp cool air, skin can easily lose moisture so it is vital to change your daily skin care regime. Take a look at some of our favorite tips from top designers and dermatologists.

AT HOME EYE REMEDIES

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The simplest way to look energetic throughout this busy time of year is to keep your peeps bright and alert. While a comforting facial is always beneficial, we don’t always have the time in our busy schedules. The easiest way to stay fresh is with a quick at-home eye treatment right before you go to bed, or just when you wake up. In addition to reducing salt, hydrating with water, and preventing allergens, these are our favorite “quick tips:”

(1)  CUCUMBERS (containing antioxidants and flavonoids): Place a cool slice on each eye and take a rest for 30 minutes. Afterward you’ll feel nice and refreshed.
(2) RAW POTATO SLICES: They stay cool longer and contain an astringent that helps remove the water from under the eyes. Lay over the eyes and reap the benefits.
(3) WITCH HAZEL: Chill witch hazel (a well-known astringent to reduce swelling and redness) and apply a bit to cotton pad; let sit on closed eyes for 5 minutes.
(4) COLD WATER: Refresh your face with a cool water wash first thing in the morning. If your eyes feel extra puffy, dip a washcloth in cold water, squeeze out excess and lay over eyes.

NEW SKIN CARE REGIME

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With the fluctuating weather, it is extra important to slough off dead cells and keep skin hydrated against the Season’s uneven temperatures. Make sure you lather up with an additional amount of non-comedogenic hydration. Instead of relying on chemical ridden products, why not make your own easy nourishing face and body scrub at home to use throughout the Fall months ahead:
DIRECTIONS:
In a small bowl mix: One tablespoon of brown sugar
A generous squeeze of honey
A teaspoon of olive oil
Mix until one paste. After removing any makeup, massage this concoction all over your face for a minute or so and then rinse with warm water. (Make a larger quantity for full body exfoliation).

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SIMPLIFIED FALL MAKE-UP IDEAS

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With the new Season comes new beauty trends. Even though the leaves turn darker and the nights come sooner, that doesn’t mean that make-up must follow. This year, counterbalance warmer colors with a fresh-faced, simple make-up care routine you’ll sure to appreciate, especially on those busy days.

Click her to check out this quick “how to” on daily make-up you can start today:
Fresh Face Look

And when you DO feel like dressing up a bit, just swipe on this Season’s most glamorous lip colors in power reds, 90’s browns, or liquid berry.

BE CALM AND REJUVENATE

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During the hectic Season, take a little time to calm, cleanse, and rejuvenate. Our favorite way is through aromatherapy, the most natural way to release stress. The methods of use are what makes aromatherapy one of the most beautiful and indulgent of all the complementary therapies. From vaporizing, to massage, to bathing, to foot baths, there are so many ways to enjoy the captivating aromas of our pure essential oils.

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Our favorite way to relax is vaporisation, the most popular and versatile method of use in Aromatherapy. Once the particles are inhaled, the essential oil vapors may alter moods and balance emotions within seconds.

How to:
Fill your vaporiser with water to the level indicated. Add 6-9 drops in total of pure essential oils to the water and light the candle at the base of a Ceramic Vaporiser or switch on your Electric or Ultra Sonic Vaporiser.

Don’t stop with just your home. You can stay calm throughout the day in your car with lemon infused oils to reduce anxiety and stress or revive during the mid-afternoon  slump with coffee or cinnamon reviving scents.

And finally, end the day in peace with a indulgent warm bath. Bathing is the most beautiful and nurturing method of use in the practice of Aromatherapy. All the senses are engaged in this practice and the mind and body are totally relaxed as the pure essential oils enter the body.

How to:
Add 3 drops in total of chosen oils like Rose or Lavender to one teaspoon of Sweet Almond Massage Base Oil and disperse into bath water. Agitate the surface of the bath and then immerse body and relax for 10 minutes.

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SIMPLE CELEBRATIONS CREATE LIFETIME MEMORIES

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The year would not be complete without the celebrations that fill the Season, creating pockets of joy to last a lifetime. No need for extravagance; let nature take over and provide the perfect backdrop for your Fall party. Whether you are planning a Halloween masquerade, gearing up for Thanksgiving, or hosting a casual get-together, go simple this Season.

Fill a glass urn with pine cones and colorful leaves from the back yard or make a centerpiece with pumpkins from your local pumpkin patch. Enhance your house with cinnamon essential oils for a calm environment, and add a couple of plaid throw blankets over chairs. If the weather permits, end your party with an old fashioned marshmallow roasting and snuggle into your warm blankets for an entertaining evening of fun, food, and fellowship.

Added bonus, hosting your own gathering means you get to pull out your favorite party wear, and stay cozy and warm without having to step foot out of the door. Make it easy on yourself by having guests bring their favorite Fall goodies, and stir together a simple apple cider that young and old alike can enjoy.

Check out our favorite Fall party wear to try:
“Sparkling” Black Sequin Pullover Sweater
“Pullover” Pale Blue Knit Sweater
“Miranda” Novelty Floral Lace Crochet Sweater

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In this hectic time year, you can find ways to detox and decompress throughout your daily activities. Whether you opt for a “skinny” latte, relax with a natural scrub, overhaul your makeup routine, or calm with essential oils, enter the Season refreshed and revived rather than tired and stressed. Look for ways to get out and enjoy the fresh crisp air and the colorful changes in nature, inspiring you to try a few new things this Fall. Comment below and let us know which refreshing ideas appeal to you!

Remember no matter what we here at Posh at Play always encourage you to
BE YOU, BE FABULOUS, AND ALWAYS BE FEMININE.

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THE ART OF CHILLIN

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As we mentioned in “Spring Break Like a Grown Up,” we all need a little “getaway” now and then. Even if you can’t afford to take an official “Spring Break” this year, be sure to take an afternoon or a weekend for some much needed R & R. You will find that you perform your usual routine twice as efficiently rested rather than stressed. As you take a little “me” time, no need to sacrifice style. With this Season’s casual cool and “Boho” chic trends, we have all the right outfits that’ll keep you classy yet comfortable. Take a look at some of our favorite comfy wardrobe essentials and start shopping your favorites for those  “chillaxing” days ahead.

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Like the colors of the sunset, Pantone’s colors of the year, quartz rose and serenity blue, reflect the quiet peace of day’s end. Why not add a little “peace” into your wardrobe this year by including these colors into your everyday apparel. Start with Liberty Garden’s NEW soft pink strapless lace twill dress or pastel blue maxi and pair with comfy leather sandals from Free People, a hobo bag from Rebecca Minkoff, and Vince Camuto’s straw floppy hat to stay shaded throughout the day’s activities. Throw your sandals aside and take a run on the beach, or cuddle up with your favorite book while looking glam at the same time. When the dinner hour approaches, simply switch out the sandals for Kate Spade’s blushing pink cage heels and matching embellished clutch from Valentino. Morning to evening, you’ll turn heads while chilling in style this Spring.

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STRIPED MAXI DRESS

Another maxi style trending for Spring 2016 is the striped chiffon dress. Reminiscent of the groovy 70’s and playing along with the “Boho chic” trend seen on the runways this year, you are sure to make a statement without saying a word in this casual yet stylish maxi silhouette. Try Liberty Garden’s NEW lace trimmed dress in the soft Spring pastel colors of blue, pink, yellow, and violet. Lounge around the Cabana in style or spruce up for a night on the town by pairing your look with Betsey Johnson’s embellished satin slippers and sparkling drop earrings from the Gemma Collection. Casual to dressy, your throwback vintage 70’s style will keep you fashionable morning, noon, and night.

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TIE DYE MAXI

Our second favorite “flashback 70’s” trend is the tie dye print maxi. You don’t have to be a hippie to enjoy this style to the max this Season. We like Hale Bob’s navy blue tie dye print halter dress paired with Joie’s black leather flip flops, easy to remove for beach time walks in the sand. When the weather turns a bit chilly, cover up in Liberty Garden’s daisy trimmed lace poncho and matching sunhat from Flora Bella. If neutral is more your style, go with Hale Bob’s taupe printed maxi accessorized with Jeffrey Campbell’s nude wedge sandals to elongate your limbs no matter how tall you are. No need to change for evening activities. Simply spritz your hair with a little Bumble & Bumble surf spray, sweep your beach waved tresses into a loose low bun, slip on Sam Edelman’s fringe sandals, and dance the night away in comfort and style.

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TIE DYE CABANA TUNIC

Speaking of tie dye, we like the look on the Cabana tunic as well, a required accessory for the chillest of Spring days. Flattering on any figure, this top can substitute as a swimwear cover up at the beach, pair with your favorite skinny jeans for lunch with the girls, combine with a mini skirt on evenings out, and double as your favorite nightshirt when the sun goes down. Get the above look with Hale Bob’s blue silk kit tie dye tunic paired with cool white cotton sateen skinny pants or cropped mid-rise skinny jeans from Citizen’s of Humanity, wedge ankle strap sandals from Marc Fisher, and statement earrings from Isabel Marant. We also like the neutral hand beaded tie dye top NEW from Hale Bob combined with Free People’s 70’s suede A-line skirt and fringe booties from JSlides for a “Boho” chic Spring style.

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LACE TUNIC

You don’t have to wait for dressier occasions to sport Spring’s romantic lace trend. From Burberry to Zimmerman to Lauren Conrad, the runways this year were filled with luscious lace frocks, tops, skirts, and jackets. Get in on this Season’s trend with Liberty Garden’s newest white lace gauze blouse paired with your favorite skinny jeans like Citizen’s of Humanity’s Thompson cropped skinnies or Hale Bob’s cotton sateen pants. If the weather warms, trade out your pants for green printed silk dress shorts paired with Steve Madden’s trendy lace up gladiator sandals or classic wedges from Michael Kors. If the Spring winds pick up, trade out the gauze blouse for Hale Bob’s long sleeve ivory lace tunic perfect for daytime fun in the sun as well as an evening out on the Boardwalk.

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BLUSH PINK LACE KIMONO

With Spring’s fluctuating weather patterns, you never know when you might need a slight wrap to protect from chilly breezes. Forgo your leather jacket or bulky puffer, and substitute a lighter, flowy cover up. We like Liberty Garden’s pink peach swing lace kimono jacket , perfect to throw over a casual tee and cut-offs, your favorite swimsuit, or sleeveless Spring sundress. Segue into the evening hours by paring your kimono with any of the above listed maxi dresses, from pretty pastel pink, to vintage striped, to groovy tie dye. And the next morning, feel like a million as you wrap yourself in your soft pink luxurious kimono, relaxing in comfort and style as you sip your latte in the warmth of the Spring sun.

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WHITE LACE ROMPER

Lastly, if there’s only one new item you include into your Spring wardrobe this Season, be sure to get a flowy lace romper, perfect for those days when you want to stay stylish but don’t have the time. An all-in-one fashion statement, the romper flatters all body types from curvy to athletic, from slim to round. We like Liberty Garden’s NEW white lace off the shoulder romper paired with casual cashmere slide ons for bumming around the house or cork wedges from Jimmy Choo for lunch out with the girls. Go full on “Boho chic” and accessorize your look with Monsoon’s bow back floppy straw hat, handmade fringe crossbody from Vintage Addiction, and sterling silver feather ankle bracelets from Zales. Or if classic is more your style, add Tory Burch’s white flat sandal on casual days and Calvin Klein’s T-strap heels for nighttime fun. Whether bumming around the house or playtime out on the town, the lace romper is your “go to” fashion piece this year.

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No need to sacrifice style when you’re “off duty.” With our handy tips, you can still stay fashionable yet comfy throughout all of your Springtime activities. Whether chilling at the beach, relaxing in the Cabana with a good book, or spending some “retail therapy” at your local mall, be sure to take some time away from the frantic pace of life and enjoy just being you. This Season is all about discovering yourself and becoming the best YOU can be. Detox, unwind, and let loose this Spring Season and you will find yourself feeling refreshed, revived, and feeling beautiful inside and out.

WORKDAY TO WORKOUT: FITNESS FASHION FINDS

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New Year. New You. It’s time to kick start the New Year with a fitness routine to fit your lifestyle. Whether a jog in the park, a dance class at your local ballet studio, or an intense workout at the gym, now is the time to get in shape. And why not stay fashionable while you are staying fit? A growing street style and runway trend this Season is workout wear you can easily transition into daytime wear with just the change of a pair of shoes or a shirt for easy day to night fashion. Check out our top picks for “fashionable fitness,” perfect for daytime style after your workout.

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COLORFUL PATTERNED LEGGINGS

We love the colorful patterns trending for Spring in all areas of fashion but particularly with leggings. Look for a mixed patterned legging to brighten your daytime activities and workout routine. Pair your colorful leggings for daytime with a basic tee and blazer, accessorized with chic tall boots for a Winter to Spring transition. Later in the day, shed your blazer, tee, and boots, and pair your leggings with a sports bra and running shoes, and you are ready for your workout. We love Hale Bob’s stretch printed jersey leggings in a variety of colorful patterns perfect to mix and match a variety of wardrobe staples already in your closet.

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COLOR BLOCKED LEGGINGS

As we mentioned in our previous blog “Trending Prints in Fashion for 2015,” color blocking is a popular trend this Season, juxtaposing two or more colors together in a whimsical pattern. We love actress Blake Lively’s color blocked leggings paired with heeled boots and an oversized jacket for work or daytime errands. Transition into your workout easily by slipping into your Sketchers GOMeb Speed 3 running shoes, just released for 2015 with a better fit and durability for long distance running and racing. We love Hale Bob’s color block suede leggings for a chic daytime look and an insulated warmth for your workout. No one will suspect that you’ve just come from your morning run with these fashionable leggings.

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LEATHER TRIMMED LEGGINGS

For a sleek modern style, we love the leather trimmed leggings. Try Hale Bob’s black quilted faux leather leggings for fashionable style. With leather trimmed leggings you can rock out your daytime look with chic booties and a light sweater for Spring’s chilly winds and amp things up at night by layering a fuchsia blouse with a cute cashmere polka dotted sweater from Saks Fifth Avenue, paired with chic Steve Madden Maarla heels. Squeeze in an afternoon workout on your lunch break by tossing off your sweater and grabbing your running shoes stashed in your car. With chic, easy style, now there’s no excuse NOT to exercise.

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BOLD STRIPED LEGGINGS

As we mentioned in “Trending Patterns in Fashion for 2015,” big, bold stripes are IN for Spring and where better to make a fashion forward statement than in the gym? We love Hale Bob’s black and white stretch Ponte leggings, a perfect new addition to your wardrobe this Spring. For daytime, pair your striped leggings with an Alexander Wang sheer black blouse and booties, and transition to your workout wear by pairing with trendy Chuck Taylor All Star leather converse and a plain white Tee. Throw on a leather jacket afterwards for a chic street style on your way home.

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SWEATSHIRT

No need to reserve your favorite sweatshirt for only your workouts this Season. Spotted on the streets during Fashion Week from New York to Paris, designers and models are pairing their favorite sweatshirt, whether fitted or baggy, with feminine skirts and sleek leggings. We love Liberty Garden’s collection of sweatshirts, from the faux leather embossed sweatshirt to the crochet lace sweatshirt. For daytime, pair your favorite sweatshirt with 7 For All Mankind black skinny jeans and chic booties. Plan your workout during lunch hour, and pair your sweatshirt with gym shorts or exercise pants. After your workout, spruce up for evening by pairing your sweatshirt with Hale Bob’s sheer lace pencil skirt and Jimmy Choo ivory satin strappy sandals for a chic night on the town.

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CARGO LEGGINGS

A new legging trend is mixing cargo pants with a sleek finished style. We love Hale Bob’s black stretch Ponte cargo leggings, for a little distinction from all the rest. The side pockets are perfect to hold your keys and phone as you start your workout. Transition to workday wear easily by pairing your cargo leggings with a white Tee, Hale Bob’s black bolero blazer, and black flats. Add strings of necklaces or try Hale Bob’s colorful scarves for that perfect polished touch.

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BASIC GRAY LEGGINGS

Instead of reaching for the common black leggings, go lighter this Spring and try cool gray leggings for your daytime fun and workout wear. We love Hale Bob’s basic 5 pocket Ponte silver gray leggings perfectly paired with a gray pullover from Liberty Garden, and Jimmy Choo’s “London” trainers, new for 2015. After your workout, forgo the sweatshirt and sneakers for a bright fuchsia sweater by designer Trina Turk and checkered Sergio Rossi pointy toe pumps for a chic, classic look perfect for daytime errands, lunch with friends, or evening cocktails.

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BRIGHT SNEAKERS

A trending fashion style seen all over the runways and at the Fashion Shows from Milan to New York last Season and for Spring 2015, is wearing your sneakers for everyday wear. Designers are pairing the everyday running sneaker with skirts, dresses, and pantsuits for a fun, unique look. No need to toss your sneakers aside after your workout; simply pair them with your favorite dress for daytime fun or skirt for the office. We love New Balance’s 890 V3 for whimsical fun, Mizuno Wave’s Creation 15 in a fun summer pattern, or Gola’s “Libery art Fabrics- Spirit” sneaker in a flirty floral pattern, perfect for Spring.

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No need to forgo fashion while working on your fitness. Purchase a variety of new workout wear that will easily take you from workday to workout to weekend. Choose one of our favorite items to start, and mix and match with articles of clothing you already own in your own wardrobe. No more excuses. You can easily fit in a walk around the block, a bike ride in the park, a quick gym workout, a dance class into each day, and with a quick change of shoes and top, you are ready for the rest of the day. So what are you waiting for? Shop those leggings, and head out the door for a fit, fashionable you in 2015.

MY WEEK OF LIVING ORGANIC

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With the current trend of “sustainable fashion” and “living a greener lifestyle,” I embarked on a personal “adventure” this week to live a more organic lifestyle. As a professional ballet dancer and fashion blogger, I do exercise daily, eat healthy, recycle, and choose paper rather than plastic, but I thought it would be interesting to infuse into my daily life a more organic and natural way of living. I did not take any time off from work or my normal activities, but simply researched living an organic lifestyle and figured out easy, beneficial ways to improve my way of living. Let me take you along my journey of discovery and maybe you will see how easy it is to live an organic lifestyle for a much more energetic, healthier, fashionable you.

SUNDAY NIGHT

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After a long six hour rehearsal day preparing for my company Pasadena Dance Theatre’s annual “Nutcracker,” my entire body was sore and I was exhausted. I usually just pop into a quick shower so I can relax in bed longer. This Sunday, however, I pulled out some all natural Epsom Salts, lit my favorite scented candles, turned off the lights, and sunk into a warm bath. I didn’t need any music to feel instantly rejuvenated as I felt each muscle relax and all the stress of the day release. Sometimes I will use “White Noise Lite: Relax,” a free mobile App with sounds of nature to relax and revive, but tonight the silence was a welcome relief. The world around us is noisy enough; it is highly beneficial to our well being to just take a moment of silence or quiet contemplation. I think we wouldn’t need as much medicine, caffeine, or therapists, and we would get a lot more done in our lives if we just take a little break. I was amazed at how calm and relaxed I felt after just the fifteen minutes of soaking, and I had a peaceful, rejuvenating night’s sleep as well. I could get used to organic living.

MONDAY

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Up bright and early Monday morning, I usually just have coffee to kickstart my morning. Today, however, taking the advice of dietitians, I opted for a healthy all organic fruit salad from my local market to boost my metabolism. I can’t do without a cup of coffee, but since I’m a little caffeine sensitive, I opted for Trader Joe’s Decaf coffee flavored with organic milk and organic sugar. I like Trader Joe’s because the store is less complicated than Whole Foods, the customer service is always helpful, they use all paper bags (or you can bring your own), and the company works closely with local farmers for the freshest, most organic produce and food.

photo 3Off to a great start in my organic week, I broke for a “lunch break” by taking a walk around the local park. Usually, I just eat lunch at my desk and keep working, but today, I opted to take a one hour break. The outside air was wonderful and it felt great to stretch my legs and get a little exercise. Again, I didn’t listen to anything but the sounds of nature as I walked. I even cleared my mind of all the looming work projects, rehearsals, and activities for the week, and rested my mind. Upon returning from my lunch break, I felt revived to start work again. Around 3:00pm, I noticed that I didn’t feel my usual “afternoon slump” but felt re-energized to continue work until 6:00. It really is true that healthy eating COMBINED WITH exercise work hand-in-hand to boost metabolism and endorphins for a more balanced, fit life.

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On Tuesday, I ventured out to an organic, vegan restaurant I have not been to yet, but heard great things about, “The Rabbit Hole Cafe.” In an all “Alice in Wonderland” theme, the restaurant was a pleasant surprise. The menu includes all organic and vegan fare, as well as raw items, and also includes a small store in which to buy your own organic products. I opted to try the popular “Queen of Hearts” salad, made with quinoa, chickpeas, and beets served over a bed of mixed greens, an all vegan and organic choice. The salad was delicious, even for non-vegan lovers, and the flavors were perfectly blended. I finished off my meal with the new popular “Cheshire Cat” smoothie, a blend of Dragon fruit, mango, banana, dates, purple cabbage, pineapple, and coconut milk, perfectly blended and delicious. In addition to the great lunch, the staff was helpful and friendly, and the service was quick and efficient. The “Alice in Wonderland” theme is a delight, and a great way to introduce children and diners leery of the “organic” world. Another great raw and vegan restaurant I love is “Sun Cafe” in Studio City. Their raw, vegan shakes and pizzas are so delicious that you forget you are eating an all raw meal. When in L.A., these two top-notch restaurants are a must. I encourage you to try your local organic vegan restaurant. Vegan chefs today are taking menus to a whole new level, and once you try a more natural way of eating, a Big Mac will sound so much less appealing.

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 WEDNESDAY

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Even with all the healthy organic eating this week, I felt a little mid-week slump on “Hump Day.” For lunch hour, I opted to try a Yoga class. Being a professional dancer, I take regular ballet class almost everyday so in my off times, I rarely “hit the gym” or try other classes. However, I know that many swear to Yoga and Pilates, so I gave it a try. Feeling tired and unmotivated, I tried the Hatha Yoga class at 1:30pm at Source Yoga in Santa Barbara, CA, which concentrates on deep breathing, finding your center core, and relaxation. After an hour, I was thoroughly relaxed and energized. My headache and backache had gone away, and I felt ready to take on the rest of the work day without the aid of aspirin or caffeine. I will DEFINITELY be adding Yoga to my weekly schedule after this wonderful treat. Next, I opted to take a ballet class at Elite Dance to stay in shape and boost my metabolism. By the end of the day, I felt relaxed, energized, and accomplished. After today, I realize that exercise AND contemplation go hand-in-hand to keep an organic, strong, fit, yet mentally and emotionally balanced body.

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THURSDAY

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Halloween is just around the corner! A great last minute yet festive way to decorate for the season is visiting your local farmer’s market or Pumpkin Patch. Decorate your home for the holidays organically with fresh pumpkins and gourds and support your local farmer’s produce and farms. I visited the McGrath Street Pumpkin Patch in Ventura County, serving the community for over 30 years. In addition to the thousands of pumpkin and gourds for sale, they also provide field trips for children and schools as a way of educating the next generation about farming and organic living. You can also use your fresh pumpkins to make delicious organic recipes for entertaining or just for yourself. I love the fresh pumpkin smoothie; the anti-oxidants in a pumpkin will kickstart your day. Or try roasted pumpkin seeds as a tasty mid-afternoon snack. And of course, it would not seem quite like Fall without a luscious organic pumpkin pie. After selecting my favorite orange and white pumpkins, I hurried home to decorate for Halloween, lit my favorite organic candles, and settled into a night of  “American Horror Story” for a frightfully festive evening.

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FRIDAY

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On Friday, I visited one of the most popular Farmer’s Markets, “The Original Farmer’s Market” at The Grove in Los Angeles. The Farmer’s Market was established in 1934, through the inspiration of two local entrepreneurs Fred Beck and Roger Dahlhjelm. What began as a few dozen farmers and local merchants selling their produce has now grown into a “must-see” attraction for visitors around the world. L.A.’s “Original Farmer’s Market” includes local produce, as well as fresh bakeries, fish and meat markets, cafes, restaurants, and merchandise.

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I started with the fresh produce section, and decided to buy local for my evening dinner. Grabbing fresh organic spinach, tomatoes, carrots, feta cheese, and squash, I then hurried home to a create an all organic dinner salad. I was amazed at how fresh, vibrant, and flavorful the fresh salad was, as compared to salad from a restaurant or the local grocery. I could actually taste, in full, the many wonderful flavors of each vegetable and felt completely satisfied, happy to start the weekend healthy, fresh, and organic.

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After the week’s “organic living,” I came to realize that living organically is not just a once-a-week activity, but a lifestyle. Making little changes such as buying local, shopping organic, taking Yoga, and daily exercising greatly reduced my normal weekly stress, and I found I was able to handle the daily challenges better, make conscious decisions, and sleep better at night. I also noticed that my energy level increased, and I even dropped a few pounds. Living organically is not hard, time consuming, or costly, yet the benefits to healthy organic living are priceless. After this week’s experiment, I am definitely going to make a permanent lifestyle change to eat organic, exercise daily, and enroll in a Yoga class for a healthier, happier new organic life.