I was a fitness model for a day

Ever wondered what it would be like to have a team of people whose job it is to make you look fantastic—to capture your signature style and je ne sais quoi with all the highest production values known to man?

Well, two members of Team Well+Good got a chance to find out. And yes, it’s awesome. But also a little weird, it turns out.

Well+Good deputy editor Rebecca Davis and integrated marketing manager Kate Citron. Photo: adidas
Well+Good deputy editor Rebecca Davis and integrated marketing manager Kate Citron. Photo: adidas

For Well+Good’s first fashion collaboration, deputy editor Rebecca Davis and integrated marketing manager Kate Citron curated a box of the coolest activewear pieces anywhere for adidas’ Avenue A subscription box service. (And yes, you can still sign up to get the W+G box!)

And in addition to curating the box, they are starring in the ad campaign. What did they learn about life on the other side of the lens?

For starters: Modeling is chilly work (the shoot was during a late spring cold snap)—and the highs (mainly the attentions of a glam squad and amazing photographers) were balanced by humbling moments, like when a group of people stopped to gawk, thinking a celeb was being photographed, but when they saw it was “nobody,” they kept moving. (Not cool, people!)

Other things you learn when you spend the day as a fitness model? Keep reading for seven more lessons from the school of modeling hard knocks.

Continue reading I was a fitness model for a day →

4 simple ways to add wellness to your life, according to Gina Rodriguez

Gina Rodriguez has catapulted to fame as the Emmy-winning star of Jane the Virgin. But beyond her acting chops, the actress has attracted national attention thanks to her atypical celebrity cheer (rarely is she photographed without an ear-to-ear smile on her face), her giving nature (she even gave away her Golden Globe dress to a prom-goer in need), and her work to highlight diversity in Hollywood (she originated #MovementMonday to showcase Latina men and women who are killing it in the arts).

But the actress isn’t just wildly successful in her professional pursuits, but also a major role model when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. While most celebrities pride themselves on a weekly schedule of moon dusts and massages—which we’re seriously jealous of—Rodriguez has an inherently relatable method to her health and happiness. She definitely employs regular exercise and healthy food choices into her diet, but it’s her mindset that is so admirable.

While we’ve seen many actresses develop a similar graceful take on their well-being (from Kate Hudson to Cameron Diaz), it’s refreshing to see such a young actress come into the limelight with such a strong, established sense of self. (Teach us your ways, Gina!)

Scroll down to see the healthy lessons from the Jane the Virgin star.

Continue reading 4 simple ways to add wellness to your life, according to Gina Rodriguez →

Sakara Life is teaming up with Tata Harper for a menu designed to get you glowing

Sakara Life, the clean, plant-based meal delivery service beloved by trendy vegans, is collaborating with one of the OGs of natural beauty, Tata Harper, for a limited-edition Eat Pretty Program. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a week of meals and elixirs filled with ingredients picked specifically for their ability to make your skin glow. Beauty comes from within, after all.

Sakara’s already known for its seasonal, mostly local ingredients, but it’s not often we get the chance to eat what clean beauty expert Harper favors to keep her own complexion lustrous.

“I love foods that are hydrating and full of antioxidants,” Harper says. “These foods feed your skin and supply the entire body with nutrients and energy. Vitamin C, beta carotene, healthy fats, and superfoods like spirulina and blue green algaes all help create a radiant complexion.”

What’s in the meal plan? Think hydrating heirloom greens with anti-inflammatory ginger-mustard-sesame dressing—and a cleansing aloe and cucumber soup with roasted stone fruit and fig balsamic vinegar.

sakara life tata harper
Photo: Sakara Life

You can sign up today on Sakara’s website for the meal delivery program ($265 for three days or $420 for five), and you’ll start getting meals on Monday, August 29: three squares as well as Sakara’s Beauty Elixir (which completely sold out the last time it was available). Oh, and you’ll receive some of Harper’s luxury skin care products along with it.

For this collab, Harper personally chose some of her favorite ingredients to incorporate to give your skin an added boost—something we’re always down for.

Keep reading to find out the nine most powerful skin-friendly ingredients Harper chose. Knowing they’re doing double duty makes them that much tastier. Continue reading Sakara Life is teaming up with Tata Harper for a menu designed to get you glowing →

The beginner’s guide to cutting out sugar

If you had to pick a public health enemy number one, you could make a very strong case for (or really, against) sugar. The sweet stuff’s been deemed bad for your bodybad for your skin, bad for your health. And it’s everywhere.

Here’s why sugar’s on the Most Wanted list of bad-for-you ingredients, and how to do a three-day detox to see if sugar’s affecting you…

The case against sugar

Here’s the short Cliff Notes version: Sugar’s been implicated in everything from chronic, life-threatening health issues—such as diabetes and heart disease—to skin problems and good old stealthy weight gain.

Health experts like Frank Lipman, MD, have gone so far as to call sugar “the devil”, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently required brands to better highlight the sugar content on food labels in a bigger way.

That’s because when you eat sugar, your blood glucose levels spike, which results in a burst of energy—followed by a quick crash, Susan Blum, MD, explains. “You can run your blood sugar up and down all day,” she explains, “because when you crash, you go looking for more sugar to pull yourself back up.” Should you try and feed your fatigue with more sugar—which you may have noticed does not work—the vicious cycle makes you feel run down and cranky.

Plus, sugar is extremely inflammatory in the body, warn both physicians. “It triggers the immune system,” Dr. Blum adds. And chronic inflammation is believed to be the basis of pretty much all disease, which is why sugar’s become such a problem child of ingredients.

Who should cut out sugar and how to do a 3-day detox

Not just those at risk for diabetes, says Dr. Blum. Given the effect of sugar on everyone’s blood sugar levels and the breadth of illnesses it may trigger, way more people should consider kicking sugar to the curb, she suggests. Especially anyone who regularly struggles with feeling tired, moody, stiff, and/or achy (signs that sugar or inflammation is already having its way with you).

There are a lot of different ways to go about cutting sugar, but Dr. Blum recommends a three-day detox for its simplicity and efficacy. Her general rule of thumb? For three days, don’t eat any foods with more than 15 grams of sugar per serving. That means cutting out obvious sugar sources, like soda, alcohol, baked goods, and ice cream. But it also includes surprising sugar bombs, like most yogurts, juices, wheat bread, and, yes, even that acai berry bowl at your gym, Dr. Blum says.

To help you get through, replace sugar with healthy fats. Think avocado, nuts, healthy animal proteins—whatever works for you, Dr. Blum says. “It feels like a wonderful, almost ‘cheating’ thing to eat healthy fat,” she adds, but it’s really not—so go ahead and enjoy that guacamole.

Then prepare for the likelihood that as your body adjusts to its new sugar-free reality, you’re going to feel like crap. (Sorry! We didn’t want to sugar-coat that news either.)

“It takes three days to get through it, and it feels rough. I’m thinking of one patient who told me, ‘I cried for three days,’” Dr. Blum says. “People don’t realize it has that kind of power over you, and they really detox. They get achy. They get irritable.” The more addicted to sugar you are, the worse those three days will be, Dr. Blum warns, with lots of cravings and headaches. But after that things just kind of…lighten.

The heavens open after a sugar detox

Okay, we’re exaggerating. But so many people swear they feel ridiculously good afterward. Why? If it really is sugar that’s driving your fatigue, mood swings, and so on, you should start to feel better immediately, confirms Dr. Blum. (If not, it’s time to figure out what else could be going on, she says, but she recommends sticking with a low-sugar diet anyway, because of all the other health benefits a low- or no-sugar lifestyle bestows.)

After three days, you can move into maintenance mode, which means reading labels super carefully so you generally stick to that no-more-than-15-grams-of-sugar-per-serving rule. (Ideally consumed with protein to slow its absorption and therefore decreasing the likelihood of a blood-sugar spike.)

And don’t go reaching for sugar substitutes, Dr. Blum says. They can just trick your body into gaining weight and continue to foster cravings for sweet stuff.

The cool thing about giving up sugar is that its effects are super obvious and long-lasting. You really should just kind of feel better overall. “It’s an eye-opening experience,” Dr. Blum says. “So many things you’re experiencing are because of sugar.”

What to eat for dessert? These frozen desserts give you an energy boost (instead of a sugar high). Or try these five-ingredients-or-less, low-sugar treats.