I has officially been one year since the world came to a screeching halt, and while lock down measures have loosened in some parts of the world, here in Montreal we have settled into a new normal. We are still under a curfew and restaurant dining is a distant memory, but hopefully with the vaccine roll out things will improve especially as we enter a warmer season. Maybe it’s all of the time that I have had to spend alone over the past year but the truth is that I am struggling. Some days are better then others but lately I have been feeling a little low. In order to counter these feelings, I have been searching for and indulging in things that I enjoy and brighten my day. Here are my five faves for March that I am currently loving:
Bala Bands – I have been eating a lot of junk food over the past year (potato chips are practically a food group for me at this point) so naturally I haven’t been feeling my best. I have been working out, but without access to a gym (they are shut down) my workouts feel limited and uninspired. When the lockdown first started I purchased the Melissa Wood Health fitness app and I loved her workouts but eventually I got lazy. In order to motivate myself to get back to feeling good I treated myself to a pair of Bala bands which Melissa often uses in her workouts. These 1 lb weights are great for both lower body and arm workouts and I feel strong every time that I use them. If you are looking to add some weights to your workout I highly reccommend these bands as they are both functional and stylish.
Sumo Oranges – My tastes have changed quite a bit over the past year. Black pepper and oranges are two items that I find myself gravitating towards on a regular basis. I had heard of Sumo oranges on Instagram a little while ago so I was curious when I saw them at the grocery store a short while later. They are not cheap but my curiosity got the better of me and I had to buy one to try. I am now completely hooked! For those of you who have never heard of a Sumo orange before, it is a cross between a mandarin orange and a naval orange. They are a larger seedless orange with a thick skin (which makes it super easy to peel). Sweet, juicy and filling and they re helping me to keep a lid on my previously mentioned chip addiction. Love it!
Hermes Tokyo Store – Hermes has always been one of my favourite fashion houses. Despite the astronomical prices I love the the history behind it, the quiet elevated luxury and elegance of the brand and the traditions that they have carried forward. This past week, Hermes entered a new chapter in its history by announcing a new bag made with mushroom leather. I love that the traditional leather house is making strides to evolve with the times and work with new materials while still maintaining brand integrity. Hermes also announced the opening of their new store in Tokyo and it is gorgeous! It is the brand’s first street location in Japan since opening the Hermes Ginza location in 2001 (all of the other Hermes stores in Japan are located in a mall) and they did a beautiful job designing this location. Bright and welcoming and quietly luxurious I am in love with the design of this store.
Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy – I have always been a fan of actor Stanley Tucci’s work so I was thrilled when I first saw the promo for this new show on CNN Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy. A great actor exploring one of my favourite countries sounded like a match made in heaven to me. Thankfully this show has exceeded my expectations. So far I have watched him explore Naples, Rome, Bologna and Milan and each episode has me dreaming of getting on a plane and exploring the world again. I can’t wait! If you are also suffering from a serious case of wanderlust, I highly recommend that you check this show out to help to tide you over until you can travel again.
Monday Girl – This past year has me seriously reconsidering my career path and what I would like to achieve in the future. As I have been trying to figure out how to achieve my goals, I have been researching different career websites and support groups which is how I found the Monday Girl. They have an inspirational Instagram account (@mondaygirlto), a bi-weekly newsletter filled with career tips, job posting and ways to connect with likeminded women. I love it when women support other women both professionally and personally and I am loving this community that the founders of Monday Girl have created. If you are looking for a little extra professional motivation or to join a community of like minded women this may be one that you want to check out (www.mondaygirl.ca).
Thank you for stopping by Stylishly Zen today, I hope that you have a beautiful day and stay safe out there! XXS
Winter weather can cause a myriad of beauty woes. Even the most well intentioned beauty aficionado can get caught easily with hat head, static cling and parched skin. While updating your beauty routine for the cold weather is a necessity in many parts of the world, you may also want to consider adding in a few nutritional beauty busters to help maintain your glow all year long. As I have mentioned (many times) before, I love to eat for skin health. Here are a few of the food that I reach for when the temperature drops:
Beauty and good health begin in the belly and miso is a perfect winter warming food. Made from soy beans, this fermented food is very popular for it’s many benefits. Miso has been consumed for centuries in Japan and China and many regard it as the secret to the luminous skin that many Japanese women are known for. It is jam packed with antioxidants that help to address the signs of aging and bacteria (the good kind) which helps to balance the gut flora. Packed with antioxidants such as isoflavones helps to address the signs of aging and contains beneficial bacteria that helps to balance the gut and in turn aids in keeping the skin clear. Miso is alkalizing for the body and also helps to strengthen the immune system making it the perfect food to indulge in during flu season.
- Make sure that you use hot but not boiling water when making your own miso soup as you don’t want to kill the good bacteria
- In a rush? Enjoy a simple cup of miso soup by creaming a teaspoon of miso in a 1/4 cup of hot water until completely dissolved. Top with 3/4 of hot water and a few drops of chilli oil if you like it spicy and enjoy!
I love mushrooms so I don’t need an excuse to indulge but, knowing that they are a fabulous beauty booster makes them taste even better. Mushrooms are the only vegetables that make Vitamin D from sunlight which is essential for healthy skin and bones. Vitamin D also helps to regulate the turnover of skin cells which will keep you looking beautiful. Mushrooms are also a source of zinc which is well known as a acne fighting mineral. Mushrooms are a total skin clearing winner in my book!
- Try showing mushrooms in to stir fries, pastas, curries and anything else you can think of. The subtle earthy flavour will add a new tasty dimension to most dishes
Most people reach for Vitamin C during the winter months, especially when they feel a cold going on. While oranges are a great source of it, there are other foods that are rich in Vitamin C as well and red cabbage is definitely on that list.
Red cabbage is said to have twice the amount of Vitamin C then green cabbage making it a smarter vegetable to reach for. Rich in fibre and antioxidants and low in calories, red cabbage is an amazing but underrated vegetable. The collagen boosting properties of Vitamin C will help to keep your skin smooth and clear while red cabbage’s anti-inflammatory properties (the carotenoids) help to fight inflammation based skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
- Roasted red cabbage is simple to make and seriously delicious. Drizzle thick slices or wedges of red cabbage with olive oil (on both sides), sea salt, pepper and minced garlic and roast for 15 – 20 mins at 450F for an easy vegetable dish
I read a study a few years ago that touted the longevity benefits of rosemary. Since then I frequently reach for this fragrant herb. Naturally astringent and filled chockfull of anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary is a powerhouse in the world of herbs. Helpful in reducing redness and puffiness, rosemary even works to address breakouts due to excess sebum. Rosemary’s ability to help stimulate the body’s circulation make it a great warming herb that helps you to achieve beautiful glowing skin.
Rosemary’s scent is said to help improve one’s mood, enhance brain function and boost energy – perfect for jump starting those sluggish winter days. Many people swear by rosemary oil – applying it topically is said to help with indigestion and mental disorders.
- Not sure what to cook with rosemary? Try a simple rosemary tea, simply steep a sprig or two of rosemary in hot water for 5 mins. Remove sprigs and add honey to taste, and sip your way to a glowing complexion!
I hope that you have a beautiful winter season! XXS
Growing up I hated honey and would avoid it at all costs. When I started to clean up my diet a few years ago, I read an article about the benefits of raw honey and decided to try it out in the hopes that I would like it better then the processed stuff that I had hated. It was love at first taste! I don’t know if it’s because my tastes have changed as I have gotten older or if it really does taste that much better, but raw honey has become a staple in my pantry. I really don’t know how I ever lived without it!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with raw honey here is a quick overview:
- Raw honey is not filtered or pasteurized
- Raw honey is opaque rather then clear commercial honey
- It is immediately taken from the cells of the honey comb
- Raw honey is free from additives
Here are my top 5 reasons to include raw honey in my diet:
- Raw honey contains bee pollen which helps to provide natural allergy relief, boost your immunity and helps to ward off infections.
- If you struggle with insomnia then you may want to try having a bit of raw honey before bedtime. A known sleep promoter, raw honey helps to restock the glycogen in the liver which helps you to stay asleep during the night. Try stirring it into some golden milk for a comforting bedtime beverage. Get my recipe here
- I always reach for raw honey when I feel a cold coming on. It is well known as a natural cough syrup and it can also help to reduce mucus secretion
- Raw honey is an antioxidant superhero. It helps to block free radicals in the body which can cause disease
- Natural energy source – if you are struggling through a work out, consider having a bit of raw honey to give you a boost. It’s 80% natural sugar, which will help you to power through that workout with ease
Raw honey loses it’s beneficial properties as it is heated so it is best used incorporated into dishes and drinks after it has been removed from heat. It is important to note that raw honey is still a source of sugar so do not go overboard when using it!
I hope that you have a beautiful day! XXS
This blog post is for information purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for a consultation or medical treatment from a qualified physician or healthcare practitioner.
Happy August Everyone!
The past two months have zipped by, and it’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through the summer! I realize that we are already a week into August but I was having a difficult time putting together my mood board for the month as I entered August under a bit of a dark cloud. I had finally decided to re-evaluate a toxic relationship in my life that I had let fester for far to long. I took it upon myself to reach out and be completely honest about how I was feeling. I thought that I was heard, and I was hopeful that things would change for the better. I gave the person some space to think about our conversation, quietly hopeful to enter a new chapter in our relationship. Unfortunately despite trying to reach out to this person I was met with resounding silence. Rather then being treated with respect, I was ignored and put off as if my concerns and issues were not valid. While I am generally a pretty easy going person who hates confrontation, I was left with no choice – either I could accept being treated as an after thought who’s feelings didn’t matter, or I could cut the cord. That’s when, while scrolling through Instagram I saw the words of wisdom that I posted above “do not look for healing at the feet of those who broke you – Rupi Kuar”. And I knew what I had to do. So while I am sad that things didn’t work out, I am grateful for the opportunity to move forward without any regrets. I can honestly say that I tried my best to salvage what could have been, but I couldn’t do it alone. And now I have to move on. So for the month of August, I will be enjoying my freedom from finally being out from under a dark cloud. I will be healing any residual wounds I may still carry and taking some time to live in the moment and breathe, all the while rocking some of my favourite warm weather fashion. My mood board for August reflects all of these goals – enjoy!
Images from Instagram (@thegoodquote, @wellnesswithkenzie) and Pinterest
I hope that you have a beautiful and sunny day! XXS❤️