My 5 Summer Must Haves

Here we are. Right in the middle of the sweltering dog days of summer.  My car thermostat read 95°F this afternoon, which made me wistful for low humidity and my wavy hair’s favorite temperature –  72.

Summer’s heat and humidity can make staying lean and feeling fresh difficult. If you’re like me, the heat takes a toll, and I don’t always feel on top of my health and beauty game. This summer, I decided to be proactive and do a few things to make the sizzling days of summer bearable and a lot more fun.

Here are my five summer must haves:

DIY Protein Powder

DIY is thee most delicious protein powered I have ever tried. It’s made with over 30 superfoods including pumpkin seed protein concentrate, six different types of seeds, four different superfruits, coconut, almonds, and an abundance of superfood concentrates. It’s available in natural, peanut butter, and chocolate brownie flavors. DIY does not contain fillers, dyes, flavoring agents, artificial sweeteners or preservatives. It’s also non-GMO and Paleo friendly.

Every morning, I fuel my body with a DIY green smoothie. I mix:

  • ¼ cup DIY
  • 1 cup spinach, kale, or chard
  • handful of berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk and
  • 4 ice cubes

Then I whirl it around in my NutriBullet until it looks frothy. DIY turns a green smoothie into a decadent treat. You can read more about DIY and purchase it here.

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Commando Underwear

Have you gone Commando yet? I have and let me tell you, it’s amazing! I know, ladies. Spanx is usually the go to. But, if you’re looking for a little coverage under a light, summery outfit, Commando is the way to go. Their underwear, camis, or slips are perfect to wear under a semi-sheer dress. Whether you’re wearing the thong, girl short, or boy short, you will feel confident and comfortable. It’s almost as good as wearing nothing at all.

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Stop Working Out!

I have a difficult time staying motivated to work out in the summer. There’s always a reason to relax, have a drink, and go to the beach. After more than a few missed workouts this summer, I’ve decided that I am never working out again!

What? I’ve made a conscious choice to give up working out. From now on I am TRAINING. Do you know the difference between working out and training? Training is working out with a goal. For years, I worked out by lollygagging through my cardio and barely breaking a sweat. But now? I’ve decided to transform my body and that requires training.

I’ve cleaned up my diet. I’ve started taking superfood supplements. And most importantly, I’ve completely super charged my workouts with an inspiring trainer, Ashley Halley.

It doesn’t matter what your training goal is. It could be to be stronger, fitter, run a marathon, or simply have a tighter butt. All that matters is that you have a goal and you start TRAINING to reach that goal. Focus + determination + inspiration = TRAINING.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

My fair, Eastern European skin doesn’t like the heat. Whether it’s heat from the weather or from working out, when it’s hot, my rosacea flares up. Those pesky, red blood vessels make my face look pink and inflamed. Skin guru, Kaisa Marshall, of Skin NV turned me onto Avène Thermal Spring Water to cool down my face and prevent a rosacea flare up.

I carry a bottle in my purse or gym bag, and whenever I feel the heat doing a number on my face, I spray a light mist all over my face. Avène is also perfect to use after a training session. It keeps your face refreshed, cool, and hydrated.

It’s also great to use while flying. Airplane cabins are notoriously dehydrating. Spray a little on your face a few times during a long flight and you will arrive looking fresh and rested.

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C. Wonder Monogrammed Tote

On my recent trip to New York City, I went to C. Wonder, one of my favorite stores for accessories and chic home finds. They were having their summer madness sale, which meant everything was at least 50% off. I scored this super cute white tote for $38. Another $10 got me the pink monogram. It’s the perfect tote for carrying around all my summer gear.

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It may be sweltering outside, but with a few fun finds, we can stay cool as a cucumber this summer.

Birkenstocks ~ An Orgasm For Your Feet

Since buying my first pair of Birkenstock sandals a month ago, my feet have been in ecstasy. I’d like to tell you that I bought them for the unbelievable comfort or the idyllic arch support. But that wouldn’t be the truth. I bought them because it seems that these good for your feet shoes are now en vogue.

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{Photo courtesy of www.capturefashion.com}

Yes. You read that correctly. Birkenstocks are now fashionable. Once only seen on hippies and grungy scenesters, you’ll now see Birkenstocks on chic people walking the streets of Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. You’ll find them on the pages of the J.Crew and Athleta catalogs. It seems fashionistas everywhere have fallen in love with this ultra comfy German sandal.

Birkenstocks have a long history. The company dates back to the 1770’s, when a German cobbler fiddled around with making more comfortable shoes. Over the centuries since, family members have carried on the torch of making sustainable shoes that promote orthopedic health.

The idea behind the Birkenstock design is to have the arch of the shoe rise up to meet your foot. This incredible arch support takes excess pressure off your heels and the balls of your feet. Equalizing your weight across the length of your foot leads to fewer leg and back problems. Since wearing mine, I have noticed that my lower back feels looser and my hamstrings less tight. People who suffer from sciatica or pirifomis issues will also benefit from wearing Birkenstocks.

My first pair of Birkenstocks was a safe fashion choice. Tan leather top on a tan bottom with just a swoosh of turquoise at the sole. My second pair was a bit more daring. White patent leather on a cork sole. I bought them after reading this in The New York Times style section:

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This is the pair that got me stylishly through long days of eating, drinking, and shopping on a recent trip to Manhattan.

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My Birkenstocks are so comfortable that I don’t want to wear any other shoes. When I’m pressed to put on heels for a night on the town, I pout for the first 10 minutes, wondering why I didn’t just wear my Birks with my Clover Canyon dress.

Just in case you doubt that Birkenstocks are indeed becoming the fashion rage, check out the celebrities who are rocking Birks.

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{Mary Kate Olsen}

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{Heidi Klum}

You’ll also see Birkenstocks on the feet of Gwyneth Paltrow and Alexa Chung, as well as interior designer to the stars, Kelly Wearstler.

Ultra comfy and super stylish? You bet. And in case you aren’t sold on the look of Birkenstocks, they also sell inserts that you can slip into your uncomfortable shoes. One way or another, you should “get busy” wearing Birkenstocks. Your feet will be O-O-OH so happy.