3 Healthy Vegan Recipes with Vitamin C and Zinc for a Nutritious Boost

Shannon Smyth
With cold and flu season here, it's important to be eating nutritious meals to keep you healthy. These three vegan recipes are not only delicious, but they also pack a nutritious punch with ingredients that are high in vitamin C and zinc.

The Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup is loaded with vitamin C-rich bell peppers and tomatoes, as well as zinc-rich beans and quinoa. The Vegan Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto features vitamin C-rich zucchini and avocado, as well as zinc-rich pine nuts. The Vegan Quinoa and Kale Salad combines vitamin C-rich kale and red onions with zinc-rich quinoa and pecans. Each of these dishes is a great way to boost your immune system and support your overall health.

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Poor Diet Leads to Hair Loss

Shannon Smyth
There's a link between your daily diet and hair loss. Click to read more. #haircare #hairloss

Poor nutrition literally impacts people from head to toe because diet can significantly affect your hair and that includes hair loss.

Healthy, attractive hair is often due to a combination of factors, including genetics, physical health, hair care, and eating habits. But if someone is experiencing hair breakage, hair loss, or lost luster, their poor diet may be mostly to blame, says Dr. Chris Varona, a hair restoration specialist and the owner of Varona Hair Restoration in Newport Beach, Calif.

“If you’re not putting the right fuel in, your hair may not be getting the nutrition that it needs to thrive,” says Varona. “But for some, a few simple changes in their diet can have a dramatic effect on their hair’s appearance and health.

“And in many cases, if the diet deficiencies are addressed, hair loss stops or reverses.”

The most important nutrients for healthy hair and the foods that supply them:

Essential fatty acids

These are vital for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Omega-3 fatty acids nourish and protect hair, help in regrowth, and add a silky shine. Fatty fish like salmon has lots of omega-3, and walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and soybeans are also a good source of this healthy hair nutrient.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are essential for hair growth, provide extra support to healthy hair, and help it maintain lustrous integrity. They help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. You can find B6 in bananas and potatoes, B12 in meat and dairy products, and folic acid in citrus fruits and tomatoes.


Hair is composed of a protein called keratin. If you’re short on protein, your hair won’t thrive. Animal products like meat, fish, and eggs are a good source of protein. You can also get protein from plants, including beans, lentils, nuts, and grains.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D keeps the skin, bones, and hair healthy. Some studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to hair loss. You can find vitamin D in fatty fish, liver, egg yolks, mushrooms, tofu and in fortified foods like milk or soy and almond milk.


Severe iron deficiency, also called anemia, causes hair loss. It is especially common in women with heavy menstrual periods and is easily mistaken for female pattern baldness. Meats including chicken, fish, and red meats are good sources of easily absorbable iron. Plant sources of iron include beans and lentils, dark leafy greens, and potatoes. Many breads and cereals are also enriched with iron.

Trace minerals

These include iron, chromium, copper, zinc, iodine, manganese and selenium. A daily multivitamin can be helpful to ensure you’re getting those vitamins and minerals that your body, and your hair, need most.

A healthy, well-rounded diet often contains all the foods and nutrients needed for beautiful, healthy hair. A simple blood test can check for nutritional deficiencies, and if they are found, a change in diet or supplementation may improve your hair and stop hair loss.

The link between diet and hair loss. #haircare #hairloss

About Dr. Chris Varona

Dr. Chris Varona is a leading hair restoration specialist and the owner of Varona Hair Restoration in Newport Beach, Calif. One of the few hair surgeons who perform FUE graft extractions manually himself, Varona focuses on follicular unit extraction (FUE surgery) and also performs follicular unit transplantation (FUT). He has performed over 5,000 cases.

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5 Reasons You’re Gaining Weight

Shannon Smyth
5 reasons you're gaining weight that you may not have thought of. #health It can be frustrating to step on the scale and see the number go up. If this continues for several weeks, you may begin to wonder where the extra weight is coming from. Obviously, eating junk food or eating too many calories compared to calories burned can cause weight gain. However, there are some reasons that are less obvious. Let's take a closer look at five reasons you’re gaining weight:


Long-term stress can boost hunger levels. While you may not realize it, you could be eating more than you were before. Stress can cause an increase in cortisol. Cortisol can wreak havoc on your insulin levels and cause blood sugar levels to drop. Thus, you’re more likely to crave sugary, fatty, carb-filled foods. Take the necessary steps to deal with stress so that you can regain your healthy eating habits. Try: Yoga or meditation

Medication and Illness

Unfortunately, there are times when weight gain is out of our control. You may need certain medications that can cause weight gain. There are also illnesses, such as Fibromyalgia, that can cause weight gain. This is disheartening but having a good relationship with your doctor and expressing your concerns can help you work together to try different medications and meal plans until you find something that helps you maintain your weight.

Sleep Patterns

There's never enough time in the day. That's why many people skimp on sleep. If you get a couple hours, you’re good to go, right? Wrong. Not getting enough sleep can alter your hormones and cause your body to crave foods that are high in calories and carbs. Adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. There are things that will alter how much sleep you need, such as pregnancy and illness. Make sure the 7 to 9 hours you get are quality hours. If you're waking up several times a night, you’re not getting a good night's rest. Try: A hybrid mattress or aromatherapy diffuser

Eating Too Late in the Day

Chances are you’ve heard that eating after 6PM can cause weight gain. For some people, that’s unavoidable. Some people work shifts that require late night eating. What may be more beneficial is to make sure you’re doing intermittent fasting. The 16:8 plan, for example, says that you fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. If you’re seeing weight gain, you may not be giving your body enough time between your last and first meals.

Not Eating Enough

This is a shocker to so many people, but not eating enough can actually cause you to gain weight. When you’re not eating enough calories for your body’s needs, your body will begin to store fat. In other words, you can be working out every day but still gaining weight. Do the math and make sure you’re eating enough calories for your body and lifestyle. It can be frustrating to gain weight when you know you’re not eating junk food. There are a number of reasons why this can occur. Stress, lack of sleep, and even not eating enough calories can lead to weight gain. Take care of yourself and your body will take care of you. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Kettlebell Workout for Weight Loss

Candyce Ross
Try these different kettlebell workouts via @agirlsgottaspa When most of us think of weight training, we imagine muscly men in the gym pumping iron double their weight with thighs the size of tree trunks. Many of us don’t associate weight training with weight loss because it seems counter intuitive to build muscle when we’re trying to slim down. In fact, the opposite is true – lifting weights is the single most effective way to burn fat. Unlike cardio, after each weight training workout your muscles need energy to repair; meaning that your body burns a greater percentage of calories from fat. Research shows that after a weight training workout, your metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours. So, after your morning workout for example, you’ll be burning more calories whilst sitting at your desk at work and whilst you’re sleeping that night – winning! Kettlebell workout tips via @agirlsgottaspa Whilst cardio is of course a good form of exercise, it can lead to the loss of muscle and fat. Weight or resistance training on the other hand promotes lean muscle mass which allows your body to burn more calories at rest. Your BMR (base metabolic rate) is the calories your body burns just to keep itself running. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories are burned even if you do nothing but ‘Netflix and chill’ all day. To torch those calories and keep burning them the whole day, try this 45 minute workout below. I have also officially found the most stylish kettlebells out there – Heart Kettlebells (available in 4kg and 8kg). These are the perfect addition to your home gym and are versatile enough to use for a range of different exercises. The full body workout below consists of three sets made up of four exercises. Repeat each exercise for 45 seconds before taking a 15 second rest and moving on to the next exercise in the set. Each set has three rounds and between each round there is a one minute rest period. Set 1: Standing pull up - Stand with your feet apart. Start with the weight at the bottom with straight arms and both hands on the kettlebell. Then pull up with your elbows coming out to the side. Hold the kettlebell up towards your chest and keep your elbows just a bit more than 180 degrees. Lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat. Alternate lunges – Start with your left leg forward and your right leg backwards (this is the leg that will drop into the lunge.) Hold the kettlebell in your right hand and lunge, driving the weight of the kettlebell up through your lunge. After 20 seconds, swap sides and repeat for another 20 seconds. Bent over row - Stand with your legs hip-length apart. Bend over forwards and grab a hold of the handle of the kettlebell. Keeping your core tight and your back straight, stand up brining the kettlebell with you. Do not lift the kettlebell, simply hold onto it and feel the stretch in your quads. Mountain climbers - Place both kettlebells shoulder width apart. Hold onto the top of each and come into a raised plank position. Brace your core and bring one leg in as high as you can towards your chest, then the other and repeat for 45 seconds as fast, but controlled, as you can. Rest for 1 min, then repeat set until you have done this set three times. Heart Kettlebells and kettlebell worksout via @agirlsgottaspa Set 2: Kettlebell swing – Use your hips in this movement and allow the weight of the kettlebell to drive the movement (don't lift the kettlebell with your arms.) Start with hips a bit wider than hip distance apart, with both palms down grab the handle of the kettlebell with both hands. Lower your body and swing the kettlebell from between your legs out in front of you. Repeat this swinging motion for 45 seconds. Bicep curl – Grab hold of the handle of the kettlebell with the palm of your hand facing you. Bring the kettlebell up from the side of your body into a bicep curl, stopping at 90 degrees. Goblet Squat – Hold the kettlebell in front of you with both hands, grabbing hold of each side of the handle and squat for 45 seconds. Side bend – Stand with your legs hip width apart. With the handle of a kettlebell in your right hand and facing towards the front, bend sideways towards your left almost like a standing side crunch. Repeat for 20 seconds and then change sides and repeat. Rest for 1 min, then repeat set until you have done this set three times. Set 3: Wall sit - Place your back against a wall with your feet shoulder width apart and a little way out in front from the wall. At all times your back should be flat against the wall and you should form two right angles – one at the hips and one at the knees. Hold the kettlebell with both hands above your knees for 45 seconds Two arm kettlebell row – Grab two kettlebells and place them in front of your feet with your knees bent slightly. Pull the kettlebells towards your stomach whilst keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight. Kettlebell push up – This is a tough one! Place the two kettlebells shoulder width apart and come into a push-up position with each hand holding onto a handle of a kettlebell. Come down towards the kettlebells in a push-up position and then push up away from the floor. If you can, between reps at the top of the push-up, pull one kettlebell in towards your body and then carefully lower down again. If it’s a little too much, just do a normal push up either on your toes or your knees. Sit ups – Lie down and hold the bottom part of the kettlebell in two hands towards your chest. Sit up and bring the kettlebell with you. If this is too difficult just do normal sit ups. Rest for 1 min, then repeat set until you have done this set three times. This workout can be modified to a 30 minute version by doing each set twice instead of three times. Even though this is a short workout you will be burning calories throughout the day! Leave me a comment and let me know how it goes! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Small Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Candyce Ross
Small steps to a healthier lifestyle - keeping a health and wellness journal via @agirlsgottaspa Eat your greens, avoid gluten and dairy. Eat less red meat, drink more water. Floss, moisturise, stretch, meditate. Stress less, sleep more. Add green tea to your diet, cut out refined sugar. Exercise every day, take your multi-vitamins, don’t slouch… Woah, woah, woah – slow down. How on earth can I do all of that? We are constantly reading and hearing about what we should and shouldn’t do and going into the new year places even more pressure on us to reassess our lives, our habits, our diet and our routines. It’s easy to get overwhelmed though and think, "if I can’t do it all, then there’s no point doing any of it." Before you know it, you find yourself on the couch chowing through a whole packet of Kettle crisps. Small steps to a healthier lifestyle via @agirlsgottaspa It’s important to remember though, that Rome wasn’t built in a day the same way that the abs on that girl on Instagram didn’t just happen overnight. We must work for what we want. We need to set goals and practice self-affirmation along the way. Baby steps, weekly changes. I’m no fan of fad diets and believe that health is a lifestyle choice and a journey. Setting a goal for yourself at the beginning of the week is a great way of making small, realistic and attainable changes in your life. It may be as simple as going for one run a week. This may be a big step for you, but once you’ve overcome that challenge, you could say to yourself that the following week you will go for one run and get to bed 20 minutes earlier than usual each night. Week three could see you cutting out red meat for one day, and week four you may set the goal of drinking 2L of water a day. Eventually, by the end of one month you could look back and see that you have been on 4 runs, slept 10 hours more, reduced your intake of red meat and have clearer skin and fewer headaches due to increasing your intake of H2O – wouldn’t that be nice? Small steps to a healthier lifestyle via @agirlsgottaspa Keeping a daily journal is an important step in attaining your goals by being more mindful and organised. It keeps you accountable to yourself, helps you to track your progress and when you have those days when your mood is lower than usual, you can flick through the pages and see all the little wins you’ve had along the way. Remember – a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. In fact, the biggest mistake of all would be to decide to do nothing – you can only benefit from trying to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. Here are some simple ideas of small changes you can incorporate into your weekly routine. Make sure to plan it all out in your wellness journal:
  • Start your day with a warm glass of lemon water. This aids digestion, boosts immunity and helps flush out toxins. You'll even see clearer skin.
  • ‘Meatless Mondays’ – have one day a week where you opt for the vegetarian option. Eating less meat will help you consume less fat and lower your risk of heart disease.
  • Pack your lunch (even if it’s only once a week) - you’ve been sitting at your desk all morning, have a to-do list as long as the Great Wall of China and the fastest lunch option is ducking down to Pret and grabbing a baguette. Why not prepare your lunch the night before or on the weekend before your work week even starts? Steam some vegetables, pack some tuna and quinoa and prepare your lunches way before hunger sets in when you’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices.
Small steps to a healthier lifestyle - keeping a health and wellness journal via @agirlsgottaspa
  • Add chia seeds– This is a superfood of note! They are loaded with anitoxidants and minerals such as manganese, iron, magnesium and calcium. They are proven to reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control. Add chia seeds to your porridge, smoothies, salads, just about everything! And the best thing is that 2-3 tablespoons is all you need to fulfill your daily requirement of omega-3s.
Do you keep a health and wellness journal? If you have easy, healthy daily habits that you’ve incorporated into your routine please leave a comment!

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Hygge - The Secret to Happiness?

Candyce Ross2 comments
creating hygge via @agirlsgottaspa Believe me when I say that, at times, I am the biggest culprit of trying to do a million things at once. Whether it be applying my mascara on the bus whilst scrolling through Instagram and talking to my mom in Australia on the phone. Or watching the latest episode of Homeland (okay, I'm about 4 seasons behind...bear with me!) whilst reading the latest issue of Women's Health mag and touching up my nail polish... I've developed a terrible habit of feeling 'lazy' if I am not trying to cross at least 3 things off my to do list simultaneously. Society has glorified the ability to multi-task and living in the city has only fuelled this habit. It seems as though everyone is doing it all around us - we all know those stressed out business people on the tube in the morning balancing a Pret coffee and bacon roll in one hand and the morning's copy of City A.M in the other, trying to catch up on the news....whilst on a conference call. It feels like there's a stressful vibe all around us wherever we go. I recently visited Copenhagen where I was absolutely amazed at the happy, relaxed and blissful nature of the Danes. I spent a short weekend in the capital city with a girlfriend, but unlike the usual ‘hurry scurry’ of a weekend city break-away (think minimal sleep, rushing onto the Gatwick Express after work on a Friday and back at your desk Monday morning before you know it, not knowing your head from your tail, wondering where your weekend went), we returned relaxed...quietened.... refreshed! creating hygge via @agirlsgottaspa We both noticed that the pace of life was a lot more relaxed. People walked slower, they took time to talk to each other in the street, the shop windows were lined with candles and the cafes actually wanted you to stay, to linger, to savour the moment. Our favourite was Laundromat Café where we spent what felt like hours; precious hours of quality time, playing board games and chatting over herbal tea. And unlike what can sometimes be the case in cafes, we didn't have the waiter popping over asking the almost rhetorical question of, "Would you like anything else...?" which we all know is code for, '"Seriously, you've been here for ages, can you please either order something else or leave." These cafes encourage guests to stay - even if you only order one cup of tea each and lose track of time as you immerse yourself in a game of chess like we did. The Danes must be doing something right. They’ve been voted one of the happiest nations on Earth, they have one of the longest life expectancies and they’ve mastered work-life balance. One of the main reasons behind this happiness is the concept of Hygge – pronounced HUE-gah. Hygge is uni-tasking, it’s the art of enjoying the simple things in life, living in the moment and replacing the feeling of guilt with enjoyment and pleasure. It’s the company of family and friends, the scent of your favourite soy candle burning whilst indulging in a bubble bath, a warm cup of tea in front of the fire, having a warm shower and hopping back into bed on the weekend and the sound of the pouring rain outside. Hygge is taking time out from the ‘go, go, go’ of everyday life. It’s cosiness, being relaxed and balanced, the feeling of togetherness, the absence of anything annoying or stressful…it’s a bit like that, but it’s more. Hygge can’t really be described – it has to be felt. So how can we incorporate hyge into our lives? Make Time – set time aside to hygge. Start by setting aside just ten minutes a day to switch off and do something you love. Sink into a warm bath, savour the taste of your warm tea, sit down and have your breakfast without any distractions instead of eating at your desk scrolling through your inbox. creating hygge via @agirlsgottaspa Atmosphere – a major part of the stylish Scandi minimalist look is lighting. Create a space that you feel relaxed in – it’s all about lamps, fairy lights, and warm bulbs. Transform your space into a hygge haven with cushions, rugs, throwovers, candle light…now that’s super hygge! I spray Neom De-Stress Home Mist on my pillow each night before I go to bed to help create a tranquil atmosphere. Hygge - the secret to happiness via @agirlsgottaspa Be Cosy – snuggle up on the couch with that soft fleece blanket that you love and those woollen socks that you’ve had for way too long, but can’t face getting rid of. These cashmere socks look blissful…Christmas wish list anyone? Be Grateful – keep a gratitude journal, take time to think about all the things you are thankful for, write to your loved ones and tell them how much you appreciate them. Hygge the secret to happiness via @agirlsgottaspa Bake – I have such fond memories of going on road trips in South Africa with my family as a child, stopping at bakeries along the way for ‘provisions’ as we liked to call it! Who doesn’t love the smell (and taste!) of a freshly baked chocolate cake or homemade bread? Going to your local bakery is very hygge or why not create a masterpiece in the kitchen and invite a friend over for some ‘taste testing’ and chats. Be Still – switch off from the rest of the world from time to time, have technology-free hours. No Instagram, emails, Twitter….I know, I feel you! Get in Touch with Nature- being in nature helps clear your mind, helps us to put things in perspective and reduces stress levels which helps boost self-esteem and energy. Being in nature reminds us to enjoy the simple things in life – the fresh air, sound of the birds, the lack of congestion. Organise a day trip to the countryside or a walk in a forest. Be Mindful – eat together at the dinner table with your loved one, family or housemates each evening, take your time to eat, be mindful of what you are eating and the conversation you are engaging in. Be present. Spoil Yourself – buy that beautiful bouquet of flowers from the corner shop you pass on your way home from work every day. Quite literally taking the time to smell the roses can bring such joy to your home. Go for a massage or have a home spa day with your favourite products. Togetherness – start a new tradition, invite friends over for tea once a month, a board game evening, or movie night. Create memories or why not reminisce of past adventures whilst looking over old photos together (although on second thought, cringing over that fringe you were rocking in 2008 may defeat the hyggely state you’ve just tried to create!) For more tips, and for a hyggely afternoon of reading, try The Little Book of Hygge. How do you hygge? Leave a comment and let me know!

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5 Surefire Ways Pampering Helps Boost Your Mood (and Confidence)

Shannon Smyth15 comments

Disclosure: I’m sharing #MyOliaStory #ad as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™

You've probably experienced this scenario yourself - you're in a rut and feeling meh when you decide to take a moment to yourself to rejuvenate. Sometimes it's something simple, like a bath or it's something a little more dramatic (like chopping your long locks.)

Regardless of the act, it suddenly gives you that restoration of spirit you needed and that spring in your step is back. Happiness and confidence go hand in hand. When I am happy, I feel my most confident and like I can achieve anything. When I'm feeling down, it often feels like my goals are not within reach.

We've all been there. So what can you do to give yourself a kick in the pants? You want my honest answer? Self care. Pampering yourself is is the most natural mood booster I know. It's not selfish by any means, it's transformative.

Here are 5 tips for pampering yourself to boost your mood (and confidence):

Get a haircut. There's something therapeutic about cutting off what's weighing you down while venting to your hairstylist. Other things I love about it - the head massage, the hum of the hair dryer, the eventual amazing hairstyle that I can never duplicate at home. I recently decided to chop my long hair. It felt like magic and all of the compliments I got just made me feel really, really good.
5 ways to boost your confidence via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #ad
Color your hair. Go lighter, go darker or just refresh what Mother Nature gave you. Either way, in between haircuts, coloring your hair also has a transformative effect on the way you look. It makes you WANT to look at yourself, smile and say, "Damn girl, you look good!" I'm currently stepping down my hair color with Garnier Olia® 6.0 Light Brown from super dark brown to hopefully a super light brown/dark blonde by the time I'm done. It's giving me shiny hair with 100% gray coverage. I also love that it smells nothing like hair dye. (Check out my getting summer-ready post about it.)
red lip confidence
Go red. I cannot speak the praises of red lipstick enough. You're never too light or too dark to wear this confidence in a tube. I used to think so until one day I basically asked Twitter to find the right shade for me and tweeted a pic of myself. Some beauty editors answered the call and told me the type of red I needed, along with some recommendations. Once I found my perfect red, I haven't looked back. In fact, I now prefer red over any other lipstick color in my makeup bag. It'll make you feel sexy, glamorous and confident.

Take a walk. Get those endorphins going, boost that seratonin. Me and exercise aren't really friends, but going for a walk doesn't seem like work. When I lived in the suburbs, I would park my car in a neighborhood I wished that I could one day live in and just walk through it. I made up stories in my head about living in this house, being friends with someone in that house, etc.

Now that I live in the Pocono Mountains and have a lake in front of my house, I love walking the mile around and taking in the beauty. Many times I go with a friend or with one or some of my sons. By the end of my walk I always feel much better. The French Manor Inn and Spa, Le Spa Foret, massage review via @agirlsgottaspa Get a massage. This favorite spa treatment isn't just about indulgence. It releases tension, decreases stress and simply quiets the mind. Massage helps to drain the lymphatic system which boosts your body's ability to heal itself. Going to a spa is obviously my first choice for this because you also have the added benefit of aromatherapy and stepping away from interruptions, but getting a shiatsu massager for at-home use is always an option as well.

What are some of the things you do to help boost your mood and self confidence? 

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An Easy Way to Squeeze in Fitness

Gail Lewis11 comments
Zobi fitness review via @agirlsgottaspa I'm one of those people who truly enjoys working out. I absolutely love how I feel after a workout and actually dread missing my gym time. There are those times though, when life happens and my hectic schedule just does not allow for driving to the gym and putting in an hour plus long workout.  During those times I still try my best to incorporate some form of fitness into my day, which is where the Zobi comes in very handy. Squeeze in fitness anywhere with Zobi via @agirlsgottaspa The Zobi is a total body tool that helps you to condition muscles, burn calories, and work your core.  The ergonomic shape of the Zobi makes it is easy to grip. Due to its versatility, I can use the Zobi for a total body workout, including cardio, or on days when I am targeting specific muscle groups. The Zobi also comes with a workout DVD for those days when you want to mix it up by incorporating new workouts into your routine or if you do not have a routine and need some ideas. Total body workout with Zobi via @agirlsgottaspa Don't be fooled by the look of the Zobi - it is 7lbs and absolutely works those muscles! It's just the right size and weight to be effective while also not being difficult to travel with. When I'm on the road for my modeling shoots, sometimes finding a gym is easier said than done. Taking the Zobi along with me means I can squeeze in a workout from the comfort of my own hotel room. Using the Zobi is an afforable way to incorporate fitness into your daily life. Just set aside 30 minutes a day and you'll be amazed by the results! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Disclosure: Press sample

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Venta Airwasher Review

Shannon Smyth

products for dry skin

From October through mid-April there's one thing that is a constant in my mountain home - the thermostat and wood stove are always going. There's a downside to being toasty warm when the winter weather is here: dry skin.

You guys, it gets so bad you could often be confused between the flakes on my legs, the flakes from my scalp and the flakes of the snow variety. Thankfully I have a great body lotion I use to combat the dry skin and my beloved Keune hair products for my scalp. Something I'm more excited about that I've recently added into my beauty and health care, is the Venta Airwasher. I know. Who gets excited about a humidifier and air purifier? This girl. I love this air humidifier and air purifier! Venta Airwasher review via @agirlsgottaspa Since I typically use a humidifier that produces hot steam and is fairly small, I realized pretty quickly that the Venta Airwasher is different. Here are the things I took notice of right away:

  • The Venta Airwasher LW45 will humidify and purify air in a room up to 800 sqft. - that means it's perfect for a large room like my living room.
  • The water tank is huge - 3 gallons! It's not the typical small cylinder I'm used to with my steam humidifier. That means the water tank takes a full 1-3 days before it needs to be refilled (depending on the speed you choose; it has 3.)
  • It has two large rotating disk stacks and a fan to create cold evaporation - so no hot steam or mist.
  • It is incredibly quiet on speeds 1 and 2; speed 3 is just a low level white noise hum. We like white noise in this house, so it really wasn't noticeable or annoying to myself or my family.
  • It doesn't require a filter to purify the air, but you do need to add a water treatment additive. For the LW45 size, it requires the water treatment to be re-added after cleaning every 14 days.

Since this system shouldn't be near a heat source, I set it up on a small table in our living room against a wall without a baseboard. This table is between the stairwell where the heat from the wood stove in our downstairs family room would make its way up and our front door/windows.

In Spring, this will be a great test in terms of how well it purifies all that pollen that makes its way in through the door. My oldest has severe seasonal allergies and I will be thrilled if this helps when he is indoors. (Update: it works amazingly for those with seasonal allergies.)

After the first two weeks of use, I noticed that if we only had the thermostat running and the speed on 1, the water tank didn't need a refill for 3 days. If we had the wood stove + thermostat on, we'd bump up the speed to 2 or 3 and that meant the water would need to be refilled after 24 hours.

Both of these scenarios are much better than my steam humidifier that evaporates all of the water within a very short 8 hours. After 2 weeks, the disk stacks didn't appear dirty or have any build up on them, but the remaining water at the very bottom of the tank was pretty gross. Better at the bottom of the tank than in my air!
Purifiy the air with Venta Airwasher! Review via @agirlsgottaspa After 4 weeks of use, we definitely noticed a difference in terms of less dust floating in the air, no static electricity in the living room area, and the air feeling comfortable and not dry or humid. It was at this point that I noticed mineral buildup on the disks, which are easily cleaned. If you blow up the picture above, you can see it!

We've been using the Venta Airwasher for about 2 months now (update - we're STILL using the Venta 9 years later and it still works as good as day one - and even bought the LW25) and I'm really happy with how it has helped to decrease dry, itchy skin, chapped lips and even the frequency of nose bleeds my sons tend to get due to the dry air.

We're so happy in fact, that my husband and I are considering purchasing smaller versions for each bedroom and my home office (update: we bought more, it works that well.)  I seriously love this thing. A humidifier is probably the last product you're thinking of when adding to your beauty regimen - but it should be one of the first!

Disclosure: Product sent by PR

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Teami Skinny Tea

Gail Lewis1 comment
Teami Skinny Tea review via @agirlsgottaspa National day(s) of complete diet obliteration ...also known as "the holidays," is almost upon us. As much as I am looking forward to unlimited pumpkin pie and stuffing, I know that beginning the day after Thanksgiving, all I am going to want to do is detox. This year I am one step ahead of the game with Teami Skinny Tea. Teami Skinny Tea combines a blend of natural ingredients meant to boost metabolism, improve digestive problems and help to suppress cravings to help achieve weight loss goals. Teami Skinny Tea review via @agirlsgottaspa Teami Skinny Tea is a loose-leaf tea that contains Oolong, Yerba Mate, Lime leaf Extract, Lotus leaf, Ginger Root, Dandelion leaf, Rhubarb Root and is gluten free, GMO free, dairy free and sugar free. Unlike a lot of detox/weight loss teas that I have tried, Teami Skinny Tea does not have a laxative effect nor does it make me feel jittery or over caffeinated. Teami Skinny Tea reviews via @agirlsgottaspa I drink this tea first thing in the morning and have definitely noticed a decrease in my cravings for sugar and carbs, as well as feeling and looking less bloated after meals. I would highly recommend getting the insanely cute Teami Tea Infuser to go with your Teami Skinny Tea. The infuser has really small holes so that your tea leaves do not end up floating in your cup. Genius. Will you be including tea into your daily detox and weight loss plan? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and Twitter. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: press sample

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