First of all, I just want to point out that I always get a little nervous talking about wellness or sharing my personal routine on the internet. Wellness and beauty really go hand in hand (much like beauty and fashion), so it's not surprising I get asked about my favorite supplements, workouts, and rituals just as often as I do my go-to makeup staples or skincare brands. That said, everyone has different needs and circumstances when it comes to their health—both mental and physical.
Diet and exercise culture has gotten so prescriptive, so fearmongering, and so overly saturated with dos and don'ts, and most of the time, these recommendations aren't coming from professionals or certified health experts. I am a beauty and former part-time wellness editor. I am not a health professional! So I want to make it crystal clear that this article isn't intended as a directive, and anything I mention or recommend in this piece is just that—a lighthearted recommendation to be taken with a grain or two of salt (especially where supplements are concerned). I do a lot of research, and if necessary, I consult my doctor before I add new elements to my routine. And I highly recommend you do the same! Age, baseline health, underlying conditions, medications you might or might not be on—all these things need to be taken into consideration. So that's that on that! Now, let's get into the fun part.
I've always loved and been super interested in health and wellness. In fact, I spent half of my time at college studying nutrition and public health before doing a complete 180 and switching to English and journalism. I also happened to grow up with two parents who were significantly older than everyone else's parents I knew and who were passionate about taking exceptional care of themselves so they could be around for me as long as possible despite their older age. I grew up on things like organic flaxseed bread and locally made kefir, and I also watched my parents live very active lifestyles—yoga, bench presses, butt-sculpting classes led by Jane Fonda (that was mom), meditation, and everything in between. Naturally, the interest and passion wore off on me, and educating myself and taking care of my body have been things I've always prioritized.
Obviously, a lot has happened between my childhood and 2020. I've had personal health challenges I've had to overcome, and I, like one in five Americans, deal with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and eating disorder recovery. These issues have ebbed and flowed over the years—recovery is never linear, but I'd be lying if I said 2020 hasn't been especially jagged. I'm sure many of you can relate. Naturally anxious, I crave, to a certain extent, control and routine, most of which have been thrown out the window this year thanks to a global pandemic. So in order to take care of myself and lean into the new normal, I've had to recalibrate and adjust my approach to taking care of myself accordingly. And quite honestly, I've ultimately been able to find, foster, and cherish a lot of joy and many more silver linings than I ever thought possible. Since people are always asking about my day-to-day and my personal recommendations, I'm sharing my current wellness routine below—the supplements, practices, and products that have had a positive impact on how I feel mentally and physically and which help me feel centered when anything, from the world to work to my personal life, starts to dip a wee bit off-kilter. Keep scrolling!
The Morning Routine
5:30 a.m. This is when my alarm goes off (yes, really), and if I'm being honest, I almost always naturally wake up 15 or more minutes before. First things first, water. No matter how much water I drink the night before, I always wake up feeling totally parched. I add one dropperful of Sakara Life's Beauty Water Drops ($39) (which is filled with tons of essential trace minerals) to eight ounces of room-temperature water.
This is also when I take my daily dose of Glutathione Force ($60) from Bulletproof. Glutathione is known as the body's master antioxidant, and it can help support detoxification and immunity. I can't really explain it, but I've felt better ever since I started taking it earlier this year, and I swear it's also helped my skin clear up.
6:00 a.m. Next, coffee. I have quit coffee a few times in my life, but I'm in a full-on addiction phase at the moment, and I'm embracing it. I love the taste—it gives me an extra kick of energy before I work out, and it's a comforting morning ritual that I look forward to. Depending on what sounds good or the temperature outside, I'll either blend hot coffee (I love Bulletproof's K-cups!) with Sakara's Metabolism Super Powder ($45), or I'll reach into the fridge for my pack of Dark Chocolate Cold Brew Lattes ($36) from Bulletproof. They're so good and spiked with a touch of collagen protein, MCT oil, and grass-fed butter. The dark chocolate is my go-to.
6:30 a.m. I head out for my run. Before COVID, I never worked out in the mornings, except for the weekends, and would just head to the gym after work. I also never used to run, but here we are! I actually love how much it energizes me, and it really helps me work out any stressful energy, worries, or anxiety before I head into a day of meetings and writing. I never thought I would call myself a runner, but I plan on keeping up the practice even after gyms reopen. If I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll also do some jump-roping when I get back home for an extra little hit of cardio. My Apple Air Pods ($159) are a must!
8:00 a.m. I'm probably one of the last people on earth to board the dry-brush train, but I finally have both feet on since working from home. (I have more time to spare in the mornings without the commute, and I'm being more diligent about self-care.) I'll be honest, I haven't noticed any super-significant changes, but it does help exfoliate dead skin and wake me up a little bit before I get into the shower. I use this plant-based, palm-sized one from Osea.
8:30 a.m. I generally head out to my workspace (which is currently the dining room table) around 9:00 a.m. to dig in for the day, so my half hour beforehand is sacred. It's when I lather up my body with lotions, oils, and anything else that smells good and makes my skin soft. I never used to be an oil or heavy butter kind of girl, but there is absolutely nothing that makes my skin glow like Hanahana Beauty's Shea Body Butter ($26). I can't get enough of the Vanilla Lavender scent, in particular, but my fellow beauty editor Courtney Higgs has me set on ordering the Amber Vanilla next.
Before I head into the kitchen to make breakfast, I like to use one of Tata Harper's Aromatic Treatments, which come in handy, travel-friendly rollerballs. I keep both the Stress ($80) and Irritability ($65) versions on my nightstand, and adding a touch to my palms and taking a few deep breaths is a great way to reset and mentally prepare for the day.
10:00 a.m. I don't have any rhyme or reason for when I choose to use this during the day. It varies, and you can use this throat spray whenever and *almost* as often as needed. The recommended dose is four sprays once or twice daily. (Though, during intense times of stress, travel, fatigue, or recovery, the brand says you can increase your four to five sprays to up to five times per day.) I am obsessed with this stuff. I've been using it for years, and even before COVID, I was using this daily to naturally boost my immune system, up my daily antioxidants, and fight germs and bacteria. I noticed such a steep drop-off in the number of times I was getting colds each year. Plus, it tastes like you're spritzing shots of honey into your throat, which is pretty delish and not something I'm mad at.
10:30 a.m. I like a good mid-morning pick-me-up, but I can't do coffee any later than noon, so I try to avoid it after my initial super-early morning dose. Hydration almost always helps, but since I'm not great with water, making it taste good really helps! Mara just launched this moringa- and adaptogen-spiked vitamin C powder, and I've been loving it. It makes your water look like a swamp, but it tastes amazing, and I've noticed it gives me a subtle dose of energy without making me anxious or jittery. I definitely recommend doing this one with cold water!
If I don't do my green powder from Mara, I usually head to the fridge where I keep a collection of The Beauty Chef's Inner Beauty Boosts ($50), which have gut-healing probiotics and other healthy additions depending on which flavor you opt for. My personal favorite is this Hydration one, which encourages clear, radiant skin and a healthy gut. It's infused with bio-fermented coconut water, magnesium, cucumber water, finger lime, trace minerals, and strategic probiotics, and it transforms the taste of your water. Courtney gave me the tip to add it to seltzer, and life has just never been the same!
The Afternoon Routine
12:00 p.m. Movement! I used to almost always have lunch at the stroke of noon, but now that there are no physical breaks during my day since working from home, I've been letting myself take a full hour to have a makeshift lunch/relaxation/stretch break at noon instead. Usually, I'm antsy to move around a little, so I've been streaming Lekfit, one of my favorite workouts in L.A., even before this year. I love founder Lauren Kleban's energy so much, and her Define classes, in particular, are the perfect balance for me—super effective (you'll be sore!) but slow and intentional enough that I'm not running around my living room like a chicken with its head cut off trying to catch all of the moves. It's the only streaming workout subscription I truly look forward to and have stuck with. I'm stronger and more toned now than I was before COVID, and I really attribute it to these classes. I resisted for a while, but I've gone ahead and ordered almost all of her equipment—ankle weights, hand weights, bands, gliders… you name it.
1:00 p.m. Lunch—my favorite part of the day! I have three supplements that I always take midday with food. First is Hum Nutrition's Ripped Rooster ($40), which is supposed to support healthy blood sugar, *safely* burn fat, and optimize the effects of a healthy diet and workout routine.
I can't stomach apple cider vinegar on its own or as a shot, so I find sneaky ways to fit it into my routine. I take one of these capsules daily at lunch, and I love the fact they're packed with other good-for-your-metabolism ingredients and antioxidants like turmeric, ginger, and cayenne.
My parents have always been health nuts, and one random principle they've instilled in me is cinnamon—so much cinnamon! Not only does it taste great, but it's also a potent antioxidant and is great for blood sugar, heart health… the list goes on and on. Just make sure you reach for Ceylon cinnamon. Other kinds on the market (like cassia) contain larger amounts of coumarin, a naturally occurring organic compound that could, according to studies, cause liver damage if consumed in large quantities. (High-quality Ceylon cinnamon naturally contains less coumarin.) I take two of these capsules daily with lunch.
3:30 p.m. I'm a huge fan of CBD, but it's a saturated market, and it's taken some time and experimentation to find the right dose, form, and brand for me. I've noticed that my anxiety can reach fever pitch around late afternoon, and one of these gumdrops from Lord Jones is the ultimate antidote. For one, they're delicious (this new prickly pear flavor is so good), and two, each drop contains 20mg of CBD—enough for me to notice and legitimately lull in stress, but not so much that I get overly sleepy when I still have meetings or work waiting for me.
5:30 p.m. An evening walk during the magic hour (when the sun is starting to set but it's not quite dark) is probably the daily ritual I've found most beneficial and which I look forward to the most. Back when we were at the office, there was quite a lot that happened between leaving work and arriving back home for a shower and dinner (a long L.A. commute, the gym, another commute, maybe more work wherever I could find Wi-Fi), so now that everything is homebound, I've found it so important to break up the day and get outside of my apartment. Not only does a walk help me decompress from a long day, but it also allows me to stretch, get fresh air, and create an intentional break between work and the beginning of my evening wind-down. I never feel quite right if I skip it!
The Evening Routine
7:00 p.m. Dinner! I know so many people say to eat early, but I almost always eat later, between 7:00 and 8:00. I usually don't get to bed until 10:30, so I still have a few hours to let my food digest. I always take my supplements with food, unless the directions say not to, so this is when I take my second Ripped Rooster Capsule from Hum Nutrition, and I also take three of Kimberly Snyder's Feel Good Detoxy ($30) capsules. Snyder is a well-known celebrity nutritionist and specializes in a holistic, plant-based approach to diet and wellness. These capsules contain magnesium, and they keep me bloat-free and regular. They're best in the evening or right before bed.
8:00 p.m. I don't always take a bath, but it's another way for me to break up my night and indulge in some zen-inducing self-care. It does great things for my mood, and while I don't have the time (or frankly the energy) to list every single bath product I'm currently obsessed with, I have to mention this CBD bath bomb from Happy Dance—a brand-new (more affordable) line of CBD-spiked bodycare from Lord Jones and Kristen Bell. You just break off a few cubes from the bar, throw them into a tub of warm water, and let them work their magic. Each cube contains 15mg of muscle-soothing CBD, and your skin and senses will also enjoy the ginger, grapefruit, cocoa butter, and coconut oil.
No bath ritual is complete without a candle, and this one from Sunday Riley is my new favorite. The dreamy mix of linden blossom, honey, vanilla, and sandalwood is next-level and luxurious.
As you're noticing, I like to kill about five different birds with one stone during my bath, and I can't resist a good mask. I pick between hair and face, but usually, 111Skin's insanely soothing hydrogel sheet masks win out. The brand makes multiple depending on your mood or skin concern, but this de-puffing one is pretty epic. I like to roll Nurse Jamie's iconic Uplift Massaging Beauty Roller ($69) over the mask while I sit in the tub. Not only does it feel amazing and enhance the mask's de-puffing effects, but the rolling action also helps push the mask's ingredients deeper into the skin for better results.
9:00 p.m. After I mask, I'll do the rest of my evening skincare routine, and I'll use this game-changing cold roller as the ultimate cool-down. Kind of like the Nurse Jamie tool, the rolling action pushes all of my products deeper into my skin, and since it's ice-cold and stored in my fridge, the coolness has the best de-puffing and toning effect. It feels amazing, and I swear I wake up looking less puffy and groggy come morning. It's also helped the tone and firmness of my skin.
9:30 p.m. I've majorly cut back on screen time the past few months, and I pretty much just allow myself one show or one hour of TV per night, which is usually while I eat dinner. So instead of settling into Netflix post-skincare, I've been reading. I've always loved reading, but nothing is more calming, sleep-inducing, and comforting before bedtime. This has been quite the year, and books have been my favorite escape. My roommate and I are both Book of the Month members, and we're obsessed.
This is also when I take my nightly dose of melatonin. I notice the effect hits me about 30 minutes after I take a pill, so 9:30 is about right if I want to read for 30 minutes to an hour. I've tried so many melatonin supplements, but I always come back to these affordable and to-the-point pills from Hum Nutrition. I like to chase it with a full glass of water, and I add Sakara's Detox Water Drops ($39), which contain detoxifying chlorophyll, to get an added boost of wellness. I don't love the taste, but I've noticed a difference in my skin, sleep, and overall well-being since I added them into my routine. I do one dropperful.
10:00 p.m. After I read and take my melatonin, I'm pretty much ready to go to bed. I try to stay off my phone from my evening walk or dinner on (if possible), and by 10:00, I am ready for my last-minute-before-bed practices—hand cream, lip balm, and, most recently, a quick foot massage.
Sparitual's Hand Salve ($18) and Foot Balm ($20) turn your skin into silk, and I can't get enough of the soothing citrus cardamom scent. I'm obsessed. For my lips, I like IS Clinical's Youth Lip Elixir ($58). It provides long-lasting chap relief and a little bit of a plumping effect, and it's especially great before bed because it sinks in fast so you're not getting balm all over your pillow and, consequently, your face.
10:30 p.m. Bedtime! Lights out and Slip's pure silk pillowcase, the only thing I'll put my face on at night ever since I realized how much my skin and hair benefited.