Supplements: Do You Need Them and What we Take / Why

Supplements: Do You Need Them and What we Take / Why

Supplements: those lines of miscellaneous bottles with letters and unrecognizable names in the drug stores. There are so many different supplements out there and with all the different brands it can be quite daunting on where to start.

While we’re not experts we’ve both have done our fair share of experimentation and research of supplements and have finally honed in on what supplements work best for us. Continue reading to learn more about supplements, what we use, and if they’re right for your lifestyle!

What are supplements?

According to the FDA, dietary supplements include such ingredients as vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes. Dietary supplements are marketed in forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, powders, and liquids.

Supplements can help provide nutrients to your body to enhance the consumption of your food or complete areas where vitamins or minerals may be lacking.

Should you be taking supplements?

Supplements are meant to SUPPLEMENT a healthy lifestyle, not replace it. Taking supplements can help improve your body’s overall functionality, but nothing will replace the benefits of a healthy well-balanced diet, exercise, hydration, and good sleep. That being said, If you have any deficiencies or miss any nutrients in your body due to your diet or lifestyle, supplements can aid you in meeting those needs.

Which supplements should I be taking?

We want to preface this by saying that we are not doctors. To figure out what you need to start taking, first, we suggest you first consult with your primary care physician about what you may be lacking in based on your diet / lifestyle.

Similar to how everyone has unique needs for their diet, this also pertains to supplements as well. The purpose of vitamins are to supplement your body in any areas you need more nutrients. Depending on lifestyle factors such as diet, environment, and biological conditions, you may require different supplements from others. For example, as someone who doesn’t eat meat often and lives in a gloomy state, Bryn’s multivitamin includes B12 and D3 everyday to fill those gaps. Remi has achy joints and has issues sleeping every night therefore she takes fish oil for joint health and magnesium to assist her sleeping problems.

The amount of supplements can be overwhelming so one site we recommend is Care/Of. They provide personalized supplements based off a quiz you take on their website. We have both used this in the past and loved it!

What Supplements do we take?

Remi’s Supplement Lineup

Bryn’s Supplement Lineup

When we don’t take our vitamins, we notice symptoms start to arise such as brain fog, cold sores, susceptibility to sickness, lack of sleep, low energy, poor digestion, unhealthy hair/skin/nails, and more.

If you’re interested in trying Ritual, use our link to get $15 off your first purchase

What’s our favorite supplement?

Like we mentioned in a previous newsletter, good health begins in your gut! This is why we suggest that everyone should take a probiotic supplement or seek out foods that have probiotics in them to help with digestion. Our favorite probiotic supplement is Seed or if you prefer to eat gut-friendly foods instead, check out our previous blog post on gut-friendly foods.

Closing Thoughts

We hope this month’s blog post has helped you understand supplements a little more and helped you decide if they are right for you. We suggest when you start to trial run any supplements, be very observant of any changes that occur in your body. According to Ritual, people tend to feel a difference after taking supplements consecutively after 1-2 weeks so do not expect instant results.

Supplements are great and we’re so glad to live in a world where they are readily available, but like we said earlier they are meant to supplement a healthy lifestyle, not replace it. This should be the last addition to add to your health and wellness routine, not the first.

Tofu Pad Ka Prow

Tofu Pad Ka Prow

One of our favorite things to do is recreate our favorite dishes, but turn them vegetarian / vegan. Pad Ka Prow or holy basil stir fry is usually made with ground pork or chicken, but we decided to substitute the meat for tofu and wow, we were not disappointed! Eating less meat can be daunting at first, but once you realize that there are so many ways to still eat your favorite dishes you’ll see that the possibilities are endless.

Recipe inspired by: The Woks of Life (but made vegetarian)


  • 1 block firm tofu (drained and broken into pieces to imitate ground meat)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 1/2 cup (packed) Thai holy basil
  • 1-2 fresh Thai chilis (thinly sliced, deseeded for less spice)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (sub for vegetarian fish sauce if vegan)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce (sub for vegetarian oyster sauce if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth or water


  1. In a wok or large pan over medium heat add the oil, onion, and garlic, and fry for 3-4 min until fragrant. Add the thai chilis and cook for another minute. Increase heat to high and add the tofu pieces. Pan fry until all moisture from tofu is gone and they start to crisp up (could take as long as 10 min.)
  2. Add the sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce to the mixture. Stir-fry for another minute and then add the water or broth to deglaze the pan. Keep stirring until the liquid is evaporated and then add the basil. Mix well until all basil is wilted. Serve over rice, add a fried egg on top (optional) and enjoy! 🙂

Let us know if you tried this recipe and how it turned out on our Instagram.

Anxiety: Our Story and Tips for Managing It

Anxiety: Our Story and Tips for Managing It

What is Anxiety?

According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is characterized as “feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.”

What Triggers Anxiety?

Many psychologists believe that anxiety is triggered by any feelings of uncertainty, worry, or fear. But in everyday life, the more distinguishable triggers can be socializing, sudden lifestyle changes, alcohol/drugs, excessive caffeine consumption, and stress (to name a few.) However, everyone is different and their anxiety attacks can be caused by other unorthodox components in their lives.

Our Experience with Anxiety:

Just like many of you anxiety is something that isn’t new to us. Especially during the last year and a half both our anxiety levels have been through the roof and there were times when we thought it would never get better. Fortunately we’re now both at a place where we can happily say that we’ve learned to better control our attacks when they do appear through these methods we’re about to share with you all.

Remi’s Anxiety:

Stems from:

  • Lack of control
  • Anything that deviates from the regular routine / schedule (ie. travelling, spontaneous plans)
  • Alcohol (ever heard of #hangxiety? It’s a real thing!)
  • Overthinking about the future

How it feels / What happens:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest tightness
  • Insomnia

Things that have helped:

  • No caffeine (especially on the day after consuming alcohol)
  • Having a simple morning and night routine that I can do anywhere (ie. stretches, meditating, tea before bed) even when travelling to stay in routine
  • Social Media detox to be more present
  • CBD oil
  • Wim Hof breathing exercises
  • Meditation using Headspace
  • Journaling: writing down your thoughts to get them off your chest

Bryn’s Anxiety:

Stems from:

  • Other’s opinions
  • Concern over the feelings of family / friends
  • My actions and how they affect others
  • Feelings of never doing enough
  • Pressures of existential life crisis such as dating, my job, life’s purpose, the overall future

How it feels / What happens:

  • Restlessness
  • Profuse sweating
  • Impulsive actions
  • loss of breath

Things that have helped:

  • Therapy: Learning to identify these thoughts and organize them as not worthy of processing
  • Hot yoga, my favorite form of exercise that forces me to slow down my thoughts and tune into my body
  • Scheduling me-time to make sure my needs are met before catering to others
  • Solo morning walks without going on my phone


Anxiety is different for everyone but if there’s one thing that we can both agree on that has helped us is being more present. We live in a world where we’re constantly distracted by our phones / screens, planning the next big vacation, or overthinking about all the things that could go wrong so much that we forget to appreciate the present moment. Did you know your brain can’t tell the difference between when you’re thinking about a traumatic event vs. actually experiencing it? So why put your brain through a trauma that hasn’t even happened yet! Rather than stressing over things that have already happened in the past, or things that haven’t happened in the future, try to appreciate the present moment. The next time you start to feel overwhelmed, just take a nice deep breath, feel the ground beneath you, and just remember all there is to be grateful for in that specific moment. Life is a beautiful thing and shouldn’t be spent stressed and anxious all the time!

We hope this month’s blog post was helpful to anyone who may be going through a tough time. Let us know in the comments below or on our Instagram if you tried any of these tips, or if you have your own tips that you’d like to share. See you all back next month for more tips and tricks to improve your health and become your best self. <3

Pass, No Puff: The Negative Effects of Vaping

Pass, No Puff: The Negative Effects of Vaping

Bryn’s Experience with Vaping

How I got into vaping:

I chose vaping as this month’s health topic because I have experienced the negative side effects of vaping first-hand. In my senior year of college, I got addicted to smoking cigarettes when I was going through a rough time. Smoking quickly became a way to coddle myself and feel relaxed, similar to how a baby sucks their pacifier when they’re distressed. I then learned about the Juul and quickly transitioned to e-cigarettes which was my way of starting to try quitting nicotine, but the exact opposite happened.

Because the Juul and other disposable vapes had such sweet, candy-like flavors, I started smoking more frequently because it was easy and it tasted good. I would wake up and vape, go to the bathroom during work just to vape, vape before and after working out, and vape to go to sleep. Unknowingly, I was smoking a pack a day and throwing $100+ a week towards this addiction. I found myself finding excuses to vape, lying to my peers about vaping, and freaking out when I lost my device. In all honesty, I felt like I didn’t own a vape, the vape owned me.

How vaping negatively affected my body:

Reality started to dawn on me in 2018 after I visited my OBGYN for my regular pap smear and the doctor notified me that I was at risk for cervical cancer at the young age of 22. In that same year, I constantly began to break out in painful cold sores and canker sores all over my mouth every other week. I was shocked and frustrated that my body was turning against me in these ways since I was eating a mainly vegan diet and working out regularly at the time.

One day, I had the worst cold sore outbreak to date where I was forced to see a doctor at Urgent Care. My case was so severe that I couldn’t eat anything, drink water, or sleep because the pain was unbearable. Once I told the doctor about all my issues and mentioned that I vaped, he immediately pinpointed that as the cause. Now that I knew the problem, the next challenge was stopping which is so much harder than people make it out to be. I relapsed numerous times over the next two years and continued to ignore my health because my mind’s craving for nicotine always overtook my voice of reason. 

How I quit Vaping:

I had a lot of great friends to support me through this journey but to be honest, I still battle the repercussions everyday. After quitting, there were many days of moodiness, hot flashes, headaches, and anxiety. My lungs are still damaged from years of vaping and I need to push myself in workouts a lot harder than I used to. I still find myself being tempted when I pass a smoke shop or see other people vaping at parties. However, I’m happy to say that I finally don’t purchase vapes for myself or crave them any longer.

What is Vaping?

Definition: Inhaling a battery-powered device with nicotine juice that simulates smoking real cigarettes.

Vaping is a new form of smoking cigarettes that was originally invented to help smokers fight their addiction. One Juul pod is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes. One puff bar is equivalent to 20 packs of cigarettes.

Ingredients in a vape or e-liquid juice: (from


The extremely addictive component of vapes and cigarettes that increase your blood pressure and heart rate in the short-term, but can cause lung diseases long-term. 


Inhaling diacetyl has been linked to irreversible lung damage in factory workers, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Heavy Metals:

Exposure to heavy metals may cause flu-like symptoms, lung damage, and even cancer in some cases.

Ultrafine Particles:

If inhaled, ultrafine particles may damage the respiratory and cardiovascular (heart) system and other parts of the body.

Volatile Organic Compounds:

These compounds may put people at risk for many health problems, such as cancer and heart damage.

How Vaping is getting young children to start smoking:

Studies have shown that due to the vaping industry’s enticing flavor offerings, more people are starting to smoke starting at a younger age. According to the FDA, the number of middle school and high schoolers using vapes surged when disposables were introduced into the market. In 2019, only ~2% of high schoolers and ~3% of middle schoolers had tried disposable vapes. In 2020, this statistic skyrocketed to 26.5% for high schoolers and 15.2% for middle schoolers. Today, there are 3.6 million middle and high schoolers who are currently vaping in the U.S. 

The human brain is still in development until age 25, meaning partaking in vaping toxic chemicals can cause issues in adolescent brain growth.

Ways to Quit:

Find your WHY:

I stumbled upon a story of a women who found out her spine was damaged due to vaping and she may have problems walking at an early age because of this. As someone who wants to do many things in life such as exercise, travel, have a family, and adventure, I could never forgive myself for sacrificing my future dreams for an addiction. I constantly remember that story as a reminder for why I quit.

Pinpoint your triggers:

I noticed that I always resorted to smoking when I was bored, hungry, stressed out, and drinking alcohol. Being conscious of these triggers and replacing them with a healthier substitute was my saving grace. Instead, I chewed a lot of gum or drank water when I felt the urge to smoke my vape.

Physically remove the vape from your life:

Do NOT let yourself by any more vapes! Throw away all smoking devices that could tempt you. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner if you have to.

Sweat it out!

When you sweat, your body is naturally detoxifying itself. You will find yourself sweating anyway when your body is adjusting to the change of not smoking anymore but you can speed up this process by exercising. I found hot yoga and sitting in saunas extremely beneficial. Find out all the benefits of exercise and our favorite ways to workout here!

Eat a plant-based diet:

Quitting smoking means your mouth will be a lot less busy and your body will crave high fat and sugary foods. You can support your body in returning back to normal by eating a diet of clean, whole foods. Find out our favorite plant based protein sources and recipes here!

Making Mornings Mindful

Making Mornings Mindful

What Is A Morning Routine?

  • daily ritual you perform every single morning as soon as you wake up. Morning routines set the tone for the rest of your day. 
  • “Every action you take is a vote for the person you’re trying to become” –Atomic Habits, James Clear

Benefits of a Morning Routine

  • Less stress: YOU control your schedule instead of letting your schedule control you. Mornings are typically known for being chaotic, but they don’t have to be this way if you choose to take control over it. 
  • Prioritize Self-care: A morning routine helps you take care of your mind and body before the rest of the day demands your attention. Ever notice that when you push a workout to the end of the day something often comes up and you end up not working out at all? Well, if you got it over with in the morning, that would never happen. You’ll feel 100% after you took that extra time in the morning to take care of yourself and are ready to take on the day, no matter what life throws at you. Remember, you can’t fill from an empty cup! 
  • Better sleep quality: Think you don’t have time to do a morning routine? That means you need to wake up a little earlier, which means you need to sleep earlier! Consistently going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day has a positive impact on your sleep. You’ll be surprised at what waking up just 30 minutes earlier can do. 
  • Reach your health goals: When moving your body is part of your morning routine, it becomes a habit that you won’t be able to live without. You’ll notice you will begin to workout to feel good both mentally and physically, rather than to look a certain way. But because you are doing it consistently every single day, you will end up seeing the results you always wanted. You will also make better eating decisions throughout the day, because of all the hard work you already put in that morning.

How To Create a Morning Routine for Success:

1. Avoid going on your phone as soon as you wake up (unless absolutely necessary)

Most of us will check social media or respond to text messages / emails before we even brush our teeth or drink water! The moment you look at your phone, your mind will become reactive to everything. By taking care of your personal obligations first without distractions, you can respond to the demands of others with a clear mind. We like to utilize Apple’s “Do Not Disturb” setting so we don’t receive any notifications until we are done with our morning routine. 

2. Drink Water

Ever feel hungry as soon as you wake up? Probably means you’re just thirsty! You haven’t had water for 8 hours so you’re probably dehydrated. We like to drink a huge 40oz water bottle before our first meal of the day.

3. Meditate

Some people could never imagine themselves sitting in silence, alone with their thoughts. This is something we struggle with doing every day, but when we are able to take even 5 or 10 minutes to meditate, it clears our minds and centers our focus. Think of meditation like a gym for your brain – the more you practice it, the stronger your mental focus and clarity will be no matter what the day throws at you.

4. Move Your Body

Get your blood flowing! Not every day has to be a hard workout. Some days can be yoga, walking, or stretching, but the goal is to move your body every single day to keep your heart and mind healthy. You’ll feel so great after you get those endorphins flowing and you’ll have one less thing to do for the rest of the day. Find out our favorite ways to move your body here.

5. Get Outside

We suggest going for a short walk outside (this could also be your workout.) Did you know that just getting 10 minutes of sunshine in the morning can boost your mood and energy levels?

6. Take a Cold Shower

There are numerous benefits to showering in cold vs. hot water. Improved skin and hair, decreased inflammation, improved blood circulation, and potential weight loss are only some of the benefits of taking cold showers regularly. When you take a cold shower, it activates your body’s energy, waking you up quicker than a double shot of espresso. This doesn’t mean you have to always shower in cold water but a quick rinse after your morning routine to get your day started will kick you into high gear.

7. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Now after all those things you did to improve your well-being, you’re definitely not going to want to ruin it with an unhealthy meal. Think of food as FUEL! What nutrients does your body need to function at its optimal performance? Remi’s favorite go-to breakfast is a protein smoothie with protein powder, almond milk, fruits, spinach, almond butter, and chia seeds for a quick and nutrient dense meal. Bryn’s go-to breakfast is avocado toast on sourdough bread with an egg, spinach, and pickled onions. 


If it seems daunting to incorporate all of these into your life at once, just take it one step at a time. Even just not going on your phone and drinking water as soon as you wake up are HUGE steps to improving the quality of your life. The goal isn’t to do a million things every single morning, but instead to do a couple small things consistently. Trust us, once these things become habits you will see huge results! We have grown to love our morning routines and hope you do too.

Drink Smarter, Not Harder

Drink Smarter, Not Harder

Happy May, everyone! This month, we will both be celebrating our birthdays with our friends and loved ones. Since we already know we’ll be drinking alcohol as part of the festivities, we thought we’d share our tips on how to still partake in drinking without wreaking havoc on your body. 

News flash! You don’t have to drink 10 shots a night to have fun, and you most likely can’t drink like you’re 21 anymore. If you were drinking back to back nights in college, with an incredible resilience and no hangover to date, consider yourself lucky but those days only last for so long and age will eventually catch up with you. The sad truth is that alcohol has a lot of detrimental effects on the body. However, when consumed properly and in moderation, it can still be a fun social activity you can enjoy with others. 

How alcohol negatively affects your body:
Alcohol unfortunately has a long grocery list of short and long-term negative effects on your body.

  • Short term: hangover, dehydration, fatigue, lack of coordination, inflammation, mood and behavioral changes, weakened immune system
  • Long term: liver damage, muscle deterioration, heart damage, increased chances of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. 

Realistically, alcohol is a part of life for many people and is often present at most celebrations, meaning that giving up drinking for good is difficult. While it may be bad for you, it can certainly be consumed responsibly by following our tips below: 

Tips on how to drink smarter: 
Before drinking – make sure you are eating a lot of fiber and whole foods. The more processed junk food you consume beforehand, the worse your hangover will be the following day. Do NOT drink on an empty stomach, as doing this will cause the alcohol to damage your stomach lining. We like to take a milk thistle supplement if we know we’ll be consuming alcohol later that night, which helps coat and protect your liver! 

During drinking – Hydrate! Make it a habit to drink water in between your drinks and remember to pace yourself. You are in control of how much you drink and only YOU can gauge how much is too much. A good rule of thumb to remember is that your body metabolizes around one drink per hour, depending on your body weight. 

After drinking – Sleep well, hydrate, be sure to have a hearty meal the next morning to soak up whatever alcohol is left within your body. Many people think greasy, fried foods the morning after drinking will help absorb the alcohol but in reality it is only a temporary fix and will end up making you feel even more lethargic and disgusting than before.. If you are hungover, sipping on any type of herbaceous bone broth will do wonders, which is why pho is the ultimate post-drinking cure! 

Our favorite hangover free / sugar-free drink recipes: 

Remi’s Skinny Spicy Margarita

  • 1 shot tequila blanco
  • Juice of an entire lime
  • couple slices of jalapeno (option to muddle w/ seeds for extra spice)
  • liquid stevia
  • Lime La croix or other sparkling water
  • Instructions: Mix everything together except la croix in a cocktail shaker or cup and pour over ice (Don’t forget to rim the top of your glass with some tajin.) Top with la croix and enjoy! 

Bryn’s Vodka Mixer

  • 2 shots of vodka
  • 1 can of fresca
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • ice 
Eating Out Without Stressing Out

Eating Out Without Stressing Out

With restaurants closed for dine-in during the pandemic, many people have learned just how much healthier and cheaper it can be to cook your meals at home. Admittedly, sometimes food just tastes better at a restaurant and eating out is such a fun social experience that we’ve all missed. As restaurants are starting to open for dine-in again, we wanted to share our tips on how you can get the best of both worlds by staying on top of your health goals and still enjoy meals out. When we both struggled with our eating disorders, eating out was a topic that brought upon anxiety and stress. If you’ve dealt with a similar insecurity of overindulging and ruining your “diet” from eating out with friends, we’ve got you covered. Like everything in life, moderation and balance are quintessential to truly appreciating something. Here are our tips on how you can still dine out at restaurants without the guilt.

PLAN AHEAD! Find out what restaurant you’re going to eat at and look at the menu beforehand to choose what you want to order and plan in advance.

  • If you know you’re eating out later and and that the food won’t be very healthy, try to eat something lighter and full of nutrients for breakfast or lunch to balance your day. 
    • ie. If you want to order pasta, maybe eat a lunch that is light in carbs and high in protein. If you’re going to order a steak, maybe opt for a plant based protein source for lunch. 
  • Having a few drinks at dinner? That is totally fine! Make sure to hydrate during the day beforehand and eat foods full of nutrients that will help your body metabolize the alcohol faster, reducing your hangover the next day. 
    • Foods high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. Ie. oats, salmon, eggs, dark leafy greens will help your body metabolize alcohol faster.
    • Add lemon juice to your water which helps to protect your liver and detox your body. 

TIPS FOR ORDERING AT A RESTAURANT: Always look for an option with veggies! 

  • Try to order something that has some type of vegetable incorporated. One of our favorite tips at any noodle soup restaurants (ramen, pho, etc.) is to order the vegetarian option but sub veggie broth for beef / chicken broth. You can still get the delicious flavor of the broth while still getting all your veggies in. Also, beef / chicken / pork bone broth has tons of vitamins and collagen. 
  • If your group is okay with it, try family style! Offer to split multiple dishes with the person / people you’re dining with so you can order a vegetable dish and get to try more entrees. 
  • None of the entrees look appealing to you? Check out the side dishes / appetizers! You can typically make a meal out of the sides / appetizers which usually have smaller portions, are more inclined to incorporate vegetables, and cost less than an entrée. 
  • Save your leftovers and add more vegetables when you eat them the next day: 
    • Ie. adding spinach to noodle soups, adding more vegetables to pasta or rice dishes, or just eating it with a side salad at home to boost the nutritional content and volume. 

Treat eating out as a special occasion by not doing it too often during the week. We like to view eating out as a nice weekend treat. Weekdays are typically for cooking and eating healthy while weekends are for enjoying new restaurants with friends. Stick to your diet on the weekdays so you can enjoy your weekends eating out guilt-free! 

Give your body a digestive break after eating a large dinner by skipping breakfast the next day. We recommend at least a 12 hour break between the last meal of the day and first meal the following day to reset your digestion. 

It’s easy to overeat when eating out (anyone else love all you can eat kbbq?) but listen to your body! Eat slow, enjoy the food, and stop eating when you’re satisfied. No one likes being stuffed to the point where they can’t breathe. Remember, you can always take home leftovers to eat the next day! 

Don’t beat yourself up for having a couple unhealthy meals a couple times a week! You won’t ruin your progress after straying from your diet once in a while. Even fitness professionals cheat every so often for their sanity. It’s all about balance!

Our goal has always been to make living a healthier lifestyle easier to understand and execute. As we all know, food is one of life’s greatest gifts to us so we hope this month’s newsletter brings you more sense of calm and control. You have the power to choose what you eat and how you eat it — food does NOT own you! Happy eating, everyone!

Wonton Happiness Salad (inspired by Souplantation)

Wonton Happiness Salad (inspired by Souplantation)

Souplantation has always been one of my favorite places to eat. Even though they basically just serve soup, salad, and lots of carbs, something about it was just so good and I have so many fond memories there. Since they didn’t have Souplantation in Hawaii, my family and I would always make a trip there whenever we would visit the states. Once I moved to Los Angeles, of course I became a club veg member so I could receive all the coupons and special offers. I ate there at least once a month, always looking forward to their new menu items and of course always sneaking an extra blueberry muffin in my purse on my way out 😉

When I found out Souplantation was permanently closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was devastated. The thought of never having the tuna tarragon pasta or those fat noodles in the chicken noodle soup ever again broke my heart. My friends and I were all equally distraught so we decided to recreate some of the dishes at home for a (social distancing) potluck. I was in charge of creating the famous Asian Wonton Happiness salad which I put my own healthy twists on, of course, and surprisingly it turned out so good! Dare I say possibly better than the original? I wouldn’t go that far but I have been craving it for lunch every day since which definitely says something.

This salad is basically a Chinese chicken salad (I added chicken but Souplantation’s version doesn’t have chicken) but what makes it so good is the sesame ginger dressing and the air fried wonton chips. All the yumminess of fried wonton strips without all the oil / deep frying for less guilt! I hope you guys give this recipe a try and pay homage to the great salad and soup buffet that we all love and will miss greatly. Enjoy 🙂

Recipe: (makes about 6 servings)

  1. Ingredients:
    • 4 cups romaine lettuce, cut into bite size pieces
    • 3 cups cabbage, shredded
    • 1 cup carrots, shredded
    • 4-5 store-bought wonton wrappers (for air fryer version) OR can buy pre-made wonton strips
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
    • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
    • 2 chicken breasts (optional)
    • optional toppings / ingredients:
      • sliced almonds
      • avocado
    • Dressing:
      • 2 tbsp avocado oil
      • 1/4 cup Rice vinegar
      • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
      • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari / coconut aminos for gluten free)
      • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
      • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce OR see below for healthier alternative
        1. Healthier hoisin sauce (makes 1/4 cup)
          • 1/8 cup light soy sauce (or tamari / coconut aminos for gluten free)
          • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (read ingredients, should just be made of peanuts)
          • 1 tbsp honey
          • 1 tsp rice vinegar
          • 1 tsp sesame oil
          • 1/2 tsp miso paste
          • 1 clove garlic, grated
  2. Instructions:
    1. For chicken:
      1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
      2. Once boiling, add chicken breasts in and cook on medium high heat for 20-25 minutes.
      3. Once time is up, place chicken in cold water immediately to stop cooking and let sit for about 5 minutes, until cooled.
      4. Pat chicken dry and place in large bowl. Use two forks to shred the chicken into small bite size pieces.
    2. For dressing:
      1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
    3. For air fryer wonton strips:
      1. Take about 6-8 wonton wrappers from package, keeping them stacked together. Cut entire square into 16 pieces so each strip is about 1 1/2” x 1/2”
      2. Separate all strips from each other and place into a bowl (it’s okay if some are still stuck together, they will separate in the air fryer.)
      3. spray a little avocado oil (option to omit oil, it will still work.) Mix well until all strips are evenly coated.
      4. Place strips in air fryer basket and set air fryer to 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
      5. Once done, let cool
    4. For salad:
      1. Place all salad ingredients except avocado, if using.
      2. Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss well to combine (start with a little dressing and add more as needed by preference)
      3. Top with avocado (if using) and serve immediately!
The Skinny on Skincare

The Skinny on Skincare

Hey guys! This month’s topic is all about the skin! Maintaining clear and consistent skin is something we have both struggled with our entire lives. Growing up, we had horrible acne that was primarily caused by our genetics however many other external factors played a huge role in this too. We’ve tried every product, gimmick, or supposed quick fix on the internet to clear our skin.  Although it has taken some time, we’re finally at a place where we’re very familiar and content with our skin but we wish we knew what we know now back then. As a disclaimer, we are not dermatologists and we know that everyone’s skin is different, but here are some basic tips that have worked for us in hopes that it may help some of you!

Your skin is the largest organ in the body. Aside from your digestive tract and stomach, your skin is the first part of your body that touches the outside world. Like a sponge, your skin will absorb any environmental factors it comes into contact with. 

Skincare starts from within, products are merely supplements that can help. Similar to pharmaceuticals, they treat the symptoms but not the cause. Although your skin may look better on the outside, it is a direct reflection of what’s within your body too, aka your health. 

Hydration! Your skin will appear just as hydrated as how much water you consume to quench your body internally. Try to drink at least 9-12 cups of water per day. 

Diet. Processed sugar, carbs, and high fat products will wreak havoc on your skin. When your skin begins to age, it is oxidizing, which is what brown spots are a result of. Eating foods high in antioxidants will slow down the aging process in your cells. 

Exercise. When you take the time to break a sweat, you’re assisting your body with pumping new fresh blood everywhere. This improved circulation will keep your skin looking healthy and alive. Be sure to wash your face after your workout though.

Stress. Your body is a holistic interconnected system, meaning when one part is out of sync, other parts of your body will malfunction. When you stress out, your hormones are out of flux, producing more than it should. This may lead to losing sleep or making unhealthy unhealthy eating choices, both which will reflect in your skin.

Environment. External factors play a significant role in your skin’s appearance. If you live in an area that is known for being polluted or having very dry air (ie. Los Angeles) make sure to use a humidifier and air purifier in your home to offset the time you spend outside. 

Tips for better skin:

  • Don’t touch your face! 
  • Wash your pillowcases at least once a week. Pro tip: Replace your regular cotton pillowcase with a silk pillowcase and your skin and hair will thank you. 
  • Wipe your phone screen and glasses down frequently 
  • Avoid re-wearing the same mask often (ever heard of Mask-ne?)
  • Consider using a humidifier while you sleep for added moisture
  • While your face is important, don’t forget to give the rest of your body some love too! Put lotion on your entire body right after you get out of the shower because that’s when your skin will absorb and lock in the moisture best. 
  • When doing your skincare, rub the products on your neck, chest, and hands as those are the areas that show the first signs of aging

Skincare Products: 

  • Most important skincare item: SPF SPF SPF! UV rays from the sun are the primary culprit for damaged, aged skin. Apply even if you’re indoors (UV rays penetrate through windows) and multiple times a day if you’re going outdoors (only lasts 30-50min, depending on SPF.) 
  • Top 3 ingredients for better skin

Yes, having clear healthy skin is extra work but you deserve to look and feel your best! When you have clear skin, it boosts your confidence by allowing your beauty and health to shine. Let yourself have that extra time in the morning and night to give your skin some extra TLC and your skin will thank you. Hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter and see you back next month for more tips and tricks to improve your health and become your best self. <3

New Year, Better You

New Year, Better You

As 2020 comes to a close, I’m sure we’re not alone in welcoming the fresh new year with open arms. We’ve all spent the majority of 2020 cooped up inside and perhaps not making the best decisions to improve our health. This year has definitely been rough for many of us but every fall off of your horse is just another opportunity to get back on it, right? For the last newsletter of 2020, we’re sharing these tips on how to set your own personalized, attainable, idealistic goals for the upcoming year. 

When it comes to setting goals for the new year, here are our tips / tricks to creating goals that you will actually stick to in order to see results: 

  • Set goals that are realistic to meet or you will abandon your endeavors after a week or two of pursuing it. 
    • For example, proclaiming “I’m going to completely give up carbs” is a bold statement. If you love carbs and this is a major drastic change in your lifestyle, you will find yourself miserable and throwing in the towel early. Instead, choose a more practical goal like “I’m going to eat less refined carbs (white bread, pasta, rice, etc) and try to eat more whole carbs (vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, whole grains)”
  • When it comes to fitness goals, try to set goals for progress in strength and endurance rather than your weight.
    • Instead of “I want to lose X amount of pounds” say “I want to be able to do 10 pushups” or “I want to be able to run a mile without taking breaks.” By aiming to improve your strength and working out by putting your mind to muscle, the physically aesthetic results will follow your progress. 
    • Instead of using a scale, take progress photos of your body. On the day you decide to start working out more, take a photo of yourself. After the first few months of working out, take another one wearing the same clothes and standing in the same position. These snapshots over prolonged periods of time will show the physical changes your body is undergoing that you can’t see by looking at yourself everyday in the mirror. 
  • Make your goals achievable by creating small, actionable steps you can do every day. Instead of “I want to be healthier” make your goal “I will work out for at least 30 minutes a day” or “I WILL incorporate at least one serving of vegetables into every meal”. In Atomic Habits by James Clear, Clear explains that by performing a small actionable step everyday, you are increasingly becoming at least 1% better and disciplining yourself to form a habit that will actually stick. Associate the small actionable step with the benefit to make it appealing. 
    • Some examples of small actionable steps:
      • I will eat out less and try to cook more so I know exactly what I am putting into my body
      • I will read for 30 min a day to expand my vocabulary and learn more about the world
      • I will listen to one podcast a day about self-help or self-improvement to better myself
      • I will give up drinking soda to consume less sugar and avoid long-term health issues
  • Write down your goals physically and place them somewhere you can see them everyday and constantly be reminded. Locations such as your refrigerator, your phone wallpaper, your mirror, or your office computer monitor should work. 
  • Keep yourself accountable by sharing your goals with a friend or family member. Bonus: if your family or friend has a similar goal, you can work towards it together. 
  • It’s ok to make mistakes and fall off the wagon, but examine the why of your failure to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. The idea here is to strive for consistency, not perfection. When you find yourself off course, steer right back on the road. Do not give up! Every step in the right direction, no matter how small, is still progress.