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Health and Wellness

Summer’s Eve

This blog is sponsored by Summer’s Eve ® but the content and opinions expressed are my own. #sponsored #ad

When you can’t take one step outside without instantly starting to perspire you know it’s officially summertime. Of course, there are certain things we can do to combat heat, like wearing loose fitting or light colored clothing, making sure you stay hydrated, and staying indoors during peak sunlight hours. But if we do get a little sweaty, what can we do to freshen up?

I have a few solutions, and I have partnered with my favorite women’s cleansing brand Summer’s Eve, to share them with you. All products discussed have been tested by me, and all opinions are completely my own.

One of my favorite products they make is the Simply Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash. The reason I liked them initially was because they are made with simple ingredients, without any dyes, parabens, or alcohol. On top of that, they are infused with botanical extracts and have great scents that are inspired by nature; These include Lavender Chamomile, Coconut Water, and Cucumber Lilly. Each one smells amazing in its own way, but I think my favorite is the Lavender Chamomile.

Want to know my favorite part about these Cleansing Washes for us women? They remove odor causing bacteria and are balanced to our natural pH. For cleansing our lady parts, they are formulated for mildly acidic pH. This helps cleanse without causing any irritation. Their products are all specifically made for those with sensitive skin.

Another product they make which I love as well are the Simply Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths. They are made with the same (safe) ingredients as the Cleansing Washes, but can be taken with you wherever you might need them. I personally have been using these after the gym or if I’ve been running around all day long, and they definitely keep me feeling fresh, clean and confident throughout the day.

As the trusted leader in feminine care (and I can totally see why) Summer’s Eve ® is known for creating personal care products that are gynecologist and dermatologist tested for safety. Small bonus? They never test on animals, and some of their packaging is even recyclable. I know from experience living in south Florida, that it takes minimal effort to get sweaty when you would really prefer not to be; These products definitely make it a bit easier to feel clean and confident throughout the day.

If you haven’t checked them out yet, I definitely recommend doing so! Learn more about the line with my link here.


Health and Wellness

Summertime Essentials

Growing up in South Florida, there is literally nothing I love more than spending a day at the beach, on a boat, or at the pool. Unfortunately though, there are several harmful effects that these activities have on our body. For example, we all know how detrimental the sun’s rays can be to our skin, or how damaging and drying chlorine can be for our hair.

Because of this, I’ve compiled a [short] list for you all to let you know what skin + hair products I turn to to minimize the negative effects of summertime. This post is not sponsored in any way, and all of these items are products that I have used myself and truly love.

Shampoo & Conditioner
I’ve told you guys about my favorite shampoo and conditioner before, but it’s time to tell you again because it’s really that good. I have been using ArtNaturals Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner for about 6 months now and unless you are going to spend hundreds of dollars on salon grade shampoo and conditioner (which I definitely can’t afford) – this is the next best thing.

This particular formula is made with argan oil, aloe vera, green tea, kukui seeds, macadamia nut oil, lavender oil, algae and kelp extracts, which nourishes your scalp while promoting hair growth. It’s also sulfate and paraben free, and helps protect against DHT (aka it helps prevent hair loss). I have been using this to help combat hair dryness from constantly being in the ocean or the pool, and have definitely noticed a difference. It also smells incredible and leaves hair feeling soft and silky. Don’t believe me? Read the reviews.

Hair Oils
Hair oils are great for those times that you just want to give your hair a little extra TLC. My current favorite is the Ulyana Aster Garden Rose Organic Oil Hair Mask. For starters, I am obsessed with anything rose scented. Secondly, this mask is loaded with essential oils (rose, macadamia, camelia, flaxseed and coconut), plus other natural ingredients to moisturize, replenish, soften and add volume to your hair.

I literally only used one of these so far and was blown away by the results. They also make a Raw Youth Hair Mask, and a Summer Vibes Hair Mask. Or you can click here to read the benefits of each of these oils for yourself.

Daily Face Sunscreen
My absolute favorite face sunscreen is The Treatment’s On The Daily SPF 45. I apply this every morning after my face wash routine and before my makeup. It goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. It has zinc oxide and octinoxate for UVA and UVB protection, in addition to niacinaminde (vitamin B3), vitamin E, knotweed extract (an antioxidant), and hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated and protected from free radicals and oxidative damage.

Basically it’s a sunscreen that also protects your skin and helps keep it looking youthful. Another plus, it’s very reasonably priced. Head to to see what other amazing products Erin Jensen (@TheTreatment) has created!

Body Sunscreen
Sun Bum’s SPF 50 Original Sunscreen Lotion is my current go to sunscreen for several reasons. The first reason? I like the packaging. The other reasons? It’s oil free, paraben free, PABA free, cruelty free (100% vegan), and reef friendly (oxybenzone and octinoxate free). On top of that it contains moisturizers and vitamin E to promote healthy skin, and it’s water resistance up to 80 minutes. There is a spray version as well if you prefer those to rub on sunscreens.

I used this when Erik and I got scuba certified and we didn’t burn – at all.  They also make a Face Stick that I’m obsessed with (it’s small and easy to carry) and a Mango Chapstick (also comes in Coconut and Pineapple) that keeps my lips sun protected as well.

Face Makeup
I have been using the Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen for the past few weeks and I am hooked. It’s basically a mineral powder to give your skin a matte finish after you’ve applied your makeup, and it is SPF 30 as well. I use this throughout the day to keep my skin looking smooth and oil free, and to make sure I am constantly re-applying sunscreen.

It not only blocks UVA and UVB rays, but contains red algae extract to provide antioxidant protection as well. It comes in SPF 30 or 50, and in fair, medium, tan, or deep skin tones. They’re $65 each, but if you buy 3 together from their website you get a significant discount.

Face Serum
I truly believe that every single person should be using a face serum, and there are plenty of options out there to choose from. I have 3 that I alternate between, but my favorite right now is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Serum. This stuff is gold. I put this on almost nightly after washing my face and before my night cream and I notice a huge difference in my skin every morning.

Not only does this help hydrate your skin while you sleep, but it also helps improve firmness and elasticity, and reduces blotchy skin for a more even skin tone.  Oh yea, and it smells like heaven.

Face Shield
Remember when visors were in and everyone had one? Well, the Bluestone Sun Shields are the new cool thing to wear this summer. They were created by individuals with over 20 years combined experience in dermatology, cosmetic lasers, and anti-aging treatments, and can be worn either as a visor, or pulled down over your face for maximum sun protection. I personally wear mine when lounging by the pool to make sure I really am blocking as many harmful rays as possible. Here are the different shields they sell.

So, there you have it, all of my summer skin and hair necessities. If you give any of them a shot I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!



Health and Wellness Lifestyle

Self Care Summer

I’m sure you guys have (at some point) heard someone say they were getting their ‘summer bod’ ready. Well, as a physician, it’s my job to make sure you are staying healthy year round. That being said, being healthy doesn’t just mean you are exercising from time to time, or eating right – it also has to do with how you treat yourself mentally and emotionally. I put this post together to give you all a few of my best tips for making sure you are not only staying healthy, but also staying happy this summer.

1. Set Goals for Yourself
The best advice I can give when it comes to staying on track is to set goals for yourself. These can be anything from how often you’d like to go for a run, how many times a week you want to cook at home, or how much weight you want to be able to lift at the gym.

Setting goals will help keep you accountable, and will make you feel so much better about it when you achieve them. Give yourself a time frame of when you’d like to reach your goals by. BUT don’t set too many goals at once, it will only make you feel discouraged if you don’t attain them.

2. Make Good Food Choices
I always encourage patients to cook for themselves at home because it’s much easier to eat healthy when you know what you are putting in your food. It’s obviously not as easy to eat “healthy” when eating out. And lets face it, between summer vacations, BBQs, and just plain life, we need to make a conscious effort to watch what we eat.

Some advice that I often tell people is to try to be more mindful when eating out. Pat attention to what you are ordering and the foods you are choosing; I usually try to go for foods that are higher in fiber (salads with clear dressings), and I avoid fried items, or things that are high in sodium (salt) or fat content (like cream sauces).

3. Do Things You Enjoy
We are all so busy working year round, that we sometimes forget to set time aside for us to have fun. I fully believe in the importance of work-life balance, especially to avoid burnout.

For me, this means being around water (going on a boat, or going to the beach), or some form of activities (my new favorite bar is full of arcade games, but I also love bowling, bike riding, etc). Whatever it is that you enjoy – just make sure you are fitting fun into your schedule as well.

4. Relax
Aside from doing things that you enjoy, I also believe it’s important to find time to relax your body and your mind. I will usually take a nice hot bath to unwind at the end of a long day. Some people use yoga to relax, but there are apps like “Calm” and “Headspace,” which are good ways of meditating and clearing your mind too.

Find something that makes you feel relaxed, and try to do it once a day if possible.

5. Stay Hydrated
I don’t know about where you live, but summers in Florida are hottt. There are plenty of negative effects of dehydration that we can easily avoid by making sure we are drinking enough water throughout the day. I usually recommend 4-5 full (17 oz) water bottles, but this is something that should be discussed with your PCP if you have any other known medical conditions. (more on this to come!)

I hope these tips are helpful to you guys, and if you have any specific questions for me, my doors are always wide open. Stay healthy, and stay safe this summer (and always).



Health and Wellness

The Art[naturals] of Self Love

To me, how well you care for yourself should reflect how well you will care for others. As a physician, it’s important for me to eat well, exercise, and be healthy on a daily basis, not only for myself but for my patients. When you feel like you can conquer the world, you totally will. That brings me to the next thing; aside from good skin care, I place a fairly large emphasis on my hair care routine. There are so many tips I could give you guys that I have learned over the years about what to do for longer stronger hair (not to mention it totally helps that my mom is a hair stylist), but I’ll start with the basics.

I wanted to share the new shampoo and conditioner duo I have been using with you all because I believe that a good wash regimen really is the basis to healthy locks. I think what you put on your body is equally as important as what you put in your body (check out my natural deodorant post for more info on that topic as well).

With that said, finding good, natural, hair care products isn’t always easy. The Artnaturals Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner set originally caught my eye because of the all natural ingredients. Aside from that, it is paraben free and sulfate free (both have shown to be damaging to hair, especially colored hair), and as an added bonus, it’s produced in Morocco (where my Grandmother is from!).

Once I actually tried the products, I really fell in love. The shampoo is lightweight and smells like heaven in a bottle (it’s hard to put my finger on the exact scent but really, it smells like cleanliness, and heaven). I followed the instructions and left it on for a few minutes and only had to do one wash and rinse for my hair to feel like it was completely clean. The conditioner smells like a refreshing piña colada, with hints of vanilla and coconut, and is a nice lightweight formula.

Once I rinsed it out my hair felt ridiculously soft. I will say I was impressed with the way my hair dried on its own, and even better when blow dried. There was no greasy oily residue that some conditioners leave over, and yet my hair still felt silky smooth. I have used the shampoo and conditioner numerous times now and I am impressed with the outcome every time.

Over the past few weeks I have gotten several direct messages about what hair products I use, and how I get my hair to grow as long as it is, so I figured I would start by sharing the basics. I am working on a separate blog post where I will discuss some other tips and tricks about hair care (and hair growth secrets), but for now I highly recommend trying this stuff out. They have some other products on their website (an Argan Leave in Conditioner and Argan Thermal Shield) that I will be purchasing to add to my regimen, so I’ll keep you posted on those as well!


Health and Wellness

Breast Cancer Stinks; You Don’t Have To

As most of you have probably heard by now, there are certain ingredients in most deodorants that have been linked to breast cancer; particularly parabens and aluminum. Some studies have shown increased absorption of these substances through the axillary (armpit) skin. Why is that bad? Well, parabens have weak estrogen-like properties, which can be a concern to some because excess estrogen in the body can lead to breast cell replication. On the flip-side, the estrogen-like effects from parabens alone has not demonstrated any relationship to the development of breast cancer, and estrogen we make in our body is much stronger than those from any outside sources.

Aluminum, which is added to deodorants for its antiperspirant effects (i.e. they block the sweat glands), has been shown to cause changes in the estrogen receptors on breast cells. Though, like parabens, the absorption of aluminum through the skin is very minimal, and most of the aluminum found in our bodies is actually due to ingestion (from foods) or other sources as well. In addition, other studies have shown no difference in the amount of aluminum found in breast cancer tissue compared to normal breast tissue. So again, we can’t really confirm (or deny) the exact link between aluminum absorbed through the skin and its effects on breast cancer development.

All of this being said, there are many people out there, including myself, who would prefer to not take any chances. With breast cancer being as common as it is (1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point in there lifetime), why add any extra potential risks. So, in light of breast cancer awareness month, I decided to do a little self guided research study to find out which (of 3) natural deodorants works the best. I chose my three based on amazon reviews, recommendations from friends, and price. I wore each of them for one week (this included work, gym days, painting my bedroom, football games, etc) to see how they held up. I’m going to give you the pros and cons of each, and let you know which one I will be using from now on.

Crystal Essence:

Crystal Essence was created by Jerry Rosenblatt in 1984, when he went to France and discovered a mineral salt that worked to purify water and worked as a deodorant as well. He brought this idea to New York, where sales began at Henri Bendel. Now, with the success of his original products, the line expanded and today there are over 25 different Crystal Deodorant products. The one I decided to try was the roll on, which comes in several different scent.

I purchased “Vanilla Jasmine” because it seemed to have the most reviews, but to be honest I think it really just smells like some sort of lime concoction. I do tend to like the fact that it’s a roll on since it goes on super easy, but that also means it takes some time to dry, and my armpit area felt sticky for a few minutes afterwards. Lastly, I didn’t find that I stayed smelling fresh the whole day, especially not on days that I went to the gym (sorry to those who were working out near me). If you want to try it out, but you’re not sure which product to purchase, they do sell a trial pack to test out a few different items.

-Comes in 4 different scents
-Super cheap ($4.75 on their website, $3 on Amazon, for 2.25 oz.)
-Quick and easy roll on formula
-No residue left on clothing

-The scents (to me) don’t really smell like what they’re supposed to
-Needs some time to dry, sticky underarm feeling for a few minutes
-Doesn’t really last the whole day (especially not with any physical activity)
-Re-application needed for better effect

Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant:

Bali Secrets is an all natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free deodorant line. They’re a small company from California, but the products are available on their website. I actually purchased this deodorant because of the seriously ridiculously amazing reviews on Amazon. So while it was a little bit pricier, I still decided to give it a go. I tried the Aloe Delight scent, which to me, kind of just smells like soap. I also read great reviews about Delicate Rose, and Sandalwood for men, so I got that one for my boyfriend (it kind of smells like baby powder?).

Like the other roll on, it went on smooth and easy, but did need a few minutes to dry completely. I found that it worked O.K. Definitely better than the crystal essence (which I would hope, since it’s 3 x the price), but I didn’t feel like I smelled super fresh the entire day. I think I might try another scent to give it another chance, since the reviews really are so so good.

-Comes in 5 different scents (some for men and women)
-Quick and easy roll on formula
-No residue left on clothing

-Like the other roll on, needs time to dry
-Expensive ($13.99 for 2.4 oz.)
-I got a mild skin reaction to it on the last day

Schmidt’s Naturals Deodorant:

Schmidt’s Naturals was started by Jamie Schmidt in Portland, Oregon in 2010, with the idea of making products that would benefit her family’s health. Via word of mouth about how great her product actually was, news spread and voila- Schmidt’s is sold practically everywhere. They are also known for their all natural ingredients, great customer service, and even a recycling program, so with the motto of “changing the way people think about deodorant,” Schmidt’s is doing just that.

When I was first told about Schmidt’s, I wasn’t sure which scent I wanted to try (there are SO many), but when my boyfriend’s mom bought one for me that issue was instantly solved. She got me the “Rose & Vanilla” scent, which is pretty true to it’s title, and while I occasionally feel like I smell like a grandmother, I’ve actually grown quite fond of the smell. The deodorant goes on somewhat easily (I usually run it back and forth about 3-4 times to make sure it’s on evenly) and I swear it works better than my regular deodorant. Side note- Schmidt’s sells body soaps as well!

-Smells amazing and they sell multiple scents
-Literally leaves you stink-free all day
-Average price, but bigger sizes ($8.99 for 3.25 oz)
-Comes in small travel sizes as well
-They also sell a “sensitive skin” line for those with easy irritation

-Will leave some residue on your clothes
-Thicker material, not as easy to put on

I want you guys to know that this post was in no way sponsored by any of these companies; I did it just to spread some knowledge and help you save money if you want to go the natural route without having to try several different brands like I did.

Overall I can say that I will be a loyal Schmidt customer from now on. Not only do I love the fact that I don’t smell AT ALL throughout the day, but the scent of the deodorant actually lasts as well. I reached out to Schmidt’s Naturals to let them know they won my sniff test, and they gave me a coupon code for you guys to use – NATURAL15 will give you 15% off their website. My next purchase is going to be the Schmidt’s Travel Size 5-Pack, so that I can test out some of the other scents (and I’ll be using that coupon code myself).

Let me know if you guys have tried any of these before, what your thoughts are, or if you know of any other brands that work. Good luck and good smells!!



Health and Wellness

In October We Wear Pink

Regina George may have had it somewhat right, but it’s not just on Wednesday’s that we wear pink these days. The entire month of October is now dedicated to wearing the color in order to help raise awareness for breast cancer, and as knowledge continues to spread, more and more people are joining the movement. So what does wearing pink really mean? It means that not only are we showing our support by what we wear, but we are also trying to spread understanding of what the color pink really stands for.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with an average lifetime risk of developing breast cancer at 12%. There are about 300,000 cases diagnosed each year, with about 15% of those (40,000 people) dying from the disease each year. Another way of looking at it is that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer, and 1 woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes. In addition, contrary to what most people believe, men can develop breast cancer as well (though it is not nearly as common). Always keep in mind that screening for breast cancer begins at 40 years old (for average risk women) with annual mammograms, and that catching breast cancer early can save your life.

While I completely support wearing pink everything to raise awareness, I believe it’s also extremely important to know what else you can do to support the cause. For starters, everyone should educate themselves in any way that they can. Take this quiz if you want to see how much you already know about breast cancer, or go straight to the source for a list of topics and explanations (more info can be found on Susan G. Komen’s website). If you are over 35 years old, you can get an idea about your own personal risk using this Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. Once you acquire more information on the topic, you can help teach others what you know.

To help you all out, I’ve compiled a list of things you can do to help contribute; some are more time consuming, and some are simple enough to do in just a few minutes. I hope you’ll take a moment to read through them and decide which one’s you can do (aside from just wearing pink) to help me raise breast cancer awareness.

1. Make Your Own Pink Ribbon!

This one is super easy to do. With just a quick stop at your nearest Michael’s or Hobby Lobby you can pick up the items needed to make your own pink ribbon. I think this is fun because you can buy different shades of pink, or even patterned ribbon to really stand out. You can make extras and hand them out to friends, family, and coworkers to get them to help raise awareness with you!

2. Get a New Stethoscope

My motto is you can never have too many stethoscopes, and you should definitely have a pink one for October. That being said, wouldn’t you want to get one that also helps raise money for a good cause? Medelita has partnered with the American Breast Cancer Foundation to donate 5% of each pink stethoscope purchased during the month of October for breast cancer awareness. Anddd there are two different shades of pink that apply to the donation! (Mine is the “pink” one, but there is also a rose color)

3. Cook, Bake, And Eat!

Cook For The Cure is a fundraising partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen that has raised over $10.7 million in the past 16 years through purchases of pink KitchenAid products, celebrity chef auctions, and home based fundraising. Whether you need a new beautiful pink appliance for your kitchen (trust me, the Artisan Stand Mixer is a life saver), or just want to host a cooking party at your own home, KitchenAid is here to help you raise awareness. They also have this really cool program called pass the plate, where you make a meal and serve it on your special plate and then pass it on to someone, who then passes it on to someone else. You can also register the plate to track where it’s been- SO fun!

4. Join a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk or Run

Now that we’re done cooking and eating, maybe we should do some physical activity. The great thing about joining breast cancer awareness walks/runs is that you get to exercise and also meet so many awesome people doing it. If you’re not an avid runner, don’t sweat it (see what I did there), plenty of people prefer to walk instead. There are multiple options depending on where you live, with the most widely known one being the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life campaign. It’s super easy to find an event (or two) near you and sign up to help out.

5. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

I have always loved buying new sneakers because nothing makes me feel more motivated than a new pair of running shoes (aside from running off the pumpkin pie I ate last night, #ilovefall). Not to mention you can totally show them off at one of the breast cancer awareness walks/runs mentioned above (see #4). There are several companies that have teamed up to help raise breast cancer awareness such as New Balance’s “Lace Up for the Cure,” Sketcher’s “Our Walk Together,” and Nike’s Air Max breast Cancer Awareness sneakers (which are even on sale, but selling out quickly!)

6. Training Gear

If you want some other exercise equipment aside from just new shoes, there are plenty of options here as well, all that help support AND raise awareness for breast cancer. Under Armour has a campaign called “Power in Pink” with multiple different items for both men and women. If you’re into yoga, Maduka has designed project:OM in which 10% of all yoga gear purchases go to the Susen G. Komen foundation. And if you’re into football and want some pink items to help root for your team, NFL shop has quite a selection (the NFL themselves even auction off items worn by athletes in there Crucial Catch campaign to raise money for the American Cancer Society). Lastly, Ford donates 100% of net proceeds from their Warriors Wear Pink products to your charity of choice (and no, you don’t have to buy an actual car).

7. Donate

If you don’t have time to join an event or do some of the other activities but just want to help with a donation, you can join the hundreds of other companies that have done so. You can go directly to the American Cancer Society website, the American Breast Cancer Foundation website, the Ntional Breast Cancer Foundation website, the Susan G. Komen website, orrr the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. All are legitimate and not scams, and your money will definitely be used in a good way. If you want more information just click on the links to see what they’re all about.

8. Fundraise for the Cause

If you want to donate but also want to get others to help join you, fundraising is your best option, and there are plenty of ways in which you can do so (check these out too). A lot of the fundraisers available include walks/runs (like I discussed before), golfing events, art galas, sporting events, etc., but you can also create your own fundraiser if you want! If none of these sound super appealing to you, you can buy items in bulk from this wholesale site and sell them to raise money that way instead.

9. Get involved Yourself

There are research projects and clinical trials all over the world to find out more about breast cancer and how we can stop it. If you know someone with breast cancer who wants to enroll in a clinical trial, there are plenty around. You can also learn more about breast cancer research here, or you can attend events to hear what the experts have to say in person. After all, knowledge is power, right?

10. Social Media

Everyone knows that what goes on social media these days spreads like wild fire. That being said, use it to your advantage to spread the word about wearing pink and the multiple ways we can all support breast cancer awareness. I know my personal goal for the month of October is to post as many things as I can (without driving everyone crazy) about breast cancer and what we can be doing to help out. Use your voice to let others know what they can be doing too!

Now that I’ve given you multiple different ways you can help RAISE AWARENESS (are you sick of hearing me say that yet?), please please help participate in any way that you can. It is up to us to put an end to this terrible disease. I love you all, now lets kick some breast cancer butt!