Living Better

LAUREN'S RULES FOR AGE-PROOFING YOUR BODY + MIND

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Is aging backwards a thing? They say that 40 is the new 30 - and for many aspects of life it’s 100% true. But if there’s one area the adage doesn’t totally apply, it’s to our health. You have to consistently work at it.

Working out and eating well to age proof your body (or to become fit) means that you’re strengthening the systems of your entire body for everyday peak performance. It’s a lot like servicing your car. And that’s what your main goal should be.

In my opinion, the ultimate outcome of any fitness and wellness program is feeling GREAT in your skin at any age. Age proofing is a lifestyle, and it’s a high vibes only attitude on every level - more on this later in the post.

So many of you ask me how I look so “young” (THANK YOU) and at 41 I’ve never felt better in my skin and I’m still learning, but I’m excited to see what my 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond bring. These are my current rules of the game when it comes to ageless living and age proofing your body and mind.

Move Everyday Exercise brings blood to skin level and makes you look and feel alive. Do what feels good for you, but aim to eliminate a disordered relationship with exercise. So many people think of movement as solely a means of undoing what they’ve consumed, but It’s much more than that. Get moving and feel the lifeblood.

Water With Lemon Just do it everyday, trust me.

Sunscreen See above re: water with lemon.

CCS & Studio LB Both the method and the programming protect the body by maintaining lean muscle mass, flexibility, muscle balance and endurance via resistance training, cardio, and core strengthening. Whether it’s a cardio or sculpt, a Quick Burn or Full-Length workout, every session has core strength, stability, and muscle balance as it’s foundation.

Joint Care Beyond your thirties, you’ll start to notice wear and tear on some of your joints, which is normal – those joints have been in use for some time – and not anything to freak out about in itself. However, heavy training, especially impactful endurance work like running or high impact cardio, can sometimes exacerbate things. It’s important to really listen to your body and consider a couple of useful supplements like glucosamine, turmeric and collagen – which can work to slow and even reverse joint degeneration. 

Commit To You Consistency is so key. You have to commit to your health and own your choices. What we do everyday counts more than what we do a few times a month. Don’t just exercise when preparing for a wedding, event, or vacation. When health becomes a habit, everything shifts and it becomes your lifestyle. Try to focus less on the end goal and more on what you do daily and watch real transformation take place!

Love Yourself Stop berating yourself and do not compare and despair. Tell your brain to STOP IT. So much precious time is wasted on shaming and judging yourself. It’s your job to break the brain that habitually believes a story that’s hurting you.

High Vibes Only What does this mean? Making the conscious decision to be holistically healthy and happy in all aspects of life. If we are operating at a ‘lower vibration’ then that means that something is blocked. You want nothing to do with anything that makes you feel sh*tty, so when we make conscious decisions to bring our body back into balance, the body will vibrate at its highest potential, generating health and happiness.

Embrace The Power Of A Whole Foods Diet Whole foods literally put your body in a power position. Don’t eat the crap. Basically everything we need is whole and unpackaged.

Make Space Schedule time for both productivity and relaxation in order to lower stress. During your scheduled workout time, clear the way for clarity. When you’re in your home studio you want no trappings of daily life, so move the laundry hampers and take-home work. Clear out whatever isn’t serving you or is weighing on you to maximize your me-time.

Feeling great in our 40s and beyond does take some work. For me, the transition from 30s to 40 was a little challenging mentally, but what happens to women at 40 is nothing short of astonishingly beautiful. Everything changes for the better. Beauty and confidence really starts to radiate from within and you really do love yourself a whole lot more. I notice that I move feely now and I love being myself, and I love being a woman.

Oh, and IMO, a little Botox never hurts, either. ; ) Next up, I’ll focus on the products and clothes that help me glow from the inside out!


LIVING BETTER: CARRIE WHITCRAFT

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If you were a bride in the Philly area between 2004 and 2017, you’re likely familiar with the work of creative powerhouse Carrie Whitcraft. She worked at Philadelphia magazine during that time, and for many years was the editor of the twice-a-year bridal mag Philadelphia Wedding. Her book The Bride’s Instruction Manual is a no nonsense guide to wedding essentials. We talked to her about her own nuptials, new(ish) motherhood, and how our bodies change with the years. Carrie lives in Berwyn, Pennsylvania with her husband Mike and son Jack.

You wrote for Philadelphia Magazine about all things wedding-related. Did this affect how you planned for your own wedding?

Having my life be all about weddings even before I got engaged meant a few things when it came time to plan my own—the absolute best being that I got to skip the whole vendor-research part of the program, which tends to be super daunting right off the bat when brides first dive into it all. My husband and I decided we should do New Year’s Eve before we had downed our first celebratory drink post-proposal, so I texted Alison Conklin, who I knew would be my photographer (possibly before I even called my parents!), right then and there to see if she was free, and then lined everybody else up with a quick email in the coming week or two to tell them I was engaged and say hey, what are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Having done so much with weddings over the course of so many years also meant that I already had things in mind that I knew I wanted, and things that I knew I didn’t feel were necessary. And coming back to my amazing vendors, it also meant that I didn’t stress about a single detail, because I fully trusted them to hit it out of the park. (I didn’t even know a thing about my bouquet! My florist, Sullivan Owen, said she’d love to make that a surprise for me, and I loved that idea.) In fact, many of them were surprised and amused to find that they had to keep reaching out to me to discuss various details of the day. It really allowed me to focus on making wonderful memories with my family and friends and husband-to-be during that time.

You're consistently recognized on the 100+ minutes list in our community facebook group. When and where do you practice Studio LB?

I tend to do my workout right in my living room while my 22-month-old son naps. My TV browser won’t load the workout videos for some reason, so instead I do them on my iPad and use the reflection of the dark TV behind it as my “mirror.” It’s my goal this summer, however, to get into the habit of doing them at least a few days a week in the morning before he’s up (I have been blessed with a late sleeper, but a short napper) so I can use his short naps to get some other stuff done. I’ve been successful a few times so far!

How has having a child changed your approach to your health and fitness?

I feel like when it comes to fitting in my workout now, it’s not just when, but how! On days when nap time doesn’t work out, it takes a lot more effort and finagling to get it done than when I used to just decide on a 7am, lunchtime or post-work class. And when it comes to diet, things have definitely changed since having a baby (and, let’s be honest, since mid-30s turned into late!): what I used to do to drop a few-to-several pounds any time I needed to now does literally zilch. So that part of it definitely takes more effort, and isn’t something I’ve completely figured out just yet.

I also think that now, in addition to wanting to feel strong (I hate when I don’t) and fit into my jeans (I really hate when I don’t) like I always have, I love doing my workouts—especially these workouts, since I used to go to Lauren’s Philly studios—because they’re kind of a constant in my life when lots of other things have changed in recent years. For a really long time, I lived and worked in Philly and worked out at Lithe. Now, I live in the ‘burbs with two boys and don’t go into an office; I smiled about five minutes into my first Studio LB workout because of how oddly comforting it was to be doing the waist rotations and Thriller and bow-and-arrow-jacks (which I hate, btw) that I’d been doing since long before my life looks like it looks now. So that part of it motivates me to keep up with it, too.

What's one beauty product you can't live without and why?

You know, for years, any time I was asked this question, my immediate answer was P50 (Biologique Recherche’s miracle product that they got me hooked on at Rescue when I was in my 20s). But these days I actually think I might be more dependent on Beautycounter’s Facial Oil (I do #3, Balancing). It fixes oiliness, dryness, breakouts, flakiness—seriously any ailment your skin might have. My face literally drinks it in and feels relieved every time I put it on. I plow through it, but much like I’ve always felt about P50, I don’t consider it so much a splurge as an investment. I mean, your face is your face—when something works as well as this, you gotta keep it coming.

Photography by Alison Conklin

5 WAYS TO CELEBRATE THE SUMMER SOLSTICE

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It’s time to level up. The summer solstice arrives in just a few hours. Even though Memorial Day weekend often feels like the official kickoff of summer, the summer solstice, which begins at 11:54am on Friday, June 21, marks the official beginning of our favorite time of the year. The solstice is a celebration of the sun, is a peak of energy for the entire year, and is a perfect time to reflect on your 2019 so far and excitedly usher in a new season.

I’m so ready to play, soak up the light and good energy that summer brings. Spring —and our time of renewal and grey is OVER. At Studio LB, we’ve been gently easing into this new season for eight weeks and now it’s time to shift into manifestation mode and make our goals a reality. Here are five ways to celebrate the much-loved incoming season.

1. Rise Early Watching the sun rise is a powerful reminder of nature’s cycles and our often overlooked circadian rhythm. Wake up early and watch it rise with your coffee or tea and feel how those diamond minutes fill you with light and positive energy.

2. Tune Into Nature The best way to honor the sun is to be in it, so take your Studio LB workout outdoors, eat outside, and buy fresh flowers to celebrate the new season and the abundance of life that the sun gives us.

3. Set Summer Intentions/Resolutions Today is the perfect time to set intentions and re-visit goals for the rest of the year. Reflect on projects and ideas that have been brewing since winter/spring. It’s a great time for a check-in, so make a list or light and candle and manifest what you want and let go of what you don’t.

4. Be Free Summer is an opportunity to slow down, loosen the reigns, and tune into your inner child. The warmer months bring us a carefree sense of freedom, and an expansive energy that propels us into action as we spend more time outdoors.

5. Create A Magical Summer Cocktail Traditionally, elderflowers and their leaves are associated with the summer solstice. Alternatively, you can utilize St. Germain or brew chamomile tea and add a dash of turmeric and ginger.

LIVING BETTER: DANA MYERS

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I’m so excited to introduce y’all to my effervescent friend Dana Myers! Dana and I connected when she was living in St. Lucia and practicing Studio LB…I was so intrigued with her island life, positive attitude and her amazing hair. Dana’s a true inspiration who has changed my outlook on sensuality and sexuality as a mom. Feeling sexy and satisfied can definitely take a backseat in my life as a working mother, but Dana’s approach and advice is something women everywhere can incorporate to boost confidence, self-love and body acceptance. She’s the founder of the Booty Parlor, speaker, and author of two books called The Official Booty Parlor Mojo Makeover and The Mommy Mojo Makeover. Read on to learn Dana’s outlook on sex, scheduling, Studio LB, and skincare secrets.

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What can you tell us about Booty Parlor and its mission?
Booty Parlor is a sexy beauty & lifestyle brand I founded in 2005 alongside my husband, Charlie. Growing up, throughout my teenage years and into my womanhood, I’d always been naturally very curious and passionate about “all things beauty” and “all things sexy.” And while my career originally started in the music business, those innate passions eventually guided me to create a brand for women who wanted beautiful products that inspired them to feel sexier and more confident.

Back in the mid 00’s, the “sex industry” was still grounded in it’s XXX roots - bad packaging, bad ingredients, uninspiring imagery. And so, I saw the white space opportunity to do something better -- something more stylish & modern that catered to the way I liked to shop. So, we started developing sensual beauty, body and wellness products, as well as accessories and lingerie, and quickly grew the brand into a wholesale, home party and online business. Everything we did (and do!) is based on the core philosophy that every woman wants, needs and deserves to feel sexy, confident and desirable. These days, we no longer run all those distribution channels. We licensed the brand to a phenomenal partner who produces & distributes our line internationally, primarily in the Middle East.  

The personal journey I’ve been on with the brand, and in my career, has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve done hundreds of private workshops for women who want to feel more sensually and sexually empowered. I’ve published two books on women, sensuality, and satisfaction. And every day, I get to do what I love while empowering other women and mothers to feel more entitled to their own pleasure and to creating the best relationships possible (with themselves and their partner!).

As an author and a speaker, I share weekly content on my
website and hold live workshops on the topics of self-love, sex and relationships after kids. And what’s currently on deck is the launch of my new online course business. My signature course, The Satisfied Mama, is launching in June 2019. It’s a tools-based course with 35+ video lessons and practices designed to empower mothers to reclaim themselves and reignite their relationship after kids. Through video lessons and an online community, I walk mothers through the process of Loving their Body, Getting out of the “Mom Zone,” Awakening their Libido, Removing the Resentment, Reviving the Romance and Reigniting their Sex Life. This program is really the culmination of the last 15 years of my experience as a sex & relationships expert and the last eight as a busy mother.

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You have a new book out called The Mommy Mojo Makeover. What is the top piece of advice you can give mothers to reconnect with their bodies?
Great question. There are SO many tools mothers can use to confidently reconnect with their bodies in the months (and years!) after giving birth. First, I think it’s REALLY important to call yourself out on the nasty habit of negative self-talk. You know - all the sh*t we tell ourselves about our thighs/tummy/tush when we’re standing in the mirror. Toning down that inner critic, and replacing the negative self-talk with sexy, self-loving affirmations is always a great place to start. An example of this is if you look at yourself and think “Ickkk, my boobs are so deflated,” you want to catch yourself. Pause, breathe and say something instead like, “My breasts are sweet, petite and still deserving of pleasure after nursing all these babies.” Even if the experience feels phony or awkward at first, with practice you will start to change the way you see and treat your body -- with love, acceptance and pride, instead of disappointment and shame.

Another body confidence-boosting practice is Self-Pleasure. Call it masturbation or a Solo Session, giving yourself pleasure is one of the most normal, healthy, honest and healing acts of self-care you can do for yourself as a woman and mother. When you give yourself pleasure, you boost your sexual energy and your personal power. You release anxiety and stress. You shift out of a negative state into a higher vibration. And you’re practicing SELF-LOVE in its purest form. It’s an amazing way to reconnect with your body, to reintegrate your sensuality into your life as a mom, and give yourself the vitality and stamina you need to rock all your roles and responsibilities!    

Between businesses and books, where does fitness fit into your schedule? Do you schedule time during your week for exercise, cooking, meditation or other forms of self care?
I work out two times per week at F45 - it’s functional training, with some days cardio, some days weights, some days both. I go to hot yoga at Sol Yoga in Miami once a week and do my Studio LB workouts at home one to two times per week. When I travel, which is often, I focus on my Studio LB workouts. And every night, I stretch and unwind my body for at least 20 minutes -- either in front of the TV or listening to music. I also walk around the neighborhood A LOT with my kids, who are now 5 & 8. We’ll kick a ball around or ride bikes after dinner at least four times per week. It’s important to us that the kids have the habit of moving after a meal in a pleasurable way.  

And yes, I’m super, super strict with my scheduling! Every Sunday night, I look at my week overview and sketch out the big things I want to accomplish, both professionally and personally (and that includes date nights & intimacy, too). Then, every morning, I sit and map out exactly what I’m doing that day, hour by hour, including specific work tasks, self-care/pleasure, meals, a mid-day “reset” nap, time with the kids, time with the husband, time with friends, domestic duties, etc. Obviously, I don’t do all of that every single day, but the practice of planning & scheduling is what keeps me on track, sane, and feeling productive.

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We're always on the hunt for excellent new recipes, hair/skincare products, podcasts, etc. Do you have any secrets to share?
My current favorite recipe is from the Keto*tarian book by Dr. Will Cole. It’s called “Coconut Veggie Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice.” It’s lightly creamy, just rich enough, and packed with a ton of delicious veggies. In the last year, I lost 15 pounds by doing my own version of a Keto lifestyle -- and this book has given me a lot of great, veggie-heavy options!

For skincare? I’ve fallen in LOVE with the brand
Tatcha. It started with their facial cleanser, called The Deep Cleanse. I’m also a huge fan of their Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. I’m prone to break-outs (even at 42 years old, gah!), and their products help calm everything down without being harsh or drying.

For makeup, to me, blush is everything. It’s like the ONE product I can’t live without. Right now, my favorite is
Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Pale Pink. When in doubt, put on blush and think of orgasms!

And while I do listen to podcasts, lately I’ve been journaling during the windows of free time I have. It’s something I did throughout my whole life, but then stopped in the last 10 years. I’m so happy I’ve picked it back up because it’s REALLY creative and healing to pour your heart out on the page while listening to great music… and then put it away and return to life!


You can find Dana Myers on instagram @danamyersxoxo and at her website www.danabmyers.com.

Photography by Alejandra Escalante

INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN BOGGI

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How has living on the West Coast affected your lifestyle?

California has always felt like home to me. Whenever I would travel here for work or vacation I’d never want to leave. Jordan says LA is my “Spirit City” which seems about right. My lifestyle has shifted a bit since moving to the West Coast. I feel like it’s quieter in LA - I spend much more time at home in LA than I ever did in Philadelphia. I’m not on edge and running around LA like I was on the East Coast. I’m much more balanced, present, and chilled-out here. In addition to my at-home Studio LB practice it’s also been really nice for me to step outside my house and go for a walking call, or a hike or run at Runyon.

Is routine important to you, or do you prefer to go with the flow when it comes to your schedule?

Routine is important to me when it comes to health and wellness but I’m very much a go with the flow person, which can be both good and bad! Being over-scheduled with work squashes my creativity and I prefer to create and produce one - two workouts on certain days, and then the rest can be more spontaneous. I think leaving room for spontaneity in your life leads you down some pretty awesome roads.

With that being said, do you have any bedtime routines or rituals that help you sleep well?

Every night I put ten solid minutes in on my foam roller and take a bath followed by Papa & Barkley’s Whole Body Releaf 30:1 CBD Tincture.

Tell me about your skincare approach for your face and body.

My routine is pretty simple. I’m a huge believer in the benefits of a healthy diet and sweating everyday. I don’t eat a lot of sugar or dairy. Other than that, daily Gua Sha, and micro-current a few times a week. I’ve been using Dr. Bucky’s Alphaeon and Shani Darden’s Retinol Reform for years.

What’s the best advice your parents ever gave you, and do you actively follow it?

My parents always allowed me to be myself, and told me to do what I love and try to make money doing it. I absolutely follow (most of) their advice.

If stressors in your life cannot be avoided, what are your methods of dealing with them?

It has to be pretty stressful in order to really eat at me, but if I’m sweating something I like to breathe and remind myself that things aren’t always going to be okay, and to accept that.

How’s your relationship with your body? 

OMG I am so in tune with my body. I sorta have this like, body intuition with myself (and other people’s bodies). I can read it really well, and know when I need to cut out sugar or dairy, or back off during a workout. My outlook on my body has changed since turning 40. I feel stronger than ever and my mind and body are super meshed. I know who I am and I love every inch of me, and for me that really came with age.

Can you tell me about a book, movie, or podcast that has influenced you recently?

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari kinda blew my mind.

In your practice with Studio LB, you always build in a Rest or Yoga day. Can you explain the importance of that day?

Taking a rest day is so important. Your body rebuilds itself via rest. You simply cannot become stronger without it. CCS is intense and so full-body. Every muscle is integrated into the workout and the rest day is so necessary! Yoga is the perfect companion as it really helps with stretching and alignment.

What do you look for in a Yoga teacher?

The main things that I look for is a teacher with great anatomy knowledge, and a willingness to be super authentic. I don’t need someone to be nice and I think it's crucial for teachers to be real and that’s what really attracts me. I want to feel something. When teachers are true educators it’s so palpable. Here in LA, I love Emilie Perz. She’s so gifted!

Do you ever see yourself having a Studio again?

You know, CCS is very niche and unique but the current market is very different from when I started out. It’s so saturated. I’ll never say never, but not right now. I have days where I have a slight itch but operating studios is not what excites me. I love the digital world. I love being able to be a part of everyone’s day wherever they are. I LOVE teaching and creating. That’s my gift. I also love being a part of people’s lives without the need or pressure to be people’s ONLY thing. I think that we’re really in the midst of a huge fitness shift; a cultural moment.

Why do you think people gravitate towards you and Studio LB?

I think it's a mixture of things. First and foremost, the workout and the results. But, it's more than just changing your body. It's always been about empowering women through movement and this movement in particular really fuels confidence and strength. It literally makes you feel like you’re f*ing Beyonce. It’s so powerful. And fun. The Program changes people’s bodies and headspace.

What’s the most common mistake you see when you’re training someone new to Cardio Cheer Sculpting?

Just not giving it enough time to fully master the technique or not committing to learning the basic bio-mechanical principles. CCS is a different type of movement. Discipline is a huge part of success with CCS and there are huge rewards of committing to Studio LB fully, working hard, and seeing the program through. You can’t make excuses and succeed when it comes to fitness.

What advice to women always ask you for?

Number one would be what they should eat to see the best results.

What do you do to unwind or treat yourself?

I unwind by listening to music or reading and I love to hang with my girls or treat myself to a manicure and pedicure at Olive & June or go shopping. And wine…wine and shopping!

What’s your favorite love song?

Ahh! Probably a tie between Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen and Rolling Stones Beast of Burden.

To be continued next week…

LIVING BETTER: ALYSHIA OCHSE

Photograph by Dana Patrick

Photograph by Dana Patrick

If you’ve watched True Detective, How I Met Your Mother, Hart of Dixie, General Hospital, or Ballers, you’ll recognize actress Alyshia Ochse. But you might not know that she’s also an author, accomplished athlete, and host of her own podcast “That One Audition.” Alyshia and I met through mutual friends and I totally admire her sense of humor and tenacity, and wanted to learn more about Alyshia’s approach to her career, creative expression, and commitment to fitness even while on set.

Photograph by Kate Hauschka

Photograph by Kate Hauschka

Did you always want to act, and which came first for you: writing or acting? 

I’ve always wanted to be an actress.  One of the first memories I have as a child was daydreaming out the living room window making up stories about the people outside.  Stories fascinated me, the people fascinated me.  Movies allowed me to escape my reality.  When I was learning how to write in kindergarten, I wrote a note saying “I want to be in the TV when I grow up.”  Writing came later in my life.  I started writing in a journal and writing poetry around 10 years old.  My first poem was published when I was 11.  Sitting in math class, words poured into my mind and I scribbled out a poem with words I didn’t even understand.  Words that I had to look up and learn.  Creativity knows no age and I am grateful for the opportunity to daydream about another reality for myself.  Writing is now a tool I use to feel my way through a situation, to express myself and to be connected to the flow of pure creativity.

Hollywood is a funny place.  It IS the place where storytelling dreams do come true.  But the thing that I have learned about Hollywood is that your “dream” is another person’s long journey that they achieved with a set of goals.  Typically, an actor’s dream becomes a reality about 10 to 15 years after they have been grinding at it.  It is not for the weary.  You must be resilient and remember that it is about climbing and staying the course.  There is no overnight success.  Only the press makes “overnight successes.” Many of those actors and storytellers have been working relentlessly not only on their craft but on many side jobs to keep the bills paid.  My suggestion after surviving for 16 years is having a game plan and having annual goals that allow you to see your progress to help you from being discouraged. 

Photograph by Kate Hauschka

Photograph by Kate Hauschka

You host a podcast called "That One Audition." Tell us about the inspiration behind starting your podcast and what the process is like.

“That One Audition” spawned out of a hilarious audition experience where I was running in a bikini and my own flatulence was THE show stopper that left a whole room speechless.  I left that room and wondered how many other people had bombed auditions or how many auditions left the actors ‘ vulnerabilities exposed.  After discussing the experience in my acting class, many other actors shared audition stories that were beyond hysterical and exposing. 

At the time I was volunteering at Young Storytellers helping kids learn how to write a story.  These kids held the acting profession in the highest esteem but for reasons that made actors not human, not capable of making mistakes.  I wanted to expose the journey of an actor through various different audition stories that allowed others to see the amount of rejection, humility, vulnerability, excitement, serendipity and hope that transpires day to day in this profession. 

The process for the podcast is simple.  I find creative storytellers that excite me for their longevity in this business.  Every conversation leaves me with an insane amount of insight into another creative’s journey, pure inspiration and tangible tips to improve not only my career but the career of every listener.

Photograph by Jessi Arnold

Photograph by Jessi Arnold

How does Studio LB fit in to your fitness and wellness routine while on set? Have you taken a strong interest in your health your whole life, or is it something you've focused on more as an adult? 

Studio LB is my go to workout when I’m on set because very rarely do I shoot at home.  I have done Studio LB in an airport, a hotel, in my trailer, and at midnight when I arrive to a new location.  It keeps my jet legged body feeling strong, agile and in shape without having to search for the nearest gym.  I am so much less stressed now when I travel or when I work because I know I just need my computer or phone to get in the workout that keeps my mind and body in flow.  I’ve always been a person who loves to workout and keep my wellness in check.  My body craves a good sweat!  The best part of Studio LB for me is even on days when I don’t want to workout I can still motivate to do a 5 or 10 minute workout.  

Photograph by Kate Hauschka

Photograph by Kate Hauschka

Do you have any methods for or ideas about creative expression to share?

I have daily practice to allow myself to be in the utmost, connected creative expression.  Every morning I write three pages of just free flow, uninterrupted stream of consciousness that is not grammatically correct but just getting the thoughts out.  These pages are a part of my ritual to get ideas out of my brain and flushed out.  The pages also provide a safe space for me to work through any conflict or negative self talk that might be getting in the way of my art or life. 

Also, in order to completely be of service to my creative process I have to do a daily ritual of mirror work.  Louise Hay’s morning ritual of mirror work always allows the negative inner critic to take a back seat and allow the Universe/God to work through me.  It is a three minute process of looking in the mirror and affirming my love for myself.  Health and wealth of thoughts giveaway to the best creative expressions for me.

You can find Alyshia on Instagram @alyshiaochse, at alyshiaochse.com, or catch her podcast That One Audition.

PRACTICING GRATITUDE

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Especially within the wellness community, you’ll hear the word gratitude thrown around often but actually incorporating a practice of gratitude into your daily life can feel tricky. Let’s demystify practicing gratitude together, and set an intention to actively pursue it this week (and hopefully each week moving forward).

Gratitude is a supportive and healing emotion strongly linked to positive mental and physical health and life satisfaction. When you are actively feeling grateful for the little and big things in life, you will experience more joy, love, and enthusiasm and reduce your risk for depression, anxiety, and even disordered sleep. A 2003 study called Counting blessings versus burdens found that keeping a gratitude journal cause participants 16% fewer negative physical symptoms, 19% more time spent exercising, 10% less physical pain, and 25% increased sleep quality.  Luckily, gratitude is a virtue you can cultivate and grow with practice, and here are a few ways to start doing just that.

Identifcation

You can be grateful for an array of things in life - whether tiny like a delicious recipe your friend emailed you, or giant like a life changing promotion and salary raise at work. It’s tough, but sometimes you may even associate a difficult situation in life and find gratitude in the challenge. Maybe your parent has suffered an illness that was physically and emotionally taxing on your life, but it gave you the chance to spend quality time together talking, learning, healing, and reminiscing. Taking stock of what’s happening in your life and identifying what aspects of that you are thankful for is key to beginning a practice of gratitude. 

Write it Down

I like to find time once a day, just five to ten minutes works, to sit and think through five things I am grateful for. Once you’ve starting paying attention and identifying what you’re thankful for, it’s time to break out your journal or the Notes app on your phone, and write it down. While writing down your list of five things, try to give specific details and also take stock of how this gratitude feels in your body. Where do you feel it? Are you comfortable with the feeling of gratitude, and do you feel that you deserve it? I like to write those associated emotions down as well to refer back to later. You’ll find that your ideas and sensations may change as you make this practice part of your personal routine, and your gratitude can deepen as you focus on new aspects of your life daily.

Express Yourself

That awesome recipe that your girlfriend sent you? Text her a picture of your delicious meal and thank her! Is your new job at work going great? Treat your team to coffee and share the love. Verbal and physical affirmations to those around you make them feel good, and they’re secretly a version of enlightened self interest. Basically, your nice action makes you feel good too and it has a lasting positive effect on your mood.

I have to say, there are tons of pros and not a single con I can think of when it comes to noticing the things you are grateful for, writing them down, and thanking those around you to express your gratitude. This week, I challenge you to start a gratitude practice (or grow yours) and see if you feel more optimistic and energized. I bet you will, and then maybe you’ll be thanking me!

MANIFESTING YOUR STUDIO LB PRACTICE

Photo by undrey/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by undrey/iStock / Getty Images

You’ve subscribed to Studio LB, you’ve texted the hotline, you’ve checked your email and the facebook group to see what’s in store for you this week, you have your leggings and sports bra laid out and ready to go, and your alarm is set (ok… your 6 iPhone alarms spaced exactly 4 minutes apart are set). You’ve totally got this. But then something in your brain stops you from getting up and getting moving with me.

While you know that exercise will ultimately make your day feel complete, often you’ll face mental blocks that stop you from getting your sweat on, and you literally have to make room for your practice in your life for it to actually happen. Here’s a few tips for manifesting your at-home practice. Lets make it happen!

Actions must match desires

So, you really want this, right? You have to believe in you, your practice, and the results that are coming your way, but you also have to work with the universe to facilitate receiving. It won’t happen overnight, but if you’re diligent with taking action you should be all in within 30 days.  

Pick your environment

Maybe carving out a corner of your bedroom so you can literally roll out of bed onto the mat and start stretching is best for you. Or perhaps your bedroom is solely a sleeping sanctuary and you prefer the biggest screen in the living room with the coffee table pushed out of the way as your at-home studio. Whether it’s your bedroom’s natural light that motivates you, or you prefer to have a spot for your little one to safely play while you do CCS, ask yourself what type of environment will be most conducive to your performance. Once you’ve determined this, stick with it and make it your spot moving forward.

 

Set the stage

In each of my workouts, I’ll list in the notes what you need for equipment like light or heavy weights, a mat, loops, or nothing at all. Making sure you have the necessary accessories before pressing play means you won’t have to pause and run around the house searching for your gear mid-workout. I also cannot stress enough how important it is to have a full-length mirror to the right or left of your screen so that you can check your form.

No negative self-talk

Try not to speak poorly of yourself, your life, or your body. Never say, “I’m not good at this,” or “I can’t exercise at home”. These negative phrases should not exist in your world.

 

Don’t be afraid to fail

Of course, you want to master each move on your first go around, but that’s not realistic. Don’t get frustrated if you make a mistake during a cardio sequence during the breakdown. I make mistakes too! A fear of failure can hold you back from making huge physical and mental gains using my program. Keep moving, keep trying, and trust that change will happen when you’re a little outside of your comfort zone.

Ask me

Last but definitely not least, I’m here for you to answer any questions or jut to give a morale boost, and I truly want to see you succeed. Text me and the team on the Studio LB hotline 424-327-5470 with any questions or feedback!

LIVING BETTER: JULIA WESTER

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As we continue to recognize inspiring women, creativity, and general badassery in our Studio LB community, Julia Wester immediately comes to mind. She is the Creative Content Producer and Prop Stylist for Oh Joy! in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Dave, and their two children Zealand and Bodhi. We chatted with Julia about the elusiveness of work-life balance, and she gave us a few LA insider tips along the way too.

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Tell us how you came to join the Oh Joy! team from your background in television. 

I was a reality TV producer for ten years before I came to Oh Joy! My husband and I were engaged at the time. He also works in reality TV, and the production hours are long. I wasn’t satisfied anymore being a producer. I was in the middle of planning our wedding, loved being creative and planning for it, and I had just wrapped on a TV show. My husband suggested that I take that time off to see if there was something else I wanted to do and suggested reaching out to event planners and other creatives to see if I could intern while I was in between jobs and had the free time. Eventually I found Oh Joy! and saw that she was hiring. I applied, and the rest is history.

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You are a working mother of two, how do you find time to dedicate to your health? 

Being a working mom is hard. Being a working mom of two is chaos. I have a full time day job but once I leave the studio, I continue with my other full time job as a mom. 

What has kept me from focusing on myself was the lack of time and how tired I’d be at the end of the day after putting both my kids to bed. After my son was born, I decided to give myself six months of enjoying him and to focus on my new life as a mom of two and then start focusing on my health. It was also conveniently when the New Year started. 

What has helped is working out at home, which is why I love Studio LB. I can turn on a 30 minute Quick Burn and do it once my kids are in bed in the comfort of my home. I needed to get the train in motion and once I did, I realized the 30 minutes I spend on myself working out has made me happier and has given me more energy, making me a better mom, wife, and person overall. 

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We really appreciated the real talk from your Instagram post in January about accepting your post-partum body. Has Studio LB been part of your fitness routine, and does sharing and connecting on social media motivate you? 

I’ve found a great support system and mom tribe on social media. Studio LB has been a major part in my fitness journey and I love sharing it with others.  It has been so amazing to have so many supportive moms. Talking about it also holds me accountable too.

Do you have a favorite meal, snack or drink that only locals would know about around LA? 

Ohana Poke is my favorite go to lunch. I get it with olive oil kale as the base and it’s my jam. I try and stay away from sweet treats, but they have my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie there too. My fave milk tea drinks are from Milk+T but I haven’t had one since January. I miss it! 

You can keep up with Julia on all things family, fitness, and French bulldogs on Instagram @juliasirwester.

Photography by Casey Brodley, Morgan Pansing and Lily Glass.

Forward-moving

As the earth rotated around the sun on March 20th, the Spring Equinox marked the transition to a new season and the very welcoming equal balance of daylight and darkness. The seasonal shift invokes hope and a change in habits: fresh perspective, new rituals, a clean slate.

Speaking of new rituals, this week we’re incorporating outdoor walking into the weekly schedule. Walking (fast) in the fresh air is great for feeling strong, alive, connected, and forward-moving. I’ve been walking several times per week for the past couple of weeks and it’s been a real game changer in the way I feel, both mentally and physically.

Get inspired and make a playlist with your favorite music (or use ours) and keep proper walking form in mind: Stand tall, eyes forward, strike with the heel, roll through the foot, push off the toes, and squeeze the glutes.

ACTIVATION: HARAMARA, SAYULITA

LBACTIVATION

It’s almost Activation time and we cannot wait to surf, spend time in the sun, and work with Lauren IRL at Haramara, Sayulita! Activation is: life-changing, a girl-cation, a time-out, a tone-up, a tune-in, and a time to be in your body. One thing we all agree on is that the results are profound.

We have two rooms available which can be single ($3450) or double ($2490) occupancy. Grab your girls and join us!

LIVING BETTER: LINNY GIFFIN

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Your overwhelming response from International Women’s Day has inspired us to look within our community and recognize some insanely talented Studio LB members here on the blog. First up, we wanted to share a recent Q & A with Linny Giffin, a Studio LB member and multidisciplinary artist living and working in Washington, D.C. Seeing her creativity and and ability to balance form and function in her space, we needed to know more about what drives Linny in her work, her home and her health.

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Can you tell us about your work as a fiber artist and about The Lemon Collective?

As a fiber artist, I do a lot of work with embroidery, weaving, quilting and soft sculpture. I've translated the medium to large scale installation art, creating bespoke pieces for restaurants and homes in D.C. and beyond. Last year I created a loom on the storefront of my studio and wove flowers through it, I called in the Living Loom.  

In 2015, I co-founded The Lemon Collective with two other D.C.-based artists. It originally started as an art studio for us, but quickly morphed into much more. Now, it is more of a brand and creative community that celebrates artists across a range of mediums in a city where creativity isn't always a priority. Our brick and mortar hosts workshops and other events, providing a space for small business owners to exhibit their expertise in anything from jewelry making and flower arranging to embroidery and business development. We're building an online community that connects artists and celebrates the importance of creativity. 

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You live and work in a 350 square foot space in Washington, D.C. In what ways do you find this space limiting or liberating?

Of course, living and working in a 350 square foot apartment is extremely limiting. However, just by opening up the door to my fire escape, I feel a part of the city. The view is amazing and I live on the best street in D.C., there are cafes, restaurants, shops and an independent movie theater right outside my front door. Plus, the small space allowed me to design the apartment very intentionally so no square foot was left neglected. I think that makes the apartment feel liberating.

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Do you practice Studio LB at home or elsewhere?

I practice at home! I just roll out my mat in the middle of my living room floor. One of the many things I love about Studio LB is it doesn't require equipment and I can do it anywhere even my tiny apartment. 

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Linny is currently working on an outdoor installation series around D.C. and Northern Virginia, and you can find her on instagram at @linnyfriend and online at https://www.linnyinc.com. To sign up for the Lemon Collective’s monthly newsletter for news and goings-on in the art world, visit  https://www.wearethelemoncollective.com.

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Photography by Laura Metzler

International Women's Day

art by    Laura Berger

Today I am excited to celebrate YOU and all of the other kickass women that make this world a better place. I am so grateful to be doing what I love with all of you strong, inspiring women from all corners of the world. Your strength, determination, beauty, intelligence, and talent inspire me on a daily basis. I love that we are here to support and empower each other to be the best version of ourselves. Thank you for letting me part of your journey, and in turn for being a huge part of mine!

The purpose of International Women's Day is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide. Considering our ever-growing community of members to Studio LB, I can't help but be inspired by IWD's celebration of unity, reflection, advocacy and action.

When I consider the intention of International Women's Day, something that really resonates was when I first learned about feminism. As a young woman, the word feminist held negative connotations, and I think it does for many. When I originally heard a high school friend identify as a Feminist with a capital F, I envisioned her as a one-dimensional bra-burning and man-hating figure, but quickly learned that was a pretty outdated and narrow minded notion. When you actually check out the definition in Merriam Webster, feminism is described as this–

1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

2: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

Those are both definitions I can strongly get behind. My friend identifying as a feminist really reframed how I thought about identifying as one myself then, as I do to this day. Since International Women’s Day is about showcasing a commitment to women’s equality and celebrating women’s achievements, feminism is intrinsically linked in my mind. Basically, feminist is not a dirty word and it's a label I embrace wholeheartedly.

As you all know, I believe prioritizing health is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for everyone else in our life.  My goal for Studio LB has always been to give as many women as possible a chance to put their health first. So to celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to share Studio LB with as many woman as possible. If you’re a member and you know a kickass woman who isn’t a member and would benefit from Studio LB we’ll send them one complimentary month! Email hello@laurenboggi.com on March 8th with your friend’s name and email address and we’ll send a one-month membership her way!

Xx, Lauren

CURIE DEODORANT

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I'm one of the lucky few that doesn't have to wear deodorant, but if I did I would want something natural that works as hard as I do, and I wouldn't want to smell like a pine tree. 

A friend of a friend told me about Curie and I passed it along to Katie so that she could put it to the two+ STUDIO LB workouts a day in LA test. Katie loves that it's natural, contains no aluminum, smells great, and held up after two very intense STUDIO LB workouts.

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Curie was founded in San Francisco by Sarah Moret. As a marathon runner with a demanding career in venture capital, she needed a natural deodorant that could keep up with her active lifestyle and couldn't find one. She spent almost a year developing the formula and launched Curie in April 2018.  Curie is an aluminum-free, natural deodorant made with simple ingredients that your body understands, like coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and baking soda...and it works! Curie's signature white tea scent is light, fresh and feminine and smells heavenly :) 

I love that the brand’s name pays homage to French physicist and chemist Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel prize, and the first and only woman to win twice. She was a badass that broke barriers. Curie comes in regular, mini (temporarily sold out) and sensitive skin formulas.

i/k 

MOVING THE NEGATIVE

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Last week I started a little weekly column here called LIVING BETTER, where I'll share ways to help you stay inspired to live better, and healthier. 

Today I want to talk about using movement to break negative patterns and shift your mindset. The quickest and easiest way to upgrade your mood is to move.  You can literally move the negative out of your mind and body, because movement can chemically change how you feel.  Emotion is enhanced by motion, and movement can make you feel sexy, strong, beautiful and empowered (especially CCS).

How many times have you gotten up in the morning, sat up in bed and decided right then and there that you were in a bad mood, were totally unmotivated to do anything, or go anywhere, let alone workout.  It happens to all of us.  Just last week I had the worst PMS and I was procrastinating and angry at the world.  I don't think that I moved much for two days straight and then I went for a short walk, and momentum took over.  Later that same day I shot a full length Studio LB workout and felt 100% better. 

Breaking a negative pattern can be easy.  Here are three tips to help you take action and move the negative in a more positive direction: 

1. Movement Creates Movement.  When we're feeling negative or down, certain tasks seem impossible, right?  We tend to put things off (unloading the dishwasher, a 50-min. Studio LB workout), but if we just get started by taking that first step, it will have a snowball effect. Movement creates movement, and everything will fall into place.  

2. Motion Enhances Emotion.  On those days where you don’t feel like doing anything, try a short walk or one of my Quick-Burn workouts.  You can drastically change your mood and your mindset in just a few minutes.  

3. Call A Friend.  If you are feeling stuck, uninspired, you need an accountability partner (this is not a workout buddy)!  An accountability partner is someone that is depending on you as much as you are depending on them.  Who is your accountability partner?  It doesn't have to be in-person to be effective, it can be via phone, email, DM, FB group, or text!