I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: The Vitamins and Supplements I Purchase Again and Again

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: The Vitamins and Supplements I Purchase Again and Again

Raise your hand if you eat a well balanced, inclusive diet? What about eating the full recommended daily servings of fruits? Veggies?…no? Me either.

Whether it be a hectic lifestyle, or a picky palette, some of us aren’t getting all of the vitamins and nutritional benefits that our bodies need to perform at its best. But don’t panic, it’s okay. There’s help.

Ideally, doctors and nutritionists say that we should be eating our vitamins and minerals. Good for them. I like french fries. And sometimes, I don’t eat 6 small meals a day (I rarely am able to do this). Sometimes, medications wipe out my appetite for days. Other times, I just have a craving for one thing, and I’ll eat it obsessively for four days straight before moving on to other things. And then sometimes, I’m on prednisone and will inhale everything in sight (good or bad). My lifestyle could definitely be healthier. I’m working on it.

It’s because of this unhealthy fluctuation that I take my vitamins and supplements seriously. I don’t feel guilt about needing and taking the extra help, because something is better than nothing in this case. Stalling my vitamins is better than not getting them at all. But I don’t go overboard. I take enough medicine so I try to keep the ingestion of vitamins to a very strategic minimum. Read on for the top 3 vitamins/supplements that I always make sure are stocked up:

*Disclaimer: I have consulted my physicians, and you should to, before beginning a new vitamin or supplement regimen. These are my personal opinions and are catered to my needs; this is not meant to be or take the place of medical advice* 

Sundown Naturals Cherry Flavored Vitamin B-12, $12.13, Amazon

Courtesy: Sundown Naturals/Amazon

I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which very simply means that Lupus has gradually worn down my thyroid and it is now under active. This can cause weight gain, fatigue and just a general feeling of not having enough energy (among other symptoms). I’ve tried many Vitamin B supplements, but this is the only one that I have tried that has made me feel even remotely better. I’m still sluggish, but less so when I am taking these consistently. And the great thing about this is that it’s dissolvable and tastes like cherries!

Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Formula, Lemon Flavor, $22.07, Amazon

Courtesy: Nordic Naturals

I can’t explain to you how much persuading it took for me to even try this. My doctor had recommended it for its overall benefits (heart, cognition, etc.) but also because my joint pain was getting gradually worse. I heard the word “fish oil” and balked, almost completely shutting him down. I had all the excuses, the most amusing being: “I don’t want to smell fishy.” He was ready for them all and even told me how his children take the kids version and actually looked forward to it everyday. His children. Little people were taking this with no complaints and there I was looking at him like he’d grown another head. I bought the smallest bottle I could find that same day and reluctantly agreed to take it for 30 days–as a trial (because I’m still in control after all!). That was years ago. I take this almost everyday (I forget a lot of days because it’s behind a close cupboard door) and while my joint health hasn’t substantially improved, it hasn’t substantially deteriorated either. It’d be probably be a lot better if I could just remember every single day to take it. Add this to wellness resolutions ;)

On a side note: the version I take is a liquid/ointment consistency and you take it by the spoonful. However, I’ve just recently been alerted that this also comes in capsule form and the capsules are actually a combination of Omega-3 and vitamin D. So, I’m probably going to give those a try. Drop me a comment if you’d like me to share my thoughts.

Olly Women’s Super Foods Multivitamin, $16, Target

Courtesy: Olly

Confession: I hate the way these taste. They taste terrible to me. However, they’re $16, and they contain super foods. So, because I didn’t want to waste money and because they contain ingredients that I need, I started and finished this. And because I felt a mild improvement over all, I keep purchasing this and holding my noise when I go to take my daily allotment. Is it magic? No clue. But probably not. They’re just good vitamins. Maybe not good, effective is the right word. It’s fine. It does the job, but I don’t have to like it.

3 supplements. Once a day. Lifetime of benefits.

If you feel you’re lacking in the vitamin department, I’d encourage you to see a physician, have your levels checked and if you’re in fact in need of anything, do talk to your doctor about how you can address this and help keep your body in its best condition.

Do you have any fave vitamins and supplements? Let me know in the comments below. You know I’m curious!

Talk soon, xo-Layla

2018 Health, Wellness and Beauty Resolutions

2018 Health, Wellness and Beauty Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s finally here, 2018. Are you as excited as I am?

I’m very hopeful for this new year. 2017 wasn’t terrible to me but it definitely shed some light on areas of my life that I can work to improve. If 2017 gave report cards, I would’ve failed in the stress and self-care department. Big time. No catch up assignments.

But, if a new day can bring about a complete improvement, so can a new year. So, keep reading for my 2018 resolutions for beauty, health and wellness.

Drink more water. I don’t do so bad in this area but I can definitely do better. There are a lot of benefits to drinking water, we’ve all heard them. For me, I want to specifically help my body perform its essential functions better: like clearing toxins. I take a lot of heavy-duty medications, sometimes I feel like a walking toxin bin. This is a small, relatively easy thing that I can do, and it’ll yield big results.

More #sheetmasking please! Have you guys jumped on the K-Beauty train? If so, whatever level of K-beauty fan you are, I think we can all agree that sheet masking is God’s gift to skin and self-care routines everywhere. I’m looking forward to scheduling 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted, pure luxuriating relaxation time. I’m going to shoot for 3 times a week minimum. My mind and face is READY.

No more daily nail polish changes. First of all, how did I ever have the time?! Then again, I’m just replacing the daily nail polish changes (don’t judge me) with sheet mask time. I want my nails to be healthy, long and strong, so I’ve got to kick my daily polish remover habit, otherwise, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get the nails of my dreams. It’s not all sad news though, this resolution will give me a chance to try out some of the at-home gel systems that are available from brands like Sally Hansen and Deborah Lippmann for particularly hectic 2-week or longer stretches.

Treat my brows and lashes with a little more TLC. Y’all already know that I love a good brow and lash look. I’ve never been scared of a heavy-duty mascara and I put my (thin, almost non-existent) brows through their share of wear and tear almost daily with fiber gels and pencils, but up until now I’ve been living on a wing and a prayer that they would both hold up. No more reckless beauty living: it’ll only take a minute or two for me to coat my brows and lashes in castor oil. I’m not looking for miracles, I’m just trying to keep matters from getting worse (read: scraggly).

Perfect a winged eyeliner look. Need I say more? A sharp eyeliner look for my almond-shaped peepers would be fierce. Bonus points for colored eyeliner looks.

Take up yoga and meditation. Again. Save your side-eye. Sometimes the best things take a few times to catch on. And quite frankly, it’s been years since I’ve done either so I feel like I’m actually starting for the first time. The two usually come as a package deal, so…fine. I don’t have to love it to commit to trying again, so I won’t lie and say I’m enthusiastic about it, but the way my Lupus has these joints and muscles set up? Any poses I can do to lessen pain and loosen tight muscles: sign me up. The meditation? That’s for trying to keep my mind clear because I carry a lot.

Stick to a regular sleep routine. 8 hours a night. Most nights. Some nights I need for fun. This also means I’ve gotten stash my devices in another room or something because have y’all been on Twitter lately? So addictive. I digress.

Say ‘no’ more often. Because I’m exhausted to my core from saying yes about 90% of the time. I’m so tired, I could hibernate. Lucky bears.

So, what about you? Any beauty, health or wellness resolutions? Tell me in the comments!

Cheers to a happy, healthy, beautiful 2018 friends! *sips champagne*



Rejuvenating As A Rule

Rejuvenating As A Rule

spa picture


No post about makeup tonight.  Just thoughts.  I don’t relax well. In fact, I hate it. It feels like I’m being an unproductive waste of space. Harsh? Maybe. But I like to be busy–in the pursuit of meaningful accomplishment.  It’s in my DNA. Here’s the catch: all work, grind and no play for balance means you’re liable to you will shut down.

Maybe not abruptly…perhaps it’ll be a slow chug-a-chug kind of winding down but eventually the car that is you will run out of gas and you’ll be down for the count until you can recharge enough to leave the couch for a day. Sounds miserable and scary right?

No need to worry. You can protect yourself against stress, run down and potential burn out by being more intentional about building a life/work/play balance. Sure we have loved ones–and they’re great– but we can’t depend on others to make sure we’re always at our best possible at any given time. It’s up to us girls! (and gents!!)

And you want to know something else? It’s okay to treat, indulge and take care ourselves. We don’t need to neglect responsibilities to do so, we should absolutely be smart about it, but when it is time to pamper and nuture ourselves, we should do so with all the enthusiasm and genuine optimism and happiness we can muster and dump the guilt immediately.

Of course, I can’t tell you to take advice that I haven’t taken myself, right? Duh. So I booked myself a nice little spa day to take place in January, once the hectic year of 2013 has wrapped up and the new busy of 2014 has just begun. I think it’s perfect timing. I’ll have my first facial (so exciting!), get a lovely manicure and soothing pedicure and rest. I’ll exhale and feel every breath and take a moment to listen to my heartbeat and the sounds of my environment.  I’ll stay overnight and cuddle with a nice cup of tea that I’ve never tried before and a suspenseful thriller.

You don’t have to book a spa day per se, but go ahead and buy yourself an at home spa kit complete with a sheet mask, a new nail polish, manicure tools, body scrub, etc. and take your time giving yourself some TLC.

Your mind, body and spirit will thank you. And so will your loved ones. You’ll be a better you, that’s a win-win for everyone!!

I’d love to hear your favorite at home spa treatments. Tell me in the comments below!

xo, Layla



Healthy Living: Mighty Leaf Organic Teas

Healthy Living: Mighty Leaf Organic Teas


Why yes, yes you are. Unfortunately, for me that means I’m part ginger-ale (Schweppes, ALWAYS. Don’t play) mixed with equal parts espresso and Jamaican Kola Champagne. Obviously my liquid diet needs a bit of work, but I wasn’t in any rush to make any drastic adjustments just yet, I mean, COME ON, it’s not quite time for resolutions.

Enter my new reality: a prescription regimen that includes a drug that heightens the effects of even the smallest amount of caffeine. Seriously. Sometimes I’d be up until 4am in the morning, this drug is no joke. My caffeine habit is coming to a screeching halt. I’m a little bitter about it, I won’t lie. I don’t like to drink tea unless it’s in the form of a Tea Latte. Tea isn’t particularly as soothing as taking that first sip of espresso mixed with foam. It doesn’t relax my muscles like a soy caramel macchiato. I digress. My world is changing and it must happen. I must cooperate to be healthy. It’s almost a disguised blessing–ALMOST.

Once again, my Birchbox comes to the rescue! In my November box, among some other nifty treats, I received a sample pack of three (3) Mighty Leaf Organic Teas. While only one of those offerings was caffeine free, it was enough to get me thinking that drinking more tea wouldn’t be so bad after all. I tried the Organic African Nectar blend and was pleasantly surprised at how balanced it was. I expected it to be overwhelmingly fruity, which it certainly was not. It was a mild, unassuming blend that was absolutely delicious. I’m definitely going to purchase a full box of this blend and happily sip my bitter unwillingness to let go of the comfort that is a cup of coffee dissipate.

If you are what you drink, then I need to be water and tea with a healthy sprinkling of a fresh pressed green juice and let the benefits of giving my body adequate and balanced hydration take over. I know the difference it can make. But it’s certainly a commitment. A commitment I have to make and follow through on.

For more information on Mighty Leaf Organic Teas, visit their website at http://www.mightyleaf.com

Wish me luck!


xo, Layla