Trend: Far Infrared Sauna

What It Is:
The Far Infrared Sauna is different from your normal, hot rocks sauna. This one heats you from the inside out, so essentially it’s like getting a workout, without the workout! For a one hour session, they say you can burn up to 800 calories!!! Insane! This type of sauna causes your core body temperature to rise which makes you sweat it out at the cellular level – aka the home to all the toxins.

Why It’s Hot:
Yes, literally hot! For people that say that it’s not as hot as your typical dry sauna, I call BS. I’m legit dripping in sweat after a few minutes…Supposedly it’s safe enough to do every day and I once read somewhere that we probably should. So why do people love it? The benefits of the far infrared sauna include: joint pain and muscle soreness relief, an increase in flexibility (for an added bonus you can do some basic yoga poses or stretches in your sauna if you have enough room!), cardiovascular healing, boosting metabolism, destressing the body, and has anti-aging benefits like smoothing out wrinkles, making your skin softer and improving its elasticity. Enough said!  

We Tried It and Here’s What Happened:
The cost for an infrared sauna session can cost anywhere between $20-$60 session, depending on how long you stay in the sauna and where you live. Fortunately, I found a gym that has an infrared sauna included with my membership (clearly not living in NYC anymore!). Typically, at a sauna studio, everyone has their own sauna inside of their own room so that you can have an area to change. Then just like a dry sauna, you strip down to your skivvies and sit on the wooden bench inside (if you’re a germ freak like me or you have any sense of humanity, you use a towel to sit on). Despite the sometimes purple lights that provide ambiance in the sauna that are reminiscent of UV lights (a la a tanning bed), it’s definitely NOT UV light. The main dangers associated with using a sauna (for a healthy person) are dehydration, heat stroke and interference with medication, which is why I always drink a full bottle of water when I’m in the sauna and then another when I get out.

Although I’ve been to the infrared sauna on occasion before, I wanted to see how if I noticed any changes if I went on a consistent basis. So, over the past couple of months, I’ve been going about 3-5x a week for about 15 mins each session, which is enough for me. I don’t think I could last much longer. When you first get in, you’re like, ok, this is bearable, but before you know it, you’re dripping in sweat. You know when you take a hot yoga class, and you leave a soaking mess, but you feel so good because you’ve sweated out all the impurities? Yep, same feeling, same hot mess. I find that each time I go to the sauna, I have the best sleep that night. Major for someone who typically takes melatonin to fall asleep. I don’t have any joint issues so I can’t vouch for that, but I did notice some nerve pain issues from a pinched nerve were significantly decreased. In fact, I first noticed my pain was almost non-existent and then I googled to see if there was a correlation and sure enough there was! I can also say that my skin feels softer and moisturized after each sauna session which is always nice. Needless to say, the infrared sauna is going to remain a part of my regular workout routine -- and super cheesy, but I honestly can’t imagine my life without it. Obsessed.

xx Thrasher

Posted on July 26, 2017 .

Trend: Activated Charcoal

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What It Is:
Activated charcoal has hit the wellness scene pretty hard over the past several months, even though it's been around for ages (i.e. since the Ancient Egyptians days). Since then, it's mostly been used in the ER for stomach pumping because of its amazing absorption abilities. It's made by heating up things such as nut or coconut shells or wood to super high temperatures until they're so effin' lit (as the kids say) that they turn to ash. The surface area of the ash is treated again with more super high temps until it becomes porous. Once other materials are absorbed by those pores, it's then considered to be activated.

Why It's Hot:
Activated charcoal is used both in the kitchen and cosmetically (we'll save for another blog, but we're fans of this, too!). When it's ingested, it's said to help flush toxins from the body, cleanse your digestive system and to decrease bloating. Amazing, right?! BUUUTT it's not something you should do all the time since if you do it too often, you're going to absorb some of the nutrients that your body needs to thrive. Also, just like it absorbs toxins, it can also absorb medications, making them not as effective. 

We Tried It And Here's What Happened:
I ordered a bag of activated charcoal on Amazon for about $15 and I decided to incorporate it into my usual acai bowl. BTW- the activated charcoal powder is super messy so handle carefully. It's probably best to keep in a sealed tupperware container vs a ziploc bag (learn from my mistakes) or you'll end up with black chalk-like stains everywhere. It's easy to clean, but a tiny little speck of powder goes a long way-- it's just more annoying than anything. I tossed a couple of tablespoons in with my normal acai ingredients and blended per usual. The finished product was definitely black (which takes some getting used to), however, it's completely odorless and flavorless! To my surprise, despite the mess of the powder, once blended, it didn't stain my teeth or the bowl.  

I continued to make a bowl every day for the next week to see if I could see any changes. After a couple of days, I definitely noticed I wasn't as bloated and even less bloated than my non-bloated days-- if that makes any sense. I honestly felt really clean from the inside out!!! I can only assume this was from the toxins being flushed from my body.  I only consumed the bowl for a week straight for the sake of this blog post so that I could notice any changes more obviously, but now I'm only doing it a couple of times a week and I still notice the lighter feeling.If you want to try it out, here's my go to recipe. Enjoy! 

Activated Charcoal Acai Bowl Recipe*:

1/4 cup almond/coconut milk
1 frozen pouch of unsweetened acai
1 Cup frozen kale or spinach
1/2 Cup frozen berries
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons activated charcoal powder
1 teaspoon turmeric power

Blend together until thick (but thoroughly blended) and top with your faves. My bowl usually has granola by our fave granola brand, Purely Elizabeth, coconut flakes, goji berries and a touch of organic, local honey. So good! 

*Just kidding, I usually don't measure anything! But if I did, it would probably be similar to this. Use your creative license to make your bowl to your liking :-) 

xx Thrasher

Category: recipes, wellness trends

Posted on June 8, 2017 and filed under recipes.