My Current Faves + Life Update
It's Christmas time and you're likely racking your brain trying to figure out what to buy for your friends and family. However, you can't forget to TREAT YO SELF! Here is a few of my fave items that I highly suggest purchasing for yourself this holiday season!
My sweet friends over at Maple Holistics always take care of me by sending me some of their favorite products for me to try! The latest batch they sent over included Witch Hazel Toner and Argan Oil Shampoo. The toner is magical. It smells like lavender, isn't too drying, and leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean! It's perfect for taking off those remaining bits of pesky makeup that your cleanser may not have removed. As for the Argan Oil Shampoo, this would be perfect for someone who has a problem with frizz. My hair is super fine/thin so this isn't a shampoo I use every wash because I NEED that extra lift. However, I don't think my hair has ever been so silky than when using this. I highly recommend it for my girls with thick hair though! Maple Holistics also has an amazing program where they will send you free samples to review!! Check it out here.
I got the Whish Mud Mask in one of my recent FabFitFun boxes (which I highly suggest you all sign up for) and have loved it ever since. It's not your average mask as it acts more like a peal. You only put it on for anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes so it comes in handy on those mornings where you want to pamper yourself but just don't have a ton of time!
Now this one is a little but unconventional but as the weather has my skin SO DRY, i figured I would let you guys in on my beauty secret. This super exciting photo is actually coconut oil infused with tea tree oil and lavender. I melted coconut oil in an old plastic face wipe canister I had and threw in a few drops of tea tree oil and lavender then put it in the fridge for a bit to harden. I use this every day as chapstick, body lotion, and even sometimes as a nighttime face moisturizer. I highly suggest trying this out for yourself or even making a few batches for your firends and family as a gift this holiday season!
Another thing I have been totally in love with lately is ORGANO's Fenix XT and Fenix DX. I use Fenix XT as a pre-workout and so far I have really liked it. It tastes like peach and mango and is really refreshing. I generally put it in a shaker at work and drink it on my way home to get me pumped for my after work workout! I also really love the Fenix DX! It tastes like pink lemonade and is the perfect power stick to get me through the workday. I usually put it in my water bottle on days where I have intense sugar cravings or am still super hungry after eating all my meals. Full disclosure: ORGANO sent me these to try but I highly recommend them! I'd love to try some of their other products because these are great.
As some of you know, I have had some weird health issues the past few months. In September, I changed chiropractors to try to get to the bottom of some of my chronic back issues. With this came back x-rays that uncovered the fact that I was harboring kidney stones. And not just a few kidney stones, a ton of kidney stones that were too big to pass. We then went back and looked at my old x-rays from February. The stones were present then as well, just smaller. I then consulted with my primary care physician who put me on meds to try to break the stones down. I also underwent a ton of blood and urine tests. Thankfully, everything came back perfectly fine. Literally, they said I am the most healthy 30-year-old female they have seen. We still didn't know why I had these stones so then it was time to go to a urologist. After consulting with the urologist, we decided the best plan of action was to blast these bad boys. Because of work commitments, I had to schedule the procedure for a month and a half after my urology appointment. This meant I had a month where I was constantly worried that I was going to pass a kidney stone. This also meant a month and a half taking medicine that lowered my blood pressure, making me feel like I was constantly going to pass out, as well as left me in extreme kidney pain. When my procedure (shock wave lithotripsy) day finally came, I couldn't have been more excited to get this whole thing over with. The procedure went really well and I can't speak more highly of the hospital staff. They made everything super easy and comfortable for me. During the actual procedure, I was sedated while the doctor basically took a super sweet laser and, for lack of a better word, shot it through my back to blast the stones. While he didn't completely get rid of them all, they definitely changed in size and shape. They only did the procedure on my right kidney as that was the home of my stones that were too large to pass. They left a ton of little baby stones in my left kidneys in hopes that they would pass on their own. The recovery process wasn't so bad. However, I fancy myself a superhuman so I didn't listen to literally anything they told me to do post-op. My parents and I went to the grocery store and the mall directly after leaving the hospital. I wasn't in pain and felt up to it so I mean why not?! The rest of the week, I tried to keep active but not overdo it. I had the week off but I still worked from home and was able to run errands and get some light workouts in. Two weeks post procedure, I had a follow up appointment with my urologist who let me know that everything looked great. He also told me I was right to stop taking my kidney meds because they made me feel like absolute shit. (Note: I found out after I stopped taking the meds that you actually aren't supposed to stand for long periods of time while taking the medication. I had been on it for 2 months and doing my full on workouts, wondering why I felt like death!) Based on all of my test as well as 48 hours of urine collection (another story for another time...it was gross), I had no real reason behind having kidney stones beside the fact that it is hereditary for me. That's it. Because my Papa, Dad, and brother get kidney stones, I get them too. We agreed that I would continue to monitor the situation but also incorporate more citric acid in my diet, something that I have dropped the ball on since relocating to Raleigh. When I was in Los Angeles, my diet was full of citrus and awesome juices. My doctor was confident that if I just slightly changed up my diet a bit, incorporating these juices, that my body would handle the kidney stones for me. One thing that makes me incredibly lucky but also is really funny to me is that my kidney stones grow but never move. That means I am never in pain because of them like so many people are. They never pass. They just chill in my kidneys, hanging out together in little groups.
I'd like to say a HUGE thank you/I love you forever to my amazing doctors who have honestly gone above and beyond for me during this process. Thank you to my amazing chiropractor (and honestly miracle worker) Dr. Prakash at Living Well Balanced who discovered my kidney stones after my previous chiro failed to spot it. Dr. P even met with my primary care physician Dr. Van Pala at North Hills Internal and Integrated Medicine to discuss my case. Big thanks to Dr. Van Pala who helped me run a ton of tests and then referred me to my wonderful urologist Dr. Khera-McRackan (who is like the most chill dude on the planet). I know it can be hard to find a solid medical team that you trust and I am very lucky to have found mine!!! You guys are awesome!
Got any awesome new fave products that you swear by? Let me know in the comments!