How to Protect Yourself on Social Media

New YouTube video! In this one I share the tips I took to clean up my social media feed so I was being exposed to content that made me feel good, helped with my recovery, and was aligned with my goals.

The accounts we follow and the information we see on a daily basis really affect how we think and feel, so I hope these steps help you clean up your feeds so you are exposing yourself to content that makes you feel good and lifts you up 💖

The song that plays in the video is: Ahorita by Carlos Sadness

To stay updated with all the videos I release, make sure to subscribe! Thanks for watching friends 🙂 xoxo

3 Tips to Combat Difficult Body Image Moments

I made a YouTube video! 🎥✨ I want to share things that have helped me overcome anxiety, depression, and my eating disorder in a way that can be more direct, engaging, and effective. The power of video is undeniable so I decided to give it a shot.

In my first video I share three things I do to help me turn things around when I’m having a difficult body image day. I hope you find them helpful, and I would love to hear what helps you when you’re struggling with negative thoughts or difficult body image moments. I could use all the help I can get too so please share in the comments! 💖

You can find my brand new YouTube channel here! If you want to stay up to date on all the new videos I add make sure to subscribe. I am planning on releasing one new video a week that shares helpful mental health and feel good tips 🙂 Hope you’re having a lovely day! xoxo LG

four days without a phone

The Original LG - Tough Times

I lost my phone four days ago. I left it in an Uber in Paris on the way to the airport and have now been living four days completely without a phone. Since it has been quite destabilizing I wanted to ramble on what has come up for me during this experience – and in case you’re wondering, no I still do not have a phone, lol.

It has been a strange and eye-opening experience. From my complete helplessness in being able to get it back (it was either getting on my flight or trying to find the phone), to having to surrender to being without it, to losing communication with the outside world (emails have been my main form of communication), and then dealing with how to get a new phone without having a phone to make phone calls with — it has been a serious practice in surrender and patience.

You don’t realize how much you rely on something until you do not have it, and our phones pretty much contain our lives nowadays.

On top of that, I was sick on my flight back from Paris with a cold and felt depleted when I got home. Then on Saturday I woke up with terrible cramps and got my period. It has felt like one thing after another!

I have felt disoriented and unsure of what to do with myself. Which made me realize: we truly are addicted to our phones. I have not thought of myself as a very phone dependent person, but this experience made me realize how real the addiction is.

I feel like I have gone through stages of withdrawal these past few days: it started with shock and disbelief, then anger and frustration, followed by sadness and isolation, and now finally release.

Friday and Saturday were the worst, but today I woke up and thought: well I have to go on without it.

I went out and did all the things I normally “needed” my phone to do. I went on a hike in complete silence, I drove around LA without google maps, picked up my boyfriend for lunch at the exact time we had agreed upon (no little timing changes or running late), read my New Yorker Magazine when I got a pedicure, took chances by going to places without knowing if they were open or not (and surprise - the library was closed) and then adjusting.

It has been strange, and I do feel like I am missing out in some weird way and was scared as a female doing things alone without any way of being able to reach out to someone if something went wrong, but after pushing through these discomforts, I am seeing the gift in it.

The freedom and space it has given me is lovely. I am not constantly bombarded by messages all throughout my day. When I am with someone, I give them my full attention, having nothing to pull at my thoughts or check on even for a second. When I am out and about, I am fully present. When I am at my apartment I have done things that are more introspective and nourishing - I have read interesting articles, read more of my books, and journaled each day. I have gone to sleep MUCH earlier each night. And I overall just feel calmer.

Random Self Care Thoughts

Self Care Thoughts

Self-Care doesn’t have to be meditation, working out and green juice — to me it’s honoring what you truly need when you need some comfort and care — which could be wine, a nap, seeing friends or funny YouTube videos.

Recently for me it was a matcha, crying and Friends reruns at 11am on a Thursday morning... 🍵😢📺 Here’s what happened:

A few weeks ago, I went to the DMV to get my CA driver’s license. The day before I prepared everything I needed, and spent an hour studying for the test. I woke up extra early, got there right when they opened and waited in the long line. I had been there for two hours and gone through two people reviewing and approving all my documents.

I thought I was finally at the part where I would take my test and picture and be done. NOPE!

The next lady I was sent to was AWFUL and said she didn’t like that my bills said either my first name or middle name aka “weren’t consistent” and told me to leave and come back when I had bills that were “consistent.” When I tried to ask her why the other people approved my documents, or show her that my birth certificate has both names, she said she didn’t care what they did or what my birth certificate said she wouldn’t let me go through. I was shocked and frustrated that she wouldn’t even listen or answer my questions.

I didn’t know what else to do since she was completely shutting me out so I just left. I called my mom and told her the situation and she told me to go home, get what I needed and go back.

I would usually push myself to do that but I didn’t have it in me on that day. I felt so angry, depleted and disrespected, that I just wanted to go home, feel safe and comforted — so I honored that.

Right away the first thing I wanted was a big delicious matcha, to let out my feelings of frustration and rejection, and to just sit on the couch and give myself the permission to watch something lighthearted that made me laugh and feel good.

A voice in my head was saying, you should be working, or doing something productive, getting this thing done that you need to get done, or reading something thought provoking – but I ignored all those voices and gave myself some comfort — and it was exactly what I needed. Don’t judge yourself for whatever you need. Let yourself off the hook sometimes, sometimes that what self care is all about.

Favorite Oatmeal Bowl

Favorite Oatmeal Bowl

I wanted to share my favorite oatmeal combination at the moment. It is warming, comforting, and delicious. It seriously tastes like apple pie in a bowl, and it’s simple and easy to make.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Honeycrisp Apple

  • 1 tsp Ghee — I use 4th & Heart Madagascar Vanilla Bean!

  • 1/3 cup Quick Cooking Oats

  • 2/3 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

  • 1 tbsp Flax Seeds

  • 1 tbsp Pecans

  • Cinnamon — to your taste ( I use a lot! )

  • Cardamom — to your taste

  • 1 tsp maple syrup — adjust to your taste

  • Optional: A few drops of Stevia — your preference!

Directions:

Heat a skillet and add 1 tsp of ghee to the pan. Once the ghee is melted add the apples and cook (you can follow my stewed fruits recipe for this part).

While the apple is cooking, prepare the oatmeal. Bring 2/3 cup of the almond milk to a bowl in a small pot. Once it’s lightly boiling, add the 1/3 cup oats and stir while they cook for about a minute. Add the cinnamon and cardamom to your taste, and the 1 tbsp flax seeds. Add a few drops of stevia here if you like to sweeten with stevia.

Remove the oatmeal from the heat and stir it a little bit. Let it get to your preference — if you like it with more liquid you can add some almond milk (I like mine drier).

Once the oatmeal is cooled off a bit, add the 1 tbsp of pecans and stewed apples (making sure to get some of melted ghee in there!) Mix it well, drizzle the maple syrup on top, sprinkle more cinnamon, and serve!

Content Diet

Content Diet

The things you read, people you follow, and the content you watch have a big impact on what you think and how you feel. It is the fuel you are putting into your brain, and just like the famous Buddha saying goes, “what you think, you become.”

An important part of self-care and recovery that isn’t discussed enough is the impact the information you are consuming is having on your wellbeing. Because we are living in an era of relentless connectivity and social media saturation, we need to protect ourselves, and an important way we can do that is by being very conscientious about what we are following and reading.

Content Diet

When I realized this I took a deep look into how the content I was consuming on a daily basis was making me feel, and then cleaned out all the junk I didn’t want making it’s way into my head.

I wanted to expose myself to things that lit me up and inspired me, not things that made me criticize myself or brought me down.

In my opinion, the only types of “diets” we should be talking about are: CONTENT DIETS. Just like if you eat nourishing foods you are going to feel energized, if you consume thought-provoking interesting content you are going to feel expanded.

For our mental health and well-being, it is very important that we be aware of how certain content makes us feel and to remove things that don’t align with our goals or help us feel our best.

Here are some of the tactics I have applied to my life to remove negative content that was making me feel good:

Social Media:

  • I don’t follow people that make me feel bad about myself

    • This can be someone I knew from college, a toxic friendship, or a wellness influencer – anything that makes me feel less than or that my situation just isn’t as good as theirs — is an unfollow.

  • Bloggers who are “super healthy” restrictive eaters

    • Nothing against them but that content isn’t healthy for me and it makes me start questioning what I am eating and I don’t need that — I want Recovery :)

  • Skinny models or photos posted with beauty/body ideals that aren’t aligned with what I want to believe in

    • I am working towards believing in beauty standards that are more realistic and accepting of all body shapes and sizes

    • Therefore models, especially VS models or bathing suit company models, are not the types of beauty ideals I want pushed upon me

  • Any accounts that I have found to be triggering, crude, or inappropriate

    • Sometimes these don’t even make sense but if the content feels triggering, gross or cruel in some way, it isn’t something I wan to be exposed to

Media/News:

  • I don’t follow any news outlets on social media and am not subscribed to any of their email marketing lists

    • I don’t want information pushed upon, rather I want to go to the websites and choose what I want to read

    • I pick the articles that I want to be reading

  • I don’t read the news every day

    • I know some people might find this irresponsible but my first priority is to take care of myself and A LOT of what is in the news is triggering and upsetting for me, so I choose to protect myself and not read this content every day

    • I will read the headlines every other day to be aware of developments, and then I will choose which stories look interesting to me

    • I listen to the NPR Up First podcast frequently because I find that way of consuming the news better for me.

  • Read more books & magazines

    • I have been going back to reading hard copy books and magazines because I am tired of how much of my time and attention can get hijacked by advertisements or various things popping up online

    • When I read a magazine article, I can sit and read the magazine article in peace and then move on and do something else without finding myself down an internet rabbit hole two hours later

    • I have a New Yorker subscription which I love — that is my favorite form of reading interesting, well-written articles

LG Faves: January 2019

The Original LG January Favorites

It’s time for some January favorites! The first of the year :) I have discovered some amazing things that I am loving, so I am excited to share!

WORKOUT: Kait Hurley Move + Meditate

I am obsessed with Kait Hurley’s workouts because they leave you feeling SO GOOD. They provide a great mix of: mindfulness, toning, getting your heart rate up and being challenging, great stretches throughout that relieve tension and feel amazing, and then ending with a lovely meditation that helps you tune inward and cultivate presence. By the end you feel like you had an amazing workout and are also calmer and more present. I can’t say enough on how much I love this program. She has many different workout classes: fun toning high intensity workouts, mindful running workouts, yummy yoga flows, and guided meditations. I cancelled all of my workout class passes here in LA because I enjoy doing these workouts more.

WELLNESS: Ayurvedic Oil Pulling

I have become addicted to this habit because it leaves my teeth and mouth feeling amazing. It feels like conditioner for your gums and mouth. Basically oil pulling consists of swishing about 1 tbsp of Ayurvedic oil around in your mouth for a few minutes (making sure not to swallow any of it), then spitting it out into a trash can, and then rinsing your mouth with some warm water. Some directions say to swish the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes — but that’s too long for me! I usually do it for about 7-10 minutes first thing in the morning. It leaves your mouth and breath feeling clean and refreshed, and also has tons of other benefits that you can find here. I know it sounds weird, but I highly recommend it!

BOOK: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This book has been extremely helpful in managing my anxiety and overthinking. It feels like it is a handbook on taming mental activity and relieving you of pointless suffering. The way that Eckhart Tolle explains and breaks down all of the concepts is very powerful. It is also a spiritual book and has introduced me to new ideas I had never thought of or even fathomed that are very freeing. I highly recommend reading this book if you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, overthinking, unhappiness, or pretty much anyone who wants to be more at peace, because it helps you live a more present, mindful, content life.

MAKE: Homemade Nut Milk

I started making homemade nut milks and have loved how creamy and delicious they are.  They upgrade everything you put them in — lattes, matcha tonics, oatmeal, smoothies, etc. I don’t always have the time to make it but when I do it makes me so happy. It is honestly very simple to make, it just takes some planning. My recipe is on my Instagram here if you’re interested!

MUSIC: My Winter - Fresh Playlist!

I made a Winter playlist a few weeks ago that I have been playing on repeat. I pulled this playlist together with the theme of fresh, fun, dance-y, melodic beats and a mix of some new stuff that I am enjoying at the moment. You can listen to it here!  

TV Show: Schitt’s Creek

My best friend told me about this show a few weeks ago and I have been watching it most nights ever since. It is hilarious and I love all of the characters. It is about an extremely wealthy family that loses all of their fortune so they are forced to live in a rural town and adapt to a whole new way of living. Throughout all of these changes, they go through so many hilarious situations that they have to deal with. The show is easy to watch and light-hearted which is exactly what I have been needing lately.

BEAUTY: Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation

I don’t like wearing much makeup, but as an actress I need to have a solid makeup routine. The only time I wear actual makeup is when I have an audition or am filming something, on other days I simply wear some moisturizer with SPF, curl my eyelashes, and a little blush. Anyways, in the past I had been wearing a very light, tinted moisturizer and it just wasn’t enough for on camera work, so I went into Blue Mercury to try out a few different foundations and discovered this incredible one from Ilia! Right away I loved it, it is natural and feels like I am not wearing anything, but provides great coverage. It’s moisturizing but it didn’t leave my skin looking very glowy and shiny the way a few of the other foundations did. Ilia is an incredible clean beauty brand, only using organic and natural ingredients. I am so happy I found this foundation that checks all the boxes for me!

My Experience with Medication

Experience with Medication

The decision to take medication is deeply personal and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Each person’s situation is unique and you need to do what is best for you. All I can speak about is my experience with it and what it has done for me, so that is what I am going to share here.

If you are on the fence about talking to a medical professional, psychiatrist, or you have already been prescribed some medication and not sure what to do – I hope you find this information helpful.

I also wanted to mention here that I am not going to name the specific medication or dosage that I am taking as I don’t think that information is helpful. What works best for me might not be the appropriate thing for you. What is best is that you speak to a mental health professional and get the right diagnosis for you.

Pre-medication days:

Before I started taking medication I had some really rough years, and the months right before I started taking medication were no different.

I didn’t feel safe in myself and didn’t know when a big storm of emotion would come in and just take me down. Instead of feeling like a strong house built on a solid foundation I felt like a wobbly house built out of straw. I would have times where I knew wasn’t feeling stable and was extra sensitive and then one comment or one little thing would happen that would be the trigger to completely take me down. It was scary and I felt like I was always walking on egg-shells with myself.

I would get worried when I had been doing well for an extended period of time because I knew that was when the storms would come. I would be crying all day and as much as I wanted to snap out of it I couldn’t pull myself out of it. I would feel exhausted afterwards, like my body had gone through something huge and was spit out on the other side.

When I started having these episodes more frequently and when being sad and pessimistic started to become my constant, my therapist asked if I would be open to learning more about medication and seeing whether it could help me.

Deciding to take medication:

When my therapist first asked if I would be open to it, I didn’t know how I felt about it. I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t know much about it. No one in my family took medication or knew anything about it, and no one around me spoke openly about medication. But one thing I knew was that I trusted and felt safe around my therapist and I wanted to feel better.

The first step in my journey to start taking medication was that my therapist referred me to a psychiatrist that she trusted. She gave me her information and assured me that I wouldn’t have to take any medication if I didn’t feel comfortable with it but that it didn’t hurt anything to speak with someone and get their opinion.

I set up the appointment and was nervous because I had no idea what to expect but kept telling myself to remain open-minded.

I went to the appointment and had a very positive experience and felt so understood. When I described the emotions and episodes I’d had she would hear what I was saying and explain them to me in a more in depth way. She could describe all of them and tell me what they were, it was extremely reassuring.  For the first time I was understanding what was going on with me instead of feeling so in the dark about all of it. 

She also asked me a lot of questions about my health and all the various areas of my life. I really appreciated the comprehensive look she took as to what was going on in my life instead of simply just saying – “yeah, you’re anxious take this.” She was extremely thorough and wanted to do some blood tests on me because some of my vitals were low and my periods were very irregular.

At the end of the session she told me what her diagnosis was and said that she did recommend that I take medication. She went over the medication she was prescribing and suggested I speak with my therapist about it and then to let her know what I decided.

The next day I had my appointment with my therapist and we discussed everything and I decided to move forward with taking the medication. The main deciding factors for me were:

  • I had nothing to lose and so much to gain. There was no harm of testing this out. I would take it slowly and see how it made me feel, and if it didn’t work for me I could stop, but if it really helped me this would be huge.

  • I had a strong mental health support team around me that would be checking in on me regularly and that made me feel really safe in moving forward with this decision. I did not feel alone.

Mental Health Medication

The effect the medication had on me:

I started off with a very low dose and took it slowly from there. I had a check in with the psychiatrist every 3-4 weeks to see how I was doing and continued to see my therapist every week. At the very beginning I had a few small headaches with the medication but it wasn’t anything intolerable. Once my body adjusted to the medication the headaches went away.

At every check in the psychiatrist would see how I was doing and we would adjust the dosage if needed; I would ask her any questions I had; she would check in on how my anxiety levels were and what else was going on in my life.

The whole process of taking the medication was honestly very smooth for me. I did not have any strong reactions to it and the first medication that I started taking worked well for me. I did not have to try out a few different ones or mess around with various amounts of dosages, I luckily found my sweet spot pretty quickly.

The two things that I did notice started to really affect me once I was on the medication were:

Coffee and Alcohol

I had always been a coffee drinker and never felt much of an affect from it, but once I started taking the medication I would feel on edge and jittery when I drank coffee. And if I drank any coffee after 2pm in the afternoon I couldn’t sleep. It felt like the coffee was much stronger in my system once I started taking the medication.

Alcohol also hit me much harder. I remember one night that I went out to dinner with some friends and had only one glass of wine and was almost passed out on the table. I felt so dizzy and off I couldn’t drive home. It was scary and I felt completely wonky in a way that I had never felt from drinking such a small amount of wine.

I asked the psychiatrist about these things and she told me that alcohol and weed (even though I don’t smoke) were two things I should not have while taking this medication because they interfere with it and basically cancel it out. So all the work I am doing to take this medication to help me feel better just goes to waste.

And with the coffee she said some people are more sensitive and if coffee wasn’t working for me or making me feel well to switch to something gentler and to not have caffeine in the afternoon. That is why I now drink matcha and haven’t touched coffee or alcohol in about three months!  

How I am feeling now:

I am feeling so much better and have had a very positive and smooth experience with the medication.

Here are some of the biggest positive effects it has had on me:

  • It helped me quiet my inner voice of self-doubt, self-sabotage, criticism, over-thinking, indecisiveness, freak out, anxiety — so that I can now function in the world in an empowered way.

  • It has helped me turn down all of that negative noise and not let those things sabotage me. It feels like those things are starting to slide down my back or dissolve. They don’t get in the way or hold me back from doing anything I want to do anymore.

  • I feel stronger and more confident in myself. I am able to do the things I want to do and live my  life the way I want to live it and just say fuck it to anything else.

  • I am not afraid to stand up for myself and clearly say what I believe in and be unapologetic about myself and my needs.

  • I don’t let little things bother me as much and I can now shrug them off and let them go.

  • I don’t care what other people think about me anywhere near as much.

  • I know how to take care of myself better, I feel stronger, and am happier now because I am going after and doing the things that I want to be doing.

This isn’t to say that I don’t have some emotional or sad days now but I don’t get as low and hopeless as I used to before. I can pull myself out of it and be more moderate about it instead of catastrophizing things the way I used to before.

The biggest thing it has brought me is the safety I now feel within myself and the ability to fully and unapologetically be myself instead of overthinking and doubting everything.

I hope this was helpful for some people. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me and ask – I am happy to help and share in a safe way. Wishing everyone happier and brighter days!

2019 Musings

2019 Musings - The Original LG

Happy 2019! With the start of a new year I am always drawn to reflection. I reflect on what I am grateful for from the past year and what I want to focus on for the year ahead.

Over the years I have moved away from making specific resolutions because I have felt that it prevents me from being in the moment, enjoying where I am at in my journey now, and doesn’t allow me to leave space for the possibilities that present themselves to me along the way. However, I still want to take time to reflect on and identify what I want to cultivate for the year ahead.

That is why this year I want to set an intention instead of making specific goals. A powerful way of remembering your intention is to choose a word that represents it so you can continue to refer back to your intention throughout the year.

I recently read this quote from Mama Medicine and was so moved by it. I knew right away that this was the guiding light I needed:

The Original LG 2019 Quote

That quote made everything seem so simple to me. It made all of the things that I stress or worry about dissolve by reminding me of what really matters. And I felt like I could apply it to every area of my life. Truly any area with stress, suffering, or negativity — all I have to do is remember this quote and it immediately brings what really matters into the light.

I particularly found these words so powerful when thinking about disordered eating and the path to recovery.

When you are trapped in eating disorder mentality you are not coming from a place of love for yourself — you are coming from a place of fear. Fear that you are not enough the way you are, fear that things are not ok, fear of your body, fear and judgment of yourself, distrust of yourself, insecurity, self-loathing — whatever it is, it can all be traced back to fear.

This quote made it crystal clear to me that the path to healing is through love. Love brings about the power of healing and we are all capable of love. As long as we stay connected and true to love, we are on our way to healing and building a more peaceful and content life.

So as you have probably already guessed:

The word I choose for 2019 is LOVE

What is your word for 2019? Whatever it is — I hope it brings you joy and fulfillment this next year.

May we be guided by love for ourselves, love for all sentient beings, and love for this planet we call home.

Wishing everyone a happy & bright 2019!

xx

LG

Low Sugar, Gluten & Dairy Free Granola Recipe

Low Sugar Granola Recipe

Low Sugar Granola Recipe

There are some things that taste SO much better homemade than store bought, and once you’ve made them yourself it’s impossible to go back.

One of those things for me is: GRANOLA. Store-bought granola does not even come close to how delicious it is when you make it yourself. Another thing about store bought granola is that it is usually processed, made with lots of sugar, and shitty ingredients. If you look at the ingredient label it is loaded with sugar and the worst types of processed vegetable oils (not the good fats).

Plus when you make your own granola you make it EXACTLY how you like it – for me that is low sugar and low grain with lots of cinnamon, vanilla and coconut — and you know EXACTLY what you are putting in it.

I have followed a few different granola recipes and have finally perfected my own. My recipe is adapted from the Simple Gourmet Granola recipe on My New Roots. I lower the amount of maple syrup and sub some of the rolled oats for raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Oh, and I add lots of cinnamon and vanilla – because duh.

Here it is:

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1 cup raw almonds

1.5 cups unsweetened coconut fakes

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt 

Directions: 

1. Preheat over to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Put the nuts and seeds into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are chopped up, but still chunky enough to have texture in the granola.

3. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk oil and maple syrup together.

4. In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt.

5. Pour oil and maple syrup mixture over dry ingredients and stir very well to coat.

6. Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and spread in an even layer so the granola bakes evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir halfway through.