Hello, my friends! And welcome to the first edition of “Current faves” on A Lady Goes West for 2021, and this is also the first edition coming at you from my new home of Charlotte, North Carolina. How was your week? How’s your year going so far? 🙂
Let’s do a little catch-up …
Here’s what’s been going on in our world since the move to Charlotte …
We’ve been in Charlotte for one week and two nights, and we’re staying in an AirBnB in the Ballantyne area, which is in south Charlotte.
Our last few days in the Bay Area when we were closing up shop were crazy busy and stressful, and we’re happy to have that portion behind us. For me, the busy-ness made it hard for me to fully absorb the fact that we were leaving though. And I’m noticing a little bit of sadness creep in here and there about saying goodbye to a great place to live and about saying goodbye to our first home. I tend to “feel” my feelings in a delayed fashion, so I expected this response.
However, let me continue with the story: We stayed in a hotel during our last night in California after seeing our stuff off on the moving track, and we flew out in the morning the next day. Our travel across the country was super easy and our Southwest flights were both only about half full. Both Brady and Rudy were angels.
Since we landed in Charlotte, we’ve spent each day driving around neighborhoods, seeing some potential houses, visiting parks and trying to get comfortable with our new surroundings.
While we’re realistic that we may not find a house to buy in the first 30 days, we’re going to either extend our AirBnB or look for a short-term apartment or house to rent while we continue our search. The inventory here is low, but the price is way better than we were used to in the San Francisco area, so that’s a major plus.
A top find of the week was the beautiful Freedom Park in downtown Charlotte, which we enjoyed walking around on a chilly, but sunny, day. We’ve been there twice already, because we liked it so much …
Other than that, our belongings arrived to a storage facility in Charlotte earlier in the week, and we had specifically set aside a few things to pick up upon arrival that we couldn’t be without. That stash included some more clothes, some more toys for Brady, my Les Mills Smartbar barbell, a foam roller, a percussive massage gun, my new Dyson AirWrap Styler Dave got me for Christmas and the Peloton bike — just the essentials! Dave went to retrieve all of that, and it’s been nice to have a little sense of normalcy with us. We’re still without our cars and have a rental car, but they should be arriving this weekend (fingers crossed).
Here’s another transitional thing: We’ve had a lot of work to do to adjust to the time zone. In fact, on the first day we woke up in Charlotte, we all slept until 10:15 a.m. But we’ve been getting up about 15 minutes earlier each day, via an alarm clock, so we can be on a better schedule soon. Brady’s adjusting faster than I am.
So far, we like it here. It’s been a little cold and rainy, but I can tell it’s a nice place. We’re just scratching the surface a week into this experience, so I’ll save my major reflections for a bit down the road. Dave starts his new job on Tuesday, and I’ll be on Brady duty during the day until we can find him a preschool. So here we go!
Let’s move on to the faves of the day …
Meet Clean Deo and here’s why you should be using a safer deodorant
Okay, real talk: Are you still using a sweat-blocking antiperspirant or have you already made the switch to safer deodorant?
Introducing the Clean Deo! It took Beautycounter five years to develop and perfect this product. I’ve been lucky enough to use this deodorant for a few months, and it’s the best clean deodorant I’ve ever experienced.
- It comes in three scents: Fresh Coconut, Soft Lavender and Clean Rose. I like Clean Rose the best, but they are all good.
- It comes in a refillable container, so you buy the full deodorant once, then order refill cartridges moving forward. This saves you money, and it also helps Beautycounter cut about 50 percent carbon emissions from this product. You can buy a refill from any scent to fit the same cartridge.
- The key ingredients are cornstarch, baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter, candelilla wax and beeswax, to absorb wetness, neutralize odor, hydrate and condition skin.
- Clean Deo glides on smooth, without leaving a residue.
- One cartridge is supposed to last about 6 to 10 weeks. And mine have been lasting almost two months with daily application.
Here’s an awesome review from a writer from Allure magazine about the Clean Deo:
I tested Clean Deo for two weeks, which just so happened to coincide with my 14-day free trial of an online workout platform — and as a result, my two sweatiest weeks of the year. It was my first time doing cardio, like jumping jacks and mountain climbers, and lifting anything heavier than a hardcover novel after a long break. Clean Deo kept my newfound dripping sweat in check — even my right armpit, which, for whatever reason, is way sweatier than my left (anyone else?).
So what’s the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant?
The Clean Deo is a deodorant. And there’s a big difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. And even if you don’t order the Clean Deo, I encourage you to look at the label of what you’re using to make sure it’s not an antiperspirant.
Here’s why: An antiperspirant uses chemicals like aluminum to plug your sweat-glands and block your body from sweating. But sweating is a natural detoxification process, and it’s necessary to shed heavy metals from the body. Your body needs to sweat to regulate your temperature.
A deodorant, a clean one, of course, is a much safer and healthier choice with NO aluminum.
As always, if you have any questions about Beautycounter, or if you want help picking out what’s right for your skin, please reach out to me via email or DM on Instagram.
“Body Love” by Kelly LeVeque
Quick overview of this book: It’s an easy read, and there are tons of wellness tips in addition to nutrition, and LeVeque shares a lot of healthy recipes — especially smoothies. Her rules are loose, but some things she suggests are a bit more strict/stringent that I would choose for my lifestyle, that’s for sure.
And for the full review of this book: Have you heard of Kelly LeVeque? She’s a celebrity nutritionist who has been all over social media for the last couple of years, and I finally got around to reading her first book, “Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever,” which she wrote in 2017. To give you an idea of LeVeque’s star power, the back of the book has testimonials from former clients like Jessica Alba, Molly Sims, Chelsea Handler, Emmy Rossum and Kate Walsh — some big names.
LeVeque is famous for her “Fab Four” method, which is her signature formula for including fats, fiber, protein and greens into every single meal. She’s a big proponent of the Fab Four Smoothie for breakfast, and she shares a ton of smoothie recipes in her first book. Here’s the deal: I love the idea of smoothies, and I enjoy them, but I have never craved a smoothie for breakfast and just have a hard time wrapping my head around that as a means to start your day. And LeVeque’s first tip in the book is for everyone to have a Fab Four Smoothie every single morning, which should hold you over until lunch.
Here’s her original Fab Four Green Smoothie recipe:
- 1 serving of vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 avocado or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Handful of spinach
- 2 cups unsweetened nut milk
Easy as can be and probably pretty filling. I haven’t tried it yet, but I definitely will when the weather warms up. Anyone else not into smoothies in the winter?
Moving on: LeVeque believes in “light structure based on the science of balanced blood sugar and eating to satiety.” She focuses a ton on your blood sugar, keeping it stable throughout the day with eating the right foods, because if you eat too many carbs or too much sugar, you tend to crash, and then your body craves more carbs and sugar. It makes total sense, and she spends a lot of time in the book talking about this and how to avoid it. And as she says, if you elongate your blood-sugar curve, you’ll burn more fat. She’s against snacking, unless absolutely necessary, and I get the science behind why — but I like my snacks, so I wasn’t a fan of that tip.
(“Body Love” by Kelly LeVeque.)
The book itself reads pretty well, and it’s super informative. LeVeque does a great job of explaining the science that you need to know, while making it reasonable and understandable for the everyday person too.
She also gives grocery shopping lists, meal-prep hacks, healthy food swaps, tips on exercise, sleep, lifestyle and more. It’s definitely not just a nutrition book, but instead a healthy lifestyle book. It sort’ve reminded me of Cameron Diaz’s “The Body Book” which I wrote a whole post on, but I think I enjoyed the Diaz book more.
Nonetheless, I love how LeVeque gives a loose structure to help people feel better and achieve better health in an easy way, without a specific meal plan or without the need to track macronutrients. I’d definitely recommend this book, and I may consider reading some of her other books too.
Here’s a look at my workouts from last week …
I haven’t done a workout recap in about four weeks. Because of everything going on, my workouts have been less and all over the place. Although I did complete my 100th Peloton ride right before we moved, and I was super excited about that milestone.
Here’s my most recent week, which took place during our move and which took place when I had no equipment available to me …
- Monday: 30-minute full-body weights, 6 p.m.
- Tuesday: Rest day (moving day)
- Wednesday: Rest day (travel day)
- Thursday: 50-minute POP Pilates, 7 p.m.
- Friday: 50-minute POP Pilates, 7 p.m.
- Saturday: 20-minute run, 11 a.m.
- Sunday: Rest day
This past week was much lighter than usual for me, and that’s totally okay. I didn’t have any equipment for a week, and so I did bodyweight exercises, like POP Pilates (on a towel in the bedroom of our AirBnB) and even an outdoor run (in which I almost fell on a slippery bridge). I really craved some movement after the two days I took totally off due to moving and traveling and so anything was better than nothing. Movement is my medicine, and I’m always in a better mood when I fit it in, even if it’s short and sweet and barely makes me sweat.
A few A Lady Goes West recommended products
You guys know I only share what I love, so here are some of the brands I recommend …
- Fit Revolution. Get a 14-day trial and 33 percent off your first month on this amazing workout platform (where you can take my classes on demand) with the code ASHLEYPITT3PC1.
- Carbon38. The coolest activewear around. Get 15 percent off your first two orders of $100 or more using the code ASHLEYPITT.
- G2G protein bars. I love these tasty and clean protein bars. You can get 15 percent off your order on the G2G Bar site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
- Organifi superfood supplements. I’m all about the Organifi Complete Plant-Based protein powder. You can get 15 percent off your order on the Organifi site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
- Four Sigmatic. These superfood coffees and teas are so good — I especially love the Cacao Chill and Lion’s Mane Latte. Get 15 percent off your order on the site using the code ALADYGOESWEST.
- Beautycounter. The best safe skincare and makeup. Send me a message, and I’ll share a 20 percent off code for your very first order.
- Les Mills On Demand streaming workouts. My favorite fitness brand. You can do a whole month of workouts during a free 30-day trial by using my special referral link here.
- Les Mills Coach program. You can get 15 percent off a 4-, 8- or 12-week guided coaching and accountability program with the code ASHLEY15.
I need to give a big shout-out to my favorite G2G protein bars, because I ate about two a day of these during the moving and traveling process. They are so filling and tasty. Grab ’em on the G2G site and use my code for a deal.
A few things from around the web
- Supplements to support healthy hair. This is a super-thorough list of supplements you can take to help your hair appear strong and thick. I actually started taking a few of these a couple of months ago, so here’s hoping they work.
- Easy veggie-full dinner. I like my food easy to make and enjoyable to eat. This simple recipe sounds right up my alley as a great dinner idea.
And here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app, which I use to do my daily morning meditations …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives
Here are a few big posts from the last month to catch you up, in case you missed any …
- Intentions. Did you check out this post from earlier in the week in which I not only shared my goals for 2021, but I also shared a few ways we can all assess 2020 in order to move forward to 2021? … “How to start 2021 off right and my goals for this year.”
- Memories. This was a fun one to write, as I took a walk down memory lane … “My best memories from eight years in California.”
- Reflections. This is a long post with all sorts of real and raw details on what happened in 2020 for me … “A Lady Goes West year in review for 2020 (personal and professional).”
And now we’re all caught up! Thank you for coming by the blog today, my friends. We’re planning to do some more house hunting and exploring this weekend, and we’re also excited to get our cars back and say goodbye to our rental car. I’ll see you back here next week with some new content. Have a good one! 🙂 xoxo
Questions of the day
How was your week?
Have you ever been to Charlotte?
What’s one thing you’re excited about right now?
Do you use deodorant or antiperspirant?