Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Review 2022: These Boots Are a Solid Addition to My Recovery Routine

Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Review 2022: These Boots Are a Solid Addition to My Recovery Routine

As a cycling instructor and recreational exercise enthusiast, I’ve learned the hard way that rest days are as—if not more—important as active days. When I treat my mind and body well during my days off, they reward me in the weight room, on my mat, and on the bike. I have a number of recovery options at my disposal: stretching, yoga, percussive massage, foam rolling, PEMF therapy, hot and cold therapy, and magnesium soaks. But the hard part is actually…using them. (Just ask my personal trainer.)I have a habit of using my rest days as total veg days…you know, the ones where you wake up, make breakfast, park yourself on the couch, and don’t leave until it’s time for bed? Even as a wellness-minded SELF writer who knows all the benefits of recovery and mobility, blah blah blah, I still find myself tempted to lie motionless and watch Downton Abbey for eight hours every Sunday. Because of my habits, I deal with lingering muscle soreness, tightness, and overall fatigue that could be entirely avoided.But there is one form of recovery that is decidedly Sarah-approved: compression, specifically, pneumatic compression devices, like compression boots. They require little to no work on my end and I still reap major benefits. These devices, in addition to garments like compression socks and sleeves, squeeze the muscles to promote increased blood flow to a targeted area. That increased blood flow can help relieve delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and tightness by reducing inflammation and promoting better circulation, SELF previously reported. Compression boots have their own set of benefits. After a tough workout, they help reduce lactic acid build-up and other metabolic byproducts that accumulate in your muscles and tissues during and immediately after exercise, SELF previously reported. Even just 20 minutes with compression boots can decrease swelling and repair microtears in the muscles (which occur as a result of strenuous activity).Editor’s note: Since testing the Normatec 2.0 Leg Recovery System, Hyperice has released an upgraded version—the Normatec 3 Legs. We’ve included a paragraph about the Normatec 3 Legs’ updates in the Design and Features section of this review.How I TestedI’ve had the Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System since February 2022, and I’ve made a valiant effort to use them for 30 to 45-minute sessions at least once per week. I previously reported this story about compression boots and the benefits of pneumatic and air compression devices, so I used the expert tips from that story to guide this review. That includes fit, quality of materials, ease of use, and multiple chambers for targeted compression.Reliability and Ease of UseThese boots are intuitive and easy to use. They can be a bit precarious to put on, especially as someone who didn’t have help, but it’s not enough of a pain that it keeps me from using them. The zipper was smooth but still secure; I didn’t feel like they could unzip mid-treatment. The hoses are easy to attach to the control unit.  The screen is responsive and the interface is suitable for all levels of tech-savviness. Design and FeaturesMultiple ChambersThe Normatec 2.0 boots have multiple chambers that inflate and deflate separately to offer targeted compression to specific muscles. When I customize my treatments, this feels almost like a “wave” sensation.High-Quality MaterialsThese boots are made from what feels like a ripstop nylon fabric. They’re well-constructed, and easy to wipe clean (though I always wear thin leggings or joggers during treatment).Control UnitWith the control unit, you can customize the compression level, duration of treatment, and “zones” you want to focus on. (As a cycling instructor, found myself focusing mostly on my quads.) There’s a graphic on the screen that shows you which chambers are compressing in real-time. The control unit can be plugged into a power outlet during use, but it also has great battery life. I found the battery life to last about two sessions before it needed to be charged.

5 Things I Learned From Dealing With Unrelenting Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

5 Things I Learned From Dealing With Unrelenting Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

While your stomach is built for handling acid, your esophagus is not—that’s why you feel that uncomfortable burning sensation or the feeling like something is sitting in your throat.As your pregnancy continues, another contributor to acid reflux is your growing uterus and the fetus pressing up on your stomach, says Clara Paik, M, ob-gyn, vice-chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of the division of gynecologic specialties at the University of California, Davis. “The acid is [closer] to the esophagus, plus the [muscle’s strength] is not so good, so stomach acids will go back up,” she says.2. The foods you crave are probably the biggest culprits.Some foods and drinks just straight up make acid reflux worse. Two categories of common triggers: foods that worsen esophageal sphincter relaxation and foods that increase the acidity of the gastric juices, Dr. Elborno says. According to the National Institutes of Health, those can include chocolate, coffee and other caffeinated drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, tomato-based foods, citrus foods, mint, and greasy, fatty foods.You might notice that some of the foods on this list are the only foods you really want to eat during pregnancy. I know that for a brief period of time, I only wanted to drink seltzer water with lemon in it (like, a whole half of a lemon), and I craved grapefruits, tomato sauce and juice, hot sauce, and literally anything greasy and fried.“Sometimes those really sour or spicy foods can help with nausea and sound good when you’re not craving anything else,” Dr. Elborno notes. “It can be complicated because it becomes a cycle.” You crave certain foods, they trigger acid reflux, your nausea and food aversions seem worse, and you indulge further on the V8 juice and spicy-sour pickle cravings. All that’s to say that it’s hard to follow dietary advice when you’re pregnant and only have an appetite for certain things. So do your best and forgive yourself when you just have to eat the thing that you know is going to make your throat burn.Also, it turns out it’s not my imagination that even water gives me acid reflux. Dr. Paik says that anything that fills up your stomach—even water—can get the acid moving up and out.3. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help…On top of avoiding irritating foods, Dr. Paik also recommends eating smaller amounts at each meal. “Don’t eat to capacity or to the point where you’re so full, because then the stomach is going to be bloated, the esophageal sphincter will be more open, and your stomach acids will more easily go into the esophagus,” she explains. Eating upright, not lying down immediately after a meal, and finishing dinner at least three hours before bed can also help.These modifications have helped me immensely—especially because acid reflux was keeping me up at night. I’ve cut back on some of the foods that were triggering for me, though I still drink coffee each morning, eat tomato-based foods almost everyday (I deeply crave them), and occasionally indulge in greasy, fried foods and citrus fruit.4. …and so can sleeping upright.When I do eat foods that I know will make my throat burn, I make sure to do it earlier in the day so that I can suffer the consequences well before bedtime. There was also a period of a few weeks where I used a pregnancy pillow to prop myself up so that I could sleep at an incline instead of completely flat. That seemed to really help reduce my acid reflux. (I still do it on an as-needed basis on nights when it strikes hard.)

Constance Wu Shared How a Friend Saved Her Life During a Mental Health Crisis

Constance Wu Shared How a Friend Saved Her Life During a Mental Health Crisis

Constance Wu has talked about how she found the care she needed after a suicide attempt in two interviews this week, on Good Morning America and Red Table Talk. The Crazy Rich Asians actor also spoke about returning to social media after a three-year break, experiencing sexual harassment on the set of Fresh Off the Boat, and mental health awareness within the Asian American community.Wu, 40, said her mental health started spiraling after she tweeted disappointment that Fresh Off the Boat had been renewed for another season in 2019. At the time, Wu clarified that she wasn’t upset that the show would continue filming; instead, her disappointment stemmed from the fact that by working on another season of the show, she would have to give up a different project she was excited about. Even still, the online backlash was intense.“There was a huge pile on, and I was essentially canceled for coming off as ungrateful,” Wu told GMA. “And the most painful thing of all was it was really the Asian American community that either ostracized or avoided me the most.” The judgment went beyond her tweets, Wu said, explaining that people called her a “diva” for not wanting to do the show following the 2018 blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians: “I was canceled for not being the Asian people wanted me to be, ungrateful, bratty, whatever,” she said.Wu told Red Table Talk that she tried to kill herself after reading DMs sent to her by another Asian American actor who criticized her tweets. Fortunately, a friend who was checking in on her at the time saved her life by taking her straight to a psychiatric emergency room. “They checked me in, and I slept the night on a cot in the waiting room in the psychiatric ER in New York City under observation. And then there were two counselors the next morning who talked to me,” Wu said. “Then I had to be in therapy with a psychiatrist and a psychologist every day for a while.” Wu told GMA that she also started a medication that helped, though it took some time to determine what worked for her.When asked what the healing process was like, Wu said, “I needed it. I was unsafe at that point. I was in a mental place of just beating myself up.” She added the toll that being “canceled” took caused her a lot of pain: “So much shame…and feeling like I’d ruined everything for everyone.”Wu also said she had stayed silent about being sexually harassed while filming Fresh Off the Boat because she wanted to protect a show that was important to her community: “My abuser on the show was an Asian American man, a producer, and it was really a conflict for me because I didn’t want to stain the reputation of the one show Asian Americans had to represent themselves.” She said the response she got after tweeting her frustration about the show’s renewal is among the reasons she doesn’t want to out her abuser now: “Am I afraid of backlash? Of course.”

The Best Amazon Prime Day Skin Care Deals October 2022: Sunday Riley, CeraVe, and More

The Best Amazon Prime Day Skin Care Deals October 2022: Sunday Riley, CeraVe, and More

In case you missed the news: Amazon Prime Day round two is back this October, AKA its Early Access Sale. That means the best Amazon Prime Day skin care deals are here. And although the big two-day sale event doesn’t officially start until October 11, the discounts have already arrived. So if your bathroom medicine cabinet is decidedly lacking in the beauty department, you’d better scoop up these picks while they’re still marked down. Amazon Prime Day 2022 is not a day to be missed, so we did the hard work of scouring the site for skin-care and beauty deals that you can bookmark and add to your cart now. We included top picks from well-known beauty brands like CeraVe, Sunday Riley, Elemis, Tula, and more. Below you can find everything you need to know about the last shopping event, as well as the skin-care markdowns to shop now.What to know about Amazon Prime Day 2022Prime Day 2022 starts October 11 and runs through the 12th. To get in on the action, you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member, but if you’re not yet, you still have time to sign up for a Prime membership, get a free 30-day trial, and shop the sale in time. If you’re hungry for deals on other items, chances are we’re covering them so be sure to check out our Prime Day 2022 page for more. The Best Skin-Care Deals Happening Right NowYou’ll find some of the best Amazon Prime Day deals on skin-care products from luxe and drugstore brands alike. Everything—from face cleansers to bestselling serums—is marked down for one more day, so you can put your best face forward without your credit card company flagging your account activity. These products tackle everything from acne to premature aging; you’re practically guaranteed to find some faves. NuFACE Trinity Starter Kit ($271, originally $339)Perricone MD High Potency Classics: Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer ($36, originally $69)Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads ($48, originally $60)Strivectin Multi-Action Super-C Retinol ($54, originally $72)CleansersAmazon has some excellent discounts on cleansers for Prime Day, so if you’re looking to switch yours up, now’s a great time. When looking for cleansers, keep your skin type in mind. If you have dry skin, you might just love a cleansing balm, like this one from Elemis. They’re typically rich, gentle formulas with nourishing oils to remove makeup and dirt without stripping your skin. You could also opt for foamy formulations from CeraVe, or cleansing oils from Julep. If you’re managing dark spots or premature aging, you’ll want to look for brightening, hydrating ingredients, like those found in Image Skincare’s vitamin C cleanser. Dealing with pimples? Exfoliating, acne-fighting ingredients will nip it in the bud. We spotted Neutrogena’s oil-free acne-fighting face wash on the list of deals.CeraVe Foaming Facial CleanserNeutrogena Oil-Free Acne Fighting Face Wash (Pack of 3)AmazonJulep Vitamin E Hydrating Cleansing Oil And Makeup RemoverAmazonElemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing BalmAmazonImage Skincare Vital C Hydrating Facial CleanserAmazonNaturium Fermented Rice Enzyme CleanserSerums and Face OilsSome of Amazon’s best beauty deals are on serums, considering that most of them come at a higher price point. Packed with active ingredients and effective formulations, a serum can be the thing that transforms your skin. L’Oreal has a lovely hydrating hyaluronic acid serum to help fill in fine lines. And who could resist a vitamin C brightening serum? Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow Vitamin C & Turmeric Face Oil effectively exfoliates without creating irritation. We also spotted other skin-care faves on sale, including serums that target fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for FaceCeraVe Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks and Skin TextureAmazonStrivectin Multi-Action Super-C RetinolSunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C & Turmeric Face OilThe Ordinary Niacinamide 10% With Zinc 1%AmazonL’oreal Paris 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid SerumTreatments and MasksUsing a weekly face mask is a fun way to switch up your skin-care routine, and right now you can find a handful that are marked down for Amazon Prime Day. For quick exfoliation, Elemis’s handy peel pads are an easy way to get the job done. The Differin gel treatment is perfect for anyone dealing with acne, blackheads, clogged pores, and/or oily skin. If you want to go the toner route, Bliss’s SELF Healthy Beauty Award-winning option is on sale right now.AmazonPerricone MD No: Rinse Intensive Pore Minimizing TonerAmazonElemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial PadsAmazonBliss Clear Genius Clarifying Toner + SerumMoisturizersMoisturizers are key for all skin types. Yes, even if you have oily, acne-prone skin. If that is the case, you’ll want to shop for moisturizers with gel or water cream formulations and plenty of hyaluronic acid (like Olay’s Regenerist Whip and Elemis’s Pro-Collagen marine cream). You might also want to look for a moisturizer that doubles as SPF to save yourself a skin-care step (hello, Everyday Human’s tinted cream). AmazonUrsa Major Hydrating Daily MoisturizerAmazonOlay Regenerist Whip Face MoisturizerAmazonElemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30L’Oreal Paris Skincare Collagen Face MoisturizerAmazonEveryday Humans Rose From Above SPF35 Mineral Sunscreen Tinted MoisturizerMakeup RemoverBefore you can even think about the rest of your routine, you have to start with a clean slate. Garnier is one of the highest-rated micellar water options on the market—and it’s on sale right now ahead of Prime Day. If you’re looking to make eco-conscious swaps, we love Greenzla’s washable microfiber rounds replace your single-use cotton rounds. What’s more, they’ll save you money in the long run. AmazonMy Konjac Sponge with Activated Bamboo CharcoalAmazonGreenzla Reusable Makeup Remover Pads (20-Pack)AmazonAlmay Makeup Remover PadsAmazonGarnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing WaterSunscreenSPF is your friend every day, and with these stellar finds you have no excuses to go sans sunscreen. Amazon has both chemical and mineral sunscreens on sale right now for whatever your preference is. For everyday wear, look to Tula’s gel sunscreen and EltaMD’s UV Daily. Each is lightweight enough for the final step in your skin-care routine. For beach days, sweaty hikes, or other outdoor adventures, Sun Bum have hardworking mineral sunscreens. You could also opt for Neutrogena’s classic Dry Touch sunscreen, which will keep your skin protected and clear—even if you’re prone to breakouts.AmazonEltaMD UV Daily Face Sunscreen MoisturizerAmazonSun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Face LotionAmazonTULA Skin Care Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel SPF 30AmazonNeutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 70AmazonAveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60Skin-Care ToolsThough they’re not essential, beauty tools like jade rollers, microcurrent devices, and ice rollers certainly feel like luxe additions to your skin-care routine. You’ll find fan-favorite NuFACE devices on super sale during Prime Day, plus markdowns on the cute (and gently effective) Foreo cleansing brushes. We also spotted some good deals on ice rollers and gua sha stones, which we love keeping in the fridge to help soothe redness, de-puff, cool off after a workout, and even ease TMJ pain. AmazonBaimei Jade Roller & Gua ShaAmazonNuFACE Trinity Starter KitAmazonFOREO Luna 3 Facial Cleansing BrushAmazonRoselyn Boutique Ice RollerAmazonNanoSteamer Large 3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial SteamerRelated:

Reese Witherspoon Goes Monochromatic in Purple Oscar de la Renta Crepe Dress and Christian Louboutin Heels at ‘The View’

Reese Witherspoon Goes Monochromatic in Purple Oscar de la Renta Crepe Dress and Christian Louboutin Heels at ‘The View’

Reese Witherspoon embraced a purple sartorial color story on Wednesday for an appearance on “The View” in New York to promote her new children’s book, “Busy Betty.”

The actress joined the hosts wearing a long-sleeved scoop-neck violet dress with a thin matching belt from Oscar de la Renta. Her color-coordinated lilac shoes were Christian Louboutin.

Reese Witherspoon arriving at “The View” in New York City on Oct. 5.

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She accessorized with the Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie bag in almond and layered a camel topcoat over her dress and cuffed the sleeves.

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Witherspoon opted for a natural daytime beauty look with just a hint of blush and a light pink lip. She styled her hair in waves that were parted down the middle.

Reese Witherspoon at ABC studios for “The View” on Oct. 5, 2022 in New York.

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It’s been a busy press circuit for Witherspoon as she promotes her new book. Later that evening, she also appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” For the appearance, she opted for a head-to-toe black evening look, including a zip-front Alexander McQueen dress with an off-the-shoulder neckline and a peplum hemline at the skirt.

She belted the dress at the waist with a double-notch statement waist belt. Witherspoon also chose another pair of Christian Louboutin heels, and accessorized with a pair of silver hoop earrings.

The Oscar winner completed her look with a coral lip and side-swept hair.

Reese Witherspoon on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Oct. 5, 2022.

Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Image

Among her many projects, Witherspoon is developing children’s programming through her production company “Hello Sunshine.” She recently announced an adaptation of the classic children’s story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

Aside from her endeavors in children’s media, Witherspoon is also in preproduction for “Legally Blonde 3,” a long-awaited sequel to the hit 2000s comedy film series. Earlier this year, her brand Draper James collaborated with Kohl’s for the 100-piece Draper James RSVP collection. Kohl’s extended their partnership through the end of the year.

The Best Amazon Prime Day Kitchen Deals to Shop This October 2022

The Best Amazon Prime Day Kitchen Deals to Shop This October 2022

For the homebodies and at-home cooks: Amazon Prime Day kitchen deals are here. While the Amazon fall Prime Day doesn’t officially kick off until October 11, the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale has already arrived offering plenty of discounted kitchen gadgets you won’t want to sleep on.Looking to replace that old blender with a top-of-the-line Vitamix? How about ditching your crusty coffee maker for a sleek espresso machine? Or your broom with a robot vacuum that sucks up crumbs while you chop? Like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day 2022 creates a rarely seen opportunity to refresh your cookware sets, try trendy new appliances like air fryers, invest in staple appliances such as stand mixers and toaster ovens, and stock up on kitchen gadgets and tools like silicone storage bags, anti-fatigue mats, drawer organizers, and utensils—all with major markdowns. It’s also an excellent time to upgrade your tech devices, beauty cabinet, wardrobe, furniture, mattress, and so much more.Weather it’s time for a few kitchen upgrades or you’re looking to get a jump on your holiday gifting, don’t miss out on the best Amazon Prime Day kitchen deals to shop this October from stew-ready Le Cruset dutch ovens, to Instagram-worthy food storage systems, to do-it-all Instant Pots.How to Shop Amazon Prime Day October 2022October’s Prime Day 2022 is a two-day shopping event, with can’t-miss deals running from October 11 to October 12. It’s a chaotic time for anyone with a Prime membership, with deals going live at all times of the day and special lightning deals expiring within hours. Mark your calendars.But there’s even better news for hunters of home deals. The Amazon Prime early access sale means you can get in on some of the best Prime Day deals right now making this the perfect time to scoop up new pots, pans, and more serious kitchen appliances at far more affordable prices. Pro tip: To do your own deals comparisons on a product, use CamelCamelCamel, a free Amazon price tracker tool.In addition to Amazon’s Prime Day deals, competitors offer discounts that rival the online giant’s. You’ll find markdowns and coupons from Target, Walmart, Sur La Table, Best Buy, Dyson, Nordstrom, and more.The Best Early Access Prime Day Kitchen Deals Happening Right NowWe’ve rounded up great discounts on top-selling culinary items that you can shop this very minute. Below, take a look at the best Prime Day kitchen deals ready for the taking.

16 Product Recommendations for October, According to SELF Editors

16 Product Recommendations for October, According to SELF Editors

Here at SELF, we love to try new things—whether that’s items we purchase with our own money, new products that brands send us to test out, or hacks we saw on TikTok. Each month, we’ll tell you about the things that we genuinely loved. We aren’t required to write any of these reviews; these are simply things that we thought were great, and that we hope you’ll like too!Things We Were GiftedI’m cursed with having dry, flaky lips year-round. I’ve tried several different types of lip balms, but most of them leave my lips feeling sticky or immediately dry up after use. I recently tried Evolve Together’s Provence Hydrating Lip Balm and it’s become my new favorite product. It’s cruelty-free and made with coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba seed oil, so it leaves my lips feeling super hydrated. I don’t have to re-apply very often, and I especially like using it at night before bed because it has a subtle lavender smell. I also like its simple eco-friendly packaging and large tube size. If you’ve been looking for a remedy for chapped lips, I definitely recommend trying this vegan lip balm. —Jenifer Calle, senior commerce editor2. A sunscreen with the qualities of a serum.I nominated this serum-like sunscreen for our 2022 Beauty Awards because I have such a hard time finding face sunscreens that check all of my boxes: mineral-based, not too greasy or drying, absorbs quickly, doesn’t make me break out, and doesn’t leave a white cast. This one delivers on all of the above, works great as a makeup primer, and generally gives me a little glow. It didn’t win this year (so many great products, only a few spots!), but it won my heart, and I plan to keep buying it when my sample runs out. —Cathryne Keller, associate wellness directorGood news: I found the facial for people who are scared of facials absolutely wrecking their skin. Perhaps the most luxurious of my wedding self-care endeavors, Ever/Body is a cosmetic dermatology med spa in New York City; the brand gifted me an hour-long facial. I was nervous about getting a facial a week before the wedding because the last thing anyone wants is to be blotchy and inflamed when they’re walking down the aisle, but the team at Ever/Body recommended this particular one because it is generally non-irritating and produces immediate results. I am pleased to report that the HydraFacial gave me an instant glow and improved texture. If your skill is feeling dull or rough and you’re in need of a refresh, but don’t want to wake the sleeping bear that is your skin, try this. —Hannah Pasternak, associate special projects director4. A glossy and matte lip combo that screams fall. My TikTok algorithm spams me with tutorials of girls slicking on high-shine lip products to achieve what’s called something like a “brownie glazed lip”—the lip for fall, apparently. I don’t know about all that, but I gave the trend a try with a layer of NYX’s new Smooth Whip Matte Lip Cream in Teddy Fluff, a reddish-brown lip stain that goes on wet and dries into a smooth, velvety, dark lip that lasted me through most of a wedding. I top it with NYX’s Butter Gloss in a warm brown shade, Fudge Me, which brings light to my lips without being too tacky or messy (and is only $5). And then, boom, I look ready for a knit dress, leather jacket, and a steaming beverage. —Malia Griggs, commerce editor5. A wave mascara that doesn’t clump.In my lifetime, I have only truly loved three mascaras. Tower28’s new Make Waves mascara is one of them. I’ll admit that I have quite long, thick eyelashes, so I’m on the lookout for a mascara that further enhances what the good Lord gave me. The magic is in Tower28’s wand, which has three suspended bands and plenty of flex to catch all of the lashes. The formula curls, volumizes, and thickens without creating clumps or looking unnatural. It has quickly become my everyday mascara for work, going out, and even teaching fitness classes. —Sarah Madaus, commerce writerI admit, I was skeptical about trying a pizza made with a cauliflower crust. I am a huge fan of bread, so, naturally, the crust is my favorite part of any pizza—but I was pleasantly surprised by this substitute. If you like thin crust, this pizza would be perfect for you. The crust was crunchy (the instructions say to bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes, but 10-11 minutes was all it took in my oven), and the white sauce was extremely creamy and balanced well with the cheese blend and spinach. I honestly forgot that the crust was made of cauliflower; it just tasted like a normal thin-crust pizza. One caveat: this pizza is not the largest, and can feed about two people. Or, you can do like I did and keep it all to yourself. After trying the first bite, you’ll want to. —Manee Magee, editorial assistantVivvi & BloomVivvi & Bloom 2-in-1 Fragrance Free Wash & Shampoo Cleansing GelVivi and Bloom is a new line of baby bath and body products from Johnson and Johnson that promises to deliver “simple” ingredients that parents can pronounce. And I’ll admit: I found the ingredients lists on these items to be considerably shorter than several of the other “simple” or “natural” products I’ve purchased for my baby in the past. I tried out the Baby Wash and Shampoo Cleansing Gel and the 2-in-1 Face and Body Whip Lotion—both of which I loved for my kiddo. The cleansing gel gets sudsy (so you’ll have your bubble fun!) but it washes away cleanly and leaves no residue. The lotion has a light coconut scent (amazing!) and it’s truly non-sticky and absorbs quickly (which is great, because lotions that take a while to rub in mean they’re basically impossible to apply on a wriggling toddler). In their attempt to be non-irritating, some baby lotions can also essentially just feel like water, but this lotion has some heft thanks to the shea butter, and it genuinely leaves my baby’s skin feeling moisturized. —Amy Eisinger, digital directorI’m not a huge perfume person since strong scents overwhelm me, but I got this one as a press sample earlier in the pandemic and I still find myself reaching for it whenever I need a little spirit boost. It’s from an essential-oil-based fragrance line that includes a scent for every zodiac sign, and the Maiden in me loves the subtle earthiness of the Virgo blend. It’s a little citrusy, a little woody, and you have to get close to smell it, which makes it feel like it’s just for me—a sweet little self-care reminder. —CK9. These easy-to-style clips.I almost wrote off claw clips until I became acquainted with these from Crown Affair. I have short hair, so I appreciate that these clips aren’t super long like some others. The teeth are just far apart enough for a loose, relaxed look, and the hidden internal teeth keep my hair locked in place. They don’t create kinks in my hair, and they also don’t pull it out or hurt my scalp when I use them for a prolonged period of time. Seriously, I wear them every day, without fail. Clips have always been terrible at staying in my hair and yet I’ve done workouts in these. The tortoise pattern goes with everything, but if Crown Affair creates more colors, I will absolutely buy them. —SMI swapped my cooling linen sheets for summer for Brooklinen’s brushed flannel sheets (which come in plaids and speckled blue). The idea of flannel sheets usually turns me off (Too hot! Too much static!) but these are surprisingly lightweight and airy, like the inside of an old sweatshirt, and have quickly become my fall favorites for burrowing into on Sunday mornings. —MGOffCourt promises to deliver products that are designed for an “active lifestyle.” In other words, these products are supposed to be good at washing away sweat and vanquishing body odor. Their exfoliating body soap smells great, with notes of sandalwood and coconut, and has a bit of grit to it, so you get a satisfying scrubbing experience. I personally loved that the soap didn’t smell too floral, and only left behind a subtle scent once I had toweled off. The exfoliation on this is no joke, so I may not use it every day, but after my sweatiest workouts, I think it’ll be my new go-to. —AEMy friend raved about this specific stone bath mat from Dorai Home, so I gave it a try. Despite feeling uncertain about how comfortable a bath mat made of hard rock could possibly be, I’m a fan! This modestly sized mat dries within seconds of my feet touching it post-shower, meaning that I never have to really wash it or deal with a damp fabric mat. It’s non-slip, thanks to a grippy pad that slides beneath it, looks like a piece of spa decor, and there’s something magical about watching my footprints disappear that makes me look forward to using it. —MGThings We BoughtI never considered myself a spray tan kinda gal, but I knew I’d want a glow when I got married in May. I was worried about turning orange, sweating pigment all over my dress or bed sheets, and just not looking like myself, but I actually looked exactly like myself—sans sunburn or tanning bed-induced dry skin. It’s an underrated beauty treatment that I can’t wait to try again this winter. If you’re in New Jersey, New York, or Connecticut, I highly recommend Glow2Go, a concierge service that, for a slightly higher cost ($85 compared to the standard $50), will come to your home and do the spray tan right there. My technician, Tara, made me feel extremely comfortable despite the fact that I was standing fully naked in broad daylight, and she respected my desire to look as “natural” as possible. Plus, I got to just mosy around the house in sweatpants after (you have to let the tan sink in for eight hours) rather than having to put on real clothes and go back out into the world. —HPWe’ve previously reported on how well Loop’s Quiet earplugs work for sleep, but the brand’s Experience earplugs are an absolute must-have for live events. They’re super small and come with several different silicone tips to ensure a secure fit (to quote Ned Flanders, it feels like I’m wearing nothing at all). As someone who avoids earbuds with silicone ear tips because they tend to have that unpleasant “thumping” internal feedback, I was worried I’d deal with the same problem with the Loops, but for whatever reason, they are thump-free. Even though they feel barely-there, they make a huge difference, magically cutting through crowd noise to bring the music into focus. I love that my ears don’t ring as soon as I leave the venue, and the fact that they come with a cute carrying case doesn’t hurt, either. —Sara Coughlin, senior commerce writerI’ve been looking for a water bottle now that I’m in the office more, and I noticed the Owala has been trending on TikTok. I’m very picky with my water bottle and was searching for a slim option (unlike my bulky Hydro Flask) with a handle for easy carrying during my commute. I also wanted one with both a straw and a sip lid option and the Owala checked off all of these boxes. The ice water stays cold overnight so its triple-layered insulation really works. It doesn’t sweat, all its parts are easy to clean, and it even fits in my car cup holder. —JCThings We Tried16. An easy phone hack to try at work.I recently attended a seminar about utilizing technology effectively in the workplace, where I learned that changing your phone’s color scheme grayscale can be a great way to be on it less. As the host explained during the demonstration, our phones aren’t as fun to be on when they’re in black and white versus color. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll pick up my phone to check one notification, then find myself on it for hours, looking at art, dog videos, you name it. Now, when I need to focus on a task, I’ll switch my phone to grayscale, which dramatically reduces the time I spend scrolling. To switch your iPhone to grayscale mode, go to Settings > Vision >‘Display and Text Size.’ Under ‘Color Filters,’ select ‘Grayscale.’ Simple as that. —MMRelated:

My Scary Narcolepsy Symptoms Finally Led Me to a Diagnosis

My Scary Narcolepsy Symptoms Finally Led Me to a Diagnosis

Eventually, I just…kind of stopped sleeping. Most days, I felt like a zombie with little control over my emotions. I hoped that a higher dose of anxiety medication would make everything better. It didn’t.And then the sleep attacks started: That sudden, all-consuming exhaustion I felt at the Emmy-planning meeting became a regular occurrence. It started happening two to three times per week, forcing me to take a nap wherever I could—once in a dark mailroom and sometimes on the concrete floor between rows of seats in the Academy theater. So when I got yet another message from my doctor that everything was fine, I was apoplectic.I concede that I didn’t live the “healthiest” lifestyle. I worked too much. I didn’t get enough exercise. Perhaps I ate too much cheese. But I couldn’t for the life of me believe that my habits caused… tiny child ghosts. That night, fueled by Ben & Jerry’s and red wine, I spiraled down a Google rabbit hole. I ugly-cried my way to the ends of the internet as I desperately searched for symptoms of a sleep disorder, mainly zeroing in on sleep apnea, since that was really the only one I’d heard of.Two days later, I returned to my doctor, prepared to lay out an Annalise Keating-level defense that something else was happening to my body. She stopped me—mid-opening remarks—and told me we were beyond our collective knowledge on sleep. Finally, with her concession, I was referred to a sleep specialist.Three months later, with the appropriate testing, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy. Something I had never considered. The only familiarity I had with the disorder was from Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, in which the main character’s “date” falls asleep in her bowl of soup. The sleep specialist explained that narcolepsy doesn’t always look like the silly depictions we see on TV or in the movies. It often looks like my symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness, fragmented sleep, hallucinations.The diagnosis was a relief—and marked a new journey. With narcolepsy you don’t get better; you get better at having narcolepsy. Four years later, I’m feeling pretty good. With some trial and error, my sleep specialist and I have found the right medication that curbs most of my symptoms—I take a daytime stimulant as well as a nighttime medication that helps me get deep sleep and stay asleep. (A silver lining of my diagnosis: It turns out that my anxiety issues stemmed from untreated narcolepsy, and have dissipated since I found the right treatment plan).I still get tired, but a daily 20-minute nap helps me feel more refreshed in the afternoon. Stress makes sleep attacks more likely, so I try to meditate every day. I’ve also gotten good at listening to my body: If fatigue starts to creep in, I won’t drive; if I’m struggling in the afternoons, I’ll try to schedule important meetings before lunch. I also noticed that sweets and simple carbohydrates make me sleepier during the day, so I typically save those for the evening. I still have bad days, but I have tools to get through them when they happen.

The 10 Best Grip Socks for All Your Barre and Pilates Workouts: Lululemon, Alo Yoga, and More

The 10 Best Grip Socks for All Your Barre and Pilates Workouts: Lululemon, Alo Yoga, and More

If you’re working out barefoot (or in an old pair of white socks with holes in them) you might want to find the best grip socks for your next workout. Experts agree that if you’re doing any workout that requires you to have a steady grip on a machine or floor, you need to invest in a good pair of workout socks for an added dose of safety and comfort. If you’re a barre, yoga, or pilates aficionado who’s looking for high-quality grip socks, we spoke to experts to find some of the very best options.Are grip socks necessary?“Barre socks have non-slip grips on the soles to give you traction and stability in class, particularly during standing exercises,” says NYC-based barre instructor Hannah Borstein. “If you get extra sweaty during workouts, socks can help you avoid slipping, and they also add extra grip and a protective layer when you exercise.” By adding grip socks to your workouts, you’ll be able to have a safer experience each time.What to look for in grip socks?Quality matters when it comes to grip socks and not all are considered equal. “When buying a pair of sticky socks, pay attention to the amount of grip and quality of grip on the bottom of the socks,” says Amanda Freeman, founder of the megaformer studio SLT. “The more covered with the grip surface, the better the sock is for traction. She also adds that the more you wash a pair of grip socks, the more wear and tear the grips experience. Be aware that you might have to replace your socks every few months if you use them daily.It’s also important to look at the material of the sock, as breathability is one of the main factors to consider when buying a pair, according to Bornstein. “These socks should be adding to your workout, not detracting, so make sure your socks fit snug enough that you won’t need to adjust them throughout the class, but not so snug that you can’t move your toes,” she says. “Some socks are ‘toeless’ with holes exposing each toe, which allow you to articulate your toes more freely without losing the grippy-ness of the socks on your heels, but it comes to a matter of preference whether you want to have that feature in or not—some people find them annoying.” When it comes to what to avoid, she says “Avoid anything too heavy, too thin, or without anti-slip grips.” Ready to take your barre and Pilates workouts up a notch? These are the best grip socks available on the market right now, according to experts. You’ll find picks from Amazon, Lululemon, Alo Yoga, and more.

How to Prepare for the Emotional, Physical, and Social Realities of Life Postpartum

How to Prepare for the Emotional, Physical, and Social Realities of Life Postpartum

“You might experience some crying, but it is mild and will start to go away around the two-week mark, if not sooner,” says Dr. Kaeni.But if your symptoms are more severe, such as lack of interest in your baby, having feelings of hopelessness or shame, and having thoughts of harming your baby or yourself, those are red flags of a more serious postpartum mood disorder (PPMD), like postpartum depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).With postpartum depression, your symptoms are more intense and last longer. For example, you may feel hopeless, have low energy, and cry a lot, Dr. Kaeni says. And if you have postpartum anxiety, you might have generalized worry or have specific worries that are hard to manage. You may also have intrusive thoughts that come out of nowhere.“For example, some people may have a worry that they’re going to drop the baby. And if you continue to think about it, it can take on an obsessive compulsive quality,” Dr. Kaeni explains. “They might stop carrying the baby because they’re so worried that they’re going to do something that harms the child, and it’s not because they actually want to harm the child. It’s the fear that’s debilitating.”Postpartum depression can also crop up later in the postpartum year when people go back to work or wean from breastfeeding, Dr. Vernon says.If you need mental health support, whether you think you have a perinatal mood disorder or not, check out Postpartum Support International, which offers help for mothers, fathers, partners and families, queer and trans parents, and military families. There’s also a 24/7 national maternal mental health hotline: 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS and a 24/7 national mental health and substance abuse hotline: 1-800-662-HELP. It’s worth adding these numbers to your phone now, before you need them, so they’re already there if and when you need to reach out.8. Surround yourself with a like-minded community.It’s common to feel the pressures of being the “perfect parent” because we are constantly surrounded by heartwarming images of parents and newborns on social media. But in reality, it is one of the most mentally challenging periods, and many parents—if not all—struggle at some point. You can help ease some of this pressure by filtering your social media feed to only include accounts that resonate with your experience, Dr. Kaeni says.You can also seek out local mom or parent support groups, where you can meet other parents who are dealing with the same issues. Sometimes all it takes is someone else saying that they can relate.For instance, Dr. Vernon, who is an advisor for Hey Jane, a digital community for postpartum families, runs a support group for pregnant and postpartum parents. She also recommends Peanut, an app that helps connect people who are navigating fertility, pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause. Love also hosts the support groups, Mother Connection and Toddler Time, at Indiana University Health, which are done via Zoom and are open to anyone, regardless of where they live. Dear Sunday Motherhood is another organization that offers virtual mom groups, where people all over the country can connect and gain advice from perinatal experts.Queer and LGBTQIA+ parents and families can also find resources and support through Gay Parents to Be, Men Having Babies, and Rainbow Families.Finally, Dr. Vernon reminds parents to be their own best advocate. “No matter what your birth experience is or how your recovery is postpartum, you’re still a great parent,” Dr. Vernon says. “You’re never alone.”Related:

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