Sponsored 04 June 2018
As a scientist and former Miss New York US, it's safe to say my wellness product demands are high. While I'm always looking for something that will help me look fresh-faced (even under glaring spotlights) and feel energetic, I also tend to obsess over ingredients, formulation, and product technology. I am quite picky, especially when it comes to starting new routines, but I am open minded to products that promise to make me feel better. So, about a month ago I met a friend for lunch and she began raving about a green drink from an Australian wellness brand, WelleCo that she says changed her life.
My friend, who happens to be a media mogul on top of her field, was at the time not only on a multi-city book tour complete with a series speaking engagements and book signings, but she was also balancing family and social life as well as managing an investment portfolio. After she told me that her superhuman energy levels, gorgeous healthy skin (not a wrinkle in sight) and mental clarity were all thanks to a daily green drink, I had to know more.
As it turns out, the magic elixir that was giving her so much life is actually a superfood-packed ingestible, coincidentally called The Super Elixir Greens. Comprised of a total 45 whole food ingredients like barley grass, wheatgrass, alfalfa and milk thistle in addition to pre and probiotics, vitamins and super greens that all but promise to revolutionize every part of your health, my first thought was 'that can't taste good."
Although I like to exercise, I'm far from health-conscious when it comes to my nutrition. Due to the nature of my career and my schedule, finding balance in terms of my health and wellness has been somewhat elusive. If something is not convenient, I won't do it, even if I know that it is good for me. So, when choosing any kind of new health regime, 'can I do it,' is paramount but 'will I?' is more important.
After my conversation with my friend, I decided to give The Super Elixir a try. I'll start by telling you that despite my hesitations, the flavor is far from off-putting. Although it does definitely taste like you're drinking something “healthy" at first, the inclusion of fruits like pineapple, apple, and goji berry make it taste light and sweet. It is recommended to mix the powder with plant milk or water, and I opted for the latter, drinking about two cups of my DIY green beverage each day when my sugar cravings hit.
I continued drinking the Super Elixir for a full month, and I have to say that by day three, I was hooked. Not only did I have more energy and mental clarity but I also began to feel and look better in many ways.
Here, the top five ways the Super Elixir changed my life in 30 days:
The first thing I immediately noticed after just a few days of drinking the Super Elixir is that substituting out my 4 PM coffee for the green drink amped up my evening energy levels. Whether I was going to the gym or to an after work meeting, I felt more energized (without the repercussions of a coffee come-down). This increased stamina also helped me be more productive at work, as I found myself less tired and more focused. After a week of feeling generally more alert, it became less difficult to wake up in the morning, as I woke immediately feeling refreshed and well-rested. I even started working out in the mornings, instead of evenings.
My tummy really thanked me for this change over the course of the month. I gradually began to feel less bloated and generally felt much more healthy (even after a helping of Dunkin's infamous donuts). What I really love about the Super Elixir is that it helps counteract any moments of “naughtiness," (which for me is carbs of course) as the ingredients actually bind to toxins and expel them from your system. Plus, the infusion of digestible nutrients that your body can actually recognize and absorb makes this a great hangover cure as well!
From breakouts to dry patches to rashes and sensitivity, I've had chronic issues with my skin my entire life. Despite trying a bevy of skin-clearing formulas, some expensive, some prescription and some from my local drug store, I've never found a regimen or product that fully worked for me. Taking the Super Elixir steadily for the last month I noticed fewer blemishes and while I can't say my skin became suddenly flawless, I certainly look better than usual after a 14-hour workday. I also noticed that my overall texture has, over the past month, become more smooth and my face looks more plumped and hydrated. By the last week, I even stopped wearing foundation, which is a first for me. Perhaps some of my skin benefits have come simply because the Super Elixir has helped me drink more water and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Admittedly, if a sugar or carb craving hits during the day, I am absolutely susceptible to picking up something carb-filled and sweet, and more often than not, a Chipotle lunch. Taking the Elixir at around 4 PM every day definitely quashed that longing for a sugar injection. After I got used to the taste (which really happened by day 3), I found my drink enjoyable and thus not necessary to cram a chocolate glazed in before I leave the office for the night. I also found that I started craving coffee (which is a daily obsession) less, especially in that late afternoon daily slump. My body was almost asking for the Super Elixir instead, so it became almost second nature to drink it around the same time each day.
Sleep & Stress
It's no secret that being an entrepreneur comes with a heaping of stress. My life, once ordered and corporate, is now chaotic and entirely unpredictable. While I wouldn't have it any other way, the negative side effects of a life spent in flux are impossible to deny. While subtle, the drink's superpowers became noticeable even when trying to stay positive while navigating business life and getting to sleep at the end of a long day. After one month, I not only felt more cleansed, but I also found myself getting less anxious about things that are out of my control. I should add that as I started my month with WelleCo, I also began focusing more on my mental well being, practicing mindfulness and meditation every day. I found the Super Elixir really helped me with being present and more positive, which I think in part was to actually getting sleep. As a night owl who does a lot of my ideating in the wee hours, I often toss and turn and wake up feeling depleted. Now that I sleep earlier and wake up feeling more refreshed, things just seem to be falling into place, both with business and my personal life. It's crazy to attribute this wave of goodness to a green powder, but it does seem to be the catalyst for the positivity that surrounds me.
I used to take my health and wellness for granted and didn't prioritize my wellbeing. Now that I found a routine and product that conveniently worked for my lifestyle, I can safely say that my month-long Super Elixir challenge will continue on for many many more.
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Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.
Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.
Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.
As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success in directly linked to women's' appearance, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.
Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.
So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.
Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.
For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."
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